Mood Board: Seascape sun room
This room was designed for a client with a brand new sun room addition on the back of her house. She had planned for this sun room for many years and had a “mountain” (her words, not mine) of inspiration ideas and clippings to share with me. She wanted an extra living space, without a television, that would give her room to enjoy her garden and her air conditioning simultaneously. She liked the breezy feel of a cabana, but also really loved the soft tones of beach landscapes during a beautiful sunset…
The first thing we chose for this project was the flooring, because it was part of the room’s final construction. We chose a dark stain on a polished extra-hard bamboo floor. The bamboo part of the floor kept it very affordable and sustainable. The dark tones mimic the rich, cool floors of a classic colonial Caribbean plantation, perfect for enjoying barefoot.
The next challenge to tackle was the room color. With three sides of the room dominated by almost floor-to-ceiling windows, we needed to soften the bright white wall framing. We also had to unify the three new walls with the older wall, which had formerly been an exterior wall of the house. This soft peach wall color, Benjamin Moore’s “Candle Light”, is very soothing and captures some of the sunset lighting feel that the client loves.
We also painted the ceiling of this sun room. There is an old Southern tradition of painting porches ceilings in a light blue. Many rumors abound about its uses (keeps the bees away, keeps you feeling cooler), but I thought it would work here to make our sun room ceiling feel more a part of the outside garden. I used a favorite light, clean blue of mine, Benjamin Moore’s “Sweet Bluette”.
Energy efficiency can take some careful planning in a room so full of windows. The large palm-paddled helps move the air through the room evenly, regardless of it being heated or cooled for the current season. The sand colored area rug, made of jute in a diamond pattern, is soft on the feet in summer and warm on the feet in winter. It defines the seating area of the dark expanse of flooring.
The curtains chosen for this room also contribute to the room’s energy use. These large textured panels still allow natural light to enter the room when they are closed, which is very useful in the winter months. The billowy quality of the curtains is reminiscent of those found on island resorts. They also give some privacy to the client and her husband when they want to enjoy a relaxing morning in their pjs without having to wave to the neighbors.
Sea grass furniture is popular again, although my client and I don’t understand how it can ever be unfashionable. We chose two sea grass sofas and two sea grass wing chairs and kept all the upholstery in a clean, classic white. For more personality in our seating area, a variety of complementary throw pillows in different textures and patterns were mixed in for comfort.
The client had been saving an antique rattan accent table for this room’s completion for many years. Her lovely flea-market find was placed between the two wing chairs. The large glass and iron coffee table fills the practical need of table space while still keeping a light footprint in the seating area. It’s bamboo segmented gold legs are also echoed in the floor lamps, which give the room a cosy glow in the evenings.
The finishing touches for this room include two small potted palm trees. Placed in the two window wall corners of the room, the trees bring the view of the garden inside. Two vases on the coffee table, in stoneware and capiz shell, allow the client to bring some of her flowers into the house to enjoy. The fourth wall gets a classic seaside watercolor by James McNeill Whistler in a mottled gold frame to balance out the sliding glass doors leading into the room.
The natural textures of sea grass, palm, rattan, bamboo and capiz shell combine to keep this room feeling a part of the outside world. By embracing the warmth of a coastal sunset, this room’s color palette gives the client the relaxing and peaceful space she has dreamed of for years.
Unique, affordable, comfortable living.