Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring in the Sunroom 2016

I always like to lighten up my home, particularly the sunroom come spring and, like most other seasons, I do that mainly with textiles. This room is climate-controlled, with light streaming in and changing continuously through three sides of windows, including the ceiling. It remains my favorite room in the house, mostly because of its light, but also for its unique quality of feeling cozy, yet expansive when needed.
A new area rug from Pottery Barn that blends the tile and peach tones of the patio furniture gives me the neutral and light base I've wanted for a long time. It took me a very long time to find just the right color and pattern. The rug did come with some drama, though, and that's at the end of this post if you're interested. This is yet another good reason why I would never be a candidate for a sponsored blog - I'm honest to a fault.

On the chaise, a pillow and throw (previously used on my table in this post) keep me cozy when I sit in the sunroom, reading and listening to music - Pandora smooth jazz is my choice of late. The Parsons chair is one of two, interchangeable with directors' chairs I keep in the house, mainly as extra seating for when company comes. I have seasonal slipcovers for this chair, but for now, a simple throw covers it. Also, since most of these photos were taken just before Easter, you'll see accessories like bunnies and eggs, which have now been stowed away.
This room is original to the home's construction, but added onto the exterior walls of the open arrangement of the kitchen and breakfast area. It is long, and allows for ample seating. For the photo below, I was standing at the sliding glass doorway from the breakfast area (visible behind the Parsons chair in photo above). The heating/cooling unit is on the left wall (windows perched on its ledge), and half of the pitched ceiling of windows are visible. A fan is mounted on the center beam, over the table.
In this photo (below), you can see the doors to/from the kitchen. The loveseat is opposite the chaise seating, just in front of those sliding doors.
French doors on the right wall of windows (below) lead to the courtyard outside. The monkey knot weight on the floor is my doorstop for the French door we use most.
This seating arrangement wraps around the back wall of the sunroom, just beyond the center table and chairs.
One new embroidered pillow cover, with my favorite summer bird, was added to my mix this year.
Along the back wall of the sunroom, I keep an antique bench that can also be used for seating in the sunroom if we have a crowd. Otherwise, I layer vintage and antique finds on it for visual interest from the long, horizontal view.
Like most accessories in our home, there's a story to go with the scales on the bench. They were a gift to my husband, sourced from an antique shop in Vermont, about ten years ago. The scales were in his office, and held collected foreign coins on the trays. When he retired this past December, he wanted the scales moved, so I exchanged his for those I previously had in the sunroom. While his are more substantial and refined, the scales I removed are more rustic. I took the latter to sell at the antique mall. They have a great provenance of coming from France to America during WWII. They belonged to a woman who owned a fabric/button shop.
Scale swap in the sunroom: (L) rustic, now at antique mall; (R) refined, previously in the office
The sunroom, before and after, winter to spring, below. Simple pillow and throw swaps like these will come through other high-trafficked areas of the house in the days to come. It's the lazy decorator's approach to change, yet a nice way to rotate collections, 'stuff' that's otherwise stored away in the house.
Sunroom: Before (Winter 2016); After (Spring 2016)
Here's the rest of the story on the Pottery Barn rug and....
I bought the rug after Christmas from Pottery Barn, on sale, and with an additional 20% off. It arrived in mid-February, and I didn't unroll it until a month later, only to find a tiny flaw on a section that's under the chaise lounge. The rug was non-returnable as priced, but I called customer service immediately. They agreed to accept the return, but they only had one left in stock. There was a good chance the one remaining rug would be sold before my exchange could be transacted (or, I'd have to buy it now at the higher, current price). I really didn't want the hassle to have to package the rug up for return, either, so I negotiated another 20% credit on top of the sale and clearance markdown price instead. The rug is reversible, and can be used both indoor/outdoor, and so the flaw will remain unnoticeable - except to me. I settled, but the idea of PB selling an item that had clearly been flawed and poorly repaired without mention of 'seconds' or 'floor display' totally ticked me off. I don't have the advantage of having a local PB to visually inspect what I buy from them, so shame on them. I told customer service as much.

As I was preparing this post, I was reminded - when going through photos - I had also purchased one of their pillow covers in the new Malibu Patchwork line. It arrived, separately, and was returned for its poor workmanship. One side seam edge was noticeably wonky, with the patchwork design skewed, while the other side's patches were puckered at the crooked seams. My photos are terrible, but so was the pillow cover sent to me. This is unacceptable, and since they didn't bother trying to send first quality for their newest line, I didn't even bother with asking for an exchange, only credit.
Pottery Barn's Flawed  Malibu Patchwork Pillow Cover
Do you have particular retailers or a purchase that has gotten under your skin lately? I really hope you'll share it with me and my readers in the comments below. Otherwise, these chains get away with a lot of crap that so many bloggers, Pinners and Facebook members (and their followers!) may unknowingly be endorsing. I am an avid reader of customer reviews, and I value honest input, positive and negative. Your input is valued!
Rita C. at Panoply