interior of country orangery

Grade II listed Georgian farmhouse transformed by spacious timber orangery

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Situated in the Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire, the owners of this Grade II listed farmhouse wanted to extend their spectacular home with a bright and spacious orangery. A glass partition in one of the walls is proof that you can obtain planning permission for even the most protected of properties.

This picture-perfect Georgian farmhouse was initially listed in the 1950s, with origins dating back to the early 1800s. The house’s exterior consists of beautiful Flemish bond brickwork and coursed limestone rubble walls, as well as a stone slate roof. When the homeowners first encountered the characterful house, they felt like they had discovered a real treasure – but inside the rooms were dark and gloomy and it was clear that the interiors required renovating.

The layout of the ground floor meant that it was impossible to fit a decent sized kitchen into any of the smaller rooms. The part of the house where the kitchen was to be positioned was East facing and would have been quite dark a lot of the time. What’s more, the magnificent southerly views over the pond were not being maximised to their full potential from the house.

With the help of our designers, the homeowners transformed their property by adding a bespoke glazed orangery. The new extension has greatly expanded the living space, allowing for a new, larger kitchen and reconfiguring the flow of the interiors.

The spacious orangery extends from the kitchen and includes a magnificent, timber roof lantern which allows natural light to fill the room below. Understanding the need to transform the darker rooms of the main house, we also included an additional lean-to glazed roof with bird mouthed rafters and two gable ends. Glass units toughened with soft Low-E coating to the inner leaf encourages additional sunlight to filter into the kitchen in the main house.

While stuffy temperatures can be a common complaint with standard conservatories, we used solar-reflective glazing to help keep the room feeling cool. To pull warmer air up and out, we fitted the roof lantern with two electronically operated double roof vents, which manage the internal temperatures by encouraging natural ventilation. With rain sensors and auto-controls, these thermostatic vents open automatically when the temperature in the room rises and closes as it cools or detects raindrops.

Octagonal solid resin kingpins add a decorative touch to the top of the glazed roof lantern. Unlike uPVC, the resin will not split or crack, ensuring no water ingress over time. We fitted pendant droppers to the underside of each Kingpin for the lighting scheme.

The original garden wall which formed the back wall of the orangery had an arched top door leading into the garden, and we replicated this detail to continue the architectural style of the house. A set of four-leaf folding doors can be opened outwards, leading to the patio and finely manicured plant beds. The orangery also consists of fixed casement windows with a traditional flush appearance and no V-joints. We included one opening casement for when additional ventilation is required, fitted with a concealed espagnolette fastener. Oversized internal window cills give a thicker, more solid base and compliment the joinery design.

Listed buildings face stricter planning rules and regulations. However, with the right approach, it’s not difficult to make adaptations to a design in order to protect and maintain the character of a period property. The planners insisted that the orangery ‘float’ off the house, as they did not want to alter the properties’ elevation.

We put in a large glass panel off the stone wall of the house, which attracts the eye and gives the classic orangery a modern touch. From inside the room, you can look straight down the outside wall of the house, drawing attention to the limestone rubble’s aged texture.

The orangery is a favourite spot for the family. ‘We use this room all day long. It has been a total godsend during Lockdown as the folding doors essentially remove one whole wall and make those working from home feel like they are in the garden.’ By using premium materials, the family can enjoy their orangey for years to come, with a lifespan of 50 years or more. We use Accoya® for the external layer of our engineered timber, which is a highly robust and stable material. Accoya is made from fast-growing, sustainable FSC® or PEFC™ Radiata pine and is carbon neutral throughout its entire life cycle. As it will not shrink or swell, the joints, panes and frames will all maintain their flawless fit.

As standard, we spray-apply our joinery with three coats of water-based microporous paint in our workshops, to result in an immaculate finish. Teknos, paint systems help to protect the joinery from weather exposure, high levels of UV and fungal damage. Providing the painted surfaces are given a gentle wash down with soapy water twice a year; they will stay smooth and crack-free for up to 12 years before they need repainting.

  • We use this room all day long. It has been a total godsend during Lockdown!

    Mrs S
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Westbury Garden Rooms Case Study Grade II listed Georgian farmhouse transformed by a spacious timber orangery