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We have for many years run our pop up shop in late Autumn during Wexford Festival Opera. Last year we extended our stay sharing a unit on Wexford’s North Main Street with Kellys Resort Hotel until the end of December. We took the opportunity while our showroom rugs were all on display in town to lavish some much needed TLC on our showrooms here in Barrystown.

There’s quite a bit of charm and character here at our studios as anyone who has visited us will know. 

We are aware of just how lucky we are to have such character in spades all around us and so, we are  very conscious of not doing anything that might harm it in any way.

The space was dark, and we were having issues with condensation and damp which were giving rise to some pretty large heating bills. We felt it wasn’t doing our beautiful rugs any justice.

So we did a bit of research and deducted that hemp and lime, together with some new lighting was the way to go. 

So lets talk about the hemp/lime!

Its an extremely effective low tech solution. It is literally pawed onto the walls in large messy handfuls and then floated to finish. Messy is the operative word here so be ready to get down and dirty with this material. 

This is an age old technique used to finish and insulate the walls of buildings. The hemp shiv (basically mulched stalks of the hemp plant) is mixed with hydraulic lime and water. This is then applied by hand to the walls and can be built up to the desired thickness. Its a real labour of love but the results we think are worth it!

Hemp/lime or “hempcrete” is in fact one of the only insulation materials which has a thermal mass. When coupled with its hygroscopic/breathable properties this makes it an extremely effective humidity regulator. The result? A very pleasantly textured beautiful surface which helps maintain and regulate a steady relative humidity, ambient temperatures and a healthy interior environment.

 But thats not the best bit!!

This is a carbon negative solution….. we think we should say that again, yes…. this solution has in fact sequestered more carbon than has been emitted in its production and application.

More even than that, the plant itself actually aerates and helps regenerate tired soils, it grows well without any need for artificial fertilisers and weed controls. So both our interior and the exterior environments are improved as a result of this endeavour,  the plusses keep on stacking up! 

Its a no frills treatment here in our show room. We believe in integrity of design and truth to materials so we’ve left it quite raw, we thought “eco brutalism” would be a fitting term.

 Its an effective backdrop for our rugs with rough texture and soft corners, but it can also be brought up to a very fine finish when desired.

The same hemp stalks that are used for this finish can also be processed into yarn which we have used in our rugs.

We were thrilled with the results. It has really brightened up the showroom, it has created a healthy and comfortable environment and it has reduced our heating bills. We put a lime wash on the floors to further brighten the space and painted the ceilings.

A massive thanks to Willie Duggan Lighting in Kilkenny  for a super new track and spot light system which has finished everything off with a touch of class.

Come and see! We are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm, and weekends and holidays by appointment.