Client testimonial: beautiful timber orangery with fireplace

From time to time, we ask our customers to write for our blog. Here’s Mrs G. on how her new orangery has made a difference to her home.

The inspiration

A few years ago, I was passing through a nearby village and spotted a house with a beautiful adjoining timber extension – you could tell it was a quality build from a mile off. On asking the owner about the extension, she told me that it had been designed and built by Westbury. I started to envisage how a Westbury extension might fit in with my own home and lifestyle: it really felt as though it was meant to be… I just had to convince my husband!

The original layout of our house

Our house has quite a long and narrow layout, and I always felt as though the kitchen ended far sooner than it deserved. To me, it was obvious that an extension would give some much needed depth to the downstairs space. I just about managed to persuade my husband to come around to the idea, but it remained as a bit of a pipe dream for the next five years.

Having obtained planning permission for my long desired kitchen extension, I decided to contact Westbury to see if they were able to help us to plan our own extension based on the space approved in our planning, and was pleasantly surprised when they said they could manage the entire project from start to finish for us because plenty of building companies we worked with in the past have required us to do a lot of the legwork. This, combined with the fact that I had already seen the quality of a Westbury glazed extension in the flesh, confirmed to me and my husband that we were definitely ready to hit the ground running with our own build.

The build

True to their word, Westbury were super efficient and all-encompassing in their organisation at every stage: the groundwork, the build quality and the amazing glazed structure, the underfloor heating, the electrics, the tiling, the plinth for the fireplace, the chimney, the lighting, the paintwork. They have all of the right tradespeople and suppliers meaning that every phase of the extension was coordinated superbly. The space is very well insulated and energy efficient making it perfect for using all year round which is surprising given the amount of glazing in its structure. And the final result is everything we dreamed it would be, and more.

Our extension works exactly as I hoped; adding depth to the back of the house, bringing the kitchen to life, and squaring off the exterior walls. Our ceilings are quite low but the ventilated roof lantern in the orangery opens up the whole area, creating a bright and sunny space. We are fortunate to have a south facing garden so we are able to enjoy beautiful natural daylight in the room from dawn until dusk.

How we use the space

I originally thought that we would use our extension as a dining room, but I later fell in love with the idea of fitting a fireplace into the space. With this, it then felt more natural to use the space as a seating area centred around the fireplace in order to maximise its use. I love how the open-plan layout of the space makes it possible for my teenage girls and husband to essentially sit in the same room as me while I cook dinner in the kitchen area. However, we’ve also fitted a set of pocket sliding doors in between the Westbury orangery and our family/media room which adjoins the new space so that we have the flexibility to shut off the kitchen/orangery from the family TV room thereby allowing the kids to watch whatever they like without disturbing us in the kitchen/orangery, but still being in very close proximity to each other.

Our orangery has become the heart of our home. It’s the space that everyone naturally gravitates toward; whenever we have friends over for a cup of tea, it is the room where we will end up sitting down to chat. The additional space really came into its own at Christmas – we had fourteen people over for food and drinks and we all sat in the extension for exchanging presents, enjoying drinks, and playing games. Being such an integral part of the kitchen it was the perfect location for entertaining guests. Bring on the next special occasion!

How the extension has changed our home

The natural sunlight from the roof lantern and windows adds so much atmosphere to the downstairs space – I really believe it has a real impact on the mood of our home – lifting us up and making us feel happy. It’s such a warm, welcoming space to surround yourself in. I often find myself sitting in the space, looking up at the sky and thinking I wouldn’t mind living in the orangery all of the time!

The extension has created a more seamless connection to the garden, ensuring the house is level to the surrounding terrace outside. We previously had an old set of poor quality doors that would shrink and swell with the changes in the weather and let a bitter draft into the house. But thankfully, Westbury supplied us with a set of incredible French doors which are fantastic in both their performance and appearance; we love opening them up onto the terrace when the weather is warm and enjoying a good barbecue with our friends and family.

Wish we did it sooner

Our orangery has become such an important part of how our home looks and flows and after so long spent trying to convince my husband that we should get an extension, he now asks “why didn’t we do this years ago?”. We absolutely love the space and use it all the time.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with our team today to discuss how a stunning glazed extension could transform your family home.