What's the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?

You’re thinking about getting an extension on your home to increase your living space and provide a room where you can relax, entertain and enjoy your garden, but after a quick online search it becomes obvious there are a number of options to consider, and yet the difference between the two most popular choices; a conservatory and an orangery, remains a mystery to most.

With the heightened popularity of Grand Designs and people now wanting a much more bespoke solution, we think the distinction between the two ought to be made clear to help make your decision that little bit easier. 

When someone says the word conservatory there’s no mistaking what they mean ­ a room with a glass ceiling and walls that allows in optimal light. However, where the term orangery is used much less, the confusion can set in.

The idea of an orangery was conceived in Italy in the 17th century, where some of the more wealthy homes built them to grow citrus trees and protect them from the frosty weather. It’s generally accepted that conservatories followed, the difference being they were used for the protection of shrubs and herb plants rather than fruit.

These days, there are still fundamental differences when it comes to construction and design. Conservatories tend to feel like an additional room, sharing similar design features to the rest of the house and complimenting it in terms of colour and tone. They use minimal brickwork and the glass is separated only by narrow frames, thus making it the ideal solution if you wish to view the garden from a room and have it still feeling like part of the house.

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On the other hand, orangeries are designed as a bespoke family room, dining or kitchen extension and add a touch of elegance to a property while subtly blending in with the rest of the house. Being much larger constructions, they traditionally involve lots of brickwork, have large windows, bi-folding doors of aluminium sliding doors and a glass lantern ceiling. Thermally they vastly out perform a conservatory and will be specified to meet and exceed building regulation and heat loss calculations. Unlike conservatories they’re seen more as extensions of the home with an emphasis on luxury.

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Both conservatories and orangeries offer flexibility in terms of materials and here at Rococo, designs can be tailored to your exact requirements meaning that whatever you choose, you’ll end up with the perfect solution to make your home feel complete.

Make an appointment to visit our showroom or meet our expert conservatory/orangery designers by calling 01794 511180.

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