Let there be light: sun-filled garden rooms

How to make your home as lovely and light filled as possible

As we embrace the summer weather and appreciate the outdoors after spending so many months isolating, we can’t help but feel thankful towards all the extra sunshine we are feeling exposed to. Inside our homes, responding to space and light seems more important than ever. Natural light generates atmosphere, emotion, and calm in our interiors. It creates a welcoming warmth throughout the house, highlighting interior features and giving depth and character to details. As it bounces off walls, it helps to give your home life and movement. 

Extending your house is one of the most profitable renovations you can embark on and when executed correctly, will create an airy and bright atmosphere in your home. A well-designed extension will make your property seem more appealing and add to its value. Removing walls to create a generous-sized open-plan room is the best way to allow light to flow through your house, and further create a sense of increased space. A large kitchen and dining room space is highly attractive to, as open-plan living is what everyone wants now – especially those with families and friends they plan to entertain at home. 

A traditional design that lets in plenty of light

If you want to invest in an extension, consider a structure that features plenty of glazing to maximise on sunlight. We believe that garden rooms are the optimal design for maximising on the sun’s restorative rays and are a wonderful extension to invest in – they look elegant, won’t overheat, and will keep their fine finish for decades to come. With such a high proportion of glazing and doors that can be opened in the summer, the new space has a remarkably strong visual connection to the garden with full height windows providing panoramic views to enjoy.

Orangeries, garden rooms and pool-houses can all be classed as a ‘garden room extension’, but their differences lie in the amount of glazing used in their structure, and the roof design. Unlike common uPVC conservatories, they are designed with architectural and decorative beauty in mind, and these spaces seem to have a magnetic pull. Clients always tell us how their orangeries and garden rooms quickly become the heart of the home. 

‘It is without a doubt that I can say we accomplished our dream of creating an impressive new day-to-day living space – in fact, both the dining room and living room have been rendered somewhat redundant!’ Mrs. O from the Chilterns. 

Spotlight on glazing

One of the key features is the glazing, but the charm comes from the traditional timber joinery, which is crafted with such high quality that its beauty is astounding. For more information about our use of Accoya timber, read our article about designing eco-friendly glazed extensions. Many a period property has been ruined by cheap-looking, chunky uPVC glazing. Glazing bars should be as lightweight as possible, allowing the optimum amount of natural light into the room. 

‘We paid a visit to the (Westbury) factory and showroom and saw the quality of the products being made, and the craftsmanship that goes into the manufacturing process.’ – Mrs. K from Surrey

Overheating can often be a problem with glazed extensions, but solar-reflective glazing can help keep the room feeling cool and comfortable all year round. Solar heat is reflected off the windows, doors, and roof lantern, decreasing glare and heat build-up in the room while maintaining a high light transmission. 

Creating a joyful, sunny space

There’s more to it than simply building a structure with plenty of glazing, however. Form and function should also be high on the agenda. With their high rooflines and glazed aspects, a garden room is perfectly designed to bring in the light, resulting in a space that exudes relaxed sophistication. Large, vertical panes of glass, French doors and glazed gables will make a room feel spectacularly light and airy, while considerably increasing the sense of space and emphasising the vaulted ceiling. 

Unlike other glazed extension designs, a garden room or orangery features windows and glazed doors on at least two sides of the structure. This maximises on potential light penetration, even if the room is north facing, and helps to cast everything into sharper relief, making for a much more flattering room to spend time in. 

Architectural design at its best: roof lanterns

One of the most impressive ways to bring further sunlight into a space is to draw it in from above. This is especially effective for properties in urban environments with neighbours close by. Roof lanterns can let in considerably more daylight into your extension, and they are the ideal option if your extension has a flat roof. Because they rise from your extension, they make the most of the sun all day as it moves around your house. 

‘The new Orangery is traditional in style on the inside and out, and the double aspect windows and the beautiful roof lantern keep the room flooded with light at all times. It is a wonderful inside space which marries the house to the garden.’ – Mrs. J from Oxford. 

Being exposed to natural light all day has numerous health benefits, helping to stimulate your circadian rhythm and encouraging a good night’s sleep. In addition, roof lanterns can be fitted with thermostatic opening vents, which help to manage the internal temperatures by encouraging natural ventilation. They open automatically when the temperature in the room rises too much, and then close as the room becomes cooler.

Over the last 30 years, Westbury has built a reputation for designing garden rooms and orangeries which immediately become the pièce de résistance of the family home. Contact us today to discuss your project in more detail or book an appointment to visit one of our showrooms.