My favourite room in the house is the conservatory. I have a real fixation with bringing nature into the home, and a conservatory is the perfect blend between outside and inside. It’s warm and cosy in the winter, with the sound of rain pitter pattering on the roof, and it’s bright, airy and sunny in the summer. With the doors wide open to the garden you get the sounds of the birds and the smell of the grass wafting in. It’s the perfect place to sit and relax, read a book, play family games or have a snack.
Over the last decade I think the conservatory has evolved into a much more family room, with lots of options for how to decorate and furnish it. You want to evaluate what your family needs are, what the room is going to be used for and what you want out of it. Here are some ideas for decorating a family conservatory.
5 Tips for Decorating a Family Conservatory
Colour Themes – Keep it Bright
The conservatory is usually the brightest room in the house. It has the most natural light and is usually in a position to capture sunlight all year around. To capitalise on this light, you’ll want to decorate in light, neutral or pastel tones. Clean, simple shades that will allow the focus of the room be the amazing space and the connection with the outside.
But it doesn’t have to be too boring, you can add a pop of colour with some bright coloured cushions or decorations – just remember that bright colours will naturally fade in sunlight, so you might want them in the shadiest part of the room. A rug can also really bring some colour and design in and is easily changed when you want a difference.
Having Plants in the Conservatory
Plants are an essential in the conservatory in my opinion, as you’re bringing the outside inside so having extra greenery inside will really help that extension. Plants help filter pollutants from the air and increase oxygen quality and I personally find plants incredibly relaxing. With it’s mild temperatures in the winter there are a ton of plants that are very easy to grow in the conservatory and require minimal maintenance. Just make sure they’re not toxic before you get them – especially if you have cats or dogs.
Some green options include succulents and cacti, palms, olive trees and citrus trees. Whilst in the flower department I personally am a massive fan of orchids and lilies.
Conservatory Furniture Options
We have a dining table and chairs in our conservatory at the moment, but we’re planning on changing this around when we move. Our new conservatory will have a sofa and be a more casual space. You can furnish a conservatory to suit your needs, whether you want an extra dining area or a seating area. If you’re lucky enough to have a large conservatory, perhaps you can have both!
Rattan was a very traditional garden and conservatory furniture material, but these days it’s fashionable to have whatever you want in the conservatory. In the past conservatories were plagued with damp, but these days with high quality double glazed windows that’s a thing of the past, meaning you can be a lot more flexible with the materials you use. However, you still want to consider that the conservatory is designed to get a lot of sunlight, and certain materials and colours will naturally fade with the sun and by picking furniture that is more durable and resistant to showers or sun, such as high grade cane, rattan, iron/metal, glass or treated woods, you can also take your furniture outside in the summer.
Dressing Conservatory Windows
Conservatories come with large double glazed windows which will allow light into the room all year round, without allowing too much heat to escape in the winter. Some people choose not to dress their windows, but there are advantages to doing so. Blinds are the most popular for conservatories, and I think they’re a great option. You can use them to shade yourself when the sun is too strong, and to help cool the room on the warmest days, but they also keep the heat in the room in the winter, as well as providing privacy if the garden is at all overlooked. Blinds can be shuttered blinds, Venetian blinds or roller blinds, and they come in all sorts of colours or designs these days. Curtains are also another viable option.
If you make your window dressing either a light, pastel or perhaps a floral design, you’ll continue to bring the outside in and make sure the room is never dark, even with the blinds drawn.
Using the Conservatory for Storage
The conservatory is an extension of the house and creates a lot more space, but you don’t want it to feel cluttered or crowded. Finding a storage solution where everything you need to keep out there has a place to live will help keep it feeling tidy and open. In the situation of having a family, you’ve probably got a lot of garden toys that the kids play with – having a cupboard to store them in is ideal. Evaluate how much storage space you need and what goes where. There are then loads of options from cupboards and bookshelves to ottomans and storage boxes.
A conservatory is simply a great option for adding a relatively inexpensive (compared to a full extension) space to your house that can fulfill multiple purposes to suit the whole family. Before we had our conservatory I was a bit worried about what it would be like having that much glass around with a rather overly energetic child who loves ball games, but you can even get replacement windows if the kids accidentally break one!
Definitely my favourite room in the house! Do you have any tips on decorating a conservatory?
This is a collaborative post.