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Home design ideas: Without a basement or attic, a sunroom becomes a family escape

An all-season sunroom provides a Newton family with a multipurpose escape.

The shoddy three-season porch of this Colonial was replaced with an insulated sunroom with radiant heat flooring and sliders that open onto a new patio.joyelle west

Without a family room, basement, or attic, Ana Bonilla’s clients wanted a place to play board games and to escape from the chaos of everyday life. The principal of AnaVera Design replaced the Newton Colonial’s shoddy three-season porch with an insulated sunroom with radiant heat flooring and sliders that open onto a new patio. The breezy decor makes it feel like a sanctuary, while the kitchenette and a banquette paired with a table provide additional function.

1 A midcentury-modern-style sofa comfortable enough for napping or watching television bridges indoor and outdoor sensibilities. Custom floral pillows dress up the white cushions with some island style.


2 Patricia Busso created the abstract landscape painting, which infuses vitality and complementary color. “The underpainting included huge cypress trees that I obliterated with a neutral sky,” says the Boston-based artist.

3 Nickel-gap boards bring coastal interest to the walls, draw the eye away from the slanted ceiling, and elongate the room. “The space needed some architectural detail,” Bonilla says.

4 Serena & Lily Luna Stripe wallpaper and floating shelves turn the utilitarian kitchenette into a statement feature. “The clients love to entertain,” Bonilla says. “The kitchenette services the patio when they grill.”

5 Bonilla designed the custom poufs. They’re made from an indoor/outdoor fabric and have faux leather bottoms so they can be pulled out to the patio.

6 Bonilla moved the coffee table from another room in the house. “The small scale is perfect here and the wood tone works well with the sofa,” she says.

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