Modern conservatory ideas: decor and design to inspire contemporary glass extensions

Conservatories can be modern, it's all about the design and decor choices
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  • Modern conservatory ideas range from open-plan kitchen spaces to contemporary garden rooms, all extending homes with glass structures to let the light in.

    Once seen as only suitable for a country-style traditional property conservatory ideas have come a long way, making the design feel more contemporary and fit for modern homes. How you style your modern conservatory decor will also determine how the space feels, choose an interior that moves the space away from garden room furniture – making it feel more sleek and styled as an interior  living space.

    Modern conservatory ideas

    ‘We’re often asked whether modern glazed extensions only work on modern buildings or if a contrast with a period property can work’ says Karen Bell, Creative Director, David Salisbury conservatories. ‘A contrast with the original building can be acceptable as long as it does not obscure the original architectural features of the property.

    1. Create a modern kitchen space

    interior of conservatory with large panes of glass - vivafolio

    Image credit: Vivafolio

    This thoroughly modern space ticks all the boxes, open-plan living and contemporary glass walls. This sleek conservatory kitchen idea creates a space filled with light, offering a connection to the outside.

    Thanks to modern innovations in glazing this amount of glass exposure no longer means a room has to feel extremes in temperature, from boiling hot in sunshine but freezing cold in winter. Meaning a conservatory is a modern practical and stylish solution for key rooms within the home.

    2. Expose the room with a single panel glass roof

    Conservatory dining area

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jonathan Gooch

    In this smart conservatory-style dining area the challenge for the architect was to make sure you could still see the original architecture of the house. The original exterior wall of the house was left uncovered, to add a heritage edge to the modern glass extension idea. While this may not be the classic conservatory design it certainly consists of more glass than brick, which makes it a contemporary take on this traditional design.

    3. Welcome modern decor choices

    conservatory with large potted plants

    Image credit: Future PLC/ James Merrell

    The key to making a space feel styled without overdoing the accessories is by dressing a space with plants, large and small. Use conservatory plant ideas to fill a vast open space from floor to ceiling established plants, to add colour and interest all lead by nature.

    When it comes to the decor in a modern conservatory try to keep it simple and stylish. Choose alternative flooring choices, such as this stylised marble floor tile to exude an air of contemporary design. Make furniture choices stand out, serving a purpose with absolute dedication to interior design – look for shapely rattan pieces and intriguing surfaces such as coloured glass and marble.

    4. Rethink the exterior

    apropos large conservatory on a large white house - vivafolio

    Image credit: Viva Folio

    Work with a design team who can help your modern conservatory design feel contemporary, rather than ‘trad’. From the window pane design to the colour of the structure the design choices can determine the feel of a modern glass extension.

    This impressive glass conservatory stretches the full width of the back of this house. Creating a contemporary sunroom to extend the living space. Retracting Bi-fold doors in stylish slate grey keep the feel modern in appearance.

    5. Look to add contemporary colour

    Green conservatory extension

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Make a conservatory feel modern with a change of colour, updating a traditional white glazed structure. ‘The exterior of conservatories are frequently painted in colours ranging from soft and subtle hues including natural tones and off-whites, to stronger colours for a more dramatic effect’ says Lisa Morton at Vale Garden Houses. ‘Some owners are quite adventurous in their choice of colour for inside and out, with stunning results.’

    ‘Similarly, the current trend for clean lines and minimal furniture does not look out of place in a period home. Whatever the next trend is, paint and furniture can be altered with no lasting damage.’

    6. Keep it simple

    modern glass garden room with dining table

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore

    ‘It may be considered by many to put a very modern glazed structure onto a period house. However trends do change and as a conservatory is expected to be around for several decades, this may not be appropriate for your property in the long term’ says Lisa Morton at Vale Garden Houses.

    ‘Also bear in mind that a contemporary approach is not to everyone’s taste. Personal tastes and approaches in style are best applied in the final decoration and interior design.’

    7. Work with the foundations

    conservatory orangery on brick house exterior

    image credit: David Salisbury

    ‘As long as the proposed extension does not detract from the original aesthetics then a contrasting modern extension can work with a period property’ says Karen Bell, Creative Director, David Salisbury. ‘As ever with older buildings, it is best to seek some expert design advice.’

    A professional design team can offer advice on how to add a modern conservatory to suit your home. From colour choices to lighting ideas, all the elements can be tailored to suit your desired look.

    How do you make a conservatory look modern?

    To make a conservatory look modern update the decor. ‘A contemporary approach is not to everyone’s taste and a modern conservatory may be considered an eyesore to some when considering a house purchase’ advises Lisa Morton at Vale Garden Houses. ‘Personal tastes and approaches in style are best applied in the final decoration and interior design.’

    What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?

    ‘For many homeowners, glazed extensions such as orangeries and conservatories might seem very similar, however, there are certain elements that set them apart’ explains Mervyn Montgomery, Managing Director, Hampton Conservatories. ‘The main difference between the two is the amount of glazing included. The structure of a conservatory typically includes over 80 per cent glass. While orangeries usually have less than 80 per cent.’

    Mervyn goes on to add, ‘The defining feature of a conservatory is the fully glazed walls set on brick foundations and a glazed roof. Allowing for maximum natural light infiltration. On the other hand, orangeries will provide the same outdoorsy feel as a conservatory however they are semi-glazed and typically have a centralised roof lantern atop a flat roof.’

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