Choosing Between An Orangery And A Conservatory - Which One Is For You?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

With the property market still on a knife-edge and many home owners licking the wounds inflicted by the recession, moving house simply isn't an option for most. Instead, home owners are choosing to improve their existing house rather than move.

The number one reason for moving house is the need for more space. Today, as families grow, it can feel like your home is shrinking before your very eyes. Not only is this disconcerting, but homes that aren't big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably can have a seriously negative impact on family life.

Extensions are the perfect way to gain extra space in your home without the need to move out. However, it's not uncommon to think of an extension as simply building a faceless bricks and mortar structure to the side of your house. As time, technology and building design techniques advance there are more options available to you.

Glass structures are becoming increasing popular as a beautiful way to extend the home. Not only do they provide the added benefit of extra space, you'll also find they flood the home with light, making it feel much bigger. Here, the best two options are either a conservatory or an orangery, yet each offers different characteristics and design features. Therefore, choosing wisely means understanding the differences and how each would be a welcome addition to your home.


Conservatories are actually an adaptation of orangeries. Originally built to protect shrubs and herb plants during the harsher winter months, conservatories have developed to become additional living space too, thanks to better structural and design properties regulating heat and light. Much like the orangery, they're a flexible way to utilise some of your outdoor space with an indoor room.

Due to their largely glass construction they provide brilliant views of the garden, making them ideal in the summer or if you simply want to bring the outdoors into view. Conservatories are flexible in their design and the best manufacturers use specialised glazing, making them a popular choice all year round. They can be as small or large as desired and can be custom designed to fit the structure of any home, however unique in shape.


Whilst most people know what a conservatory is, we are regularly asked “What is an orangery conservatory?” Orangeries by design are much more in the style and structure of a traditional extension. They utilise more glass than an extension but more brickwork than a conservatory. They are often seen added to stately homes and spacious residences as they are a luxurious alternative to either a traditional conservatory or extension.

Due to their comparable size and construction they are often used just like an extension would be, but have significant advantages in bringing additional light and ambience to the home.


Conservatories are largely used for garden rooms or as a year-round 'outdoor' space, whilst orangeries are generally used as a fully functional room, such as a kitchen or an office. This is largely due to their design; an all glass conservatory offers little privacy but fantastic views of the garden. An orangery on the other hand will offer more privacy as a part brick built structure.
Both conservatories and orangeries can be built with specialised glazing that provides the ultimate thermal efficiency to ensure weather tightness and energy efficiency.

Making the choice

There are many other considerations when choosing between an orangery and a conservatory. Factors such as price, size of area to cover and how easy the structure will be to maintain, all play a key part in your decision making. Regardless of your choice however, both an orangery and a conservatory offer stunning and practical ways to extend your home, without the need to move out.

For over 50 years Apropos has been building bespoke glass structures that are beautiful, functional and durable. The first they built is still in perfect working order today.

There are no standard parts when it comes to our work, making sure that each and every conservatory, pool house, glass house and studio is completely unique. Giving architects and home owners the freedom they have always desired.

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