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

Designing a modern cottage bath on a budget

This is the second in a series I’m writing about the renovation and makeover of my country log cottage. Here’s how I gutted and designed a new modern cottage bath on a pretty low budget.

Modern cottage bath with subway tile and repurposed library table as vanity

It is a little scary but it started out like this.

Before photo of bath with details on changes

If you look closely on the above picture, you can see right where the shower base meets the floor, there is a large crack.  That’s where the floor was totally rotten. Like I mean so rotten, I was scared whenever someone used the bathroom that they would fall through the floor. You could actually see the basement through the crack.  Yikes! Obviously we knew this before we bought. So, this bathroom was pretty much the first job we tackled once we had possession. We basically had to take everything out and start over. Even the side of the cabinet had significant water damage as well as the wall so everything came out.

Like the cottage living room post (click here to read it), I’m showing you on the before picture what the plan was and how it was executed. So, here’s a visual breakdown of what we did for our modern cottage bath.

After bath photo showing some of the changes that were made

First, we gutted everything. Next we put in a completely new subfloor, installed new water resistant drywall and used the Kerdi shower system to ensure that the shower would be completely waterproof. Hubby got to work on all this nastiness and I got to go shopping. Not quite fair, I know.

I wanted an interesting, inexpensive vanity that was open on the bottom to help make the tiny bath feel more spacious. I had previously used an antique dresser in my powder room at home so I thought potentially something like that but without the drawers, some kind of table. As luck would have it I found an antique library table when I went with some fellow designers to the Brimfield Antique Show (you can read that post here). I knew it would be perfect, once I figured out how to raise it a few inches since it was a little short.

Before of the antique library table used as a bathroom vanity

Once I found this piece, it all started to click together. I wanted to highlight the barley twist legs so I decided that I would paint the legs. I had recently heard about the Canadian paint company, Fat Paint, so I contacted Victoria the owner, and told her what I was looking for. She offered to customize a colour for me so I just needed to choose one.

I know, this is where everyone wonders how did I choose a colour? It is actually quite systematic. I went shopping for flooring tiles, as I would need them sooner rather than later. I was also curious to see what I could find. The tile I settled on looks like wood but it isn’t, it is ceramic. We also ran it into the hallway outside the bathroom and in the nearby laundry room. Well, this floor went with the nearby slate floor and it had the slightest touch of turquoise in it, so it became the jumping off point for the colour scheme. I decided on a darker turquoise for the vanity that would really highlight the carved legs.

From here, I chose the shower wall tiles and the river rock coloration, then lastly I chose the wall colour, Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue, a soft version of the vanity’s legs. This is exactly why you always choose paint last in your renovation. So much easier to choose a paint colour to work with your fixtures, as there are endless colours of paint in comparison to tile selections.

Modern cottage bath with painted open repurposed vanity and square sink

Once I had decided on the vanity colour, I got in touch with Victoria and she automatically offered to mix me up a custom colour and ship it to me free of charge so I could try it out. Talk about service!

I found some prefab wood legs at my local Home Depot that I figured would work as extensions on the bottom of the table. So my husband, attached them and I set about painting the base. You can barely tell that the bottom six inches or so of the table is not original and I’m sure if I hadn’t told you, you would never have noticed. If you are thinking of painting a wood piece and want to do minimum sanding and prepping, check out my post here about how Fat Paint works. It saves you so much time.

Last but not least, I refinished the top with quite a few coats of durable polyurethane so that it would stand up to some splashing.

I loved that the library table had a nice little lower shelf as I was planning to pick up some baskets for storage. And those baskets would also help to hide the necessary plumbing underneath the sink. Since this is the main floor bath and acts as a powder room most of the time, I knew I wouldn’t need closed storage.

Close up of repurposed library table with painted barley twist legs

Next I chose a rectangular sink because I wanted it to mirror the shape of the table itself. I love this one from Kohler, it’s timeless, works perfectly with the square base of the Delta Dryden faucet and gives me that modern cottage bath feel I was after. BTW – Another great cost saving for me was Delta offered me the shower and sink fixtures free of charge for an honest opinion of them.  You can read my original post here.  

The lilypad artwork in the above photo is actually a photograph from a local artist. I love picking up original pieces from the area. My husband loved it and it was the perfect colours and feel for our modern cottage bath.

Library table turned bathroom vanity

Photo credit Melissa Kew Photography

For the shower I had my heart set on river rock tile. How perfect are they for it a beach front cottage? To offset the cost of them, I used simple grey matte oversized subway tiles on the rest of the shower walls.

Grey matte subway tile subway with bronze fixtures and river rock floor

I added a border of marble and glass tiles 2/3 of the way up that ties in the bath colours. My husband, figured out that he could run the subway tiles vertically above the border, so we did just that. This is called a soldier’s course, in case you are interested. This also has the added bonus of making a low ceiling feel higher. In this low ceiling bathroom that was a huge plus.

Close up of subway tile and border tile with bronze shower fixtures

I love the square Dryden fixtures and they add the right amount of masculinity to my modern cottage bath. Below, you can see the little niche for shampoo and soaps, he did with the river rock tile.

Shower niche with river rock tile

We removed the second shower head and raised the remaining one up to a proper height, since it was low. A great cost savings on the shower was the fact that we reused the shower glass and door. We just ordered new bronze trim and a handle to match the shower and sink fixtures. And thankfully we didn’t break it removing it and reinstalling it. We did sweat that alot!

Round reclaimed wood mirror with bronze bath faucet and lighting

Photo credit Melissa Kew Photography

A new toilet was installed and I sourced an oval mirror, to balance all the squares and rectangles in the space. It’s made from repurposed wood and has a nice rustic feel for a country bath. I had two sconce lights placed on either side of the mirror to replace the one hollywood strip. Did you know that being lit from each side is eminently more flattering than overhead lighting aka Hag lighting? The sconces themselves are simple and slightly industrial with a dark finish to match the fixtures.

Bronze faucet with repurposed antique library table vanity and reclaimed wood mirror

We also installed a few of these cute little deer hooks so that hanging up towels is quick and easy.

Shower with subway tile, river rock floor and bronze fixtures

My husband, was a huge part of this renovation. He did all the demo, all the tile work, all the installations except where we needed professionals. So obviously if you can do some of the work yourself that will be a great savings. Just remember though, that you should know what you can or cannot tackle. Sometimes DIY leads to even more expense when you have to call in the experts to fix a wrong.

All in, this renovation cost us under $8,000. Which is actually very reasonable as an average bathroom renovation costs around $20,000 and quickly goes up. Keeping everything in the same footprint in this tiny bathroom helped to keep the cost low. The majority of the cost was definitely the Kerdi Shower system. We didn’t want to skimp on that as we didn’t want a repeat of the water damage that had happened.

So there you have it, our modern cottage bath.

Modern cottage bath with unique vanity and river rock shower floor

So when can we start working on your bathroom renovation?

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

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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!

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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

One Room Challenge – Week 5 – Sewing/Craft room

Yikes, only one week left and I’m scrambling a little.  So to recap, I’m a guest participant in the One Room Challenge, where bloggers link up and share the challenge of completing their one room transformations in a mere six weeks. A big thank you to the creator and organizer of the ORC, Linda at Calling It Home and her partner, House Beautiful and of course, you for following us all along. If you haven’t already be sure to check out the 20 featured designers  and my fellow linkers  as they share their inspirations, challenges and next week, the final reveals!

1475460688709

For all my inspiration and how I got this far, you can read the previous weeks’ posts by clicking the links below.

Week 1

Week 2 

Week 3 

Week 4

Thankfully, I got quite a bit accomplished this week. The biggest job was getting the bookcase painted and wallpapered. Which I completed late last weekend and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. This is how it looked when I started.

Before: bookcase

I first painted it with Benjamin Moore’s Grey 2121-10, which matched the Ikea’s Alex drawer unit I’m using in the room, perfectly.

2121-10 Gray

Then I used Hygge & West’s Quilt wallpaper in Cayenne for the back of the bookshelf.

Hygge & West, quilt_cayenne_roll_web

And it now looks like this! It still needs to be styled but isn’t she pretty?

PaintedbookcasegreyDIY

For the DIYers, here’s what I did:

  1. removed the shelves;
  2. lightly sanded the entire bookcase and shelves;
  3. wiped it with a damp cloth to get the dust off, and then let it dry.
  4. I used Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint for furniture and trim in a pearl finish and gave it two thin coats with a sponge roller. I did use a good quality brush for the corners. Let it dry well between coats and I gave it a good two days before I put anything on the shelves.
  5. The wallpaper had to be pasted, which I prefer as it doesn’t get gluey water everywhere and that was the best scenario as the back of the shelf is just a thick cardboard. It was tricky to wallpaper as it wasn’t completely flat and it has creases in it. But I did the best I could, and I think it turned out really well.

I’m hoping the paint holds up okay, since I didn’t use a primer. Time will tell. The finish looks really good in person, so I’m crossing my fingers.

My fabric samples/remnants are all nicely hung up in the closet, so now I can actually see what I have. I really love this idea. The really big pieces that weren’t on a roll, have been placed in a large wicker basket I have.

Ikea’s Alex rolling drawers have been filled with wrapping paper, ribbon, sewing and craft accessories. I love that it’s on wheels so that it can be moved around the room as needed.

But my most favourite thing in the room is the drapery.

PaisleyDraperypanelsORC

Honestly, I can’t believe how beautiful the fabric looks against the turquoise walls. To think, they started off as a Pottery Barn duvet cover. I spent some time taking it all apart and measuring twice or maybe three times 😉 It ended up working perfectly for the length I needed. I also had some black out lining from some old curtains that I sewed into the panels, to give them some weight. Black out wasn’t really needed for this room, but I love that it allows the panels to drape better.

I kept them really simple, as I was doing them myself, and just hemmed them, so they are really just a big rectangle. I already had the drapery rod and the rings so I just hung the panels from the rings, just at the edge of the window moulding, as I didn’t want them to block any light from coming into the room. And in my humble opinion, they totally make the room.

So here’s my list of what has been done and what still needs to be done:

  • Paint room √
  • Put together office chair √
  • Assemble drawer unit √
  • Pick up light fixture √
  • Put up light fixture
  • Spray paint interior of wall sconces √
  • Put up wall sconces
  • Paint bookcase grey √
  • Wallpaper the back of the bookcase √
  • Paint the bulletin board √
  • Cover the bulletin board with fabric
  • Source wall clock √
  • Storage solution for fabric remnants √
  • Put away all craft/sewing/wrapping accessories √
  • Make drapery panels √
  • Hang drapery panels √
  • Accessorize room
  • Hang art
  • Have room photographed

I’m currently working on the bulletin board which is shaping up nicely. I did a blogging no no and forgot to take a before pic, but trust me this bulletin board frame was a dark brown when I started. I originally was going to paint it black to go with the Ikea Ranarp sconces but then I changed my mind and did it in the same grey as the Alex unit and bookcase.  The plan is to cover the cork with a chevron patterned fabric in turquoise and ivory and trim it out in a matching ribbon.

Bulletin board DIY

After this I need to finish with the organization solutions and of course, style the shelves, put up the light fixtures (I can’t wait to see that done), hang the art and do a little clean up before it’s photographed next week.

We’ve been a little sidetracked this week, as we are trying to keep our cottage safe from the flooding Ottawa River. With all the rain we’ve gotten and the ice/snow melt on the river, it’s been a challenging spring. Three out of four of our sub-pumps have failed so it’s been a lot of back and forth for my husband to check on things. Our beach is completely submerged and the water is almost at the top of our stone wall (which is about 4-5′ high). As it stands now, he’s got a new pump working and is hoping to get the basement dry before Friday’s next deluge. Another 50-70 mm of rain is expected in the next few days…argh…

Lisa

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Sewing/Craft room

Well this week has been a bit of a challenge! To recap, I’m a guest participant in the One Room Challenge,  hosted by Linda at Calling It Home. Bloggers link up and share the challenge of completing their one room transformations in a mere six weeks. You can follow the featured designers here and my fellow linkers here, as they share their inspirations, challenges and of course, the results.

1475460688709

For the previous weeks’ post click the link below.

Week 1

Week 2 

Week 3 

I’ve actually been away in Florida for the past week, hence the challenge. So I am scrambling a little to catch up.

I am planning to start my bookcase makeover, this week and it will entail some paint and wallpaper. Yes, this is where I’m using the Quilt wallpaper from Hygge & West.

Before: bookcase 2121-10 Gray Hygge & West, quilt_cayenne_roll_web

And yes, that is Milo’s tail in the corner of the pic. He loves to photobomb.

I also had some fun getting the light fixture, when I went to order it from my regular lighting supplier, it was discontinued….what? and they didn’t have any in their warehouse….sob. So after a little more sourcing I found a very similar one at Zone in the market and luckily they had one in stock. I was off like a shot to pick it up.  I just have to pick up the proper bulbs and get hubby to install it for me and that can be checked off the list.

Octo pendant

So this week’s objectives, paint the bookcase, light fixture installed and get the drapes finished. Wish me luck!

Thanks again to Linda for organizing and House Beautiful for partnering up.
Lisa