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Before & After: Fresh Paint and New Scandinavian Style for a Sunroom

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Before & After: Fresh Paint and New Scandinavian Style for a Sunroom

July 31, 2017

After buying an early Edwardian home 10 months ago in Chatham, Kent outside London (about a 40-minute train ride away), interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley started “slowly working my way through the house renovating it.” One of her first dilemmas was to decide what to do with a sunroom attached to the newer part of the house.

The challenge: “We will most likely knock down the room if we decide to extend our kitchen later,” says Grant-Riley, “so I wanted to give the space a purpose so we can enjoy it for now. It’s a bit of an awkward room to look at the dimensions and I know that these almost temporary,  lean-to style outdoor rooms are quite a common thing here in the UK.”

The solution: New paint and new furnishings were enough to give the “tired little sunroom” a new life and a modern Scandinavian-style look, says Grant-Riley, who documented the project on her blog, Curate and Display.

Let’s take a tour:

Photography by Tiffany Grant-Riley.

The wall paint color is Sleeping Inn for masonry by Valspar. After priming wood surfaces with Ultra Grip white primer, Dulux Trade, the black surfaces are painted in Village Smithy (Wdata-src=
Above: The wall paint color is Sleeping Inn for masonry by Valspar. After priming wood surfaces with Ultra Grip white primer, Dulux Trade, the black surfaces are painted in Village Smithy (W1C) in premium eggshell for wood and metal by Valspar.
A potted calamondin orange tree (a hybrid between a mandarin orange tree and a kumquat tree) produces fruit year-round. Recently pruned (&#8
Above: A potted calamondin orange tree (a hybrid between a mandarin orange tree and a kumquat tree) produces fruit year-round. Recently pruned (“it was starting to look a bit leggy,” says Grant-Riley), the plant is growing vigorously.

The secret to getting an indoor citrus tree to bear fruit? “I don’t over water it, sometimes to a point where the soil is dry and leaves start to wilt, which forces it to bloom,” says Grant-Riley. “The flowers carry the most heavenly, heady scent and then most of them go on to bear small fruit. These can be eaten once yellow or orange in color or used in various dishes, but are pretty sour.

“If you don’t remove the fruit, they’ll stay on the plant for a long time unless the plant is unhappy,” she says. “I prefer to remove the fruit after a while to let the plant know it needs to produce more.”

Grant-Riley recommends feeding with a liquid fertilizer formulated for citrus trees, which she applies every couple of weeks during spring and summer months and once a month during winter.

Before

 Grant-Riley did all the sanding, prepping, and painting herself. &#8
Above: Grant-Riley did all the sanding, prepping, and painting herself. “I did it around work and family life— most evenings I was in here sweating away,” she says.
The project, completed in June, took about two months to complete.
Above: The project, completed in June, took about two months to complete.

After

The sunroom faces southwest and gets full sunlight all day long.
Above: The sunroom faces southwest and gets full sunlight all day long.

“It’s never dark in here although it’s freezing in the winter so I’ve taken to swapping round the plants that can tolerate colder climates during this season,” says Grant-Riley.

Riley placed a potted Areca palm in the back of the room to create a green backdrop.
Above: Riley placed a potted Areca palm in the back of the room to create a green backdrop.

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Above: A 12-light chain of Stråla LED Light Chain LED string lights is $34.99 from Ikea.
A black Normann Copenhagen Block Table is $308. The framed abstract print is by artist Alicia Galer.
Above: A black Normann Copenhagen Block Table is $308. The framed abstract print is by artist Alicia Galer.
“I actually left the floor because I like the way it looks worn in places,” says Grant-Riley.

&#8
Above: “This is a variety of Mistletoe Cactus or Rhipsalis Pilocarpa and is an offshoot from my friend Judith De Graaff’s plant (she’s co-founder of Urban Jungle Bloggers). She saw how much I loved hers, so grew it at home in Paris before bringing it to me on a trip to Antwerp. Technically it’s smuggled!” says Grant-Riley.

A soft cactus which grows in chains, Mistletoe Cactus actually prefers shade and a little moisture. “In its native environment is grows in cracks in rocks and at the foot of trees,” says Grant-Riley. “I water it sporadically from the saucer under the plant so it can take what it needs, and give it the occasional misting as it likes humidity.”

N.B.: See more of our favorite Before & After makeovers:

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