How To: Designing a Knockout Sun Room!

How to design a sunroom
How to design a sunroom

Sunroom Before

Gang, what does it take to pull a great sun room together?

  • Storyline
  • Vision
  • Plan of Attack
  • Details, Details, Details!

See how to design a sun room, and how the Madcaps pulled together the sun room at the House of Bedlam, our 1930s-era Regency-style home in High Point, North Carolina.

Here is the covered porch when we purchased the home. The space had great bones – a bluestone floor and lots of light looking into our wooded backyard – but it was decidedly vanilla and boring.

  1. Lesson: Craft A Storyline.
    • We are crazy about the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, the onetime beachside escape of the Prince of Wales, and we wanted to bring some of this Indo-Moorish folly fantasy back to the House of Bedlam.
    • Tools to bring your vision to life:How to design a sunroom
      • Wallpaper: the true trick of the trade that can carry you to India or the islands without the need for a passport. Our favorite: York Wallcoverings.
      • Paint.
      • Fabric.
      • Vintage Furnishings.
      • Throw Rugs.
      • Pillows.
      • Our go-to sources for fabric, window treatments, and accessories: Calico, Smith & Noble, Ballard Designs, and World Market.
  2. Lesson: It’s good to mix disparate influences – have some fun!How to design a sunroom
    • The Royal Pavilion is fantastic, but why not layer-in other influences, too, such as this whimsical facade treatment spotted in Beverly Hills? The scalloped awning with tassels, the theatricality, and the travelers palms that flank the doorway, simply heaven.
    • Tools to bring your vision to life:
      • iPhone: you never know when you might spot that must-have moment!
      • Fabric and trim bring the storyline to the forefront.
  3. Lesson: Too much of a good thing is a good thing.
    • A little English country house finished off our vision. Relaxed chic with lots of color and a mix of vintage and new finds.
    • Tools to bring your vision to life:
      • Houseplants: these help turn any home into a hot house sanctuary.
      • Stone floor, to finish off the relaxed mud-room sensibility.
  4. Lesson: Map out your plan of attack.How to design a sunroom
    • If you can draw, sketch the room of your dreams.
    • If you aren’t an artist, outline the room of your dreams.

Room Details & Tips:

  • To create an eternal summer vibe, we used the Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home fabric Isleboro Eve in Daffodil to cover the sun room sofa.
  • For glorious window treatments, we used Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen @ Home Bermuda Bay fabric in Palm.
  • Measure, measure, measure!
  • To change up the look of a room, switch out your pillows often.

Here’s the finished sun room at the House of Bedlam. Stunning, no? Note how we incorporated details from the Royal Pavilion and the Beverly Hills facade with the tenting, scalloped window treatments, furnishings, and accessories. The space is elegant yet decidedly fun!

How to design a sunroom

Sunroom After

How to design a sunroom

John’s watercolor sketch that incorporated all of the far-flung influences that inspired us.

How to design a sunroom

A close-up of the window treatments that mix Cove End and Bermuda Bay fabrics. We love the whimsical pom-pom trim that finishes the look.


How to design a sunroom

A mix of decorative pillows upon the kicky Daffodil-hued sofa bring the green hue from the ceiling onto the furnishings.

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