Reader SOS – Help Me With My Sunroom Layout


I’m back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space”. My plan for this series is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer design tips and tricks on how to improve it.

Here are some of my favorite design solutions from this series…

How Do I Figure Out The Best Layout?

Many of the design submissions I receive revolve around the furniture layout in a room. And I get it! It can be really difficult to figure out the best spots for your furniture in a space. But today’s sunroom layout dilemma is a whole new level of tricky. Courtney submitted her space and once I sat down and really gave it a good look, I could see why she was stumped. Let’s hear from her…

Courtney’s Design Dilemma

My husband, two-year-old son, and I are getting ready to move into my mother-in-law’s house. She has a beautiful four-bedroom home that she does not want to part with, but sadly she can no longer live independently.

Reader SOS before

There is a room in the back of the house, right off the kitchen, that will serve as our tv/family/playroom. It’s a very awkward “L” shaped room with three sets of french doors making furniture placement a challenge. Currently, there is a small sectional that feels tucked in the back and not a very inviting place to sit. The red chaise and the red chair get used the most, but they also feel in the way for play. 

Reader SOS family room

With my mother-in-law’s blessing, we would love to replace everything and really make this room work for our family.  The side tables, lamps, wall art, and accessories are just not toddler-friendly, nor my style. Plus, we need to add storage for toys and I’d love to add a low pile, toddler-friendly rug. We only use one set of doors (next to the TV ) so I am open to placing furniture in front of the other two sets of doors along the long wall. 

How to makeover an awkward space

I’m currently loving earth tones, like olive or forest green, leathers, light to mid-wood tones, and lots of greenery. I think the style would be modern organic transitional.

Kitchen and family room space

I’d love to bring in a leather or upholstered ottoman, and a toddler table for coloring and snack time. I’d also like toy storage (perhaps a nice big console under the tv) and floor space to play and build with legos and train sets. 

Designing a Sunroom/Playroom/TV Room

At first glance, it doesn’t seem too tricky of a space to figure out. But once I really looked and saw that the three sets of French doors, the large doorway, the hallway, and the windows all worked together to allow virtually no blank wall space in this room, I was puzzled. While the doors and windows offer tons of beautiful natural light, they do make it challenging for furniture placement.

The Sunroom Layout

I tried out dozens of different sunroom layouts, but here’s what I landed on.

Sunroom Layout

Near the far French doors, we will create a cute playroom area with a 5×7 area rug, a coloring table, toy storage, book ledges, and even a comfy bean bag. We’ll keep the pathway to the hallway clear and then add an 8×10 area rug near the TV. We’ll place a sofa in front of one set of French doors, which still leaves room to come and go out the door they frequently use. In front of that, we’ll have a round coffee table and then a TV console.

The Playroom Area

Reader SOS before

Okay, let’s talk about my favorite area in this new space. This new playroom will be tucked in the area where you find the large red sectional. This will be a cute little corner for playtime. I love the idea of putting a 5×7 rug down in that small area to ground the space, add some color, and provide comfort for Courtney’s son. This one is great because you can wash it!

Sunroom layout with a new playroom area

Coloring Table // Chairs // Rug // Toy Storage // Lounge Chair // Book Ledges // Table Lamp // Art Supply Lazy Susan // Good Days Banner

Underneath the window, I would opt for a long and low storage piece for toys with a table lamp on top. This dark green console is absolutely gorgeous and I like how it has a mix of closed and open storage for toys, books, and baskets. In front of that storage piece, I would place the rug and coloring table. This table is very similar to the one we have in our house with adjustable legs. This is awesome as kids get older and taller! The cute chairs work well here too.

On the wall opposite the French doors, I think Courtney could add these wood book ledges and the banner for a bit of fun and whimsy. I know I’ve put this leather lounger in many recent design boards lately, but that means I must love it! I think the warmth adds a lot to this little nook and the brown leather will tie in with the adult side of the room that we’ll discuss next. All in all, I really think this could be a good-looking playroom for any 2-year-old!

The TV Area

Sunroom Layout

Onto the more challenging part of this design. I really wanted to give Courtney a super cozy and comfy lounging area to hang out and watch TV. But with no wall space, this sunroom layout is very tough. I made the choice to put the sofa in front of the French doors. I don’t love putting furniture in front of doors or windows like that, but it was really the only way to give them a gorgeous sofa, which I feel is a must for a TV room.

Sunroom layout with modern organic style

Coffee Table // Sofa // Rug (in moss/salmon color) // Floor Lamp // TV Console // Olive Tree // Pillow // Lumbar

To ground the space, they could fit a gorgeous 8×10 rug in this room. Courtney mentioned she loves organic modern style, so this one works beautifully. It’s the same one we have in Ellis’ nursery. You can’t go wrong with a warm leather sofa and this one fits her aesthetic. Plus, we used it in this makeover and I already know what an amazing sofa it is.

Here’s where we’re gonna get “fancy” to add more storage and seating to her space when friends and family come to visit. This round coffee table not only lifts to reveal some hidden storage, but it has three ottomans stored underneath for extra seating! Sometimes you gotta find some out-of-the-box pieces to work for your particular space and I really like this idea.

Finally, let’s talk about the wall with the TV. I would suggest mounting the TV on a swivel so they can have it face the couch and playroom area when they’re watching at night. This is the one we have and it works great. Underneath the TV, I would opt for this beautiful wood console to fill the wall space. On top, Courtney could style it with some plants and coffee table books.

I added this faux olive tree to the room, but since this space gets so much light Courtney could add lots of real plants here. I know that was on her wishlist. It might even make sense to use some vertical space and hang a planter from the ceiling as I did in this blog post.

New Sunroom Design

Sunroom Layout and design plan with organic modern style

Coffee Table // Sofa // Rug (in moss/salmon color) // Couch // Floor Lamp // TV Console // Olive Tree // Pillow // Lumbar // Coloring Table // Chairs // Rug // Toy Storage // Lounge Chair // Book Ledges // Table Lamp // Art Supply Lazy Susan

Here’s a look at everything altogether. I think the spaces flow well together even though they have different functions. When using two rugs in one space, I recommend using similar tones but different patterns. Here we have an organic style and then the geometric in the playroom. They complement each other beautifully.

I’m not gonna lie, this sunroom layout was a very tough design dilemma for me this month. I hope Courtney and her family have fun creating a space that works well for their multi-generational home. Excited to see these ideas come to life!

Casey


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.