The Sunroom

20 Dec

Hello? Anyone still out there?

I’m crawling back out from my long blogging hiatus to write about our most exciting reno to date! For as long as we’ve lived in this house we’ve wanted to turn our never used screened in porch into a sunroom that was open to the rest of the house. We finally saved up enough money to make it happen, and with construction just having come to an end, I thought it was high time I catalogued the progress here.

Construction began in October and took about two weeks. We hired out the majority of the dirty work, but Steve and I took on the paneled ceiling (never again!), the floors, and all the painting. I faithfully took pictures throughout the process, so I’ll let those do the talking.

Shall we start with the befores?






The odd non functional window you see above and below used to be a set of sliding glass doors. They were taken out in favor of more room for kitchen cabinets at some point, leaving a hole in the exterior brick that was filled with siding and the window. We opted to take this all out and drywall over it.


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While we were at it, we decided to enclose the back of our garage as well. It started its life as a carport, and somewhere along the way someone added a garage door but left the back open. Here’s the back of the garage from the screened porch door:


Once demo was finished, construction moved very quickly.






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Strips of wood were attached the ceiling so we later had something to attach the paneling to.


A ductless mini split system was added to heat and cool the space.

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Coming home the day the old sliding glass doors were removed was a very exciting day!

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That’s pretty much where the contractor’s work ended at the end of October/early November. Shortly thereafter Steve and I left for a much anticipated two week trip to Europe. We came back home from a truly wonderful vacation the Friday night before Thanksgiving. Saturday morning we found ourselves wide awake at 5 am, and ventured out for breakfast and somehow ended up at Home Depot buying panels for the ceiling before 7 am.

Over the course of two weekends, we installed the tongue and groove panels.




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The actual installation wasn’t too terrible thanks to some rubber mallets and my dad’s nail gun. It was filling the over 600 (!) holes and knots overhead that was truly miserable. Then sanding them all down. Then, after one coat of primer, discovering all the nail holes and knots I missed. So it required another round of filling and sanding and priming before we were able to put up two coats of paint. Torture. I’m done complaining now. Really, we’re thrilled with the result.


Especially after installing crown molding.

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Within the last couple of weeks, I painted the walls and trim.



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And last weekend, we installed the floors.


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We’re pretty pleased with how well the new floors blend with the old. It will never be perfect since the new floors are engineered, but visually the difference isn’t too jarring.


It’s our new Christmas tree room 🙂


Two days ago the chairs I ordered for the room in November arrived. They’re the Pottery Barn Maxton slipcovered chairs, and I love them. I pulled out the table that’s between them that we bought at an estate sale for $100 a couple years ago. It’s been floating around without a real home for awhile, and I love it here. The green vase is one of a set that I purchased at Target on clearance ages ago. The plan is to turn them into lamps!

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Across from the chairs, I’ve been trying to decide what size sofa to order.

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I finally pulled the trigger on the Pottery Barn Comfort Square sofa in cream. It will be a two month wait for it to arrive, but I’m very excited about it!


Onto the other side of the room:


When the Christmas tree isn’t hogging this space, we’re hoping for a small (very small it seems) dining space. Something that will be enough for the two of us everyday, but can be extended to accommodate more for casual dining. Since we’re dealing with a very tight space, I’ve started researching gate leg dining tables. I came across this option from Thomasville (though it’s marketed as a sofa table, I think it would fit our needs very well).

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We would keep it closed with two chairs flanking it most of the time, then open one leaf for our use. With a little bit of rearranging, we could open it all the way to accommodate up to 6. I plan on searching antique stores for more viable options as well.

Phew. I think we’re all caught up now. I’m hoping to continue documenting progress as we go! Worth noting, the bookshelves we started building over a year ago are still not complete. They are substantially closer, but we haven’t quite crossed the finish line yet. Steve thinks he’ll knock em out during his “Christmas vacation”. More on that to come! Also, we’re about to kick start a master bath reno. In the Spring, we’re hoping to do something about our tragic backyard which you’ve seem glimpses of above. A patio and terracing are in order, I believe. Also, painting the exterior of the sunroom and back of the garage.

Thanks to all who are checking in, and many wishes for a very Merry Christmas and Happy New year!


7 Responses to “The Sunroom”

  1. Karen December 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Wow! Your diy skills continue to amaze! You guys added a beautiful room to your home not to mention adding square footage. What a transformation! I love the ceilings and can’t even imagine how hard that was. Your chairs are adorable and the PB Comfort Sofa is my favorite. I’m so happy for you! Well done!! ✨👌✨

  2. Lucinda December 21, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Love all the choices you’ve with your remodel. Can’t wait to see how it looks with that Pottery Barn sofa.

  3. Marti December 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    It looks great. I haven’t seen the T&G panels. Hard to lift panels to the ceiling, but really, they look better than the T&G beadboard planks we used – at least from here. Did you brush on the paint or roll it? I still haven’t finished painting my ceiling, still have to touch up some knot holes that bled through.

    • house185 December 30, 2014 at 6:59 am #

      They actually are planks. I see I referred to them as panels continuously throughout the post. Probably wishful thinking! I brushed the paint on in the grooves and my husband rolled the rest. We did two coats of a shellac based primer in the hopes of not having to deal with knot bleed through, plus two coats of alkalyd semi gloss paint.

  4. Nan April 1, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    The ceilings are amazing. Great job! I can’t believe what a transformation you guys have achieved.

  5. Sarah December 2, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Just came across your blog! You’ve done such a beautiful job with your house. Very inspiring!

  6. stac June 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    when will you be posting again?! so looking forward to updates. love your style!

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