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Our Grand Rapids Madison Ave. Sunroom, Four Different Ways

We've been spending a LOT of time in our sunroom since quarantine kicked in. Like, a LOT. We definitely used this room before, but never as much as we have in the last five weeks! Believe me, I won't say I'm mad about it.

Our house faces East, so while our front porch is ideal for sunny morning and midday sits, our sunroom, which is off the back of our house and faces West, is the best spot for hanging out post 2:00pm—allllllll the rays, baby!

While I was sitting out here this afternoon, I thought about the many versions of this room over the almost six years we've lived here. And so today, to help bring a little more SUNSHINE into your life, I'm bringing you a roundup of our sunny sunroom variations here!

One room, four ways. Let's go!

Version 1: Bright & Airy

First up, the first version! This little setup included a Wayfair rocking chair, purchased on facebook marketplace, a live edge bench/coffee table centered on a grey shag rug, and a fun little pouf in a textured boho fabric.

As this was almost six years ago, GREY was in it's heyday, which is probably why I went that route. The bright white, pooling curtains make for a beachy vibe, and of course, a pop of green with a potted fern.

I was super proud of this little space at the time! I shot the photos myself, and it was one of the very first spaces (in addition to our living room) that I put up on my website. At this point, I don't even know if I had officially launched the business...crazy!!

Version 2: Staged to Sell

Next up: staged to sell! Late summer of 2018, we were making some big life-transition decisions, and selling our beloved home was on the table. If you know anything about staging, you know less is more, so I made some minimal changes to make the space cute while appealing to the masses.

I snagged the octagon coffee table from good ole' Homegoods, and the striped beige and white curtains brought in a little more warmth. The boho rug was a gift from my parents, which had lived in other spaces of the house previously.

I also swapped out the grey pillows for minty green ones, softening up the room and bringing in just a little color. Finally, I popped a few vintage books on the table, added some greenery, and we were good to go!

Luckily, our plans changed, and we've had the joy of spending many more a sunny day in this adorable little space!

(Photo Credit: Alyssa Wager)

Version 3: Sunny Office Setup

This version of our sunroom is one of my favorites because, well, it's just so different!! You might know that I have a side hustle——building Wix websites for service-based businesses.

This version of our sunroom was set up in order to stage a photoshoot for that company, since we needed images geared toward smaller, work-from-home businesses.

This was such fun for me because I LITERALLY spent less than an hour emptying, filling, rearranging and putting together this space. It was a fun challenge in resourcefulness, for sure!

Chairs and desk were from my office, the rug I purchased for the sunroom, but it wasn't my fave, so I ended up returning it, and the oversized leaning whiteboard was from Larry's office.

The light grey pillows and lumbar were from our guest room, and a fun last-minute add was popping the grey textured throw over top the daybed mattress to give it some texture. Finally, I snagged plants from around the house, and voila! A sunny little home office :)

Version 4: Bring in the Ferns!

Last up, we have our sunroom's current state! And of course, since we are in quarantine, I don't have dreamy Alyssa Wagner quality bear with me!

At the end of last summer, I learned from a friend that you can bring Boston Ferns inside during the winter—WHO KNEW!? I was pumped because we had two huge, healthy, BEAUTIFUL ferns, and who wants to let a plant baby go to waste?

Apparently, all you need to do is spray them down with neem oil before bringing them inside, and they are good to go (if there are any green thumbs out there—feel free to weigh in!).

Anyhow, these gave us much-needed greenery all winter long, and since our porch has heated floors, they did alright for the most part! They definitely aren't as full as they were at the end of the summer, but I'm hoping once we move them back outside, they'll plump back up!

We also moved our bistro set in here, which, too, has lived in other places throughout our home, including our master bedroom, guest bedroom, and front porch. The gold mirror brings in a little extra warmth and reflects the outdoors, making the space feel bigger and brighter.

We also added a bench to the right of the back door. You can just barely see the edge of it popping into the last photo...I didn't photograph it because it's full of dirty shoes and doggy things), which is super practical and gives us some storage for Ruby stuff (aka POOP BAGS) and functional seating for popping shoes on and off.

While aesthetically there's more I want to do in this room, functionally, the setup is SUPER ideal right now! I'm always balancing those two worlds: function and beauty. And right now, we're using this room a TON.

DESIGN TIP: a sign that a room is well-designed for the function you want it to carry out is whether or not you find yourself using the room. If you have a space in your house that is going unused, it may be a matter rethinking how you intended to use it and then swapping out a few items that would make that function easier to carry out.

For example, this season, we've found ourselves eating dinner and lunch out here all the time, in addition to drinking a beer or cocktail in the evening; we couldn't do that before because there wasn't a table!

In addition, the rocking chair that was in here before, while cute, was extremely uncomfortable, so I never sat in it. The new chairs are much easier to sit in. Lastly, the positioning of the table is also ideal because it gives you the best possible view outside, which, of course, is why you spend time in a sunroom!!

The Wrap Up

While I'm as guilty as any of getting into bouts of discontentment with my spaces, I'm getting better at letting this whole HOME thing be an ongoing creative process rather than a solid plan with an end goal.

Plans with end goals work well when designing for our full-service clients—who typically have the budgets to do a completed space all at once—but if you're pulling together your spaces on your own over time and without enlisting the help of a professional, learn a lesson from my own experience, and enjoy the process!

A few ideas to help you get creative in your space:

  • Get playful! Move things around just for the sake of seeing what happens—sometimes you stumble on an interesting new concept!

  • Pull random pieces of decor, furniture, or artwork from other rooms in your home. This breathes new life into the pieces and often creates fun combinations you may not have thought about!

  • Is there something that constantly irritates you? For example, are you always tripping over that basket, or hitting your knee on that piece of furniture? That's a GREAT sign that you need to make some tweaks to your space!

  • Take everything out. When I'm reworking a space, I like to start with a blank slate! While I might pull some of the staples back into the room, I prefer to move everything out before I begin to allow my brain to think about the room without staring at it in its current setup.

Well, that was fun! I hope you found it helpful and at least a little entertaining! And now? Time for a sunny nap on the porch with my best girl Ruby.




Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design

LFID is a full-service interior design firm serving West and Southeast Michigan known especially for our Designed in a Day service.

We work with clients from Detroit to Novi to Clarkston, and Grand Rapids to Holland to Traverse City—and anywhere in between! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!

If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us about your vision here, and you can view past projects here. Thanks for stopping by!


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