The Happiest Room in the House
A sun room, or as we North Carolinians like to call it, a Carolina room, is a window-wrapped area in a home with all the benefits of a porch or patio without the bugs or summer heat. It's one of those nearly magical places where you can sneak away from the day-to-day chaos of real life.
If there was a single room we couldn't live without, it would be a sunshiny Carolina room!
Think Before You Decorate
But the bright and cheerful nature of a Carolina room can make it a decorating challenge. A sun room may technically be indoors, but its furniture and décor will be subject to bright sunlight, fluctuating temperatures and, if you're in the south, higher levels of humidity.
Follow these five tips as you decorate your sun room for a breezy, comfortable space you can enjoy for years to come.
Just Say "Nope" to Old-School Wicker
Dainty, narrow, natural wicker chairs and sofas are some of the first images that come to mind when you think "sun room." We appreciate that classic, Southern look and use of natural materials, but if you plan to spend a lot of time in your Carolina room, we suggest wicker seating updated for modern lifestyles.
Deep-seated All-Weather Wicker seating like this sectional gives you that classic look with all the comfort of a living room. All-Weather Wicker is made of synthetic resin and won't deteriorate, fade or mildew like natural wicker - even in bright sun or humid conditions - so it's a great choice for a sun room.
We love this sturdy wicker sectional because it blends classic Carolina room style with modern comfort and convenience. The seats are as deep as a typical indoor sofa, making it easy to sink into, the Sunbrella-covered cushions are extremely durable, easy to clean, and won't fade like natural fiber fabrics.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Great Rug
Besides your wall color, a rug is the only bit of decor that makes a statement from one end of the room to the other. Rugs are great for grabbing your secondary decor colors or patterns and blending them seamlessly into the overall scheme.
If you love color and/or pattern – a splash of turquoise over here, some quatrefoil over there – but want a cohesive look, an area rug is the one surefire way to wrap a rainbow of decorative accents into an eye-pleasing package.
One way to tie together your decor is choosing a rug that picks up on the color tones in your décor rather than the hues themselves. A dusty periwinkle flows easily with a mossy green despite the differences in hue because they have gray overtones. Of course you can always match up your colors to create a visual connection between parts of the room.
Create an Area for Entertaining Guests
The open and airy feel of a Carolina room makes it a natural hub for entertaining. A great host is quick to offer a beverage, so a well-stocked bar is a must.
While it's safe to go with a hardwood option, we suggest choosing a portable, outdoor bar like this marine-grade polymer option. You never know when you'll want to move the party outside! Add some castors to the bottom to make the transition even easier.
It's grand to have a drink in hand, but it's gotta have a place to land. Make sure to provide a table for friends to gather around and a few chairs for anyone who needs to take a load off.
A bar-height or counter-height table makes it easy for seated guests to converse with those standing.
This table comes from our Custom Colors Hardwood collection and comes in dozens of paints and wood finishes. Custom Colors items are sold by the piece, so you can get as many extra chairs as you need!
Keep it Fresh with Decorative Throw Pillows
A Carolina room is a great place to play with new hues, patterns and textures, and throw pillows are the most fun and efficient way to do it.
If you're the indecisive type or someone who generally prefers to play it safe, decorative throw pillows let you experiment with bolder (or crazier!) styles and colors without the commitment.
Like the idea of a punchy, tropical-themed sofa, but worried you'll get tired of it? Get the look with some throw pillows instead! Pillows are less expensive and can be switched out for a whole new look whenever the urge hits you.
Remember, there is no such thing as "too many" throw pillows, so feel free to go nuts!
Don't Forget the Greenery
Yeah, you can admire your gorgeous garden from the comfort of your Carolina room, but why not bring some of your favorite plants inside? Even a small potted plant can drastically change the feel of a space, adding depth and a natural balance to your color palette.
A sun room is like a quasi-greenhouse, making it a safe place to raise an indoor container garden. It’s also a great spot to shelter plants that thrive on porches and patios in summer but wither when the thermometer drops.
Plus, during the dreary days of winter, you'll have your own tropical getaway right at home.
To Sum It Up
- Don't be afraid to modernize the classic Carolina room look for comfort and livability
- Combat fading from bright sunlight with man-made materials and textiles
- Make it easy on yourself and decorate with guests in mind
- Keep the look fresh with smaller accents that can be easily traded in and out
- Invite nature indoors and put all that sunlight to work
- Take every opportunity to kick back and relax in your new, beautiful space!