Last Updated: Aug 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm
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I tend to be either 100% inspired and need to jump into a project immediately to see my vision come to life right away, or I stew in uncertainty for months or years, unsure of how to address a design challenge. This room falls in the latter camp.

Hawk Hill’s previous owner painted black and white stripes on three sides of the room, and left in it a long, antique general-store cabinet. The cabinet was great for storage, and a unique piece in itself, but my attachment to it, paired with a mix of disgust and ambivalence about the striped walls, meant I felt “stuck” in this room and so it was one of the last to be well attended to in regards to design.

The "problem child" room in my house - a long, narrow room with 3 walls of windows- which the former owner painted black with white stripes!
The “problem child” room in my house – a long, narrow room with 3 walls of windows- which the former owner painted black with white stripes!

 

Finally fed up with it, last thanksgiving I hosted the family meal and I convinced the men of the family to move the several-hundred-pound cabinet to the dining room- opening up the room to a total makeover.

I removed 90% off the clear glass window shelves that had covered the windows and tested several colors of Benjamin Moore grey:

benjamin moore grey color swatches.
Testing grey color swatches in my black and white stripe room. It’s amazing how colors that look truly grey in the store can looks so different on the wall!

 

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Ultimately I picked Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Gray (HC-169) and love it! I had heard before how a busy room can “hide” a great view- but I never experienced this for myself until painting this busy room a soothing neutral color. Suddenly the view, which had been just a part of the busy-ness of the striped and decorated wall burst to life!

[This is where I give props to my man Ben Moore! I anticipated many coats to get good coverage over the black and white stripes, but two coats, with touch ups to a few trouble spots, had the job done right!]

Even halfway through the first sloppy coat, the transformation was obvious
Even halfway through the first sloppy coat, the transformation was obvious

 

Coventry Grey walls transformed this sunroom
Soothing Coventry Grey walls transformed this sunroom

 

I will confess. I don’t love houseplants. I’m not very good at remembering to water them, and I’m terrible at cleaning up after them- but I do enjoy mountains of ferns around my pond in the spring and summer, so I tolerate the houseplants the rest of the year. (The garden fountain ferns come in reside in this room in the winter) I actually love what the bring to this room.

For some reason, rooms featuring many potted plants have always reminded me of  cat ladies and the stale smell of a closed up room, but I was pleased to find that adding lots of green to this room created a feeling that the green outside the window was continuing uninterrupted into the house.

I added a white-slipcovered Ikea Extorp sofa down one wall (the ektorp sectional, actually, minus the ottoman) and paired my writing desk with a homemade counter-height sawhorse table created just for this project.

 

my sunroom is my designated room for art and writing and other creative pursuits.
Once a dark room where I put things that didn’t below elsewhere in the house- this awkward sized room is now my designated room for art and writing and other creative pursuits.
build this large counter-height saw horse table for under $30
A homemade countertop height table is a great work surface for projects where I want to stand and spread out.

 

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The sunroom is Black Dog’s favorite. I think he enjoys the low windows which let him look outside and bark without the trouble of getting his paws wet outside.

 

 

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I can see this tabletop from my living room, and the hallway between my kitchen, bedroom, and master bath- so it’s the perfect perch for fresh flowers to be enjoyed.

 

vintage lawyer's chair
I coveted Pottery Barn’s $399 Swivel Desk Chair for about two years until I was driving through a tiny old town in Missouri one day and saw the elderly owner of a junk shop sitting out in front of his shop in this vintage Lawyer’s Chair. I parked and bought it out from under him (literally!) for $40!

 

decorating a long and narrow sunroom

decorating a long and narrow sunroom

 

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3 thoughts on “Awkward Porch to Sunny Studio – The Reveal (aka: Decorating a Long, Narrow Sunroom)”

    1. I’m not very good at self promotion, but DIY blogging is how I spend my Monday afternoons. 🙂

      Are you picking a new color for the walls? Wanting to go light or stay dark? I’m crushing on Benjamin More Wythe Blue (seriously, I find it difficult not to paint the whole house this color), and this weird green/grey/tan color called Camouflage – if you search the color names or numbers on Pinterest it brings up all sorts of rooms in the color in various lighting, which is so helpful!

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