From Sunroom to Kitchen

My room at the 
ASID FWC Holiday Splendor 
Payne Mansion Showhouse

When I was asked to participate in the inaugural ASID FWC Payne Mansion Showhouse, I was thrilled to be asked and excited to be doing a room.  Little did I know I would be creating a kitchen out of an existing sun-room in a historical home.  Ok so that in and of it self should have sent me a packin,  but I am always up for a design challenge, so site unseen I agreed to participate and signed myself up.

And this is what I saw that first visit to, Selby Garden's Payne Mansion, the future site of my "sun-room kitchen" transformation.
I remember thinking, wow I love the brick floor and the light in this room is amazing and what an incredible room to hang out in for a month.  My next thought was....."What have I gotten myself into?"

So I gathered all the dimensions and off to the drawing board I went.  Given the historical nature of the Payne Mansion we were given specific instructions that there were to be no modifications to the space and when the showhouse is done the room is to be put back exactly as it was prior to the showhouse installation.

So here I was a room with glass on three walls and the back of a fireplace and two doors on the other.  All I could think was how much I love that brick floor.  And "what have I done?"

I had to set it aside for a few days and let myself be inspired by the space and let it evolve into a "Kitchen" in my mind.  And then I had it and pen to paper I began to create a kitchen out of a sun-room.  We, the designers and participants in the showhouse were given the phaleanopsis orchid as our common theme for the house and beyond that we were each allowed to present our design for approval.  And this is what I presented as my design solution.
After months of planning and preparation here is my finished designed Kitchen that's not a Kitchen space.

Be sure to stop by Selby Garden's and stop into The Payne Mansion where you can view my room in person and see all the other amazing spaces designed by my fellow ASID FWC Holiday Splendor Showhouse Designers  
And here are a few details in the "Kitchen" ...

CREDITS - Design and design concept by Carmen Christensen, Solid cherry cabinetry and decorative solid cheery hood by Time2Design, hand stenciled curtains by Carmen, Orchid Painting by Carmen, All decorative accessories by Time2Design, Orchid photo's by Burt Kellermen, After Photo's seen in this article by Burt and Nanatte Kellermen, Silk florals provided by Lux Art Silks, Concrete Countertop by Jake Brady at concrete countertops, inc., reclaimed custom wood table from Sarasota Architectural Salvage, large area rug with fern pattern from Rugs as Art,  custom light fixtures from reclaimed materials created from materials found at Sarasota Architectural Salvage, Hansgrohe kitchen faucet from Gorman's Bath Gallery, Kitchenaid appliances from DeSear's Appliances.  A special thank you to everyone who was a part of helping me to create this room!!! And a super special thank you to my mom Lynda Christensen for all she does and all the hours and hours she put in helping me put my room together.....You Rock mom!  Love you!

Be sure to stop by to see the Showhouse

“Holiday Splendor at the Payne Mansion”

December 1, 2011 through January 2, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Museum of Botany and the Arts.  

And also during Marie Selby "Lights In Bloom"



  1. sorry to take so long to get over here. Nice job Carmen and look at you with the T2D, plus an orchid painting. props. Interesting to see your treatment of the "curios" I like the way they are almost set to root in the lower cabs. Cheers. ~jb

  2. Thanks JB, was fun doing this room and creating something out of nothing. High Five to you for picking up on the T2D letters. And sometimes you need artwork and I just do what I gotta do! Hugs JB thanks for the props!

  3. Just returned from viewing the Payne Mansion - just magnificent!! The 'details' photos of your kitchen are the ones I took myself to remember what I particularly liked.

    My husband really like the stove backsplash and the kitchen 'sink'.

    Congrats on a job very well done.

  4. Belen - Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed, it was great fun creating this room. Part of why I love design is the challenge to design and create functional solutions and at the same time visually design the space so that it functions and is beautiful!
    Thank you so much,

  5. I just love it i love this mansion and your room decoration and the paintings also thanks for sharing this great post.