When most homeowners start dreaming of their very own sunroom, they most likely see a calm oasis at the end of their current home; a space apart from the rest of the house which they can fill with nice pieces of furniture and which will be used to relax and possibly entertain. As the planning process begins, questions that the experienced Desert Sun Patios designers ask about window placement and ceiling height are answered with this vision in mind. This often leads to large windows, with at least one wall of floor to ceiling glass to let as much light in and offering the most expansive view of the garden and beyond.
However, the reality of a sunroom can often feel different, in a very positive way. It’s tough to reserve such a light and bright space for the infrequent times when you want to relax or have guests. If you treat your new sunroom like this, it becomes one of those rooms that your family are nervous about using because they don’t want to make a mess. Your sunroom should be the new centrepiece of your house, not a fragile space that you’re afraid to use. It makes sense therefore to have a multi-purpose sunroom to help you get more use out of your new space. This doesn’t mean that you no longer use it for your dinner parties or family get togethers; you should definitely still have expectations about the family treats the room on these days. However, these events should merely become part of the larger purpose of having a sunroom.
Each homeowner’s requirements will be different depending on what other rooms and spaces they have available in their homes. However, there are three typical multi-purpose sunroom set ups that you can begin to think about when you’re planning how to get the most out of your new space: a new guest bedroom, a comfortable home office or a formal dining room.
One of the easiest multi-purpose sunroom transitions to manage is to transform the space into a guest bedroom. Not only will your guests appreciate having their own space, but the beauty of the natural sunlight and big windows will have people trying to find excuses to stay the night in your new sunroom.
However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making your sunroom look more like a permanent bedroom instead of a relaxing sunroom that has the potential to convert in a sleeping space at will. The two biggest issues to tackle is how to store the bed when it’s not in use, and how your guests will store their clothes. The answer to the first to use a sofa bed, which hides away easily when not in use. When installing a Desert Sun Patios sunroom, we include a solid factory-made wall board on one wall that is floor to ceiling and is 48″ wide. This way, a cabinet or closet can be installed against the wall and will allow your guests to keep all their items together.
The large amount of natural light and picturesque views out of the windows make sunrooms a common place to host your home office. You will definitely want to make sure that your desk faces out over the garden; it will feel like you have your own living painting right in front of you that automatically changes with the seasons.
Managing the transition from calm relaxing space to a working office can be tough, but the key here is hidden storage for files, books and desk items. These could be as simple as bins on a cube bookcase, or bankers boxes on the top of a cabinet. The desk itself can be made to feel like a natural part of the room by using it as display space for photos or memorabilia. Finally, you’ll need to think about how to install a bulletin board that you’ll need for papers and calendars in a room that is not always a home office. One idea is to purchase a cover for the board that matches the rest of the décor that can be removed when you’re working, and put back up when you’re entertaining. Just make sure that there’s no lumpy protrusions from your bulletin board!
The addition of more floor space to your home means you can create an atmospheric dining space which will quickly become your family’s favourite place to eat. You will want to buy a dining table that extends in the middle and with leaves at either end, and make sure the chairs are comfortable enough to be used by guests when the room is in its natural state. A good set up for your dining room sunroom is to have the table pushed against the long internal wall when you’re not using, with the chairs then spread out around the room around a smaller coffee table. When it’s time to eat, someone gets the job of quickly moving the furniture and putting it all back away after the meal.
As you can see, each of these rooms requires a different set of decisions when the conversations starts with your Desert Sun Patio project manager. A home office will benefit from smaller windows and larger wall space to hold bulletin boards and bookshelves, while a guest bedroom might feel cold and drafty with full length windows, so you’d want to install triple glazed glass and thicker wall insulation.
The hardest part to get right for any multi-purpose sunroom is the decoration. It’s often best to decorate for the original living space, and use soft furnishings, lighting and small objects to help make the transition to your new space.