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|Deck the Halls and the Sunroom Too|
Temperatures are finally starting to
cool off and the first flakes have already taken flight in some
northern cities. If you haven’t started putting up your holiday
decorations yet, now’s the time to come up with a plan. A good place
to start is by deciding where to set up the tree this year. If you
want to follow tradition, choose the most popular room in the house.
For Kathleen Matthews of Ambler, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia,
that’s not the living room, family room, or kitchen but the sunroom.
"We have a small house and about five years ago, we decided
to turn our deck into a sunroom we could use all year round. Now we
spend more time there than any other room in the house so it only
made sense to start setting up our holiday displays in there," she
That first year, they rearranged the furniture so the
tree would be the focal point when someone walked into the sunroom
or drove up to the house -- the sunroom is next to the driveway.
"Our display has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since," she
This year Matthews has transformed her
12-foot-by-20-foot sunroom into a Winter Wonderland. The windows are
covered from top to bottom with press-on snowflakes; white twinkle
lights hang from the gables on the roof; the bookshelves are covered
with snowmen and angels she has collected over the years. Not only
does the display light up the Matthews’ house, because it’s in an
all-glass room, it spreads the joy of the season through the entire
"The sunroom is right off the kitchen so it’s
easy for us to do our holiday entertaining in there," she says, "and
because it’s so decked out, all of our friends and family really
enjoy spending time in there."
According to a recent survey,
nearly 70 percent of homeowners who currently have a sunroom
consider it an extremely important living space. Of homeowners who
do not have a sunroom, 64 percent say they’d like to have one.
"Not only do they provide an affordable way to add to your
living space, they make it possible for you to enjoy the outdoors
any time you want," says Matt Manfred, president of Betterliving of
the Delaware Valley, the company that built the Matthews’ sunroom.
"With a glass enclosure on your patio or deck, it doesn’t matter if
it’s raining or snowing -- or a beautiful autumn day -- you can
enjoy the glory of all of the seasons in comfort."