A sunroom is an extension of the home that gives you the feeling of the outdoors but is climate-controlled so you can use it year-round, unlike a three-season porch or screened-in porch. Sunrooms generally have floor-to-ceiling windows to let in as much natural light as possible. Adding a sunroom may seem like a difficult task, but you can complete the addition in as little as a weekend with a sunroom kit.
Before you can add a sunroom, you need to figure out where you will put it. The placement of your sunroom largely depends on personal preference and the set-up of your house and landscape. Sunrooms are usually located on the side or back of a house because the structure on the front detracts from your home's existing curb appeal and provides less privacy. If you want the room to be as sunny as possible, build the sunroom on the south-facing side of your house. Gardeners know this side to be the side that receives the most sunlight. If you grow a garden or have a flowerbed of which you are particularly proud, place the sunroom so you'll have a view of the garden. Your decision may also be dictated by accessibility within your home, such as whether you want the room to be located off your kitchen or living room.
While a sunroom's function is obviously to provide a lot of light in your home, there are various functions that the room can serve for your family. If you have a lot of potted plants, you can use the sunroom as a greenhouse, which is especially useful if you need a place to bring in plants during winter months. You could also make the sunroom an extra living room for your home, complete with comfortable seating and a television. If the room is located off the kitchen, it would make a cheery breakfast room for your family. You can add a sunroom to serve as a play area for the kids if you have children.
The type of flooring you choose for your sunroom is important to the function it serves. If you will be using it like a greenhouse, opt for a natural, hard floor. Flagstone, brick or ceramic tile are good choices because they are fairly easy to clean dirt spills and water that may overflow from your pots. If the sunroom is an extra living room, you could install hardwood or laminate flooring and add an area rug to define the seating area. A child's playroom should have a soft floor, so you could install carpet or a hard floor with a soft cover, such as a foam tile play mat.
When the sun beats down its brightest rays, even a sunroom could benefit from some shade. You could install simple mini-blinds to your sunroom windows for easy and affordable shade when needed. If the room is used like a greenhouse, you might install some bamboo shades that roll up when not in use but echo the natural feel of the plants in the room. Roman shades are functional and elegant and can be made at home with a little sewing know-how. If you want a more formal look in the room, you can even use lush draperies to outfit the room.
Furniture and Accessories
If you will be doing a lot of entertaining in your sunroom, you'll need to maximise the space. Try installing window bench seating around the perimeter of the room to free up the floor space for walking space or other furniture. A sunroom that doubles as a TV room might be filled with a regular sofa, loveseat and recliner, or you could go for a Florida room style with wicker or rattan furnishings. A wrought iron cafe table and chairs is ideal for a breakfast room. You can add bookcases for living rooms or shelves for children's toys. Accessorise with a few lamps so you can enjoy the room after the sun goes down. Colourful throw pillows on window seats or sofas add comfort and make the room cheery.