Let the Sun Shine In: Luxury Sun Rooms and Sun Room Additions

If you’d like to get the most out of the northern Virginia sunshine, consider a luxury sun room addition for your home. Sure, you can renovate an existing room and turn it into a sun room, but actually adding a bump-out or a new room will have many advantages. If you have the property to build an addition, do it – you’ll be glad you did. 

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To luxuriate in sunshine, work with your custom builder to design a room that has the maximum exposure to the sun when you enjoy it most.  It can be morning or afternoon sun, just keep in mind that afternoon sun in the summer can be scorching. Consider the following as you’re creating your dream room:

Light and heat –  Sun rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the room a wonderful transition from indoors to outdoors and the natural surroundings. They can bring a little of the outside in all year round. Do remember, though, that floor-to-ceiling windows can limit the placement of furniture in a smaller room. Is the room going to heat up from warm afternoon sun? You may want to have windows that open for a breeze or fresh air.  A series of sky lights can give you light and heat, making the room delightfully cozy.

Function – What is the purpose of the sun room addition? Is it to give your family more space for relaxation?  Is it going to be an eating space or a reading room? Is it a play area or an exercise room? Determining the purpose of the room will help you make the best choices for materials and window sizes and placements. A play area would require very different flooring than a sitting room, for example. An exercise room may need a special floor, along with additional power outlets for equipment and sound.

Ambience – While the sun room is a new addition to your home, it should still reflect your style and the ambiance of the home. Make it a seamless transition from the rest of the home by carefully matching flooring or complementing paint colours with what’s already in your home. Don’t forget lighting for night time use. You can sit under the stars, but there may be some nights when you could make good use of a reading light or a soft light.

Focal Point – Many luxury sun rooms incorporate an additional focal point.  It’s not just about the sun in these rooms. Fireplaces, Jacuzzi and sound/media electronics systems are especially popular. Fireplaces provide warmth literally and figuratively to any room and a fireplace wall can easily add depth and interest to the sun room. Jacuzzi’s are ideal for luxury sun rooms – be sure they are installed by a professional to get maximum life from them and prevent any leaks. Video systems are difficult for sun rooms, due to the constant glare on the TV screen. The sunlight makes it nearly impossible to see a clear picture on today’s flat screen TVs. We don’t recommend video in a sun room, but piping in audio through built-in speakers is a great idea.

Heating and Cooling Decide how you will heat the room in the winter months and cool it in the summer. A ceiling fan is not only functional and practical for heating and cooling, but it is also a decorative statement. Don’t avoid the sun room in the winter months – make it a year-round room to get the most value from it.

Ideas for luxury sun rooms are only as limited as your imagination. From garden rooms where plants thrive in sunlight to breakfast nooks where early risers enjoy their first cup of coffee or sitting rooms to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening, the sun room should be a welcoming respite for the homeowner. It can be a pleasant alternative for sleeping on a warm summer night, or even a guest accommodation with a simple hanging bed and dresser.