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typical orangery design

The Difference Between An Orangery, Garden Room or Conservatory?

“What’s the difference between an orangery and a conservatory,” is one of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Throw in the increasing trend for garden rooms, whether in natural oak or painted timber and there is scope for a healthy debate. Well, it’s a different discussion to Brexit at least!

As the industry leader, at the quality end of the market and with our heritage grown over more than 35 years of successful trading, we feel well placed to offer our definition.

However we manufacture our award-winning extensions, the distinction between a conservatory and an orangery remains the same.

The simplest differentiating factor is how the roof system is constructed. Put simply, a conservatory has a fully or majority glazed roof, whereas an orangery tends to have a solid perimeter flat roof, with natural light being provided by one or more roof lanterns.

To apply some statistics to this debate, the 75% rule can be applied – if the structure has more than 75% glass in the roof it is classed as a conservatory; if there is less than 75% glass in the roof it tends to be classified as an orangery. Got it!?

Some of the photos on this page perhaps illustrate this difference best. The best thing about working with a fully bespoke design company like David Salisbury is that we start with a blank sheet of paper and design the best solution for you and your home.

This might be an orangery for a kitchen extension – in this case the solid flat roof is an important feature for housing lighting, extraction or other services. For maximum natural light, a conservatory might be preferred with its fully glazed roof. 

Orangeries originated in Italy back in the 1500’s, so there’s been plenty of scope for this discussion in the past. We certainly don’t grow tired of debating it – after all, we don’t mind designing an orangery, conservatory or garden room: we simply want to design rooms for enjoyment, whatever you want to call them!

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