Bringing Outdoor Desing In - or - The Sunroom/Conservatory Effect

There’s nothing as inspiring as a naturally bright, light filled room that creates of feeling of living outdoors. It’s not difficult to create a bright, open, and airy atmosphere in almost any room. The concept is bring elements typically found outdoors inside.

Make the most of natural light by enhancing windows. Use light weight window treatments such as sheer fabric panels or shades or nothing at all! Shutters or bamboo blinds are traditional outdoor statements. If you need light control or privacy, install solar or blackout shades that can be rolled up out of sight when not needed. Keep the design simple. If your windows have deep reveals, mirroring enlarges them.

Walls, when painted a neutral hue, seem to recede - dark shades actually work better. Wall coverings like grass cloth and naturally colored wallpaper adds the colors and textures of the outdoors. Imaginative use of tile on the floor and carried up the wall as wainscoting creates the feeling of a terrace or patio. Another option is adding lattice to the walls and/or ceiling.

Painting ceilings a light blue gives the feeling of being outside and adds height to the room. Be a little daring by adding a few fluffy white clouds which add to the illusion.

Generate more light by adding furnishings in glass, mirror, or metallic materials. Their reflective qualities also serve to increase an illusion of more space. If your room is dark, use a grouping of mirrors to create the suggestion of a window.

Avoid heavily upholstered furnishings. Exposed legs are more open and airy than those with skirts or upholstery that reaches the floor. Fauteuils (chairs with wood frames) used as pull up chairs are lighter in feel than club chairs. Wicker furniture is an elegant choice.

 Select open shelving with light accessories. Leave some shelves empty to maintain a spacious feeling.

A water feature such as a fountain is soothing both visually and audibly, while an aquarium provides a wonderful focal point filled with color and movement.

Bring in a sculptural element that would ordinarily be found outdoors.

Entertaining? Decorate with strings of party lights for the occasion.

Of course, judicious use of plants and flowers are ideal accessories to complete the look.

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