Call them what you will…. solariums… greenhouses or conservatories…patio enclosures or breezeways…Florida or three-season rooms.
At their core, they are all sunrooms of one fashion or another, intended to give us the feeling of relaxation and of being both indoors and out at the same time.
Perhaps a better way to describe them from a designer or decorator’s perspective might be “funroom.”
Sure, the sunroom is a place to relax and have fun with the family or guests. It’s often more casual than the rest of the home and usually a completely different look. Part of that is because the sunroom is attached to the main house or separated architecturally, much like an addition or a connector from one part of the home to another.
From a design perspective, it is important to know if your sunroom will be the pass-through type, or if it will be a room with an entry and a view on the world. That may have an impact on what you select for flooring. If there will be traffic to the outdoors, will you want stone or tile, resilient, antiqued or distressed wood? Indoor/outdoor carpet or coir area rug? If your sunroom is enclosed off a room like a living room, dining room or office, and/or your look is more formal or tailored, will you want exotic hardwood, wool carpeting, a high-end laminate or keepsake area rug?
Let’s say that your sunroom is a fixed room at one end of the house with no exit. If it is all glass, like a greenhouse, then the transition to and from the main house will be your focus. If, on the other hand, this is a breezeway or a room that transitions to the outdoors, then the focus will be twofold: transitioning from the home to the sunroom to the out-of-doors. In the first case, will your sunroom be an area to relax and watch the world unfold, kind of like a slow movie? Or, in the second case, will you be actively participating as the indoors blends to the outdoors and vice versa?
Then, of course, your own sense of style comes into play… Are you going to want the garden look, the Old World look? Formal conservatory? Laid-back contemporary? What an opportunity to experiment with a fabulous new space!