Written by Louise Dunne

Orangery or conservatory: What’s the difference?

Although similar, they’re not the same. Here’s the real difference between an orangery and a conservatory.

Difference between orangery and conservatory - orangery or conservatory - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Evolution Windows, Tile Mountain

Back in the day, the differences between an orangery (pictured left) and a conservatory (pictured right) were fairly obvious. Now, in most people’s minds, they’ve sort of merged into the same thing and it’s become a bit confusing – especially for those looking to buy a home or add value to a property.

So, to save you from going completely mad, we’re going to break it down and help you decide whether its an orangery or conservatory that you’re after…

The short answer

An orangery is in-between a conservatory and a full-blown single storey extension. It’s typically a sturdier structure, made of mainly brick with less windows compared to a conservatory, which is made up of mainly glass.

Still unsure? Read on…

What’s an orangery?

Traditionally, orangeries were used to grow orange trees (shocking). They were mainly made up of brick to protect the trees from harsh winds and frost, while still having enough windows to give the trees optimal light and heat for them to thrive.

These structures were popular in wealthy households from the 17th to 19th century, which is why they suit older properties better than conservatories do. Because of this history, they are still regarded as a display of wealth and luxury and are usually decorated to match their reputation.

Unlike conservatories, they can also be separate structures altogether – not attached to the house at all, but instead found further down the garden.

What’s a conservatory?

Conservatories were made as a by-product of orangeries. They are mainly made up of glass, allowing for more light in the home. This is why conservatories are usually the more popular option for people seeking ways to extend their property.

Despite orangeries having a reputation as the more luxurious option of the two, there are always ways to decorate your conservatory to make them look just as elegant.

Why do people confuse the two?

As technology and design develops, orangeries and conservatories have begun to blur into one. This is because now, orangeries can be made with floor to ceiling windows and minimal brickwork, while conservatories can come in all shapes and sizes and even with solid, tiled roofs that make it look more like a single-storey extension than an orangery does.

So, if you’re buying a property or looking to extend, you may want to keep your options open and not set your heart on having an orangery or conservatory as you may find they can both be as appealing as each other.


Do you have a preference between an orangery and a conservatory? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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