One of the best things about meeting Naomi was finally having someone to talk with endlessly about DIY and how to tackle various challenges in our homes. We chat informally all the time, but we also thought it would be fun to bring some of it to the blog — so I picked one of the spaces we’re currently unsure about, and asked Naomi to provide some advice and recommendations in the form of a blog post.
The space I selected is our sunroom. When we toured our house for the first time, the bonus room in the back – which was an addition to the original house – was one of the things that stood out. It has large windows on three of the four walls and two doors, one opening to the back porch and one opening into the kitchen. We call it the “sun room,” but since it’s where we enter from the driveway, it’s also partially a mud room. And because we don’t have a dining room, for big gatherings like hosting 17 friends and family for Thanksgiving, we clear it out and use it as a dining room.
Here’s how it currently looks:
We really like the room – it’s so light and cozy, especially since it’s on a separate thermostat so we can easily turn the heat up and down as needed. We don’t really know exactly what to do with it or how to decorate it, though. Right now it’s just home to the furniture that was in our apartment living room (we got a sectional sofa and new coffee table for our living room when we moved into our house), and we’re not sure how to best make use of the space and also have it set the tone for the rest of the house since it’s the first room you see when you enter. Rather than just stewing over it myself and spending hours looking for inspiration on pinterest, I thought I’d take advantage of Naomi’s creativity and see what she would dream up for the space!
Thanks, Sage! There are few things that I like more than bossily re-decorating other people’s homes.
My first thought is always, “can we paint this a fun color?” and my second thought is usually, “yes.” This isn’t a room that you’ll be spending a lot of time in, so it would be a great place for some bold color that you love but wouldn’t want in a commonly used space, like a living room. In my mock-ups, I’ve picked a bright tone between turquoise and teal, but obviously I won’t be insulted if you go for a different color. I mean, it’s your house.
I know that the closet provides great storage, but that wall is just calling out for a cubby to hold some of the more frequently used items. You can’t exactly install full built-in bench storage because of the baseboard heating, but you could build an attached bench with some storage and a gap underneath for airflow and stashing shoes.
Those drawers would be a really convenient place for things like gloves and canvas shopping totes (which multiply in my house, at least). And I LOVE that door you’ve got! The window lets in even more light to this already bright/beautiful space. All it needs is a coat of paint to cheer it back up.
I was talking this over with Brad’s mother and she came up with a brilliant suggestion for another functional update you could make. (Um, it’s perfectly normal to discuss the floor plan of your friend’s sunroom with your boyfriend’s mother while you are visiting for the holidays, right?) Anyway, she suggested that the little nook under the kitchen window could be built in for something useful, like a washer and dryer. Why lug laundry into the basement if you don’t have to!
You could even build a counter right above the units, and have a space for folding and ironing. I put a plant there to make my drawing look better, but you would probably keep it functional.
However, it sounds like what you really need is flexibility, both in the short-term (for your 17-person thanksgiving) and in the long-term (to re-purpose this space into an office or crafting area if other rooms are filled). So my real recommendation would be to keep the couches because you have them and they look great.
But if you wanted to have fun with it, why not make it into a funky space for relaxation? It was Sam who originally thought of a hammock, and that would be super awesome out here. Imagine it strung across the space, with some plants, books, and a small table to set a drink on.
It would be so easy to clear the area just by unclipping the hammock from the walls, so you could use the room for other purposes whenever you wanted. If this were in my house, this is where I would spend every minute of every snowy day.
Well, I hope that sparks at least some ideas for you. I can’t wait to see what you do with this great room!
Everyone, what do you think of these ideas? What would you recommend for Sage’s sunroom?
(Sharing at A Bowl Full of Lemons.)