What Is a Sunroom?

Sunroom with furniture

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As suggested by its name, sunrooms are all about inviting as much sunshine into your home as possible. Whether you live in a cold climate or warm climate, are looking for a place to grow loads of houseplants, or a spot to watch the sunrise from inside, sunrooms can be the perfect way to invite the outdoors inside. Here we will look at what constitutes a sunroom and offer some tips to help you style your sunroom to get the most out of these relaxing spaces.  


Sunrooms are sometimes referred to as solariums or conservatories, but these are actually different rooms. So what exactly distinguishes a sunroom? A sunroom is an addition to the home, often separated by patio doors or sliding French doors. The frame and roof of the room are the same materials that are used to build the rest of the home, but the wall frames hold numerous large windows. Some may even have floor-to-ceiling windows or skylight windows. The key feature that separates sunrooms from solariums and conservatories is the fact that the roof is made from traditional roofing materials, not glass.  

A sunroom is often connected to the side or back of the home, but it can be attached to the front as well. Where the sunroom is located will depend on a number of factors, such as privacy, the location of the sun, or the location of a covered porch that you wish to turn into a sunroom. In the northern hemisphere, it is common for sunrooms to be placed on the southern or eastern side of a home. South-facing sunrooms get the most consistent sunshine throughout the day. East-facing sunrooms are perfect for viewing sunrises and receiving bright morning sun while being protected from the harsh afternoon sun. 

Fun Fact

Because of the abundant sunshine, sunrooms are so popular in Florida that some people refer to these rooms simply as ‘Florida rooms.’ 

Key Features

As mentioned, sunrooms are identifiable by their large number of windows. These allow in as much natural lighting as possible. Sunrooms may be designed as such from the outset or may include converted covered porches. These rooms can have HVAC or not, depending on the purpose of the room, the doors that separate the space, and what you would like the space to be used for.

Four-season sunrooms have HVAC installed in the room, making climate control possible and the space usable all year round. Three-season sunrooms generally do not have HVAC installed and therefore are only usable during the spring, summer, and fall, as winters will be too cold for a comfortable climate.  

Fun Fact

Sunroom windows can be fitted with screens, enabling them to open. By opening all the windows, you can enjoy the sounds of the outdoors and invite in a lovely breeze. This allows you to feel like you are sitting outside without worries over exposure to insects or rain.

Styling Tips

When styling a sunroom, the goal should be to add comfortable furniture and inviting elements without blocking the window views or overcrowding the space. The windows are an interesting element to work with, as there isn’t much—if any—wall space to hang art or decorations. 

When deciding on what decor and furniture to include, first evaluate the purpose of your sunroom. Will it primarily be used as another living area, a dining space, or a lounging area for relaxing and reading? Depending on the size of the sunroom, you may find yourself using it for more than one purpose, or your use may change throughout the day. For example, you may include a reading nook or a small table for dining along with a sofa and chair set for social visits with friends. 

Whatever you are using the space for, opt for light, airy elements. Light, soft, cheerful colors will help enhance the brightness of the space or you can pick warm, inviting tones for a relaxing seating spot in the evening. Whichever color palette you prefer, add enough furniture and decor to create a comfortable environment, without detracting from the view.

Another key thing to add to a sunroom is plants. The abundance of light makes growing full-sun houseplants a breeze. Incorporating greenery also makes the space feel more natural and brings the outside inside. Whether you incorporate a few houseplants or fill the space with greenery, including plants is a great way to decorate a sunroom.