Modern conservatory ideas to revamp your sun room

Give a tired sun room a new lease of life with DIY updates and replacement flooring, furniture or glazing to make it a relaxing space to be in, all year round

If you’re lucky enough to have a sunroom or conservatory, this extra living space can be used for all sorts of activities. Whether relaxing with a good book, taking up a new hobby or using it for home working, this area can be a valuable asset to your home.

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However, if yours is looking a bit timeworn and outdated, there are plenty of ways to spruce it up and breathe new purpose into the space. Go all-out with new windows, roof and a door, or revamp your conservatory furniture and flooring to make the most of a sun-drenched room.

Thinking about adding a conservatory? Read our guide on how to choose the right conservatory for your home here first!

Modern conservatory ideas

Conservatory flooring

Vinyl conservatory flooring
Update a sunroom from the ground up with new flooring. Illume vinyl in Soft Meadow, £47.99 per sq m, Quick-Step

Swap out a cracked, damaged or draughty floor and update the look of the space with new flooring. Consider the room’s aspect and how warm the room is before you choose your material. For instance, a cool, north-facing room would benefit from durable carpeting or a well-insulated underlay to add warmth.

If it’s south-facing with plenty of sunlight, choose natural stone or porcelain tiles – a practical solution to clean up muddy footprints if there’s access to the garden. For a more budget-friendly option, consider wood- or stone effect LVT for the same look at a reduced price.

While replacing the flooring should be an easy job for experienced DIYers, if the room is awkwardly shaped, it’s best to have it professionally fitted. Check for signs of rising damp to see if you need to include a damp-proof course.

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Conservatory insulation

Boost the room’s energy efficiency while getting the temperature just right so the space is cool in the summer months and warm in winter. Seal any draughty windows with draught-excluder tape to reduce the incoming chill. If your roof is made from glass or perspex, it will be the main cause of these temperature fluctuations.

Control the heat of the sun’s glare with solar-control film from Purlfrost. These large stickers help retain a sunny, light feel in the space while providing a comfortable temperature.

You can also add a radiator for winter, too – horizontal or plinth designs can be installed underneath windows – and, for summer, make sure there’s a fan or ceiling fan as well as window and roof blinds to reduce the sun’s effect.

Conservatory glazing

Boost the amount of natural light flowing into the room with new glazing. IQ Glass can design glass box extensions to connect the house and garden together

Take a good look at the windows, roof and door and check that they’re in good condition. Window frames should be watertight to prevent any leaks and stop heat from escaping. Improve the room’s thermal insulation with double or triple glazing. The roof should also keep the heat in, and if it provides ventilation on warmer days, even better.

Consider solar-controlled skylights to open it up, or self-cleaning glass if yours is prone to birds flying overhead! Other options include a solid roof to block the harsh rays of the sun, a polycarbonate roof to infuse the room with natural light or solar-powered roof panels. Replace the door with a bi-fold or sliding door for easy access to the garden and a seamless transition between indoors and out.

Bring the outside in with wall-to-wall bi-fold doors, which can range from two to seven leaves. Let them extend to a whole wall with this 6.4m design from Everest

Conservatory made-to-measure blinds

Thermal blinds
Duett’s thermal blinds prevent warm air from escaping and can be controlled by a remote, an app or your voice. Deep Silk India blinds, price on application, Thomas Sanderson

As this room has lots of glazing, it’s important to choose the right window dressings for the job – and this includes the roof and door, too. Choose a specialist in conservatory blinds who will ensure that the blinds are made to measure with no gaps to let draughts in.

Ideally, you want blinds that help insulate in winter while preventing heat absorption in the summer. Pleated, vertical and Venetian blinds are all great at letting you choose the amount of sunlight and heat that you let into the room.

Thermal blinds in a conservatory
Rooms with large-scale glazing require shading in the summer and thermal insulation in the winter. DuoShade EasiFIT Thermal blinds in Arctic White, from £35.95 each, Blinds 2go

Try to avoid roller or Roman blinds, as these are more likely to fade and discolour in the sunlight. Remember to tuck the blinds’ trailing cords away to prevent any accidents occurring with young children or pets.

Conservatory lighting

While the sun provides the main light source for much of the day, don’t forget the rest of the lighting to illuminate the room during the darker hours. Add boho vibes with a rattan shade, complete a cottagecore scheme with a frilly floral design, or go modern with a chic pendant, then add pockets of light with floor or table lamps, too.

These will distribute a gentle glow throughout the room and are ideal for curling up with a good book after dark or on grey winter mornings. Adjust the level of brightness with dimmer switches or have even greater control with smart lighting that can be controlled from an app on your smartphone or tablet for even easier operation.

‘Whether you use your sunroom as a space to relax or to entertain in the warmer months, there are some easy ways to give the space a seasonal refresh. Upgrade light fittings with wicker shades – the natural material adds texture and contrast while complementing the outdoors. As the evening draws in, the shade will create a warm and inviting ambience as it cleverly filters the light, casting soft shadows across the room.’

- Natalie Mann, New Product Development Executive at Iconic Lights

Conservatory furniture ideas

Three-seater outdoor sofa
Make room for regular visitors with a sleek, stylish corner sofa set. The Sollerön three-seat modular corner sofa can be used indoors and out, from £765, IKEA

To make the most of this versatile space, choose furniture that can be used indoors and out. This is ideal if you have bi-fold or sliding doors, as you can quickly open the space up on a hot day and take the table and chairs outside to enjoy an al fresco meal or relax with family and friends.

Indoor/outdoor dining table
Choose furniture that can be used indoors and out for a flexible solution that enables you to eat outside when the sun’s out. Indoor/outdoor dining chairs in Black, £225 for a pair, Cuckooland

You don’t need to select ‘conservatory’ furniture either. Look for pieces made with weather-resistant materials if you want the option of leaving the furniture outside or something cosy, with more of a living room feel, if you want sumptuous comfort but are prepared to always bring them back inside.

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Keep a basket of blankets nearby to wrap up against summer evening chills too.

More conservatory ideas

Authors

Hayley Gilbert is an award-winning interiors journalist with 25 years' experience writing about everything from blissful bathrooms to the coolest kitchens. Publications she has written for include Good Homes, Country Homes and Interiors, House Beautiful and The English Home.

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