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Orangeries: design ideas

Orangery design ideas that will increase space and light in your home

One of the most exciting ways to enhance our homes and introduce more natural light is by adding an orangery. The orangery is increasingly being designed as an integral part of the house, an addition to the ground floor living and dining spaces. Who would say no to extra space? Whether it's for a kitchen that opens out on to the garden or an entertainment hub, most people hanker after a few precious additional square metres. A sleek structure will provide extra space for a living and dining area, kitchen, office or playroom.

According to the Glass and Glazing Federation, 'The orangery differs from conservatories as it is predominantly made up of brickwork rather than glass. Because of this it tends to blend in with a property more easily and will usually add the most value to a home courtesy of the wonderful looks and vast space it provides.'

Although the names are frequently used interchangeably, there are differences between a conservatory, which is largely made of glass, including the roof; an orangery, which features more brickwork and is a flat-roofed extension with large glass windows and roof light; and a garden room or garden summerhouse, characterised by a solid roof and walls with generous windows.

The key to designing an orangery or conservatory that is comfortable all year round, and isn't an energy drain for the house as a whole, are to ensure good insulation and to use energy efficient glazing. If your property is overlooked, you may want to consider using privacy glass, which becomes opaque at the press of a switch.

Orangery with modern rustic furniture and whitewashed flooring (above)

Create a distressed floor. Use watered-down paint to achieve a whitewashed effect, then finish it off with a satin epoxy varnish. Hang metal pendant lights above the table to create an intimate feel for dining. Large-scale pendant lights are a design statement in themselves.This coastal-inspired extension has a wonderfully bright feel thanks to its fresh decor in shades of white and grey. Stick to the same colour palette for a cohesive and considered look.

Similar table

Not sure how to decorate your space? Take a look at these creative small conservatories for inspiration.

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Photograph by Paul Massey