Before diving into the sunroom renovation, I have a little news. I could just keep on posting and getting the blog up to speed without saying anything, but I prefer honestly. Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it…we sold our house. Yes, after a year of debating whether or not to list, we finally came to realize that we were just slightly out growing the home (though we had several ideas and options to make the house work for us should we really want to stay) and that we were ready for a new project. It was a very tough decision. However, despite selling, I’m going to continue to blog about our projects at the house and give you a final before and after of our precious Dutch Colonial that really captured our hearts and was extremely hard to leave.
On to the sunroom renovation. I don’t think there is a sane parent on this planet that doesn’t go house hunting and hope to buy a house with a space that can be a “kid zone.” A place where they can freely play without invading every other room of the house and where their books, toys and games can be neatly organized. I mean, let’s be serious, have you ever stepped on a matchbox car or tiny lego? How on earth can such small toys bring hours of joy and entertainment to our kids but cause us such excruciating pain? Yes, toys need to be kept out of the main walking/living area as best as possible and, as a parent of three, my preference is to do this with an entirely separate room!
The only room in our house that could realistically function as a play room is our sunroom which is accessible by two doors directly off of the living room:
Here is a picture of what this room looked like when we first bought our house:
It’s a long, narrow room measuring 8′ by 17′ and has almost an entire wall of windows (limiting what could be toy storage space) but I knew that with some creative space planning we could make it work.
On the far wall we chose to flank the window with floor to ceiling bookshelves that has closed cabinetry on the bottom (hidden storage is great for any room, especially play room). We had some scrap bead board so to add dimension to the built-ins that became their backing and was painted white with the rest of the shelving.
As you can see in the picture above, we did a bench seat in the middle with space underneath to add pretty storage baskets for more toys. Believe it or not the cushion of the bench is a baby crib mattress. We happen to have an extra so we repurposed it by having a slip cover made by a local upholsterer in a fabric of our choosing.
Unlike the kids’ bedrooms (which we’ll get to later), I wanted this room to be as neutral as possible with pops of navy blue and coral as accent colors. I knew that down the road this room could transform from a toy room to a homework/hangout room so keeping the base colors neutral meant less work as the children grew up and had different needs. All of the trim, including the shelving, was painted semigloss white while the walls were painted an extremely light bluish grey. I’d give you a specific color’s name but I kind of made it up with left over paint we already had. This house has so many greys and blues I didn’t see a point in buying another one unless I really had to.
You might have noticed that even the floors are white! When we first moved into the house this room was more of a storage space for all the renovation materials so we didn’t bother to get the floors refinished with the rest of the house. They would have most likely just gotten damaged. We had a can of the stain we used for the rest of the house but since the playroom never really flowed openly with the rest of the main floor, I decided I really wanted something different. So, at 8 months pregnant (I told you I was seriously nesting) Pavlo and I attacked the whitewashing of this floor. It was actually a light coat of grayish stain followed by a top coat of white glaze. Oh, and don’t worry, we took all the precautions for the little one growing inside me and she has since arrived (cough, 2 and a half years ago, cough) and is perfectly healthy!
The final playroom:
You may notice in the pictures above the Ikea light fixture hangs from bead boarding in the ceiling. This is because this room was previously a porch and previous owners enclosed it. Often in older homes, the ceilings in those porches were bead boarding, just as ours were!