Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunroom Final Progress Report: Plants and Furnishings




Hello! I've spent the past week doing the fun part of making my new sunroom: beginning to fill it with plants and furnishings.

As you may recall from my earlier posts, it's long been my dream to have a conservatory or sunroom, a sunny room filled with lush, green plants in which I can try to forget that it's winter here in Iowa. In June, after much planning, my builder began work enclosing the front porch of my 1924 four-square farmhouse. The project was done by the end of the first week in August, when I had finished painting the interior and the floor. Here are the earlier posts about the sunroom planning and construction, if you missed them:

Winter Sunroom Dreams (last November)
Sunroom Progress Report #1 (June 29)
Sunroom Progress Report (Construction Finished!) (my last post)

I've moved some initial furnishings and plants into the space, although there will be more of both as we get closer to our first frost. I had most of the plants, furniture and plant stands already, so I didn't have to get much more, with the exception of the wicker sofa.

A tour of the (somewhat) finished project, starting at the sliding glass door end of the room:

Looking in the other direction from the first photo. At forefront is circular plant staging steps, with a small breakfast/tea table behind, and a shady corner next to the sliding glass door at the end of the room.


A closeup of the shady corner. I moved the Smurf terrarium that I made last winter to this
corner, so that it won't overheat, although I think I might look for a taller side table to put it on.
I found the tiered plant stand for $5 at the local Master Garden plant sale in May, and it looks
spiffed up after three coats of white paint.

In the middle of the room, on the other side of the small breakfast/tea table, are four quarter-round plant steps that I found at Aldi (my Absolute Favorite Store!) this spring for about a quarter of the price they're sold for online. I had long lusted over the Victorian wrought-iron versions of these found in decrepit English conservatories, but this new version is just fine. Note the Pineapple Plant with a baby pineapple fruit on top -- I found it at Walmart (of all places!) last week and simply had to have it after reading last winter about how it was to grow pineapples and citrus that conservatories (and indoor stove heating) were developed, and how exorbitantly expensive it was to raise them in Victorian England. Yet Walmart can now sell them to the masses (including lucky me!). What an amazing age we live in.

My favorite area of our new room: the comfy new sofa surrounded by larger plants. I had most of the plants already, but found the oversize Cat Palm and huge Macho Fern ($4!) that are behind the sofa for half off at Lowe's last week. And one of the things I miss most during our months of brown and straw-colored winter is green grass, so I found some putting green, indoor/outdoor carpet that's like a thick felt. It's washable and very soft underfoot -- both our son and our cat fell asleep on it the first evening that I rolled it out. :-)


As the weather starts to cool off next month, I'll begin bringing in some more of the many tropical and temperate potted plants like jasmine, hibiscus, pelargoniums, etc. that are outside on our patio (minus insects, with luck). Some of them I'll store in the basement under florescent lights like I do each winter, but some might look nice in here.

Also, I'll bring in a couple of the wicker chairs and the green porcelain garden stool that are currently outdoors, so that we can use the chairs at the breakfast/tea table and/or in the seating area. Even though it's been pretty warm in the room during the past week or so, I can't tell you how lovely it is to sit or lie on the sofa in there, surrounded by green, growing plants -- my Winter Garden. We're thinking of putting our Christmas tree in here this year -- won't it look lovely from outside, lit up by strands of twinkling lights through the windows?

I hope the room will stay warm enough for plants during the frigid temperatures of January and February -- the baseboard heater manufacturer assured me that the three units should be more than enough, even with all the windows, and we did have closed-cell foam insulation blown in to seal and insulate the floor, ceiling and walls under the windows. I guess we'll just have to wait and see....

Anyway, hope you are enjoying your late summer gardens in your part of the world. Thanks for reading! -Beth

21 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. I love what you did and I can see you sitting there enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and relaxing. I have often ask my Hubby to build our back porch in, but it gets too much sun and the heat would be horrible. Maybe next house.

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    1. Thanks, Betty -- I'm so glad you like the room. I hope your next house has the room you want. Thanks for reading! -Beth

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  2. Beth, I love your sunroom! You've furnished it beautifully and I know it will be very much enjoyed this fall and winter. Cooler days here now, enjoying them but it won't last. Gardening has gotten a lot easier at our place with the cooler temps and my attention to weeding early in the season has paid off. :)
    Hugs, Beth

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    1. Hi Beth (I hope this is you, as your account is called "unknown"?), Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm sure you're reaping the rewards for all your (and Ron's) hard work weeding, now that cooler days have arrived and you have a lovely garden to spend time in going into autumn. (Ours -- too many weeds....) Enjoy the transition! Thanks for stopping by, -Beth

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  3. A great place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Beautifully furnished, I love sitting between the plants.

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    1. Thanks, Janneke -- I agree, being able to sit amongst plants during wintertime is a great joy. I'm glad you like the room, and that you visited! -Beth

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  4. Wow, ich love this all-white room with the beautiful windows and the plants. Its a very cosy place to be.

    Greetings from Birgit

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    1. Thanks, Birgit - I'm so glad you like the room. Thanks for visiting! -Beth

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  5. Oh how wonderful, what fun you must have had making this such a beautiful space. The green floor covering was an inspired idea.

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    1. Thanks, Chloris -- I'm happy you like the green carpet. I hope it is an adequate substitute for green grass outside during our winters. Thanks for reading! Best, -Beth

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  6. So beautiful! I know you will enjoy this room all year! Love the tropical feel and all that light! Fabulous job!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sonia -- I'm glad you like the room. Thanks for stopping by! -Beth

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  7. Oh so happy for you! This will be the most used room in your home, what a gorgeous addition!

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    1. Hi Karen, Thanks so much for your nice words -- so glad glad you visited! -Beth

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  8. It is so gorgeous and very heartwarming and cozy! I love what you did! :)

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    1. I'm so glad you like it, Linda -- thanks so much for reading! Best, -Beth

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  9. Beth this is truly gorgeous!! You must be so excited to have this! The construction is beautifully done and it must have been so much fun getting it all furnished and set up with your lovely plant displays. I love the pineapple too! You are going to be so happy to have this during the winter...you are probably even looking forward to cold weather so you can see how it's all going to work out. Look forward to more posts on this lovely sunroom.
    - Kate xx

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