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Orangery ideas: 25 design ideas for your dream orangery

25 inspiring orangery ideas to add extra space, masses of light and a wow factor design statement to your home this year.

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If you’re looking for a stylish way to add extra living space to your home, orangery ideas are luxurious and practical all at once.

Dating back to 17th century Italy, these classical structures once symbolised status and prestige. Orangeries were originally built for wealthy families to house and protect exotic plants – especially citrus trees – during the colder months.

Today, orangery ideas are a striking way to extend your home and increase your household’s exposure to sunlight.

Orangeries are multifunction spaces, perfect for creating an amazing showpiece for living or dining – or simply adding an extra sitting room to bask in the sunlight at the end of the day.

Yes, there are so many great reasons to add an orangery to your interior – not least as a way to add value to your home.

Like any major building work, orangery ideas need careful planning and thorough research to get it right.

25 orangery ideas for your 2024 project

Be inspired by our 25 orangery ideas including design inspiration, planning advice and costs.

Prepare for a light-filled home you’ll love for years.

1. Consider the position of your orangery

which way does your orangery face

Don’t forget to consider which way your property faces. The orientation of your home is really important as it might affect how you use your orangery.

South-facing homes will get the most sun throughout the day, so your orangery will receive maximum natural light. Just be aware of overheating though.

East-facing orangeries will receive a beautiful morning light for sun-filled breakfast rooms while you drink your daily cuppa.

West-facing orangeries will get sun later in the day – great for an extra sitting room to soak in the last of the day’s warmth.

Check out our comprehensive guide to planning an extension for more ideas on where to start.

2. Look at materials

different materials in an orangery

Orangeries use a mix of hardwood, glass, stone and masonry to create a striking structure that will complement your home.

Whether you live in a town or country, the combination of materials you use for orangery ideas will reflect your home and its location.

We love tongue and groove panelling for an easy breezy New England mood. This dove grey shade looks perfect with clean white woodwork and window frames, offset with dark timber floorboards.

Check out our wall panelling cost guide for more feature wall ideas for your orangery.

We recommend looking at building experts in the area who have designed and built orangeries in the style you like.

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3. Fit the style of your home

orangery sympathetic to a property

Orangeries can be designed for every style of property. The most successful designs are sympathetic to the architecture of the home and its surroundings.

Bespoke orangeries can be built to connect with the features, materials and colours of your existing home, be it a Georgian detached property or a super modern dwelling.

There are so many different styles and shapes of windows to choose from – read our window style blog here for exciting window ideas that will help elevate your orangery.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a contrast too. Consult an architect if you fancy adding a contemporary orangery to your traditional home.

4. Choose a large roof lantern

roof lantern ideas

Fill your orangery with as much light as possible, by installing a single, large roof lantern.

Roof lanterns add height and space to every orangery and offer unparalleled views of the sky – by day and by night!

Don’t forget to check out our roof lantern planning guide for an essential checklist of what’s required.

5. Be sympathetic to the building

orangery materials

Create a harmonious look with orangery ideas that are a true extension of your home.

Be aware of the proportion of your new extension and also other details such as roof pitch, windows, colours – and of course materials.

Try and match new brickwork with old as closely as possible to the original house. It’s a good idea to choose window frame styles and paint colours that blend and complement with your property.

If you live in a listed building, certain planning and building rules and regulations will apply. Always contact your local planning department before you being a project but in the meantime check out our listed building renovation blog. It will give you a quick overview of the do’s and don’ts involved.

6. Fill it with plants

fill an orangery with plants

Originally, orangery ideas were used to protect exotic plants – especially from harsh British winters.

Filling your orangery with different types of floral and fauna is a cute nod to its heritage. Indoor plants and greenery are joyful for every room and fit in with today’s trend for biophilic design.

Read more biophilic design ideas in our blog.

Cultivating your very own indoor jungle will help connect your orangery to nature and the great outdoors – even if the weather is grey outside.

7. Decorate stylishly

Your new orangery demands the same style and design attention as the rest of your home – it shouldn’t be an afterthought.

After all, your orangery is set to become the most well used part of your home. Take time to decorate it with the same style finesse by linking in colours and design details.

Your old garden furniture brought indoors will definitely not cut the mustard.

We adore the way this vintage-style orangery has been decorated with a mix of white wood furniture, stone flagstones and classic design pieces.

If you’re stuck on design choices, why not call on the expertise of an interior designer who can help with colours, materials and special design elements.

8. Keep the windows clean

keep windows clean on an orangery

This might sound like an obvious tip, but orangery windows need to be kept clean.

Glazing that is smudge-free and sparkling will welcome light into your orangery design ideas. Dirty windows just look grubby and uninviting.

We recommend hiring the services of a professional window cleaner to keep your orangery looking bright and fresh. They will scrub your windows and glazing to keep them fresh and bright and free of mould – so you don’t have to.

9. Avoid sun glare with blinds

Roof blinds for orangery

How much sun your orangery gets will to some degree depend on the orientation of your property. And where you want to locate your new orangery extension.

South facing orangeries will get the most sun – but they might also get too hot during the warmer summer months.

Consider having bespoke blinds fitted to your orangery windows. Without them an orangery can be extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter and this definitely won’t add up to an inviting space for relaxing, working or preparing food.

Blinds can help to add shade in hotter weather and insulation in colder weather. Check out more about conservatory blinds here.

If not blinds, then you could also check out shutters!

And if you’re now unsure whether to choose blinds or shutters, see them go head-to-head in blinds vs shutters blog!

10. Create an open-plan kitchen diner

 

Most orangery ideas are now used as an extra living space. This can be as a standalone room – say a separate office or dining space – or to create a larger, open-plan area. The decision depends on what you want from your new orangery.

Kitchen diners are a popular choice for an orangery extension, extending the more functional elements of your kitchen into a relaxing seating or living space.

Use the same colour palette and flooring throughout to help enhance the unified appearance. And don’t forget to protect any soft furnishings and textiles in the sun-filled part of your orangery with special conservatory blinds or window treatments.

Read our guide to planning for an open-plan kitchen dining space and be filled with inspiration for your new project.

11. Use as a separate dining room

orangery as formal dining room

Open plan living is such a popular way of living, but some of us might still crave a separate dining space.

Orangery extension ideas might just be the answer. You can leave the cooking and food preparation to the kitchen zone, take meals into a separate dining room orangery and enjoy glorious views out to the garden. And leave the mess behind in the kitchen.

Sounds like bliss!

Read our blog to planning a kitchen extension – it will help you work out if you want to create an open-plan space or go for a designated dining room.

12. Go for a classic, neutral kitchen

Take advantage of a light and airy orangery by installing a classic style kitchen.

In a palette of bleached out hues, this New England style kitchen features classic Shaker doors and neutral tiles for the splashback.

For eight more budget-friendly splashback ideas, it’s definitely worth checking out our blog.

The light-filled kitchen is offset with warm wood flooring, rustic bar stools and industrial-style pendants.

13. Use as an entertaining space

orangery ideas

Have fun with orangery design ideas and use yours as a party hub!

If you’re missing that extra space for hanging out with friends and family, then a glazed extension is perfect –  if it links to the garden, even better.

When a sunny BBQ day suddenly sees a downpour on the horizon, no need to cancel plans. Your orangery can double as an indoor entertaining space.

Yoga fanatics or arty types might want to harness the inspiring light-filled qualities of an orangery too for more creative pursuits too.

Not quite ready for an orangery project? Here are some more garden shelter ideas that will allow you to stay outdoors for as long as possible.

14. Set up a home office hub

Orangery design ideas are vast and varied. Your glazed extension can take on many, many different functions.

An office is just one such idea, particularly as working from home continues to become the norm.

Finding a space to house your desk, chair and office kit in your orangery can be a delightful solution. Just make sure WiFi and telephone lines are able to extend out to your orangery. And consider the position of lighting and plug sockets.

We have so many great ideas on how to build a home office in our handy guide.

Because really, is there anything better than doing your daily graft within the surroundings of a beautiful, light-filled orangery. We think not.

15. Choose the right colour to reflect the elements

 

orangery colours

Decorating ideas for orangeries are vast.

You might fancy the cool, calm and collected properties of an all-white orangery. But if this is a little cold and clinical for your tastebuds, liven things up with a bold burst of colour.

Don’t be afraid to use bright hues in orangery design ideas. Sunshine and sky tones will help instil a spirited and sunny mood so experiment with shades of yellow and blue in your orangery extension. These primary shades are perfect for enhancing seasons all year round.

If your orangery opens up to a garden, decorate in a palette of soft greens – sage, olive and mint – to echo the joy of nature outdoors.

Here’s our guide to choosing the perfect paint colour for any room in the house.

16. Try out other window treatments

Traditional conservatory blinds are a great decorating tool for keeping the sun out and the heat in, however you choose to use your orangery.

That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other window treatment ideas. Good quality, lined curtains for example will add an unexpected decorative element to orangery design ideas.

Curtains with black out and thermal linings won’t just help regulate temperature with the seasonal weather patterns, they’ll also block out unwanted light and sun when necessary.

Find out everything you need to know about the great curtains v blinds debate in our blog here.

17. Ramp up with rattan furniture

Enhance indoor-outdoor orangery design ideas with a selection of beautiful rattan furniture

Rattan tables, chairs and sofas will add a laid-back cool that’s totally in keeping with the design tempo of an orangery. If the rattan is weatherproof, there’s the added bonus of taking the furniture outdoors for extra seating if the weather is particularly warm.

Here’s our advice for extending the indoors to the outdoors, not just through furniture choice.

Don’t just chuck your garden furniture into your orangery and hope for the best though – your orangery will look unfinished and totally unloved.

Seek out stylish rattan furniture that is hardwearing and design-led and fits into the overall aesthetic of your home.

Comfort should be top of your design wishlist too, so finish off your rattan furniture with a mix of cotton and linen upholstered seat pads, throws and cushions.

In the winter, pile on the faux fur throws and snuggly blankets so you can use your orangery all year round.

18. Choose cool, coastal style

coastal style orangery

Whether you live in an inner city crashpad or a seaside dwelling, coastal style interiors will never date.

Orangery design ideas are the perfect place to spread a beach house mood. Try nautical striped fabrics, candle-lit lanterns and rope style accessories for an upmarket coastal interior.

Avoid too many anchor, lighthouse and fish motifs in case you end up with more of a seaside, kiss-me-quick look.

Think classy rather than kitsch!

Take a look at the latest coastal cowgirl trend – coming to an interior near you real soon.

19. Pay attention to exterior colours

different colour frames for orangery

It’s not just the inside colour palette that you need to pay attention to when it comes to orangery design ideas.

Look at how different colour paints and stains on the exterior can change the overall look of your orangery.

Instead of white or neutral coloured frames and doors, these homeowners have opted for a beautiful, vintage-inspired, sea green shade. It adds an extra design element to your orangery and reflects the plants and shrubs outside.

Here’s out useful cost guide to painting the outside of your house. A professional lick of paint can seriously transform the exterior of your orangery.

20. Sink into statement sofas

statement sofas in orangery

Comfy sofas and seating are a must if your orangery design ideas are a place to read, relax and entertain.

As well as style, be mindful of what size of sofas you need. Too big and your orangery will look cramped; too small and your orangery will be in danger of becoming redundant especially if the whole family can’t find a place to sit.

Consider where you position sofas too. In a south-facing orangery, sofas that look out to garden might create too much uncomfortable glare. We think the best solution is to position two sofas facing each other. It will create a communal and comfortable hang out for little and big kids alike.

Choose two of the same sofas for this type of layout to increase a pleasing sense of symmetry.

In smaller orangeries, a big slouchy armchair or a chaise longe for one person will create the comfiest spot for you to sit back, relax and while away the hours uninterrupted.

Get ready to lose yourself for hours with 9 reading nook ideas you won’t want to leave.

21. Open out to the garden

linking inside to outside

Orangery extension ideas often act as the space between the main house and the garden.

This relaxed TV room is a good example of how your orangery can link up to the outside and create an indoor-outdoor experience.

With an exposed brick wall on one side, the narrow room is filled with natural light thanks to the patio doors, large windows and overhead roof lights.

The owners have stuck to a neutral palette to allow nature and the great outdoors provide all the colour that’s necessary.

Here’s how to expose a brick wall in seven steps.

22. Don’t overstuff with stuff

don't overfill an orangery with furniture

Don’t be tempted to fill your orangery with too much furniture. A pared-back, minimal scheme will allow an uninterrupted flow of daylight through the glazed walls and roof lanterns.

The same goes for too many accessories or soft furnishings. You want orangery decorating ideas to be comfortable but not too fussy. Choose one or two colours and stick to them.

To continue in the same clean-lined, clutter-free look, natural timber flooring is a great idea. Decide whether you choose solid wood or laminate flooring by reading our handy guide here.

23. Hang up a grand lighting fixture

add statement lighting to your orangery

Enhance natural lighting with a statement chandelier.

This light-filled orangery is filled with an eclectic mix of furniture that adds so much character to the space.

Adding a vintage-style chandelier enhances the personality-packed mood – the glass droppers will twinkle as the sun pours in through roof lantern.

Here’s how to find a good local electrician to help you with the job.

24. Add a modern orangery

add a modern orangery or an old building

Be inspired by sleek, modern glass box conservatories when you are planning an orangery.

This very slick, pared-back design would work as very cool extension to any period of property. It’s brutalist but bang on trend for the minimalists among us.

Read our conservatory cost guide to see what type of budget you’ll need.

25. Be bold with glazing

orangery ideas

Be bold with your glazing choices and create a super modern orangery that will be the envy of all your neighbours.

These industrial, Crittall style windows flood the small sun room with masses of natural sunlight. And using ribbed or obscured glass on the bottom half of the structure, does away with the need for curtains or blinds.

By adding a few choice planters, a high level table and stools and a long draped hammock, this is a glazed extension that you won’t want to leave.

Check out the many benefits of installing large windows in your home.

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FAQs

What is an orangery?

Orangeries are beautiful, semi-glazed extensions that bring natural light and sky views into your home.

They are grand and striking structures that use a mix of wood, glass and masonry in classical styles.

These days orangery ideas are generally built as an extension to your home – but sometimes standalone structures are constructed.

Don’t be put off by an orangery’s grand roots though, as these beautiful extensions will add a striking extra room to any property.

How is it different to a conservatory?

You might hear the term ‘garden room’ instead of orangery. And what’s the difference between an orangery and a conservatory or sun room?

The main difference is the roof. An orangery is a solid and glazed extension that generally features a large, central roof lantern built into a flat roof. This adds space and light into the room below.

In contrast, conservatories are made up of fully glazed walls and roofs – more like a glass box added on to your property. Read our blog for loads of inspiring conservatory ideas.

As a general design benchmark, more than 75% glass in the roof is a conservatory. Less than 75% is an orangery. Check out more differences between an orangery and a conservatory in our blog here.

With their classical styling, orangeries tend to have more brickwork or stone with half-height walls and corner posts. Don’t worry though, they still let in masses of light with one or more roof lanterns and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Even if you aren’t plumping for an orangery, you can check out our planning guide to installing a roof lantern into your home.

How can I get a good design brief?

Many orangeries are bespoke structures so you need a good design brief to work out exactly what you want from your glazed extension.

Consulting an expert is crucial. Orangery ideas are permanent structures so you need a space that will complement your home and its layout.

Ask yourself some questions. What do you want from your orangery? How much disruption are you willing to put up with? And how will an orangery improve your property and lifestyle?

Work out what’s missing from your home

Have a good think about where you spend most of your time at home – and what’s missing.

Do you need extra space to house a growing family for instance? Or is your existing kitchen just not big enough for all your cooking, dining and eating needs?

Dig deep and really hone into the reasons why you want an orangery.

Orangery ideas can be a costly time-consuming investment, so you need to get the right extension from the outset.

What’s the purpose of your orangery?

Orangeries can be used for dining, working or an extra living room. These light-filled spaces are a joy to use whether you are cooking, eating or kicking back at the end of a day in comfortable furniture.

One of the most popular ideas is a kitchen-diner orangery – and we can see why. It’s a glorious way to extend your home especially with glazed doors out to a garden.

The purpose of your orangery will clearly impact cost. A new kitchen will bump up the overall price tag more than say a sitting room orangery where you might just need new furniture.

What are the common features of an orangery?

Orangery ideas are a considered mix of solid and glazed walls.

A roof lantern set into a flat roof is the signature design feature that sets it apart from a conservatory or sun room.

Other classical architectural elements of your orangery might include columns, pillars, arches and pediments.

Do I need planning permission?

Orangeries are deemed small extensions by planning authorities so you will need to check with local planning departments what permissions you might need.

Most smaller orangeries don’t require full planning permission and can be built under permitted development rights.

If you are adding an orangery to a detached house, the orangery can extend up to 8m to the back or side by no more than half of the width of the original building without needing planning permission.

For a semi-detached house the depth you can extend by is slightly less, at 6m.

Do be aware though that these rules only apply to extensions built in the same or similar materials to the original house. This is something to be aware of particularly at the start of any design brief or vision you might have.

Some orangery companies will handle the planning applications on your behalf – so it’s worth bearing this in mind when you are doing your research.

Find masses of useful information in our orangery planning blog here.

How much does an orangery cost?

If you’re considering building an orangery instead of a standard extension or conservatory, cost needs to be factored in.

We’ve put together this orangery cost guide to give you an overview of the average prices in the UK.

ItemRange - LowRange - High Average cost
Average orangery cost (per m2)£2,000£2,500£2,250
Average cost of an orangery (16m2)£30,000£35,000£32,500
Small orangery (4m x 4m) - supply only£5,000£18,000£11,500
Medium orangery (6m x 6m) - supply only£12,000£30,000£21,000
Large orangery (7m x 7m) - supply only£18,000£100,000£59,000

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

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