Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our Home Tour: Sunroom

I thought that a good place to start the tour of our home would be the sunroom. It's where we spend the most amount of time, and really is the most "livable" space in the house. It has the stereo system, television, and the most interesting of our art collection.

When I decided to change the colors of the house, which inevitably ended up with a full tilt change of everything else, the only thing that Scott requested was that I leave one room that he'd feel comfortable in, and that he could still use to watch television and read the paper. So, to that end ... I created this:

The room has been relatively difficult to furnish. Long and narrow, at 15x7, it wasn't until recently that I decided to take the sofa approach. Placed along the narrow wall, it acts as a daybed of sorts, with plenty of our kilim pillow collection and ottoman for those cozy movie nights.

In this photo, the ottoman was styled for the photoshoot with a great Asian basket that I picked up in Texas at a Goodwill for $2.99. I loved the texture and the dark color of it. It fit perfectly with the antique porcelain chrysanthemum bowl filled with clementines and red dahlias from our front garden.

Panning out a bit, you can see the ottoman, covered in a kilim piece with a red velvet backing. The curtains are made from Calico Corners suiting plaid in warm neutrals, and the sofa slipcover and ottoman slipcover were both made in about 2-hours from 1 12x15 Home Depot dropcloth! 

The sofa fits so perfectly between the window and wall here, I can't believe it sat in our garage for so long before I had this decorating breakthru! Has that happened to any of you? Anyway, the sofa covered in kilim pillows and cushions, and one beautiful golden harvest velvet pillow for supreme comfort.

Kilim is a great fabric, and pillows made from kilims both old and new are available at tons of retailers, including Pottery Barn. Ours came direct from Turkey, about 18 years ago when Scott lived there while in the Air Force. I always felt so terrible that these beauties spent so much of their time in the closet - so out they came.

The painting is from street artists in St. Petersburg, Russia - a trip that resulted in quite an art collection. You'll see more of it when we move upstairs in the tour.

The rug is layered, as most of my rugs are. The first rug, a 3.5x12 runner from Turkey is mostly red and dark navy with touches of green and white. The second a palomino cowhide I bought in Toronto! What a funny story this was: I found the hide of craigslist. So, we went to Toronto, only about an hour away, to pick it up. We parked downtown, and walked what we thought would be a short distance to the previous owners apartment. When we got there, a full 20-minute walk away, I had nothing to carry the cowhide back to the car with. The previous owner was sweet enough to put the hide in a black trash bag for me to carry more easily, except the hide, probably about 20 pounds, started to tear the bag and small pieces of the hide started peeking through the bag - resulting in curious glances and aghast stares as I'm sure it looked as though I was carrying a trash bag filled with blonde kittens through Downtown Toronto. I'll never forget it!

The large Carborundum Brand Abrasive Products poster is an antique from the 1920-1930's. Printed on oilcloth, it would have originally hung in a store that carried the Carborundum files and grinding wheels. We picked it up after suffering severe water damage at an antique store in Clarence, NY. I got a great deal, and bought it as an anniversary present to Scott 3-years ago. After some restoration done so perfectly by a great local restorer, it found its home here.

The side table (to the right corner of this picture) was a gift from a friend. The same friend who gave me the cart table in the living room. Nice friend, huh? The table is pine, probably from Mexico or that south western region where this sort of wood is washed in colors and very popular. This one is a beautiful gray blue, a perfect match to the faux zinc shade of my Pottery Barn Verona table lamp.
The chest has little wooden levers that keep the door closed, and it's not painted on the inside. Atop the chest, this vignette changes pretty regularly, but currently sports a ginger jar I found at a tag sale for $3, two miniature bronze busts of Ethiopian tribal women, and a brass cauldron with an English ivy. 
The seating arrangement is completed by another of our leather club chairs, and makes this corner of the very long room a separate space, while the other end of the room has the video equipment.

There are 9 windows in this room, so there is a lot of light, and not a lot of insulation. For that reason, there are always a lot of blankets in this room come late Fall and Winter, and lots of cozy conversation!
Scott reads the paper every day. It's an old man sorta thing that I make fun of him for, but in reality it makes it well versed in pretty much any conversation he's ever caught up in - and that's always so admirable. I, however, couldn't care less about the paper - and opt for my many subscriptions of shelter mags, which I keep in this old Beck's box. It's a great size, about 1x3' and holds a full three stacks (a little over 100 magazines!!) so I always have an issue at arms reach.

I got the box at a garage sale on my way home from work 4 years ago. I don't even really know what Beck's was, but I'm assuming beer. In this photo you can also see more of the rug, and the narrow plank hard pine floors I mentioned in the first tour post.
That beautiful poster, again. The lamp in the back corner of this shot came from an antique store in Texas, another one of Scott's purchases. He loves a bridge lamp, and I can't go into a store with him without him pointing one out and asking if I think we have space for it.

This one had a great alabaster shade, but it was unfortunately broken in the move. For the time being, we have this tortoise glass one instead, a Home Depot special, and just $9! 
An art shot of that wonderful texture I was telling about in the basket with the fruit and flowers. I love clementines, so there's always a bowl of them somewhere in the house - usually in the kitchen. But with the orange hues of our woodwork, the orange in the poster, and the many varied oranges of the kilims, they just seem to be a natural selection for this room, don't you think?
Now, the other side of the room. That chest holds enough alcohol to have a party for 100, and our stereo system, which makes for great television watching. The chest is actually the base of a mirror, made from burl wood in Germany. Lots of carved features give it a sort of Asian feeling, with foo dog feet and dragon detailing in the skirt - but it is German, and we LOVE it!

It's hard not to mention the 6.5' warrior in the room, right? Ok - so here's the story with "Clive".  Scott was living in Miami. His favorite antique store, which bought things from Europe and brought them to the states. When it fell on hard times, it liquidated, and Scott bought this carved warrior he named Clive. Clive was carved in Africa, and sold as part of the tourist trade and shipped to England for the colonial decorating done there. When the container the store bought from London was filled, Clive made his transcontinental journey again, and ended up (eventually) here with us.
Here you can see more of the burl and carving on the chest. It's topped with antique keys to the doors of our home, one tasselled. My absolute favorite candle from Anthropologie, second ginger jar, a faux turtle shell from Two's Company, and a buffet lamp with chocolate brown silk shade.

You can also see Clive's bracelet. It's actually bone and African plant beads. Really beautiful.

And another shot of the red roses from above. I'm really loving this aerial photography format right now - so you'll probably be seeing quite a bit of this.

I really hope that you love this room as much as we do. Now, where do we go next?


  1. cozy and warm Artie...I could curl up with a book for a the 'Beck's' box...and don't you just love curtain clips? They let the curtain rods become part of the picture and frame the window better. Nice job!

  2. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. Now this is the Artie that I remember. Rooms filled with gorgeous things that have history and charm. Not a trendy piece in site - but oh so current, timeless, and covetable. Bravo, my friend. Bravo!

  3. I can see why you spend most of your time in the sunroom; it's such a beautiful space. Beautiful photos and love your collection of blue and white with the clementines and that German chest, oh my!

  4. Thats the room I'd stay in if I lived there:) love that cabinet the tv is on..

    No I didnt get an email from you..
    I checked...
    so email me again..
    did you get to see my copy cat chairs??
    I am so tickled with them...
    here's the link..

  5. Artie, I can see why your sunroom is a favorite. It is so cozy and inviting. I love all the kilim pillows and the ginger jars ($3??? I need to follow you around to tag sales.) The German chest is incredibly beautiful, and Clive is a looker as well. If this were my home, I would live in this room too. Perfection.


  6. It's just gorgeous Artie. You have great taste and a great eye for design, and color. Your photos are great too.

  7. What a wonderful room! I love all the rich colours and the woodwork is divine. Using the kilim material is a fantastic idea, love the look of it.

    So glad you stopped by to visit! I'm your newest follower :)


  8. Lovely space, I think you overcame the narrow size issue just perfectly. You have quite a collection of unique items. Great photos:)

  9. What a yummy room. I'd like to take a nap, read, and talk to friends in that room. Fabulous.

  10. I love your sunroom. It really reflects your individual style and everything in it is something I have always loved myself. Timeless, original and personal. Great room Artie! ~Delores

  11. Lovely room...I spied Clive immediately and chuckled because I like him much more than that "scary guy" painting you have (lol).
    The pillows are fabulous and I love that so many of your pieces have a great story attached. One thing I admire is how you can put so many textures, colors and unique items together - I struggle with that (must be the "traditional" girl in me) - If it doesn't "match or coordinate" perfectly, I won't put it out - I need to let go of that and get more comfortable with displaying interesting groupings of items
    Looking forward to seeing more - I don't think I have ever seen your kitchen!

  12. Of course I love it! It always amazes me how all of a sudden a breakthrough comes to me when I least expect it..once again great job...Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  13. Great room! And finally something with bigger dog's feet than my Newfie's! With the snow and cold we've had already, I'd be happy to wrap up in a blanket and watch HGTV in your room. Why aren't you hosting a show?!!♥♫

  14. This might be my favorite room in your home Artie. I love eclectic style and you have so many wonderful treasures in this room! I could definitely see myself in that room have a glass of Diet Pepsi and enjoying wonderful conversation with such talent! xoxo

    Lucky 7 Design

  15. Such a stunning all the vibrant colors!!! It is such a cozy and inviting room, I can see why you spend so much time in there :o) Can't wait to see the rest of the home tour!

  16. Oh, wow, I am in love with this room! So warm and inviting. Looks like it was put together slowly over the years, not "decorated". Well done!

  17. Your style just speaks to me. I love that you surround yourselves with things you love, have collected and have a story! This is one fabulous room. I LOOOOOE the chest!!!! And, of course, Clive!!! Thanks so much for starting here in the sunroom. It may be my favorite but I will wait and see:):) xO, Pinky

  18. I really love this room! All the warm colors and textures make it feel like a really relaxed comfortable place to hang out. It's also got a really collected feel that I find really appealing. It's a beautiful space that I feel comes really naturally for you. It just sings! Bravo.

  19. Artie- The room is fabulous! I love all your layers and textures. And the drapes are suiting material? How perfect! You did such a nice job in here creating a warm, cozy spot. I miss the sunroom we had at our old house-it was long and narrow too and always a challenge to not make it look like soldiers marching along the walls!

    What a fun post! xo Diana

  20. As always, I love your decor. You always manage to pull off a warm, inviting, and interesting look.

  21. Your sunroom is exquisite - I am loving this tour! Thanks for your sweet comment on my post about home - isn't it sooo hard being away from a wonderful mother?! My mother is responsible for every good thing about me also and I enjoy her company, her wit, her wonderful mind, so it makes it so hard being away. Texas is too far away for you too. It sucks sometimes that we can't have all our blessings in one town...

    You are an amazing decorator- what a lovely layered and inviting room. I love to read the paper too, another old man habit, but I prefer my shelter mags. I don't even care if I no longer have anything to say at parties. I just drink and analyze the room in my head....

    I love the blonde kittens story!!! I love that description. That sounds like something I would do...always hauling something home. Like the quilt I bought in Paris which required a large duffle bag to be purchased the night before the flight...

    Cannot wait to see more.


  22. Well, what can I say, other than FABULOUS!!!!! OMG, I remember, oh so long ago, when you showed us this room and there were two chairs and a beautiful ottoman in there. I just loved it then, but this, and don't take this the wrong way, is SO MUCH BETTER! I think you've hit your stride with this house old boy, and I can't wait to see where we're going next. I vote for the living room - I'm dying to know about that old chest in the corner!

  23. Love.
    I could go on ... but, Love.

  24. Thank you for the inspiration as a result of the beautiful photographs.

    I now have placed a precious prayer rug over an ottoman in my library which adds a layer that I love. The carpet was formerly stored in a closet.

    The room I love the most because of literature now has a texture that matches my collection of books.


  25. Don't know how I found you but just want to compliment you on this beautiful, its warm, refined and elegant but uber inviting and cozy. Well done, the color palette is stunning!

  26. i love this room. it looks very warm, comfortable and cozy. like a good place to kick back. i think it needs the leather ottoman that is in my living room though. it would be perfect for this room.


  27. Hey Janet!
    Feel free to send it my way! :)

  28. Beautiful Artie. Your sofa looks great, did you make the slipcover?

  29. I really love that cabinet, Artie. I don't think I've ever seen it before.
    Very nice.

  30. I love everything you do.

  31. This room is just fabulous!!! You have definitely worked your magic here! Now I am off to Anthro to find that candle...I love the look of it!

  32. Fabulous Artie. I love seeing pics of the rooms in your house. Such character and mass appeal. You really are great at what you do.

  33. Love all your pillows...
    Is Clive wearing a loin cloth?

  34. I'd be right at home, here, too! Love all the wonderful textures and the way you mix pattern and color. VERY nice!

  35. Is there anything you can't do? Artie I'm so impressed by this. I remember this room from long ago, and you've really done good things here. Love the sofa and chair combo, and the television vignette looks fabulous. That cabinet - oh me oh my, would you let me know when you sell that?

  36. Great job. Love your house.

  37. Ok, so I want to know more about that trip to Russia, Artie. When did you go, where did you go, what did you buy?

    I also love this room, as all of these comments also confirm - you're one of a kind when it comes to blending gorgeous and unique objects in one space.


  38. WOAH! I love this room. When is the next movie starting? I'll bring the popcorn and diet coke!!

    Great space, totally you.

  39. Bright, beautiful, and boy do I wish I lived here.


  40. Lovely space. Could I bother you to tell me where you got the beautiful blue/green jar in the left corner of your television cabinet?


  41. A true delight Artie. I can tell I'm going to love this tour series on the blog - and since you asked, I'd like to see the dining room next. I know you did a lot of work in there, and we've never seen the room fully put together - so the dining room gets my vote!

  42. Well, what can I say? I've not seen this room in person - but I feel very welcome here. Not sure what it is - probably the sum of all its parts, but it's cozy and collected, and that's what I love.

    Thank you for brightening blog land with a creative and colorful room.

  43. Coffee - check
    Paper - check
    Good Morning America - check

    Yep, I'm home!

    Great work!

  44. Love it, Artie. Great job. My favorite part is the poster, such great color.


  45. Beautiful, Artie. Love your sunroom. I've never seen it before, so it's new to me, and I love it.

    Karen S.

  46. I love this room Artie. So nice and warm, inviting, and beautiful, too. So hard to achieve that - and you have ... harmony and balance.

  47. Way to go Artie, nice work. Are there any before photos?

  48. Beautiful Artie. Great job.


  49. OMG you guys are too cute...I can just picture you with your magazines and Scott with the paper, love it! This room is PERFECT. Wow, you did such beautiful job. Sharing on my FB page.


  50. Very cozy and comfy space. Love all Autumn colour scheme.
    Great job, Artie.

  51. I love how you created vignettes. They are beautiful.

  52. LOVE LOVE LOVE it Artie!! You have such beautiful pieces in here like that side table I WANT!! I have the same ginger jars as you too. You created such a warm and inviting space I just love everything about it! Martina

    PS- Thanks so much for paying me a visit:)

  53. This is one of ypur best posts ever! Loved reading every bit of it Artie. What a warm, cozy, meaningful room. I want it for myself! Speaking of wants, since mg last name is Beck, how about shipping that fab box to me, lol! I love it!! Again, great post and fabulous room!! :)

  54. Ps I changed my blog from Sofas & Sage to House and Home Defined. Wanted to make sure you knew it was me who loves your room so much!! Also, I agree with other comments that this seems so YOU.

  55. so u finally realized u could put the sofa on one end instead of on the long wall genius!!!! it looks like a totally new room - i would live in here - so cozy - it[s perfect. scott. u crack me up!!! u are so in love with him.

  56. This is awesome! I have been looking for Condo Enclosures .

  57. I really like this room! Especially the red and orange accents! I just bought this home decor jar and you gave me some inspiration on where to place it at!

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