If you’re considering extending your home or adding a conservatory, you may want to hold your thoughts and look at the endless possibilities available with an orangery. If conventional design isn’t what you’re looking for and instead you would like extra space or to be able to enjoy your garden all-year-round, then an orangery would be a great extension to your home.
What is an orangery?
Orangeries are similar to conservatories or greenhouses and often are described as a cross between these two structures and a home extension. That doesn’t really do them justice however as they are a blend of traditional style with modern techniques and engineering that creates beautiful additional living space for any home.
Typically orangeries include a large expanse of glass – hence their likening to conservatories and greenhouses – but they are not made entirely of glass within a standard frame. Instead they have truly bespoke characteristics for a modern extension, structured around brickwork that offers many alternative design features for a totally unique look and feel. As times and styles have moved forward, so too have orangery designs and building techniques, making them a very popular choice in today’s extended home.
A brief history of orangeries
Orangeries have been around of a long time, the earliest example was built in 1545 in Italy, but it wasn’t until 1648 that the structure became widely popular, with France, Germany and the Netherlands leading in its innovation.
Unsurprisingly the name comes from the original use of such buildings – fashionable residences would use them to house citrus trees during harsh winters. Then a century after their inception, they started to be used for other shrubs and exotic plants, extending their popularity into Northern Europe.
Despite their early uses, an orangery was most certainly not to be likened to a greenhouse. Owning one was seen as a symbol of prestige and a statement of wealth, and rather than being tucked away at the end of the garden, home owners would include their orangeries as a key feature when showing guests around their homes.
Modern uses of orangeries vary greatly, though of course they can still be used to grow citrus plants or exotic shrubs! Now with the aid of modern heating systems, specialist glazing and bespoke design flexibility the possibilities are endless, even in harsher climates such as the UK and Ireland. As such many home owners are choosing to use them as a luxurious extension to their prime living space.
A fabulous way to add an extra room to your home, orangeries can be used to extend existing areas such as a kitchen or lounge. They are popular as they add much needed space for growing families, accommodating an office or games room to enable people to work or play from home. Orangeries can also be used as you would a traditional conservatory, connecting the garden and the interior of the house.
Orangery-style conservatories are becoming a flexible and popular choice, in particular because the mix of materials (as opposed to a complete glass structure) creates living space that is easier to maintain and regulates at the right temperature.
Bespoke orangeries can incorporate an array of different features, making each one entirely unique for your family’s needs and design tastes. Common features include sliding floor to ceiling windows that enable the orangery to be opened up into the garden, or roof lights that allow light to enter from above, which eliminates the issue of the room becoming inhospitable during the winter months or adverse weather conditions.
Bespoke orangeries can be built in a variety of different materials too, allowing you to achieve the look you want whilst being sympathetic to others in the house and adhering to planning constraints where necessary.
In short if you love the home you’re in but feel you could do with some extra space, perhaps it’s time to break the conventional habit of erecting a traditional extension/conservatory and consider making a statement with a beautiful orangery instead?