3-Stage Makeover: Cozy Sunroom

Sunroom was a misnomer for this window-wrapped space -- until our three-step makeover inspired a warm and bright forecast.

By Doug Hansen


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sitting room before
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Stage 1: Drab Sunroom

    This sunroom has plenty going for it: a long bank of south-facing windows, gorgeous wood floors, and period trim. The palette, however, zaps the sunlight, and the furnishings cry out for serious freshening. The love seats offer curvy profiles that are perfect for lounging, but the off-the-rack slipcovers look rumpled and unkempt. The coffee table's silhouette and scale work great with the love seats, but the dark finish is too formal for the space.

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Stage 1: Drab Sunroom

    The chair has a stylish, versatile frame with a modest scale that's great for our room. Unfortunately, the off-white upholstery looks pallid, and the chairside table is painted a muddy brown that undermines its appealing curves. The rug is serviceable, but the sisal disappears into the floor with yet another dingy neutral. Window treatments are a primary element of this sunroom; there are 11 windows, so light control is important. While the mini-blinds are functional, they're dated and too hard-edged for a room that should be a comfortable sanctuary.

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Stage 2: Getting There

    The love seats reveal their inner beauty with custom-tailored slipcovers in jaunty floral prints. Can't decide between two fetching fabrics? Sometimes you can choose both. The upholsteries' understated patterns and similar values make for compatible neighbors. The blue and green seating establishes a fresh color palette for the room.

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Stage 2: Adding Color

    The rug brings color to the floor and marries the unmatched love seats. The rug's round shape and fuzzy chenille braid are much more inviting than the room's original sisal version. Pillows mix things up a bit with assorted textures and patterns, and introduce the room's accent color -- what else? -- sunny yellow. Woven shades create soft, dappled light with natural grasses that are warm and tactile. The shades are perfectly framed by the gorgeous oak trim that was hidden before under white paint. The walls are painted in a neutral hue with yellow undertones.

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Stage 3: Refined Coziness

    This sunroom's makeover is complete, and the forecast is decidedly brighter! Dull neutrals have been ousted by exuberant hues that radiate the spirit of perpetual summer. The colors, patterns, and textures are mixed more than matched with an eye toward easy comfort and individual style. The conversation area is punctuated with a classic occasional chair that's lightened up by a whitewash finish and plump yellow cushion. Likewise, the staid coffee table reveals its softer side with a buttery coat of paint. A colorful plaid rug lends casual verve, and framed bird and flower prints add a cottage touch.

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Stage 3: Finishing Touches

    Drapery panels soften the hard edges of the space while lending modern flair. Because silk wouldn't fare well in direct sunlight, the fabric is a convincing synthetic alternative that boasts durability and colorfastness.

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Stage 3: Adorable Accessories

    To dress up the radiator, we accessorized with gorgeous hand-blown glass that refracts the ample sunlight.

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Stage 3: Chair Revamp

    The chair adopts an entirely new personality with a custom slipcover in durable twill, and its companion table is reinvented with fresh paint. The radiator, once an ungainly necessity, is now a comfy perch strewn with inviting pillows.

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