Conservatory furniture ideas to make the most of your extra living space

Make the best use of this multi-purpose garden room with the right furniture choices
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  • Forget the notion of dated wicker chairs with tie on seat pads, conservatory furniture ideas have come a long way. In fact there’s no reason your conservatory furniture has to feel any different from that of your living room furniture in some cases.

    Typically, rattan and cane conservatory ideas feature heavily in a traditional these glass-clad rooms. But if traditional woven chairs and tables aren’t your style, there are also many modern conservatory furniture ideas out there waiting to be discovered.

    Conservatory furniture forms the focus of any garden room or glass extension, determining how to use the multifunctional living space.

    Clever conservatory furniture ideas

    ‘As with any room in the house, consider the use and scale of the space’ advises John Lewis & Partners home design stylist Emma Valerio. ‘How do you wish to use the space? Is it for sitting and enjoying the garden, or do you hope to dine in the conservatory? If so you need to include a large enough table to accommodate potential guests.’

    Hanging chairs are the on-trend piece of garden room furniture du jour. Often made for indoor and outdoor use these modern cocoon chairs are perfect for conservatory ideas – providing the perfect cool alternative to classic armchairs.

    Hearty corner sofas maximise the space for social gatherings, creating an additional living room area – often off the kitchen. A sizeable table and chairs set is ideal to zone the area as a dining space. Bespoke window seating  can help to make the most of limited space.

    Whatever size or style, we’ve compiled the best conservatory furniture ideas to help furnish your space to suit your needs.

    1. Set the scene for dining

    Conservatory with dining table

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If the focus is on using a conservatory to extend your dining and entertaining space you will need to think about accommodating a large dining table and chairs. Dedicate the majority of space to this purpose, ensuing you have plenty of room for chairs to sit comfortably around the central table.

    2. Swing with fashionable furniture choices

    John Lewis hanging chairs

    Image credit: John Lewis & Partners

    The swing chair, egg chair, hanging chair whatever you wish to call it – it’s THE style of chair dominating our indoor/outdoor rooms right now. This cocooning design is perfect for setting the scene for relaxing in style. Standing on free-standing frame this popular chair choice is ideal to move outside to enjoy the sunshine, retreat back inside when it’s not so pleasant out.

    3. Make use of multipurpose furniture

    wooden dining table in conservatory

    image credit: Furniture Village, Bosco Medium Extending Dining Table

    Choose conservatory furniture that offers a multifunctional purpose or a smart design to make the most of this space. For instance this extending dining table, to allow for a functional dining or home office space during the everyday but with the functionality to extend to allow more seating when entertaining. A smart design means the furniture isn’t taking up more space than necessary in a limited space.

    If there’s space add a sideboard ito the mix, to allow for storage and easy access to dinnerware while using the room for entertaining.

    4. Embrace an eclectic look with mismatch furniture

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jon Day

    Emulate a vintage tea room vibe by thoughtfully mixing furniture styles. From woven chairs around a wrought iron table to a worn leather armchair. This look is a great way to upcycle furniture pieces that have perhaps outgrown another room in the house. Uniting them in an eclectic vintage-style setting gives them a new lease of life.

    Adding pretty linens and shabby chic wire pieces adds charm to the overall look.

    5. Make the space feel larger with all-white

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Carl Hodgson

    Whether you want the space to take shape as a dining room or an extra lounge, adopting a uniformed white colour scheme can create the illusion of space. This works especially well when the conservatory frame is all-white too.

    Choosing sideboards, tables, chairs or sofas in white too can help to make the room feel bigger by reflecting the light. Keep the walls and floors neutral too, to maximise the impact and not distract the eye.

    6. Maximise space with bespoke built-in seating

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    If your conservatory space is narrow or restrictive consider bespoke furniture solutions. Clever built-in window seat ideas can frame the rooms, providing adequate seating while taking up minimal floor space. Simple cushions seat cushions beneath the window provide the perfect place to perch with a cuppa and your favourite mag (Ideal Home of course).

    Bench seating, in the same style,  around the perimeter of the room would also create extra storage underneath the ledge, if space allows.

    7. Use a statement corner sofa to dominate the space

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    If your conservatory is a small space embrace it for one sole purpose. A large corner sofa will dominate the room, but that’s no bad thing if you want the space to be an extra entertaining area. A generous comfy sofa will make the small space feel all the inviting.  With no more room for extra furniture, except maybe a co-ordinating coffee table, it’s clear this conservatory is for relaxing and socialising only.

    8. Style the space like an extra living room

    Conservatoryw ith blue and white striped fabrics and upholstered sofa

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jeremy Phillips

    Keep your furniture choices simple if you want to use the space as an overspill from the main living room.  A small sofa and coffee table are enough to mimic the feel of a style living room. Furnish the space with a patterned rug and fabric window blind ideas to add colour

    9. Mix modern furniture with traditional decor

    conservatory with garden chairs

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dan Duchars

    Don’t be afraid to mix furniture styles. Especially if you have an existing traditional kitchen table, you can merely update the look by adding new modern chairs – such as these woven bucket chairs. This works particularly well when they can be colour co-ordinated if you want a seamless look. Alternatively use this as a way to add accent colours.

    10. Dress a dining area to define its purpose

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether

    Open-plan living is becoming more and more popular within the modern home. But often we still want different rooms to hold a different purpose. So how do we have the best of both worlds? Simple, yet effective zoning can be achieved with our furniture choices.

    Here this conservatory is off the kitchen. And while the rooms feel united, thanks to the matching wooden furniture pieces they are distinctly obvious which is kitchen and which is dining. The dining chairs are dressed with formal linen covers to exude more of an elegant dining room feel, rather than merely kitchen chairs.

    11. Consider furniture for smart storage

    vertical shelving in conservatory

    Image credit: Future PLC

    When furnishing your conservatory don’t overlook the need for storage. When looking for storage solutions for small spaces it is beneficial to be savvy, to make the most of all available space. Look for concealed storage, within a footstool or bad of day bed etc, or vertical stoarge to elevate any accessories off the floor and stacked neatly against one wall. As this tallboy unit demonstrates perfectly, a multitude of useful everyday items can be neatly displayed and stored in one handy place.

    12. Make a conservatory space sing with colour

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Nicholas Yarsley

    As a room that attracts the sunshine we like to associate it most with happy vibes. An instant way to make the room feel all the more joyous is with a splash of colour. Painted tables and chairs can add a bold splash of hue to this sunny room. As a room so often over looking the garden and filled with plants, the conservatory is the ideal choice for embracing shades of green.

    13. Create a cosy corner in a small conservatory space

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby

    Use a comfy armchair and adjoining footstool to utilise a tight corner space. Using signature living room furniture staples instantly makes the space feel inviting enough to spend an allotted amount of time relaxing. An elegant French-style armchair affords a conservatory the same sense of style as that of a living room.

    14. Transform a conservatory into a home office

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Spike Powell

    Generally speaking the conservatory is placed with a view of the garden, making it ideal to create a tranquil environment in which to work. This doesn’t require much in way of furniture to transform the space into a garden home office idea of sorts, a simple desk and dining chair can serve the purpose. We would add a cushion to ensure the chair is as comfy as possible while seated at the desk. Being located near the kitchen is a bonus too – perfect for frequent tea breaks.

    15. Opt for a multifunctional day bed

    conservatory with day bed

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby

    If space allows, consider placing a daybed in your conservatory or garden room. Not only will this make the perfect place to have a snooze or enjoy a spot of reading, it can also function as a guest bedroom should the need arise. Include blackout blinds or curtains and plenty of cosy cushions and throws so your guest can enjoy a good night’s sleep.

    16. Build bespoke seating

    conservatroy with bench seating around dining table

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Save space and provide a concealed storage solution by building bespoke bench seating around the edges of the conservatory. Thos neat example shows how an unused corner space can be maximised by a smart window seat idea.

    When choosing a bespoke furniture option you have the freedom to tailor the design to your exact spec and measurements – meaning even in the smallest conservatory you can cater for all your furniture and seating needs.

    What furniture looks good in a conservatory?

    What furniture looks good in a conservatory depends on the size of the space. If you have a small conservatory an oversized sofa might looks a bit mismatched, so here armchairs might work better. Likewise if you have a sizeable conservatory with only slight framed furniture floating within the space it might look a little lost. It’s all about what works in the space you have.

    ‘Materials such as rattan, willow, metal and glass are all ideal as they look light and fresh and are less prone to fading’ advises John Lewis & Partners home design stylist Emma Valerio. ‘Consider the space as halfway between the house and the garden and keep materials natural and the colour palette neutral.
    Planting towers are a wonderful way to add height and provide a space for plants to bring the outside in, also consider earthenware or glass vases to add texture and introduce colour.’

    As a general rule of thumb it’s best to have at least one sofa or two armchairs to provide enough seating for you and guests.

    To keep the room clutter-free it’s best to have a smart storage solution in place, be that a conclude storage ottoman that doubles as a footstool or a shelving ladder to elevate storage needs.

    Can you put any furniture in a conservatory?

    You can put any furniture in a conservatory, however be mindful of the amount of direct sunlight – which will cause upholstery to fade over time. If you have blinds in place this becomes less of a problem of course.

    ‘Try to avoid chunky heavy pieces such as large leather sofas as they aren’t typically suited to strong sun and temperature changes’ warns Emma Valerio. ‘If you love colour, a great way to add this to your conservatory is through soft furnishings and these pieces are more easily moved and replaced if required.’

    ‘Do consider lighting, as although during the day the room will be flooded with light it may require additional lightning in the evening. Consider floor and table lamps to give softer options to stark overhead lighting.’

    How do you arrange furniture in a conservatory?

    Arrange conservatory furniture to suit your needs. If the space is one for socialising and hosting guests offer a social seating arrangement, i.e two seating choices facing each other to invite a natural layout for entertaining. If your conservatory is small you might wish to go without a coffee table and opt for a side table. instead, to free up valuable floor space.

    ‘Always select pieces of furniture that are in scale with the available space’ advises Emma. If the aim is to view the garden, ensure you have comfortable seating which faces outside to make the most of the views, including side tables so you have somewhere to house your morning coffee or evening cocktail. Use all of the space and pull furniture into the centre of the room, don’t leave it at the edges.’

    ‘If you feel the space needs softening, incorporate an indoor/outdoor rug and a few soft furnishings to add texture. Throws are always a wonderful addition when the temperature drops a little.’

    Be inspired to sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of those garden views.

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