Saturday, September 21, 2013

Putting the 'sun' in sunroom

This is the story of how a little room that sat empty for 18 months and was never on our radar to tackle ended up becoming the place we now spend most of our time. 
The day before Logan's church dedication ceremony back in February, as if we didn't have enough to do to get ready, we decided we were finally fed up with the couches we'd been using for the past 7 years. Without doing any real research or comparison shopping (very unlike us!), we went out and just bought one - we were just at that point. But when it came time to dispose of our very used former couches, we realized we should keep them and put them in our otherwise-empty sunroom, particularly because these were the only couches we were still allowing our dog to lay on (side note: as hard as it was to resist the looks we got as we trained her to stay off the two sets of new couches we've gotten in this house, it's been the best decision ever - they stay so much cleaner and are wearing so much better as a result).

Anyway, all of a sudden we had furniture in the sunroom, and all of a sudden I found myself wanting to make the sunroom a livable space. But unlike the other projects we've taken on around here, we weren't planning on investing in any major DIY; this one was going to have to get done through a combination of the little things - painting, spiffing up those worn couches, and piecing together things from my old standbys: Target, Marshall's/HomeGoods, and IKEA (who am I kidding, most of the furniture we own is from IKEA anyway).

Because part of the goal here was to put the 'sun' in sunroom, and to eliminate the last of the dark, dingy, retro-in-a-bad-way wood paneling in the house (hurray!), I opted for a white room, which you won't find anywhere else in my house. This gets a little tricky though, because "white white" is often too stark. I ended up going with "December Starlight" from Valspar, which looks white on the wall but isn't 100% white. And, by some miracle, all of my "whites" (walls, picture frames, furniture) ended up matching perfectly, which can be even trickier. It's rare to luck out like that on home projects, so I'll take it when I can get it.

My only other comment on the painting was that it was soooo much more work than any other painting project I've done, because of all the grooves between those wood slats of paneling. I did two coats of primer on it all, then had to do three coats of paint, including one with a brush used to get in between every. one. of. those. grooves. Torture.

As you can see, there's some interesting stuff going on with "woodwork" around the windows - our conclusion is that this room was pretty much thrown together using what seems like scrap material when the addition was put on back in the 70s. There are literally wood planks randomly nailed above certain windows; Troy says we probably don't want to see what's behind them. But again, this being the little room makeover vs. another big one, we went with what we had. The good news was, painting gave me an opportunity to try and make it make a little more sense of it all, which I think I was able to do by painting some of the wood a bright, sunny yellow (Valspar's Lemon Twist).  

The part of the room I'm most excited about was the little shelf nook - again, an unexciting, neglected part of the room until it was given some interest by lining the back wall with patterned fabric (you see this all the time on Pinterest and home improvement shows, often done with wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, paint, or even wallpaper). All of a sudden, I had lots of ideas for things to put on the shelves that had never inspired me before.
Finally, the reason we now spend most of our time out here? We moved our upstairs TV from the living room out to the sunroom, which pretty much does it. Also, this room is right off the kitchen which makes it easy to hang out here, and truth be told, there's just something more comfortable about hanging out on these old couches when you spend your nights with a toddler and a yellow lab. We don't worry about the mess or things getting spilled out here, which is a nice break from the way we behave around our still-new-feeling furniture in the other living spaces.  
Source list for everything else in the room:
  • Furniture: Liatorp series media stand and side tables from IKEA
  • Picture frames: Ribba, Sondrum, and Virserum frames in assorted sizes from IKEA
  • Curtains: Sheer Curtain Panels from Carol Wright Gifts (one of the only sites I found with 54" curtains for the short windows)
  • Fabric for shelving: Waverly upholstery fabric, Joann Fabric stores
  • Wicker chair and wicker pendant light from IKEA (for the light, I removed the hardwire fixture and substituted a cord fixture from IKEA that I just plug into the wall behind the chair)
  • Mini table lamps w/glass base (in stores) and yellow lampshades from Target
  • Throw pillows from Marshall's and HomeGoods
  • Mini vases from IKEA

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back to blogging! I love that the sunroom is so cheery and light.