Being that I’m from Washington State, the concept of a sun porch was a bit foreign to me until I moved to Atlanta. In the south a sun porch is as much a staple as sweet tea is. Back in the day when a sun porch was decorated with furniture, it was considered a dressed-up patio. Today sun porches are being used in a different way, are considered an extra room in the home and people are taking a more serious approach to how they decorate this space.
While I still love a sun porch that has the feel of an outdoor space, my favorite sun porch rooms are those that are decorated as an extension of the home, both in décor and in usefulness.
If you’re lucky enough to have a sun porch and are struggling with how to make the space relate to the rest of your home, I’ve outlined a few tips that will help you out.
DECORATE WITH THE SAME STYLE OF FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES YOU WOULD IN ANY INTERIOR ROOM OF YOUR HOME
Using indoor furniture on a sun porch is the easiest way to relate the space to the rest of the home. Upholstered furniture pieces will add softness, rugs will help define the space and add warmth, and lamps and accessories will add personality and create a true room environment.
Use decorative pillows to make the space feel cozy and add visual interest. Pillows instantly turn a sun porch into a relaxing living space.
Don’t shy away from dramatic paint colors on your sun porch. Rich colors will help the space feel warm while light colors will help play up the natural light and openness that most sun porches have.
Framed artwork will enhance the walls and add visual depth along with personalizing the space.
The all-white sun porch above is really refreshing but if you live in a cold climate the space will feel extra cool just because of the lack of color. The addition of a few throw blankets and greenery would add energy and warmth to this room.
If you love white, mix in some darker pieces to help ground the room and create that sense of warmth.
HANG WINDOW TREATMENTS TO CREATE LAYERS AND SOFTNESS
Using an abundance of textiles on your sun porch is one of the best ways to make the space feel like any other room in your home. Window treatments can add pattern and softness and woven blinds help to define the windows and add textural interest.
CREATE AN INVITING FURNITURE ARRANGEMENT THAT TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE SCENERY
Most sun porches are built with lots of windows to capture the view outdoors. When creating a seating arrangement on your porch, use the scenery as the focal point and work your furniture arrangement around that. The use of multiple tables and chairs will give your sun porch a living room feel.
I love that this porch uses color as a way to play up the windows instead of curtains. The color draws your eye outside while still adding visual interest indoors.
This is a great furniture layout for this narrow sun porch. When the doors or windows are opened, the space becomes an indoor/outdoor space which enhances it function.
ESTABLISH A DEFINED PURPOSE FOR YOUR SUN PORCH
Other than a general sitting area, decorate your sun porch so that it has a specific use like a dining space, home office or reading room. Creating a space with a particular function in mind will make the room feel more apart of the home.
Although framed in brick, the use of a rug, curtains and a chandelier help to make this dining space feel like a ‘real’ room and not a porch.
HANG A CHANDELIER FOR AMBIENCE AND STYLE
Hanging a chandelier on your sun porch will add impact and make the space feel more homey.
ACCENT THE CEILING WITH PAINT, WALLPAPER OR A DECORATIVE ACCENT
Just like an indoor room, a ceiling treatment on your sun porch is a great way to help create warmth and define the space. Coffered ceilings can add architectural interest and make the space feel more like an interior room.
Dark ceilings will make the space feel warmer and more intimate.
When all said and done, the best way to make your sun porch feel like an extension of your home is to approach it with the same design principles you would your family room or living room. Create a space that you can live in year round and one that offers you the same comfort and sense of home as the rest of your house.