One of the most exciting ways to enhance our homes and introduce more natural light is by adding an orangery. The orangery is increasingly being designed as an integral part of the house, an addition to the ground floor living and dining spaces. Who would say no to extra space? Whether it’s for a kitchen that opens out on to the garden or an entertainment hub, most people hanker after a few precious additional square metres. A sleek structure will provide extra space for a living and dining area, kitchen, office or playroom.
According to the Glass and Glazing Federation, ‘The orangery differs from conservatories as it is predominantly made up of brickwork rather than glass. Because of this it tends to blend in with a property more easily and will usually add the most value to a home courtesy of the wonderful looks and vast space it provides.’
Although the names are frequently used interchangeably, there are differences between a conservatory, which is largely made of glass, including the roof; an orangery, which features more brickwork and is a flat-roofed extension with large glass windows and roof light; and a garden room or garden summerhouse, characterised by a solid roof and walls with generous windows.
Create a distressed floor. Use watered-down paint to achieve a whitewashed effect, then finish it off with a satin epoxy varnish. Hang metal pendant lights above the table to create an intimate feel for dining. Large-scale pendant lights are a design statement in themselves.This coastal-inspired extension has a wonderfully bright feel thanks to its fresh decor in shades of white and grey. Stick to the same colour palette for a cohesive and considered look.
Turn an orangery into a second living room for smart entertaining. An orangery that opens directly on to a large expanse of garden is perfect for a family, allowing people to spill outside when weather permits. While orangeries make great sitting rooms, it can be tricky to make all that glass feel inviting. Arrange sofas facing each other and maximise the outdoor feel with botanical-print blinds and classic furniture and choose a matt floor in stone or ceramic so that it’s easy to clean.
Create an all-year-round family space with a garden room. Make your room feel like an internal living space by using classic furniture and an abundance of cushion-filled seating – perfect for lounging on a Sunday afternoon. Here blue fabric in mismatched patterns and textures create a contemporary feel in this light and airy orangery. This cosy spot enjoys plenty of light and wonderful views across the country landscape.
Liven up orangery windows. With floor-to-ceiling windows, an orangery can often need livening up with soft furnishings. Brighten up the windows with an eye-catching patterned blind and sleek cushion covers to match. A generously sized dining table is positioned directly below the apex for maximum impact. Tucked away at the rear of a property, this bespoke design affords plenty of privacy, yet offers glorious views from two sides. Ensure you fit high performance glazing. Check the energy rating: A is the most efficient; G the least.
Do something different with your orangery by turning it into a guest bedroom. This dramatic vaulted ceiling with a Victorian design is guaranteed to impress. Roof vents will help to maintain a comfortable temperature inside; choose a type that opens and closes automatically. Select furniture that is in keeping with the overall architecture of the building. Here vintage-style pieces ensure that the room looks united.
Create different zones within a larger orangery for a valuable multi-functional family space that can be used for after-school study and play as well as grown-up evening dinner parties. A glass roof creates an illusion of space and height which is accentuated by the use of pale furniture and neutral paint. Run the same flooring across the two zones to create a feeling of continuity.
Instil a warm welcome with double patio doors in materials that harmonise with the main building, as well as the outdoors. Blinds are a good space-saving solution when there is no room either side of a window for curtains, as is the case in this conservatory. Their simple lines also give a fresh, modern feel. Sofas in a U-shape encourage guests to sit together and chat. Rattan furniture with padded seating is a classic choice.
This bright, open-plan space is perfect for modern family life. Blur the boundary between your house and garden with an orangery that has flagstone flooring with a similar look and feel to the patio slabs beyond. Echo the same effect inside your orangery with windows that give stunning panoramic views of the garden and choose comfortable furnishings and a garden-style wooden dining bench.
Turn your orangery into a tropical haven with plenty of plants and reinvented veranda furniture. Though this room may not actually be in the garden, it still oozes a fanciful garden feel. In colourful shades hot from the jungle, reinvented veranda furniture creates a haven of tropical lushness in this colourful garden room that just bursts with life. Alternatively, work a theme into your scheme – an orangery is the ideal place to experiment.