Steve Vanze Talks Solariums

The Wall Street Journal turned to BVA Principal Steve Vanze last week for his take on the growing popularity of glass-enclosed garden and sun rooms, because the firm has done many of them for its luxury residential clients.

“If you’re in an urban environment, it’s a way of capturing outdoor space and still not being in the middle of what could be an unpleasant city environment,” Steve told the paper. “And if you’re in a rural or suburban environment, it’s a way of reaching out from the house into nature and bringing the two together.”

About 20 percent of our residential designs includes a solarium, and they come in many different varieties. Here’s a sampling:

At this property in Bethesda, Maryland, we repurposed an existing glass roof over a defunct interior pool to become a new party/spa room with a fireplace, spa and seating areas:

Unless otherwise noted, photographs are by Anice Hoachlander

Here, we built a solarium wing to a home in Washington, DC, that encloses a kitchen, dining area and TV/sitting area:

We incorporated a glass-peaked solarium into the family room of this new home in Potomac, Maryland:


Here, a classic Tudor in Washington, DC, had a clean, Scandinavian-inspired orangerie addition:

A solarium can also enclose a stair tower like this one in a new home in Washington’s Palisades. It makes the journey between levels a floating, light-filled experience.

Photograph by Maxwell MacKenzie

And in this new DC home, which we designed for a talented builder and interior designer duo, a sunroom extends the foyer axis out into the garden, pulling it into the the home’s central core.

Steve told the Journal he has a home currently under construction that has two solariums, and another project includes one with a second kitchen for use during the summer months. These sunny, whimsical spaces will never go out of style.