For many years I lived in a sweet little Arts and Crafts bungalow on a quiet street. I have many happy memories from my years there and lots of those memories are of time I spent on the sun porch. The sun porch there had previously been a small screened porch and at some point had been enclosed. It was on the front left corner of the house and gave me a view of my street and all of the activities each day. Along with lots of windows, it had a screen door leading to the front porch, a ceiling fan and a wonderful old daybed. I spent many hours there reading and napping.
So, fast-forward to the day when we decided that it was time to look for another old home that offered a little more room! There were many things on my wish list but at the top of the list was a sun porch. I just didn't want to live in a house without one. We spent two years looking at old houses and most of them didn’t have a sun porch, until finally we came across another old Arts and Crafts bungalow that was much larger, in the country and had an awesome sun porch! SOLD!!!
The sun porch was three times as large as the other one and it had huge windows on three sides that gave us great views of our yard. It had also been a screened porch for many years that was eventually enclosed with windows.
The walls are lapboards and the ceiling is the original bead-board, which I was very happy about. The original floor was replaced by a previous owner with ceramic tiles, some of which have the pattern of leaves taken from trees in the yard imprinted on them. There is also a screen door that leads to the front porch. All of these details provided me with a perfect canvas for my new sunroom! I will admit it has changed and evolved over the years we have lived here but I am very happy with it now!
I anchored the room with a sofa with a white slipcover made from drop cloths that can be easily washed; which is a good thing because we have three dogs. I found an ugly couch a few years ago at an estate sale for a great price. I knew a slipcover was just the facelift it needed. We loaded the sofa in the truck and took it straight to an upholstery shop to have the slipcover made to fit it. I made the right choice that day because it turned out to be just the sofa I was looking for!
Along with the sofa, in the sitting area I have a white upholstered chair with thin dark blue stripes as well as a few “chippy” white tables. I also have a small painted buffet that the television sits on.
At the other end of the room there is an antique English buffet and an old round oak pedestal table that belonged to my family. Fortunately, Mr. Blue is very handy and he made a pair of lamps for me from “chippy” porch spindles that I have placed on the buffet with a group of old books in the middle. The books are kept standing with the aid of a pair of gorgeous bookends that Mr. Blue also built. He made them from two of the feet from an old claw-foot bathtub and some “chippy” wood and when he put them together they equaled perfection as far as I was concerned! My mother purchased the pedestal table when I was very young. I have a slight memory of being at a junk shop with her, and looking at the table. The tabletop was covered in green linoleum and there was a bare light bulb hanging over it. She ask the man at the shop if she could peel some of the linoleum back to see the condition of the table top underneath and he told her no but she took a chance and bought the table anyway and as it turned out the table was in good shape and once it was refinished, it was beautiful. Many Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners have been served at that old table.
At the far end of the room I have a wonderful old church pew that I found at an estate sale in Fort Deposit, Al a few years ago. It was sitting on the front porch of the house and because everyone was being directed to enter the sale through the back, no one had seemed to notice it! I asked if it was for sale and the price, when both replies were favorable I told Mr. Blue to pay for it and let’s get it loaded on the back of the truck before anyone else noticed it. As usual, when we got home we realized that it needed a little repair work so Mr. Blue came to the rescue again and made it like new! I love all of the details on it. Each end panel has a small plaque with a number on it; one of them is 5 and the other is 24. The designs at each end of the pew are beautiful and also my favorite part of it. I thought about painting the pew or restaining it but I have decided to leave it just like I found it!
One of my all-time favorite finds is the old, “chippy” pair of shutters on either side of the back windows. I don't know what I like more, the shutters, or the story of how I got them! Several years back I was waiting one day to pick my son up from the bus stop after school. There was an old house across the street and I noticed a man getting the house ready to be painted. He was taking the shutters off of the house and putting them on the curb to be picked up on trash day. It didn't take me long at all to realize that I had to go and rescue them. I went and asked him if I could have them since he was throwing them away. His response to me was “you can have them but I don’t know why anyone would want them.” Can you imagine!? So I didn’t waste a minute collecting them! At the time I had a small Honda but fortunately the backseat would fold down. I filled the car with as many shutters as I could possibly fit, but there were shutters still lying on the curb. I told the man that I lived just down the street and I was going to drop the shutters off at my home and come back immediately to get the remainder of them. I asked him to not let anyone else take them! He once again responded “I don’t know why anyone would want them.” Really!? By this time, my son was getting off the bus and realized, much to his embarrassment, that his mother was at it again!! He may have seen me a few other times in his life taking things off of the curb but I can’t imagine why it would bother him! Anyway, I took the shutters home, unloaded them and went back for the other load. When I got back the man said someone had stopped and offered him money for the rest of them but he wouldn’t take it because he had already given them to me. That just gives you warm “fuzzies” doesn’t it!! So I went home with a total of twelve of the shutters and a great big smile on my face!! I still have them and I have used them in lots of ways and I am forever appreciative to the man who kept his word that day and saved the shutters for me!
As far as the decorative details in the room I have a few things I really enjoy. There is a beautiful cathedral clock with bluebirds painted on the reverse side of the glass. It is another wonderful estate sale find. I also have a couple of needlework pieces that I love and a pastel drawing of white Cahaba lilies that I also found at an estate sale. My favorite find is a signed print of a magnolia blossom with a “chippy” green frame done in 1934 by Ethelyn C. Stewart. The title of it is Magnolias. I looked at for a long time in a thrift store but it was more than I wanted to pay so I passed on it until one day when I went into the thrift store and all of the pictures were half price. There was nothing to think about then, I paid for it and brought it to its new home on the sun porch and I have enjoyed it ever since. I also have a small collection of blue and white enamel pans that I hung on the wall on an impulse one day and I liked them so much that I have left them there.
Needless to say, we spend most of our time at home on the sun porch, the views are great, it’s very comfortable and it is also the perfect place to read and nap!