Dreaming of A Sunroom.


Interior Design by Spazio Rosso // Photograph by Keller & Keller // Originally published by Boston Home

I know I JUST finished a MAJOR renovation and addition but I can’t help but dream about phase three- much less daunting and expensive (but still expensive, you know what I mean), we hope to turn our sunroom into a family room. We spend SO much time out there in warmer months and really want to have that space to be the place we watch TV and hang out.  This would leave our current living room as a more formal space OR we could turn it into a big formal dining room, which we don’t have.

My number one wish for this space is to vault the ceilings and use reclaimed wood beams.  I have dreamt of a space like this FOREVER.  If I can add skylights in there too then WOO HOO.


The second thing we want to do is turn our fireplace into a two sided one so it faces both the living room and family room.


And tons and tons of windows!!!!


This space has the feel I’m shooting for.


Here is our current first floor plan so you can get an idea for where it is and the flow.
Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 3.41.53 PM

You’ve seen what it looks like now in my book- totally not useable in the winter or any cold months as there is no heat and with sliding doors and screens that NEED to go (one screen has a big Oliver-shaped hole in it…)


Image by Michael Partenio

This is the back of my living room fireplace, which would be the other side of the two-sided gas fireplace.

Erin Gates Newton_191

Image by Michael Partenio

Here’s a SUPER DUPER rough sketch of my thoughts on the space- we’d knock it down and rebuild about 3-4′ deeper and about 4′ wider, turning one of my living windows into a french door to match the existing one on the other side.

Here’s my little idea board for this space, basically just a major upgrade to what we have there already!
sunroom copy

1. Reclaimed beam ceiling and shiplap/ tongue and groove walls and ceilings.

2. Built in tall narrow wood stack nooks flanking the fireplace (even though said fireplace will not use wood…)

3. Oval window on far wall above wall of windows for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

4. I still love my Peter Dunham Fig Leaf pillows so I would keep them. A classic pattern.

5. Fuzzy, big taupe fur pillows.

6. Ceiling fixture (I love this one and have used it for a couple clients and now want one of my own!)

7. Reclaimed beam mantle for above fireplace.

8.  Tufted leather ottoman.

9. Etched brass tray for ottoman.

10. White, super comfy slipcovered sofa.

11. Side tables.

12. Woven modern chair.

13. Area rug.

14. Glass lamps for side tables.

15. Sheepskin for woven chair (too make it more cozy).

16. Herringbone wood floors stained to match current floors.

17. Spindle chair cushion fabric.

18. Spindle chair in white.



  1. That room is going to be gorgeous. I would most definitely die for herringbone floors. I’m curious though, if the fireplace isn’t going to burn wood, why the wood tower? I like the look but am confused.

  2. Looks beautiful, Erin! I would just caution you to make sure the heating/cooling/insulation plans are well thought out with all those great windows and doors and that vaulted ceiling. I live nearby and have a windowed sunroom with a vaulted ceiling that is terrarium-like in the summer with all the sun coming in and difficult to heat in the winter. Granted, it’s a room that I can shut off from the rest of the house (as opposed to being completely integrated as yours would be) and it only has one baseboard gas heater and no A/C, but it is still difficult to regulate. The gas fireplace is a great call – we have one in our family room and it works beautifully and is so convenient – especially with the winter we’ve just had, and apparently will never get rid of! Good luck with the plans – can’t wait to see it come to fruition!

    1. This will be new construction ( so good insulation and all new windows and doors) and heated and cooled with the same central air system the rest of the house is on!

  3. Looks like a great plan! Good call to put in new windows. Our enclosed sun porch has the original 1920 windows on three walls, and it gets really chilly in there on the coldest winter days (which fortunately we do not have too many of in the deep South). I have not found that the room gets hot in the summertime, though, thankfully. If this is your main tv watching space, I would make sure it is a very cozy space as opposed to being “sun room-like” with wicker furniture, like in the first picture. I wouldn’t want to hang out in that space to watch tv on a cold winter’s night, I don’t think.

  4. YEAY!!! You showed us one of your sketches. – I love it. Thanks for sharing your drawing with us!!!! As an architect myself, I love to see other’s sketches and process drawings, no matter how preliminary.

  5. I hope you plan to incorporate the Moravian Star I see peeking out in the corner of 7th picture….or perhaps a clear beveled glass one. We have a Bethlehem star in our foyer and love it and the light it gives off.

  6. My parents had double sided fireplaces in two of the houses they built. As I recall, one was a gas fireplace and the second, wood burning . Both were great. You really need the extra space especially if your baby dreams come true (some place to stash the enormous pile of toys). But a white sofa when you have a black sofa loving dog? No doubt you’re very very experienced in brushing up dog hair. I tried training our black and white cat (had me coming and going with that combo) to nap on her own special little pillow. Not so much. We could only sit on our sofa in slick fabrics that cat hair didn’t cling to. #hairycatpants

    1. Our beagle shed terribly. Our furniture was a mess. Now we have a non-shedder. I believe Oliver and Baxter are non-shredders too. I loved my beagle enormously but I’ll never have another shedding dog.

      1. Yes our boys don’t shed. And the thing about white denim slip covered sofas is you can wash and bleach them, unlike other color fabrics. So when it comes to dirt, white is actually the easiest to clean up!

  7. Hi Erin! i really enjoyed this post. You’re one of the most consistent bloggers out there, and I admire that you show up every day with something to share. I would love it if you could add more like this one into the rotation – I miss seeing what you’re up to with personal and client projects. I know they can sometimes be proprietary, but give us little sneak peeks when you can!

    1. I love this blog ,great to see the layout of your house,I have spent ages looking at the images in your book trying to work out how all the rooms flow.

  8. Wouldn’t a sunroom need all Sunbrella fabrics on the furniture? The only reason I ask is because my 2yr old spool chair is already fading. I see some reupholstry in my future.

  9. Sounds like a great plan. I’d nix the skylight idea. Sometimes you just want to close the blinds, shades, drapes, etc. and take a nap. Skylights don’t really allow for one of those days.

    1. You can have automated shades put in- my parents have them and they are great. We may not do them though, due to budget (when and if this ever happens!)

  10. What are you guys planning to do with your basement? Is that usable at all? Seriously you guys are geniuses at maximizing your space in this house! I cannot wait to do the same to a home one day.

      1. I love your blog and I can’t wait for your basement plans. Or an ongoing basement series of posts. :)

  11. Hi Erin –

    Would love to know your plan for window treatments (if any). We have a home with a very similar layout and use our sunroom as a family room with TV. The room has windows on three sides and two double french doors into the living room. The problem we run into is SERIOUS glare on the TV. Does the UV coating solve that?

    Looks great!

      1. We had woven wood romans on some massively wide bedroom windows. My recommendation is to keep them small/narrow in width (and use many) rather than only using a few large/wide ones…they can get REALLY heavy and then come undone (where they’re supposed to gather up) after lots of use. They looked beautiful and natural, and we loved them!

  12. Laughed out loud when I read that your thoughts started with “knock it down and rebuild it” – I find myself saying that very thing to my husband about parts of our house all the time : ) As a designer, it’s just so hard not to think big when you can so easily envision how amazing a space could be…. with a just a little major construction. Love your work and so look forward to watching this project when you and Andrew are able to bear more renovations!

    1. Well this room is in rough shape, a lot of the wood rotted. So we will just rip it down and hopefully just be able to widen the concrete slab it’s on and rebuild on top (I hope!) with all the heating/ air ducts up higher on the walls. But we shall see! It’s never that easy!!!!

  13. Can you tell me where you purchased the beautiful table shown on the back wall of your living room fireplace?

  14. What will you do for window treatments? I have a similar room with tired vertical blinds that need to be replaced and don’t know what direction to go. I want something unobtrusive. Just curious what your choice will be.

  15. beautiful! what’s the source for the rug you currently have in your sunroom? also, would be interested in your thought re: best fabric for shedding dogs. thanks!

  16. Gorgeous! I too have been dreaming of a room where I can soak up some sun, even if it’s too cold to enjoy the outside. As a gardener I would say consider some evergreen shrubs/plantings bordering the room. It makes such a difference to be able to look out & see something green throughout the cold months!

  17. I love seeing your renovations. I’m ready for you to start now, too! The sunroom would be lovely. I like how you have an answer and solution to anything that may be a challenge.

  18. gorgeous! just curious – would Williams Sonoma cover their furniture for you with your custom fabric if you sent them the fabric ahead of time or were you planning on reupholstering on your own after it arrived? love your plans and love your rough drawing! it’s actually great. :)

  19. I am in love with sun rooms. We actually did one in a showhouse last year and it was my favorite room we’ve ever designed. I feel like its such a luxury to have on in a house and you’re very lucky to have a plan for one if phase two or your design plan (phase one was amaze fyi). I’ve been a follower for a while and this is my first time posting :) Have a great day! xMissy

    1. Simply stunning Erin, love it!!
      Sunrooms are not huge here in Australia (although I’m in Melbourne and it’s more often cooler than warmer) but I do love the idea of a nice break out space to enjoy the warmth of sun through windows or cozy up in front of the fire in winter. We’ve had lots of Theatre/Media rooms incorporated in to our home designs of late, it would be so refreshing to see a shift back to the sunroom.
      Like Missy I’ve been following for a little while and have just finished reading your book. Am really inspired by your style and love receiving your blogs each week. Thanks for brightening my day :) xx

  20. Love it all and I think you are definitely on the right track. Just a little FYI, I just purchased a bobbin chair from Ethan Allen and they have all kinds of fabric choices and wood choices. I just wanted a black frame and white upholstery, but if you want a variety I found their construction and prices the best around. I hope you get to do this, it is a great plan. What a wonderful home you and Andrew are creating, you will be able to live here for many, many years. Thanks for including us in your plans and I totally agree about the white slipcovers, the easiest thing in the world to keep clean. I am sold!!

  21. Please continue to blog about this transformation! This sounds lovely. I’d caution somewhat against skylights; I’ve yet to see one that doesn’t have some kind of issue with leaking or trim wood rotting, mine included. Mine were installed 15 years ago, very good quality, but I’m sure there have been advances in the interim. Just a thought ;)

  22. I just purchased your book
    i love it.
    Never heard of you before….but now i’m a big FAN!!

    Just basically read almost the whole thing..i think you’re very funny
    Curious as to who made your LR sofa.? that took 3 attempts…or several attempts to get right
    i am very interested in the sectional. it would be perfect in my new condo in FLORIDA!!!
    Thank you !

  23. Loving the light-filled space that you featured! I’m not seeing the link or credit for the first photo – can you provide that? Thanks!

  24. All your ideas, as aways, are amazing! We have a lovely sunroom (vaulted ceilings and all) that basally sold us on buying our home, but as you mentioned, in the cold months, it’s TERRIBLE!!! Apparently it’s original intention was to be a hot tub room (WHAT??!) Desperate to install either a wood burning stove, or radiant heat…Can’t wait to see this new project!

  25. Great post, Erin. I have long been obsessed with the Bungalow 5 side table, in a darker stain, as nightstands in my bedroom. The $900 price tag is too steep for me though – so I’m in the midst of attempting an Ikea hack with the Rast dresser. I am so not a DIYer but we will see how it turns out!

  26. Hi Erin,
    Great post today…… I just love your choices in furnishings and accessories! The white painted brick exposed walls and fireplaces are speaking my language!

  27. Love these sunroom inspirations! We have one in our master suite that is still open and naked. It’s on my to-do list. They are such great spaces to have and you want to utilize them to the fullest given how gorgeous they are. I really love your plans!! Thanks for sharing :) -Meg

  28. I’ve always loved your current sunroom and your new plan is even more beautiful. I have those same fig pillows and I’m now scratching my head trying to use your design as inspiration for an update to my master bedroom. I think it is the warmth and textures that appeals to me most. Off to find bedroom furniture sources that can help pull this off! Thanks for the inspiration

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