It’s Summer in My Sunroom–Come On In!

Julia and Maizie in the sunroom summer 2012

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my sunroom, and I realized I haven’t posted any photos since it was decorated for Christmas. Time flies! It looks a lot different in the summer when everything outside the windows is green. When I’m not working out here on my laptop or reading a book with my pup Maizie curled up next to me, it’s a great spot for entertaining. So come on in, have a drink, and relax!

Maizie in sunroom summer 12

It’s fun to gather things from all over the house for a party. I search out anything in yellow, green, and white, and play around with it to see what I can use.

green and yellow table in sunroom 11

Daisies are my favorite flowers. I grow them in the yard and like to have them in as many rooms of my house as possible. They just make me happy!

plants in yellow basket 2

We love strawberries around here. And strawberry shortcake (we put chocolate chips in ours and eat it with chocolate-chip ice cream–yum).

red strawberries in yellow bowl sunroom

shandy in the sunroom

I spotted this sweet little strawberry in an antiques store and couldn’t resist it:

strawberries and lemons on sunroom table

Glad I got a photo of it because it got knocked off the table soon after and the sweet little leaf lid got chipped. Sadness.

green and yellow table in sunroom 7

dining table in sunroom

I recently heard from a major design website that they wanted to feature my sunroom. I was pretty excited about it until they sent me the link to the post and I realized they had used THE BEFORE PHOTOS of how it looked right after it was built. You know, when we were still using the odds and ends from our basement to furnish it.

And they asked their readers to rate my decorating style. I was so embarrassed. I mean, I was still using metal folding chairs…

sunroom summer 2012

I clipped some branches from the butterfly bush in our side yard for my milk glass vase:

wicker chair sunroom 2

Almost the minute I bought the green zig-zaggy pillows for my IKEA sofa, I started hearing that chevron is “out.” But that happy pattern still makes me smile when I see it out here. I’ve never been good at keeping up with trends anyway.

Ektorp sofa sunroom 2


pink lemonade in the sunroom

I love lemonade in the summer–especially when it’s pink.

Ektorp sofa in the sunroom 6

I get a lot of questions about my Ektorp sofa from people wondering how it’s holding up after the first year. The white slipcovers aren’t low maintenance, I’ll say that, but not because of stains (I’ve only had to wash them once).

It’s because it attracts lint and dog hair like a magnet. I go over it with a sticky roller brush every couple of weeks. But heaven help you if you, say, have a Christmas party and everyone sits on the couch in their fuzzy sweaters! They’ll leave half of them on the couch.

It’s still very comfortable, but I’ve heard from some readers who have one and said their cushions are rock hard. I did buy the matching chairs for my bedroom and they’re not nearly as soft as the sofa.

wide shot of sunroom in the summer

This is the most relaxed room of the house. The perfect napping spot. I have a hard time sitting on the sofa for more than 10 minutes without nodding off. I can’t seem to finish a novel in here to save my life.

daisies lemons and bird on sunroom table

Thanks for stopping by and sitting a spell in my sunroom! Visit “My House” to see more.

Julia-simple teal signature

P.S. Here’s how my sunroom looked…

When I saw the outside of this shingled Gambrel-style cottage for sale in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, I thought it looked charming. What I didn't expect…
Magnolia Pearl Ranch for sale in Texas 4
You might not recognize it by name, but if you read as many shelter mags and blogs as I do, I bet Magnolia Pearl Ranch…

See More


  1. says

    Julia, I love your room! And it’s not just the stuff in there, the view is just as stunning. Have fun there!

    And now I’m gonna get myself some strawberries 😀

  2. says

    I am so jealous of your beautiful sunroom. And I can’t believe your absolutely adorable and drool worthy settings.

    A quick note on the problem of doggy hair — using a lint roller will make it worse because the adhesive from the roller will get on the slip cover, making it more sticky. It’s a bit more labor intensive but lint brush might be the way to go.

  3. Stacey in Michigan says

    I hope chevron isn’t “out”! I just ordered two yellow/white from Etsy! Lovely room, by the way!

  4. says

    Very very pretty! I love that about the white Ikea sofas..loveseats. can change the whole look w/ simple accessories..I find this very much reflects you.

  5. says

    Julia: Long time reader of your blog and enjoy it so much. As for a sunroom, I would love to have one in any state, unfinished, finished! Your sunroom is so well done, nice,.

  6. Marisa says

    So inviting. Thank you for letting us in for a glimpse of this peaceful haven.

  7. says

    It’s a lovely, lovely room! I can’t imagine staying awake long either… it looks pretty comfy in there 😉 What a heart breaker about the magazine. Ouch :( Maybe they can do part deux? As it is now! About the chevron, that is why you buy only what you love., then when it’s “out” (in a minute) YOU still love it, so it matters not.

    Thanks for the gorgeous tour!!

    • says

      I wrote them and explained that they had used my “before” shot. Asked them to replace it with an “after,” but got no response. :-(

  8. says

    The sunroom is so beautiful, Julia! I love the color scheme and all of your accessories!

  9. Thirkellgirl says

    I love it! We just pulled the trigger on replacing an inherited pinkish-tan microfiber loveseat with Ektorp this week, and looking at your sunroom photos (for the bazillionth time) was what pushed me over the edge. I just love neutral backdrops because I have decorating ADD and switch our accessories all year long.

  10. says

    The quality of light in your sunroom and your photos is magical. Great photography.
    –Road to Parnassus

  11. Jennifer says

    I don’t know how you get anything done with a room like that in your house. The whole room makes me smile : )

  12. Lisa~A Cottage To Me says

    I love it! I must admit, I’m a tad jealous! Everything looks so fresh, clean and inviting. Love all your choices on decorating this room. Thanks for showing us!

  13. says

    I love your sunroom! I checked out the Christmas one as well. They are beautiful! I would like to do something like this to our bedroom. Love the green & Yellow.

  14. says

    I love your sunroom Julia! The outside view is so pretty…I sold my old sofa this past weekend so I’ll be heading to Ikea soon to get my Ektorp. Here’s a little trick you might want to us to “de-lint; de-dog hair” your sofa…it works every time. I got some rubber gloves with those ridges on the fingers (found at Wal Mart) and put them on, then run my hand over the cushions and the dog hair comes up like magic. Then just vacuum it up when you get a pile of it on the cushion…hope that makes sense. My old sofa was a dark color and my dog has white hair so everything showed…but once I used the “glove treatment” it got rid of all the dog hair.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful room.

  15. Shabby Chick says

    It is so lovely! I especially love the pops of red here and there, that strawberry was a super cute find! I think it’s TERRIBLE that the design blog featured your “before” pictures and then asked people to rate it! Maybe it was someone who was mad about the whole House Hunters expose – he he 😉 Oh, and yikes – that last picture of your sunroom with the windows looking out to the woods….looks like you have ghosts! Only teasing. Have a great day!

  16. Centsational Girl says

    I LOVE this space Julia, every time you show pics I just wanna curl up there for a few days, you don’t mind do you? So great seeing you at Haven and thanks for sharing your cheerful sunroom with us again!

  17. says

    I absolutely l?ve this room!! It feels like such a great “tree house” retreat! I don’t think I’d ever want to leave it! :)
    You should totally send the big name peeps the updated room! I think you’d WOW their socks off!!!!

  18. Jennifer says

    I love your sunroom and I’ve been reading your posts every season. I hope you can post more photos more often =)

  19. says

    I can be very “unmotivated”, that’s my word for lazy. If I had that sunroom, decoreated so beautifully, I would stay in a state of unmovtivation and just gaze out those windows between naps!
    As for chevron design…it will never be out of style. Classics are forever.

  20. Ruth McArthur says

    I love sunrooms and you have created a lovely and charming place, Julia. Actually, I thought you had done a great job with what you had at hand when you first built the room but you made it clear at the time that it was a temporary fix. The “big design website” was quite unfair to you and took advantage. However, all their readers need to do is click on your own site to find the truth and enjoy your true talents! Your blog is irresistible and they will all become followers!

  21. Brandy says

    Now that, Julia, is how you do bold color right! :-) Love it, as always. I especially love seeing how it is evolving over time.

    So chevrons are “over”? Hmpf, I really love the pattern (perfect blend of girl-y zebra stripe and casually modern bold stripes) so I see it lingering in my home for quite a while.

  22. says

    Oh no! It makes me want to go yank all my red pillows off the porch and bring out the yellow ones again. ha ha! Your sunroom is bee-u-ti-ful girl. I love the green chevron pillows mixed with the yellow print ones. That room looks like the perfect place for a party (and a nap.) What really makes the room is all those wonderful huge windows!

  23. says

    That is just gorgeous, Julia! It must be such a great place to hang out with all that summer greenery surrounding you. Thanks for the tour!

  24. Hope says

    I’ve had my IKEA Ektorp sofa for 6 years now, and it still looks great! Mine is in a sage green color slipcover. But the great thing about slipcovers, is when they get dirty, you just wash them! Still love my sofa!

  25. Lindsey says

    Love the room, the light and airiness of it, the colors, the beautiful windows with nothing but trees outside…but my favorite part? I LOVE that you’re serving Summer Shandy!!! :-)

  26. says

    Love your sunroom, Julia! So glad you share it all decked out for a summer gathering. :) Your sofa fabric reminds me very much of the fabric cover I have on the ottoman in my office. It’s a lint magnet. I don’t know what it is about that fabric but it attracts everything! I use one of the Pledge Fabric Sweepers on it occasionally. LOVE THOSE! It works super fast and is very efficient. A friend who has kitties told me about it and one lasts forever. I’m still using the first one I bought. Couldn’t live without it. If you don’t have one, you can find them at Walmart and it’s a lifesaver. You’ll love how quickly you can de-fuzz and de-fur your sofa with it.

  27. Tracie says

    I love it, Julia! So bright and cheerful! I’d never leave that room. :) The green, yellow, and white looks so pleasant and the pillows all look really nice for a summer nap. Who cares if Chevron is “out”…it’s whatever you look…and I have watched plenty of “out” trends come right back again a couple years later.

    You mention reading and that’s the perfect room to do it in. Does it get hot in there? We have to keep our shades down at certain hours because the sun is so intense here (in CA)…What books have you enjoyed lately? I’m reading “Maine” and it, to me, is the perfect summer read. :)

  28. Tracie says

    I second everyone else’s comments! It’s lovely!!!! What books have you enjoyed recently? I’m reading “Maine” and it’s the perfect summer read. :)

  29. annette says

    Julia, Your sunroom is PERFECT! Great style and color and so inviting.Wish you were my next-door neighbor,as I’d love to have lemonade with you. The ceramic strawberry looks identical to one my mother had in the late forties! Thanks for sharing,Annette

  30. says

    What a happy room you’ve created. You are so lucky to have a space like this. Envious!

  31. says

    So inviting and beautiful, Julia! I remember the before pics. Love the colors, everything!

  32. Lisa Smith says

    That is a beautiful picture of you and Maizie! I LOVE your sunroom!!!! It is so lovely and inviting and HAPPY! As you may remember from doing your post, I consider all my decorating “out” and just do what makes my family and me happy….that is all that really matters. You have obviously made a gracious space that invites everyone in! That is such a gift. Well done!

  33. Julia says

    It’s lovely Julia. You did a great job! Now I’m going to the fridge for some lemonade. :) Yum…

  34. Audrey says

    Looks so inviting! And as for Ektorps (I have the sofa and chair): I love them. I bought mine barely-used three years ago, and they are holding up super well. Just make sure you dry the cotton slip covers on LOW – I’ve had TWO shrink up to be unusable after being dried on high heat (a cheap white one and a beautiful sage color Ikea used to sell). I find the sofa and chair wonderfully soft (but not saggy). The colored cotton slip covers fade, so I wouldn’t go down that path again unless they brought back the sage (I think it’s a good color to fade). I haven’t noticed the same fuzz problem that you have (although I have three pets), so my only complaint is that the cushions seem to slip out a couple of inches and they need to be pushed back into the sofa. I do it every night when I straighten up the throw pillows/blankets, so it’s no big deal.

  35. Belinda says

    Lovely room! Your little one Maizie is just about the cutest thing ever!

  36. Belinda says

    Such a lovely room! And your little one Maizie has to be the cutest thing ever!

  37. Lisa Antoniou says

    Beautiful rom thamks for sharing!
    I’m way down here in Australia and also have the Ektorp sofa and chair! I ‘ve found the quality very good . Sometimes we dont get the same quality in our Ikea as you do in the States.Our prices are very high in comparison as well. I have the beige cotton canvas slip covers on my couch and chair but will look into getting the white now that I’ve seen your sunroom! Thanks again for sharing!

  38. Rebecca C. says

    I bought an IKEA sofa with the dark blue fabric cover. Yikes. I have a white cat. I should have gotten a white one! Thanks for the tip on drying it on low. It really does need a wash.

    I love those colors. That shade of yellow is perfect for the room.

  39. Marcia says

    The room looks so inviting for reading a good book or napping. Maisie also looks great!

  40. amy says

    Wow!!! Wishing it was summer here in Australia! Yellow is my all time favourite color, ever since my mum bought everything in lemon color when i was a baby. The summer flowers,to the wonderful White Ikea Couch, to lovely splashes of soft yellow colors.Gorgeous, you sure your not an interior designer!!!

  41. Maria says

    So beautiful and fresh looking! For shame, mean big design website. Boo! That sofa just beckons to curl up and read a book. I’ve seen lots of people online who make/sell really cool slipcovers for this sofa. Makes me wish I had one.

    And I 2nd the rubber glove trick for pet fur, I was going to post it as well. Just plain ol’ playtex ones from the grocery store (“They’re so flexible you can pick up a dime!” – ugh, I’m dating myself). Really though it’s the best thing I’ve ever tried for pet hair, and so quick because you can use both hands. Just balls it all up quick like a bunny. If need be finish up with a lint brush to catch the tiny bits. (Bonus: it’s a one time buy.)

  42. Kim says

    I love it when you share your sunroom with us. You always do such an amazing job decorating it. I love your chevron pillows and I don’t think they are out of style at all.

  43. Dava says

    What no one has mentioned that I love the best is your beadboard ceiling and how you repeated it under the wainscoting. That to me makes a room so special. Did the room have that pitch in the ceiling or was that added on? Trying to copy that look for my master bath. Great job!

    • says

      Thanks, Dava. We built it it last year and had them pitch it as much as possible without blocking the upstairs windows. I do love the beadboard! :)

  44. says

    What a warm and cozy place. Love the colors and the large windows that invite the outdoors in. We are getting ready to redo an old beach house and I love the beadboard ceilings…so charming!! Thrilled to be your newest follower ~

  45. says

    Good morning, Julia!

    I see sunrooms all the time around the net, but yours will always be my favorite. And I really mean that!

    Your sunroom feels just like to most perfect place to be, to spend hour just relaxing, reading and be with the whole family. Does it feel just a family room?

    It’s perfect, Julia!


    Luciane at

  46. says

    Your sunroom is charming. Aside from the room, I like the green and yellow accents a lot. The white sofa is super classy and I am sure challenging. We have two cats and I have taken to having colorful protective coverings on the sofa when guests are not over because I am so sick of de-hairing it. It is kind of a brown in not a velvet but a little more modern material, and I put a chartreuse throw on the seat and one on the back (where kitties like to sit). Although it isn’t “cool” to have the covers, the bright colors make it bearable and look kind of decoratey. So maybe worth trying for you when you are not photographing and having guests.

  47. says

    Looooove your sunroom. Love all the windows. It is just a bright happy place. I am like you, I always seem to like something before or after it is in style, but it is what makes you happy at the end of the day. you can’t stay awake in that room because it surronds you with comfort and cozy just like a big old soft quilt!!! I have sunroom envy!!!!

  48. Christine F says

    Absolutely stunning!!!!! Now I want to add a sun room to our house!

  49. says

    Every time I post a comment, it never appears. Am I breaking some sort of Hooked on Houses Rules?… Am I doing something wrong? Or is it you feel my comments are not worth posting.

    Love your site but I’m beginning to feel slighted.

    • says

      I don’t moderate comments, so they should all be getting through, including yours! (Unless Akismet marks it as spam, that is.) The only time it gets held in the queue is if there’s a link (I approve it when I see it isn’t spam). They could be going into the spam folder by accident, but I just checked and didn’t see any of yours in there today, at least.

      I noticed you posted your last comment on a photo instead of on the regular post. So maybe you thought you posted it here, but it’s actually on the photo of me and Maizie. :)

  50. says

    I really love your sunroom! I have a large sunroom that is currently empty, and I’m looking at your sunroom for inspiration when it comes time to decorate it! BTW, we bought an Ektorp sectional (blue slipcovers) for our basement back in February and I LOVE it. I know we haven’t had it for very long but so far it’s holding up great and it gets a lot of use and abuse from 3 young kids. I’m seriously thinking of another Ektorp for the sunroom (with white slipcovers!). Yours looks so perfect in your room, and I love the pops of color you’ve added!

  51. Sherri says

    I’ve just stumbled upon your site, and am looking forward to spending the rest of my day catching up on all the beautiful photos! :)

    We have a sunroom that is unused, since it’s not heated or cooled. It sounds like yours started out that way, and then you added some kind of HVAC system. Would you mind sharing thoughts on what you chose and how you decided on the best way to heat and cool your room?

    Many thanks!

    • says

      Hi Sherri! We do have an AC/heat unit built into the wall like one you’d find in a hotel room. The builder installed it when he built the room last year, but I honestly don’t know much about it. He picked it out for us. We also had the room insulated, which helps a lot.

      Best of luck with yours! :)

  52. says

    A very relaxed atmosphere you have created. I lean more towards bright colors as well.
    We are still working on our screened-in porch, everything is white, so pretty much a blank slate.
    You like daisies huh? Sure wish you could take some off our hands! Around our farm we have tons of daisies. Reason? Because it’s the ONLY thing our cows wont eat. They will eat every other plant, except for the daisies, so the fields are overflowing with them. But they do make for good photo shoots for me :)

  53. says

    Hi, Julia!
    I loved your light sense of decorating your sunroom.
    In portuguese in call it “marquise” and we use it in the way specially with lot of plants, too…
    It’s curious: I loved the ceramic strawberries…and I have to tell you that here there are many fabrics that make these kind of pieces in pottery, in Caldas da Rainha.
    I’ll some more information about it and I’ll send to you, soon

  54. Melinda says

    Allow me to add a “love your sunroom”. I bought the same Ektorp couch last week in bright red for our basement family room.
    These pictures & the crazy hot weather are pushing my “need” for a sunroom over the current deck on the back of our house. Think the pictures of the color coordinated Leinenkugel beer might help me sell it to the husband?

    • says

      Can’t hurt to try! I started out by talking mine into a screened porch, and then things just “evolved” from there. Ha. Funny how that happens! :-)

  55. Destiny says

    Oh it’s absolutely darling — and that first picture of you with your dog is so … book jacket cover. Is there a book in you, Julia? You’ve already got the hardest part covered — the author picture!

  56. Dean says

    Sweeeet spot! You’ve decorated it beautifully! Looks like a great space to read or play some games. :-)

  57. says

    It looks fantastic, Julia! What a lovely space to enjoy the summer!

    I’m mad too that someone would feature before photos when there were clearly afters available, that is just terrible. Sigh.

    PS. When I was at the HomeGoods grand opening near me I talked to all the store reps about my blogging friends and they were thrilled that you were among them. You are one of their favorites! :-) Also wondering how the ebook session went?

    • says

      Well, isn’t that nice? As much time as I spend at HomeGoods, it’s funny to that some of them spend time on my blog, too. Ha.

      The session at Haven went great! Lucky for me I have blog friends like you who have written ebooks and were willing to tell me some things about them that I was able to talk about. Thanks again! :-)

  58. Maureen says

    What a pretty and inviting space. Thanks for sharing and enjoy!

  59. says

    I love the “punches” of citrus color, so happy and bright. I wouldn’t worry about the chevron pillows being “in” or “out”. They look cute, so I’d keep them.

  60. christy says

    i’m not sure if you’ve answered this yet or not, but what is the yellow pattern on the pillows? is it suzani?

    love Love LOVE the room, by the way! great job!!

  61. Kathy :) says

    Hi Julia,

    So glad you are enjoying your pretty sunroom……hope you are having a nice summer, we are, the weather has been so nice :) Just spent a few days up in Maine so nice……………

    Take care,
    Kathy :)

    ps love your chevron pillows !!!! I’m with you…. I buy what I like, not a fan of being trendy !!!

  62. Nancy B says

    Julia, what a fabulous room. And I am so sorry about your darling strawberry. I did discover that there is a craft paint called Gloss Enamel by DecoArt that you can use to touch up chips on plates and decorative ceramics. You can use the repaired item as is or “cure” it in the oven. That way you can put the item in the dishwasher. I repaired a treasured Fitz and Floyd bowl and you would never know it had a chip in it. I had to buy two shades of one color to match my bowl but it was well worth it.

  63. Sue says

    Julia, I wish I had a friend like you to go shopping with . I love your style & we
    could walk around a store(s) and share our design ideas. Than go have lunch &
    talk decorating stuff. Thank you, for shareing your love of home & decor.
    Your sunroom is a “summer-place”.

  64. Screendoorgirl 3 says

    Yay ! You know I always love a peek inside your house. The sunroom is so pretty and fresh looking . I love the color combo. I also love pink lemonade, it just seems to taste better than the yellow. :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and puppy!…Jodi

  65. says

    I love how you mix it up with the summer colors, Julia!

    I’m working as an assistant interior designer to a couple renovating their house They said that their yard wasn’t getting much use so we’ve decided to expand the living room by creating an adjoining sunroom. I’m going to show them your sunroom so that they can get some more ideas flowing.

    Kelly :-)

  66. Christina from Dallas says

    I just saw this post. I love your sunroom! I think I’ve commented on it before. It’s so bright and sunny! I bet if your feeling down this room would be a great place to go to cheer up.

  67. says

    Your sunroom pics are so inspiring. We just built one onto our home (a life-long dream come true). My husband’s favorite colors are green and yellow. I hope you don’t find me using some of your ideas, as I had already planned a farm table and wicker chairs. The decor is a work in progress and just hope it will be as pretty and cozy as yours. Really enjoy your blog.

  68. says

    love your sunroom!!! can i come and hang out with you?
    please do not say that CHEVRON IS OUT – i am making drapes for my living room!!! yikes! oh well i am out in the country with a bunch of french people who would have no idea anyways! ha!

  69. Sam says

    What a great addition to your beautiful home, it is so clean and fresh and inviting!
    I have said is to you before, haha., you decorate very nicely! Also, you are a great photographer! (if you took the photos ;))


  70. Catherine James says

    Your room is absolutely perfect! I would fit right in :) The light and the visuals are quite beautiful.. who cares if chevron is out.. it looks perfect in your room :) You have great taste, I will have to brighten up my rooms more :)

  71. Elizabeth says

    I have an Ektorp sofa and chairs, and they DO attract every bit of cat fur, lint, sweater fluff, and tree pollen. Mine are blue, which helps hide some of it, though. Although my cats are both light colors, so every bit of fur shows.

  72. Samantha says

    I love all the patterns and colours in this beautiful room!
    I would love to sit in there in summer and drink that lemonade :)
    I really love your house Julia

  73. Eileen says

    I have the same exact green pillows and have been looking for the perfect yellow pillows to pair with them. Where are yours from?

  74. Monica says

    … so … what was the actual name of the *sofa* ?

    I love it. All of it. In fact, not even 48 hrs ago I described that exact sofa to my husband – having pictured it in my head. How wonderful to find your site and see a picture of my dreamed-of-sofa. It would be perfect for our den.

    I just can’t seem to find where you refer to the name of the peice of furniture and where it was purchased; versus just the slipcover. Was the couch+slipcover $500?

    • says

      Look again–there are a couple of paragraphs about the sofa in this post (it’s the Ektorp from IKEA). Follow the links in those paragraphs to more information about it! :)

  75. Wendy says

    We are in the process of adding a sunroom also and I came across your blog..I totally LOVE your room! I have a couple questions- How big are your windows?
    How big is your sunroom? I am trying to figure out my window sizes and how many I need for my own addition!
    Thank you for your help and your room is awesome!