The Sunroom // Makeover Reveal

boho chic sunroom decor

Here it is! The first room I set about to fix-up in our new home, and I’m calling it done-zo. When we first viewed this house, before it became our home, Lucy and Juniper were enamored with this little room, closing the doors and declaring that no grown-ups were allowed inside. Now the space feels very grown-up, but the kiddos still commandeer the sunroom for assembling puzzles on the floor, for staging road-trips for their figurines, or for hours of play-doh fun at the table. I’m so happy this little room is a part of our home, and hey— I think my plants are pretty happy about it too. (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Mr. Ficus!)

boho chic sunroom decor

The sunroom is adjacent to our living room, separated from the space by these two french doors. There was a lot of back-and-forth in my mind about painting these doors white, or leaving them wood, and many of you expressed strong opinions in favor of both options on my Instagram posts. In the end, Phil said he liked them wood, and it was just the tipping point I needed to make a decision I most certainly do not regret. These doors add a quality of warmth to both the sunroom and living room, and tie in with the shelving wall in our kitchen.

Above is how the room appeared when we first moved in. Full of bright light, a pleasant light minty blue color, and not-so-pleasant dingy shag carpet. It felt like it fit right in here in my Northeast Ohio suburban neighborhood, and that’s not exactly what I wanted. So, first things first, I ripped out all of the carpet the day we signed the papers to make this house our home, Then I set about painting everything a perfect shade of white, à la Benjamin Moore’s Super White. I used the same shade of white in the sunroom, living room, kitchen, and entryway— semigloss for the trim, and eggshell for the walls.

Sidenote: This was the first time in my life I have hired a painter, and let me tell ya— I felt très fancy. We had some very high ceilings we were working with (17′ in the entryway), and what would’ve taken me ages, and maybe cost me my neck, took my painter a couple of afternoons. Very much worth it.

how to build a storage banquette


After the floors were stripped and the walls were painted, I built my much anticipated channel-tufted storage banquette in the nook underneath the soffit in this small room with soaring ceilings. When we first moved in, the soffits annoyed me. But now I appreciate the dimensionality that they give to the architecture of our home, and I like to think I’m harnessing the full potential of the soffits in here and the living room.

channel tufted banquette

Because of the small footprint of the sunroom, I do feel like it’s a “you just have to be there” kind of space, but I hope that these photos do it justice! The banquette might not seem like much of a nook in these photos, but in real life it fits right into the soffited area in a space with such high ceilings— it feels cozy and the perfect way to treat an otherwise sparse and awkward space.

storage banquette

You can check out the full DIY at A Beautiful Mess, but suffice it to say I’m so glad I built this bench with ample storage, because we have since unpacked

 all of our games and puzzles, and this bench is now packed to the brim with fun things! I used hinges that stay open, so the girls can come in here during the day and pull out puzzles to work on, or ask my permission to get out play-dough. (That’s something we’ve had to work on… ha!)

boho chic sunroom decor


In our new home, I won’t be using plants as decorative elements in the same way as I did in our old home. Of course I still love my plant babies! But I’m drawn to a less junglicious design sensibility in most of the rooms of this new house, and now that I have this convenient sunroom, I can have a spot to escape to, full of plants, which also happens to be within view of our living room. It feels like a pretty good balance. (And yes, I still have some plant babies throughout the rest of our home too! Just scaled back quite a bit.)

marble top tulip table


The design for the sunroom has undergone some changes from my initial conception back when I shared my first concept sketches early last June. At some point, I decided on doing this ambitious channel-tufted wall, but originally I had planned on making it orange. YES, orange. Such a controversial color, but a great love of mine. Somewhere along the line I came to my senses and decided to use a calm neutral color instead. Oh— I remember when it was! I was trying to select the perfect orange or pink while standing at the store looking at upholstery fabric. And I felt suuuuch anxiety about all of the options, until I found this textural swatch of neutral fabric. Then I knew. Orange just wasn’t in the cards. Or at least, not for the banquette itself. But soon enough I would find my dream chairs in another delicious shade of orange!

Remember the post I wrote way back in June planning the furnishings for the sunroom? At the time, I had planned on using a (free) pair of white coated Bertoia chairs my brother said I could indefinitely borrow, but I was so enamored with the Thonet bentwood chairs I shared, and received such strong feedback about those chairs on Instagram, I was swayed to purchase these chairs on Etsy, and I will never ever regret it! They’re beautiful, but also so comfortable! I’m not sure I’ll keep them this particular shade of orange, but right now they feel pretty perfect in here.

Another change I made was deciding not to use the wicker pendant in my initial sketches, because I didn’t like how it took away from the bold banquette wall. What you can’t see (but can barely see in my before pics) is a ceiling fan hanging down from the vaulted ceilings in here. It is an eyesore (that I don’t notice anymore), which I will eventually replace, but it is also a source of light and a handy air circulator in the warmer months. I’ll most likely be using the wicker pendant in the playroom instead of the sunroom.

boho chic sunroom decor

I’m so happy with how this space turned out, and it feels really good to have one room completely finished in our house! Next up we’re finishing up the last details of the kitchen and sunroom, and I’m getting pretty excited to share those with you too. Thanks for following along!


The Sunroom Plans

mandi makes a sunroom

Now that we’ve finally closed on our new home, we’re ready to begin work making all of my plans a reality! The first room we’ll complete beginning to end will be the sunroom, because it’s a small space that will be a bit easier to tackle. I think having one chaos-free space (with a dining table to boot!) will be great for us, because we’re planning to move in to this wreck of a house in a week or two, and I have a feeling it’ll take a lot of effort to keep my sanity. :)

Each part of the process is so fun for me, but planning is the most enjoyable part for me! It is definitely a mentally consuming undertaking, designing for oneself. But so much fun! Once I settled on plans for each of the rooms we’re gutting, I found my mind much more at ease, and began sleeping better at night. That’s a relief because I need all the rest I can get during these days of hard work! (Check out my kitchen plans here.)

mandi makes a sunroom

The sunroom is a narrow 7′ wide and 15.5′ room in the back corner of our home, separated from the great room by a lovely pair of wood and glass french doors. It leads out to our currently un-utilized patio area, but we do plan to build bench seating and planters in that area in years to come.

I plan on situating a nice chair for reading on the side of the room where you can currently see a little plastic slide. It’ll be situated among a few houseplants and a side table for docking my coffee and books I’m currently reading. On the opposite side of the room (as seen below), I’d like to have a bench area with a small table and chairs for the kids to enjoy books, games, puzzles, play dough, and snacks. I plan to build the bench with storage inside, and will probably deck it out with plenty of extra pillows for comfy reading sessions.

mandi makes a sunroom

The soffit on this side of the room would be a perfect area to tuck in an upholstered wall to act as the back of the storage banquette. I had planned on just building a standard upholstered bench back, but then I saw this pink dining nook on Pinterest and it completely changed my life! Ha! Channel tufting feels very late ’70s, but in the right setting feels very ahead of the latest design trends.

sunroom banquette elevation

My goal for this space is to create a refreshing environment that feels comfortable but not cluttered, modern yet inviting, and very bright. I like a little minimalism, but also will never lose my love for mid century classics. A little bit of boho feels right for a sunroom space, so don’t be surprised if you see some embroidery, wicker, and other natural elements in here. It’s a place where plants and people can be equally happy. Aren’t those the best kinds of spaces?!


sunroom planning

  1. IKEA linen curtains
  2. White wicker pendant light
  3. Minimal fabric wall sconce
  4. crewel embroidered pill0w (vintage from this Etsy shop)
  5. Olle Eskell poster
  6. Faux marble tulip table
  7. Vintage wicker bucket chair from Main St. Modern
  8. Cowhide rug
  9. Flooring- Island Pearl Bamboo from Lumber Liquidators
  10. Wall color- Benjamin Moore Super White

sunroom chairs

Choosing a chair for the sunroom is bringing out my natural over-thinking tendencies and giving me sleepless nights. Quintessential first-world-problem, I know. But the channel-tufted banquette wall and the sleek tulip table are such statement pieces, I want to find a pair of chairs that both stand up to those bold elements, but don’t make the small space feel too try-hard or overwhelming, stylistically speaking. I can tell you now I am most drawn to chairs 1, 2, and 4.

My brother has a set of 6 original Bertoia chairs (chair #2), of which he’s only currently using four. He has offered to let me foster two of those chairs until the day he moves to a different home more accommodating of his collection. How fortunate I am to have a brother with such impeccable taste and generous spirit! But I am also very tempted by these chairs and need to keep a style in mind that I’ll need to one day purchase to replace my borrowed chairs.

  1. Thonet bentwood chair
  2. Replica Bertoia wire chair
  3. Rattan chair
  4. Wicker cantilevered chair
  5. Patterned chair
  6. Upholstered tapered leg chair

Have you been following along with my renovation videos on Instagram? They expire after 24 hours, unfortunately, but be sure to check them out from time to time! We’ve been busting things out left and right, and today I ordered countertops for the kitchen! I can’t believe it’s all finally happening! Woo hoo!

Entryway Planning Update

entryway progress

Being able to fix up this house over the past year and a half has been a dream come true! But it’s a bit of a letdown when people enter through the front door and see this lackluster first impression of our home. Needless to say, I’m so excited to finally be moving forward with finishing up this space! It will be the last major project we work on for a while, because Phil and I need a break… like yesterday.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on making final decisions with flooring, stair finishes, and front door options. There is so much to consider, so I’ve been making a concerted effort not to rush the design process! Check out the before pictures below, and read on to see the finalists for each finish option.

entryway before


When we moved in, there was thin wood flooring in the entryway— all various widths with fake nail holes. The flooring was nowhere to be found in the rest of the home, so while I actually liked the look of it, we decided to rip it out. I had planned to install the same maple flooring here that I have done throughout most of the first floor, but the more I thought about it, the more I worried about excess moisture at our front door because of rainy and snowy Ohio weather.

In addition to the moisture issue, I began to get excited about the prospect of doing a fun patterned floor in here. It would be a great opportunity to do something interesting, especially since this floor would only be seen from behind the island of the kitchen as well as the study. I wouldn’t have to worry about a pattern in here visually affecting any other major areas of the house.

entryway progress


One thing I knew for sure about the stairway was that the shag carpet had to go! Phil ripped it out last weekend, and we’ll be working on those staples next.

At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have the stairs carpeted at all, but we talked about it as a family and decided it would be cozier and safer to go for carpet. So then I was left with two choices: What kind of finish to do on the stairs, and what kind of carpet.

flooring inspo

I love the idea of a natural wood tread, and white risers. The combination of wood and white adds interest and warmth. But the more I thought about doing a fun patterned tile on the floor, the more I thought a simple and low-contrast situation on the stairs would be best. So I decided to paint the treads, risers, and spindles white, and choose a berber carpet for the runner. The handrail will stay its original stained wood finish.

Bedrosians Tile Options


As far as the tile goes, I narrowed it down to either this tumbling block tile using the Costa Allegra diamond tiles from Bedrosians, or doing a tone-on-tone checkered tile using 6″ square tiles from Bedrosians. While it is indeed having a moment right now, the tumbling block pattern is a classic look and something I’ve loved for over a decade. I don’t think I need to worry about its longevity. But if I wanted something a little less busy, and perhaps more classic and easy to work with, a checker pattern on a diagonal is a great choice too. Decisions, decisions!

Stainmaster carpet options


I love the look of natural jute rugs, but let’s be real— jute doesn’t feel so good underfoot. In addition to finding something comfortable for bare feet, I also need a carpet that will be very durable. That excludes using a vintage runner, which had previously appealed to me. I have children and dogs, and I worry about staining and snagging. Because of their great reputation in the field, I began looking into Stainmaster carpet options. I was really happy to see some styles and textures that mimic the look of natural jute, but with the durability expected from Stainmaster.

After looking at carpet options at the National Design Mart showroom in Medina, Ohio, I narrowed down my choices to three Stainmaster Active Family options from the Anderson Tuftex line: “Only Natural;” “Abbey’s Road;” and “St. Lucia.” After a week with the samples, I decided to go with the St. Lucia carpet (seen below) because the texture reminds me most of a natural jute rug.

Originally I thought I’d choose the Wheat color (on the bottom left of the sample board below), but after considering how it would look on a stark white stairway, I decided to go for Macadamia (on the top left of the sample board). I have a steam cleaner for carpets, and since the Stainmaster carpet is stain resistant, I feel pretty good about choosing a light color, even on our stairs. I’m also considering taking this carpet into our hallway and bedrooms upstairs, and I like the idea of a lighter carpet in there, rather than the darker options.

Stainmaster carpet options

front door before


I’ve been dreaming of replacing our front door ever since we first moved in! For one thing, the door that’s currently in place is your basic run-of-the-mill door that most people buy straight from the hardware store. I thought about fixing it up by applying moulding details and paint, but when it came down to it, our entryway feels like a cave. A little more light would be so nice! (I had to do a lot of brightening on the photos that I took of the entryway!)

front door inspo

After looking over my inspiration images, I realized that I love a bold, contrasting door with sidelites that match the surrounding wall color. The question is, what color or finish do I choose for the door? And how much glass do I want in here?

ThermaTru Door Options


I decided to go with Therma-Tru for our front door set because I loved all of the options for the door and sidelite combinations, as well as the ease of designing a set online using their Design Your Door tool. I went to check out the doors in person at the showroom at Hartville Hardware (my favorite local hardware store!), and was able to see the beautiful the wood-look finish of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors.

I love the look of a natural wood door, but a wood exterior door is simply not practical for the climate in Ohio. Wood expands across the grain during more humid times of year, and contracts in the winter, not only causing doors to stick, but also causing warping over time. Fiberglass is the best option for the look of wood, with superior insulation and durability.

Therma-Tru has a several collections, but I personally settled on two favorites.

The Classic-Craft Collection offers a wide variety of panel styles, configurations, glass options and five different wood grains to choose from. If I decided to go for a painted finish rather than the grained wood-look, Therma-Tru has some appealing pre-finish color options, or I could always choose to paint the doors myself with the color of my choice. The idea of doing a muted pink door really appeals to me!

The other collection I love is the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection. These doors look like real wood doors, but with all of the weather-resistant benefits of fiberglass construction. The Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection also has several stain options aside from the traditional reddish mahogany look. As with all of the Therma-Tru collections, the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection offers lots of paneling styles, configurations and glass options, including decorative and privacy glass.

ThermaTru Door Options

I used the Therma-Tru Design Your Door Tool to create eight door configurations I really love. I think I’d be happy with a solid color door, but my heart is telling me to go for the wood-look. It will tie in with the stair rail that I plan to leave its stained color, the wood shelving wall in the kitchen, plus the other wood glass-paneled doors I have elsewhere in my home (like in my nearby office as well as the sunroom doors pictured here.)

In the end I decided to definitely go with a wood-look door from the Fiber-Classic Mahogany Collection. I figure, if one day I wish for a solid-color door, I can always strip the finish and paint it!

Which configuration do you like best from the set above? I’m leaning towards #4.

black front door

I’d love to hear all of your opinions of my finish options! If you want to check out my first round of entryway planning, read this post here! I have changed a few things since then, but the paint, door knob, and other accessories have stayed the same. So excited to begin work on this space!