Behind the Design of a Cottage Sunroom - Lenore Frances Home Interiors

Behind the Design of a Cottage Sunroom

In this video, I show and explain my thought process behind the design of a cottage sunroom. By the end, I hope to provide some helpful tips for you to consider when thinking about your own home.

Cottage Sunroom Lenore Design

Now let’s dig into more details…

Haddon Heights Sunroom Design Interior

This image is, of course, the finished room. But I want to show you how different this is from how the previous owner had the sunroom, to what my client did when she moved in, and then; how my client got to this end result by working with me.

Lenore Sunroom Design Before After


This picture shows how the previous owner furnished the room. If you look closely, you can see large-armed outdoor furniture with a love seat and lounge chair. There might be a small coffee table with a candle on it, a side table w/lamp, a mirror and dinette set and area rug.

So it seems that if their goal was to have a seating area and an eating area, they accomplished that. But everything is dark and looks very crowded.

Now when my client moved in, she wanted a totally different feel. Light, airy & inviting. She wanted to invite her friends over, have some wine, enjoy the days end or morning all year long.

Sunroom Furniture Design Before After

DIY Result

So this is what she started out with, but she knew it wasn’t right. For a little back-story, my client was downsizing, starting from scratch, and did not bring any furniture from her other house. She wanted a fresh start. She had ordered and received furniture for the living room and dining room as well and she wasn’t happy with any of it. With everything not working out as planned, she canceled the rest of her orders and was ready to sell everything she had received.

Can you imagine being that frustrated with your own decisions and feeling you’ve wasted so much time and money not getting what you want? She was ready to start over and get it done right with my professional help. I went to her house, and based on what she shared w/me, I was able to tell her she actually had purchased items we could still use, but they needed to be improved to accomplish the look and feel she wanted.

The love seat design and size was appropriate. But it did not look or feel comfortable and inviting. We could also keep the wicker chairs. She decided to use the area rug in the guest bedroom. The one thing that did not belong was the metal coffee table. It was too solid and heavy looking and the style did not complement the seating.

Lenore Sunroom Design Decor

So this is what I did:

  1. We made the love seat more comfortable and inviting by replacing the double seat cushions with a single seat cushion and using 3 euro sized pillows for plush softness. And then added a decorative lumbar pillow and throw.
  2. We also changed the cushions on the chairs and added 2 other accent pillows to soften the rattan.
  3. We brought the outdoors in with the fern on the iron stand, and put a basket on the other side to hold magazines.
  4. I kept the functionality of a coffee table with a more open selection made of iron and glass.
  5. Rooms are so much better when personal, meaningful things are added. I am referring to the photograph of my client and her horse. I don’t believe there could have been anything better for this room. I am a big believer that the frame for art and photographs need to accentuate the beauty or meaning of the subject; thereby presenting it as important and not an after-thought. The right frame becomes part of the subject. Custom framing is the way to go. I would not normally hang a picture in front of a window, but the backdrop of trees hid anything unsightly. You will see how I hung it in the last picture.
  6. We added an area rug with more warmth and texture than the original.
  7. I loved the idea of keeping a mirror in the room because mirrors reflect light and the reflection of the front landscape would be perfect. However; I opted for a simplified design with warm wood to replace the dark, heavy, embellished original. Don’t bother using a mirror if the area it reflects is not pretty.
  8. My client wanted something like a mini bar for when she had company. I did a thorough search but was not able to find something to fit that spot. So with the inspiration from a radiator cover, I had this piece made to my specifications and stained to match the mirror.

Here we are, at the end result again. With just a few more details to note.

  1. Rather than squeeze a lamp next to the loveseat, I replaced and added 2 custom wall sconces appropriate for the style of the cottage.

    Sunroom Interior Design

  2. And here you can see how I hung the large photograph in the window, using chain and cabinet hardware. This was extra special because she had no idea what I was going to do with it. The reveal was a successful surprise that really meant so much to her. My Clients Say It Best

Design takeaways:

  1. Bringing the outdoors in with plants will fill spaces and soften an area with a lot of hard surfaces.
  2. Cushions should look neat but also soft and comfy.
  3. Repeat colors and textures, whether stain, paint, or metal. One thing needs something else to relate to for it to look like it belongs.
  4. Use mirrors where the reflection is pretty.
  5. Personal items that are incorporated into the design of the room can add so much and are very important.
  6. Custom framing is important and worth it.
  7. You don’t always have to start from scratch. I can help you see the possibilities.

Well, that is it. I hope you have enjoyed my process and learned some tips you can use for your own home. If you are interested in professional design help, I am available to listen to the plans you have for your home.

We can take care of the details and the heavy lifting for your home design and remodeling needs. So you can have a home ready to enjoy, designed specifically for your comfort and lifestyle.

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Comments on Behind the Design of a Cottage Sunroom
  1. Claire says:

    I love sunrooms! This is so beautifully done Lenore, great post!

  2. Such a lovely, welcoming space! Beautifully done – and I love the way you hung the artwork!

  3. Leslie Carothers says:

    I really, really enjoyed this post, Lenore, and got some great idea from it for my outdoor living area.

    The way you showed how you took it from the before, through her own DIY, and then how you made it perfect – is sensational! It really showcases your talents and the difference a professional designer can make!

  4. Lisa Peck says:

    What a fresh and lovely result!

  5. This is so wonderful, Lenore. I love the way you broke this out and how you were able to create a space for your client. Such a beautiful space!

  6. Beautiful result and great tips!

  7. Suzi Rugg says:

    You’ve created such a light an airy space! Thank you for taking us through your process, it was very informative!

  8. So pretty and inviting. I love the touch of the photograph over the window.

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