Orangery is a term that’s been around for a few years now but it’s one that still has a bit of mystery surrounding it. And if you’ve ever been in the situation where you’ve complimented a friend’s conservatory, only to be told that it is, in fact, an orangery, you may want to understand the distinction between the two. You may also be considering whether an orangery may be a better option for your own home.
Both a conservatory and an orangery offer your home an additional living space, while opening out your home to the outdoors, and both are made largely of glass. A conservatory or orangery can be used for multiple purposes, whether you’re looking for somewhere to sit in the Summer months, or somewhere stylish to dine, overlooking the garden. However, there are a couple of important distinctions between the two that will help you identify which is which.
What is an Orangery?
The orangeries of old are, really, where it all started. In the 18th Century, explorers and merchants were traveling farther than ever before, bringing back many exotic treasures from around the globe, including plants.
Unfortunately, plants more accustomed to warmer climes were unlikely to flourish in the harsh British climate.
To overcome this, orangeries were built, usually within the grounds of stately homes. These were huge glass structures in which were housed tropical plants, including – you guessed it – orange trees.
A good orangery was a status symbol, enabling the owner to show off their wealth through their range of exotic plants and, unlike the orangeries of today, they were built away from the main house, within the gardens on the estate.
Although the purpose of an orangery is very different in today’s society, a contemporary orangery is essentially a supplementary glass structure, similar to a conservatory, but built in the style of the original orangeries.
What makes it an orangery?
Though not always the case, an orangery generally has more brick or timberwork than a conservatory.
However both an orangery and conservatory can be built with a brick base or brick or timber pillars between the frames so this is not the clearest identifier. The key difference between the two, however, is the roof.
Where a conservatory has an all glass roof, an orangery is built with a solid roof (usually flat) with a glass lantern in the centre to allow in more light.
Should I choose a conservatory or an orangery?
Ultimately, the decision on which to go for comes down to your own personal preference and the building you already have in place, as well as budget. If you want a new living space for your home, an orangery may be the best option for you as, with the solid roof, they have more of an indoors feel and are more like an extension to your home. However, if you want your new room to be more of an ‘outdoor’ living space, a conservatory may be your better option. Both a conservatory or an orangery, however, can be fully customised to suit your needs perfectly.
If you would like to discuss your options further and have a chat about which option is right for your home, get in touch with MLI Building Products today and our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have.