Conservatories – not just a ‘box’ on the back of your house.

A conservatory doesn’t have to be some featureless white framed ‘box’ on the back of your home.

With a little imagination and forethought, you can have something that not only looks fantastic, but becomes a useful everyday space, you’ll want to live in.

Let’s think about the look. Looks are everything and if your conservatory is to have that wow factor, then you need to think about such things as the balance of space between indoors and what’s left of your garden, the colour of the conservatory frame and even it’s height.

‘use a higher roof’

For example, choosing a design with a higher roof might help the conservatory to blend in with existing dormer windows – especially if you choose a similar / same colour for the finish.

Don’t be tempted to go big on the conservatory at the expense of leaving you with no garden.

There are lots of ways you can get this ‘balance’ right on the inside too. Use same/similar floor coverings or colours so that the seam from house to conservatory is as seamless as possible. You can also try opening up as much of the old wall as possible and if you have the opportunity and budget for a conservatory that takes in an entire corner of your home, then the added work in opening up both walls will be well worth it.

Remember, with the easy availability of bi-folding doors (concertina like operation of individual door panels to create a large opening space), it’s possible to open up larger expanses beyond the usual patio doors, yet still be able to make the join between conservatory and house secure, or open up more of the conservatory to the outside.

Vaulted roofs are another trend that’s becoming very popular as more and more companies start offering Orangery designs. A vaulted roof will add extra height to your design and become a talking feature with guests in its own right. A vaulted roof can also make a narrow design seem much wider.

‘solid walls’

If you’re planning on using your conservatory as a sitting room or kitchen, then you might want to consider adding a solid wall to the design. Kitchen units and appliances can butt up against a wall without any unsightly cables or pipes on display from the outside. You’ll also provide the perfect platform to attach outside extractor hoods and fans too.

If you’re planning a sitting room, then again, a solid wall gives you the ability to hang large flat screen tv’s and provide an exhaust point for fireplaces etc. not to mention making cabling easier to hide.

There’s loads more ideas and ways of designing a conservatory so that it becomes anything but a box on the back of your house. Discuss your ideas and wish list with your conservatory company.

Conservatories are a great alternative to a traditional extension – especially if you’ve got a ‘dead’ outside corner of your property that you want to turn into valuable living space.

*This story first appeared in our January 18th homeowner newsletter. Click here to read the full newsletter.

picture credit: Better Homes

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