If you’re lucky enough to have a sunroom or four-season porch as part of your home’s design, you’re lucky enough! But really—the delight of having a sunny bonus room is truly unparalleled. Far too many people squander these lovely spaces, though. Whether it’s using them for storage rather than another living space or not taking the time to decorate them and maximize the space, it’s a huge missed opportunity to not make the most of a sunroom.

At the same time, we know they can be tough to design. Since they generally have three walls full of large windows, you may have to approach your layout a bit more creatively—especially if it’s on the smaller side. And if you already have a main living space, and perhaps even an outdoor space, it can be challenging to know how to best make use of a sunroom.

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How do you design a sunroom?

There’s no one way to design a sunroom. It all comes down to how you want to use the space.  But there are a few design principles that can help you nail your sunroom design. Read on for some tips you can use in your sunroom design, no matter how you end up using the space.

Use Plenty of Natural Materials

Even though sunrooms and four-season porches are technically indoor spaces, with all the sunshine and potential for fresh airflow, they can sometimes feel more like an outdoor space. Because of that, we love the idea of playing up that outdoor vibe in your sunroom design by using plenty of natural materials. You can even use straight-up outdoor furniture! (This is especially a good idea if you have a three-season porch vs a true sunroom, which tends to only have screens. AKA your furniture is subject to inclement weather!) But even in a fully enclosed sunroom, there’s something fresh about rattan and wicker furniture in a sunroom, as well as wood furniture with a more rustic, weathered finish or pieces with caning.

Opt for Fade-Resistant Fabrics

Since sun porches get a lot of sunlight, that can also result in color fading in your upholstery. So, consider fade-resistant fabrics for sofas, chairs, and even pillows and rugs if any of them will sit in the direct sunlight.

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Bring in Houseplants as Decor

Sunrooms tend to have a greenhouse effect, trapping sunlight and keeping things nice and toasty. Because of this, they tend to be havens for houseplants. Greenhouses are all about helping plants thrive, after all! Since sunrooms also bridge indoor and outdoor spaces, plants are a natural way to decorate these sun-dappled spaces.

Worried about keeping your sunroom plants alive? Check out our plant care guide to pick out the right plants for your place.

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Don’t Forget About Layered Lighting

Sunrooms, in their very nature, let in a ton of sunlight. But it’s nice to have additional lighting in these spaces so that you can use it even when the sun goes down. Many sunrooms have a ceiling light, but it’s nice to incorporate other lighting options like floor and table lamps, string lights (which add a fun and casual outdoor feeling), and even candles. This allows you to layer your lighting and create the vibe you want in the space any time of day!

Large or small, we’re big believers in maximizing those sunrooms and celebrating that sunny bonus space in your home! So, we rounded up six sunroom design ideas to show you how you could potentially use your sunroom and inspire you to make the most of your space.

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sunroom design

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1. Dining and Entertaining Space

Sunrooms can be a great space for entertaining and offer the feeling of dining outside (without the hazard of bugs). Creating an additional dining or entertaining space is especially great if you have a larger sunroom.

How to Get the Look

To bring this design to life, use a rug to designate the dining space. A durable indoor-outdoor rug, like a jute rug, is a great choice if you tend to leave your sunroom’s windows open during the summer. That way, it won’t matter if a little rain comes through! We also like the idea of selecting dining chairs that feature natural textures to give the feeling of outdoor dining space.

You can also set up a bar cart or console table as a place for serving beverages and storing outdoor plates, glasses, and pitchers. A nearby beverage tub for keeping drinks cold is another great addition to a space like this!

From there, hang up some string lights or light some candles for ambiance, throw the windows open to let in a fresh breeze, and enjoy an “outdoor” dinner with friends!

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2. Secondary Living Area

Use your sunroom as an extension of your indoor space by setting up a cozy living area! This is a perfect place to relax in the morning and gather as a family in the evenings, especially in the summer.

How to Get the Look

Since sunrooms are sometimes transitional spaces between your yard and the rest of your home, we love the idea of going with a slipcovered sofa, which is easy to clean if it gets dirty or wet. A rattan coffee table gives you a place to kick up your feet and a surface for playing board games. (And the round shape makes it easy to gather around!) A plush, woven indoor/outdoor rug helps anchor the seating area.

And don’t forget to add lighting so you can use this space well into the evening! Table lamps next to the sofa are great for reading and playing games, while string lights offer a nice ambiance for a casual gathering.

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3. Seating Nook

If you have a smaller sunroom, you may only have room for smaller pieces of furniture. If that’s the case, we love the idea of setting up a seating nook. In a space like this, you can kick back on your own, or have a friend over for coffee or drinks and conversation.

How to Get the Look

It’s probably obvious that a seating nook requires a place to sit! So, pick out a matching pair of accent chairs. Place them at a conversational angle, with a side table in between and a pouf to use as a footrest. (In a pinch, it can also be used as an extra seat!) If your sunroom is deep enough, you could add a bench along the opposite wall for more seating—or a seating area like this could even be part of a larger living area if you have a larger sunroom!

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4. Home Office

Using your sunroom as a home office is a great way to get the feeling of working outside, without being exposed to the elements. Plus, it allows you to enjoy the natural light and the views! This is probably best for those who live in temperate climates though, as sunrooms can get quite hot or cold in states with more extreme weather and seasons!

How to Get the Look

Like any home office, you need the basics of a desk and chair. But you can also lean into the indoor-outdoor vibe of a sunroom and bring in some earthy, natural decorative elements to bring the space to life. (A hide rug feels like the perfect choice for a sunroom office!) And though you’ll have plenty of natural light shining into your home office, it’s worth having a desk lamp for task lighting, especially on cloudy days!

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5. Reading Nook

Use a corner of your sunroom to create a cozy reading nook! This is an especially great idea if you have kids. A sunroom design like this uses soft materials, and with everything low to the ground, it’s accessible too!

How to Get the Look

Any cozy accent chair will work in a sunroom reading nook—but we love the idea of using a hanging egg chair! The woven frame has outdoor porch vibes and is also a really fun place for kids to curl up with a book! Layering in a plush rug, floor pillows, and poufs, and a low bookcase will make this reading nook both cozy and functional. (Opting for a low bookcase vs a tall one ensures the shelves aren’t blocking the sunroom windows!)

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6. Lounge Space

Do you have cat-like tendencies and love to curl up in a patch of sunlight and take a nap? Then design your sunroom with the capabilities for some serious lounging! This is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

How to Get the Look

A daybed is the perfect piece of furniture to use if you want to set up a sunroom lounge. It can be used as a sofa when you have company—but it’s also an ideal place to stretch out and take a nap. We recommend loading up on pillows and keeping a throw blanket handy so it’s extra cozy! (Alternatively, if the walls allow it, you could hang up a hammock!) Place a side table nearby to give you a surface to set a glass of water, and consider hanging drapery if you want filtered light or to block out the light completely.

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