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Welcome to our library sunroom! After months and months of planning, waiting, and working, I am excited to finally start sharing the finished spaces of our home. The slightly ironic thing is that our library sunroom, our first finished room, doesn’t actually look like this anymore.
The goal for this space was to be a cozy, multipurpose room, and I guess it’s living up to its (multi)purpose. Since moving in 2 months ago, we are still figuring out how the space best works for us. Even when you build a house you think you know how it’s all going to flow because you think about the house for months and even years, and maybe the process worked better for other people, but for us, there were definitely a few surprises of, “Oh wait, I don’t think I like that…”
But this is not a post about regrets or mistakes – it’s a celebration post! Because even though there are still many unfinished things in this house, we have a room that feels finished.
So as of now, this library sunroom is actually a library/sunroom/dining room. I think that could be another reveal to show how we’ve squeezed out different purposes in one room, but for today, I’ll go through with the original reveal and show you how we used this space as the coziest reading room.
Come on in!
We have an open floor plan, so our goal was to create a cozy, private space on the main level where you could go when you needed to shut the doors (and sometimes shut the people out).
I’ve always dreamt of having a room with lots of windows where you could go and curl up with a good book in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. I like to think we achieved this by combining the best elements of a classic library with the warmth of a sunroom.
So of course, lots of windows were a must. Providence House Design squeezed about as many as they could on the 2 exterior walls. I added the simple grid to add a little more character.
I am beyond thankful for our views. Building on the side of a hill was an interesting and expensive process and not one I’m sure I want to do again, BUT the location and views were why we bought this land, and fortunately, they don’t disappoint. It’s especially breathtaking now in the fall, and when the light hits just right, it looks like a painting.
Though admittedly these French doors don’t provide much of a sound barrier, it was important for me to maximize the light as much as possible. As you can see, this room gets gorgeous morning light and it’s perfect for sipping my morning cup of coffee.
Now, for the library part of the room.
These bookcases are one of my favorite second-hand finds ever. We debated doing custom shelving in here, but we didn’t really want to spend the money, plus, we weren’t 100% sure how we wanted to use the space, and built-in bookcases really commit you to a certain layout, both financially and spatially.
I found this set of then white and chippy bookcases at a furniture thrift store and painted them Sage Green by Sherwin Williams, which ties in very nicely with the sage green rug. I’m thrilled with their addition to the room! They add character and the book storage we need, and I’ll admit, I love saving money. But who doesn’t?!
Sometimes the money-saving choice makes you feel like you’re sacrificing on design. And sure, a professional interior designer may say that filling the whole wall and bringing them to the ceiling would make them look more built-in and therefore the room would be taller, better, more expensive, etc…but I’m not a professional designer and this isn’t an interior design blog, so I don’t have to follow the design rules. 🙂 (But I hope I give you lots of inspo!)
Because the bookcases draw your eye to this wall, I switched out the white wall vent for this ornate aluminum floor vent and spray painted it gold/brass so it would flow better with the other gold accents in the room, like the chandelier.
These bookcases, though styled, are filled with books we actually read. I made sure to include meaningful reminders too – my mom painted the landscape picture under the battery-operated picture light!
Other things I love are the French books I found at an antique store in Iowa (of all places), the brass horse I found at a flea market in Rhode Island, and various pictures from my travels in Europe.
This couch is massive, about the width of a twin-size bed, but it’s probably my favorite furniture piece we own. It’s so deep and comfortable – the most perfect thing for cuddling and reading. What’s even better is that I’ve managed to keep it clean(ish) despite having two boys because it’s slipcovered – meaning you can strip it down and completely wash everything. We’ve had to do that numerous times, but in my opinion, so worth it.
We wanted a space that was not only cozy, but also filled with natural light and surrounded by the beauty of nature. We wanted our reading nook to be a retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life, a place where we could relax and unwind. Whether we’re enjoying a hot beverage or diving into a new novel, this space brings us joy and a sense of togetherness.
But after living with it for several weeks, we realized that the space had the potential to serve multiple purposes. We wanted to create a space that not only encouraged reading and relaxation but also allowed for social gatherings and formal family meals.
So we decided to combine the best elements of our library (bookcase, cozy seating) with the function of a dining room, creating a versatile space that could accommodate both our love for books and our love for togetherness. The result is a library/sunroom/dining room combo that is functional and inviting. It may not look like a traditional sunroom, but it suits our needs…for now!
Another thing I wanted to do with each reveal was to show a non-staged version. Because as I’m sure you guessed, no, I don’t usually have a giant branch in the middle of our room!
So, when it’s not messy, here’s what the room looks like for the majority of the time.
Simple, but still good.
Stay tuned for the dining room sunroom combo reveal while we put on the finishing touches! In the meantime, you can read Our Living Room: Progress Pictures & Plaster Fireplace