Bask in the glorious Sun

Bask in the glorious Sun

Spending time in the Sun has become a thing of the past. A fast-paced life has left us with no time to catch that beautiful sunrise on the nearby hillock. Nayana Natarajan tells you how to bring that experience home.

From the Gayatri mantra to the navagrahas in astrology, Surya, the Sun god has always been a force to reckon with in Indian mythology. Yoga, the ancient science of practising good physical, spiritual and mental health talks about the numerous benefits of performing the Surya Namaskara. All around the world, scientists have said that exposure to sunlight increases the production of Vitamin D in your body among other lesser known benefits of sun exposure.

So, how does one get the blessings of the lord of three nakshatras in the busy neighbourhoods of their crowded cities and take advantage of his generous golden rays? Simple. Build a Sun Room or a Solarium; the difference being, the former is designed to enjoy the landscape of the outside world and the latter, to get warm under a sheer haven.

Typically, a Sun Room serves as a personal retreat to enjoy the glory of sunlight throughout the day. From reading your morning newspaper to dozing off in your chair, listening to your favourite music, this space serves as a chamber to obtain your daily dosage of Vitamin D. With a small table and seating, you can serve coffee or breakfast to your early bird friends and ask them to enjoy the outside view with you.

You can hold hands with your partner on the love seat and enjoy the orange-pink mess in the sky created by the setting sun or wait in the wee hours of the morning to catch a glimpse of the rising sun depending on the direction your Sun Room is facing. Watch your children down on their elbows, colouring their drawing books in an environment that gives them the best of both worlds — nature and the indoors — especially on days they are unable to play outside due to an illness or bad weather. You can also install a treadmill or yoga mat to maximise health benefits and enjoy the power of the Sun!

Functionally, the Sun Room provides you with a separate, special space to enjoy the best side of your home. For a portico or balcony that is converted into a Sun Room, there is the extra benefit of protection from dust and rain coming onto the floor area. Keeping the windows of the Sun Room in a sliding format will also help you add a mosquito net frame that will let you allow the air in but keep mosquitoes or other insects out.

A lot of times we invest time and money in building spaces we don’t use or enjoy. Any unused space inside or out can be converted into a Sun Room.If you have a large plot, you can build a beautiful Sun Room in the front or the back of your home using aluminium or wooden frames and a wide variety of glasses. In a medium or small plot you can use the terrace or a vacant portion of your first floor that is somewhat rectangular and facing the street with a minimum size of 4 feet x 10 feet. For apartments or flats, you can use a large portico to enclose the space with aluminium and glass and have seating arrangements to sun bathe and read a book at leisure.

Typically, dark wooden frames or plain aluminium frames and tinted glasses go well for a Sun Room that gives us both privacy and class. Tinted glasses serve as one-way glasses during the day time and come in shades of gray, brown and green. In night light, one can see the activities indoors from the outside, but if you are using the space purely to enjoy the glory of the daylight, you have nothing to worry regarding your privacy.

One common mistake people make upon creating a nice extra enclosed space is to use it as a dumpyard for household items such as brooms, children’s toys, old magazines, newspapers, etc.

To avoid making the same mistakes, furnish your Sun Room with nice seating such as a swinging sofa, rocking chair or a small breakfast table with chairs. Use ethnic light fixtures and ceiling hangings to give character to the space. You can place a couple of pots with indoor plants to give it a tropical feel. No matter how well you furnish it, keep in mind that this room is subject to prying and exposed to the outside world more than any other part of your house.

So keep fewer items and less expensive (not cheap looking) things in the Sun Room to give those peeping toms a hard time. If you would like to use plain glass for the room, you can add a subtle hint of decor to the windows by adding sheer or lacy curtains in light colours and keep them open unless the light gets into your eyes and causes grief. You can also select elegant roller shades or blinds in dark colours so maintenance is easy.

Bamboo blinds give an outdoor feeling and blend with the colours of nature easily. One stiff resistance people have regarding the likes of Sun Rooms concerns security. People generally object to large windows with plain glasses on the ground floor in India. Generally, folks are comfortable having windows with grills on the inside or outside of the house.

There are advantages to having them both ways. Having it on the outside means passersby are aware that you have secured your window. And if you have chosen some sort of lattice design, you have emulated some of the elements from the Indo-Persian style of window architecture and can make those exteriors look appealing. On the other hand, if you have added design grills on the inside, your outside of the Sun Room will look classy with those beautiful glass panels covering the insides of your home with elegance.
Here are some tips for maintenance. Use a brush to remove any cobwebs. Keep a clean, dry soft cloth or sponge to clear dust sitting on the panels. Use soap water and sponge to clean the window and dry it with a soft cloth afterwards. Use a glass brush in a single direction, top or bottom, to remove any streaks left by the drying cloth.

For strong stains such as paint, consult a professional to get help on howto remove the stain without causing scratches to the glass and maintain its original beauty. Now that you are close to the Sun you can thank your stars or should I say, ‘The Star’ for letting you have some incredible “light” moments in the comfort of shade.

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