Decorating Dilemmas: Sunroom Conundrum

by Beth HunterMarch 22, 2012

Sunrooms are a great way to add additional square footage to your home. When done well, they can add value to your home’s appraisal. However, if a sunroom doesn’t match the existing architecture, look, feel, and flow of the home it will do little to add value and can prove difficult to work with. This is the situation that one of my readers is facing and she recently contacted me with the following sunroom conundrum:

Hi Beth, I am a reader and fan, but rarely leave comments on your blog. I love your style and was hoping you could point me in the right direction. My husband & I recently purchased our first home and it includes a little sunroom that steps down from the living room and needs a lot of TLC! The sunroom flooring is currently covered in cheap astroturf and the ceiling is made out of cedar planks, the walls are drywall and new windows were installed before we purchased the home. I’m not sure if I should paint over the ceiling or not. We recently just painted the walls a nice off-white and we plan on replacing the flooring with large tile that matches our kitchen. I’m hoping to make this space feel like an extension of our living room with extra seating for entertaining. Any thoughts? – Margie

Margie didn’t send me a picture of her sunroom and due to a typo in her email on the contact submission form, I wasn’t able to get in touch with her. However, I found the sunroom pictured below that seemed similar to Margie’s description. With some “design magic” I came up with the following design and inspiration board for Margie’s room. (Hold your cursor over the picture and then move it off to see the transformation. )
For those of you reading this post in a feed, or are unable to see the interactive transformation above, here are some smaller images of the design transformation.
And here are some of the items that inspired the design:


Margie wanted her sunroom to feel like an extension of her living room. To achieve this goal, I chose a Pottery Barn wicker sectional sofa in a honey color that complements the cedar ceiling. Wicker furniture is a great traditional choice for any sunroom! To give Margie flexibility with seating and entertaining, I used a garden stool and cushioned ottoman. These items provide flexible functionality and can be used to hold food and beverages, or when needed used as additional seating.

You don’t typically see drapes in a sunroom, but they are a fantastic way to ground the room and add drama and interest. I chose a trendy chevron fabric in a neutral tone so that the room feels current, yet still serene. Accessories including a bright floral Amy Butler rug and some nature-inspired throw pillows complete the look!
I hope this design board gives some of you a fresh perspective on how to work with a difficult room! Please note that I didn’t worry about budget when creating this moodboard. In case some of you want to recreate this look for less, be sure to search stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, etc. for discount prices on home accessories. For thrifty decorators, remember that pillow covers can easily be made with iron-on transfers, curtains can be hand stenciled with fabric paint, and even rug designs can be painted on!

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Beth Hunter