Last week, on Facebook, my cousin shared a couple photos of her sunroom with a request for suggestions. She's quite design savvy herself, but with this room, she's at a loss.
It's your typical, unusable Florida room, uninsulated and, therefore, freezing in the winter and boiling hot in the summer. She tried to paint, but got half way done and decided she didn't really like it. I prodded for a few more details and learned that this is her main entrance and essentially, nothing more. She never uses the little cafe space or the tete-a-tete wicker chairs.
I think it's too bad. This could be such a beautiful relaxing space. My parents have a similar room that they insulated and installed skylights and a wood stove in order to manage the temperature. They use it all the time, making the other two sitting rooms in their home nearly obsolete.
Of course, not everyone is able to drop the money to install a wood stove and other options, like little electric heaters, can be cheap, but hard on your electricity bill. So, for the moment, this room remains unusable.
It is, however, a main entrance. I believe entrances should be beautiful. This is the whole reason we're pouring our current efforts into our back mudroom. An entrance should lead you into a house. It should fit the personality of the house and, by association, the people who call it home.
At the very least, it should remind you why you love being home from the moment you step in the door.
So, what can S do to improve this space?
These are my thoughts:
A light grey or other neutral colour would keep the ceiling bright and allow the room to remain an open, airy space. But curtains... oh, she could have some fun with curtains. I envision a combination of bright white sheers with a bold, colourful sheer, either solid, or in a pattern. I would centre the wicker chairs and little table on the long window wall and eliminate the sitting area at the other end of room. She could bring out the curtain pattern or colour with a complimentary colour on the cushions for the wicker. A small area rug would warm it up a little and possibly even make the space usable on a warm spring morning.
Because it is an entrance, I would suggest focusing on that purpose of this room. She could build a beautiful storage unit beneath the window on the brick wall and up over the freezer - which needs to stay no matter what - to disguise it and soften its presence a little. This would also give plenty of storage for shoes, hats, mittens, and scarves. She could even add a set of hooks for coats.
On Facebook, she's getting other great suggestions as well, such as painting the brick to brighten it up and adding large area rugs to warm up the floor.
Now, knowing how design savvy my readers are, we turn to you: what would you do with this space? What colours would you paint the ceiling and how would you arrange the room?