What are Florida Rooms?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Florida rooms are spaces either added as a room or as an attachment to a house. Sometimes referred to as a sun room or conservatory, the Florida room features a framework composed of plate glass panels or multiple window casings and frames. The structure of the room allows a great deal of natural sunlight into the space, making it an ideal location for houseplants as well as creating a warm and inviting space to read or relax.

A basket made using the wicker process.
A basket made using the wicker process.

The general concept of a room that allows a great deal of natural light to enter the space is not uncommon. While the space is called many different names around the world, it is rare to find a country that does not have some architectural variation on this simple theme. Along with being known as a sun room or conservatory, Florida rooms are sometimes referred to as solariums or patio rooms. The actual Florida room definition and nickname are most commonly employed in the southern region of the United States.

Florida rooms are sun rooms with tall glass panels.
Florida rooms are sun rooms with tall glass panels.

When asked to define just what a Florida room is, most people will immediately think of a space that features at least one wall that is composed of plate glass or a series of glass window panes set into a framework. The presence of so much clear glass makes it possible to enjoy the view of the outside world while being protected from wind, rain, heat, or other adverse weather conditions. At the same time, the idea of potted plants also comes to mind when thinking of Florida rooms, accompanied with comfortable wicker furniture and soft cushions for the seats and backs of the chairs and lounges.

Along with plenty of clear glass for one or more walls, it is not unusual for Florida rooms to also include a skylight. This allows even more natural light to enter the space, enhancing the warm and cozy feel of the room. Many people find that a sun room of this type is an ideal way to enjoy the benefits of natural sunlight even when the temperature outside is extremely cold and uninviting, thus helping to avoid the potential for getting a case of the blues during the winter months.

For the most part, Florida room additions are normally added to existing structures by placing the space on the back side of the home. This allows for a greater amount of privacy from the street while still providing the ability to enjoy the sun and maintain healthy plants. However, people sometimes choose to attach a Florida room addition on the side of the home, especially if the view from that location is particularly striking.

In order to keep Florida rooms warm and cozy even in winter weather, it is not unusual for double-paned glass to be used in the construction. The double panes effectively create a situation where the majority of the colder temperature is absorbed by the outer set of panes, while the inner set of panes tend to absorb more of the actual room temperature. This doubling of panes does not impair the view at all, and can make a huge difference when it comes to controlling the temperature within the space.

In recent years, the creation of drapery panels especially for Florida rooms have come into common use around the world. The drapes are normally lined to provide additional protection from the outside climate, and make it possible to close off the space to the outside world when desired. Typically, the panels are lined and treated so they resist fading from constant exposure to sunlight.

A sun room may feature carpet.
A sun room may feature carpet.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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A Florida room is an enclosed patio. Most houses built in Floria come standard with a cement patio in back. Owners enclose the patio with wall and window glass. It has a door leading to the back yard, or in most cases, the pool area. It is differentiated from regular home rooms by the way the wall only goes up a few feet, the rest, glass. It may or may not be air conditioned, usually not, as the home has central air, but people put in a window unit. Nobody in Florida would ever refer to a Florida room as a lanai. That is for Hawaii.


These Florida room windows are the ones that need to have the most hurricane protection because of their extreme use of glass.


Funny how rooms and patios take on new identities in Florida. The sun room/conservatory/solarium is called a Florida Room.

This is as common in Florida homes as the Lanai is (Lanai is another name for the back patio or pool deck).

Both names describe the quintessential home space in a sun-drenched state...the living areas off the main rooms.

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