Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunroom Makeover Part 1: The Planning Stage

I know this post is long overdue, but better late than never, right?! I've been meaning to post something on here for awhile now, but when I started this post 2 months ago I didn't realize what it would become. Now that I've finally finished it, I realized that it was way too much to squeeze into one post. Sooooo, I am breaking it up into three sections. I promise I will post all of them this week, but rather than boring you all at once, I thought it would be more fun to drag it out. :) So without further ado ...

Sunroom Makeover Part 1: The Planning Stage

Our empty house before we officially moved in.
The sunroom is the room in the back.
Redoing our sunroom was an amazing experience. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but as one of my first big projects, I think it turned out quite well. :) I started with a plain 8 x 10 white box and now I have a serene, nature-inspired room that Jesse and I use almost everyday.

When we moved in, I decided to start our design adventure by setting up the bedrooms and kitchen/dining room. Since our focus was on those main rooms, we left the very blank canvas of our sunroom exactly as it was, blank and empty. With not much design experience, I felt overwhelmed by the white space, not sure where to start!

I wish I could take the credit for transforming the empty space into such a wonderful room, but I got a lot of help from my sister, Jen, and her husband, Aron, who helped me make this house a home!

In February (yes, that's how long ago this started), they came out to visit and help Jesse and me pick out a few things for our still barren house. The intention was to focus on the dining room and living room, but as it turns out, my sister was inspired by the very same blank canvas that terrified me. We managed to work on the dining room and found a few things for other rooms of the house, but most of the focus was on the sunroom. Jen works for Pottery Barn and was born with an eye for design. She's had a lot of experience setting up room displays so she knows all the design rules, like the rule of three and anchoring furniture in a room. Not to mention, when you put Jen, Aron and me in an Ikea for 8 hours, anything is possible!

{Needs Assessment}

Before our shopping adventure began, Jen asked Jesse and me what we wanted this room to be, so we tried to come up with a few things to lead us in the right direction. When thinking about how we wanted to use the space we knew it needed to be functional, but we also wanted to make sure that it had nice visual appeal because of its central location in the house. Moment of honesty: Jesse wanted function, I just wanted cute!

Here is a list of the three main goals we had for the space, as well as pictures from a few rooms that inspired me along the way:

1. A Space to Relax: We wanted a space where we could get away from all the craziness of life and put up our feet. Our TV is in the living room, so while one of us (read: me) is watching a show (read: Project Runway or Glee), the other one (read: Jesse) needs a little quiet space. We wanted the sunroom to become the perfect room to do just that.

I really love the colors in the room below and all the windows make me think of our sunroom. Since they didn't have space to hang art on the walls, they chose to make their furniture serve as art - gorgeous! With all of the available seating and bright colors in the room, this space feels very livable.  (photo courtesy of:

2. Function: While a sitting room sounds all fine and good ... who really just sits around all day? We needed a room where we could get work done. We setup an office in one of our guest rooms, but since it's upstairs, we haven't gotten much use out of it. It feels very secluded from the rest of the house, which is nice for conventional office uses like working from home and paying bills, but we were looking for something close to the living room that we would use everyday. We thought it would be nice to setup a smaller office space in the sunroom where I could easily run to look up a recipe or upload pictures.

Below are a few home offices that take up minimal space in the room. I like how each office is setup in the corner, so they don't feel like the centerpiece of the room. (photos courtesy of:,,

3. Welcoming Appeal: We tend to have a lot of visitors throughout the year and while we really enjoy hosting people, we felt like we had limited space to entertain. We wanted a room where we could go with guests to hang out and not be planted in front of a huge TV. This meant that somehow we needed to get seating for four into this very small space.

Each of the rooms below are setup around an open layout, meant for seating several people. While we didn't have nearly as much space to work with, we wanted to make sure that it felt welcoming and had plenty of options for seating. I also love the blues and greens in both of these rooms! (photos courtesy of:


Once we identified what we needed to get out of the space, we moved on to deciding what we wanted the space to look and feel like. If you don't start with something in mind, shopping tends to be frustrating and unsuccessful or, on the flip side, you'll come home with a hodge-podge of items that don't go together. So, in order to prevent either of these things from happening, I focused on finding inspiration for the room. After perusing several websites, I realized that the inspiration was sitting right in front of me.

Jesse and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and while we were there we picked up this hand-made vase. I love the look of the green and blue against the terracotta base. I showed it to Jen and Aron before we ventured out and told them I wanted this to be the inspiration for the room. So, with the vase in mind and our needs identified, we headed out for three full days of shopping.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what we picked up on our shopping marathon! I PROMISE you'll get to see our entire makeover by the end of the week, but you'll have to be patient. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love for you to leave me a comment! It's a great way to interact with all of you (and to confirm that I have readers). I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing from you soon!