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The ins and outs of having an orangery

An orangery is a fantastic way to add valuable extra living space to your home. It will allow you to extend your property while adding a stylish feature quickly and affordably. A well designed orangery can give you extra space you can use all year round, allowing you to create a home that works for you and your family.

To help you decide if an orangery is right for your property, and to give you a few ideas on which styles and designs will work best for your family, here’s our guide to the pros and cons of having an orangery.

What is an orangery?

Though today orangeries are less common than conservatories, they were once the extension of choice, especially among the upper classes. Like House & Garden points out, “Orangeries originate … from fashionable properties from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, but the appeal – unsurprisingly – endures”. Similar to greenhouses, but built onto the side of well-to-do homes, orangeries were – as the name suggests – used as spaces to grow exotic citrus fruits. As well as being used as an area to grow fragrant and delicate plants, orangeries were places to relax and socialise.

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

The main difference between an orangery and a conservatory is the construction of the roof. In general, the roofs of conservatories are over 75% glazed while orangeries have roofs that are less than 75% glazed. A conservatory, by definition, must also have at least 50% of its wall area glazed.

Often, conservatories will be designed to take full advantage of the garden, with doors opening up into the outside space and the conservatory built to act as an intermediary between the house and the exterior. Orangeries however are generally designed to be their own self contained space. Though there may well be doors into the garden, they are generally not the focus of the room. Instead the emphasis is on space and luxury. Often larger and more permanent in design than conservatories, orangeries act as an independent extensions to the home.


Another difference between orangeries and conservatories is the material they’re built of. Most modern conservatories are made using uPVC, aluminium and timber, whereas orangeries are generally built using only timber. As modern orangeries and conservatories are both built using double glazed glass, both are warm and easy to heat in the winter and relatively cool in the summer. This allows you to use your new extension throughout the year and really make the most of your home.

If you’d like to learn more about orangeries and the different styles and sizes available, take a look around our site or contact a member of our team.