The weatherman is calling for 75 degree weather today in New York, and spring is definitely in the air. Anyone else feel like stretching out their arms, running through the park, and spinning in circles a la Maria in the opening sequence of The Sound of Music? Sounds like it’s time for sunroom tips!
With the days getting longer, the sun peeking out, and the spring greenery germinating, we’re so excited to be bringing the sunshine indoors with these standout sunroom decorating ideas and sun-filled interiors that’ll bring solace to your home. If adding a sunroom (or sun parlor, seasons room, sun porch, Florida room—whatever you want to call it) is on your home improvement to-do list, these tips are for you!
Sunroom Tip #1. Comfortable Seating
When you think sunroom, or even screened in porches, you may think outdoor. And if you think outdoor, you may think uncomfortable wicker or wire furniture. But because sunrooms typically are built into the structure of your home, you should bring in upholstered seating, plush pillows, and throws just like you would anywhere else.
Make sure to include a coffee table and side tables so you have a place to set down drinks or the book you’re reading. We also suggest hiring an electrician to install electrical outlets in your sunroom if they’re not there already; after all, the sunroom is a relaxing space to get some work done when the weather is nice. In short, a sunroom should really be furnished well enough to function as a second living room.
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Sunroom Tip #2. Versatility is Key
The best sunrooms can accommodate both a seating arrangement and a dining table (like in the image above) so they can be used as much as possible. To maximize your sunroom use, also consider investing in a four-season sunroom.
But if you don’t have a four-season sunroom with climate control, don’t worry: A ceiling fan can cut through stifled summer air and still look beautiful (see below), and an indoor fire pit is perfect for keeping warm and roasting marshmallows campfire-style in the winter (although a sub-floor heating system may be more effective).
Sunroom Tip #3. Keep Out the Jones’
Just kidding—we love our neighbors as much as everyone else, but there are times when it’s nice to have a little privacy, and this is often forgotten when designing a sunroom. Curtains or shades are a must for privacy, but they’re also a practical maneuver.
Floor-to-ceiling insulated glass windows with warm beams of sunlight pouring in are what make sunrooms so beautiful, but they can also make sunrooms hot if the room lacks air-conditioning. Curtains and shades help cut down on direct sun exposure to keep you from getting overheated or burned if you fall asleep out there on a hot summer day… Which reminds us of another sunroom must-have: sunscreen. You can never be too safe.
Sunroom Tip #4. Perfect Exposure
What is the best location for your sunroom? It really depends on the area you live in and the functionality you want from the space. Here is a handy cheat-sheet for your reference as you style your sunroom:
Sunrooms facing north get low level sun and partial shade throughout most of the day. This is an ideal sunroom spot for most, although it may require a heating system if you want to use it during the winter.
Sunrooms with southern exposure are perhaps the most aesthetically beautiful, allowing sunlight to pour in for the majority of the day. This sunroom spot is idyllic and beautiful, however it likely requires a cooling system, especially if you live in the south.
The sun will trickle in early in the morning, and you’ll get plenty of shade in the afternoon and evening. This is perfect for a scenic breakfast area, an exercise room, or for anyone who likes to rise with the sun.
While dim in the mornings, western exposure welcomes the afternoon sun and is the perfect location to watch a romantic sunset. That said, if you live where the sun can be brutal, be sure to invest in shades and a good cooling system!
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Sunroom Tip #5. Window Wisdom
Unsurprisingly, windows are the most important part of the sunroom. Make sure to do your research and discuss your sunroom with a building materials expert and your local department of building and safety to ensure you make the best window glass purchase. Typically speaking, sunrooms call for a minimum of double-glazed glass. Low-E glass is a type of window coated with extremely thin layers of metallic oxide that is also recommended for sunrooms.
The glass permits light to pass through but reflects heat and ultraviolet rays, making it very energy efficient and a built-in “sunscreen.” Because there is so much glass in the sunroom, tempered glass is also a common choice.
Sunroom Tip #6. Upgrade to a Solarium
What’s the difference between a sunroom and a solarium? A solarium is a space completely enclosed in glass (including the ceiling, like in the pic above) with the purpose of trapping as much light as possible while blocking out the other outdoor elements. The style originated in standalone greenhouses and became popular in hospitals as a safe space for patients who wanted to enjoy natural sunlight.
“Sunroom” is the name architects and designers currently use to describe any room with very large (usually floor-to-ceiling) windows, and the design came from the simple fact that people wanted to sit out on their porches year round and keep out harsh weather or pests like bugs and mosquitos. If a solarium isn’t in the budget (they can be quite a pricey build), installing a skylight is a compromise that accomplishes a similar feat.
Sunroom Tip #7. Go Green
As the space transitioning from indoor to outdoor, the sunroom is needs thriving plants as a connecting element. Florals are a great start, but rich greenery and trees really give the sunroom space an organic ambiance.
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Sunroom Tip #8. Extended Living Space
The sunroom breaks down the barriers between inside and outside spaces, so our favorite sunroom designs bring in natural elements from the outside while retaining the general aesthetic from the rest of the house. This allows your living space to be extended, and for your sunroom to act as a second living room.
Sunroom Tip #9. Establish Zones
If your sunroom is long and narrow (or even if it’s not), divide your space into sections to create a zone for dining, a zone for conversation with friends and family, and a zone for reading or working.
Sunroom Tip #10. Nighttime Lighting
Because we associate the sunroom with….well, sunlight, it can be easily to forget task and accent lights for when the sun goes down. One final tip: the sunroom is naturally very seasonal: all of the walls are windows, so you’re immediately connected with the outside. Because of this, the sunroom needs constant refreshing to keep in season.
Get more spring fresh tips on how to bring the outdoors in here on the blog.
Kathy Kuo Home Design Services
Feeling inspired? Building a sunroom? In addition to being a source for beautiful high quality furnishings and decor, Kathy Kuo Home has a team of professional interior designers that are ready to assist with all of your interior design needs. Our services provide multiple layout and design options that fit your style and budget for any room. You will work with a team of designers and project managers to help you love where you live.
Call (888) 908-3486 or email email@example.com today to get started!