As all inventions go, the solarium originated as a solution to a well-recognized problem. For thousands of years, sunrooms were mainly used for one purpose. Before there was electricity, sunlight was the original heating source. In China, around 6000 BC, rooms were erected facing South in order to capture the most rays of light possible in order to heat their interior spaces. This became especially useful during cold, winter months.
Scout and Nimble
Many years later, in the 1960's, North America adopted the solarium to solve another problem entirely. Homeowners became increasingly frustrated with changing weather patterns and the insurgence of pesky bugs. They found that these nonoptimal conditions prevented them from enjoying their outdoor spaces to the fullest. Sunrooms became the perfect bridge between the indoors and outdoors. Now, homeowners don't have to choose between comfort and nature. Looking to bridge this gap in your family home? Below are some tips to get you there!
Tip #1: Choose Durable Furniture
Sunrooms are generally build in the rear of the house adjacent to the backyard. During the summer months, this makes them especially heavy in foot-traffic. Wet bathing suits and sunscreen make keeping furniture clean and dry a nightmare. To prevent damage, choose pieces that are durable and safe from moisture. Some of our favourite durable materials include rattan, synthetic wicker, concrete, teak wood, polyester, and mohair. Give them a try in your own sunroom!
When it comes to putting together a cozy patio display, don't be afraid to mix and match. Pair a sturdy loveseat with some mismatched chairs and not only will they create interest within the space, but they will also prevent the design from looking too chunky.
Tip #2: Use Both Indoor & Outdoor Design Features
The beauty of this covered space is that you feel like you are one with nature without needing to limit yourself to outdoor furniture. A sunroom is not meant to be a storage area. It is meant to be the place you come to entertain, relax, read your favourite book, and take in the beauty of the outdoors. Choosing elements that incorporate both indoor and outdoor pieces is a great way to embrace all elements of interior design.
How exactly do you mesh these two worlds? Think patio meets living room! Use natural elements such as stone, concrete, and wood in your design. Incorporate plants into this indoor/outdoor space to reflect the lush greenery on the other side of the glass.
To add that interior design touch, mix in decor accents that you would naturally find inside your home. Accents like brass bowls, metal planters and whimsicle nick-nacks really catch the eye and make a solarium pop. Artificial plants work well in this space because they are low maintenance and don't rely on shade to thrive. However, if you do prefer real plants, choose types that flourish well in full sunlight.
Lastly, don't forget about the wall art. Just because a sunroom reflects the outdoors, does not mean the artwork has to. Opt for art that reflects your personal style and goes well with the room. If you love the look of architectural or abstract, just go for it!
Tip #3: Heat Floors & Insulate
One misconception people have about sunrooms is that they are only meant for the summer months. Sunshine radiates all year long, so why not enjoy the stunning view from your sunroom year round? To stay cozy and prevent heat loss during the winter months, we highly recommend insulating your walls and installing heated floors. This will not only let you enjoy your space longer throughout the year, it will also make it more durable in the long run. Invest in high-quality windows that keep bugs and debris at bay, while also leaving money in your wallet — where it should be!
Porcelain tiles may be a bit more pricey initially, but the benefits far outway the initial investment. Porcelain does not crack or break easily, so it is great for high foot-traffic areas such as sunrooms. Unlike hardwood or vinyl, porcelain won't peel or bubble when moisture is present, allowing you to entertain your pool party guests care-free. Choose flooring wisely — don't compromise on function or style.
BONUS TIP: Add a stylish rug for that extra layer of warmth and comfort! We can help you choose the perfect one to fit your space.
Tip #4: Refurbish What You Can
Not every renovation has to cost an arm and a leg. Refurbish as much as you can to save on costs. Have an old fireplace that needs tending to in your sunroom? Sometimes a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference for the overall look of the space. Don't be afraid of marking it with your own individual flair. After all, it is for you to enjoy! Brick walls make beautiful backdrops for artwork, so instead of covering them up, allow the natural texture to shine through.
Do you have a sunroom that needs a little TLC? We can help you design a space that makes your wildest (and warmest) dreams come true! Contact us today to get started.