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Sunrooms

"Building to Catch the Sunshine"
by Sara Bullock, 1924 Garden Magazine & Home Builder

[The following article is interesting for its love of sunrooms, which were much desired in the 1920s, and the detailed description of the materials and colors used. Ed.]

Sunroom - Garden Magazine & Home Builder

I would like everyone I care for to have a sun room, flooded on bright winter days with sunshine which clears the cobwebs from the brain and gives rest and peace; on dull days with a big fire upon the hearth. One feels so grateful for such a cheery place to sit, surrounded with plants and flowers, cozy and oblivious to the bleakness outside; and best of all in a storm, especially a snow storm, you have the luxurious sensation of being at a southern resort safely beyond the chill clutch of "the frozen north." A room of this description has endless possibility and interest and one disadvantage, you find yourself and your family and all your friends gravitating to this one spot and the rest of the house unused.

Fortunately, almost every one can have a sun room of some sort, whether simple or elaborate. Many town houses have a back building which does not extend higher than the second floor and which can easily be added to and made into a delightful room having at least two sides of glass or possibly three. In the country the enclosed porch is rapidly becoming an indispensable feature of most homes.

The sun room I have just now particularly in mind is one of the last mentioned type; it is beautiful, restful, and a continual joy. Contrary to all advice this sun room, twenty-three feet deep and nineteen feet wide, was added on to the north side of the house. The entrance is through French windows leading from the living room; you step down two steps, which gives an intimate feeling. At the north end which you face as you enter is the fireplace. There is a stone coping two feet high all around the room, matching the outside porch., and a red tile floor; the ceiling is rough cream-colored plaster and the fireplace matches the coping, the one side wall being of Pennsylvania stone.

The owner's idea is to keep it from being too much of a room and as nearly like out-of-doors as possible. There are a few black and white Navaho rugs on the floor, three to be exact; the furniture is wicker painted a soft green with antique finish. By way of variation a couple of chairs and a chaise-longue are painted black and the two old benches pushed back against the windows are finished in soft green paint with fruit decorations. Plants and a couple of black lacquered pieces give the finishing charm. Curtaining of a yellow-brown sunfast material blends with the oranges on the soft green linen chair covers and in autumn with the turning leaves of the trees just outside the windows. In winter the sun streams in the east windows during the morning and as the days get longer it shines more and more through the west windows by afternoon. But no matter what the day or the time of year this room is always pleasant and restful — a place you want to go to and do not what to leave, a place where your happy thoughts are happier and your sad thoughts a bit less sad — a room that helps!

Source: Bullock, Sara H. "Building to Catch the Sunshine." Garden Magazine & Home Builder, Vol. XL, No. I (September 1924): 46–47.


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