Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Sunroom: Phase I

September has been a whirlwind and I keep waiting for the dust to settle so I can get back to normal things - like updating this blog :)  Things still aren't completely settled - back-to-school anxieties are still running pretty high around here.  But I've been trying to write this post for months already and now is the time!

In the spring Erik was ready to start a new house project.  We decided the sunroom would be a good place to start since it was one room that wouldn't be affected by the renovations and adding-on that will be happening over the next year or two.  After the budget facelift on the kitchen last fall I was ready to make another room a little more pretty.


This was the sunroom the day we moved in about a year ago:  stained cedar walls, brick floors and some country-style window treatments.  We decided to use this space as our dining area for the time being since the table Erik built wouldn't fit anywhere else in our living space.


There were windows on 3 sides of this room and a bank of cabinets on the 4th wall.  Initially I thought we would maybe get rid of the cabinets but I quickly learned that cabinets are really... well... practical.  They have quickly become home to our craft supplies, extra grocery items, photo albums, etc.  And without a lot of storage space and no garage space (there's lots of storage in the garage and shop so I'm referring to in-house storage), it's also become a place for cat food, extra batteries, light bulbs and all those other random things that just need to get put... SOMEwhere.

This photo was taken a couple of months after we moved in...  After we had made the single-best purchase of home improvement so far:  the dishwasher.  There was no place to put the dishwasher in the kitchen (which is in the next room) and for some reason they actually had the plumbing hookups in the wall here.  So, this is the dishwasher's temporary home.  When we renovate our kitchen someday, the dishwasher will move back there and we will replace this hole with the original cabinets.


When deciding what we were going to do with this room, Erik and I were a little divided.  We both have a bit of a rustic style, but I prefer a fresh, bright, white-on-white cottage-feel while Erik prefers a dark wood log-cabin feel.  So, we decided to compromise by painting the walls and cabinets white and then introducing some wood elements back into the room for a little contrast.

The first step was prepping the area to be painted with Erik's paint-sprayer. We removed the cabinet doors to be sprayed separately.


This was after the first or second coat.  It was already feeling so much brighter in there and it made me love our old farm door even more...
  

And what would a home-improvement project be without a couple of little helpers?


After the walls and cabinets were white-i-fied, it was time to introduce the wood tones.  First Erik used a log to create his own moldings, which he stained.




He also built this custom countertop.

  
Erik still plans to strip and re-stain this door since it's not quite the same wood tone as the rest of the room.  Also, Elissa (among others) convinced us that the herringbone brick floors were amazing and shouldn't be changed.  I'm glad we listened.  


Overall, I'm happy with how everything turned out.  Erik still plans to do some wood ceiling beams with pot lights.  That will probably be a project for this winter...



We decided to take out the 2 small upper cabinets that were in the middle and replace them with some open shelves.


I love how the cabinets look now that they're painted since they have a bead-board pattern.  I'm still debating about whether to buy some handles and knobs for all the doors and drawers.


My future plans for this room include moving the dining furniture out (we hope to make space for it in the renovated kitchen) and make this into a cozy sitting room.  I'm envisioning an area rug and some mismatched chairs and couches to bring in that rustic cottage/cabin feel.  Maybe something a little like this:


or this:


or even this:


However, for now it serves it's purpose as our dining room, litter box/kitty-feeding area, mudroom, and storage unit among other useful things...

13 comments:

laura.h said...

It's beautiful! Good work!

Anonymous said...

Can hardly wait to see it! Looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

That was from me!

Anonymous said...

Mom!

kelly ens said...

Looks awesome!!!

Jen Glen said...

Can't wait to see it in person very soon! I'll email you soon about a firm date for getting together!

Trev and Rebekah said...

Looks awesome guys. How nice that Erik can do all that work and you don't have to hire someone to do it. It really does look nice and bright in there.

Bonnie said...

Love, love, love it!

Wenona said...

I really like that! Erik is very talented and does great work and I also love your style :)

Heidi Dick said...

Jamie - how beautiful. I love the open shelves and the new wood trim. So nice.

rachel joy said...

Your sunroom is so cheerful and welcoming! I need to paint over that exact kind of stained wood in parts of my house. Did you sand it before painting, or just go for it?

Jamie said...

Yes, we sanded it first - not a crazy amount though (I don't think) - and we had to use an oil paint because the old stain kept seeping through the latex.

Essie Reed said...

A sunroom makeover is always a good idea, especially if it has been years since the last one. Because it’s one space where you can just sit down and have a good cup of coffee, while enjoying the view of the garden or backyard. And with your inspirational pictures, I’m sure the result looks good. What design did you end up picking?

Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement