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How One Designer Brought Light to a Dark and Dreary Sunroom

Bright white sunroom with desk and wicker chair.

Design: Julie Kantrowitz; Photo: Linda Pordon; Graphic: MyDomaine

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“My client was looking to create a workspace as well as a place to practice her violin and flute in her home,” says interior designer Julie Kantrowitz. “The minute I walked into this sunroom, I knew it had the potential to be both with its natural light and serene and peaceful feel.”

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Julie Kantrowitz is the owner of JK Interior Living in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She believes that elegance and sophistication are achieved through layers of well-planned design and identifies with a less is more approach.


Dark and dreary sunroom with desk and computer.

Courtesy of Julie Kantrowitz

“This sunroom was anything but sunny,” Kantrowitz shares. “Instead, it was bleak and boring with a mishmash of furniture, including old desks and chairs. My goal was to inject some life into the space as well as create some much-needed storage solutions.”


White sunny sunroom with built in bench and storage closets.

Design: Julie Kantrowitz; Photo: Linda Pordon

“As storage was the main goal, I created a large, deep wall unit to house files, printers, and other office necessities. To conceal these not-so-attractive items, I chose a custom eglomise glass for the cabinet doors to create an opaque yet beautiful look,” Kantrowitz explains. “I then designed the wall-to-wall built-in to accommodate two desks along with a very deep window seat that’s perfect for snuggling up with a book and large enough to store my client’s instruments in the drawers below.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Natural woods and fibers pop in a mostly all-white room. 
  • Desks: Long, custom white desks provide ample worktop space. 
  • Chair: A freestanding seagrass and rattan chair has a less formal feel than the typical desk chair. 
  • Window seat: A deep window seat is covered in a black welted custom cushion and topped with a mix of black, white, and taupe pillows. 
  • Sconces: Polished nickel sconces have ivory linen shades and provide ambient light when the sun goes down.
  • Wall unit: A built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinet features satin nickel hardware and eglomise glass doors for privacy. 
  • Rug: A neutral-colored oatmeal rug grounds the space and works with all the other neutrals in the room.
  • Windows: The diamond pattern grills on the windows add texture and pattern to the walls. 
  • Doors: The 15-pane French doors are original to the home and reflect the turn-of-the-century architecture. 
  • Bench: A vintage wooden bench adds warmth to the space and provides a place for books or a blanket. 
  • Heater covers: Custom wood covers conceal old metal baseboard heaters. 
  • Plant: A touch of greenery gives the space a cozy and lived-in feel. 
  • Wall color: The walls and built-ins were painted in White Dove by Benjamin Moore.

Shop the Look:

Close up of woven chair against white desk.

Design: Julie Kantrowitz; Photo: Linda Pordon

Reed Single Sconce
Circa Lighting Reed Single Sconce $429.00

“This single stem sconce is simple yet has a soft and beautiful silhouette, making it ideal for any room,” Kantrowitz notes. 

Natural Seagrass Dining Chair
Kathy Kuo Home Natural Seagrass Dining Chair $1,784.00

“Pairing a comfortable woven chair with a desk gives a space a more informal feel,” Kantrowitz shares.

Rope Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Dash & Albert Rope Indoor/Outdoor Rug $1,238.00

“This rope rug is UV-treated to be fade-resistant—a great perk in a room that gets a lot of light,” Kantrowitz says.