When it gets to spring and the sun is out a bit more, your conservatory is probably your favourite place – when the sun shines through and creates that warmth that may not be reflected in the temperatures outside, it can feel like summer is well and truly on its way. What a great time to start planning how you’re going to make your conservatory the best it can be this summer!
Firstly, you need to consider what you would like to use the space for. Whether it’s entertaining or relaxing, these 4 design ideas to kick off making your conservatory a perfect summer retreat.
Bring the outside inside
As a nation, we are garden lovers who love our homes too, so for a good few years, a popular trend has been to blend both inside and outside spaces. Our outside spaces will shortly be taking on the much larger role as they do most years (when we get a bit of sun!). conservatories are known to be difficult to style as they have a dual nature, so creating a feel of a mix between home and garden is a great way to use the space.
What better way to do this than with bi-folding doors, which allow you to make the most out of your garden. They also give a modern look and feel to the conservatory, with the benefit of having a locking system adding an extra layer of security to your home. They keep the heat in and the blinds are hermetically sealed within the glass, meaning you won’t need to dust them. Take a look at windows Shrewsbury for inspiration if bi-folding doors are an option for you. If not, what are your options?
A great alternative is to bring specialised conservatory plants and flowers into the space to make it feel more in tune with the outdoors. What you decide to grow depends on your temperature. With a minimum temperature of between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius, you can even grow some fruits and vegetables.
Here are some tips for growing in your conservatory:
- Remember to keep plants in the shade and open-air vents and doors when you can. You can always leave vents open at night if you need to
- You need a good level of humidity – a quick spritz of lukewarm tap water or rainwater once a day should do the trick
- Clean your windows regularly – this may sound strange but plant-loving pests can live on the structure of the glass and windows can get dusty which reduces the quality of light getting to your plants to provide them with much-needed energy
When decorating a conservatory, amongst the most common questions asked is “can you wallpaper a conservatory?” The answer is simple – yes you can, but you’d need to ensure your conservatory has no damp and is well insulated. If you are going down the route of wallpaper, you can have fun with the décor – you might decide to go with floral wallpaper for a Sky Garden botanical feel, or for an industrial finish, use wallpaper with a faux industrial effect. Alternatively, you could stick with a very light grey, cream or white to create a base for your conservatory and add the colours with accessories. This would make the room feel much larger even if it’s on the small side.
Both of these looks are stylish and there are more out there – it’s all down to you. In terms of colour schemes, try to stick to two or three colours or they will be lost in the room. You can pick up colour-coordinated accessories, cushions and other soft furnishings to complete the look. Be sure to limit your palette to a maximum of two or three colours to prevent the room from becoming twee.
When it comes to furniture, that’s a personal preference – you could go with rattan or something more casual and cosier, or even a mixture if your space is big enough. If you have a small conservatory, keep the furniture to a minimum. If your house is low on space, you could decide to get a sofa bed for the room for guests to sleep in. The options and comfort of sofa beds are pretty much endless now! You don’t need to stick to the very standard wicker furniture that everyone seems to go with. You could even use the space for dining if you have enough room.
Add a pop of colour in your conservatory with a picture, photos or a brightly coloured lamp to stop it from feeling drab.
Natural light and temperature
One of the main plus points of conservatories is the amount of light that gets in. Try to keep it as bright as you can but also think about the possibility that it could be too light sometimes. You may want to consider getting a blind so that the sun isn’t beaming its rays all day and turning your lovely conservatory into a sauna!
Conservatories have been known to get uncomfortably warm and can be compared to greenhouses, but the radiant feel provided by the sun is second to none. Window films are a simple and cost-effective way to maintain a cool environment for your conservatory whilst also preventing any harmful UV rays. They are specifically designed for residential use and work by reflecting the heat of the sun away before it reaches inside.
Sometimes, a conservatory may be so small that you end up not using it – but it’s all about how you utilise the space. If you’re wanting to use it to relax, think about putting a small armchair or two in there with small tables, along with a footrest (you can tuck this under your armchair) and some cosy blankets. All you need is a lampshade and you’ll be ready to curl up with a good book. If you are short of space, why not turn it into a home office? Being able to see outside is a very good way of inspiring yourself to get things done.