gold line svg


A Bright and Modern Sunroom Intro


Hey all, it’s Ginny again with yet another intro to a room of one of our clients. A couple with two kids and the best dog ever. We’ve been working on this house for over a year now, yes you heard me correct… a year! This is not that uncommon, especially when the clients have particular and expensive tastes (they won’t mind me saying that). It can take sooooo long to source 10 amazing matching vintage dining chairs, that are the perfect size and scale, and work with everything else in the room. Believe me, I know 🙂 Not only that, but some things can have insanely long lead times. Don’t worry, I’m not complaining here at all, the clients and I have a very good relationship. I am however really, really excited to share every inch of this project, because the house is a real stunner: Two-story 1939 Georgian. It has a lot of original features including a double height entryway, a wood paneled den, ornate moulding details and 2 staircases to say the least, and a sunroom/bar room which I’m going to talk about today.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Before Photo_1

This is the view of the bar when we first started. The client’s previous house was more modern in style, and their existing furniture, shown here, has a Danish mid-century vibe. With the new house being more traditional, they wanted to veer away from this style and make it feel more classic but still super cool.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Before Photo_2

That top right corner is begging for a built-in which is exactly what we did!


These were the initial inspiration images that we were drawn to for this room. Since this is a sunroom, we wanted it to have more of a neutral palette of whites, woods, leather and natural earthy tones. You’ll see further down in the sneak peek and final product mood board that the style evolved over time. It needed to feel more traditional and refined and less boho, and compliment the aesthetic of the rest of the house. Sometimes these initial boards end up becoming redundant very quickly during the process.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 1

In true EHD form and at the client’s request, we pulled together a few mood boards. They knew they wanted a round marble Saarinen table, and they’d also had their eye on a set of cantilever cane chairs for the corner. So those were some of the items to be purchased first. They wanted to see different options of sofas in leather, white, light grey and dark grey sofa so they could see how they looked with other pieces of furniture. I tried to convince them to buy these side chairs above but sadly they were a gazillion dollars. So that idea went out the window pretty swiftly. Unfortunately the live edge wood coffee table (that Emily had in her old house) is not available anymore. Since the room leads out onto the patio/pool area, most of the rugs shown below are indoor/outdoor for durability. We included some black elements like the lighting, which helped to bring up the sophistication level and add depth.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 2

Without going into too much detail about each mood board, I will touch upon our favorite items that we included. Both Emily and I have been obsessed with the CB2 Piazza sofa forever – it’s deep and low and simple. You can sit and drink wine on it and also feel like you can take a long nap on it. There’s just something very pleasing to the eye and doesn’t feel too modern or dated. If I had a TV or family room I would probably have this guy in there.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Leather Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 3

When I was looking for the side chairs in my living room these ones from Cicso home were huge contenders. I didn’t end up getting these but I did buy the fabric to reupholster the vintage club chairs I have. Before we started working with them, the clients had purchased two blue velvet sofas for their living room (intro coming soon) so we thought it might be nice to have that blue continue into the sunroom.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 4

This is a great indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert. We liked the idea of adding something graphic to the floor to edge it up a bit, and we did try a few striped blue options. They started to feel too beachy, which wasn’t the vibe we were going for.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 5

This went in a totally different direction completely and feels heavier because of the dark grey sofa. We ultimately wanted to keep this room feeling bright and airy so we moved onto another option.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs | Coffee Table | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 6

I love this option – the light grey sofa feels way more relaxed than the previous sofa.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs | Coffee Table | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 7

West Elm had just brought out these rad leather chairs (no longer available unfortunately) The amount of conversations around the studio about whether Brady should buy them or not was bonkers. He went back and forth and talked so much about them they ended up being discontinued before he had chance to actually put his money where his mouth was! 🙂

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 8

Same but with the a white sofa which highlights the whites in the rug more.

Sofa (similar) | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 9

Another good contender mixing the blue back in. I’m quite drawn to this because of the rug and I’m not usually one for zigzags or a chevron pattern.

Sofa (similar) | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Accent Chairs | Coffee Table | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard_Option 10

Trying out the dark grey again with a different combo. It really didn’t feel right for this particular room.

Sofa | Art (similar) | Cream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Leather Pillows (similar) | Accent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Sconce | Cowhide (similar)


The GIF (which I know are slightly controversial) actually shows a lot more options. We didn’t present all of these to the client in the end but fun for you guys to see all the different scenarios that we try out as we go through the creative process.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_6

We ended up memo-ing a few sofas so they could see how they actually felt in the room. This one was from HD Buttercup and felt way too bulky against the back wall and too similar to the floor. We bought the two side chairs from House of Honey and they are now in the bay window in the living room. There was a few discussions about these chairs and the clients not agreeing on them, but they’re amazing and perfect for the spot they’re in. I’m so glad we went for them.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_4

We still had a hang up about a leather sofa, so we tried another option that was slimmer in profile and softer in its lines. It’s a beautiful piece but felt too formal in here (I also think it was $8k so not ideal for kid’s running in from the pool). The burl coffee table was too big for in here and was originally memo’d for the living room but didn’t work in there either. That’s the beauty of memo-ing, if it doesn’t work then you can take it back. There’s obviously the associated costs of delivery/return fees involved, but when you’re spending a considerable amount of money on furniture, you want to make sure it’s 100% before committing to that type of purchase.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_3

We then went down the slip cover route – which felt too bulky, too cottage/beachy but the lightness of the color helped a lot. The clients had this rug left over from a shoot he was working on and we kinda loved what it did in the room. It goes back to what I was saying about a graphic bold rug bringing an edge to the space. However, since we’ve seen this rug a 100 times over we did want to switch it up to something else slightly different.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_5

Just for fun (and clearly late into the evening), we tried out the sofa in a different orientation since there was talk of adding a TV in here. Interesting but no. No, no, no. We also tried more side chairs but they didn’t work either – I actually really loved them, but they felt wrong in this room. Now are you understanding about being particular and how long things can take?!

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_1

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_7

We eventually gave up on the idea of finding the perfect sofa so we ended up custom making one instead. We used Clad Home to create this simple shape with one long seat bench with a wood base. The fabric is by Pindler and is a stain resistant polyester that kinda feels chenille-y and is super soft. We ended up sticking with their original coffee table and having it refinished which came out beautifully. We kept with the black and white colours for the rug but opted for a different kind of stripe. We tried to convince them to paint this room, even in just a light tone so that it would highlight the moulding, but ultimately they like how the white feels, especially since it’s a sunroom.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Progress_2

We also installed a custom built-in bench which adds so much more to this room. We made it so the baseboard matches exactly to the existing, and that way it feels like more in keeping with the house. The fabric for the seat pads is one of the best things in this room, it ties in with the rug and hypes up the edginess we wanted in here.

Emily Henderson_Full Design_Sunroom_Introduction_Moodboard

This is pretty much where we are at with the final mood board. We were there a couple of weeks ago installing art, so the next layer is the styling and accessories. Time to get shopping me thinks!

Sofa (custom) | Art (similar) | End TablesCream Pillow (similar) | Pattern Pillow (similar) | Arrow Pattern Pillow (similar) | Blue PillowAccent Chairs (similar) | Coffee Table (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Dining Chandelier | Geometric Print Fabric (for built-in) | Blue Pillow | Stripe Pillow Fabric | Blue Velvet Pillow AI2A9974

Since this house hasn’t been fully shot yet, we don’t have any finished sneak peeks to share, but this is where we’re at with the overall progress. What do you think? If you have any questions let us know below.

Fin Mark


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Comments are closed.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Thank you for linking to all the mood board options! I’m always so bummed when the boards that didn’t ultimately work aren’t linked. Some of them may not be the clients’ style, but they’re right up my alley!


I absolutely love reading these posts of creative process, ultimately they make me feel relieved that I’m not the only one taking half an year to choose the furniture and right ambient for my living room. People don’t always realize the amount of work one’s has to put to end up with space feeling cohesive and truly your’s.
Keep up with the good work!


Cannot WAIT to see this project revealed!


That wall seems like the only place for the sofa, but I think the room would look really nice with all the furniture floating in the center of the room. None of it is striking me as right for the house, yet. What a hard balance of traditional but fresh.


Totally agree! I usually wouldn’t question or disagree with any furniture placement of EHD team. But this one – hmmm, just have to wonder why all the furniture is placed around the perimeter of this lovely room?


I totally agree with Taylor. That sofa does not seem to fit that wall even though it is custom. It seems really forced to me spatially and aesthetically. I do normally love what you do Ginny.


I’m SO glad you changed the rug. The ticking stripe pattern works so much better. So far, it looks beautiful!


For anyone interested in the vintage long and low coffee table, I recognized at this one immediately since I have it in my own living room:


[replying to myself like a nutball for clarity] The table I linked above is the one from the final moodboard, not the actual coffee table used in the room.


Always gratifying to see 1st dibs pricing…. I own the non-extra-long version and I scored it for $75! Thanks for sharing the link! Also it’s nice to see how a designer is using it… I have been struggling for a while, but I LOVE it.


I really like the atmosphere of this room especially with the bar. That thing would be so fun to style! I like the GIFs I see nothing wrong with them. I would love to l know what program you use to create the mood boards! I’ve been curious about that for awhile.


Hey Katie, we use Photoshop for all our mood boards. InDesign for compiling presentations. Thanks so much! G x


I would love some insight into how you present to your clients! How do those boards (made in InDesign) compare to the boards you show us here (made in Photoshop)? Lovely work!


I agree! I love the GIFs and I’m not sure why they’re controversial. If I’m not into the full details of a post, it’s nice to be able to scroll by quickly, but if I really love it (like this one, since I’m working on my living room now and it has a very similar feel), I just download the GIF to spend more time comparing image-by-image.

I also second the request to know more about how you all create the mood boards! I know some designers just use photoshop, but I’ve seen a few applications out there that claim to make it easier to create the boards?


The GIFs make me nauseous. Really. They are very disorienting and make me feel sea sick. That’s not a critique of anyone who likes them–I see the usefulness. Just wanted to give a sense of why some people object.


Same – GIFs make me feel a little motion sick, and I don’t get the time to study the differences like I’d like, so I’m glad you guys are presenting both styles!

Love that corner bench! Would make for the perfect spot to cozy up with a book or plug in and work the day away.


Beautiful moodboards but I wonder if there’s a different furniture layout. Anyone else feel the sofa should be a section rotated 90 degrees (short side along the wall) with a view towards the french doors and bar? The built-ins would be a second, smaller zone that’s more private.


Hey Michelle, we did try a few different options in this space. Ultimately they want to be able to sit on the sofa and look out onto the pool area – which us a fine view. It also works from a symmetry perspective with the back wall and the bookcase niches. Not only that but width wise the room wouldn’t be able take a sofa of this size, that dimension isn’t as big as it might appear. Thanks for your thoughts on this, always good to hear others’ opinions. G x


Thanks for sharing so much about the process, Ginny!

emily jane

I loooooove these types of posts Ginny! They remind me of Emily’s show Secrets From a Stylist (which helped me overcome inertia by convincing me that if I was able to choose clothing to put on my body every day, I probably knew enough about my own tastes to at least take a crack at styling my home. thanks Em! : ). In both the post & the show, a mind-bogglingly insane amount of design information is shared (here with links no less.!? so effing generous! thank you! & xoxoxo etc.)! The comparative format presentation (combining conflicting styles on the show and the use of evolving mood boards here) provides so many opportunities for insights into understanding how symbiotic scale, color, shape, pattern, texture & orientation are when it comes to achieving design success. (This post also perfectly illustrates when and why to go with a custom designed piece of furniture -that Clad couch just says “ahhhh…” in the space when nothing else had…). Can’t wait to see more ‘progress’ posts as well as the final reveal of this home! So good….


I also second the progress posts, thank you very much, this was a great post!


I’m looking for the same built-in look for my kitchen but not sure where to start? Where would you recommend starting on a budget?!
love how it ties in with molding.
Thanks for the help and inspiration!


Hey Mel, I think this was around $4.5k. Built-ins are never cheap but a lot of work goes into them so it’s justified. This also has storage in which is hidden under the seat cushions. I think it’s so worth the money, I love this little area of their house! G x


I don’t understand… Why did you put the couch under the tv? When would someone sit there?


They aren’t going to have the TV in there.

alison norris

That is a piece of art, not a tv 🙂


There isn’t a TV there… it’s a piece of art! 🙂


This space is beautiful. Question though on the banquette cushion fabric. Did you waterproof it or somehow protect it? I would be extremely concerned about the wear and tear of such a light-colored upholstery with children and a dog.


We had it stain treated prior to making the cushions 🙂


Can you elaborate please on specifics of how you stain treat? I have a similar banquette built-in in my 1917 kitchen and the upholstery fabric is unfortunately trashed after a couple of years and I need to redo. Want to make sure I do it right this time! Thank you.


Hi Ginny and Emily! I’ve been obsessing over that Serge Mouille ceiling light for years – I really want to use it in my own den/sun room but I’m not sure if the ceiling is too low for it? Do you have a minimum ceiling height you’d want in order to use this semi-flush light? I think mine are 8 or 9ft high? The light would be over the main walking path in the room. Thanks!


Hey, I probably wouldn’t do it in an 8′ high room, it would end up feeling too low and over power the space. 9′ gives you 7.5′ clearance which is better. G x


thank you!

Ok, that live-edge table from Anthro came back on the site for like A DAY recently. It was such a tease and made me so sad when it was gone again.


I’m SO glad that you separated out the mood boards this time. So much easier to see! And I too, appreciate the links to the other items, that did not make the final board. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve liked something that didn’t make “the cut”.

I love all the lighting options! They’re all so fun!


Did you refinish the floor? It looks so different in the last two corner pics. Not feeling the coffee table – love the round inlay one so much better. Really liking that corner bench – looks like it’s always been there! -only better!


Love the designs as usual! But I am also bummed that all items are quite expensive/over-priced.. 🙁 (I have also noticed that this has become a trend in recent posts–I have seen a lot more items/furniture with really high price-points)…


Agree – they do nothing to assist the creative for me either.


While I understand wanting accessible furniture, it’s not fair to ask that prices be low for client projects. If someone that has contracted EHD wants to spend a lot of money on their furniture, why shouldn’t they? It seems like people complain when it’s an inexpensive Target makeover, and then they complain when a client has money and wants to spend it. There is ALWAYS inspiration to be taken from a low or high budget project, you just have to look for it.


Ginny, this is awesome! At some point I would love to hear more about banquettes – this one looks so effortless but as I am working on one for our own home I know a lot goes into them (how deep should the bench be? circular versus rectangular table? etc. etc.)! A blog post/how to would be amazing, as I always appreciate your and Emily’s advice.



Great idea for another post….built ins and banquettes and the work that goes into them. Plus the most beautiful ones out there for inspiration…Pierre hotel dining room, etc


Can you explain what memo-ing is?


Yes! I’m also not familiar with this term… glad it wasn’t just me.


I LOVE the built-in area and those chairs with it. Hats off to all you designers working with picky clients. 🙂


really nice!
Can you tell me where the grey slip covered couch is from? It’s exactly what I’m looking for.


Where is that slip covered sofa from? That is exactly what I am looking for, just in a lighter color.

I love the built-in! Can I ask where you had the cushions made?


Would you please share the paint colors used on the trim and walls?Thank you!!

I obviously missed the GIF controversy, but I have to say, I love them. I like seeing the mood boards all in a row, but compiling them together to see what switches and what stays all on the same image is awesome. Also, can’t wait to see the finished room – looks like it’ll totally be worth the particular-ness!


Love the design as always!!! Just a bit bummed that the items in more recent posts, including this one, are completely unaffordable when you’re on a “normal” budget… 🙁


They work for a client who has money to spend- you can find inspiration from a room design without having to buy the exact item that they specify for this project.. just identify what elements you’re drawn to (scale, texture, shape, etc.) and put in the work to find a version that suits your budget.


I totally agree with Jaime, They are sharing what they did for a client who was paying them to create for their home with that budget. Quiet frankly I am hoping Emily gets more clients with more decent budgets for 2 reasons. 1. The success of her business. 2. Without that one more constraint of budget on top of: doable lead time, right scale and shape, color, unique, beautiful, durable and approval from the client. It often makes for an even more special space for us to view. Susanne, if you are wanting to buy everything in every post than I suspect you have more than a normal budget- some posts are just for enjoyment. I totally get and feel that you are a little “bummed” at the more quality items, I likewise want to share I am so appreciative there is a little more balance in the blog towards quality… those Ole Wancsher chairs. PS Everything may not be unaffordable, after looking at quality I can see it a mile away. Amongst my travels I have picked up a gorgeous hans wegner large dining table for a few hundred dollars, that is because I can recognize it because someone… Read more »


Really interesting to hear you say installing art comes first, then accessories. I would have assumed art was last, not sure why. Can you elaborate? Maybe do a whole post on sequence of events when decorating a room?


I second that. Great idea about elaborating on the process of decorating a space in detail, if you are still looking for topics we would love to read, that would be great, thank you!


Do you have a source for the floppy looking dark blue pillows in the last photo? They are not any of the blue pillows from earlier pictures.


Love this post – thank you! Question: in the gif, there’s a grey table in there that’s not featured in any of the earlier different mood board options. Looks metal or maybe even wood, interesting edge, round, grey (blue-grey) – ???? Where is it from? Very interested.

Also, the gifs make me seasick as well. If they were just slowed down a bit, that would help greatly. In this case though, I did notice something new in there though… 🙂

Appreciate reference to the table, please. Thanks!


Can you tell me where in LA you got the coffee table refinished? I have one that was my grandparents that’s pretty beat up from many many moves but still beautiful that I’d love to have a professional take a look at.


Your “after” posts make what you do look so easy. But having renovated a 60 YO house over the past 5 years, I know how much work goes into every little detail. I appreciate your sharing of all the challenges, and can’t wait to see the final photos.

Go To Top