There’s a reason why people say someone has a “sunny” disposition: Research shows that sunshine is a powerful mood booster. So why not take note of sunroom decorating ideas? At home, a sunroom is a smart and potentially stylish way to invite some of those mood-lifting rays into your home. “Sunrooms should be decorated as the happiest space in the house,” says principal designer Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors in Lake Charles, Louisiana. “If there were ever a place to incorporate loads of color and pattern, sunrooms are the place to do so.”
While they may also be an auxiliary heat source, sunrooms primarily serve as an added living space, where you can enjoy outdoor vibes without the outdoor elements. With that in mind, here are five designer-approved sunroom decorating ideas and clever tips for making your sunroom cozy and inviting.
1. Embrace pattern and texture
For maximum coziness, Bria Hammel of Bria Hammel Interiors in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, recommends adding plenty of textures. “The patterned rug paired with the patterned chairs and accent pillows makes the space feel welcoming and comfortable.”
For the sunroom of a contemporary home on the lake, Hammel went after a coastal aesthetic with some flair to play up the sweeping lake view and nature outside. The exposed wood beams made the cool-toned room feel warmer. “Against the all-white shiplap walls, adding the white oakwood beams to the vaulted ceiling made a big impact,” Hammel said.
2. Mix house heritage with present-day furnishings
Beauty Is Abundant, an Atlanta-based interior design firm, set out to extend the usable living area of this Morningside, Georgia, home. Principal designer Leah Alexander says that the clients wanted to honor the original interior of the 1930s-era home, including the brick wall, which was in pristine condition. “The modern furnishings and sculptural light fixture created an interesting contrast,” Alexander says. They were also a nod to the home’s “art gallery” energy, with the almost hundred-year-old brick as the backdrop.
Alexander recommends adding a large area rug for a sense of place and to ground the interiors—for this project, she chose a rug by Justina Blakeney for Loloi. Area rugs, interesting mood lighting, and conversational seating (with a place for drinks) help to make this sunroom more inviting year-round.
3. Focus on the windows
“A strong window game is a must for any sunroom,” says Ginger Curtis, interior designer and principal at Urbanology in Dallas. “The view from the interior of the home beckons you to lounge for a while in this space.” Merge the sunroom with the rest of interiors by installing striking, floor-to-ceiling black steel window frames. To maintain the “casual yet elevated” style, Curtis notes that a sunroom should feel like an extension of your house, not an outdoor patio. To do this, she recommends choosing furniture and decor pieces that don’t scream outdoor furniture.
4. Make it bright and airy
The sunroom is typically a space that opens up to a view, bridging the gap between the outdoors and the indoors. Generally speaking, Thomas advocates for a laissez-faire approach to designing this space. You want the vibe to be relaxed: stacks of magazines and books by the reading chair, a cable-knit throw blanket casually strewn on an armchair. “This is the space where it should look a bit unbuttoned, so that you can unwind.”
To further embrace the bright and airy enclave, bring in plants like ornamental orchids, bushy ferns, and hanging blooms. Finish the look with a graphic floor that pairs well with ample plant life. “Painted floors are a fantastic way to incorporate interest and anchor a space without the maintenance of a rug,” Thomas says. “Don’t sacrifice aesthetics for function.”
5. Keep it informal
Des Moines–based gallery owner and art advisor Liz Lidgett says her family’s sunroom is a favorite spot in their home. It’s where they listen to records and have dance parties with their kids. As such, the goal was “to brighten the room up, keep it informal, but give it a punch of a style.” And, of course, leave some space for dancing.
To do so, Lidgett kept the furniture to a minimum, placing it “where people will truly sit and use the space.” She continues, “Our vintage rattan set and the swing that my father built for us give a little soul to the room.” Whenever Lidgett is decorating, she looks for “art, handmade pieces, and vintage pieces—elements that make a room memorable.” The sunroom is no exception. Here, Lidgett showcases a framed print by Irish artist Lola Donoghue, hung on the window for a touch of irreverence.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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