Everyone has a different name for the room that overlooks the garden. Sunroom, orangery, conservatory, garden room, extension and about 103 others. But no matter what you call yours, it is probably one of the most adored spaces in your home; that place you can go for a little peace and quiet, a little sunshine-therapy; an escape from all the distractions that fill your other rooms (yeah, we’re talking about your TV!). Whether you are adding a prefabricated shed, a home extension or a custom built building, you have many options!
Of course, to make this the hallowed escape you can sneak off to unwind and relax in, you need to know how to design it effectively. The flood of natural sunlight and vibrant colors that burst from your garden are going to play a starring role themselves, but to get this space absolutely perfect for all those moments you want to escape, there is some essential information to soak yourself in; things that will make this room an absolute hit with you, your family and everyone that pops over for a cup of tea.
Before You Get Started
Every Space Has A Reason For Being
Before you can even start thinking about the little details and finishing touches you’ll add to your space, give some thought to how this room will be used. Think about what activities it may need to accommodate, what sort of lifestyle you lead, whether it will be used for the occasional gathering and what sort of foot traffic it’s going to handle. Once you’ve answered these kinds of questions you’ll have a much better of what sort of design will work for you.
Every Room Needs A Focal Point
In most rooms, the focal point gets picked on autopilot. It’s the television in the corner, the fireplace in the centre of the wall or the lovely bay window that overlooks your backyard. But in a garden room, the options aren’t quite as clear. As such, you need to create a little scene that your eyes will naturally rest upon. That could be the view outside, a piece of art on the wall, a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, the gorgeous coffee table you brought back with you from Morocco or that statement rug you fell in love with the moment you set eyes on it. Anything is possible.
Picking The Perfect Colour Palette
In a room that’s as filled with natural light as your sunroom (or whatever you call it), light pastel tones that work best. The reason for this is they help maximize the sense of light and airiness. Where windows aren’t looking outward, try painting your walls accordingly – pale greens, duck egg blues, soft pinks, light grays and creams. Compliment these by adding understated furnishings into your space or, alternatively, introduce splashes of color through your furniture and furnishings.
Time To Talk About Traffic
One of the most overlooked aspects to designing a room is how people will move throughout the space. To manage this successfully, look at the entrances and exits and make sure your furniture is positioned so that people can move about without getting tangled, bumped or bruised.
Deciding On The Layout
Decorating this space of sunny disposition will depend on how you intend to enjoy it and, of course, how much space you have to play around with. Typically speaking, most conservatory-type rooms are used as secondary living spaces, the big difference is they don’t have the obvious distraction of a television (although, as these interesting Infinity Dish statistics suggest, people are perhaps not watching TV in the same way that they used to). They’re used for escaping, enjoying each other’s company, thinking, reading and staring out the window onto your little slice of the great outdoors. As such, the furniture you decide to carry in will have a huge influence on the look and feel.
Style Of Sofa
When it comes to picking a style of sofa, think carefully about what sort of vibe you want to give off and whether this room will get use all year or just in those months when the sun shines. Having sofas that are made of wood, wicker or woven-rattan will all make your space feel like an extension of your garden; they will all help you bring the outdoors in during the summer. If, however, you want to enjoy this room all-year-round and make it feel like retreat you can sneak off to with a cup of tea and a great book, you’ll want to use soft, upholstered sofas with warm colors.
Choice Of Chairs
This is another way to shape the ambience of your space, as well as prove that extra seating. It could be that you use big wingback chairs, or drop in a beautiful oversized chair that you can get lost in, or add a modern-design to make a corner of the room pop. There are so many options and each one will transform your room in a different way. Focus on how you can use chairs to balance the feel, create an air of symmetry, complement the color scheme or make a bold statement.
At The Centre Of It All
Every room needs to have a centre point and none works better than a coffee table. There are three things you need to consider when picking the perfect coffee table: proportion, scale and design. Pick a table that fits in with the size of your room and your furniture. Too big and it will make the rest of your space feel small, cramped and overcrowded. Too small, and it will feel lost in comparison to everything else. Selecting a coffee table that stands out, whether because of its contemporary design, shape, material or the way it is adorned will all help it become as much of a feature as it will a utility.
Come Dine With Us
Not all garden rooms are joined via the kitchen, but the majority are. The reason we’re mentioning this is that you can turn them into informal eating spaces by adding dining tables and chairs, especially ones that are made from more natural-looking materials. Not only will this leave your actual dining room for more formal occasions, it will open up a whole new family space that can be enjoyed all year.
Accessories You’ll Love
Nothing is complete until the finishing touches have been added and that’s exactly where small accessories come in. Candles and lanterns, wicker baskets and decorative glassware, houseplants and mirrors and pieces of art to adorn the walls. Each of this will give your space that stylish flair and extra pizzazz.
Let There Be Light
The best thing about this room is the amount of light, which is why you may find the topic of lighting entering your mind as an afterthought. The good news is: the lighting you choose is less about practicality and more about creating an inviting atmosphere. Our best tip: embrace as many lamps as you can. Floor lamps to go behind your reading chair, statement lamps to go on your end tables and anywhere else you can squeeze them in. There is just something utterly irresistible about a room that is lit by lamps and nothing else. It is what creates that feeling of a traditional living room once the sun goes down and the evening is yours to enjoy.
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