An orangery is the option for you if you want a beautiful, bright addition to your home with the added design of strength and durability. An orangery differs from a conservatory in its sturdiness and ability to endure a variety without becoming excessively hot or cold.
An orangery is a beautiful and tranquil addition to your home. There are many reasons why people choose orangeries: they are bright, airy, and offer a space for complete relaxation beyond the hustle and bustle of everyday living. They also come in a range of fantastic designs and make a home really stand out. At Conwy Valley, we work closely with our customers to design an orangery or sunroom that meets your specific requirements. You’ve worked hard for your home; so we work hard for you too.
Whether you’re interested in an orangery or a sunroom, we offer something truly special. Customers often choose orangeries because they can built to a uniquely bespoke design, unlike some conservatories. They also serve a variety of functions; many of our customers choose orangeries to create a lovely dining space or simply as extra area to sit back and relax.
If you are considering building an orangery, it’s worth taking your time to do your research and find out what styles suit you. In the past, orangeries have often been associated with a classical design that was in vogue during the 1700’s. However, contemporary orangeries come with all of the features you would expect from modern-day living. We understand that things like energy efficiency, for example, are vitally important to our customers who want to keep their monthly bills low.
Whether you are looking to buy an orangery, or just want to learn more, here is some useful advice and tips to suit everyone.
A history might seem like an unusual place to start, but orangeries have a genuinely fascinating history within British society.
Orangeries have been around since the 16th Century and were used in Northern Europe to grow exotic fruit. However, the orangery became especially popular in the 18th Century when the continental nations began to widen their trade routes. As Spain, France, and the Netherlands expanded, they brought back various new fruits and plants to Europe. Things like bananas, for example, quickly became popular and merchants sought to grow these fruits themselves. Those who could afford to built orangeries and they quickly spread in popularity.
Orangeries, however, first became fashionable in the UK during the 18th Century amongst the landowning classes. This trend had filtered across from mainland Europe, where orangeries and sun rooms had been in fashion for over 100 years. They were used primarily to grow fruit and vegetables, including various citrus fruits and pomegranate trees. However, during this time, orangeries were much more basic and only contained a small amount of glass. In order to compensate for the lack of heat, stoves and fires were brought into the rooms to help plants grow. This often had a disastrous effect, as you can imagine, where vegetation would wither and die.
To combat this problem, orangeries were built facing south in order to maximise the amount of light within the extension. Furthermore, the northern wall would be reinforced with timber and stone to keep away the cold. This structural change meant that orangeries became very large and very grand buildings indeed. They also became rather expensive and only the wealthiest families could afford an orangery.
One of the most famous orangeries during the 18th Century came from Margam Park, in South Wales. It was built between 1786 – 1790 and was incredibly large, with 27 elongated windows and a large fireplace located at the back. The orangery was so big that it contained several fully-grown trees (including orange trees) and was renowned during its time. Margam Orangery was renovated during the 20th Century and continues to be in use.
Following the Neo-Classical fashion for Greek and Roman design, orangeries became a popular way for aristocrats to depict their wealth and cultural awareness. During this time, moreover, it became trendy for British aristocrats to tour Europe and visit the ancient classical sites. This love for classical architecture, like columns and rosette reliefs, was transformed and adapted for British orangeries. The Victorians were also extremely fond of the Classical design and orangeries stayed in vogue throughout the 19th Century.
However, the 19th Century saw many innovations in the design of British orangeries. In 1816, technological change meant that piped water could be brought into orangeries and landowner’s no longer had to rely on stoves. In 1845, moreover, the glass tax was abolished and orangeries could be designed with less stone and more windows (which was also cheaper in the long run). The year 1848 also saw further innovation with the invention of sheet glass and thus larger panes of glass. Then finally, much to the satisfaction of aristocrats, the window tax was abolished and orangeries were free to expand however their owners saw fit.
In the 21st Century, orangeries and sun rooms are becoming an increasingly popular option for individuals and families. They offer the luxury of added space and are extremely flexible; whether you want to snuggle up with a good book or enjoy the sun, an orangery suits everyone.
In addition to this, orangeries and sun rooms are extremely sturdy and can endure difficult weather (something we are very familiar with in the UK). Orangeries are a substantial construction usually made of brick, PVCu, and lots of glass windows for extra light. For the more adventurous, they can also include floor-to-ceiling windows and a lantern-style roof. It’s for these reasons that many people are choosing to construct orangeries. Not only are they beautiful and bright, but they also stand the test of time.
The purpose of an orangery
In the past, orangeries have been a great way for the aristocratic houses to grow exotic fruit and showcase their cultural knowledge and wealth. However, orangeries are now much more versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes in the home.
Orangeries are designed to suit the space you have and the practical solutions you require. Here are some of the most popular functions of an orangery:
- Growing plants
Given that our orangeries are bespoke designs, you have the creative flexibility to design a space that suits you and your family. One of the key attractions of an orangery is being able to maximise light in your home. Quite often, homes can feel dark and crowded during the winter months. Even when the weather isn’t great, orangeries still have the incredible ability to bring the sunshine inside.
You don’t need to worry about your orangery feeling like a goldfish bowl, either. Depending on your tastes, our windows can be designed to accommodate blinds and curtains wherever necessary. This gives you complete control over your orangery. If you want it light and airy during the day, but warm and cosy at night, then we have the solutions for you. At Conwy Valley, we make it our job to build a design that fulfills your dreams.
The style and aesthetic of your orangery is up to you. When we’ve worked with clients in the past, we try to get a good understanding of how an orangery will function in your home. Some of the important questions we consider are:
- How will an orangery add to the existing home?
- How will we create an orangery the compliments the existing property?
- What type of space do our customers need?
The function of your orangery will also affect its design. For example, if you would like a gym, then it would be beneficial to reinforce the orangery flooring to accommodate weights. Even more so, if your orangery will be used as a sun room, then it’s vital that our design maximises light at all times. An orangery can be a beautiful addition to your home but it also has to be practical.
Some of the most popular designs of orangeries are based on maximising space. Some people aren’t sure about what’s the difference between a conservatory and an orangery. The answer really is simple: an orangery is much more substantial, often with traditional brick work and high ceilings.
Although it can’t be guaranteed that an orangery will add financial value to your home (we don’t have a magic eight ball), they add something else. An orangery has fabulous aesthetic value and is a highly desirable addition to any home. They are unique and are a wonderful reflection of you and your home.
When it comes to the design, the sky really is the limit.
There are many benefits to having an orangery in your home. In addition to its aesthetic and function within your home, an orangery can be very cost effective. At Conwy Valley, we use the best possible materials to ensure that your extension is energy efficient. We provide double glazing on many of our windows and door seals. Depending on your design, we also give our customers the option of building their orangery with PVCu. This is because PVCu is an incredibly durable and efficient material for retaining heat without letting any out.
Some people are often concerned that orangeries will feel too hot during the day and far too cold at night. We understand this reservation and that’s why energy efficiency is one our top priorities. With a combination of double-glazing, uPVC, and bricks, we can build orangeries that stand the test of time. Like other rooms in your home, it’s important that an orangery can be used all year round. These measures will ensure that your orangery will be functional as well as stunning.
A sunroom differs from an orangery in its design. Although they are very similar, a sunroom is traditionally added to the side of a home (preferably facing southwards). Sometimes they are also known as solariums, patio rooms, and even garden rooms. Often, our customers build sun rooms when they wish to admire their garden landscape throughout the weather seasons.
Sun rooms are beneficial for people who already have a garden patio but don’t get to enjoy it enough because of the weather. This is a common problem in the UK and sun rooms can be an excellent solution.
Unlike orangeries, sun rooms are generally much smaller and provide a cosy place to enjoy the daylight. If you are interested in having some extra space to relax and read a good book, then a sunroom could be option for you. Their smaller size means that they are generally easier to maintain and feel more private. For those who are interested in extra privacy, sun rooms can easily be fitted with electronic blinds for security and added warmth.
Why Conwy Valley?
At Conwy Valley, we provide an excellent range of orangery designs to accommodate your every need and taste. We take pride in being able to offer excellent customer service and we love getting to know and understand our clients.
We offer a complete conservatory building service (including for our orangeries) and we’ll be there for you every step of the way.
Building an orangery into your home is an exciting and wonderful experience. Whether your home is expanding or you want to fully enjoy your retirement, an orangery makes a fantastic addition.
One of the reasons that customers choose orangeries is because of their strength and durability. By constructing our orangeries with a combination of brick, PVCu, and double-glazing, our extensions are efficient and strong.
Conservatories are a great way off adding additional space to your home and creating a natural light filled area for you to relax. However, with all that extra glass, if you have a south facing conservatory, it can become drowned in natural light. Even the best engineered conservatory could become a bit too hot for comfort. An orangery is the perfect choice. Whilst creating a beautiful addition to your home, it also provides a cool and practical area for you to use.
With an orangery, you have complete flexibility. They can serve a variety of functions and will continue to be a fluid space throughout their duration. Orangeries are easy to maintain, energy efficient, and really make your home stand out from the rest.