Sunroom updates

One of my favorite things about our house is the tiny second-floor sunroom. When we moved in, it had just been re-roofed and most of the wood, including around the windows, was left plain. The beadboard below the walls was painted off-white and the floor was covered in beige carpet. The previous owner had improvised some curtains by hanging lengths of unbleached muslin from tension rods with clip rings. It was bright and utilitarian.

This photo was taken when we looked at the house--the chairs belonged to the previous owner.

This photo was taken when we looked at the house–the chairs belonged to the previous owner.

The room pretty much stayed that way until a few years ago, when I ripped out the carpet, then a second carpet beneath, and put down some wood parquet flooring salvaged from Jared’s parents’ house. I painted the exposed wood a sunny yellow, though I left the ceiling bare since I can’t reach it. I also made a long bench on one side using two boards and some shelf brackets; I painted the bench yellow, too. I covered it with a cushion made from green home decor fabric over rectangular pieces of foam, added a skirt to hide a storage area under the bench, and made a couple of pillows. I also spray painted a folding table to harmonize with the color scheme.


This worked very well for a while, and I used the sunroom much more often. However, the fabric eventually faded. One of the furrier residents of our house tends to express her displeasure by peeing on anything soft, so the cushion and pillows became wrinkled from washing. I used it less, and the room quickly acquired clutter. This is what it looked like in May of 2013.


Yeah. Don’t judge me.

It was time for a change. I thought about using a similar color scheme–yellows, greens, and/or reds, but most of our house contains these three colors and I wanted something a bit different. I loved the beautiful blues we saw during a trip to Tunisia, and used my photographs of Tunis as inspiration.


I needed chairs, but was unable to find anything that appealed to me at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Instead, I decided to spray paint two wooden folding chairs that had been hiding out in the basement. I used to use these at my computer desk, but they were not up to the abuse that I put on my desk chairs (I spend a lot of time in front of the computer and I’m very fidgety). The slats came loose in one, and another cracked. I had fixed them with screws and wood glue, but relegated them to the basement when I found something better. I hosed them off to get rid of the dust and spiderwebs they had accumulated and sprayed them a light aqua. I sprayed the folding table a nice bright cobalt.


I bought two fabrics to cover the cushions and pillows: a bright turquoise and a gorgeous royal blue and gold brocade, both on sale. I wanted a variety of colors and textures, so I combined these with some fabrics I already had (including some left over from this skirt). Instead of making one long cushion, as I had done before, I covered four foam rectangles individually. I did not do the best job on these, but I am okay with that.


I made the pillow covers with envelope backings. My pillow forms were 14 by 14 inches, so for each front I cut a 15 by 15-inch square to allow for 1/2 inch seam allowances. For the backs, I cut two 9 by 15-inch rectangles and finished one end of each, then sewed the whole thing together. It worked great and I am very happy with them. The curtains are the same tension rods and clip hooks with plain white flour sack towels.


The room isn’t done–the chairs aren’t evenly coated with paint, so I’ll need to buy another can. I also need to add trim around the floor–this should have been done four years ago, but I didn’t get around to it. The floor also clearly needs to be mopped. Yikes. Also, I think the yellow paint has to go. At first I thought it would be okay with the blues, but I think it clashes too much. Another possibility is to make some more pillows that incorporate other colors–I don’t want the room to look like a Smurf threw up in there. So this will probably never be finished, but at least it’s usable again.

After looking at these photos, I realize that I hate the cushions and possibly also the satin pillow. It may be that the photo makes them look shinier than they are, but I am thinking that tomorrow I’ll make some changes.


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