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Design ideas from an outdoor room with cover from the elements

Removing windows and opening up a space creates a peaceful spot to relax, and brightens a home's entryway.

Sabrina Baloun SCQ Photography

As soon as Robin Anderson laid eyes on her client’s sunroom, her mind flashed to an image of a squared-off patio structure she had seen in a Southern magazine. Convinced her clients’ Weston home didn’t need another sitting room, Anderson collaborated with architect Diane Lim to make her vision come to life. “The sunroom didn’t fit in stylistically, and I knew the uninsulated windows would be problematic,” the Cambridge-based designer says. Removing the windows and opening the space up gave the homeowners a peaceful, shady spot where they can relax, as well as the added bonus of a brighter entryway. “Sunlight streams through the French doors that open to the patio, right into the interior of the house,” Anderson says.

1 Woven chairs from Crate & Barrel are sizable but still feel airy, thanks to the open sides. “I’m always on the hunt for affordable outdoor furnishings since they need to be replaced somewhat frequently,” Anderson says.


2 Serena & Lily pillows add a touch of blue to the neutral palette in hues that echo accents used indoors. “The flowers in the urns bring in the rest of the color.”

3 Hanging huge ferns was part of Anderson’s initial concept. “They can add drapery later, but the plants provide privacy without fuss for now,” she says. The seeded glass wall lanterns are from Shades of Light.

4 The beadboard ceiling and shiplap walls reference finishes used indoors. The rattan mirror is a focal point that is also visible from the foyer. “The unexpected shape adds a lot of personality at a low cost,” Anderson says.

5 The reclaimed wood mantelpiece hails from Boston’s old Fan Pier. “Juxtaposing the white and stone with natural elements was important in making the space feel like a room,” the designer says.

6 Rather than trying to match new bricks to the patio’s existing ones, Anderson specified bluestone pavers to create a rug-like effect. A round indoor/outdoor rug defines the seating area and softens the hard lines.


Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to