Why Your Home Needs A Sunroom

Sunrooms are a memorable addition to any home. The basis for the modern sunroom was the grand orangeries of the Italian Renaissance, but the modern models have been scaled back for the home and are now used for a variety of purposes. The basic design is a room extending from the house and surrounded in glass. Consider some of the following applications and their benefits when designing a sunroom for your home.

Transition Space

Outdoor living rooms have become more popular with the growing sustainability movement. People are looking for innovative ways to replace the water-hungry grass lawn that requires frequent mowing. Native plant selections are used to minimize maintenance needs and protect endangered species.

The sunroom is often used as an indoor living room that invites the use of outdoor space. Easy access to outdoor paths and a tempting view of those spaces encourages use of the room. Providing a mix of outdoor and indoor furniture and decoration is a great way to make the transition seamless and expand living room space.

Outdoor Enjoyment for All Seasons

Inspiring landscapes are magnificent in the cool temperatures of Spring and Autumn, but they often receive less admiration during extreme heat, cold, and inclement weather. This is unfortunate, as a well-planned landscape is beautiful all year long. The sunroom ensures you get maximum enjoyment of your landscaping along with comfort and protection from the elements.


The huge greenhouses of the Renaissance were later scaled down to temporary greenhouses in English gardens and sunrooms for growing citrus fruits. All were referred to as orangeries. The modern sunroom is another application of the model. Your sunroom is an excellent place to grow dwarf varieties of limes, lemons, and other citrus trees. Solar orientation and a glass roof or large sun roof will be important design elements for this type of sunroom.

Study and Meditation

Nature has been hailed by thinkers and writers for all of recorded history as important for relaxation and inspiration. Studies on the physiological effects of green space has verified this scientifically. Dense green settings calm the mind, enhance self control, reduce symptoms of stress, and have even been shown to moderate the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Your sunroom is a great place to establish a study, workroom, or exercise studio.

Design Variety

There is as much variety in sunroom design elements as there are in home design. Full glass walls will be useful or even necessary to some applications. Hardwood-framed doors and windows can be used to provide a more “indoorsy” feel to the space, and natural features, such as a fountain or granite steps, can add to the feeling of being outdoors.

Sunrooms are a popular addition to the home both for their aesthetic and functional possibilities. People use them for a variety of purposes, including as transitional space, climate-controlled greenhouse for tropical plantings, exercise and meditation space, and a place for studying. With so many design elements available, why wouldn’t you decide that you need a sunroom.

Barbara McGuire blogs about home design, including orangeries. If you are thinking about building an orangery in your home, check out the best conservatory designs for more ideas.