The most fun thing about remodeling is the memory of remodeling. When you’re in it, it’s actually not very great at all. You remember it nostalgically, thinking about how you created your house into exactly what you wanted, but you forget how much that process completely sucked.
This is exactly the case of our DIY sunroom makeover.
It was the last massive project we really needed to tackle, so when our house wasn’t glaringly ugly anywhere else anymore, I thought of how *fun* it would be to brick over the awkward window (like who puts a window there into the bedroom? what the hell, Mary?) and paint it all in a weekend. FUN!
In case you missed it, I am horrible at estimating time commitment. And when you think, “oh, me too”, multiply you x10 and you’ve maybe arrived somewhere close to me & my time management skills. So when Zach went fishing one weekend, I called a friend over, and we got as far as taping the windows and completing a patch job on the brick. The mortar was problematic because it dried so quick, I couldn’t really work with it. But give up and hire someone? No way; that would have been too logical — I was on a mission and feeling a sense of misplaced independence. Definitely going against logic and eventually against fun, I wound up laying on the sunroom floor, having my first sunroom breakdown, crying to my brother-in-law on my phone begging him to come help me the next morning. Ah, yes, the wails and sniffles he heard on the phone, true marks of my female independence. *lol not*
He agreed tacos were an acceptable form of payment, and the next day, my amazing brother-in-law appeared like a beacon in the night. I spent a whole day sawing each individual brick, and eventually, we had filled in the questionable window, allowing us to finish the first task of the DIY Sunroom Makeover.
So with a new zeal for what we had accomplished, I went out and bought 2 50 lb bags of quick-dry mortar mix, hauled them to the car solo, drove home, and started mixing mortar. And just as fast as that zeal had come, it jetted out of my body because who the hell knew laying brick was so freakin’ hard?!
If you’re sitting there reading this and thinking “Bailey, calm down, it’s just like tile” I would like to say that no, my friend, it is not. And if for some reason a professional mason is reading this, I would just like to recognize you for your skills that are probably like Jesus’s when he was a carpenter because this job is not for the peasants like me.
So all that being said, I was over it, and I sped through the whole bricklaying thing, slapping mortar on the brick, the wall, the floor, until it dried up in it’s Home Depot bucket and I had to move to the next bucket and next bag of mix. The big takeaway here is that no amount of YouTube videos will ever make me good at laying brick.
But finally, I had finished it.
And then it stayed like that. For months. Did it look good? Hell no? Did it look better though? Also no. But I did not 👏 want 👏 to 👏 deal.
But then, two weekends ago, I decided NO MORE. My mind is already filled with negative thoughts and perspectives (hello, history of depression!!) and I am not about to let a room in my house that I hate create more unneeded negativity in my life. This is partially why I love home design. While yes, it is fun, it’s also important for my mental health because a negative space creates negative energy, and I am just not about that life. For most of us, the majority of our lives are spent in two places: work and home. While we can’t always control our work environment, we can control our home. So if there is something I hate in my home, I am very eager to morph it into something positive that I can draw good vibes from.
And because a sunroom is a less-defined space when it comes to standard use, I realized this room could serve us in a different way. It could be our meditation room, a place for friends to gather and have late-night conversations, a place for sunrise yoga, or a room where we could enjoy a meal with the family while soaking up the last hour of sunlight.
But this vision was very far from the reality, so I went all in on a DIY Sunroom Makeover, cleaning it up and painting it, staying hyper-focused on the room until Halloween (which, if you’ve met me, you know I am hyper-focused about pretty much nothing in my life other than my daily 2 PM snack hunt where I raid all the mini-kitchens on each floor of my office building until I find some sort of chocolate…but I digress).
First, I decided I wanted to whitewash the brick because I was kind of vibing the rustic brick. So I watered down the paint and went at it. Turns out that when you have a brick patch job, anything that is not opaque is NOT for you.
After a few more breakdowns lying on the sunroom floor, a ton of Instagram stories documenting said breakdowns, and 5+ layers of watered-down paint, we had a wall of white brick. So I moved on to the easy part: painting everything else.
Surprise (!!!) it wasn’t easy. I had bought paint previously and in my mind, it was charcoal grey. Turns out in real life, it was navy blue. So I painted away and realized I hated it, polled the IG community, went out, bought more paint, made friends with a few more Home Depot employees (honestly, some of them probs deserve a Christmas card at this point), and came back and painted over my previous 4 hours of work. While I have been numerous things in my life, decisive and content are not those things, but apparently I’m a solid 10 when it comes to taking extra excursions to Home Depot when I probably could have just made one.
But even with the too-many-to-count trips and the duplicate work, our sunroom is immensely better than it was — like American Idol Carrie Underwood to mid-season Carrie Underwood. While the DIY Sunroom Makeover operation is not done and the room is definitely not Carrie Underwood at the CMAs, I felt I had to at least document its progress. So consider this an update that is more like a halfway point. Hopefully, it will turn into the nice zen little space I picture once I fill it with more plants, create a living jasmine wall over the unsightly brick patch, and put in some accent lighting.
But in the meantime, thoughts?