If you saw my last post, you’ll know I’ve been working on a small scale makeover to give our tired little sunroom a refresh. When I started two months ago, I thought it was going to be relatively straight forward – and it was in that for the most part it only involved paint. But painting anything well takes time and preparation. So this is where I’ve been spending any spare moment of my time of late, come rain or shine, paintbrush in hand with a very clear vision of the finished look in my mind to spur me on. I might as well have moved in here, seeing as the kids always knew where to find me when they discovered I was missing!
As this is really only a temporary space (no insulation or heating and windows rotting on the outside) there was little point in re-laying the floor or replacing the windows, so instead I focused on the cosmetics. The biggest challenge was prepping the woodwork, which was not only badly painted in several coats of aged gloss paint, but the wood hadn’t been treated properly when the structure went up, so I was often sanding off sticky old wood sap as I broke through the layers with the sander. I gave everything a very brief keying to prep the surface and found a brilliant ultra grip primer, formulated for difficult surfaces and aged paint. It made life so much easier when it came to applying the top coat. You can find all the product information in the source list at the end of the post.
I used masonry paint across all walls to help protect them in the colder months. The old paint had been peeling off in places so I needed something to stand up to all conditions and hopefully avoid it happening again. As it gets a lot of light in here, I chose a white with blue undertones to take the edge off slightly.
And here it is. Bright, minimal and contemporary, just the way I like it. It feels like the space I’ve been missing since we moved here and it’s so lovely to see everyone drawn to it when we’re all at home. Don’t the black frames completely transform it? Not quite Crittall windows but it’s a great start! Notice how they frame and bring the garden inside? There’s space for additional seating – I have a couple of stools which can sit by the windowsill and there’s enough floor space for one or two large floor cushions.
I wanted to introduce a little warmth into the space, especially as a monochromatic scheme can feel somewhat cold, so I brought out the earthy tones to compliment the lush green planting. From a collection of terracotta pots, a beautiful Ian Mcintyre pitcher, to my newest love discovered at Clerkenwell Design Week – the DUO table lamp, these tones really pull the space together.
The pine door was such an eyesore, it pulled the attention away from the garden when we would sit in here, like an orange beacon of misery. It was given a couple of coats of the same white as the walls to blend in with the rest of the space and feels much calmer now. You’ll notice I did the door handles and window latches in the same colour to save replacing them all.
At this time of year this room has the perfect conditions for heat and light loving plants. I’ve bought a date palm (pictured next to my citrus tree which was flowering heady scented blooms all spring) and an Areca palm for height at the back of the room. I took the opportunity to repot some of our cacti from the kids room too and I’m completely in love with the fig which comes from Valencia so it’s used to sweltering summers and cold winters. I wonder if it’ll ever bear fruit? Either way, everything in here will be happy until the colder months come and then I’ll bring them into the main house and swap them with others.
The black Normann Copenhagen Block trolley has long been a much coveted design, it’s such a versatile piece. I can use it for repotting and watering, store blankets over winter or stack it up with magazines. I’ve already used to it host dinner on whilst I was still painting and it was a nice touch to serve from it.
Initially, I’d planned to find an indoor/outdoor rug, but as the dimensions in here are so tricky I landed on the cotton and jute weave Ives rug in a herringbone pattern from Houseology. I love that it brings in a contrasting texture against the rough floor and echos the woven lines in the Lene Bjerre April lounge chair. The thin frame and see-through seat still leaves a feeling of space and it’s extremely comfortable to sit back in.
Over time I’ve been collecting botanical art work, and whilst I might eventually move these to the living room where I’d like to include them in a gallery wall, they sit well in this space.
My next plan will be sourcing blinds for the lower windows as it can feel a little exposed to the houses at the back in the evening. I also want to make sure I can protect the plants from strong sun. Oh. And fill it with a lot more of them, of course.
So, what do you think? Maybe I’ve inspired you to give your garden an update?
Wall paint: ‘Sleeping Inn’ white masonry paint, Valspar.
Wood & metal paint: ‘Village Smithy’ black paint in premium eggshell, Valspar | ‘Sleeping Inn’ matt premium eggshell, Valspar.
Wood primer: Ultra Grip white primer, Dulux Trade.
Herringbone Ives rug: Houseology*.
Black Normann Copenhagen Block trolley: Houseology*.
Linum jute cushion in rust: Holly’s House.
Lene Bjerre April lounge chair: Houseology*.
Terracotta pitcher: Another Country.
Black and white botanical leaf print, Chocolate Creative.
Abstract botanical print, Alicia Galer.
Terracotta and opaline glass Duo table lamp: Hand & Eye Studio.
LED Festoon lights: IKEA.
* This post was written in collaboration with Houseology.
Styling & Photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley
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