Designer Interview: The Multi-function Sunroom

1024 560 Sweenor Builders - Custom Home Building & Remodeling - Rhode Island

Sweenor Builders’ Interior Designer Kristen Martone sits down for the last installment of her interview with leading online furniture and décor retailer Hayneedle to discuss the design approach for the This Old House 2018 Idea House…. this time sharing tips for creating a stylish and functional sunroom.

Hayneedle:  Tell us about this space.

KM: Our aim for the sunroom was to help bring the outside in and extend the months of the year when the homeowners can enjoy the beauty of this area.  The home is built in Narragansett – which was recently named by the Boston Globe as New England’s best beach town.  We wanted the space to extend naturally from the open living areas, so that conversations and gatherings can easily spill outside during warmer months of the year.

Hayneedle:  How do you account for regional weather when designing a sunroom?

KM: Our work is concentrated in coastal New England, so we tend to focus on how a sunroom will function in changing weather throughout the seasons.   Unlike southern regions of the country like Florida where the issue may be whether it’s worth investing in glass windows to accommodate cooling systems, we tend to be asking homeowners’ if they want to consider a fireplace or other heat source to extend usage for a longer period of the year.

Hayneedle:  Are there things people often overlook when styling a sunroom?

The real key is to think through how you will want to use the space and dig into the details in the same way you would in designing other areas of your home.  The danger is thinking that the process can be less rigorous. First, determine whether you want a screened-in porch, 3-season, or 4-season sunroom.  No matter what you choose, you’ll really want this space to be an extension of the existing architecture and style of your home.

Then, identify the primary uses of the room and think about how that will impact everything from furniture choices to lighting placement, electrical outlets, and air ventilation. Consider whether you want a heat source to extend use of the room throughout the year.  Ceiling fans with a built-in overhead light are ideal for sunrooms. Do you need window coverings for privacy or UV protection?  Keep pondering all the details… if there will be skylights, do you need to consider how placement might affect activities like watching the game on TV?  Finally, make sure to choose fabrics and area rugs that are resistant to UV exposure, mold, and mildew!

Hayneedle: What’s your favorite element of this space?

KM:  The cedar ceiling.  It brings natural elements inside and gives a sense of warmth to the room.

To see the full article, and shop the look, click here.

About the 2018 Idea House:

This Old House teamed up with Sweenor Builders for a second time to build the one-of-a-kind home on Robinson Street in Narragansett’s historic pier.  The is the fourth annual Idea House from the trusted home renovation brand to showcase the from-the-ground-up building process with  innovative products and how-to instruction that home enthusiasts can incorporate into their own remodels and new-builds. Designed by the award-winning, Providence-based Union Studio Community Architecture & Design, the 2,700-square-foot cottage has classic Craftsman-style curb appeal and modern looks inside. Located less than a mile from the town beach, it epitomizes what buyers are looking for today: a smaller home that lives large in a tight-knit neighborhood, plenty of bespoke built-ins, luxury amenities including a home gym, dedicated media room and butler’s pantry, and an easy-care backyard designed for “staycation” living. Kristen Martone, Sweenor’s in-house designer and owner of Graceke Design, led Interior Design for the project. To learn more about the project, visit our portfolio or This Old House