Sunroom Decorating and Design Ideas

Get inspired with clever layout and pretty fabrics, furniture, and accents to transform your sunroom into the most-used space in your home.

Create an Entertainment Zone

If your sunroom is fully protected from the elements, then you can easily include indoor-only items, such as lamps, stereos, and TVs. In fact, installing the latter two can help draw family and friends to more outdoor-focused areas at nighttime, allowing you to max out sunroom hours. Here, an eclectic mix of black and white patterns adds visual punch to the gray walls and window treatments.

Extend Your Living Space

Flooded with natural light from large sliding doors and transom windows, this sunroom breaks down the barriers between inside and outside spaces. Even so, its design vibe is in keeping with the rest of the home, with a comfy sofa, leather chair, and wood coffee table picking up on colors and materials used elsewhere.

Carve Out Small Nooks

Many sunrooms have multiple points of entry. If some of those are used less often, it may be OK to steal some space for a divided zone of activity. Here, most of the sunroom is given to living space, but the small, classical-style table and chairs offers a shady spot for outdoor eating.

Adapt Windows as Wall Space

This home’s sunroom had two entryways, one of which was rarely used. What it didn’t have was wall space, either for placement of a sofa or artwork. In an inventive adaptation of windows, the homeowners co-opted one of the doors in order to hang artwork and orient the furniture. The cushion on a narrow storage bench picks up the pattern in the graphic throw.

Turn a Dead Corner into a Daybed

The typical furniture for many corners in sunrooms is a table and maybe a chair. But to take advantage of every square inch—particularly in smaller spaces—consider adding a stand-alone or built-in corner bench. Outfitted with cushions and decorative pillows, these cabinets also provide extra storage. Fabrics tie together the turquoise, yellow, and orange color scheme.

Establish Zones

Long and fairly narrow, this sunroom could have easily become a mishmash of furniture and materials. Instead, the homeowner divided it, almost in half, creating living and dining zones in this tropical-influenced space. Dark stain and a repeating use of wicker help to coordinate the furniture, and textural wallpaper, as well as patterned pillows, add pretty pops of color.

Establish a Formal Aesthetic

For more traditionally minded (and styled) homes, a casual sunroom may feel out of place. Instead, it’s best to continue the same vibe in finishes and fixtures. With large banks of windows, this sunroom is awash in light. Classic furniture lines and patterns, as well as decorative accents including the chandelier, maintain the formal feel.

Update with Quick-Change Pattern

Basics are good home decorating building blocks in any space, including the sunroom. For example, a white slipcovered sofa and white tables work with a variety of styles and color schemes, as this space shows. To add visual interest and texture, the homeowner relied on a diverse collection of similarly hued colors and patterns, including a Greek key motif, floral patterns, and an eclectic chandelier. As an added benefit, if you tire of a color or pattern, using it on a pillow, throw, or rug makes it simple to swap out.

Focus on the View

Many times sunrooms are oriented inward around comfortable seating areas, dining spaces, or other living arrangements. But if you have a view, you may want to rethink that convention. Take this sunroom, for example: Its furniture arrangement makes sure that the homeowners can bask in the striking, uninterrupted sight line. Simple accents—a few pillows, a decorative rug, a simple statue—keep distractions to a minimum.

Add Pops of Color

Hardy elements—a slate floor, exterior shingles—seamlessly connect this interior space to the outside of the home. To add pretty color interest, the homeowners dressed up the dark wicker furniture with similar hues of bright colors such as turquoise, orange, and yellow.

Discover the Power of Mirrors

While most homeowners rely on mirrors for very practical reasons—to see their reflections—they also serve a crucial secondary purpose: to bounce light around a room, eliminating shadows. Although sunrooms usually benefit from an abundance of light, corners in particular may become dark. Here, the white color scheme keeps it bright during the day; at night, the mirror bounces off light from the lamp. Pretty details on the mirror and console table add visual interest to this transitionally styled space.

Using color in decorating can be tricky. Make choosing a color scheme easier by using the color wheel, a tool favored by designers and decorators.

Watch: More Tips for Choosing Color

Keep the Structure Casual

Many sunrooms resemble less outdoor structures than they do finished interior rooms. This one is a nice melding of the two design impulses, with a vaulted, open ceiling and unfinished walls accented by homey touches including pretty window treatments and a contemporary sectional sofa. To add practical storage, consider baskets (which also serve as decorating accents) under furniture.

Add a Focal Point Furniture Piece

Although most sunrooms are centered around seating, a pretty piece of furniture such as a chest or dresser can be a great design focal point, too. Here, a dramatic chest offers hardworking storage and a jumping-off point for the eclectic room arrangement, which includes graphic painted flooring, an Oriental rug, and island-inspired seating. Also note the repetition of images with the rooster pillow and tabletop lamp.

Choose Sturdy Furniture and Accents

In less temperate climates, some sunrooms may only be used in warmer-weather seasons, particularly if windows are simply screened. That means you'll have to ensure that fabric, furniture, and accents can withstand any moisture, wind, or sun. Here, wicker furniture works well; the graphic pattern of the sunroom's floor offers inspiration for the patterns on pillows and rug.

Dress Up the Floor with Paint

This sunroom, originally a dining room, demonstrates a savvy ability to mix patterns and colors. Painted chairs offer a counterpoint to the wood table, while three different fabrics—each in a pretty blue-and-white pattern—dress up seats and seat backs. Underfoot, a painted rug stands as a graphic riff on the country French-inspired theme.

Include Sculptural Ceiling Elements

You wouldn't place a single chair or solo sofa in a very large sunroom, but very few homeowners pay that much attention to the overhead space in their outdoor-oriented areas. Here, this charming room—big enough for a grand dining table and daybed—demonstrates how to decorate a ceiling with light. A metal chandelier establishes the dining area, while a series of fabric-and-metal fixtures supply light around the rest of the room. The fixtures also supply a way for the eye to move around the space, from entry tabletops to corners.

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