A conservatory is a big investment however the right build can add a significant amount of value to your home, not only in monetary terms but also as a space to kick back and relax, for that much needed extra storage or as a home office with a view of the garden, home office spaces are even more popular now with more people working from home due to the pandemic. This guide looks at the key points you need to consider when you design the perfect conservatory, from what type of conservatory is the right one for your home, the design, and planning process, styling your dream build to create the perfect space tailored to suit your needs and how to furnishing it efficiently.
How To Design The Perfect Conservatory
What conservatory style is right for my home?
Conservatories for smaller homes
Conservatories are an ideal way to create that extra space which is needed often as families begin to grow, however not all conservatories would be suitable for smaller homes. Properties with small gardens really need to consider the footprint of the conservatory style and shape. Smaller gardens are more suited to a square or rectangular conservatory as well as being the perfect style for homes with protrusions from the wall caused by other extensions or other changes to property layout because they fit perfectly with the existing shape of the property giving a seamless and natural appearance. Another way of adding extra space is by choosing a dome shape roof for your conservatory, this is another great choice for smaller gardens because they create extra internal space without encroaching too much into the limited garden space. The beauty of classic conservatories is the flexibility in design, offering various shapes and decorative flourishes to create a personal style. There are many choices of construction material available for a conservatory which can all be used to create different styles, the number of windows and doors you can have installed can also create various looks. Using a selection of walls, windows, or panels you will be able to configure them in a way that allows you to maximise the efficiency of the space.
Conservatories for period style homes
As well as space being a critical factor when considering a conservatory, the style of the home also dictates which conservatory will be the best choice. Period properties usually feature the original features such as timber windows, timber fascias, this would mean a modern conservatory design such as uPVC would look like it had planted on the wrong home. Installing a solid tiled conservatory roof extension would be a great solution, allowing you to match the brickwork and materials to those in use on your home, this creates a seamless integration of the new extension to the original features of your period home. Another great alternative would be an orangery which is a mixture of traditional and modern design; with an Orangery, you can create an authentic period space with the benefits of modern manufacturing.
Conservatories for modern homes
Modern homes are much more flexible when it comes to choosing a conservatory as you are able to incorporate almost any style of conservatory. Glass extensions were always a popular favourite as they allow natural light to flood the property and allow stunning views of the garden. However lately the trend is leaning towards the choice of Solid roof builds with Durabase bases. This is most likely due to the modular design and flexibility that is offered by using a combination of different roof options and the speed of the installation compared to traditional building methods.
How to plan your perfect conservatory?
You know you want a conservatory which is exciting but at the same time, it can be a daunting prospect. In order to minimise the risks of something going wrong and to make sure that you are informed to make the right designs, planning is absolutely essential.
What to consider during the planning process?
The first thing to consider when planning is the available space you have to build in. How do you imagine the build will look in your garden or maybe a patio area? Is your outdoor space an awkwardly shaped area and how will you build around it? You’ll be amazed how an awkward space can be totally transformed by a carefully chosen construction, always try to have a good idea of what you would like, what your ideal space would look like, and make the most of a specialist’s input.
Direction the house faces
The direction of the way your house is facing will have an impact on what materials and even styles can be used to build your extra living space. Asides from the space required for the build, this information will be a key factor in the type of build you should choose. As there are many pros and cons to materials and build styles a professional consultant’s advice will be invaluable to your planning.
Style and Design
Taste is a personal thing, this is where you are going to have the most fun on your project apart from enjoying the benefits of your planning and new space of course! Before booking a consultation with a professional, it’s important that you choose a design that you are entirely happy with, the finished construction is the one that you are going to be using for many years to come. With that in mind, find out which aspects are most important to you before meeting with a consultant for advice. Some like their build to blend into the existing property like it has been there for years, whilst others choose to make a bold statement with their style and design. Would you prefer more brickwork than glass or an equal amount of both? Which material would you prefer for the construction? Maybe you like the convenience of uPVC or prefer a natural look that you get from using wood? Be sure to have a good in-depth understanding of how you want your build to not only look but also how the room will function. This will give you a great foundation when discussing your dream build with a consultant.
In order to build on, or change, the use of buildings or land, planning permission is required under UK law. A reputable company will assess the design and location of the build against current planning guidelines and policies and determine whether planning, listed, or conservation building consent will be required by your local council. Always ask your consultant if permission is required if that company will prepare the plans required and then submit them to your local authority for you. It varies from company to company, some will offer the service for free whilst others will charge you, in which case you may also consider arranging your own planning permission.
Building Regulations are a separate matter to planning permission. Most conservatories in England and Wales will not need an application, however, there are certain circumstances where an application is required. The company you choose will be required to prepare full working drawings which will include full structural and heat-loss calculations and then submit them for approval, they should then notify your local authority of certain stages of the construction.
Timescales, schedules and disruptions
A great deal of careful consideration and planning is required when building conservatories, it is a highly-skilled job that needs to be carried out properly to keep to timescales and schedules and hopefully avoid disruptions. Being well informed and planning correctly is actually more important than building the construction if you do not have permission for it, this would be a massive waste of time, effort, and of course money. This is why it is crucially important to seek the expert advice of a consultant, they will be able to advise you of any issues that may hinder a build and give you a well-informed indication of the timescale of the construction from start to completion. It is important for your chosen company to keep you informed every step of the installation, communication is paramount in any working relationship.
How to personalise your conservatory?
The beauty of building a conservatory is that it is a completely blank canvas that gives you an exciting opportunity to construct an entirely new dynamic for your home. There are so many ways to build and style a conservatory or extra living space that you can quite literally build space you always dreamed of having. A conservatory build will turn out the way that you envision it and that of course depends on what you want to get out of it. Best Glaze will work with you to create and build that room you have always desired and finish it to a standard that you just couldn’t imagine.
There are many options to personalise your conservatory, the first step would be picking a style that you want. How you want to use your new space will have a bearing on how you choose to furnish and of course accessorise your new room. For instance, if you want to create an area simply a place for rest and relaxation, then an obvious choice of furniture would be some sort of soft furnishings, maybe a chaise longue or even a dining table would create an enjoyable and functional space. Large amounts of natural light mean that conservatories are the perfect places for growing indoor plants as well. This is why a lot of people choose to fill their conservatories with beautiful plants and create a wonderful, indulgent indoor garden, bringing the best elements of the great outdoors and blending it with the creature comforts and warmth of being indoors, all year round, no matter what the weather.
Choosing the right kind of flooring to complement your chosen furnishings is also an important factor to give careful consideration when planning a conservatory. Karndean flooring is trending with conservatory owners right now, however, a floor covering such as tiles or maybe laminate flooring is also functional and yet stylish, All three types of flooring are suitably easy to keep clean, something worth keeping in mind if you have pets or children coming in and out from the garden. Alternatively, you may want to create a traditional sitting room theme, carpet would feel more suited to such an area.
At Best Glaze, we offer a plethora of beautiful finishing touches and decorative flourishes to our bespoke conservatory designs, including easy to maintain self-cleaning windows to the latest electric roof vents and stunning ceiling fans and lighting. When you are considering a conservatory build, ask about different design features or finishes that you might want, we can offer a bespoke finish made just for you.
How to furnish a conservatory?
Embrace the outdoors
A conservatory is a perfect room to really embrace the outdoors whilst making the most of the comfort of being indoors. This is why a lot of new conservatory owners can’t wait to bring the outside in and really make the most of all the beautiful natural light that floods into the room. Using nature to decorate a room is fantastic especially when balanced with a design that ties in with the interior design themes used in your home.
Of course, not everybody is an avid plant lover, some people just do not have that magic green finger and would sooner invest in some floral fabrics for the soft furnishings instead. This is also an effective way to make a quirky and kitsch design feature in your beautiful new space.
Choosing conservatory furniture
When choosing conservatory furniture, you will need to consider what the room will be used for primarily. If you want a space for relaxing and entertaining then maybe a collection of seats set out in a social arrangement would be a good choice. Maybe a small table with some bench seats would also be a good choice for those that like to entertain and be social.
Those that want an area to relax in and maybe an area to enjoy a good book would probably consider some comfy chairs and a footstool, a tall standing lamp beside the chair, and a scattering of plants around the space.
People that lean more toward a modern feel or those that have a rectangular conservatory should go for contrasting large sofas or futons giving the space more of a contemporary feel.
Of course, it’s your space at the end of the day, how you furnish it or style it is completely dependant on your own personal tastes. We will be on hand however you decide to furnish or decorate your room.
Protecting your furnishings
Furniture is a massive feature in your room and whilst furniture is important, it is ultimately the soft furnishings that add that homely and personal touch to the rooms in your home. When choosing soft furnishings and furniture for a conservatory, be sure to match the chosen material to the purpose of the room –for instance, choosing a resilient fabric that will not discolour in the sun. Exposure to sunlight can easily bleach certain materials, leather is one such material so you’ll need to take measures to protect furniture such as leather seating. Fitting sun shades or blinds to the ceiling glass and also the windows is one way to protect furniture from excessive sunlight, using throws to cover your seating is another option. We can fit blinds at the time of installation or they can easily be retrofitted at a later date should you wish to install them.
Make the most of the new space
A conservatory is designed to increase the living space in your home, with this in mind, conservatories should not be overfilled with lots of furniture. Maximise the extra space your conservatory creates by carefully choosing conservatory furniture which works well with both the size and the shape of the room. There is no need to use anything big and bulky, even something as simple as a small table can be both functional and attractive to look at.
When space is limited we often look for clever and innovative storage ideas – things such as storage chests or even sofa beds increase the functionality of the area whilst giving you the added benefit of uninterrupted floor space at the same time. Other tips such as using the natural light that fills the room to create a feeling of more room, mirrors also work exceptionally well on the back wall of the house to create a feeling of space. Try not to obstruct the windows and doors as much as possible by choosing retractable blinds rather than curtains. Choose light coloured furniture so as not to dominate the space.