The Dog Days of our Sun Room

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The hardest room to leave behind when we sold The River House in April was the four season porch. With its floor to ceiling windows and spectacular views, I thought I’d never find a cozier home office.

CouchAfter

But when we first found The Lighthouse, it was Cowboy who grabbed me by the arm and led me to its sun room saying, “Babe! Your office!” With windows on the east, south and west with soaring vaulted knotty pine ceilings, the sunshine filled every nook and cranny.

All I did was smile.

This. Was freaking awesome. Yes!

Here she is, folks:

Porch Sunny Fave

Porch SunnyPorch 1

Two months after our address change, this sun room is most definitely my favorite space at The Lighthouse. Not only is it infused with happy light, summer breezes and the endless sound of birds chirping it is also highly functional for my husband’s hunting dogs. For you see, we have a mixed marriage. I am a cat person. He is a dog person. But we’re both animal lovers so that is the common ground we stand on. (Although, in my defense I only had two cats when he and I met. He is the one who brought home two more. And his Instagram accounts showcases plenty of these four kitties. Maybe someday he’ll come out of that dog closet and admit his endless love for felines.) But back to why this sun room is so great for the puppies. You see, the dogs were not raised with cats. So to them, my kitties are not furry friends. They’re breakfast! The dogs have charged many a window trying to eat my 12 year old fluff ball, Dolly! And more than one close call has had me letting lose a blood curdling scream as I’ve scooped up my little orange man, Kip, from their jaws of death.

So our entire marriage we’ve had to segregate our pets. The River House was awful for this purpose. It was so open there was nowhere to put the dogs. And so they were relegated to solitary confinement in an outdoor kennel Cowboy built (a very fancy climate controlled kennel, mind you, with daily exercise in the prison yard). It worked but not well.

But here? The sun room rocks. It’s large (heavy!) glass doors close it off from the rest of the house and it has two doors accessing the fenced in back yard. Our dogs have died and gone to canine heaven.  They now nap on cozy beds on rainy days, lulled to sleep by many a conference call, free range in the back yard and basically live the Life of Riley.

Krieg
Krieg lounging on his bed listening to the exciting sounds of a conference call about technology. He’s really excited about platform capabilities in the enterprise space, as you can see.
And sometimes, you know who naps with them . . .

Sleeping
Cowboy’s commentary? They’re both in their George Clooney stage of life – their salt and pepper “coats” match . . .
And so this is the place I wanted to show you today as it is the perfect story of a multi-purpose and multi-function room!

This is the place where I work, the place where my best friend, Nicole, and I enjoy a glass of wine every Monday in that cozy corner, the place where family members escape for a Sunday afternoon nap, the place where the puppies lounge, and the place where much of our lives play out.

Desk
I believe our work spaces should be filled with things that inspire us. I try to often have fresh flowers at my desk and my favorite family pictures close by.

Gram
This framed closing in a letter my great grandmother (Gram) sent me back in 1993 when I was in college and expecting my  precious first daughter (an unplanned and anxiety producing event at the tender age of 21) is a treasured item. Her faith-filled wisdom has graced my desk for years. Her advice was true then and is true now: “Keep your chin up – all will come out alright.”

Deer
Another amazing transition that the sun room has provided is a place for Cowboy to now showcase his hunting trophies somewhere other than the garage! These hang above the glass patio doors and can only be seen once you’re in the room and on the couch. They make for great conversation starters for my rugged boy to share his hunting stories with our guests.

Couch Corner
Even though this is a sun room not a porch – this pillow is my personal tribute to my prior porch! And to the fact that any room is what YOU want it to be. Don’t have a porch? Buy the pillow anyway. I don’t care if you’re in a loft on the 50th floor in NYC – if you want to designate a space as your porch – Go for it!

Design Tip

Life often dictates that our spaces be multi-functional. For those of you who office from home as I do, it increases your productivity and efficiency if you have a designated office space. Oh sure, I haul my laptop to the kitchen counter and the back deck as well here and there. But I do try to spend a large chunk of time in the sun room where my office space is ergonomically correct. (I’m in my 40’s, people – ye old neck can’t take being hunched over a lap top on a couch all day.) So make your office space a happy place. Make sure you not only have what you need to be efficient for your work obligations but don’t forget to fill the space with things that inspire you and bring you joy.

Design Tip

I know, I know. I have a LOT of light furniture. This ivory sectional you will recognize from the main living area in The River House. That was a nightmare. We have teenagers who like to eat chocolate. I was buying Resolve by the case! Now that this piece is in the sun room and not near a television, it is staying a lot cleaner. The dogs are not allowed on it and I am just thrilled that I no longer need to walk around with stain removal spray in a holster on each hip. (The teenagers now have a leather sectional in our basement living room. Eat all the chocolate you want, you slobs!) My advice for light furniture is to make sure it isn’t in a place that children frequent. You need to live in your house and I didn’t want to be the mom constantly screaming about the ivory sectional. (Which I was.) So don’t be afraid to buy light furniture – but just make sure it isn’t your main piece of furniture that the family will be literally living on.

Design Tip

Have plans for your new place? It never needs to be done immediately. We’ve only lived here two months so all I’ve done with this place is decorate it. Trust me – I plan to paint the ceiling white, the walls a calming color, replace the fan, take out the dark blinds and hang soft white linen curtain panels . . . and that heavy glass door (that I reference but don’t actually show you because it is dated) will some day be black french doors! So just live in a space for a while and know that Rome (or a sun room) wasn’t built in a day.

Coffee

Thank you for stopping by our sun/dog/office/hang out/napping/living/entertaining room! I wrote this entire Saturday morning blog entry from this place, coffee in hand.

Have a great weekend! And may your days be filled with sunshine, pets, friends, and naps.

Peace, Joy & Blessings, 

~Audra

“Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay.” — Ruth 1:16

 

 

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