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Designer Thomas O'Brien's Lovely Sunroom

A peek at designer Thomas O'Brien's sunroom—and his outdoor collection for Century Furniture

Produced by Julianne Hilmes Bartlett

How does Thomas O’Brien’s garden grow? Very well, thank you! Turns out, this master of interior projects and products is no shrinking violet when it comes to tackling garden design. And now love for his garden spaces has sprouted into a collection of outdoor pieces for Century Furniture—guaranteed beautiful, no weeding or watering required.

We chatted with the designer about his warm sunroom and the inspiration behind his collection.

A fresh white palette sets the stage for the verdant greens and organic textures used in Thomas' sunroom. The walls are Silken Pine from Benjamin Moore—a go-to color choice for the designer. "[The sunroom] sits in the middle of the garden with doors out to the different parts of it," says Thomas. "It is a light and natural modern garden room."


Photo: Francesco Lagnese

On his favorite way to spend time in the sunroom: "We actually love the sunroom most of the winter months when the plants come inside and it is bright and sunny outside. A fire here on a winter day is fantastic. For the spring and summer seasons, I paint the fireplace interior fresh and white after using it for warm winter fires."


Library House Bench from the Thomas O'Brien Outdoor collection for Century Furniture

On his favorite piece in the collection: "I love that the collection is so mixed and has both the metal and wood materials. My favorite though is the Library House Bench. I wanted to create my own special fine, new classic garden bench."


Photo: Francesco Lagnese

On the inspiration behind the Augustine bench: "It comes from a wonderful small antique scrolled metal bench I found years ago. It needed a good deal of reworking and to be rescaled to become properly sized for today. I used the scrolled metal detail to create new details for all the individual pieces of the Augustine Collection. It was great fun to reimagine it over and over in new ways."


The Augustine Garden Bench from the Thomas O'Brien Outdoor collection for Century Furniture


Photo: Francesco Lagnese

On creating a layered, collected look: "Always look and find—you never know where you will find something that catches your interest. I am a shopper and excited by design old and new, both simple and refined. Truly collected spaces take time. Enjoy the time it takes to find things, always keep looking—never stop."


Mainland Wicker Dining Table from the Thomas O'Brien Outdoor collection for Century Furniture

On the one thing everyone ought to have in a sunroom: "Plants that stay and those that come in seasonally. The colors, patterns, and textures should fit in a garden and the furniture types and things in it should be of that garden world. I also keep tucked away baskets, odd vases and candles of different types that come into other rooms as needed. It is a bit of a garden/mudroom of sorts. It is a casual space that gets to be warm and inviting to anyone who sees it. The dogs and cats just love it!"


Designer Thomas O'Brien in his sunroom.
Photo: Francesco Lagnese