A conservatory is the midway point between indoors and outdoors. Big windows to your garden are the backdrop to a second living room or dining room. But a conservatory can often be neglected or considered the “other” lounge where kids play or guests are sometimes entertained.
Conservatories or orangeries have evolved in recent years to become more snug and homelier. They can reflect the style of your home or be a completely new design, bridging the gap between your garden and home.
What’s your style?
The style of your conservatory can depend on many factors. An important thing is to consider it as both an extension of your home and of your garden.
Simple steps can be taken to create a vintage or contemporary look. A floral tablecloth, rustic furniture or using the brickwork of the house gives a classic look. Conservatories with solid roofs are the latest in modern design with folding, glass doors for a wide opening.
Remember, a conservatory usually gets the brunt of dirt from the garden. A carpet is probably not the best idea. A wood/veneer flooring is easy to clean and includes modern and traditional options. For a warmer feel underfoot, sisal flooring is ideal or simply place a rug in the centre of the room.
A conservatory or sunroom is brilliant for light as the windows create a bright, airy ambience. With such big windows, the inside needs to stand out at both day time and night time. Using light, pastel colour tones make the open space feel even more open.
Dark colours absorb the heat of the sun, unless you use UV glass or blinds. It is best to keep away from dark floors to avoid tip toeing across your conservatory.
Blinds or curtains ensure shade from the sun as well as privacy. A fretwork screen can also provide some privacy while still letting light through. This is a great way to keep the conservatory cool during the day.
Conservatories can be ignored over the winter months for being so cold. Yet a glass filled room could feel like a fun, human-sized snow globe on a snowy day. Add a throw or warm blanket as well as a rug and you can feel snug.
Infrared heating is a new, innovative form of electric heating, perfect for a conservatory. Check for drafts and fit window shutters to stop hot air from escaping.
Indoor plants are a great way to blur the lines of indoor and outdoor spaces. Tall plants with a structural shape help fill spaces and brighten up the room. Fabrics with leafy designs, such as curtains or cushions, also help provide a natural feel to the room.
Wood and wicker seating and tables are popular choices for furniture in a conservatory. These feel natural and react well to the changing temperatures of a conservatory. Enjoy your garden furniture for longer by bringing it into your orangery for year-round use.
Most modern garden furniture is borrowing designs from indoor furniture. Use a dining table as a focal point with a vase of colourful flowers at its centre. A green or lemon table runner can also help bring the outdoor colours in.