What’s the difference between a conservatory and orangery?

If you’ve been wondering about the differences between an orangery and a conservatory, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know the difference between the two glass extensions, but if you’re considering investing in one, it’s good to know about the options before you decide which is best for you and your home.

What is an orangery?

Made popular during the 17th Century, an orangery was originally a glass room used to cultivate exotic and tropical fruits that would otherwise struggle to grow in temperate climates. The orangery became a status symbol at the time, and cemented itself a reputation of elegance and class. Today orangeries are popular home extensions. You can read our orangery blog to find out everything you need to know about the orangery.

How does the orangery differ from the conservatory?

It is thought that the conservatory came in to being after the orangery, and originally it did serve a similar purpose to grow plants – only inside the conservatory you were more likely to find herbs and shrubs than fruit trees. Today however, the two structures differ in a number of other ways.

Firstly, the orangery can be identified as having more brick in its structure. A conservatory is usually constructed almost entirely from glass, while an orangery has supporting walls and columns, as well as a more secure feel.

The shape of the roof is also different in both buildings. Where the orangery has a flat plaster roof with a glass lantern placed centrally to allow light, the conservatory has an angled roof made entirely from glass.

An orangery will typically be styled to look like an extension of the main building, built with similar bricks and other stylistic details. A conservatory on the other hand will have a distinctive style and construction that is quite different from the rest of the house.

Which is right for me?

Choosing whether to get a conservatory or an orangery is entirely down to personal preference. While the conservatory has been particularly popular in recent years, the orangery has a timeless elegance to it. Before you decide which you’d prefer, think about what you intend to use the space for, and how large you’d like it to be.

If you plan to use your glass house as a sunroom, a conservatory is probably best for you as it will let in more light. If you’re intending to make yours into a living room or a dining room however, an orangery could be the right choice as the building feels more like an additional room than an extension.

The location of the building is also important when choosing a conservatory or orangery. South facing gardens are well suited to conservatories as they get a lot of sunlight, but east or west facing might benefit from an orangery instead, as orangeries are easier to keep warm thanks to the extra insulation from more brickwork.

Still struggling to decide? Why not take a look at our range of conservatories and orangeries, or give us a call on 01767 765440 – we’d love to help you make the right choice for your home and your family.