There’s all sorts of quirky spaces in this house, one of which is my favourite to spend time in although technically it’s not really a proper room. The ‘sunroom’ as it was called when we bought the house is a borderline dilapidated structure, clearly put up in a hurry. The floor is rotting by the external door, as are the window frames on the outside. Methinks I spy a bodge job! Those things aside, I absolutely love to sit in here, watching the birds flit from the hawthorn tree across to the feeder. I watch the sun sets, thunder storms and listen to heavy rain drumming on the roof as I tend to my family of plants. If we decide to stay long term, we’d like to pull this extension down and rebuild it, knocking through from the kitchen behind, but for now I just want to give it a unified look so that it feels like an easily identifiable space.
Hot, Hot, Hot
As a makeshift room, it’s not insulated or heated, meaning sweltering temperatures in summer and freezing cold in winter. I learnt a very big lesson before we officially moved in. Trying to get ahead of the game, I’d started moving some of my plants into here but then had to lock all the doors and windows while the house was left unattended. Needless to say, the high temperatures made only worse by the unseasonably warm October weather and the perspex roof slowly cooked them all to a crisp. Some of those succulents I’d had for over six years! Six years I tell you! Not to let something like that put me off though, I’ve sinced researched plants that enjoy high heat and lots of light, so for the summer months they’ll be in here and in winter I’ll switch them out for the plants that love colder climates.
The sunroom is very narrow and long which rules out having a small sofa or bench inside. As a compromise, I’ve decided on a combination of lounge chairs, stools and floor cushions which can be changed around and moved depending on who is using the room.
|1| Art print, Alicia Galer |2| Palm |3| Lene Bjerre April lounge chair, Houseology |4| Raw cushion in Rust jute, Holly’s House |5| Black & white herringbone Ives rug, Houseology |6| Normann Copenhagen Block Trolley, Houseology |7| Leila concrete planter, Concrete Jungles |8| Terracotta pots, Ferm Living | Image © Wertvoll Fotografie
Ever since I came across this jaw droppingly beautiful garden room on Pinterest (above) belonging to photographer Petra Reger, I’ve had it in mind to take the best elements from it and apply it to what I have. No, I don’t have the structure of those black aluminium framed windows, or space for a dining table, but I have textured brick walls and window frames I can paint. I want the space to feel contemporary, to draw the eye towards and frame the garden outside. I’m going to blend a monochromatic base with terracotta details and layer up on the plants – I never need an excuse to do that!
To refresh the ambiguous pink walls I’ll be painting them white, but I want to choose a shade with blue undertones so that it’s not so glaringly white in full sun – I don’t want to be wearing shades in here!
The wooden floor will stay as is, the distressed look gives the room character and added texture and I always like to leave part of a room untouched in some way.
You might not be able to see from the photos, but the window sill has been laid with a pearlescent blue mosaic tile. I hate it, so I’m going to give it a couple of coats of white tile paint for a better backdrop for the plants to sit on.
The orange pine door will also be treated with a coat of fresh white the same shade as the walls to blend with the rest of the space. There’s just no excuse for 90s orange pine now people.
The two spot lights above the door are pretty awful when you’re trying to relax in the evening – you feel on display to the neighbours behind our garden. I’ll be using festoon lighting hung across the roof struts for a softer, more intimate light.
If you’ve noticed my absence from the blog in recent weeks it might go some way to explain that – I’ve been working all the hours I could find to get the room ready to share with you next week. Let me tell you, it’s quite the transformation! What do you think of my plan? Do you have a garden project of your own?
Want to see more garden inspiration? Check out my In The Garden board on Pinterest and follow #thechathamhouse on social for more of our home renovation updates.