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

Modern conservatory ideas range from open-plan kitchen spaces to contemporary garden rooms, all extending homes with glass structures to let the light in

Our 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

The interior of a conservatory with large panes of glass and a white dining table

(Image credit: Vivafolio)

This thoroughly modern, sleek conservatory kitchen idea ticks all the boxes. It is a practical open-plan space that is filled with light thanks to the contemporary glass walls. This offers 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 within the home.

2. Expose the room with a single panel glass roof

A small conservatory with a single pane glass roof and a round white table

(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. This makes it a contemporary take on this traditional design.

3. Welcome modern decor choices

A conservatory with large potted plants and a rattan sofa with grey cushions

(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 conservatory flooring ideas, such as this stylised marble floor tile to exude an air of contemporary design.

Make your conservatory 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

A large conservatory extensions with glass sliding doors on a large white house

(Image credit: Viva Folio)

Work with a design team who can help your modern conservatory design feel contemporary, rather than 'trad'. The design choices can determine the feel of a modern glass extension. There are a range of areas you can focus on, from the window pane design to the colour of the structure.

This impressive glass orangery idea 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

A large green conservatory extension with a striped sofa, wooden dining table and folding doors.

(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

A modern glass garden conservatory with wooden dining table, wooden benches, green cushions and folding doors

(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. It's best to apply personal tastes and approaches in style in the final decoration and interior design stage.'

7. Work with the foundations

A conservatory on a brick house exterior with green and purple plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/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 conservatory lighting ideas, all the elements can be tailored to suit your desired look.

How do you make a conservatory look modern?

When considering modern conservatory ideas, sometimes it's as simple as updating the decor. 'A contemporary approach is not to everyone’s taste and a modern conservatory may be viewed as 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 stage.'

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 adds, 'The fully glazed walls set on brick foundations and a glazed roof are the defining features of a conservatory. 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.'

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.