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The difference between a conservatory and an orangery

31 August 2020

When you’re considering an extension for your property, you’ll hear a lot of terms being thrown around and you’ll read even more. Some of these, like “conservatory”, you will be familiar with. But you might not be as familiar with the uses of an “orangery” beyond a logical guess that it’s probably a place for oranges to grow.

Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. An orangery was once a room that was dedicated to growing orange trees. Other fruit trees could (and would) be grown in this building, which was extremely fashionable to have between the 17th and 19th centuries. They were essentially a greenhouse that would be built as an extension to the property and allowed plants to grow in warmth during the colder seasons.

The main differences
The major differences between these two types of home extension are the size, the material used, and the build of the extension. An orangery was a luxurious, older extension. But today’s orangeries are seen on small houses and are extremely similar to the modern conservatory. There’s almost no difference between the two in our modern building world – but conservatories have developed while the design of the orangery has somewhat stagnated.

When it comes to choosing between the two, the decision is easy: An orangery if you have a smaller space, a conservatory if you have a bigger space to play with.

The modern conservatory
When building a conservatory, you’ll immediately notice how different the design is to that of an orangery. Conservatories are created to let in a lot of light, and many are made almost entirely of glass walls and windows, backed onto the kitchen or living room of the existing home’s walls.

A conservatory can easily become an extra room; but more often than not, it’s used as a sunny sitting room to be used to entertain during the warmer months. Conservatories are the extension option that lets more light into your home.

Despite all of the glass, conservatories are thermally efficient, and you’ll still find that they stay warm in autumn and winter. You can create a more bespoke design with a modern conservatory, in comparison to an orangery, which is the alternative, space-saving option for homeowners that still want an extension.

The modern orangery
If you were to build an orangery today, it would be because you wanted a smaller extension to add onto your home. An orangery is almost a mid-way point between what a conservatory is, and what you would expect from a full home extension.

They’re built to be very insulated, offering the best of the world of home improvements in a smaller space. Orangeries wouldn’t be all glass, like many conservatories are. An orangery is usually less than 75% glass between the roof and walls. Orangeries have a stunning look, with a classic mixture of brick and glass in their build.

Get in touch with Vision today to talk to our experts about orangeries, conservatories, and any other creative extension ideas that you have for your home. We’d be happy to accommodate you.

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