Orangery or conservatory? – 10 of our favourite projects to inspire you

What is the difference between an Orangery or conservatory? Ultimately it all comes down to the proportions of glazing, timber, and masonry materials used as part of their architectural design. But which choice is right for you, orangery or conservatory?

Both an orangery or conservatory can be classed as a garden room – a glazed extension designed to establish a connection between your garden and your home. Adored for their ability to create bright, airy, and positive living spaces. But if you’re torn between the two and seeking more inspiration before making your decision we have picked out our top 10 designs to inspire you.

What is an Orangery?

Orangeries date back to the 17th century, usually as a symbol of prestige among the elite and traditionally used to protect imported citrus plants over the cold British winters. The large expanses of glazing channeled the sun’s warmth, meanwhile supporting pillars and brickwork provided shelter and a reduction of heat loss into the evening. The aristocracy felt that these architectural marvels gave their mansions a sense of opulence and splendour.

Orangeries date back to the 17th century, usually as a symbol of prestige among the elite and traditionally used to protect imported citrus plants over the cold British winters.

What is a Conservatory?

Conservatories were at the height of their popularity in the 1980s. Typically fully glazed structures that offered a full immersion into the garden whilst under the weather protection of a glazed roof. They became popular amongst homeowners for their ability to add spacious, bright living areas to their properties. Whilst creating a positive retreat beside your home.

Orangery inspiration

1. Functional living spaces

As there is less glazing in an orangery, compared to a conservatory, these spaces are able to be fully insulated for use all year round. Making Orangeries ideal for creating functional living spaces, such as kitchens, living, or dining rooms. They can be embraced within the rest of the home to form large open-plan areas that offer a true extension of the property.

2. An orangery will blend seamlessly

The characteristics of an orangery mean that they are able to blend seamlessly with the existing property. Adopting the brickwork, rendering, and colour palette of the house to form a complementary addition to your home. Comparatively a conservatory doesn’t blend in style, rather it stands alone as a victorian-style, glazed addition.

3. A connection to nature

Both orangeries and conservatories benefit from a connection to nature. The many glazed aspects reveal a year-round display of the changing seasons, colours, and blooms. But perhaps the most desirable quality of all, during the summer months, is the option to open large french doors onto a nearby outdoor living space and enjoy the fresh air, summer breeze and freedom to pop in and out of the house throughout the day.

4. Spectacular roof lanterns

Orangeries tend to feature roof lanterns, set within what is known as a ‘perimeter’ – the ceiling that surrounds the lantern. This has the ability to create a theatrical focal point within the space as it becomes a marvelous decorative feature. Compared to a conservatory where the entire roof is glazed to form one large glazed room.

5. Magnificent heightened ceilings

Orangeries are also able to be fitted with boarded roof lanterns rather than glazed. If you’re fortunate enough to have a south-facing garden room, you may choose to install a boarded lantern to minimise sun exposure. Opting for a boarded lantern also creates a more cosy and enclosed space, with the added benefit of a heightened ceiling and magnificent focal point.

Conservatory inspiration

6. A conservatory will add value to your property

Regardless of whether you choose to extend your property with an orangery or conservatory, both prove a worthy investment into improving the value of your property. According to Savills “If they form a kitchen extension or an additional, useable reception room, they can also add value and saleability”

7. Ample natural light and uninterrupted views

Both orangeries or conservatories enjoy the warm ambience of natural light throughout the day. However, when compared to Orangeries, conservatories benefit from a greater amount of light and brilliant uninterrupted views of the garden. Due to the extra glazed surface area.

8. Peaceful and relaxing spaces

The large area of glazing and greater amount of sunlight make conservatories beautiful spaces to sit and relax peacefully beside nature. However, they are best enjoyed during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, as they may become too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Therefore, they tend to be less suitable to be used as functional spaces, such as a kitchen, which is better solved by an orangery extension.

9. A tranquil escape

Conservatories are often considered simply an addition to your home. Rather than a true extension that flows from any of your existing living spaces. They often become their own single-use space, which is ideal for those seeking a tranquil getaway beside their homes.

10. Hand-finished paintwork

The timber framework of all our orangeries or conservatories is fully finished in 3 coats of Teknos paint. A microporous water-based paint that is highly durable and acts as an additional protective barrier over the Accoya structure. Teknos paints are hardwearing, ultra-low VOC (meaning they are not harmful to the environment), and sustainable, making them the perfect choice for wood and joinery.

Allowing you the freedom to choose your desired paint shade, colour match to your favourite colour, and even repaint your orangery or conservatory when trends change.

You may be interested in…

This month we talk to Claire Garner Interiors
The Project Westbury were approached to work on this project by Mint Architecture Architect | …
The History Of The Orangery
The History of Orangeries The business of Westbury is joinery, not least the orangery and …
Designing A Garden That Complements Your Orangery
Celebrating a Decade of Design Excellence: Westbury Garden Rooms Wins Best of Houzz Award 10 …
What Does Sustainability Look Like For A Small Business
Style and Aesthetic From Green Washing to Intent without Impact, how does a business such …
Client Testimonial: Swiss Home Enhanced with British Style Timber Orangery
I started thinking about a home extension and was already decided on the style, the …
Award Winning Orangeries and Garden Rooms
Celebrating a Decade of Design Excellence: Westbury Garden Rooms Wins Best of Houzz Award 10 …