...because home doesn't happen overnight.

It’s Feature Friday!  On Fridays, I’ll be featuring one room in my house in its current condition even if there are some things I’d like to change about it.  If I do happen to improve something later, I can always revisit it when the time comes.  Plus, I’d kinda feel dishonest if I only focused on “finished” rooms in my house.  And if what they (the professionals) say is true, a room is never really finished anyways…you’re always tweaking it.  Concentrating on just one room weekly should give me some time to tidy it up a bit, too.  At least, I can throw all the toys into another room!  So, without further ado, let’s tour my sunroom.

Last week we ventured to the back of my house into the main living space and visited my family room.  Just beyond the family room is our sunroom which juts out into the backyard.  We prefer to call it our sunroom versus our morning room (which is what most builders name this type of room).  Why?  With 5 windows and a set of sliding patio doors, this room is flooded with natural light even on the cloudiest of days.  Plus, we don’t usually spend mornings here.  In fact, somehow this room draws us (and guests) into it in the evening time.  Maybe it’s because it faces west and we’ve seen more than one awe inspiring sunset beyond our backyard trees.  Whatever the reason, this room keeps us in touch with nature – one of my all time favorite inspirations.  We’ve been known to watch snow fall, rain pour, lightning strike and breezy winds tousle our trees from the confines of this sitting room.  One of my favorite memories of this room is comforting my lil’ guy, Everett, as he cuddled against me during a storm.  He was “skeered” of the “funder.”  To keep the focus on Mother Nature, I went easy on the decor. 

Here’s the view from our family room


The view from our kitchen

An overhead shot.  For furniture placement, I took inspiration from a room I saw in a magazine that had 4 rounded chairs all facing a table in the center of a square room.  The layout allows for easy conversation.  To keep the chairs from “floating” too much, I laid down a sisal rug from Natural Area Rugs.

This room is pretty much all IKEA:  the chairs, the table, the basket and the floor-to-ceiling curtains.  Many people with children are afraid of white furniture…for fear it will show dirt and stains easily.  But these slipcovered chairs clean up nicely in the wash.  (My sister even spilled the contents of a burrito on one and it didn’t stain!)  Plus, the fabric has a denim quality to it that makes it easy to spot clean if need be.  I added a few cushy pillows in a green leaf print from Etsy and a khaki leaf pillow and knobby green throw from Kmart.  The “Keep Calm and Carry On” print is from Etsy also.  The fake flowers (everyone asks if they’re real) are from Wal-Mart.

Even though we absolutely looooove looking out all those windows, it was necessary to add window treatments to block the hot summer sun that pounds down after 4:00pm.  (Not a great scenario when you’re trying to eat dinner in the adjacent dining area.)  I wanted something that would open and close easily.  Roman-esque shades were our answer.  I bought the inside mounted shades from JCPenney (got them on clearance for $20 each!). 

I added custom fabric and trim to the velcroed (is that a word?!) valances…

…then made ribbons from the same fabric and stitched ’em onto the shades so that they run vertically.  I was wanting some contrast against the all white room plus I thought it made the window treatments look less boring.

Here are the shades drawn shut…

…and half shut.

I had a round table in mind for the sunroom but the $8 price tag on this IKEA one was too cheap to pass up.  I change the tablescape easily on a whim when the seasons turn.

The basket below holds Lincoln Logs and a remote control car.  Betcha never woulda guessed that!

To soften up the room a bit, I added flowing curtains to either side of the patio slider.  I hung 2 panels on each side to achieve a fuller effect.

A few “for fun” images…

So ends my sunroom tour.  Swing by next Friday for a peek at my dining area.  Yup, that’s right.  I said area not room.



I LOVE all of your rooms so far….I bet watching a storm roll in while sitting in this room is lots of fun! My two boys would LOVE.IT!


I love the soothing colors! Very pretty.


very “Cottage Living”–and that’s about the highest design compliment I give (I still miss that magazine!)


Carole – I miss Cottage Living too! Thanks!


I blogged about your dining room over at http://www.ourlittlebeehive.com today. I just love your chandelier!


Hi Dana, I’m recently just bought my first home with my fiance and I have truly been enjoying your blog! I love your DIY, no fuss, but always charming style! Can you let me know if the color of your sunroom is the same as the majority of your house (Bonsai)?

Thanks so much and keep up the wonderful work!


Isabel – Yes, our sunroom is painted Valspar’s {Lowe’s} Bonsai like the majority of the house. The sunroom gets a lot of natural light so the color sometimes has a lighter, greener tone to it in there. We love it in every room!


Thanks for sharing. I love the great ideas and, simple, fun and informative, and casual and friendly. I feel like I just left my friends and had a great chat. Thank you!


Hi Dana – what do you mean by ‘custom fabric’ on the valances? I just love them and have been searching for a similar fabric but have been unsuccessful :(


Dana – I added the darker valance and wide trim fabric. It was a special order fabric from JoAnn’s…not available in store. I sewed the special order fabric to fit my store bought shades…that’s what I was calling ‘custom.’ The contrasting valance and trim fabric was added by me making it a custom fit!


Thanks for the information. How do you go about finding “custom” fabrics at Joann’s.. do they have catalogs in their store to look through?
Thanks so much! Dana :)


Dana – I think the special order fabric is only available at certain JoAnn stores. There are usually samples of the special order fabric hanging on little hangers near the back of the store {beyond the quilting fabrics and cutting counter}. The special order fabric tends to be of high quality and designer brands. It’s also more expensive but you can catch their 40%-50% off special order fabric sales several times a year. The special order fabric is great for pillows, fabric detailing {like on my store bought shades}, and recovering chair seats as you don’t need a lot of fabric for those projects. Good luck!


Great… thanks for the tip! I will check it out!


I love your sunroom! I wish I’ll one day own a house with a sunroom. Also, I recently painted my bedroom with Behr’s Silver Screen and found it was too light for my liking. You are definitely convincing me to repaint the walls with Valspar’s Bonsai :)


Hi! Your blog is fantastic! Come this July we will have been in our new home for a year. It was in great shape when we moved in but just needed to updte it with our own personal style. We have a den/playroom which is located in the interior of the house (one window looks out on 3 season porch and the other looks out on the deck) so its the warmest room in the winter which is great but also the warmest room in the summer. No air flow. We’re planning on installing a ceiling fan but it’s a small room so it will be very noticeable but well needed. I think a modern fan would be appropriate. How did you choose your fan? And where did you get it? Thank you!


Joy – Our sunroom ceiling fan came from Lamps Plus. We’ve bought a few fans from there over the years and have always been satisfied with them!


Hi, I would like to know where did you buy the basket?? your decoration is amazing!!




Just stalking your old house and I have a question: Do you have a tutorial or can you publish one on how you sewed your ribbon on the shades? You probably don’t have detailed photos, but even any deets on how you did it would be great! Thanks! I have been “stalking” you for 2.5 years now (almost daily)! Love your blog!


Where did you get the covers for the barrel chairs ?


Chairs and slipcovers are from IKEA.