Small conservatory ideas – compact design and decor solutions for garden rooms

These stunning small conservatory ideas can make a big difference. We've picked our favourite designs and decor options to maximise style and space
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  • These stunning small conservatory ideas show you that no matter the size, adding a conservatory to your home gives you an extra room along with a healthy dose of natural light. It also means you can enjoy your garden all year round too.

    And you don’t need a lot of space to add practical conservatory or orangery ideas, as they can work in even the smallest of spaces.

    A new space with an abundance of natural light can lend itself to so many different decorating schemes and trends. Most conservatories adjoin kitchens or sitting rooms where they will be the most use. So choosing smart, hardwearing conservatory furniture that is less likely to bleach in the natural light is fundamental when thinking about your small conservatory decor.

    The same goes for flooring. Choose materials that will stand up to heavy through traffic from your garden, such as stone, laminate or sisal floor covering.

    Small conservatory ideas to maximise space

    A simple glass structure with folding doors may be all you have room for. But the right conservatory idea will add an extra element to any room in the home, whether you are extending your kitchen or creating a home office or dining room.

    And, by putting a little thought into decoration and lighting, you can transform the space you do have to maximum effect.

    These small conservatory ideas will offer inspiration and help you transform your new space into a place that’s a joy to live in.

    1. Add a splash of uplifting colour

    A small conservatory with mint green painted walls and furniture

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Nicholas Yarsley

    2. Extend a small kitchen

    kitchen with small conservatory extension and wooden furniture

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether

    Even a small conservatory can add great value to a small kitchen. Extending your kitchen out to the back or side by even the minimum 3 metres of permitted development rules allows you to open up the space to make it much more useable.

    The element of a glass roof and walls of windows will automatically flood a small kitchen with natural light making it feel instantly more airy and open.

    3. Keep it cool with blinds

    Conservatory with grey-wash wooden floor and grey blinds

    Image credit: Blinds2Go

    Conservatories of any size can become extremely hot. It’s the nature of a primarily glass structure – like a greenhouse. But unlike with a greenhouse the overbearing heat is not welcome when enjoying a conservatory, as it makes for uncomfortable living conditions. The best way to keep things cool is by welcoming a savvy window blind idea.

    You want to be able to enjoy your small conservatory throughout all times of the day, escaping the heat at key times but still felling connected to the outside. Simply pull down the conservatory blinds to keep the heat out during the hottest times of the day.

    4. Add space-saving window seats

    A small conservatory with a window seat and wooden window frames

    Image credit: TI Media

    Capture the feeling of bringing the inside into a tiny space by utilising every inch. This small bay-shaped conservatory is given a classic and timeless look with unpainted oak frames. Then, a clever yet simple window seat idea has been constructed around the window frame, creating a social space for chats with loved ones or a bit of alone time.

    The wooden seating is softened with custom-fitted velvet seat pads and scatter cushions in earthy colours, which echo the garden surroundings.

    5. Take the pressure off the living room

    A compact small conservatory with a brown corner sofa

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Make a small conservatory a second chill-out zone in your home, creating an open-plan living room. This peaceful TV-free spot is perfect to relax in.

    The exposed brick wall adds a natural style and depth while the hardwearing floor is pale and elegant to maximise the space. Choose a cosy yet lightweight corner sofa that can be easily moved out into the garden on warmer days for an alfresco change.

    6. Don’t overload the space with furniture

    A conservatory with grey armchairs and curtains

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes

    In a smaller conservatory, particularly one squeezed into a side return extension, it’s very important not to over furnish the space.

    Avoid large items of conservatory furniture like sofas and dressers and instead pick small items that can be easily moved around – as demonstrated by these armchairs. A large rug can help zone a conservatory that’s open-plan within a larger room.

    7. Look to elevate storage

    Vertical shelving in conservatory with an exposed brick wall and green chair

    Image credit: Future PLC

    The best storage solution for any small space, be it a small living room or conservatory spaces, stacked shelving is always a good option. It helps to elevate any books, storage boxes and accessories off the floor. Going for a tall unit helps to use the space from floor to ceiling to your advantage, without taking up more floorspace.

    8. Open up an entrance hall

    A small conservatory with grey slate floor tiles and a french dresser

    Image credit: Future PLC

    If you’re always tripping over shoes and struggle to manoeuvre through a small hallway, why not consider a conservatory extension at the front of your property? This is a great extension idea for bungalows too.

    The mix of rustic materials and contemporary framework gives this small conservatory a distinctive modern country feel. Enhance the small space with a simple and coherent grey and white palette for a smart and sophisticated feel. Roman blinds and layered soft furnishings keep the look comfortable.

    9. Make sure there’s plenty of storage

    A small white conservatory with built in seating, a dining table and a rattan heart on the wall

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    In this neat small dining room idea, banquette seating not only makes sure there’s somewhere for everyone to chow down on their Sunday roast. It also doubles as plentiful storage – something hugely important in a small space, since the tiniest bit of clutter can ruin the look.

    Just lift the lids and hide school books, toys, paperwork and more out of the way.

    10. Keep the colour scheme light

    A small conservatory with an armchair, a white lamp and a sloped ceiling

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jody Stewart

    Even though light will flood into the room by day, a small conservatory is in danger of feeling claustrophobic at night and in winter. Avoid this by choosing pale colours for the walls and floor – a washed oak would work well as it still gives you a cosy, warm finish.

    Add lots of clever conservatory lighting at different levels using lamps and candles and try to avoid ‘heavy furniture’ – a console table, for example, would be preferable to a chest of drawers.

    11. Be more productive in a sunny home office

    Small conservatory with home office desk

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Spike Powell

    Why not turn your compact conservatory into a creative home office? Where better to spend your working hours than in a room filled with light and gorgeous garden views? Plus, it’s proven that working next to a window makes you more productive.

    This timeless look has brought elements of the outside in to connect with the garden beyond. There’s a unique green vintage desk and a botanical blind to shade yourself and your computer screen from the sun.

    12. Extend entertaining space in style

    A small conservatory with a dining area and green hanging plants

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Extend your entertaining space with an additional, attractive dining area. The light conservatory will make a fabulous and practical social space, although so much glass can look cold. Therefore, choose wooden furniture in a rich tone to add warmth.

    Make the transition to the outside seamless with similar planters and foliage both inside and out.

    13. Showcase a specific style

    Small conservatory with French style furniture

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Ornate furniture looks even more elegant in a light-filled room. Just a few pieces enhanced with shabby chic accessories, in garden-style metal materials, will turn your small conservatory in a serene and romantic French-inspired space. Balance the intricate furniture with a palette of off-white and neutrals to keep the small space light, fresh and airy.

    14. Dedicate a cosy spot for ‘me’ time

    A small alcove with a cream armchair with seaside views

    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Create a captivating place to escape to and enjoy the views. Lime-washed furniture and a linen armchair and stool create an elegant coastal living room feel in this charming petite conservatory.

    Pastel cushions and blankets keep the nook cosy while an indoor bay tree adds a shot of natural colour. Be sure to add plenty of storm lanterns to give the room an intimate atmosphere at sunset.

    Is a small conservatory worth it?

    A small conservatory is always worth it, to gain not only more space but give your home a different perspective.

    Not only will going small help keep your conservatory budget down. It will also most likely come under ‘permitted development’ regulations so you will not need planning permission (as long as the conservatory is separated from the house by external quality walls, doors or windows). Check The Planning Portal for the most up-to-date regulations.

    What can you do with a small conservatory?

    You can do wonders with even the smallest conservatory, adding square footage and an element of open design to your existing home layout. There are plenty of designs and materials to choose from, from classic styles with timber frames to more modern looks with aluminium or uPVC structures.

    Once you’ve taken these key points into account you can lift your setting with colour, pattern and themes to create the ideal small conservatory that is right for you.

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