Rock of Stages

After moving into my house here in Florida I set about trying to decorate it to suit the eclectic diversity of my possessions. I’d traveled extensively for years and many of my memories were tied to those travels in the form of furniture, statuary, paintings, masks, tapestries, etc. The trick was to try to keep my home from looking like the hodgepodge it actually was, and not, too terribly tacky. I am generally pleased with the way it all turned out, but I have to say, one room in particular presented a huge challenge. My 14’ x 9 ½’ one-step-down sunken sunroom.

I have an open floorplan with cathedral ceilings so my main living area has a living room with an island bar separating it from my kitchen and breakfast area and the sun room is located at one end of my living room with the step down and triple sliding glass doors separating the two rooms.

Each sun room side wall consists of patio type sliding glass doors. One side leads to the breakfast room and the opposite one leads to my office. The fourth wall is the back of the house outside wall which has two, 4 foot-wide jalousie windows starting two feet above the floor and going up to the ceiling, a glass single door/screen combo and one more small window, also starting at two feet above the floor and going up to the ceiling. I explained all this so that you could realize that at least 90% of the sunroom “walls” are clear glass doors and I had no idea how I was going to place any useful furniture in it.

My dilemma was I needed more walls, but I also needed the light the sunroom provided to brighten up the surrounding living room, office and breakfast room. Part of the solution came when a friend gave me her no-longer-needed room divider made of knotted jute cord. And that idea started me looking for other room dividers that were see-through. I found two “curtains” made of 2” coconut shell discs strung with black cord. The two curtains together were the width of two of the sliding glass panels leading to the living room. If all the sliding panels were drawn back or open, the three panels stacked into a recessed area at the end of the wall. If closed or partially closed, the recessed area was a blank single-door-size wall.

I decided to close the panels of the living room glass doors and leave one width doubled and open to walk through and then faux paint the blank recess area to look like a rock wall. Having never attempted painting rocks before, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but I wanted to give it a try. I wanted the rocks to look stacked up and maybe cemented in place, but I was having trouble visualizing different rocks. My yard doesn’t have any rocks in it, so I roamed around the house searching for something that looked like a rock. I found what I needed in the kitchen. An Idaho potato! Don’t laugh; it really looked like a rock. Ha! So I got my paints out and started painting with one hand and holding and turning the potato with the other.

After my painting project was done about a week later, I placed my reading chair and a small table against the coconut shell curtain and sliding glass panels between the sunroom and living room. A fountain was placed in front of the “rock wall”, and a knurly tree that I made out of a fallen limb from an outside tree went in the corner at the entrance to my office. The rest of the decorating project fell into place after that. I placed a rustic-painted ice cream table against the glass doors going into my office. My friend’s knotted curtain acts as a backdrop, and I put a wicker storage bench below the jalousie windows and a wicker tower cabinet in the corner near the entrance to the breakfast room.

Rock Wall

Beginning Rocks

Rock Wall

Coming Along

Rock wall-whole - Copy

Recess #1 Finished, Coconut shells – left

After walking past that rock wall for years now, I’ve decided I’d like to try to make the rocks look a little more three dimensional by adding shadows in and under some of them and by darkening grout. I still don’t know how to do it, but I’d like to give it a go.  Anyone have any suggestions? I’ll follow up with more pictures later when I finish. Please cross your fingers for me. FYI, I have noticed that the grout and some shadows look darker in my photos than in real life. Hopefully, I can make them more real looking.

Sunroom

Sunroom Complete

 

Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.

Join her here each 11th of the month.

12 Comments

Filed under Art, How To

12 responses to “Rock of Stages

  1. Bob wagner

    I am so bad at visualizing possible outcomes for projects that you wouldn’t want my thoughts. I will say that I find the rock wall great looking.

    Bob

  2. Renee Latty

    Love the total look!!!! You are absolutely amazing with what you do in the creative department!!! I will never forget your apt. in Atlanta! Sooooooooooo cool. It matched the cat Prissy we gave you when we moved!!!

    • Gosh, thanks, Renee! I really loved that apt. with “Kudzu Valley” below! Such a beautiful setting overlooking the Chattahoochee forest! And Prissy used to love to watch the butterflies through the window to my balcony! Gee, thanks for the memories!!!

  3. Dang – redecorate to match a pet?? Now that IS creative!

    • Hahahahahaha!!! Oh Chuck, I nearly spit my afternoon coffee all over my computer monitor!!!!! I guess I really love decorating, huh? Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! Thanks for the laugh and for reading my blog. Sure LOVED the comment!!!

  4. I love the word eclectic. It’s been used to describe me many times, and it seems to suit you well, too! One more things we have in common!

  5. Virginia Dieste

    I think your sunroom is perfect as it is! Very tropical and inviting. Good job, Coco

    • Thank you so much, Virginia. I appreciate your compliment. I hope I don’t ruin it by trying to do a better job. EeeeK! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  6. Wow. I love it. You’ve got me dreaming maybe our basement will all come together one day, but it won’t be half as wonderful as your room.

    • That’s very sweet of you to say, Sheila, but you have a wonderful imagination. I’ll bet you can think of something just great. I always start with some sort of inspiration piece or idea and use that to influence the rest of the project. Maybe that trick will help you. Good luck! I’d be glad to be of assistance if you need me.

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