Conservatories are a difficult room to work with; somewhere between indoors and outdoors and never fully committed to either. In summer, they are often far too warm, and in winter they become damp and cold spaces that are neglected until the first glimpse of spring.
Conservatories originated in the 16th century as a way to cultivate citrus fruits in the colder months or harsh climates of Northern Europe. It wasn’t until the 1970s that architects began employing the same Victorian stylings of 19th Century orangery structures into domestic extensions.
In the 70s and 80s, building a conservatory was one of the most popular ways to add value to a home, so now homeowners are left dealing with that difficult room. If you want to make sure your conservatory is truly functional year-round, there are a few steps you will need to take to create a cool and airy room in summer and a warm and cosy space in winter. Conservatories make ideal second family rooms, reading nooks, dining rooms, home offices and playrooms. Once you’ve decided how you’d like to reclaim your conservatory, try these tips for creating a functional room for year-round use.
Deal with damp
Renew the furniture
Consider a new roof
Add personal touches
Often, all that is needed to make a house a home is a few finishing touches. Adding some potted plants, ornaments, a new rug, throw pillows or framed pictures can be all you need to update your conservatory and make it a more homely. If you worry that your conservatory will be too warm in summer and too cold in winter, try using specialist rattan furniture which will be cool in summer and can be layered up with blankets and throws in winter.