Are you ready? If you haven’t read the first part of the sun porch project, you can do so here. If you’ve already read it, here you go: before and after…
Are you stunned? I am. I’m trying not to be dramatic, but you have to remember, I’ve been a lot closer to this project than you have (like, for the past 15 years). It’s taking me a minute to wrap my head around the fact that the sun porch is actually (almost) finished and that we are even using this room for parties!!
Ok, I’m better now.
Here are a few more photos of the finished room and the details that we picked out:
Just in case you didn’t get a chance to read the first post, here’s a quick recap: my mom originally envisioned this room as a place for the family to gather and play games, for her to read, and for friends to talk and have drinks/appetizers/desserts and just enjoy her beautiful gardens. For the longest time, this room was a scary cave of red brick and broken furniture. This year we (OK, let’s face it, I) decided that enough was enough and that she should finish the room once and for all and actually start using it the way she’s always wanted to. So I said, “Let’s have a garden party.” And she said, “Ok.” The porch and party were supposed to be done in May, but getting it done in July is better than not getting it done at all, right?
She mentioned the garden party idea to one of her friends from her Bible study, and then that friend mentioned it to my mom’s neighbor, Linda, and then Linda planned the date and agreed to host part of it at her house, too, since she has a pool and she’s only three doors down. So we had to have everything ready by July 8, which we did, with the exception of the upholstered ottoman, which was a huge headache—I’m never doing button tufts again—and one side table. Not too shabby, right? I found these adorable coordinating decorations for the garden party at Paper Source (the poofy white balls were left over from Katie’s baby shower earlier this year—I think I found those at JoAnn’s):
Paper Source is probably one of my favorite stores–I’ve repeatedly told Dan that he could buy me just about anything from there (like for my birthday or Christmas) and I’d be insanely happy. They have super cute notebooks, calendars, paper crafting supplies and decor. Another thing I love about Paper Source is their gift wrap selection–my love language is definitely gift giving, and I’m all about wrapping gifts in beautiful paper and bags.
Anyway, back to the reveal. Because this room is a sun porch, we wanted to do a mix of indoor and outdoor furniture, sticking to a pallet of blues, pinks, and greens. We used the sofa (found by my mom at an estate sale a few years ago), as a jumping off point. My mom has this habit of picking out furniture based on first, the price, second, the level of comfortableness (is that a word?), and third, the way it looks. I’m kind of the opposite. Anyway. Right before we really committed to this design and spray painted the outdoor chairs pink, she tried to back out, wondering if it would just be better to stick to a neutral, farmhouse type pallet. She wasn’t sure that she even liked the sofa that much anymore. My philosophy was this—this summer is almost half over, and we aren’t spending much money on this design—all of the furniture was purchased inexpensively at garage sales or estate sales, or else pulled out of the trash. The outdoor chairs, round side table, and large square game table were all trash rescues. I bought the tea cart at a garage sale for $5. The sofa was under $100, and the two antique chairs were under $20 thrift store finds. If she decides that she hates it after a couple of months (which I seriously doubt) we can probably use most of the pieces in a brand new design next summer, and still not put much money into it. So the chairs were spray painted, Charlotte and I found the cushions and throw pillows at At Home, and we kept a few antique chairs in the room that went with the pallet.
I’m making the search for the outdoor chair cushions sound really easy–in reality, it was a little bit of a headache. Apparently, the end of June is a little late to be shopping for porch decor and actually the perfect time to be shopping for Halloween (no joke). I don’t think I found a single cushion at Target, and Pier One was sold out of the design that we really wanted–again, we didn’t really have time to order online. I should have just gone to At Home in the first place–if you’ve never been there, do yourself a favor and go. It’s basically heaven for a person who loves decorating and pulling rooms together with a few choice pieces. We knew we wanted a geometric green for the cushions, and I think these babies were just the thing.
The mix of white and dark wood, florals and geometrics, and the dark green accents on the white furniture ended up working so well together. The dark green is Annie Sloan’s Amsterdam Green, and the green accents on the white furniture and the cupboard (aren’t those geranium knobs THE cutest?) are a direct tribute to the Mackinac Island Grand Hotel.
Remember the dark red that used to be in the stairwell? We went with the lighter brown color, Arrowhead (Behr), to cover that up, and I think it looks amazing. That took care of the floor, though now my mom is thinking of adding a rug. I’m of the opinion that a patterned rug would be a little too much, a neutral rug would tone down the design, and a textured rug would look out of place (which basically means that I’m of the opinion that we should forgo putting a rug in here). My mom is of the opinion that a rug would really finish the room. I think we’ll wait and see how it looks once the ottoman is finished—I’ll update this post as soon as it is—and make the decision then. To sum up the difficulty: I don’t think the room needs a rug, but my mom thinks it does. Help us with this debate, will you? Maybe we’ll figure it out with a few more opinions in the mix! Leave your thoughts in the comments. Rug, or no rug?
Once the rescued outdoor chairs were spray painted and the cushions were purchased (I originally overbought on the throw pillows and had to make a return trip to At Home), all that was left was to paint the cupboard, side table, and game/dessert table, and then find something for the walls.
Partly because my mom was still a little bit on the fence about the design, and partly because we had a bit of a deadline and didn’t have time to hunt or order things, I decided to try out some engineering prints to hang on the walls. I found a bunch of vintage flower images over at The Graphics Fairy, and played around with combinations until I came up with this one. Karen has so many beautiful designs on her site that it was hard to choose—this is one time where having a specific color palette definitely helped me out!
I originally ordered the prints online because I was hoping it would be super convenient, but because they are sized oddly (which I totally couldn’t tell just from looking at a PDF), they all came out on different sized sheets of paper, which I wasn’t expecting, as I’d ordered standard prints, thinking I’d just trim them to fit the 22” x 28” poster frames I got at Hobby Lobby (I spent about $25 on the three frames–if you wait until the right week, all the frames will be on sale for usually 40% off. I never buy anything full price at Hobby Lobby). Luckily, engineering prints are super cheap, so I only lost a little over $8 on that experiment. Armed with my flash drive and a better understanding of how this whole thing worked, I went down to Office Max in person and had them help me size the prints so that the images were centered on 22” x 28” paper to begin with. I still had to do a little trimming, but they turned out even better than I thought they would! Including the online order fiasco, I only spent about $49 on these three large prints/frames, which I think is a steal for wall art that size—especially when it fits in with the décor so well!
The garden party was a huge success, and we followed it up the next day with the celebration of my niece, Olivia’s baptism. Everyone loved the bright, breezy openness of the sun porch (especially the people who had seen the “before” in real life, and not just the photo on my phone), the delicious lemon blueberry coffee cake, and the gorgeous blooms in my mother’s garden. And let’s not forget about the cuteness that is my niece!
My next design project is my mama friend Megan’s dining room. She’s expecting her fourth baby later this year, so we have to get working on a design for her asap! I’m looking forward to helping her incorporate a Mediterranean color scheme into her living/dining room, working with a dining area that includes an antique church pew, and possibly even painting a buffet! I will keep you posted on the progress with that project.
Keep in touch! If you have a post you’d like to contribute (whether that’s a DIY project, craft show review, or meet the artist feature), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Instagram here, and you can check out the sun porch Pinterest board here to see what things we considered as we plowed through this redo.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon!