40 Sunroom Ideas to Brighten Your Space

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated June 8, 2021
family playing on couch in sunroom
© Westend61/Alamy Stock Photo

These design ideas will help you to transform your sunroom into one of your favorite spaces

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Imagine reading a book in the warm glow of your sunroom, coffee mug in hand. Your potted flowers and herb garden are thriving in the natural light. Your family is enjoying the space right alongside you. Sounds pretty dreamy, right?

Sunrooms are ideal for unwinding throughout the year, particularly in the mornings and evenings when the sun sits low. Additionally, since natural sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, these rooms provide mental health benefits, from improved sleep to vitamin D-boosting capabilities.

If you’re considering building a sunroom, you’ll find there are lots of design options that’ll match your personality. Depending on your location, you’ll want to decide if an enclosed porch or sunroom will better fit your budget and needs. 

Some of the following ideas will be more of a DIY project, while others will require a sunroom contractor. Below are 40 sunroom ideas to help inspire you to create the perfect space to enjoy throughout the year.

What Is a Sunroom?

A sunroom, also referred to as a solarium, typically has walls made of glass to allow for abundant daylight and nature-watching. Generally, a sunroom is custom-designed as a renovation to a current room or as an addition to a home. 

The purpose of your sunroom depends on your needs, wants, and overall home design. From relaxing with loved ones to cultivating your dream indoor garden, read on for more information on the different types of sunrooms to inspire you.

Relaxing Sunroom Ideas

One use of a sunroom is to create a fun and relaxing place to prepare for the day and unwind in the evening. If you prefer mornings, sunrooms are excellent places to relax in the morning with your caffeinated beverage of choice. In the evenings, you can sit back and watch the sunset transform into stars. Here are several ways to make your sunroom a relaxing atmosphere.

meditative sunroom ideas infographic

1. Install a Fireplace for Warmth

A sunroom with a small fireplace is great for hot-flow yoga or staying cozy in the winter. A fireplace can also help keep your electricity bills low.

2. Enjoy the Waterfront

sunroom with chairs and windows with waterfront views
© DenGuy /Getty Images

If you live by a lake or ocean, enhance the tranquility by designing a sunroom that focuses on the beach and water. Consider installing extra wide windows to reduce the number of vertical beams—this will help you make the most of your lake or ocean view.

3. Showcase a Mountain View

With a mountain view sunroom, you’ll have the ultimate nature-watching experience from the comfort of your home. If you’re building where it often snows, consider installing a well-insulated pitched roof that can withstand a heavy snow load.

4. Create a Cabin-Style Sunroom

If you want a cabin-style sunroom, use stained wood planking. The natural light from your windows paired with the bold wood tones will help create a serene atmosphere.

5. Hang a Porch Swing

indoor swing in sunroom
© Lexia Frank/Stocksy

Installing a new porch swing in your sunroom will add another level of comfort. Whether you’re reading your favorite novel or hanging out bird watching, gentle swinging can help you and your guests relax.

6. Construct a Circular Sunroom

A circular sunroom will create symmetry and serenity in the room. Plus, it juxtaposes nicely against the modern home themes of today, which typically showcase clean lines and sharp edges.

7. Set Up a Studio Sunroom

Whether you love to practice yoga at home or enjoy meditating before or after work, consider creating a fitness studio in your sunroom. If you plan to lift weights in your studio sunroom, look to install gym floor mats to prevent damage.

8. Make a Music Room

You can turn your sunroom into an entertainment and relaxation area with comfortable sofas and loveseats. A musical sunroom is a fabulous place for a family who loves to play music together and can serve as a performance space for guests.

9. Put in a Poolside Sunroom

poolside sunroom with couch and TV
© Alexandre Zveiger/Shutterstock

With a poolside sunroom, you can watch your kids play in the pool from a comfortable position. You can also decorate your poolside sunroom with restful furniture such as a chaise lounge to enjoy during unswimmable weather.

10. Install Dimming Lights

Having lights in a sunroom might seem a bit ironic. But if you’re using the sunroom as a place to meditate or read before dawn or after dusk, warm dimming lights will help create a well-balanced atmosphere.

11. Soundproof the Room

If you’re into meditation or just want a quiet place to relax, look into soundproofing your sunroom. To help insulate the room, make sure to fully seal all windows and use heavy rugs or thick carpets.

Turn Your Shed Into a Personal Sunroom

If you have a shed that’s taking up space or not getting enough use, you have the perfect opportunity to transform it into a sunroom. From an entertainment area to more living space, there are plenty of options—just be sure to keep the size of your shed and budget in mind.

personal sunroom ideas infographic

12. Construct a Retreat

We all know how important alone time is, no matter how much you love your family. A sunroom shed retreat can give you just enough space to relax and rejuvenate. To help you recharge, schedule time in your week to relish in the sunroom without interruption.

13. Fortify Your Garden

man and woman talking in sunroom with lots of plants
© Yongyuan/Getty Images

A sunroom is an ideal spot to grow plants and flowers while serving as a place to relax. Your plants will get the natural light they crave and the enclosed shed will protect them from curious critters and insects.

14. Entertain With a Bar

Do you enjoy entertaining others? Your shed-turned-sunroom is a terrific place to do just that, especially with your own built-in backyard bar. Installing a TV for sporting events is also a great idea—just make sure you have a generator or extension cords to reach the house.

15. Light Up Your Office Space

If you’re a remote worker, consider making your next office a sunroom that’s separate from your house. To make your sunroom office operable, schedule an electrician to help run enough power to your shed. Plus, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender.

16. Build an Additional Guest House

Do your guests want more privacy? Turn your unused shed into a sunroom guest house. Your guests will thank you as they fall asleep under the stars. Don’t forget to plan space for heaters or air conditioning window units to keep guests comfortable.

17. Attach a Kitchen or Grilling Area

kitchen grilling area sunroom
© brizmaker/Getty Images

For those needing more space to grill or cook, consider having your shed double as a sunroom kitchen. If you live in a less-than-temperate climate, the sunroom kitchen and grilling area will protect you from the elements. Make sure you have enough ventilation by propping the door open or installing a vent hood.

Small Sunroom Ideas for a Space-Friendly Style

Who says your sunroom has to be huge? You may only have room for a small area that accommodates one or two people at a time, but it can still serve as a functional and stylish space. Bonus: Small sunrooms are often more cost-efficient. Here are some of our go-to small sunroom ideas to inspire you.

miniature sunroom ideas infographic

18. Construct a Bench Area

bench area sunroom
© Dotter Solar Architect

To save space, consider installing a built-in bench. You can use this bench to take a nap or as a reading nook outside. An additional way to save space is to have your attached bench serve as a storage area by putting hinges on the top of the seat so you can store items underneath.

19. Start a Small Home Office

Your small sunroom can also serve as a bright and focused office space. If your eyes are exhausted from the constant contrast between computer screens and overhead lights, then a sunroom office can help. By surrounding yourself with more natural light, your eyes will better adjust to screens. Additionally, your view of the outdoors can help inspire and motivate you as the workday goes on.

20. Make Another Meal Space

You can turn a small sunroom into a meal space with a great view. Consider placing a long counter bar along one window or wall to make the best use of your view and space. By designing your space this way, everyone will be able to have the same gorgeous view.

21. Organize a Miniature Library

sunroom with mini library in bench
© Kraus Associates

If you have more books than you know what to do with, consider making your sunroom a miniature library. To save space, build the bookshelves into the walls.

22. Spoil the Pets

cat in a sunroom
© Kseniia Soloveva/Getty Images

Do you love your pets to the moon and back? Make your small sunroom a place for them to relax and sunbathe. Birds, dogs, and cats often enjoy basking in the sun and will appreciate a place of their own.

23. Arrange a Tea Room

From enjoying a caffeinated blend in the morning to high tea in the afternoon, a sunroom is an ideal space for tea aficionados. Be sure to include plenty of counter space to steep your favorite loose-leaf varieties and prepare scones.

Brighten Your Sunroom With Color

Take advantage of the abundance of natural light coming into your sunroom by hiring a local professional to re-paint the walls. Due to the amount of light filling the room, you can go with darker paint tones and furniture than you normally would for other rooms. You can also keep the space airy and cheerful by painting walls and objects with light colors.

colorful sunroom ideas infographic

24. Dramatize With Curtains

Keeping your sunroom curtains light will allow natural light to come through. But this doesn’t mean they can’t be colorful or dramatic. Another bonus: Curtains and drapes provide privacy from the neighbors.

25. Invigorate With Vibrant Rugs

Another good way to add color to your sunroom is with rugs. With one or more rugs, you can add lots of colors to the floor. These rugs will also help craft your desired aesthetic. On the other hand, a neutral-colored rug can help balance other bold items in the room.

26. Go With Black and White

sunroom with black and white furniture
© PC Photography/Getty Images

A white and black combination is always a classic. Keep your space bright by painting your walls white. You can add both depth and sophistication by applying black trimming around the windows.

27. Add Texture to the Furniture

Textured furniture is a good option when you want to spice up your sunroom. You can use wicker sofas and chairs if it’s routinely warm in your area. On the flip side, invest in plush and cozy furniture if you live in a colder climate.

28. Toss in Throw Pillows

Fun and colorful throw pillows are always a good option for an extra pop. Try patterned or textured pillows for an even bolder style statement. Adding fun throw pillows can help make your space more comfortable.

29. Strategically Place Lighting Fixtures

Use a variety of floor and table lamps to help balance the light within the room. Also, wall-mounted fixtures give a nice sophisticated touch. Choose warm light bulbs to make the sunroom feel cozier, especially after the sun sets.

30. Add Depth by Painting One Wall

Painting an accent wall is an excellent way to add both color and depth to your sunroom. Go bold with a darker shade or paint geometric shapes on the wall. Let your personality shine through and have fun with whatever color or pattern you choose.

31. Brighten With White

yoga and meditation space set up in sunroom
© Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

You can make your sunroom bright and elegant by painting the walls white and adding light furniture for a mature and clean look.

32. Install Mirrors

Installing mirrors on the walls of your sunroom will reflect the natural light, making the space airy and bright. Mirrors will reflect both natural light and the colors within the room, so plan contrasting furniture and paint colors.

33. Double the Space

If you’re transforming your second-story porch into a sunroom, you can expand your living space by creating an upstairs and downstairs sunroom. Brighten your house even further by having a contractor near you remove the interior wall so that the natural light from the sunroom floods other areas of the house.

34. Install a Crystal or Glass Chandelier

The multiple facets of a crystal chandelier will reflect the natural light sources throughout the sunroom. Plus, it’ll serve as a conversation-starting centerpiece for the room.

35. Purchase Outdoor Furniture

wicker furniture in sunroom
© Rowena Naylor/Stocksy

If your sunroom has many tropical plants and you live in a humid climate, you might want to invest in outdoor furniture made of wicker. The high humidity levels in the sunroom can ruin fabric-covered furniture. Plus, wicker comes in a variety of dark and light colors that can help accentuate the space further.

Decorate Your Sunroom With Plants and Flowers

Part of having a sunroom is enjoying natural light and being able to see the outdoors. One way to make a sunroom feel more natural and earthy is by incorporating plants and flowers. Whether you have a green thumb or can only keep succulents alive, use any of these ideas to inspire your space.

vegetative sunroom ideas infographic

36. Decorate Lightly Around Furniture

Place small pots with delicate plants and flowers in your sunroom for a minimalist vibe. Small succulents will work great in this aesthetic since they’re easy to maintain and often grow slowly.

37. Establish a Theme

Establish a theme, such as tropical or western, depending on what plants do well in your area. For example, if you live in a desert area, place cacti around your furniture.

38. Create a Conservatory

sunroom plant conservatory greenhouse
© Irina88w/Getty Images

Go all out with plants and create a conservatory, aka a sunroom or greenhouse filled with plants. Just make sure you have the time and capacity to maintain them.

39. Display a Floral Centerpiece

If you’re using your sunroom as a tea room or small dining space, consider displaying a floral arrangement or centerpiece on the table. A bonsai tree or tray of succulents are excellent choices.

40. Incorporate Vines

Your sunroom likely has beams on the roof, especially if you incorporated a glass roof. These beams are the ideal place to add climbing vine. To make the vines follow the beams, purchase and install plastic or metal plant climbing wall fixtures.

How to Turn Any Room Into a Sunroom

You can turn most rooms in a house into a sunroom. Before doing so, you'll want to know the cost of creating a sunroom and the amount of landscaping required for maximum sunlight

To help convert any room into a sunroom, keep this checklist in mind:

  • Hire an architect to review the room and sign off on suitability.

  • Calculate costs by considering contractor, floor, and window costs.

  • Choose the windows and flooring. Make sure both styles match the rest of the house.

  • Hire a contractor to demolish the existing walls and install the windows.

  • Insulate the room by closing up all leaks and fully sealing the windows.

  • Update the electric lines and outlets depending on use. If the sunroom also serves as a guest room or office space, make sure you have plenty of outlets.

  • Paint any remaining walls to brighten the room and reflect natural light.

  • Bring in new furniture to give off the aesthetic you want. This can include beds, sofas, throw pillows, and side tables.

With these 40 sunroom ideas and suggestions, you have plenty of ways to transform a room, enclosed porch, or shed into an extravagant sunroom. To get the ball rolling on your personalized sunroom, consider contacting a remodeling contractor. This contractor can help modify your walls in preparation for letting the natural sunlight come through.

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