Client testimonial: A beautiful Victorian orangery for modern family living

From time to time, we ask our customers to write for our blog. Here’s Mrs P on how an orangery has completely transformed the layout of her home.

We bought our house because we fell in love with its beautiful period features, such as the high ceilings and cornices as well as the traditional red brickwork. The ground floor presented a typical Victorian layout; a central hallway with a kitchen and reception room to the left, and another reception room and a dining room to the right, the latter of which we rarely used. 

With a young family, our home is a hive of activity, and so the open-plan layout and bi-fold doors of our previous property complemented our lifestyle perfectly. We knew we needed to recreate that kind of space. 

We underwent quite a prolonged buying process, so this gave us plenty of time to research and build a clear picture of how we wanted our orangery to look and perform. When Westbury’s architects came to our home, they immediately bought into our vision and designed an extension that really celebrated the period features of the property whilst still providing all the elements of modern, family living. 

Space and light

Our new orangery spans almost the full width of the rear of the property and leads straight out into our back garden. The new Charlie Kingham kitchen now flows into the new orangery which enjoys extensive natural light from the vertical glazing and beautiful roof lantern above. 

The orangery’s interior design and colour scheme is quite different from the rest of the property as we wanted to create a contrast between the two living spaces. The drawing room is decorated in deep, rich colours and textiles and we’ve opted for a lighter palette for our new space. 

Personal touches

Running an interior design business, Emily Coco Interiors Ltd, I’m always looking for bold, statement pieces of furniture. Many years ago I sourced a beautiful artisan console table from France which I wanted to be a key focal point within the extension, and Westbury were only too happy to make the dream a reality.

I also have a real penchant for lighting and lamps, and so Westbury incorporated the most beautiful recessed floor lights either side of the French doors. These give off two little bursts of light which create a calm evening glow.

Attention to detail

One of my favourite aspects of our orangery are the doors. There are two internal doors, and six external French doors which completely open up to create a seamless connection with our outdoor patio area. They are wonderfully heavy, tall, and in keeping with the property, and have been expertly handcrafted to mirror the panelled design of our wooden sash windows.

Practical considerations

The rear of our property has windows of various sizes, all of which sit at different heights. This asymmetry adds to the period charm to the property; however, we were concerned that the height of the roof lantern would obscure the views from the bedroom window above it. In fact, Westbury were able to adjust the pitch of the roof lantern to accommodate the sunken window with no trouble, and without compromising the overall aesthetics of the orangery itself. 

We chose one of Westbury’s own paint products called Westmorland for the external joinery, a gorgeous shade of green which looks stunning against our victorian red brick exterior.

We were so impressed with the way in which Westbury incorporated the period style of our existing home into the design of our new orangery, that I’ve already recommended them to a client of mine who has a similar property.