A sun-drenched room filled with floor-to-ceiling exterior windows goes by multiple names, like a sunroom, sunporch, solarium, or sun parlor. No matter what you call it, though, it serves the same purpose: a sunny indoor retreat within your own home. Not only does it add some square footage to your home, but it also adds a place for leisurely living, entertaining, and escaping your everyday life. In order to make the most of it and create the perfect sunroom, however, you need to incorporate these key elements.

1. Make it comfortable

SunroomComfort, of course, depends on the furniture you include in your sunroom. Ultimately, you want your sunroom to act as a second living room. You need comfortable seating, not stiff outdoor-style wicker or wood. You also need electrical outlets in order to support floor and table lamps, since the sun doesn’t shine 24/7. But probably most important of all, you need environmental controls. A sunroom that’s blazing hot all day and freezing at night is not comfortable. Most sunrooms don’t include heating and air conditioning systems (but they can), so a ceiling fan and fireplace are absolutely essential.

2. Make it multi-purpose

SunroomIdeally, you want your sunroom to be as multifunctional as possible, so you can use it as much as possible! If you can accommodate a seating arrangement, a dining table, and a home office, DO IT.

3. Make it private

Those floor-to-ceiling windows are great, but sometimes you’re going to want some privacy. Curtains or shades are absolute must-haves. Not only will they keep away peeping eyes, but they’ll also ensure you don’t overheat while you lounge.

4. Make it green

Since your sunroom essentially serves as a transitional space between the outdoors and indoors, why not add some greenery to truly make it a seamless transition? A connected element, like potted plants, really ties everything together.

5. Make it whimsical

SunroomUse your sunroom as an opportunity to be playful with decor. Experiment with thrifted pieces and salvaged finds that don’t work in your more formal spaces. Don’t hold back on decor; it’s a real opportunity to have fun!

6. Make it entertaining

SunroomIf you plan on using your space as an entertaining area, be sure it can accomodate a group dinner. You need ample table space, appropriate lighting, air circulation, and proximity to the kitchen doesn’t hurt.

7. Make it simple

The sunroom doesn’t need much to be a comfortable, welcoming, and whimsical space. Keep it simple and don’t overthink or overaccessorize it.