Most conservatories face the back garden and as such are typically designed as relaxing ‘getaways’. The conservatory in many respects is a half way point between the outside and the inside, a perfect escape route from the closed walls of modern living.
But, too many people will design their conservatories with one ideal in mind. You should consider when the conservatory will be used and not just what it is used for. You might say that you are planning your conservatory to be a place of relaxation, a place to sit and have a cup of tea in the afternoon whilst watching the birds. Great, but England is prone to dull days and ‘idealistic plans’ quickly become last minute practical ones!
Creating a room that is functional is very important. I use the word ‘room’ because effectively conservatories nowadays are smaller scale extensions that are erected quicker and cheaper than traditional extensions. Gone are the days of poorly made ‘add ons’, now a conservatory is as much a part of a property as another fixed room.
How will your ‘room’ be used when it’s muggy outside or dark? Will it be a wasted space or used as storage?
One idea that I recently saw was to section the conservatory off with a screen, (something like a Chinese changing room blind). The half of the conservatory that faces the property is furnished slightly different from the half that faces the garden.
You could try creating a warmer, more enclosed atmosphere in the half that faces the property so that you would be happy to sit in there on muggy days or at night. You’ll be amazed how relaxing a cosy ‘outside’ space can be. The half of the conservatory that faces the garden could have a window seat with a central table allowing for socialising on sunny days.
It’s subtle but once you think of your new conservatory as a useful space both in the summer months as well as the winter, you’ll start to treat is more as a normal room, which of course will bring greater value to your extension. Thinking about the conservatory size as well as the style of your property is very important.
The best conservatory I have seen was one that had two internal entrances so that you could walk from one internal room, through the conservatory and into another internal room. This conservatory had the feeling of a grand entrance hall, a calming walkway between to sides of the house. Admittedly this was a large house and a very expensive conservatory, but the idea of freeing up what a conservatory is used for does work.
However you design and use your conservatory, I am sure you’ll enjoy it and add value to your property!