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What is an Orangery

What exactly is an orangery?

You may have been looking to expand your home for a number of reasons. Perhaps you want to use your garden more. You might be looking for additional living space.

The chances are that the words orangery and conservatory have cropped up side by side on your searches and may have left you wondering.

So where did they come from and what is the difference?

The original orangeries date back to 16th and 17th century Italy. They were designed to protect citrus trees (hence the name) from the harsh winter frost we experience in Europe.

Funded by high society they were symbols of wealth and luxury. This was coupled with a desire to grow and maintain more exotic and tropical fruits fuelled glass-making technology across the continent.

From the gardens of the European elite, the orangery grew in popularity and became a major status symbol. The decline was in line with developments in glass making and as a result glass used conservatories became a a newer and cheaper alternative.

What is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?

Generally speaking, an orangery is more akin to a traditional extension.

Typically, they would be dining and kitchen areas. They make more use of brickwork and therefore offer a greater degree of privacy and feel like a room of the house.

Conservatories tend to be an extension of the garden in the form of a glass room. A conservatory typically is predominantly made of glass or similar material. In addition, may have a low “dwarf” wall, as the main brick structure.

In reality though, the line is more and more blurred as modern building methods have progressed. What can be accomplished with glass products has gone far beyond what early orangeries and conservatories were.

Orangeries however, are still considered a more luxury, higher end in the market.

How is an orangery built?

Typically, the modern orangery is built upon a solid base with supporting columns.

These extend to a flat roof with a glass centre which acts as the visual centre-point of the room. French doors, bi-folding sliding doors, or similar often complete the room.

The doors allow access to the surrounding patio or garden and help to further bring in the natural light into the room. As a result, this delivers a light and stunning room to make use of.

How can I make it extra special?

We can go that extra step for those looking for something truly spectacular and offer the stunning addition of a sky lantern to bring an orangery to another level.

Sky lanterns open the room up and flood it with natural light. They also make a fantastic focal point.

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