Porches & Sunrooms
Expand your year-round living space with a screen porch or sunroom. These versatile spaces provide a delightful transition between the indoors and outdoors, accommodating everything from entertaining to dining to relaxation.
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At 450 square feet, this screen porch is roomy enough to entertain guests while retaining a cozy feel that suits a family. The porch boasts a sitting area and dining room offering great views of the tree-filled backyard. Stout timber-frame construction gives it a simple, rustic look. The fieldstone fireplace serves as a striking focal point that stretches to the ceiling. A tree-branch chandelier above the cozy sitting area is also eye-catching and complements the room's rustic character.
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Porch Dining Room
The dining room table and chairs -- which once sat at one end of the living room -- were moved into the screen porch to create a pleasant semi-outdoor dining spot. The porch's location -- just off the kitchen -- makes dining convenient. The family uses the cozy dining area as often as weather permits.
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Windows that Wow
In this sunroom, four sets of stunning French doors -- topped with transoms -- swing open for cool breezes and easy access to the outdoors.
Expert Advice: Windows are the most important design element of any sunroom, improving comfort and energy efficiency with a layer of insulation to stabilize room temperature. Invest in the best windows you can afford and shop for features such as high energy-efficiency ratings, double- or triple-pane glass, ultraviolet tints, and safety-rated shatterproof glass.
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Simple yet chic styling turns this sunroom into an escape. White walls, trim, and beaded board ceiling keep the sunroom feeling bright and cheerful, regardless of the sun's location. Shelves in one corner of the room add storage for books and display space for beach decor. New lavender slipcovers on the couches match the hydrangeas in the backyard, bringing an element of the outdoors in.
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Easy furnishings, bright colors, and an open, airy feel make this sunroom a favorite year-round retreat. Fuss-free wicker furniture and wooden benches covered with colorful cushions and pillows lend a laid-back attitude to the room. Small trees and potted plants bring a little of the outdoors inside. A vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and wall-mount candle lanterns add cabin-like character.
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Cool & Colorful
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Pleasant Screen Porch
This peaceful screen porch expands living space just off a great room and boasts the same attention to detail. The towering fireplace provides a focal point and adds warmth on cooler days. Laid-back wicker and iron furnishings invite casual gathering and relaxation. Sliding glass doors can close off the porch from the rest of the house when outside humidity levels get too high.
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The stunning fireplace is finished in tabby stucco, a regional material made with crushed beach shells. A soothing shade of aqua on the ceiling complements the shell-colored fireplace finish and makes the porch feel more intimate and cozy. The porch's vaulted ceiling and exposed rafters add architectural interest and follow a pattern found throughout the house.
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Creating a space to relax and connect with nature was the goal of this simple, sweet porch. Tall windows provide beautiful vistas of the wildlife reserve that borders the property. Potted plants and small trees bring a little of the outdoors inside. Comfy, casual furnishings invite relaxation and conversation.
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Stained Concrete Floor
The porch floor looks like terra-cotta tile, but it's actually stained concrete stenciled with a brick pattern. It mimics the real thing but is much more affordable. The floor is heated by hydronic tubing installed beneath the concrete and attached to a water heater -- an economical way to heat the floor. During the winter months when the room is not in use, the heating system can be turned off at the flip of a switch.
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Tall, transom-topped windows stretch up the walls, allowing an abundance of natural light to filter inside this elegant farmhouse-style sunroom. A classic black-and-white checkerboard pattern painted onto the floor adds flair underfoot. Four comfy chairs covered with red toile fabric create a cozy, stylish sitting area.
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To strengthen the sunroom's connection to the home's exterior and enhance its farmhouse feel, board and batten siding painted a barn-red color was applied to one of the walls, matching an exterior application of the same materials. An antique table topped with charming accessories completes the farmhouse-style look.
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Three walls of gorgeous transom-topped windows invite generous amounts of natural light and a delightful cross breeze in this sunroom. The room's color scheme was inspired by a seaside setting. Soothing colors of soft blues, pale yellows, sage greens, and warm whites create a serene, beachy backdrop.
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Defined by a striking keyhole-shape archway, this sunroom is a favorite spot for reading, relaxing, and entertaining. The archway, along with the step down from hallway's wood to the sunroom's tile floor, helps to define the space as a separate room. An abundance of natural light from the tall windows together with elegant cottage-style furnishings and chandelier turn this sunroom into a destination.
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Wood shutters -- installed on the lower portions of the tall windows -- add light-filtering privacy in the sunroom. This type of window treatment creates a sense of intimacy by visually reducing the room's volume without sacrificing the views that connect the sunroom to the surrounding landscape.