The Difference Between an Orangery and a Conservatory

What’s the difference?

When you are looking to add extra space to your home, the options available can be daunting, but the big question that we always get from our customers is “What is the difference between an Orangery and a Conservatory?”

The answer can mostly be summed up in the materials and composition of the structure; Conservatories tend to have a brick or stone base, with at least 75% of the walls and roof made of glass, while Orangeries traditionally feature solid brick pillars with large, glazed windows and a glass lantern roof. Conservatories are usually cheaper to build than Orangeries due to their composition, whereas Orangeries are more complex structures that are more like a traditional extension. The bespoke nature of an Orangery makes it much easier to integrate into your home.

Modern double glazing and heating solutions have meant that both Orangeries and Conservatories can be a comfortable all year round, so the difference largely comes down to two key factors; aesthetic and cost.

What is an Orangery?

Historically, Orangeries were designed to provide better insulation during cold winters, so that the owners could grow exotic plants and citrus fruits that wouldn’t normally grow in a colder climate. With the brick structure providing the insulation, the windows still allowed the plants to get plenty of natural light.

While the Orangeries that started to pop up around Europe from the 16th to the 17th century were predominantly functional, by the 19th century they had become something of a status symbol, the wealthy owners of Orangeries would take great pleasure in showing off their latest addition to their homes.

These days, Orangeries serve as a great addition to any home and can provide a beautiful space for any number of reasons; from a light and airy space to relax even when the weather is less than ideal, to a space to host a gathering with easy access to the garden. Orangeries are a versatile space that can be tailored to any requirement.

    What is an Conservatory?

    While Orangeries historically housed more exotic plants, Conservatories on the other hand were usually home to less temperamental plants, while still allowing a measure of protection against any excessively harsh weather conditions.

    The traditional Conservatory originated in the 18th century, but the golden age of Conservatory building in England did not take place until the 19th century as purely functional structures. The widespread development of Conservatories was brought to a halt during World War II, and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the traditional design of the Victorian Conservatories began to resurface as the Conservatories most commonly seen today.  

    Another consideration to factor in is the value that these additions will add to your home. A Conservatory can add from 5-10% to the value of your home, whereas an Orangery can add up to 15% in some cases.

      If you would like to learn more about how you can add a bespoke Orangery to your home, please contact us, and we will be more than happy to provide guidance and discuss your options.

      Orangery AdviceNeed some help on choosing the right Orangery for your home?

      When choosing an orangery design it's good to think about how the structure will work within the plot you have. Let us talk you through this crucial stage.

      × How can I help you?