A conservatory is possibly the quickest, most pain-free way to make the most out of your home and create extra space without moving. After all, moving is stressful enough – add kids to the mix and it’s a whole new ball game.
Conservatories often get a bad rep for being a “one season room”, i.e. they’re only useful in the summer months when it’s warm enough to throw open the doors and enjoy the view into the garden with a cold gin and tonic. But with a few simple tricks you can create a conservatory space that’s a dream room all year round, whatever the weather.
1. Add Blinds
The room above features the Thomas Sanderson and it’s a great example of the number one thing you should do if you want to make your conservatory cosy in the winter, cool in the summer and create a sense of cohesion with the rest of the house.
A good quality set of blinds will not only give you some control over the temperature of the room, but they’ll create a base for you to turn your conservatory into an extra space – however you choose to use it.
2. Decide the room’s purpose
Which leads us onto our next tip: decide what the space is going to be used for. Perhaps it’s an extra living room – one for the grown-ups sans toys, for example. Or maybe you’ll use the space as a dining room, or even a play room. Think of the conservatory as a room in its own right rather than an “tag on” space only for special occasions or the summer. This will ensure you get maximum use from the room and will benefit from the extra space every day of the year.
The conservatory has been styled as a relaxing living space with a Moroccan vibe, featuring blinds in the Fired Earth collection by Thomas Sanderson. Teamed with a neutral base palette and some key accessories (storm lanterns and a geometric print rug are a must) the look is laid back but chic, making the most of all the light bouncing around the room through those beautiful windows.
3. Go for a pale base palette
We recently featured the home of blogger Katie Ellison on Roost including her stunning new conservatory extension. Katie recommends making the most of the light in any conservatory space with a pale base palette. “Conservatories are of course normally very light due to the windows, but if you paint the walls a light colour like white then it will maximise the brightness and light, making the room feel bigger.”
4. Add plants
If you don’t want to go all white then you could opt for a pale tone in a warmer (but still neutral) honey base palette, like this room above which features the gold blinds in the Laura Ashley range from Thomas Sanderson.
Picking up the warmer honey hues in the yellow of the patterned cushions and then layering those tones with wicker furniture and plenty of plant life gives the room a natural and rustic air, but a cosy feel that would work all year round.
Fiona from Watching You Grow says house plants can be really add to a conservatory – just as much as any colour scheme. “I love having plants in the conservatory – they bridge the space between the house and garden perfectly.”
5. Invest in furniture
For fans of a more contemporary, sleek look then it’s all about the bold statement blinds, like these ones pictured above – the red blinds in the pleated range by Thomas Sanderson.
Using the blinds as the source of a bold colour pop in the room is not only a clever way to avoid having to get elbow-deep in paint, but it also means you can easily change the look quickly without the need to redecorate if you go off the colour at a later date. Plus, it looks striking, doesn’t it?
If you’re going for this look then sleek furniture with fluid edges and plenty of high gloss are key. Polly from Enchanted Pixie says good quality furniture is the solution to avoiding the conservatory feeling like an “add on” space. “We had real furniture in our conservatory as opposed to garden or wicker furniture. It made the room much more comfortable and practical and it was a great place to spend time in.”
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