A brilliant way to add space to your home, a conservatory can be used in a number of exciting and beautiful ways. From entertaining guests when the British summer falls flat to creating the perfect environment for growing plants, this multifunctional room can become a real asset to your home.
But when was the last time you thought about your conservatory decor? Just like all interiors, conservatories require a little TLC every now and then. It’s often because conservatories start out as something of an afterthought to a home, and that can all too easily lead to them keeping their showroom looks. It’s much preferable to continue the decor of your home into what can become a wonderful blend of the indoor and the outdoor - it just needs a bit of personality added to it. That’s why we’ve consulted a selection of interior design experts to find out their top tips for creating a fabulous conservatory.
Whether you use your conservatory for dining with the family, relaxing in a sunlit space, as an evening retreat to entertain or read your latest book, or a viewing gallery for your green-fingered garden display, this selection of expert conservatory ideas will inspire you to dust away those cobwebs and update your conservatory decor.
Gavin Woodford, Interior Designer
With a breakfast bar, informal lounge area and central focal feature fire pit in the enclosed courtyard garden, this space in the heart of the home encourages connection, inviting the family to sit, eat and share together.
Kia Stanford, Interior Designer
Bringing the outside in can often be a challenge with UK properties, but with glass extensions such as this one you really can call it a sunroom. The glass beams allow for a completely open feel to the back of this grade II listed property. I adore how subtle all the colors are and the Italian low line sofa makes the room seem even taller than it is – gorgeous.
Katie Malik, Interior Designer
This conservatory is joined with a beautiful shabby chic kitchen, so it was important that the color scheme, feel and look flowed naturally into the new area. The space is mainly used for chilling out, reading books and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. To achieve that flow we used the same natural limestone floor, a reupholstered sofa in a soft blue fabric and some scattered pillows that tie in with the existing color scheme in the kitchen. We also ensured we specified a rug in the coordinated color. Alongside this, we used the same scarab fabric that was used to make a curtain in the kitchen, to make blackout roman blinds for the conservatory windows. One important element was a traditional-style radiator with daisies which was painted in French gray from Farrow & Ball. Lanterns and a few favorite objects complement the shabby chic style.
Gulcin White, Interior Designer
Our English conservatories have evolved over the years to become slick and smartly designed additions to our homes. They are not only sunny, bright rooms but also a place for all of us to socialize, have dinner parties and entertain. Studio G has not only created country style relaxed conservatories but also modern ones, with a touch of an industrial look. We love our French doors and roof lights that give us an abundance of light and color and help us to bring the outside inside. These rooms make us happy and are extremely inviting – especially when the sun shines.
Janine Loucaides, Interior Blogger
Create an effortlessly charming setting in your conservatory by exploiting the natural light flooding through and views of the great outdoors. Source a combination of old and new furnishings to build an eclectic space. Hunt for a vintage timber dining table set; upholster the seat pads in rustic linen fabrics and you can achieve a traditional orangery look that’s so contemporary, whether you use it to grow fruit or not.
Add industrial metal pendants, combined with retro LED bulbs, and handmade multi-colored encaustic tiles will add vibrancy to the floor. Bring the outside in with rows of potted herbs in reclaimed terracotta ceramics and watering cans overflowing with plants. Dress the table with colored glassware, hemp linens and church pillar candles. All that’s left is to nestle in with a coffee and the morning’s newspaper in your tranquil sun room.
Paul Langston, Interior Designer
A conservatory can be a big financial investment and will likely have a significant impact on the feel and use of an existing home – so it pays to spend some time on answering a few key questions before the build. I’ve seen many conservatories created as separate rooms and never being used, so it is wise to think carefully about how the space will be enjoyed before it is built. For example, are you looking to create a separate living/seating space, expand an existing zone or combine areas such as living and dining? In recent years, the traditional model of a conservatory has been challenged.
For example, it no longer needs to have a majority glazed roof. In fact, a glass roof can often be problematic in terms of keeping the heat out in the summer and holding onto warmth in the winter. Privacy issues can be overcome with blinds, but these can also be expensive and over-complicated. A solid roof can create continuity from the main house into your extended area. It also creates a surface for hiding essentials such as cabling, lighting, air conditioning and not to mention autumn leaves. For added light, introduce roof lights.