Choosing the Room
Of course, a sunny room will work best. If you've got a spare room with plenty of windows, it would probably make a great sunroom. However, even if the room doesn't get as much natural sunlight as you'd like, you can still make up the difference with lights. Rooms that have windows on more than one wall are a great choice, because the room will get sun during more than one time of the day.
Planning for Plants
Since plants are going to be one of the primary features of the sunroom, it's best to start by planning where you will put them. Sunny windowsills work well, especially if your windows are well-insulated. However, fluorescent lights will ensure that plants receive enough auxiliary light to stay healthy during the shorter and darker winter days. You can purchase plant lights, but in most cases standard fluorescent light fixtures will work just fine.
Purchase one or more fluorescent work lights, similar to those which are commonly installed in basement workshops. Choose a spot in the room where you can place a shelf or table for plant display. Then, find the studs in the ceiling over the table area, and install hooks. Add chains to the light fixtures, and suspend them over the table. Depending on the light requirements of your plants, you might need to keep the light rather close to the leaves of the plants for proper health and growth.
The area under the lights is best reserved for plants which require a good deal of sunlight, such as any outdoor plants and flowers that you bring in from outdoors. Of course, you can also choose plants which require very little sunlight, such as ivy, philodendron and golden pothos, which can be placed almost anywhere in the room. For plants that climb, you can even add a piece of garden wall art such as a decorative trellis, along one of the walls.
Create a Patio Environment
Once you've planned for your plants, it's time to create a patio retreat indoors. Using patio furniture indoors can add to the fun of the room. Bring your chaise lounge, patio table and chairs indoors for the winter, and enjoy them until spring. Make sure to add proper lighting so that you can sit and read. Add a small space heater to the room so that you can adjust the temperature as desired, even on the coldest winter day.
Decorate the room just as you would an outdoor patio, such as adding outdoor metal wall art and other accessories. A sun catcher hung in a sunny window can be quite beautiful. If the room happens to have a ceiling fan, you can even use a wind chime to add a realistic outdoor patio touch to your room. You'll probably find that your new sun room will become your favorite place to relax during the fall and winter months.
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