Once your plans are complete and construction has begun on your new sunroom, you can start having a little interior design fun including choosing furnishings to compliment your lifestyle. You might feel a bit overwhelmed with so many choices ahead of you. Luckily, we’re here to guide you with easy-to-implement steps and tons of ideas to make the process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Sunroom Furniture Planning Guidelines
Before you start purchasing furniture, you’ll want to plan ahead. There are several areas you’ll need to address beforehand. Professional interior designers engage their clients in similar planning before starting any aspect of the decorating and design process. Being proactive will help alleviate some of the stress and oft-made mistakes associated with furniture buying.
1. Determine Your Room’s Functions. Make a list of everyone who will be using your sunroom such as you, your spouse, your children, grandchildren, friends and pets. Add to this list all of the activities that members of your household and guests will be doing in your sunroom including dining, entertaining, watching TV, reading, playing games, or doing homework.
2. Set Priorities. Next, prioritize those activities according to their importance. The reason for this is to help you determine if you can accommodate them all comfortably in your space which you’ll do in the next step.
3. Sketch a Floor Plan. With your list of prioritized activities in mind, measure your room. Note windows, doors, electrical outlets, and any other architectural features such as a fireplace or outdoor views that need to be considered for optimal furniture placement. Then create a furniture floor plan to determine how many of your prioritized activities can be accommodated by specific furniture types and arrangements that will fit the space comfortably. Be sure to measure existing furniture you’ll be using. Next, make a list of all furniture to be purchased.
4. Create a Budget. With your list of furniture in hand, you can then create your budget. If you have limited funds and can only afford certain pieces immediately, then consider buying the pieces which facilitate your top activities first. Then create a plan for future purchases according to fund availability and the next items on your prioritized activity list. It is highly advisable to budget for higher quality pieces that will not deteriorate aesthetically or functionally from frequent use as opposed to low quality, inexpensive furniture which will have to be replaced frequently.
5. Pick Your Style & Colors. If your sunroom is an extension of your home, you’ll want to carry your décor style and color palette through the house and into the sunroom. This will create a seamless transition and fluidity from one room to the next. Be sure to gather your house’s paint, wallpaper, fabric and flooring samples together, you’ll need them for the next step. If you have a freestanding sunroom, your style and color options are wide open—have a blast!
6. Window Shop. You’ll want to gather decorating and furniture ideas and research before doing any serious shopping. Peruse decorating magazines. Browse online—there are a ton of design and decorating blogs you can find with a simple Google search. Try creating a Pinterest board for sunroom furniture to generate inspiration. We even have a terrific online photo gallery of sunroom images. Be sure to print out or bookmark images or sites featuring furniture styles and room décors you like.
6. Be prepared. Collect everything you created in steps 1-4 plus your favorite furniture images/links and the samples you gathered. Place them in an easily accessible and manageable tote bag you can take with you on store trips and keep handy for online shopping. Now the fun begins!
Sunroom Furniture Ideas
Now that you’re prepared for your furniture shopping adventure and headed in the right direction, let’s explore furniture ideas for your sunroom. Quality, well-constructed furniture made from wicker or rattan is ideal for sunrooms. Both materials are highly durable and, if maintained regularly, can last a lifetime. When damage does occur, wicker can easily be repaired. Versatile styling with wicker and rattan furniture is also a plus with a vast array of styles on the market. Varying wicker finishes is common. Rattan tends to look best in natural and dark brown finishes.
Because your furnishings will be subjected to direct sunlight, you’ll want to choose furniture covered or accented with durable fabrics that can withstand UV rays without fading or deteriorating. Luckily, there are a wide variety of attractive fade-resistant fabrics available and many furniture dealers offer them as an option. You’ll want to choose colors and patterns to compliment the room’s other design elements.
Sunroom Furniture Designs
During the planning stage, you established the activities your sunroom can accommodate and which type of furnishings you need to facilitate them. With that in mind, let’s cover your furniture design options. Seating will naturally be first on your list. Creating ideal intimate seating arrangements can be achieved in a myriad of ways including: a matching group that includes a sofa, loveseat and occasional chair; a settee set opposite two arm chairs; or a single comfortable arm chair set in a cozy corner.
Add a coffee table and accent tables to provide plenty of surface space to rest beverages as well as hold lamps and accessories. Accent pieces such as bombe chests and sofa tables can be set around the room’s peripheral as space dictates.
If dining is a priority, you’ll have plenty of design choices available. Of course you’ll want to choose according to the amount of space you have and if you’ll be entertaining groups or just members of your household.
You’ll also want to consider a media center if television figures into your lifestyle. Choose low-profile pieces that won’t block the view or place a larger unit on an interior wall if your sunroom is connected to your house.
Ultimately, you should let the furniture floor plan you created dictate the furniture types, sizes and arrangements you choose for your new sunroom.