As summer gives way to fall, sunrooms are the perfect way to keep enjoying the great outdoors. Even when it's cold out, with some feature plants and natural furniture, sunrooms allow you to get that outdoors feeling all year round.
But how do you create your perfect bright indoor sunroom sanctuary? It can be difficult to decide how to furnish your sunroom as it is a super versatile space that can be used for just about anything. We’ve spoken to the experts about the best sunroom ideas and how to perfect them with furniture for both style and function.
1. Natural and neutral
Chose furniture made with natural elements like wood, bamboo or rattan with neutral shades to create a modern, relaxing space in any home. Laurie Wiluan, Founder and CEO of Personal Space MB says ‘A sunroom should be a place to reconnect with nature as much as possible. Use of sustainable products like bamboo or rattan is an excellent choice of textural elements that also invokes appreciation of nature. It doesn’t have to be your grandmother’s wicker chair. There are many contemporary shapes using these materials that will bring you back into alignment with Mother Earth.’
We like this sustainably sourced, solid wood sectional from West Elm (opens in new tab) in weathered grey.
2. Plush home office material
What better place to work, than from your naturally lit, indoor-outdoor utopia? More people are working from home than ever. Make the most of your space and use your sunroom every day. You only need a small sunroom to create a bright and airy office or studio.
Mother nature can also spur creativity that could elevate your productivity to new heights. Famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright once said ‘I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work.’ Why not bring nature’s inspiration right into your office?
3. Quintessential wicker
Wicker is the classic indoor-outdoor medium. Wicker furniture is perfect to create that summer feel in your sunroom. Shelby Greene of Living Spaces says ‘Wicker sofas don't have to be estranged from the elements – wicker was designed for outdoor use! In a sunroom, use furniture designed for the outdoors to create an outdoors-in feel. Wicker is a versatile option that feels stylish in any space and is associated with summertime, which means that even on a cloudy day, your sunroom will still feel sunny.’
This rattan furniture set available from Wayfair (opens in new tab) is sure to look the part.
4. An intimate greenhouse area
Blur the line between indoors and out by using your sunny space to nurture your plants. Plants love the sunshine almost as much as we do. In a sunroom, they can thrive all year in the warm sunshine so keep your furniture central and all the surrounding plants will make this spot feel intimate with trailing vines and more across the ceiling.
5. Snug but stylish
Get ready for winter with a super cozy sunroom so you can enjoy the sunshine even when it’s cold outside. If you live somewhere where the winters are cold, consider installing a fireplace to keep your sunroom toasty year-round. Choose soft, comfy furniture in warm earthy colors like terracotta, taupe, or copper. Add throws, blankets and cushions to add warmth. We like this cushy day bed from Walmart (opens in new tab).
6. Playful colors
Sunrooms are a great space to play come rain or shine. It is the perfect way for kids to connect with the outdoors without the hassle of getting them ready to embrace the elements.
Create a comfy floor with a plush rug and add some fun bursts of color throughout to make a space ready for playtime. With clever storage options, cute bunting and bright cushions you can create a space the whole family can enjoy.
7. Working with your space
Kelly Vorous of Living Spaces says 'To make the most of a small sunroom, you want to place furniture where you can relax and not feel overcrowded. To avoid feeling overcrowded, pay attention to scale. A common issue with small spaces is we feel determined to make old furniture fit because we have fallen in love with the pieces, but sometimes those pieces can overwhelm a room. It's important to pay attention to the room's scale. Make sure to pick pieces that do not overwhelm or monopolize the room.’
Shop Wayfair (opens in new tab) for sunroom furniture sets specifically designed for smaller spaces.
8. A space for function and entertainment
Kitchen sunrooms are so desirable and it means you can style your space with cool bar stools and more furniture that feels light in appearance but stays true to the room's dual function.
Maryana Grinshpun, principal at Mammoth Projects, NY says ‘I think all families are spending more time in the kitchen. This was true even pre-Covid -- more and more of our lives have been shifting to composing and sharing meals, when we can. So when I saw an opportunity to use this room for a kitchen, I begged our client to let me move the kitchen there.'
9. Scandi dining
Another great use of this bright, happy space is for dining and entertaining. Natural materials give your sunny dining room an outdoorsy, summer feel. We like this solid wood extendable dining set from Wayfair (opens in new tab) for its simple, Scandi finish that works for year-round style. It extends to seat eight people and it comes with a bench so you can squeeze more in if you have the whole family over for events like Thanksgiving.
10. Dressing it up with pattern
Sunrooms are full of natural light and a bold colorful feature item of furniture works so well, especially when enhanced by an area rug in the same colorway as we can see in this bright and cheerful space.
One accent piece can spruce up your sunroom without breaking the bank. Shelby Greene of Living Spaces says ‘A good rug is often not noticed at first – however, it can pull an entire room together and provide contrast for everything else to shine. When examined up close, though, a good rug will also shine in its own right. A rug with tight stitching, durable texture, and a chic diamond pattern, for example, make it modern sunroom-approved.’
Try this beautiful, geometric area rug from Wayfair (opens in new tab) as pictured above.
11. Modern edges
Gone are the days when home libraries were stuffy, old, dark rooms full of musty books. Your sunroom is the perfect spot to relax with a good read so opt for solid wooden shelving to create a calm, tranquil feel, while modern, industrial-style seating combined with a colorful couch can create a balanced contemporary look also.
12. Minimal marks
A minimalist look in your sunroom will give your space contemporary edge. And, you don’t need to crowd your sunroom with furniture. Instead, let the outdoors speak for itself by selecting just a few key pieces that will allow you to create a beautiful, relaxing space – even on a small budget.
We like this hanging egg chair from World Market (opens in new tab) for a simple but effective look.
13. Smart storage
Don’t let your sunroom become your shed by thinking about storage. Use contemporary shelving, side tables and baskets with some added greenery to keep everyday items stowed away stylishly. There are also clever solutions like an ottoman or couch with built-in storage underneath, so you can stay clutter-free easily.
14. Country class
If you’re lucky enough to have a historic property perhaps try going for a more traditional conservatory style sunroom. Floral prints bring the outside in and create a homely, country feel. Try putting clashing styles together to bring your classic space up to date.
How do you arrange furniture in a small sunroom?
Laurie of Personal Space MB recommends, ‘Definitely arrange the ‘center’ of the sunroom in a prominent spot. Stay away from walls to draw the energy into the center area or nearby. Arrange beautiful plants to envelop the space and make right angles disappear. As we know, nature doesn’t grow in right angles,’ said Wiluan.