Written by Hugh Metcalf

Conservatories: a buyer’s guide

The new wave of contemporary conservatory extensions are a far cry from the dated add-ons from yesteryear. Get to know the best styles for every home with help from the experts.

modern conservatory interior dining space - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Colin Poole 

The term conservatory has fallen out of fashion when it comes to modern home extensions –  for some perhaps a bit too reminiscent of the yellowing, poorly-ventilated, plastic conservatory extensions that sparked the indoor/outdoor living concept that’s now commonplace.

However, there are a huge range of conservatory-style extensions that continue to be popular, offering a cost-effective way to increase your property’s values and adding natural light.

Read more: 7 smart ways to keep your conservatory cool this summer

From orangeries to garden rooms, from contemporary glass boxes to traditional-inspired structures, we get to know the ins and outs of these trending styles, to suit a variety of tastes, property styles and budgets.

Garden rooms

garden room of traditional house - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Westbury Garden Rooms

A garden room extension is a semi-glazed building with a tiled roof as opposed to glass.

“Often the most stunning design feature is the floor to ceiling glazing that spans right into the apex of the high roofline,” explains James Upton, MD of Westbury Garden Rooms. “Large vertical panes of glass to the gables will flood the room with light, considerably increasing the sense of space and emphasising the vaulted ceiling.”

A garden room is generally designed to be in-keeping with the existing property.


decorative orangery design extension - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Westbury Garden Rooms

Orangeries typically consist of semi-glazed walls above a brick base, and will have a roof lantern built on top of a flat roof which lets the natural light stream in without exposure to a lot of direct sunlight and heat.

“They often have a strong structural element such as pilasters or columns and embody more classical properties of symmetry and scale,” continues James.


thams valley lean-to conservatory on bungalow - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Thames Valley Window Company

For properties where space is limited, or where there is space under the eaves, like a bungalow, then a lean-to conservatory is a practical and stylish way to extend a property. Its versatile design is ideal for matching the style and dimensions of any home.

Read more: Kitchen planning guide: considering an extension

Conservatory styles

Ryan Schofield, Managing Director, Thames Valley Window Company, explains the differing styles and period of modern conservatory designs.


Thames Valley Window Company gable front conservatory - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Thames Valley Window Company

Also known as the Pavilion conservatory or sunroom, these conservatories are an extremely popular choice for both modern and traditional homes, including semi-detached and period

Inspired by Georgian architecture the key feature is that the roof that stands upright and doesn’t slope backwards, this means that the front of the conservatory is flat, a bit like the end of a house.


Thames Valley Window Company edwardian conservatory - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Thames Valley Window Company

The Edwardian conservatory is symmetrical in build, with modern, clean lines and a sloping pitched roof, which is usually made up of three-sided sections. Each side of the roof slopes back to the centre, which results in a contemporary style.


Westbury Garden Rooms victorian style extension - inspiration - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Westbury Garden Rooms

One of the more popular styles of conservatory, the Victorian design tends to have a pitched, angular roof with multiple facets of glass and a low brick base to add some solidity to its substance. Suitable for both modern and period homes, this style usually incorporates decorative elements such as cresting and finials.


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