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Inspiring conservatory ideas

Whether you're building a new conservatory or looking to give your current conservatory a little TLC, get inspired for your next project with a mix of these fun and unique ideas!
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When it comes to conservatory ideas, it’s all about the ambience and elegance. How they look and feel is what makes them so popular. Not only are they cheaper than extensions, but they also add value to your home and connect you to your garden (even when the UK weather is being its notorious self!).

With the wide range of conservatories available, choosing the right one for your home can feel overwhelming. However, despite what the internet will have you believe, it requires only a few considerations.

Questions to ask yourself include: 

  • What square footage am I working with?
  • Which conservatory design will fit in with the style of my house?
  • How do I want to use my conservatory? (i.e. For dining, sunbathing, botany, or reading etc.)

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s just a matter of choosing your design and deciding how best to decorate it.

Modern conservatory ideas

1. Glass extensions

add a modern orangery or an old building

Glass extensions are a sleek and effortless way to upgrade your conservatory. Not only do they invite lots of light and warmth into your home, but they also work with almost any brickwork or cladding design.

Double glazing and integrated doors offer a seamless transition into your garden, while landscaping your outdoor space gives you something beautiful to look at on a rainy day.

2. An orangery

What is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery?

Orangery’s are another modern conservatory design idea. Bringing nature indoors with tall parlour palms and hanging baskets full of Mandevilla (‘Rocktrumpet’) is ideal. Better yet, if you’re opting for an orangery, the world is your botanical oyster.

For a fragrant oasis, attach Bougainvillea and Jasminum azoricum to trellises; decorate tables with Stephanotis floribunda-filled pots, and place giant Phoenix palms in lonely corners.

Succulent popularity is spiking in the world of interior design. If you’re less green-fingered than the average gardener, having a selection of cacti displayed in terrariums, vases, and/or refined concrete pots is a (literally) effortless way of modernising your space.

Love the thought of an orangery? Check out our article on orangery ideas.

3. Sleek flooring

conservatory patio slider doors

A stunning addition to any conservatory; wooden parquet floors are contemporary, stylish, and intricate.

Whether you choose a walnut, oak, laminate, or even vinyl design, these floors will transform your conservatory into a tranquil retreat fit for royalty.

4. A coloured conservatory

different colour frames for orangery

Have you been searching for conservatory colour ideas? Teal is a multifaceted colour available in a spectrum of shades – from pale celeste and aquamarine to rich evergreen and ocean blue. Choosing the right shade for your conservatory is just a matter of light. The brighter the room, the darker you can get away with.

That said, to maintain balance, we suggest you stick to the middle of the palette.

5. A contemporary dining area

Conservatory ideas dining

A great way to utilise your modern conservatory is to turn it into a garden dining room. Think quintessential picnics with jute decor and polished brass place settings.

You can either design a more formal dining area by sticking with a traditional dining table and chairs or opt for something a little more sociable and choose benches and relaxed floor seating.

Small conservatory ideas

1. Stackable furniture

rattan chair

When it comes to decorating a small conservatory, maximising your space and working with the light is essential. Stackable rattan furniture is perfect for keeping things neat and compact.

2. Bring the outdoors in

hanging chair

Bring nature inside with faux fur rugs, woven Scandinavian baskets and a hanging chair or two. They take up less space than sofas or tables and are great for unwinding after a long day.

3. A natural sanctuary

Lean-to small conservatory design idea

Turning your small conservatory into a natural sanctuary is a great use of space.

Conservatory ideas for small spaces include using slimline furniture and potted plants that work well together, leaving you to inject colour with accessories such as accent chairs, floor lamps, and cushions. Perfect for enjoying a Sunday afternoon reading or taking a restorative nap while rain patters on the rooftop.

4. Multifunctional furniture

Space saving conservatory ideas

Whether you turn your small conservatory into a kitchen, dining room, reading nook, home garden, or zen retreat, there are several space-saving designs that can help make the most of your space. Think stackable coffee tables, fitted pantry shelves, L-shaped window benches, and foldaway furniture. Finish the look with decorative cushions, throws, and plants.

Built-in storage and corner shelves keep your conservatory floor clutter-free and roomy. Pick a rug for the perfect finish and get ready to enjoy a minimalist environment.

Thinking about some bespoke furniture for your conservatory? Look no further than our leading directory to find expert carpenters near you.

5. Build upwards

Edwardian roof conservatory design

When you’re working with a small and narrow space, the trick is to build upwards, not outwards. This lovely Edwardian-roofed conservatory is bright and full of light, with French doors and windows that welcome the sun.

A bench runs the entire periphery of the room, maximising space, while the dark wood floor complements the mini-chandelier that hangs from the ceiling. The rest of the static decor remains neutral, with pops of colour injected in replaceable items such as the brightly coloured cushions.

6. Extra room

Small conservatory ideas and decor

Turn your small conservatory into an extra room for play, relaxation, reading, or studying. It’s especially worth doing if you’re a big family and space is hard to come by. Having a den to escape into – away from everyone else – is a great way to keep the peace and ensure harmony reigns in your household!

This lovely conservatory turns the original house wall into a feature by painting it a bluish-grey to match the grey floor. A large dusty blue couch is perfect for relaxing, while modern cuboid furniture keeps this room looking smart and feeling fresh.

7. Turn your greenhouse into a garden

Succulents and plants in a small conservatory

For very small conservatories, there’s only one thing for it: a garden! Succulents and cacti are completely at home in sunrooms and greenhouses, and your conservatory is no exception. As long as you are frost-free all year round, there are several plants that will thrive in your conservatory.

These include:

  • Air plants
  • Osaka
  • Bog-wood
  • Fittonias
  • Aloe vera

And many more! Go on and experiment with your favourite perennials. Feeling inspired? Take a look at our other greenhouse ideas.

Lean-to conservatory ideas

1. Mini greenhouse

Lean to conservatory ideas

Also known as sunrooms, lean-to conservatories are rectangular-shaped structures attached to the wall of your house.

Perfect for growing herbs or filling with air-purifying plants, lean-tos can house workbenches, banquet tables, or swing benches that look out into your lovingly landscaped garden. If you’re interested in building a lean-to yourself, you can read our detailed guide here.

2. Practical furniture


Keep it simple and elegant with grey furniture and bright decor. Light grey floor tiles work well in sunrooms with lots of light, as do anti-bleach furniture choices like rattan sets or twisted metal love seats.

Consider floor cushions and recliner chairs for your lean-to conservatory, and surround yourself with sun-loving plants for a lung-friendly and green-fingered oasis.

Bungalow conservatory ideas

large conservatory

Bungalow conservatories are versatile spaces that come in various designs. Think about turning yours into a second living room or dining space. Include modern decors such as industrial swing lamps, white tiled floors, a large area rug and statement furniture.

For spaces big enough, an indoor firepit for cold evenings or summer nights is a lovely touch.

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Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

Adding a conservatory is considered permitted development provided it stays within various restrictions. But the government advice is always to check if you need approval before you construct or change buildings. And of course, you do not need to get approval yourself if you use someone registered with a Competent Person Scheme.

Can I put a kitchen in a conservatory?

Yes you can, but you’ll need to think about your appliances and their requirements – you’ll need plumbing for a sink and washing machine, dishwasher etc. You’ll also need plenty of power outlets, and potentially mains gas access too.

You’ll also need to make sure the room is properly heated as you’ll be using it daily all year round. None of these are major issues though, and experienced professionals will be able to run them from your main house supply. You’ll need to make sure it’s well-ventilated, of course, and if it’s south-facing you’ll want to invest in conservatory blinds too.

How long will a conservatory last?

It used to be that a new uPVC conservatory would be guaranteed for just ten years – but with experienced fitters, modern installation methods, high-quality materials, and proper maintenance, you can expect your new conservatory to last at least 25 years.

How big should I make my conservatory?

This is all down to personal choice. It’s worth measuring out the available space you’ve got, speaking to a tradesperson about your budget and going from there.

A bigger conservatory will undoubtedly need a bigger budget, and potentially planning permission too; but if you’re happier with the result, and have a room you genuinely love, it’s worth considering.

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