The Little Sunroom that Could

Welcome to the first ever blog post for Millhaus Design Collective! I'm so glad you're here.

For my first post, I wanted to share a little project I did for some dear friends, the Stumm Family. This project, which I have been affectionately calling the Stummroom Sunroom, was the perfect way to get my decorating feet wet. It's a small, cozy room, with some unique challenges that made the work extra fun. Here's the scoop...

The Stumms live in a beautiful old victorian house in Madison, Wisconsin. The enclosed porch on the rear of the house had seen better days and was in need of some major TLC. The Stumms decided they wanted this tiny sunroom to be multi-functional - primarily as a place to sit and enjoy the warm sun and fresh air, and, a place to enjoy family meals. Since the Stumms decided to fully renovate the porch into a functioning four-season porch, both of those objectives were easily attainable. Their contractor insulated, drywalled, and installed gorgeous new windows and a traditional tin ceiling. A white tile floor features a special surprise - a heated floor! If you're in Wisconsin, you understand why this was the best decision ever!

This is where I jumped on board. Here's the before pic...

The Stumms wanted a "Victorian Farmhouse" aesthetic. I agreed 100%. Victorian homes possess so much character and richness. This porch was destined for the warmth of a farmhouse, embracing rustic materials like rough-hewn wood and metal. The tall ceilings, door, and windows coupled with antique finishes, conjure a distinctive victorian atmosphere. Combined, it is a match made in Heaven.

Since the family wanted to dine on the porch, I needed to find the perfect table. The table needed to meet these criteria:

1) Small enough to fit in the room, yet big enough to accommodate the family of five.

2) Fold-up to store against the wall for easy access.

3) Look fabulous. Duh.

After hours of scouring the Web, I finally struck gold when I found a traditional biergarten table, designed for, you guessed it....Oktoberfest! Simply put, biergarten tables are amazing. These tables are long, narrow, easily fold-up, and typically come with two benches. Holla!

After the table, everything fell into place. As always, my goal was to find a balance between old and new, all while sourcing unique and affordable furnishings and decor. I chose a "Victorian-looking" reading chair, small in scale and comfy...with to-die-for decorative buttons. I scored a gorgeous antique farm stool to work double-duty as the occasional table next to the chair AND as a stool for dining at the table. A rich peacock blue ottoman serves as another seat at the table, as well as offering storage and a place to sit to put on shoes. High five!

(When the family isn't using the biergarten table, it easily folds up and leans against the wall.)

Styling the room is always the fun part. A classic jute rug grounded the room and added warmth and texture. Red lanterns reminiscent of old-fashioned oil lanterns, add a pop of color and provide light for lingering evening meals. A cozy plaid blanket scarf stands in as the throw. A reclaimed barn wood coat rack is the sole feature on the left wall. And, in my humble opinion, the star of the room is the gorgeous black door. Once a tired green shade, now the black beauty stands out in all it's glossy glory. I love me a great black door.

Speaking of black... I decided early on that black would be a featured color in this room. It's the perfect "neutral" in my book. It pops. It grounds. It offers contrast, but also blends into the background. You're so cooperative, black!

Following my go-to Rule of Three, I used a few different colors on repeat - always aiming to use a color at least three times in a room. This method, which I fondly call the "Lana Method" (after my brilliant mom who has some major decorating chops) helps to add interest to the room while drawing the eye to different spots in the room. For the sunroom, we used black, red, and blue. I also use this method with materials - especially wood and metals. In this case, we had a few occurrences of woods. Ideally, the woods would have been similar in tone, but oh well. You win some, you lose some. Black was featured in the ceiling fan, door, and the metal legs of the table.

It was a real pleasure to help this little sunroom's wildest dreams come true. Okay, that's probably an over-statement. But, I know for sure this darling sunroom is definitely the little sunroom that could. And, It did. Enjoy, Stumms!



(All photos by Kelly Coffey)

Source List:

// Chair // Jute Rug // Biergarten Table // Red LED Lanterns // Pillow (Target) // Ottoman // Stool (Odana Antiques) // Coat Rack (Odana Antiques) // Ceiling Fan // Arrow Door Mat // Tiny paddle (Odana Antiques) // Hurricane lanterns (Target) //

Welcome to the Millhaus Design Collective blog! My name is Lindsay Williams, and I'm the principal designer for Millhaus Design Collective.

Ten years ago, I fell in love with this guy, moved into his bachelor pad, and immediately changed everything. What started as a passion project to decorate my home, has evolved into an opportunity to help others create the home or space of their dreams.


Armed with a knack for finding great deals and beautiful things, I'd love to help make your world more throw pillow at a time.