Conservatories can be used as morning rooms and dining areas. These are the places in the home that let the sun shine (or sunshine!) in, so those kinds of uses are traditional for a reason.
But, in the 21st century when homeowners are making their own rules for spaces, it makes sense to re-think the conservatory, and use that wonderful natural light for the purposes that you decide on yourself. So, how do you expand your range of possibilities for the traditional conservatory or sun room? Well, for one thing, you get the perspective of an interior designer.
Returning guest writer Estelle Page, a UK-based interior designer, is here to provide some thoughts on decorating conservatories, the sunniest rooms in our homes.
I’ve always had a thing for conservatories; there’s something about that glass exterior that makes you feel like you’re in the garden when you’re actually inside that just really appeals to me.
As an interior designer, I’m always really curious to see what people have done with their own conservatories, and even keener to get involved when they ask me to help them redecorate!
Now whilst my idea of the perfect conservatory is a summery affair filled with wicker and vintage chintz, of course that won’t suit everyone’s tastes. When I started on a new interior design, the first step is finding out what the client really needs – this comes partly from asking them what they like, but also from asking them how they plan to use the space when it’s finished.
If you’re hoping to create an additional family room where the kids can run wild, you’re obviously going to have a different idea in mind to the person who intends to use it as an office to work from home.
Find your dream conservatory type below and read my tips on how to achieve it!
As a child, I always remember being jealous of my friends who had dedicated playrooms in their houses! An entire room just for having fun in? Really?!
It might seem extravagant giving your children a whole room – a conservatory, no less – to play in, but think of the benefits such as keeping all their toys in one place so that at least the rest of the house stays nice and tidy for when unexpected visitors pop round!
Children love colour, so now is not the time to shy away from it. A brightly coloured sofa works wonders, or for a cheaper seating alternative just buy a bunch of colourful beanbags! The kids will love these squishy chairs, but just remember to buy a few extra for when friends come round.
A conservatory is a fantastic place to gather for the family meal, or even to host lunchtime dinner parties in the spring and summer. It seems bright and spacious thanks to all that natural light that’s flooding through, but without the annoyances of actually being outside such as insects and rain!
Keep the furnishing simple – a single, large, eye-catching dining table placed right at the centre of the room is all you need. I love wicker furniture but it has a tendency to get damaged if there are children in the house, so if that’s the case a light-coloured wood such as pine creates the same effect.
Do you want your conservatory to be a peaceful room where you can escape from it all and just relax? I know I’d love this one!
To nail this look, you need to have comfort in mind when choosing your furnishings. Wicker chairs for example look gorgeous and are fine for dining, but they’re not all that great for kicking back and falling asleep in!
Instead, take inspiration from the French and invest in a beautiful wicker or wooden chaise longue with a smattering of velvet cushions thrown on top.
Conservatories have a tendency to get cold in the winter months so keep your toes toasty with a plush, faux-fur rug to walk barefoot on, as well as a throw blanket on that chaise longue you can wrap around your shoulders if you’re feeling a chill!
Last but not least, if you’re hoping to create more of a workspace in your conservatory, the key word you need to bear in mind is ‘functional’. By all means find pieces that are stylish, but it’s a good idea to keep the decor minimalistic and avoid unnecessary clutter so that you don’t get distracted and can focus on your work easily.
Depending on the size of your conservatory, a large desk, a leather swivel chair and a couple of filing cabinets could be all you need! Try to avoid having armchairs or sofas in the room which can make you feel lazy and unmotivated. Instead, pop up some inspiring quotes or images of famous businesspeople that you admire to keep your mind on track!
If you’ve got a conservatory at home, I’d love to hear how you’ve decorated it. You can tell me in the comments below!
Estelle Page is a UK-based interior designer with a passion for combining style with function, creating living spaces for her clients that are both beautiful and fitting for their lifestyles. She blogs for David Salisbury about all things conservatory-related!