Smart lighting is the centerpiece of this
Elena Lohse + Krista Locke
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In Renovator’s Notebook, homeowners open up about
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A year-round sunroom space where the ambiance is inviting and warm for everything “from coffee
in the mornings to movies at night.”
The sunroom renovation took three weeks and was completed on a $1,500 budget. The first save was on flooring: “Vinyl is perfect for rooms that are exposed to moisture like this one,” Catherine says, noting the luxury vinyl planks they used came out to less than $2.00 per square foot. The second save was on demolition. The pair covered up the ceiling tiles with shiplap and left the lighting in its current location, updating the fixtures with low-profile recessed lights and controlling them with C by GE dimming smart switches.
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Catherine and Bryan splurged on some furnishings, particularly a Persian-style vintage rug and two Verano sofas from Crate & Barrel.
The remaining pieces—a vintage Giallo Siena marble coffee table
from Italy, a wood player piano, and an old hutch repainted in a dark green—were either leftover from previous projects or items her parents already owned.
Splurge: Invest in Furniture You’ll
The west-facing sunroom gets the “prettiest late afternoon light,” but artificial illumination is a necessity in the morning and evenings. Catherine and Bryan added C by GE Smart Plugs and Tunable White Smart Bulbs to the standing lamp and overhead piano sconce—during the day, the bulbs are set to a warm yellow hue; at night, they have a golden glow. With C by GE, “you can set scenes that will automatically adjust the lighting based on time of day,” Catherine says. “The tunable GE lights allow my parents to change the warmth of the space directly from their phones. They make the environment feel inviting; it’s perfect for family gatherings and movie nights.”
C by GE Tunable
White Smart Bulbs
C by GE Dimming
C by GE
In Partnership with
After purchasing their first home, a 1920s-build in desperate need of an overhaul, Columbus, Ohio-based husband and wife design team Bryan and Catherine Williamson realized renovating was “a big creative outlet,” Catherine says. Since then, they’ve designed
dozens of properties, but their latest project is as personal as their first—the sunroom of the “White Cape Cottage,” as they refer to it, the 1950s home Catherine’s parents recently purchased nearby. A true fixer-upper, the house came with a full set of challenges—and the sunroom, which sits just off the back, had many of its own: It felt cramped with bulky built-ins, and had a worn-through carpet, tired acoustic ceiling tiles, and fluorescent lighting.
The pair started with some light demolition—ripping out the cabinets, tearing up the rug—and finished with comfortable and efficient touches—including a family of C by GE smart lighting pro-ducts. Since the sunroom is in her parents’ home, it was important for the lighting to be user-friendly and accessible. “The C by GE products allowed us to make the space ‘smart’ without having to hire an electrician,” Catherine says. “The items were easy to install, and they are all controlled together through the C by GE app, so my parents can save their favorite lighting scenes—they love the ‘Good Morning’ scene while they drink their morning coffee and read the paper—and enjoy them whenever they want. It’s a game-changer.”
Save: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Your Hands Dirty
Save: Install a Family
of Smart Products
That Work Together
C by GE
TUNABLE WHITE SMART LED BULB
A year-round sun-room space where
the ambiance is inviting and warm
for every-thing “from coffee in the mornings to movies at night.”