A sun-flooded room filled with floor-to-ceiling windows—a.k.a. an all seasons sunroom, a solarium, or a four-seasons room—is a great way to fight off the S.A.D. season. Seasonal affective disorder can take over our bodies when daylight savings time swipes the sunlight from our days. These glass-enclosed spaces in your house, however, can connect you with the outdoors and give you your daily dose of vitamin D, without the windchill freezing you to the bone.

Older sunporches or sunrooms are typically only three-season rooms (lacking insulation or heating and cooling systems), but in present day, they’re built to be inhabited all year long. No matter what you call it, these light-filled rooms are extremely popular and give you that dose of daylight you need to power through the winter months. If you’re thinking of adding an all seasons sunroom to your home, here are some things to consider.

Make it multi-purpose.

Your sunroom should ideally accommodate some sort of seating arrangement, a dining area, and even a desk space, so it can be used as often as possible throughout the year.

Create good vibes.

If you want your room to be useful year-round, you’ll want to create the best atmosphere possible. That means incorporating comfortable seating (not just that old furniture you didn’t know what to do with), with plush pillows and throws, indoor-outdoor rugs, and the kind of furniture you would use indoors. Just because it’s a sunroom doesn’t mean it shouldn’t feel warm and welcoming. Be sure to incorporate proper lighting as well to accompany the multi-purpose appeal.

Control the environment.

This is the key to creating a comfortable environment year-round: controlling the temperature. Past sunrooms were extremely hot in the warmer months or frigid in the cooler months. To combat these issues you need to set up environmental controls. Here are some tips.

  • Ceiling fans are a must. They’re a good way to cool down in the warmer temperatures and spread heat around in the cooler temperatures.
  • If your budget and space allows for it, a fireplace in your sunroom can keep you warm on chilly nights and add an appropriate ambiance to your space.
  • ENERGY STAR-qualified windows and roofing systems are key to keeping your room comfortable and environmentally friendly (and keeping costs down).
  • Install weatherstripping or caulk around the windows to prevent warm air from leaking out of the room and cool air from entering.
  • Radiant floor heating can add a luxurious touch to your space, save square footage, and keep your room comfortable in the winter.
  • Add a clear insulation to your windows—that way you can keep the aesthetic appeal and also stay comfortable.
  • Ductless split systems work well in these spaces, as they can be used to efficiently cool your space in the summer and heat your space in the winter.

Protect your privacy.

Remember, in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, you’re going to want privacy sometimes. Curtains or shades are a must-have to make sure you can close your space off to nosy neighbors from time to time. Plus, they can help keep some of that sun out on hot summer days.

Keep it simple.

Last but not least, don’t overdo it. You already have the outdoors as a backdrop, so you don’t need to over-accessorize. Embrace the outdoors and use decorating schemes to create a link between your indoor space and the environment. In other words, just keep it simple.

These sun-drenched spaces can work all year round if you let them. The best part? They can boost your mood and wellbeing throughout those winter months when you can’t spend time outdoors. Check out some of these sunrooms from Sandy Spring Builders for inspiration.