Dwell Well > Lifestyle with Annie Button > Design Inspiration for a Contemporary Conservatory

Design Inspiration for a Contemporary Conservatory

Since the Victorian era, we’ve been obsessed with conservatories. These glass extensions to our homes are the perfect place to relax and unwind, or cultivate exotic plants. But since then, technology and design has evolved, so how do you keep your conservatory on the contemporary side? Here are a few design tips to inspire you, whether you want to update an conservatory or start from scratch with a new one. 

Bring in nature with plants

The perfect blend of indoor and outdoor, your conservatory is a bright space that provides the perfect environment for growing plants. With ample light and warmth from the sunshine, there’s no better place in your home to create an indoor garden that’s relaxing and creative. If you want to update your conservatory, filling it with all types of floral arrangements, succulents and tall plants can be really effective and gives the space the wow factor. 

Dress the windows

If you’re updating a conservatory on a budget, window dressings are a great way to create a new look without spending a fortune. It not only makes the space more beautiful but it’s also a practical addition that makes your conservatory more comfortable. This is likely to be the brightest area of your home, so blinds and curtains are effective in cutting out the sunlight to the right level, so you can enjoy the space to its full extent without it being too hot or glaringly bright. Smart blinds are a great option that enhances convenience, or you may want to add a comfy feel with luxurious curtains that add warmth and texture. Alternatively, get inspired by materials, such as wooden slatted blinds or sheer curtains that still let light in on a more muted level.  

Maximise the light

One of the most common reasons to build a conservatory is that it is a highly effective way of creating extra space in your home while also bringing in plenty of natural light. In fact, the amount of light the space has can influence the type of space you’re creating. Orangeries have roof lights and are perfect for controlling the amount of light you bring in. They’re often used for kitchens and dining areas, while a conservatory is usually a completely glazed extension that maximises the light and creates the feeling of a bigger space.  

Add bifold doors to create a bigger space

Bifold doors are a great way of opening up the rest of your home to your conservatory, merging the two areas and creating flow throughout your home. Whether your kitchen leads onto the conservatory or you use the adjoining room as a dining area, bifold doors are a simple way to embrace the light your conservatory brings in and encourage a natural flow. You might even find it encourages you to use your conservatory more. 

Create a colourful haven

An effective way to make your conservatory feel more contemporary is with a swash of colour, particularly if you’ve previously kept your conservatory quite neutral. Both the interior and exterior of your conservatory can be updated with colour, from soft subtle tones that are a gentler nod to colour, to bold shades that are a bigger departure from your usual style to make the conservatory feel like a separate space. Keep in mind the style of your home, and pick a colour scheme that feels fresh but in keeping with the rest of your home. 

Use your property’s existing style as inspiration

On the subject of looking at your property’s style, it can be a great way to update your conservatory without it looking out of place. Maybe you have a period property, in which case emulating some of the classic features of older conservatories can be a fun way to put a modern twist on a period style such as with ornate finishings or traditional windows. Or maybe you have a new build property, where a fully glass conservatory that has sleek lines and modern lighting would look bold and impactful. 

Make it a relaxing space

Some view a conservatory as an add-on, rather than an integral area of your home, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Create a comfortable area that can be used for a specific purpose, whether that’s a bright home office, an area to entertain or a space to unwind at the end of a long day. Whatever the reason for your conservatory, make sure that it’s as relaxing as any other area of your home, with comfy furniture, ambient lighting for the evenings and decorative elements. Years ago, a conservatory was nothing more than an extension to your home to use as a sunroom during the warm weather. But today, they can be fully-integrated areas of the home that are just as warm and cosy as any other space, so you can use them year-round. 

Your conservatory doesn’t have to be a bland, empty space that only gets used a few times a year. With a pop of colour, a practical window dressing or a merging of inside and outside with horticulture, you can make it a modern, comfortable area of your home that you’ll long to be in every day.

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