At this time of year when daylight is in short supply and opportunities to get out into the garden are but a distant memory, wouldn’t it be nice to have a room where both could be enjoyed? I used to have a room like that. My old conservatory. Modest in size granted, but the difference to my daily existence was immense. Winter was still winter, but somehow having a room that was bathed in any available light made the dull days brighter. Spring was a joy. While it was still cold and muddy outside, there were visible signs of budding life visible from the comfort of a heated room. And in summer we would fling open the doors and enjoy padding in and out in bare feet. On summer evenings when the chill set in, we could retire to the comfort of the conservatory and extend the mood well into the night. And Autumn? Well, just imagine the feeling of watching the trees turn gold while sipping hot chocolate with your feet up and a blanket over your knees.
That’s the Absolute Joy of a Room For All Seasons
Did you know that garden extensions and orangeries were first used in the 17th century to protect citrus trees and non-hardy plants from the winter frosts? I actually thought that they were made popular by the Victorians but I stand corrected. Probably because that’s when they first became useful for social events. Afternoon tea was after all an important daily ritual at that time. Nowadays the garden room has really come into its own as a beautiful link between the main home and the garden. As these images from Westbury Garden Rooms show they often provide the ultimate open-plan living space that is not only the hub of the family home but (this is in my dream of dreams) also incorporates the kitchen.
And That’s the Beauty of a Room for all Seasons
Westbury Garden Rooms design, plan, manufacture and build beautiful bespoke glazed timber rooms. Their portfolio includes orangeries, conservatories, garden rooms, kitchen extensions and even pool houses. It was founded in 1988 by Jonathan Hey and is a family run business based in the Essex countryside with a large state-of-the-art workshop where a talented team of joiners craft the rooms using modern technologies and traditional hand-made techniques. Clients are given a personal and diligent service, from their initial consultation with Westbury to the final coat of paint. Every step is undertaken by the company’s own in-house team of designers and project managers to result in a timeless and elegant extension that will completely transform a home.
A well-designed orangery is such an elegant and striking addition to any property, built with semi-glazed walls with a roof lantern built on top of a flat roof. This design allows natural light to flood the open space without exposure to a lot of direct sunlight and heat. I know from experience that the semi-glazed walls are an opportunity to have deep sills that are perfect for growing and displaying plants. Because who wouldn’t love a plant filled orangery?
A garden room extension has similarities to an orangery, but it has a fully tiled roof – allowing the homeowner to have complete control over the temperature within. Garden rooms usually have large, dramatic glazed gables which can make a real statement. Both take advantage of technology that means the room can be enjoyed no matter what the weather: automatic ventilation, window sensors and underfloor heating can help maintain a comfortable climate all year round. And cosy additions to the inside space, such as a wood burning stove or more modern fireplace, make an extension a really delightful place to spend even a cold winter’s day.
“Whilst there is still a place in the right home for a traditional conservatory, a modern glazed extension is seldom used as an indoor garden. More often it serves as a dining area, family room, kitchen or combination of these. As a result, it needs to be comfortable and enjoyable every single day.”
For more information and inspiration, or to request a brochure visit Westbury Garden Rooms.
This post was written in collaboration with Westbury Garden rooms but all views are my own. I only work with companies I love and would use myself.
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