How to design and furnish a sunroom

Boy, it’s a hot summer here so far. So in honour of the season, I’m sharing my log room sunroom that I designed and furnished when we bought our log home a few years ago. So whether your sunroom is actually a covered porch, a screened in 3 season room, a Muskoka room or a free standing gazebo, these tips will help you.

Here’s how one side of the sunroom looks now.

Log home sunroom

And the other side.

Sunroom design

blue log cottage sunroom

Blue log cottage sunroom

This is what I started with.

Before sunroom

I bought more substantial and darker wicker furniture and had the cushions made with sunbrella fabric so that there was no worry about sun damage or a wet bathing suit. I chose blue fabrics that complemented each other but that were not the same for interest. Instead of a coffee table I went with an ottoman. It can be used for your feet, as an extra seat or for putting a tray on and using as a table.

Blue log cottage sunroom

The various throw pillows were made by me and I selected more contrasting patterns but with the same colours of blue as in the upholstery. I primarily used blue in this room but with little touches of a soft green. It shows up on the table base, on candle holders and on a few other decorative accessories.

blue log cottage sunroom

A small corner shelf adds a little display area and makes the corner interesting. A little round glass table holds a table lamp and in the other corner a larger table is for display and to place a drink or two. A floor lamp brings much needed light into this corner.

blue log cottage sunroom detail

My grandfather’s ice saw from the early 1900’s takes pride of place over the window. You can just see it on the picture below. An indoor/outdoor rug with a fun french poem written on it anchors the seating area.

blue log cottage sunroom

The little piano stool, from a barn sale, is painted a fun turquoise that matches the curio cabinet in the living room.

Turquoise piano stool used as table in sunroom

And here’s how the other side of the room looked like before.

before sunroom

First up we had to do a repair on the floor tiles right in front of the door. Since the existing terracotta tiles were not available nor would they have matched I went with a different pattern terracotta tile for this area, I think it makes it look like an accent rug.

blue log cottage sunroom

We also took out three of the six skylights as the lower ones were too close to the edge of the roof and leaked all the time. We kept it as an eating area and this is also where we often play cards. Removing the shelf allowed for a larger table and chairs. I also hung a black industrial style pendant light. And for a little bit of fun, I painted and placed some old oars as wall art on this wall.

log cottage detail

Log cottage sunroom

The other side of the room, which you don’t see has a large bookcase across from the table. And there are two sets of french doors which take up the rest of the wall space.

Sunroom detail

If you’d like to read about the other rooms in my log cottage, click on the links below. And stayed tuned, as I’ll be sharing more of the rooms throughout the summer. You can also read about my log cottage feature online in Ottawa at Home’s summer edition by clicking here. 

Log cottage living room 

Log cottage bathroom 

All photos except before pictures:  Melissa Kew Photography

How I designed and updated a log cottage living room on plan and on budget

Since lots of you had questions and wanted to see a bit more about our log cottage that was published in Ottawa at Home summer edition, I thought I’d share how I designed and updated the cottage living room on a plan and with a fairly strict budget.

Here’s how it looks now.

Log home living room with white sofas and blue swivel chairs

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

Since it is a large living room, I worked mostly with the furniture left behind and what we brought from our other cottage. By repurposing and reimagining a number of pieces I was able to keep within our budget.

Pictures do say a thousand words so here’s a quick breakdown of what changed in the cottage living room.

Before picture of log cottage living room with design changes

The sofa and love seat were great quality and in perfect shape, so I quickly decided to slipcover them in a white denim. Slipped off and washed at least once a year they stay clean and fresh. And putting throws where they are likely to get soiled helps keep them clean longer. I love that they make the room a little brighter as all wood interiors can get dark.

Donating the traditional area rug to a shelter allowed me to have a faux sisal wall to wall rug cut and bound to size. This is the perfect thing to do when you need a specific size or a very large area rug. It has held up nicely and it hides sand very well.

Removing the swag drapery treatments lets the view speak for itself. Privacy isn’t an issue and with the large roof overhand that is typical of log buildings, sun damage isn’t either. Simpler and more light, both big pluses in my book.

Even if the large clock and console were left by the previous owner, I would have removed both of them,  as there was far too much furniture in the space.

I relocated the existing occasional tables within the cottage and purchased an end table and coffee table from Urban Barn, with a lucky gift card win. Made from repurposed wood they have the rustic feel and look I was going for. Though they do strike a bit of a challenge when placing your drink on them, with their uneven surface.

My grandfather’s travel trunk from the early 1900’s replaced the other end table. I just had a piece of glass cut to fit the top and it has been the perfect thing. If you want to learn more about cottage decorating click here to read an Ottawa Citizen article that I contributed to.

Antique trunk fitted with a glass top to use as a table

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

And on the other side of the cottage living room.

Before picture of living room with design changes

We upgraded the wood pellet stove for a wood burning insert. Well worth the change both aesthetically and financially, as it has lowered our heating bills substantially in the winter.

The two pink swivel chairs were functionally perfect for the space. Even more so after I added the tv behind them, so now you can swivel to watch the fire or tv. With their threadbare pink fabric, they needed a makeover.  By raising them up a few inches (they were quite short) and reupholstering them in an exterior fabric they will be used and abused for many years.

log home living room with white slipcovered sofas

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

New foam and a durable exterior fabric completely updated the window seats. The pillows are a combination of ones I have made, knitted or picked up at various shops.

Adding my own decor items, like the large clock above the mantel, makes it feel more like us. Since this picture was taken this clock has been switched out for an even larger metal industrial one. Antique books, candles and other decor items are displayed on the mantel itself.  You can’t quite see them in these pictures,  but I used images from a great desk calendar and put them in inexpensive frames. By stacking them on top of each other, it gives them a bit more presence on the wall.

Originally this floor lamp was gold plated and very dated. I painted it black and bought a new drum shade to give it a new lease on life.

Cottage living room with stone fireplace

Photo credit: Melissa Kew Photography

The cute little turquoise cabinet, a hand me down gift from a neighbour, got a fresh coat of paint. The swing chair lives right here in the winter and in the summer it is enjoyed on the back deck.

Obviously, budget wise we didn’t do this all at the same time. However, it was high on the priority list since this cottage living room is one of my family’s most used spaces. I had a plan and as cash became available I just kept going down my list. That is really the key…to have a plan. You may find things as you go along that aren’t in the plan. That’s okay just as long as you have a good idea of where you are heading. That will also help you to avoid getting off track by spending more money then is necessary.

How can I help you design your living room?

How to choose souvenirs that won’t become clutter

how to choose souvenirs that won't become clutter

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

It’s that travel time of year! The time of year when we dream about hitting the open road with clear blue skies above. I may be in the minority but I love a road trip! Well, let’s be honest I love any kind of trip. But I do not love clutter!

So regardless of where you are headed this summer, you will likely bring back a souvenir of some sort. But then you get home and that bright Mexican plate that you just couldn’t part with in the market, just doesn’t quite look as good in your very traditional home.

So what souvenirs can be turned into decor pieces that don’t just clutter up your home?

When I’m traveling, I think about these things before I pick up something that’ll also take up my precious luggage space.

  1. Where will you use or place it in your home when you get back? A colourful ceramic bowl or jug may be perfect thing to use at your summer cottage instead of your home.
  2. Is it useful or at least tasty? I often pick up speciality food products that are unique to the locale, it’s great to enjoy and share with friends or family when you’re back home.
  3. Picking up Christmas tree ornaments are perfect for remembering your vacation but they won’t add to your daily clutter quota. Plus they are usually tiny and therefore easy to pack.
  4. Textiles are another favourite, a tea towel with a cute local saying or image or perhaps, an apron, both are useful. When I went to Paris, I picked up fabric at a flea market and once home, I had it made into cushion covers.
  5. Perhaps you can pick up some seashells, sea glass or special rocks from your vacation spot. Once you’ve ensured you can remove them, collect away. By placing them in shadow boxes or displaying them in a bowl you can enjoy them year around. Kids of course, love to get in on this type of collecting and it’s easy on the vacation budget.
  6. Do you take a million travel pics? I must confess I am guilty of this. But it’s great to pick one or two of your favourite and have them blown up and either mounted or framed for your walls. I’ve also made a personalized calendar with travel pics from the previous year. It’s a great way to remember the special moments.

So where are you heading this summer?

IDS18 observations

I’m just back from Toronto’s Interior Design Show (IDS18) that was held last weekend. And I thought I’d share a few of my observations about the show over the next while.

For me, the Benjamin Moore booth totally summed up the show and what’s happening in decor at the moment. It had the pattern (in the tiled floor and the fireplace), the neutral and jewel tones (in the furnishings and artwork), and the greenery that was everywhere. And it was eclectic, the envelope of the room was traditional with the black and white checked floor and panelled wall treatment, the fireplace was mediterranean inspired and the furnishings were all mid-century modern.

Benjamin Moore ids18

Benjamin Moore ids18

Benjamin Moore ids18

Could you live in this space? I certainly could.

Lisa

 

One Room Challenge Reveal – Sewing/Craft room

Well, she’s finished!

Sewing/craft room - overall - ORC

And let me say after the week we’ve had, that is no small feat. With the epic flooding at our cottage and all around our region, it has been a humbling experience to see the force of mother nature. My husband has been an absolute hero in keeping the water in our basement at a manageable level all week and trying to keep our losses and damage to a minimum. With no flood insurance and no disaster relief funding, it is terrifying what could have  happened. To say I’ve been distracted would be an understatement. My heart goes out to those who have suffered a much worse fate and I only hope that the disaster relief funding allows them to get their lives back to normal quickly.

Now back to the pretty.

Sewing/craft room - overall view1 - ORC

Sewing/craft room - overall view - ORC

And in case you have forgotten what I started with, here’s a scary reminder.

Sewing/craft room - BEFORES- ORC

Very, very frightening, well from a design standpoint. To see the step by step process you can visit the past 5 weeks’ posts here.

Week 1 | Week 2  | Week 3  | Week 4 |Week  5

My goal was for a happy, colourful space that was also clean and minimal. I love when everything has a place and now it does. And since we are contemplating moving sooner rather than later, I didn’t want to break the bank and I wanted it to be an easy change back to a bedroom. Plus it definitely helps me to get the creative juices flowing when I can be in such a calm and organized space.

And now for a few more reveal pics.

Sewing/craft room - detail- ORC

This was not the clock that I originally wanted but it wasn’t going to be even available to order until early June and luckily Homesense provided this very reasonable and attractive substitute.

I have to say I’m in love with the light fixture, I think it’s unexpected and fun in a sewing/craft room. I also love the dark finish against the lighter walls, plus it pulls in the black from the drapery rod and the sconces. This was from Zone and I was so thankful that they had it in stock right when I needed it.

Sewing/craft room - light fixture - ORC

One of the last things I got done was this bulletin board. It was spray painted in the same dark grey as the bookcase and then I used a chevron fabric on the cork front and trimmed it all out in a fabric ribbon. She’s looking mighty handsome now.

Sewing/craft room - bulletin board- ORC

Storage was key in this room. For my beads and jewelry fittings, I bought Ikea’s Grundtal magnetic strips, typically used as a knife organizer. But I attached my empty David’s Tea tins, of which I have soooo many, and ta da… bead storage extraordinare.  Hoarding does come in handy sometimes 🙂 Now I can see all my pretty little beads so that they inspire me to create. Placing Ikea’s Ranarp sconces on each side lights up this area for any small details that I need to see.

Sewing/craft room - bead organizer - ORC Sewing/craft room - bead organizer - ORC

The Ikea Alex drawer unit is amazing, It holds wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, cards, buttons, ribbons, sewing notions, thread, needles, pins, scissors, etc…..

Sewing/craft room - Alex drawer unit- ORC

The white Fintorp organizers on top are also from Ikea, the vase I already had, the faux branches were a hand me down from a friend and the clock was, as I already mentioned, a great find from Homesense. Sewing/craft room - Alex drawer unit- ORC

A few of the Gleve organizers help with small items and they fit perfectly in the shallower drawers at the top.

Sewing/craft room - fabric organizing - ORC

I adore this method of organizing fabric. It was easy to pick up some pant/skirt hangers and then just place the fabric inside. Now, it’s easy to see what I have and they are all in one place. My larger fabric bolts are tucked in the corner together with my ironing board, and my iron is easily reachable on the closet shelf.

Sewing/craft room - bookcase makeover - ORC

The bookcase turned out so great with the dark grey paint and Hygge & West’s Quilt wallpaper. I love how the graphic print complements the paisley print of the drapery. It is also home to many boxes …hello Tiffany 😉 and containers which store glue guns, floral notions, drapery hardware, etc… Two of  Ikea’s Skubbare baskets took care of all my extra wool that was in various bags around the house and they look great doing it.

Sewing/craft room - bookcase detail - ORC I’ve even got room to grown on this bookcase!

Sewing/craft room - bookcase detail - ORC

I also picked up these clever knitted Nordrana wall baskets in the perfect shade of grey for my room. They store my knitting needles and patterns. And if I tire of them here they can be used as standing baskets on the shelf.

My sewing table is kept simple, with just my sewing machine on it, ready for the next sewing project. The artwork above is repurposed from my recently redone dining room, since they didn’t make the cut there and they tied in perfectly with the drapery colours. The chair was as I mentioned in Week 2 a very lucky find at Ikea as it was being discontinued in this particular colour.

Sewing/craft room - light fixture - ORC

This makeover was done on a very strict budget, so the key was using alot of items I already had. The two tables, bookcase, bulletin board, basket, vase, artwork and many of the storage items I already had and of course, Ikea was a god send for budget friendly and practical pieces.

And for those of you who like to see the befores and afters side by side, here you go.

One Room Challenge - Sewing/craft room before

Sewing/craft room - overall - ORC

img_6167

Sewing/craft room - overall view1 - ORC

One Room Challenge - Sewing/Craft room before

Sewing/craft room - bookcase detail - ORC

And for it’s final closeup.

Sewing/craft room - Alex drawer unit- ORC I’d like to say a big thank you to the creator and organizer of the One Room Challenge, Linda at Calling It Home and her media partner, House Beautiful for this challenge. I am absolutely 100% certain that without this incentive my sewing/craft room would still not be finished. Be sure to check out the absolutely awesome reveals from the  20 featured designers  and my fellow linkers . They are truly awe inspiring!

1475460688709

 

Sources |Wall paint and bookcase paint – Benjamin Moore | Bookcase wallpaper – Hygge & West | Drawer unit, sconces, small storage items, chair – Ikea |  light fixture – Zone | drapery fabric – Pottery Barn| clock – Homesense | fabric on bulletin board – Tonic Living | ribbon on bulletin board – Fabricland |

Lisa