Let the sun come into your house

Thursday December 31 2015

A sun parlour is a great addition to any home

A sun parlour is a great addition to any home or office as it allows you to sunbathe, which is good for your health,  as you get other things done. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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When planning their homes, most people focus mainly on aesthetics and comfort.

However, Mr Benson Hinga, a freelance interior designer, says health is often overlooked by most people.

“He says that, while there is nothing wrong with decorating a house for comfort and aesthetics, it makes more sense when you decorate your house with better health in your mind.

And one way of doing this is by having a sun parlour.  

A sun parlour is a structure, either attached to, or part of the main building, which  allows sunlight in and allows the occupants to enjoy a  view of the surrounding landscape while at the same time sheltering them from adverse weather conditions.

To achieve this, the sunroom needs to have large windows or glass walls.

“This allows in more natural light while also offering a panoramic view of the outside.”

Mr Hinga says, adding that a sunroom can either be constructed when the house is being built, or added later.

“Unlike most structures in a house, a sunroom can be added after the main building has been completed.” This is because a sunroom is normally a peripheral structure.


Though it’s more common to build a sunroom at home, Mr Hinga says you can also be have one in many other places. “Homes, offices, country houses, hotels, you name it. But whether it’s at home or the office, the benefit of natural light to your body is the same,” he notes.

Indeed, a 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that workers who sit near  windows in the office have a better sense of health and are more productive, which lends credence to Mr Hinga’s assertion. In contrast, the study found, those who sit in windowless offices such as  archives are less inspired to exercise and have a lax attitude towards work.

“If you decide to build a sunroom, there is a variety of materials and options you can use, so you can have one put up for a modest amount of money,” he explains. This is because a sunroom doesn’t need elaborate designs or materials like the main house.

 “For a plush sun parlour, you can have the roofing supported by mazeras stones or marble pillars and have glass walls. The walls can also be partially brick, with glass windows, but the windows should be large enough to allow in lots of sunlight,” he says.

For a budget sun parlour, plexiglas with wood/metal pillars are the most suitable options. This is because plexiglas is tough and doesn’t break easily, while the wood and metal  for the pillars are readily available compared with stones.

The good thing about a budget sunroom, Mr Hinga says, is its vintage appeal. “The wood/metal pillars will give your sun parlour an exotic and rustic feel while at the same time making your home healthier,”


Because the main building normally takes most of available space, Mr Hinga notes, sunrooms tend to be small, so it is very important to plan the space carefully. Since furniture takes up most of the space in any room, it should be chosen with extra care for the sunroom.

Start by looking at the size of your sun room. How big is it? Thereafter, you can decide on the type and size of furniture that will be most appropriate,” he says, adding that you can use your preferences to choose the right type of furniture for you, your family and your guests or customers.

If it’s at the office, it is advisable to have a variety of furniture since different people have different tastes. 

Once you have decided on the furniture, you can add your personal touch to your sunroom by enriching it with your personal taste as you add the other aspects of décor.

“Rugs, drapes, window curtains, antiques, console tables and artworks, treadmills and even fitness bikes and rollers can all added to a sun-room just like you would in any other room in your house,”  Mr Hinga says.

The important thing is to give your sunroom a unique feel while at the same time not making it stand out awkwardly in relation to the other rooms. To achieve this, ensure that the décor and furniture blend well with the other rooms.

Mr Hinga notes that a common mistake among those with sunrooms is that they forget its basic purpose, which is serious. “Don’t clutter the windowsills with needless plants or flower vases that block sunlight or your panoramic view of the scenery as this defeats its initial purpose,” he advises.

“To add charm and elegance to your health room, why not place one or two plants inside giving the sunroom life and not clutter?” he asks.