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Frog tape everywhere and woodwork primed…

If you saw my last post, you’ll know I’ve been working on a small scale makeover to give our tired little sunroom a refresh. When I started two months ago, I thought it was going to be relatively straight forward – and it was in that for the most part it only involved paint. But painting anything well takes time and preparation. So this is where I’ve been spending any spare moment of my time of late, come rain or shine, paintbrush in hand with a very clear vision of the finished look in my mind to spur me on. I might as well have moved in here, seeing as the kids always knew where to find me when they discovered I was missing!

As this is really only a temporary space  (no insulation or heating and windows rotting on the outside) there was little point in re-laying the floor or replacing the windows, so instead I focused on the cosmetics. The biggest challenge was prepping the woodwork, which was not only badly painted in several coats of aged gloss paint, but the wood hadn’t been treated properly when the structure went up, so I was often sanding off sticky old wood sap as I broke through the layers with the sander. I gave everything a very brief keying to prep the surface and found a brilliant ultra grip primer, formulated for difficult surfaces and aged paint. It made life so much easier when it came to applying the top coat. You can find all the product information in the source list at the end of the post.

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Damaged plaster was chopped out and filled.

I used masonry paint across all walls to help protect them in the colder months. The old paint had been peeling off in places so I needed something to stand up to all conditions and hopefully avoid it happening again. As it gets a lot of light in here, I chose a white with blue undertones to take the edge off slightly.

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Metal-look black wood paint gives the windows a contemporary feel.

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And here it is. Bright, minimal and contemporary, just the way I like it. It feels like the space I’ve been missing since we moved here and it’s so lovely to see everyone drawn to it when we’re all at home. Don’t the black frames completely transform it? Not quite Crittall windows but it’s a great start! Notice how they frame and bring the garden inside? There’s space for additional seating – I have a couple of stools which can sit by the windowsill and there’s enough floor space for one or two large floor cushions.

I wanted to introduce a little warmth into the space, especially as a monochromatic scheme can feel somewhat cold, so I brought out the earthy tones to compliment the lush green planting. From a collection of terracotta pots, a beautiful Ian Mcintyre pitcher, to my newest love discovered at Clerkenwell Design Week – the DUO table lamp, these tones really pull the space together.

The pine door was such an eyesore, it pulled the attention away from the garden when we would sit in here, like an orange beacon of misery. It was given a couple of coats of the same white as the walls to blend in with the rest of the space and feels much calmer now.  You’ll notice I did the door handles and window latches in the same colour to save replacing them all.

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The blue tiled windowsill has been covered with white tile paint.

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At this time of year this room has the perfect conditions for heat and light loving plants. I’ve bought a date palm (pictured next to my citrus tree which was flowering heady scented blooms all spring) and an Areca palm for height at the back of the room. I took the opportunity to repot some of our cacti from the kids room too and I’m completely in love with the fig which comes from Valencia so it’s used to sweltering summers and cold winters. I wonder if it’ll ever bear fruit? Either way, everything in here will be happy until the colder months come and then I’ll bring them into the main house and swap them with others.

The black Normann Copenhagen Block trolley has long been a much coveted design, it’s such a versatile piece. I can use it for repotting and watering, store blankets over winter or stack it up with magazines. I’ve already used to it host dinner on whilst I was still painting and it was a nice touch to serve from it.

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Initially, I’d planned to find an indoor/outdoor rug, but as the dimensions in here are so tricky I landed on the cotton and jute weave Ives rug in a herringbone pattern from Houseology. I love that it brings in a contrasting texture against the rough floor and echos the woven lines in the Lene Bjerre April lounge chair. The thin frame and see-through seat still leaves a feeling of space and it’s extremely comfortable to sit back in.

Over time I’ve been collecting botanical art work, and whilst I might eventually move these to the living room where I’d like to include them in a gallery wall, they sit well in this space.

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The soft glow of festoon lights to welcome the evenings in.

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Earthy elements…

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Somewhere to admire my Hasami plates, bought in Antwerp.

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My next plan will be sourcing blinds for the lower windows as it can feel a little exposed to the houses at the back in the evening. I also want to make sure I can protect the plants from strong sun. Oh. And fill it with a lot more of them, of course.

So, what do you think? Maybe I’ve inspired you to give your garden an update?

Source List:

Wall paint: ‘Sleeping Inn’ white masonry paint, Valspar.

Wood & metal paint: ‘Village Smithy’  black paint in premium eggshell, Valspar | ‘Sleeping Inn’ matt premium eggshell, Valspar.

Tile paint:

Wood primer: Ultra Grip white primer, Dulux Trade.

Herringbone Ives rug: Houseology*.

Black Normann Copenhagen Block trolley: Houseology*.

Linum jute cushion in rust: Holly’s House.

Lene Bjerre April lounge chair: Houseology*.

Terracotta pitcher: Another Country.

Black and white botanical leaf print, Chocolate Creative.

Abstract botanical print, Alicia Galer.

Terracotta and opaline glass Duo table lamp: Hand & Eye Studio.

LED Festoon lights: IKEA.

* This post was written in collaboration with Houseology.

Styling & Photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley 

Want to see more of our home renovation projects? Follow #TheChathamHouse on Instagram for all updates…

18 comments on “Botanical Scandinavian Sunroom Makeover – The Reveal”

  1. Oh it’s beautiful Tiff – what a transformation! It’a perfectly ‘you’ and I love all the terracotta accents to soften the monochrome and complement all the greenery. Such a beautiful space to relax in 🙂

  2. Tiff, what a wonderful makeover! I absolutely adore this – hats off to you, you’ve totally transformed the space and made it so stylish. I love love LOVE everything. Pinning it and sharing it! Really well done, all that hard work prepping and painting paid off Xx PS your cat looks a lot like ours 🙂

  3. What an amazing transformation. The black paint has worked wonders on the windows and door and the tile paint has really improved the window ledge. It looks like such a beautiful space now. I need some of those festoon lights.

  4. Oh that’s lovely, what a beautiful space you’ve got now. I love the contrast of the black and white and all the plants finish it off perfectly.

  5. Oh it’s gorgeous Tiff!! You’ve done an amazing job and I adore the black frames contrasted with all that fresh white. It’s amazing what a bit of elbow grease can do for a little space. I love all the plants and natural touches and it’s so very you. Beautiful job! xx

  6. I love it TIff!! So gorgeous, I’ve been staring at these images for ages! 🙂
    We’ve got a sunroom / conservatory too, and I’m at a bit of a loss with what to do with it. Sadly the windows are all UPVC so can be painted and no lovely exposed brickwork like you have…. my dream is to replace the glass roof and add bifold doors but not sure that’ll ever happen! Your space has inspired me though! x

  7. Thanks for sharing this makeover! The wooden floor is great and the shabby chic of it works perfect with the fishbone rug. I love the contrast of the black and white you’ve choosen. With all the beautiful accessiores and the wonderful plants the room looks so warm and cozy! I’m totally in love with it …

    Ginger by Choice I Food & Lifestyle Blog

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