Designer Snapshot: Let the Sun Shine In

April 27, 2011

By Paula M. Bodah

When Michael Carter and I were talking about his selections for sun room furniture for our March/April Perspectives pages, he confessed to a special fondness for these rooms designed to let homeowners enjoy the outdoors while staying dry, comfortable and bug-bite-free. “The English were the first to catch on to the idea with those glass conservatories that became popular in the 1800s,” he notes. Of course, an all-glass room had its drawbacks before central heat and air conditioning came along. Nowadays, a sunroom can easily be enjoyed all year long. "It's such a great luxury to have one of these spaces," Carter says. "It really becomes a favorite spot in the house for people." One of his favorite projects was a remodel of a Boston-area Colonial Revival house that included converting a back porch to a four-season sunroom. The long, narrow room has seating areas at each end. "This corner is a bit of a retreat, a quiet, contemplative spot," Carter says. The client's fondness for birds inspired Carter's design choices, including the cotton sateen curtain fabric—custom-made in France through Charles Spada—with its toile pattern of birds in a color Carter describes as "the first strong green of spring." The armchair and ottoman wear a China Seas fabric in celadon while the Michaelian & Kohlberg rug and mohair Bergamo stool fabric have an earthy brown/gray tone.

Photos by Eric Roth

Carter's palette was inspired by the homeowner's collection of Ellen Granter bird paintings.

The other end of the room holds a larger seating area (a wet bar not seen in the photo makes this a good spot for entertaining).

Carter and his client spotted the late-eighteenth-century Swedish day bed in a New York antique shop. "We stopped dead in our tracks," he says.

You can see more of this house in Traditional Home.

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