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Style Watch

This revamped sunroom isn’t just for daytime use

Designer Maura O’Malley turns a forgotten space in a Middleton home into an any time, any season retreat.

Anthony Crisafulli

Having just finished the family room for a Middleton family of four, interior designer Maura O’Malley got movitated to fix what was happening in the space next to it. Old furniture, games, and other castoffs packed the adjoining sunroom. “It was a shame that a space with such beautiful natural light and great views to the backyard wasn’t really being used,” says the Back Bay-based O’Malley. So she reinvented it. After discussing how the sunroom could better serve her clients, O’Malley envisioned an all-season hideaway replete with cozy spots to snuggle up with a book or watch a movie. Using the room’s existing tongue-and-groove cedar paneling, terra-cotta-style tile floor, and oversize windows as her starting point, O’Malley designed custom built-in cabinets to hide clutter, incorporated new light sources for nighttime use, and selected a few lushly upholstered furnishings and accessories. Now, she says, instead of keeping the French doors between the rooms closed, the family embraces the space.

1. The “Martens” console table from Restoration Hardware has a weathered wood finish. The glamorous gold-lined silk shade on the gourd lamp by Barbara Cosgrove casts a glow at night.


2. O’Malley dressed the cozy window seat with a rich orange mohair cushion and pillows in varying textures, from feathers to nubby knits.

Anthony Crisafulli

3. Jonathan Adler “Meurice” sconces provide light after sundown. The shiny brass finish echoes the hardware on the built-in cabinetry.

4. The embroidered paisley pattern of the Roman shades, made from Duralee “Tristan” fabric, are a nod to the traditional, contrasting with the mod light fixtures.

5. The built-in cabinets, designed by O’Malley and built by Jamaica Plain-based G.H. McKissock Construction, have open backs to show off the vertical tongue-and-groove cedar on the walls.

6. The raffia-wrapped Serena & Lily “Blake” coffee table adds an organic element to the room. The thick lacquer finish makes it durable.


7. The woven cotton Dash & Albert “Zanzibar” area rug ties together the room’s palette, mixing earth tones with vibrant orange, yellow, and blue.

8. Made Goods “Roderic” stools with airy iron bases and powder-blue velvet cushions function as extra seating and make great footrests.

9. To keep the sun’s glare from obscuring artwork, O’Malley chose paintings that don’t need to be under glass — a pair of seascapes by John Schuyler from Jules Place in Boston’s South End.

10. A see-through acrylic side table by Gus Modern from Lekker Home is a fun piece that reflects light and offsets the dark wood walls.

11. Swivel chairs make watching the television easy, even though it’s off to the side. “They’re slipcovered in soft linen and very deep, so the girls can sit cross-legged in them,” O’Malley says.

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