My absolute favorite part of any home improvement project is when we finally get to decorate and furnish it. While we still have a long way to go with our cottage renovations, today we wanted to share the cottage sunroom decorating ideas and plans we have so far.
As you may know, we’re in the process of adding a new front porch and sunroom to our cottage on a wilderness river in Michigan. Last week I shared a progress report of where we are with the building process and the next steps we’ll be completing in the coming months. While the builders have been busy constructing the new spaces for us, I’ve spent countless hours day dreaming and surfing online to get inspired about how to decorate it!
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Cottage Sunroom Decorating Goals
Having a cottage on a wilderness river means we’re surrounded by an active fishing and hunting community. Many of our northern neighbors along the river have cottages and cabins decked out with mounted fish, deer antlers, camouflage fabrics and other rustic, woodsy decor. My parents who live next door to our cottage have gone for more of the black bear woodlands look in their home with adorable Big Sky Bearfoots figurines. They even stenciled bear paw prints as the backsplash above their kitchen counters.
That kind of woodsy outdoorsman/wilderness cabin decor is beautiful, but isn’t really our style. We’re going for more of a “rustic farmhouse” look for our cottage than a “rustic wilderness” look. We love industrial metal furniture and shiplap or wood planked walls. With our new sunroom, we want to create a space that’s bright, warm and inviting. We want it to be a place where we can retreat on the weekends to relax and take a nap or curl up with a good book. It also needs to have space for us to play games on rainy days or in the evenings after the kids go to bed.
So those are our goals for the decor and style of the new sunroom:
- Great for naps
- Warm and inviting
- Space to play games and entertain
- Washable (with two small boys and a Scruffy dog, easy to clean or decor that hides dirt well is a MUST!)
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas and Plans
With those goals in mind for the new cottage sunroom, Kent and I started to conspire about the foundational pieces we’d need to give the room the look we wanted starting with the material for the walls, ceilings and floors. The walls on the inside of our A-frame cottage are covered with the original wood paneling from when the place was first built in the early 1980s. The main cottage living space has a very dark rustic feel to it. That’s how the idea of putting a large glass sliding door in the dining room came up to begin with. Adding a glass door quickly blew up into adding an entire sunroom to the cottage (talk about scope creep!).
The photo below shows what the dining room looked like before we started building the new sunroom. Where you see the black and white canvas photo is where there is now a glass sliding door that leads to the new sunroom.
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas: Walls and Ceiling
Because the main living space in our cottage is so dark, we wanted the new sunroom to feel light and bright. When you walk through the new sliding glass door into the sunroom, the first thing you see is an entire wall full of big huge windows that overlook the river.
The walls and ceiling will be covered with white washed pine boards to give them that shiplap look that is very popular right now. We wanted them whitewashed so that some of the natural wood grain and knots will still show through and give the room a rustic appearance. A bathroom photo from this rustic renovation by Kate Davidson Design, Inc was what I shared with our builder as the look we want for the walls and ceiling in the cottage sunroom:
The white washed pine planks on the ceiling will be a different width than the ones on the walls to vary the look slightly. The support beam down the center of the vaulted ceiling will be wrapped with rough cut lumber and stained to make it look like old barn wood.
From the center of the beam, there will be an energy efficient industrial style ceiling fan to help keep the space cool during the hot summer months. Last fall we picked out and bought a 52 in. Indoor/Outdoor Weathered Gray Ceiling Fan from Home Depot. Unfortunately it’s not available online anymore which means it might be hard to find in store too. I love the fan’s dark weathered zinc finish and how the blades also look like rustic weathered wood.
There’s a big triangular space on the wall above the bank of big windows where I want to put a large round mirror.
I was originally thinking I wanted a really large mirror with twigs or branches all the way around it like one of these on Amazon:
But then I also saw these rustic wood/industrial style mirrors:
And then when I was shopping in the store At Home, recently I came across this four foot wide metallic industrial style sunburst mirror.
Now I’m not really sure which of these five mirrors I like best for that space above the windows. What do you think?
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas: Flooring
With two boys and a dog, Kent and I want flooring in the sunroom that both hides dirt and is easy to clean. We chose Montagna Rustic Bay 6 in. x 24 in. Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tiles from Home Depot. These tiles ought to achieve both of those goals nicely while also giving the floor the appearance of rustic weathered wood.
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas: Casual Space for Games and Snacks
When I furnish a room, I like to choose one or two core pieces of furniture first and then use those as the basis for the rest of my decorating decisions. That’s exactly what happened when I came across this antique multicolor round dining set from International Furniture Direct at a local furniture store. It’s 51″ in diameter which makes it perfect for an afternoon snack with our boys or for playing games at night with my parents or other friends.
I especially love the wine barrel base for the table, the variety of colors in the woodwork and the industrial metal edge around the table top.
There were only four chairs around the table at the store, so I made Kent pull up two more from other dining sets to verify we can fit six chairs around it before we placed our order. The cushioned seating on the chairs will also make it more enjoyable to play card games for hours on end.
The dining set will go in the far corner of the sunroom closest to the river:
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas: Napping Nook
In the opposite corner of the room, diagonally across from where the dining set goes, we’re going to create a cozy nook for napping, relaxing or visiting with company.
Having a couch in this room is a must-have for napping, but the space under the large window between our sunroom and kitchen isn’t very long. We set out to find a couch that was no more than 84″ long. We ended up ordering the Angie Sofa (#4635) from England Furniture. It’s 83″ long and 35″ deep. We choose the color “Perth Sand” for the sofa to keep the room light and bright while still hoping to hide the dirt.
The sofa comes with two 20″ pillows. I ordered those in the color “DePalma Ocean” which is a solid deep turquoise. You can check out this rendering for the Angie Sofa and pillows on the England Furniture website in the colors we ordered. I’m hoping the turquoise color coordinates well with the blu-ish color in the weathered wood on the dining set. Once the “DePalma Ocean” accent pillows arrive, I’m going to look for a few additional patterned accent pillows that have the same turquoise color in them. I’m thinking something like this:
We also ordered a matching Angie Chair (#4634) from England Furniture in the “Perth Sand” color. It will be adjacent to the couch at a 90 degree angle to form a conversational space. In the corner between the sofa and the chair, I’m debating between an antique multicolor side table from International Furniture Direct that matches the dining set or a round one like their antique iron barrel table. With the way the dining table in the room has a wine barrel base, I also am considering something like this for the end table in the corner:
I think I’ll bring a lamp from our living room at home to put on the end table. We had two matching lamps on either end of a sectional sofa, but over the years our boys have knocked one over so many times that it’s beyond repair. The surviving one has the right cottage feel to go with the new sunroom decor and give the space some ambient lighting in the evenings.
To complete this corner of the sunroom, we’re also looking for one or two ottomans to make it even easier to put up our feet and relax. I’m debating between a long brown leather one with built in storage for throw blankets, like this:
Cottage Sunroom Decorating Ideas: Reading Corner
Between the corner of the room with the dining set and the glass sliding door into the main part of the cottage, we want to create a little reading corner.
There isn’t much space in that corner, but the left side of the glass sliding door doesn’t move. I ordered the Justine side chair from Best Home Furnishings in Silver 28843. Here’s what it looked like in the store:
The patterned fabric matches well with the Perth Sand color I choose for the Angie sofa and side chair. The Justine chair swivels so whoever is sitting there can easily turn back and forth between any conversation happening in the sunroom. I’ll probably toss one of those turquoise “DePalma Ocean” throw pillows in the chair and drag an ottoman over to make it even more cozy. Eventually I may add a small side table in this corner where someone can set drink or a book. First though, I want to wait and see how much space is actually left once I get all this other furniture into the room.
That gives you a better idea of our plans and thoughts for how to decorate the new sunroom at our cottage. For Mother’s Day last weekend, the boys (and Kent) got me this brown Polywood Vineyard bench from Target to go on new front porch.
They also got me these cute outdoor throw pillows which I think will make the front porch look even more inviting and welcoming:
That brings you up to speed on our cottage sunroom decorating ideas and front porch plans. I’m anxious to see how it all comes together. Planning it in my head as I walk around furniture showrooms is one thing, but seeing it all in real life can sometimes be completely different. Make sure you subscribe to get our Ideas In Your Inbox newsletter to stay tuned for future updates on our cottage renovations as well as other DIY projects and home decor ideas we share.
Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.