Style-Smart Sunroom

Create a space you'll love coming home to every day. Combine refreshing colors, walls of windows, and easy-does-it decor.
Sara Anderson

Granted, fall may officially begin this month, but in Mississippi, it still gets darn hot, with air too thick and sluggish to rile itself into a breeze. But no matter how high the temperature spikes outside, it's always cool and relaxing inside the Vicksburg sunroom of designer Marianna Field and her husband, Louis. Through their windows, you can see glossy magnolias, flowerpots spilling with color, and patches of blue sky.

Comfort All Around
This light and airy space started out as a back porch, but Marianna wanted to bump up the home's square footage, so she walled it off with windows and whitewashed cypress boards. Once the 30-foot-long porch was fully enclosed, Marianna had a new, supersize sunroom that connects to her kitchen, formal living room, and deck.

Decorating with a color scheme of blue, red, green, and brown keeps the addition from clashing with the rest of the house and the lush landscape outdoors. Marianna created a dining area at one end of the room with a round table; high-backed, woven leather chairs; and a jeweled-out iron chandelier. The other half of the room invites you to put up your feet and relax. Settle into a cinnamon-colored suede sofa, a cushioned wicker chair, or a ladder-back bench made plush with felt pillows.

With so much cool comfort, it's easy to see why this stunning sunroom is now the most popular gathering spot in the house―all year-round. "At Christmastime, our grandchildren will be riding their tricycles around the table and playing with all their new toys in this room," says Marianna. "That's why it's so important to take the things that you have and the things that you love and create a home that your family loves to spend time in."

Take Away These Ideas

  •  Cool hues―The whitewashed walls and tinted blue ceiling give the room a light and fresh vibe. So do the rugs. "Two sea grass rugs in a large room means you don't have to worry about matching patterned rugs," says Marianna.
  • Amazing views―The windows reach all the way to the ceiling and because they have thin mullions and subtle trimwork, they hardly interrupt the view. Shady trees help keep the room cool during summer.
  • Old with new―Art and accessories in red, green, blue, and brown blend effortlessly with the nature outside. The recycled heart-pine floor adds classic character to the new addition.
  • Regional flair―On the countertop, a McCarty's pottery bowl from Merigold, Mississippi, serves as the bar sink.

"Style-Smart Sunroom" is from the September 2007 issue of Southern Living.