Sunroom Updates: A New Rug and a Cluttered Mantel

We last visited the sunroom back in May (what?! how did that happen? I would have absolutely sworn it was July. Stop it, time!) when we had just moved Abe’s tent down there and made a kind of tossed together play area in one side of the room:

Today I’m here to show you the slightly more pulled together, intentional play area! Mostly what we did was add this new rug from Rugs USA:

sunroom with new rug

I came really close to ordering a gray indoor outdoor rug for this space instead, but then I came across this one. It’s not indoor outdoor, which means I can’t take it outside and hose it down. But it is really soft, which is nice for getting down on your hands and knees to push trucks around on, and it’s dark colors, so I’m hoping it won’t need hosing down too often. Also, the tent really needs a rug to sit on to keep it from sliding all over the place. And it’s not boring! And the orange ties in with the terracotta tile. I’m not usually big on orange, but when you move into a house where someone’s tiled one of the biggest rooms with giant orange octagons, you have to embrace the orange a little, I think. It’s just too bad Abe’s play kitchen is red. It was $8 at the thrift store; maybe next week we’ll come across a more neutral one. Since I didn’t pick the neutral rug.

So this still looks very much like a preschooler’s play area, but it’s a little more organized and user friendly and more attractive now. Another angle:


That dresser (or “credenza” as Dave likes to call it, not because it is one, but because he likes the word) has been there for awhile, and I’m pretty much over it. But it stays for now! It can leave when I find something I like better. Although whatever Craigslist person buys it better bring a lot of help to move it, because that thing is ridiculously heavy.

Here is Abe having fun in his play area. He was having so much fun in this one that he’s just a blur:


But he held still to pour all his toy food into his dump truck:

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And here’s the other half of the room:


Nothing major is different here. You can see MORE toys of course, including that dollhouse on the fireplace that I picked up for Abe at the thrift store a few weeks ago (or maybe it’s been two years now for all I know. Apparently my sense of time is completely gone). I’m thinking it will get a makeover with paint and then for Christmas we’ll fill it with furniture so it will actually be fun (right now it has almost nothing in it. A set of dollhouse dolls we already had. And the toilet that was, mysteriously, in the otherwise empty house when we found it).

I added a couple of baskets to hold yet more toys on top of the toy cabinet:

sunroomupdate09s toy cabinet in peacock teal paint

And of course my dalmations chewing up books bookends are here:


And then I played around with the mantel. Last year I had the mantel all decorated for Christmas and then when Christmas was over I just kind of took the Christmas stuff off and never put anything else there. So now that it’s almost Christmas again, I figured it was time to work on it.

sunroomupdate02s mantel with lots of vintage finds

There’s more stuff on here than I usually have. It freaked me out a little at first….that sort of friendly cluttered look is one that I love but have never really mastered myself. But for now I’m really liking it.

(All Amazon links are affiliate; thanks for supporting Boxy Colonial!) Incidentally, I pulled out Emily Henderson’s Styled to look through when I was working in here, and the kids immediately stole it and took it upstairs to take the quiz and find out their personal styles. Ha! I think Gus got 70’s and Milo got Bohemian.

There’s nothing revolutionary here; it’s all the stuff I would normally put on a mantel, only MORE. My two favorite sets of brass candlesticks (some with black candles), stacks of books, a bunch of animals. And my little brass pumpkin. It’s actually in the 50’s here this morning, so I feel like it’s finally time to bring it out. yay fall!

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I decided vintage paperbacks don’t get enough respect in the world of decorating, so I added a stack of old poetry books. Umm, and Othello. Even though I feel like Beat poets probably get TOO much respect already. Anyway, though, the cover of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl is timelessly appealing:


Although I see that I put Kaddish there. Ah, well. Same design.

So there you have it. Some quick updates to our suddenly half family room/half playroom sun room. It’s working out well; it’s an ideal space for a playroom since it’s not right in the front of the house (i.e. if toys are all over the place it’s not a big deal), and it’s right off both the kitchen and the den so Abe can play but still be close to the rest of the house action.

Here’s a shot of the whole room (Umm. I should have opened that one lumpy curtain that’s going over the window plant shelves. It’s hard to figure out what to do when you’re trying to photograph a room full of enormous windows. Also, I didn’t notice I needed to adjust the curtain rod next to the mantel until I was editing the pictures. Sorry.)

sunroom with play area




Sunroom Updates: A New Rug and a Cluttered Mantel — 16 Comments

  1. I enjoy reading your blog and love your decorating style. I need to take that quiz and see once and for all what style I am. A little bit of chalk paint could fix Abe’s kitchen set right up and I believe the dog bookends are Dachshund breed.

    • Thanks so much, Shari! I think you’re right about the dachshunds :). And I’ve gone back and forth about painting the kitchen; I’ve seen some really adorable toy kitchen makeovers….just not sure if I’ll find the time to actually do it!

  2. I had never noticed before that the picture lady’s sofa back is the same shape as the curvy part of the fireplace. Good choice!
    I am glad your children also belong to the great clan of Obsessed with Meaningless Quizzes, as I do.
    I must steal your Gerard Manley Hopkins. I have a shortage. Although I have the Laurel Coleridge.

  3. For sure, the Beat ports do get entirely too much respect. I really like how comfortable and real your home is. That looks like a great play space. That Abe is a lucky kid. (And getting so big! Talk about time…)

  4. I really like how there is lived-in kid playspace but also it is cheerfully color-coordinated (hey, the play kitchen’s red trim synchs perfectly with the rug’s bits of red), intentional (storage containers, teepee setup) and defined (by the little furniture, two separate rugs). Generally, when our kids were this age, there were either toys and madness everywhere or everything put away Elsewhere. Nice balance!

    • Thanks! Back when I had three who were all little at once, there was definitely a lot of madness everywhere…and there still is sometimes, but I’m trying to keep it at least a little contained 🙂

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