To say I’m excited about today’s post is a bit of an understatement. You see we’ve finally reached my absolute favorite part of any home improvement project — decorating and furnishing! We’re finally done with our cottage sunroom and front porch additions. So this week we’ve been taking you on a tour of the new spaces.
On Wednesday, we shared the big reveal of the new craftsman style front porch on our cottage. Now today we’re following up with part two of our tour – the interior of our new sunroom. We can’t wait to show you the vaulted ceiling, exposed beam, shiplap walls and industrial farmhouse style home decor.
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If this is the first time you’re hearing about our cottage, grab yourself a sweet tea. Let me quickly bring you up to speed. We purchased a small a-frame cottage on a wilderness river in Michigan in 2011. Shortly after we bought the place, we gave the interior a complete makeover. Dumping the red shag carpet and 1970s gold couches made a dramatic difference. This tour of our cottage shows you all the changes we made that year. Then last summer we hired builders to help us expand the space by adding a front porch and a sunroom.
The renovations at our cottage have taken over a year to complete, but we are finally DONE! We’ve previously shared our initial renovation plans, the early construction of the new spaces and then the shiplap walls and porcelain wood tile floors in the sunroom. A few months back, we also shared our sunroom decorating ideas. Planning it in our heads as we walked around furniture showrooms months ago is one thing. But it’s always a bit nerve wracking to see whether it all comes together in real life like we envisioned.
Cottage Sunroom Goals
When we first started dreaming about the new sunroom, we set a few simple goals for the project. We wanted to create a space that was:
- Bright, warm and inviting
- A retreat where we can relax, take a nap or curl up with a good book
- Great for playing games on rainy days or in the evenings after the kids go to bed
- Washable (With 2 boys and a Scruffy dog, easy to clean or decor that hides dirt well is a MUST!)
We spent countless hours surfing online for ideas to decorate the new sunroom with those goals in mind. What we wanted was more of a “rustic farmhouse” look for our cottage than a “rustic wilderness” look.
Without further ado, grab yourself a refill on the sweet tea. Let’s step inside to take a look around!
Entrance to the Cottage Sunroom
On the side of the house where we were adding the sunroom, there was a large window. We chose to leave that window in tact as it lets a lot of light into the kitchen. Then to get from the main part of the cottage into the new sunroom, the builder installed a large glass sliding door. The interior of our cottage still has the original dark paneled walls from the 1980s. So that window and the new glass sliding door allow a lot of natural light to filter into the cottage. We’re amazed at how much the window and sliding door really brighten things up. It’s wonderful!
When you walk through the new sliding glass door into the sunroom, it’s so bright. The first thing you see is an entire wall full of big huge windows that overlook the river.
Cottage Sunroom Shiplap Walls and Ceiling
To give the new sunroom the bright appearance we wanted, the walls and ceiling needed to be light colored. We chose to have the builder install white washed pine plank boards rather than drywall the room. This shiplap look is especially popular on home improvement shows right now like HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
Whitewashing the pine boards allows the natural wood grain and knots to show through. The wood grain gives the room a rustic appearance. You may have noticed the pine planks on the ceiling are a different width than the ones on the walls.
The support beam down the center of the vaulted ceiling was wrapped with rough cut lumber. Then it was stained to look like old barn wood. On the beam, we hung a ceiling fan to help keep the space cool during the hot summer months. Last fall we picked out 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. In the photo below, you can also see one of the stereo speakers we put in the ceiling. We use a Sonos unit to play music in the new sunroom and throughout the rest of the cottage.
Large Industrial Style Mirror
The ceiling in the sunroom is vaulted. So there’s a big triangular space on the wall above the bank of big windows. I hunted online and in home decor stores for months to find the perfect mirror to put there. And then, of course, I ended up buying the first one I even looked at.
Isn’t that how it always goes with home decor? There was only one benefit with waiting and looking around so long. By the time I went back to At Home the mirror was on clearance! The metallic industrial style sunburst mirror I chose is about four feet wide and fits perfectly in that triangular space.
Cottage Sunroom Flooring
For the flooring in the new sunroom, we chose Montagna Rustic Bay 6 in. x 24 in. Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tiles from Home Depot. With two boys and a dog, we really needed flooring that is easy to clean and more importantly hides dirt. Although the tiles are porcelain, people who see them often mistake the tiles for real wood.
Cottage Sunroom Space for Games and Snacks
When I came across this antique multicolor round dining set from International Furniture Direct at a local furniture store, I knew immediately it would be perfect for enjoying games and snacks in the new sunroom. Whenever I put together a room, I usually choose one or two core pieces of furniture first. Then use those as the basis for the rest of my decorating decisions. That’s exactly what happened with this gorgeous dining set!
The table top is 51 inches in diameter. So it’s perfect for playing games at night or for an afternoon snack with our boys. We expect there will eventually be scratches as this table is going to get a lot of use! Thankfully, the distressed appearance and the variety of colors in the woodwork will help hide wear and tear.
The details on this dining set are spectacular though. First, there’s a beautiful industrial metal edge around the table top.
But the real showstopper is the wine barrel base with the metal foot rest. The first one they sent us had a big damaged crack on the side, but the furniture store was fantastic. They ordered a new barrel base for us. Plus they allowed us to use the damaged one until the new base arrived a few weeks ago.
Distressed Dining Chairs
We bought six chairs to fit around the dining table. This gives enough seating for the four of us plus my parents who live next door to the cottage. I think we could easily squeeze in a few folding chairs too if need be. We’ve found that the cushioned seating on the chairs makes it more enjoyable to play games for hours. Plus I love the distressed appearance that’s so trendy right now with furniture. This means I’m not fretting as much about the kids scratching or dinging them up!
Cottage Sunroom Napping Nook
In the opposite corner of the room, diagonally across from where the dining set is, we created a cozy nook for reading, relaxing, napping or visiting with friends.
Now as I’m sure you can imagine any place intended for napping must have a good couch. The space under the large original window that we left between our sunroom and kitchen isn’t very long. We ended up choosing the Angie Sofa (#4635) from England Furniture because it’s only 83″ long and 35″ deep. We picked “Perth Sand” for the upholstery color to keep the room light and bright while still hoping to hide the dirt.
The sofa came with two 20″ pillows, which we chose to get in the color they called “DePalma Ocean”. The turquoise color of the “DePalma Ocean” pillows coordinates wonderfully with the blu-ish color in the weathered wood on the dining set. After that I found a beautiful accent pillow at Meijer, a local store in the midwest. The pattern in that pillow has that same turquoise color in it so they look great together.
We also ordered a matching Angie Chair (#4634) from England Furniture in the “Perth Sand” color. We initially intended it to be adjacent to the couch at a 90 degree angle to form a conversational space. But we decided it felt too crowded in that corner. Plus we didn’t like how it was blocking the view out the sliding glass door to the outside, even though that side of the door doesn’t open.
End Table and Ambient Lighting
In the corner next to the sofa, I was debating between a few wine barrel based side tables or one that matched the dining set. Then I remembered that we already had a second end table in the living room of the main part of the cottage that we weren’t really using. It’s always a money saver when you can shop your own home for the things you need, isn’t it?
We used to have two matching rattan lamps in our living room at home. After being knocked over by our boys more times than I can count, one of them was permanently broken and sent to the dumpster. We brought the surviving lamp up north to the cottage. It looks great in the new sunroom and gives the space some ambient lighting in the evenings.
To complete this corner of the sunroom, we found two matching ottomans to make it easier to relax and put up our feet.
They both have hinged lids and built in storage for throw blankets, games etc. The upholstery tacks on each of the corners really made these foot stools stand out to me at Meijer. However I was even more elated when they rang up on clearance for only $17 each. SCORE!
Cottage Sunroom Reading Corner
In the corner by the sliding door that goes into the main part of the cottage, we made a reading corner. We got the Justine side chair from Best Home Furnishings in Silver 28843. While there isn’t much space in that corner, the left side of the glass sliding door doesn’t move. The base of the chair also swivels, which is awesome. The person sitting there can look out the window at the river or visit with people in the sunroom. In hindsight I may have ordered one too many furniture pieces for the sunroom. This chair is just so comfy I couldn’t pass it up!
The patterned fabric matches well with the Perth Sand color I choose for the Angie sofa and side chair. Occasionally I toss one of those turquoise “DePalma Ocean” throw pillows in the chair and drag an ottoman over to make it even more cozy for reading. We’ve also found we can easily set drinks or books on the window ledge so we don’t need a small table to go alongside this chair.
And that my friend, is the conclusion of our tour and the grand finale! This big cottage renovation project has taken more than a year to complete. So we’re relieved it’s finally done! WOO HOO!
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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.