Small Sunroom Ideas: Small Yet Bright and Functional Spaces

A small sunroom can be a wonderful addition to any home. Though compact in size, a small sunroom can still provide a bright, inviting, and functional living space. With the right design elements and decor, a small sunroom can feel airy and spacious. When planning a small sunroom, it’s important to make smart choices to maximize both natural light and usable space.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share our favorite small sunroom ideas to help you create a beautiful and functional sunroom, even in a limited square footage. Read on for insightful tips on layout, windows, skylights, materials, furnishings, and decor to make your small sunroom shine.

Choosing the Best Layout and Windows for a Small Sunroom

Careful planning of the layout and abundant windows are key to ensuring a small sunroom feels bright and open. Here are some top tips for choosing the right layout and windows for your space:

Optimize Natural Light

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows on multiple sides help a small sunroom feel bright and airy. Prioritize the sunniest exposures when placing windows.
  • Skylights and sun tunnels can flood a small sunroom with natural light. Opt for large skylights or multiple smaller ones.
  • Use low-E coated glass which maximizes visible light transmission. Tinted or reflective glass can block too much light.
  • White window frames and light colored window treatments help maximize brightness.

Create an Open, Airy Layout

  • Avoid chopping up the space. An open layout maintains the perception of spaciousness.
  • Minimize interior walls and doors. If you need privacy, use screen panels.
  • Raised ceilings draw the eye up and make a small space feel more expansive.
  • Mirrored walls reflect light and create the illusion of more room.

Maximize Usable Floor Space

  • Built-in benches lining the walls provide seating without taking up floor space.
  • Opt for small-scale, modular furniture pieces that tuck neatly out of the way.
  • Dual purpose furniture – like a storage ottoman or table with shelves below – prevents clutter.
  • If space allows, a Murphy bed is perfect for converting a sunroom into an occasional guest room.
  • Shelving, vertical gardens, and wall-mounted lights keep surfaces open.

Choosing Materials to Enhance a Small Sunroom

The materials you choose for the walls, flooring, ceiling and more can make a big impact in a small sunroom. Here are some materials that can help enhance brightness, spaciousness and style:

Light Reflective Paints and Finishes

  • White or pale colored paint absorbs minimal light. Matte or satin is better than high-gloss.
  • Light woods like maple or birch keep things bright and airy. Use a natural stain or whitewash.
  • Tile with a polished or lightly textured surface adds interest while bouncing light.
  • Colors like sunny yellow, sky blue and mint green enhance brightness. Use in moderation.

Naturally Cooling Materials

  • Bamboo flooring helps prevent overheating while reflecting light.
  • Natural stone like marble or limestone stays cool and illuminates beautifully.
  • Energy efficient windows prevent temperature spikes in sunny weather.

Moisture and Mold Resistant Materials

  • Exterior walls and surfaces need materials that stand up to humidity.
  • Mold/mildew resistant paint contains agents to inhibit fungal growth.
  • Composite decking or PVC alternatives to wood prevent rotting and warping.
  • Metal, stone and ceramic tile are all mold resistant material options.

Choosing the Right Furniture and Decor

Outfitting a small sunroom with space maximizing furniture and decor ensures both style and function. Follow these tips when selecting furnishings:

Prioritize Multifunctional, Compact Pieces

  • Nested tables, folded chairs, and ottomans with storage keep things clutter-free.
  • Look for small-scale sofas, slim armchairs, and dainty accent furniture.
  • Coffee tables with lift tops to accommodate dining are perfect for small sunrooms.
  • Multipurpose furniture like a storage bench or desk/dining table are ultra-practical.

Lightweight, Movable Furniture Adds Flexibility

  • Wheeled chairs, folding seats, and nesting tables allow you to reconfigure your layout easily.
  • Avoid bulky pieces; lighter items can move out of the way when not in use.
  • Clear acrylic or glass-topped furniture takes up minimal visual space.
  • Hammock chairs are great space savers that can be tucked up when not in use.

Use Carefully Chosen Accents

  • Mirrors visually expand the space while reflecting more light.
  • Sheer curtains, screens and light rugs delineate space without heaviness.
  • Plants nourish the spirit while balancing humidity. Opt for low-light varieties.
  • Wall mounts and shelves help declutter surfaces and highlight special objects.

Creating Special Touches Unique to You

The beauty of a sunroom is that it provides the perfect opportunity to highlight your unique personality. Here are some ideas to make your small sunroom distinctly you:

Incorporate Meaningful Artwork and Accessories

  • Floating shelves create quick display space for art, photos, collections and more.
  • Sheer panels hung from the ceiling soften the space for a cozy feel. Display fabric keepsakes.
  • Paint or decoupage a favorite phrase or poetry snippet onto one wall as an uplifting accent.

Create a Nature Inspired Botanical Space

  • Add a small water feature like a tabletop fountain for tranquil ambience.
  • Use natural materials like jute, linen, bamboo and sustainable wood.
  • Incorporate greenery with hanging ferns, vertical gardens, potted plants and flowers.
  • Add insect houses, birdbaths and feeders to enjoy nature up close.

Build in Cozy Seating Areas for Relaxation

  • Arrange seating to enjoy prime views of your garden or landscape.
  • Incorporate an indoor hammock, hanging chair or daybed for napping.
  • Add tactile throws, hypoallergenic pillows, and eye masks for the ultimate relaxation zone.
  • Install dimmable lights to set the mood for rest and rejuvenation.

Answering Common Questions about Small Sunrooms

If you’re considering adding a small sunroom to your home, chances are you have plenty of questions. Here we’ll address some of the frequently asked questions about small sunrooms:

How much does a small sunroom cost?

The cost of a small sunroom can range widely, with most falling between $10,000-$30,000 installed. Custom builds with high-end materials and complex engineering can reach $60,000 or more. Get quotes from 3 contractors.

What size is considered a small sunroom?

A small sunroom is generally under 200 square feet. Average dimensions are in the 10 x 12 to 14 x 14 foot range. Under 100 square feet is very small. Maximize light and space with careful layout.

What is the best flooring for a small sunroom?

Tile, stone, and bamboo are great small sunroom flooring options. Look for light colors to reflect light. Polished concrete and stained concrete are also excellent choices. Avoid dark carpeting which absorbs light and shows dirt.

Should I insulate and heat/cool a small sunroom?

It depends on your climate and plans for the space. In moderate climates, portable space heaters and fans may suffice. For regular use in extreme temps, invest in insulation and HVAC integration.

How can I make a small sunroom feel bigger?

Maximize light with abundant windows and skylights. Minimize interior walls and doors. Use mirrors and reflective surfaces. Choose lightweight, movable furniture. Incorporate vertical storage and wall-mounted accents.

What are the best plants for a small sunroom?

The best plants for small sunrooms are those that thrive in high humidity, moderate light, and warmer temps. Top options include ferns, orchids, bromeliads, palms, and many varieties of Dracaena.


Creating a beautiful small sunroom is very achievable with smart planning and design. Focus on maximizing natural light through generous windows and skylights. Choose an open layout and space-saving multifunctional furnishings. Use light, reflective finishes to enhance brightness. Add special touches with greenery, artwork, and cozy lounge areas tailored to you. With these small sunroom ideas, you can enjoy a welcoming retreat brimming with light and style, even in a compact footprint.