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California Room – Connecting Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

Homeowners everywhere are blurring the lines between the inside and outside of the home. However, they want protection from the rain and sunshine! Learn how to connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room in this article!


What’s a California Room?

A California room is considered a hybrid indoor-outdoor extension of the kitchen, dining room, or living room. Overall, it’s a semi-enclosed space with all the amenities you want, such as entertainment systems, wall outlets, electricity, cooktops, and comfortable furniture.

Most California rooms feature three walls and an open space to the outdoors. Overall, they’re ideal when you can’t choose garage conversions or are planning a full-house renovation.

What’s a California Room


How Sunrooms/Lanais Differ from California Rooms

Sunrooms generally feature screens or windows, so you don’t get the open-air feeling you do with a California room. However, the lanai is quite similar. They often have open walls, ceiling fans, and seating areas. In fact, most people now think that the lanai inspired the California room craze.


Ways to Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Living Space with a California Room

Learning how to connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room ensures that you have everything you need. Whether you’re already planning a bathroom renovation or simply want more room to live, California rooms are great. Here are a few tips to help you bring everything together:


Neutral Tones and Clean Lines

You don’t have to bring in a separate ADU (accessory dwelling unit) to have more room in the house. In fact, you can build a California room with all the necessary lighting, furnishings, and accessories; housing units can often look out of place, but California rooms are an extension of your home.

However, you want to connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room by using neutral tones and clean lines. This will bring about a sophisticated yet tranquil aesthetic.

Start with neutral colors, including cream, white, and earthy tones. This will establish your calming environment. Then, you can add rich, warm wood shades for the hard furnishings, which bring depth to the space.

Your furniture should have clean lines to maintain an uncluttered and sleek appearance. Likewise, the accents are often minimal to ensure an impactful and cohesive design.

However, you should focus on what’s in the rest of the house. You want everything to have continuity, so use the same colors and styles in the California room as you did inside.


Consider an Outdoor Kitchen

Instead of a kitchen renovation in your home, consider building a California room and creating an outdoor kitchen. Having a designated space for cooking and grilling will enhance your experience when using the space.

An outdoor kitchen allows you to spend time outside while you cook. Therefore, it’s ideal for socializing and family gatherings. Plus, you can add value to the home because you’ve created an attractive and functional area. If you choose to sell later, potential buyers will be excited to see the extra living space and might be inclined to pay more!



The goal is to connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room. Though you might focus more on the furnishings and layout, you can’t forget about the lighting. Many people have one area designated for cooking, while the other is for relaxing.

You’ll need brighter lighting systems for the kitchen area, but as you get closer to the open part, you may want a fire pit. In the daytime, you’ll have natural light, but the nights will be cooler and darker. Think of how you’ll light things up at all times of the day.


Comfortable Furniture

If you decide to turn the California room into a kitchen, you’ll probably need countertops, islands, and dining tables/chairs. Overall, the space should be comfortable and relaxing.

However, if you choose a large enough California room style, you could create a living room or den. Therefore, you’ll need to consider sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables.

Understanding how you’ll use the space can help you choose appropriate furniture. You may also want to mix and match things. Some people focus on an outdoor kitchen, but they use armchairs and TV trays for guests to sit and eat. Alternatively, you might cook inside and use the California room as a place for relaxation, complete with an entertainment system and comfortable couches.

Read about 5 ways to update your outdoor living space without breaking the bank >>>

Ways to Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Living Space with a California Room


Final Thoughts on Creating a California Room to Maximize Indoor-Outdoor Living Space

If you want to connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room, it’s wise to work with professionals who can bring your dream to life. Paragon Builders can help you with the design and drawing plans and are experts at creating custom homes. We will build something that looks beautiful. Contact us today to start your next project!


Frequently Ask Questions

Traditionally, sunrooms and solariums are enclosed on all sides, though they feature windows so that you can look out and enjoy nature. On the other hand, California rooms feature a roof to keep the sun and rain away. Other than that, they’re open to the outdoors, usually on one or more sides.

Usually, homeowners choose a patio slab, which allows them to have a level base for adding furniture and other elements. However, a California room features a ceiling and two or more walls to connect a covered space to the house. 

You’ll then furnish the outdoor living area as you would the inside of the home. This creates a flow between the kitchen, dining, and family areas inside and what’s outside. Typically, you can add fans, refrigerators, and other things. Room additions like this can give you more space to enjoy yourself.


A sunroom and a California room can both help you enjoy the summer months. However, many homeowners prefer the open-air layout of a California room. Instead of the illusion of being outside, you actually are. In fact, you can connect your indoor and outdoor living space with a California room better than with sunrooms or Florida rooms.


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How to Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Living Space with a California Room
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