brown wooden rocking chair near green potted plant

Florida rooms, or sunrooms, as they’re commonly called today, originated in the 1950s, but the idea of a restful space that offered plenty of sun and fresh air goes back centuries. One of the earliest uses of a “sunroom” was roughly 8,000 years ago in China, where south-facing rooms were designed to provide light and heat for homes. However, those spaces were nothing like those of today.

Plantation-Era Porches Preceded Today’s Sunrooms

The South is famously hot and humid, so residents look for ways to keep cool during those uncomfortable summer days. Porches were the answer, as residents could sit in shaded areas and enjoy a cooling breeze regardless of the temperature. However, the downside to plantation house porches is bugs. Sitting outside provided some relief from the heat, but bugs made the experience less than ideal.

Moving Forward to the 1950s

The 1950s saw the advent of modern sunrooms. Residents living in the southern tier of states discovered they could enclose a porch with screens and windows and use it throughout the year, and best of all, the bugs were kept out. Remember that air conditioning wasn’t common until the 1960s. Everyone was looking for a Florida Room when shopping for homes. If a house didn’t already have one, many buyers made it a point to add one as soon as possible.

Initially, Florida rooms, or sunrooms, were smaller spaces, as the construction costs were high enough that not everyone could afford to add a large room to their home, especially if it wasn’t heated during the winter months. Many Florida rooms started out with screens, but owners quickly realized that adding windows increased the usefulness of the space as it could be occupied even during colder weather.

The Popularity of Florida Rooms Grows

Once Florida rooms, or sunrooms, became popular in the southern part of the country, residents in other parts of the nation soon recognized sunrooms were an attractive addition to homes located in colder parts of the nation. Even if sunrooms weren’t comfortable during harsh winter weather, they still had value and could be occupied comfortably during most months.

Sunrooms Provide Space for Comfort and Hobbies

Many people realized sunrooms were good for more than providing a place to relax. Plant lovers soon started using the spaces as quasi-greenhouses, as the rooms provided air and sunlight and protected plants from severe weather. That’s especially true if windows are included. Today, most sunrooms have windows, allowing plants to thrive through most, if not all, of the year in warmer climates.

Property owners also use the space for other purposes. During nice weather, they work as home offices, artists’ studios, and hobby centers. Sunrooms are as versatile as their owners. If you’re considering adding a sunroom, consider all the ways the space can be used.

Florida Rooms in an Air-Conditioned Age

Many newer homes were constructed without Florida rooms. Of course, the cost is a factor, but many people assumed they didn’t need a Florida room if they had air conditioning. In a way, that’s true, but sunrooms are still a significant bonus, as living in a closed, stuffy house isn’t always as nice as it seems.

Florida rooms offer a way to connect with nature, which is something many people search for today. Rather than staying cooped up in a closed house, discover what those plantation owners all knew: being outside is healthy and enjoyable. A new Florida room allows that connection with the outdoors.

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