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How to make the most of a Conservatory

October 9, 2018
Posted by Chiara Bastianelli on Oct 9, 2018 9:47:00 AM
Chiara Bastianelli
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One of the main concerns in buying a Conservatory is that it could remain unused for part of the year.

This is because most people consider a Conservatory exclusively as a summer room.  In reality, with the most suitable technical solutions and materials, it can be an ideal room that can be enjoyed all year round.

In fact, winter gardens provide plenty of natural light and offer protection from the elements, if properly insulated, allowing for example children the freedom and fun to play as if they were outdoors all year round and adults to relax and spend pleasant moments enjoying a nice environment. 

Playing and living in these special and protected places will truly be a unique experience thanks to the continuity that is created with the surrounding environment.

Conservatories, therefore, give the feeling of being outdoors, providing warmth even when outdoor is cold and windy. 

These "glass structures" thus become a real way of life, so it may be useful to know how to get more out of a Conservatory and get the most out of it all year round.

A few suggestions for getting the most out of a Conservatory

To make a winter garden welcoming and inviting all year round, especially during the coldest months, it is necessary: 

To choose the right furniture and heating method

For example, underfloor heating can be one of the best choices as well as the use of a glamorous and comfortable style for furniture. Soft and large cushions, together with textile lines in fine cashmere make the room more welcoming and inviting, despite the bad weather outside.  

In addition, the space is perfect for being furnished with fairytale lights and scented candles in the evening to add pleasant brightness, turning the winter garden into an extremely elegant and harmonious place to spend leisure time. 


Make sure to have enough natural light and sufficient light sources

Suspension lamps, floor and reading lamps make it possible to obtain maximum brightness and to create the right atmosphere for each need. 

Decorate it with plants

Plants in a winter garden are a must.  They help to create the feeling of outdoor life and make the Conservatory welcoming, inviting, fresh and lived. 

The addition of plants adds a final touch to the winter garden,  makes it alive and also visually connects it to the external environment. 

The most appreciated plants are the figs with violin leaves, chain of hearts, succulents, Capelvenere ferns, but also succulent or exotic plants depending on the mood you want to evoke.

The addition of candles will create a more luxurious and elegant atmosphere and it will be like being outdoors on a summer evening!

Prefer durable fabrics that can withstand direct sunlight 

The choices of pattern, texture and colour both for indoor and outdoor fabrics nowadays improved considerably.  So it is possible to leave free rein to creativity, remembering that the environment must be pleasant both from the inside and from the outside.  The choice of fabrics resistant to UV rays, in areas particularly exposed to sunlight, allows discolouration to be avoided over time.  However, this feature does not limit the options available today as the range of outdoor fabrics today is wide and does not limit the use of sophisticated and elegant fabrics.


How to choose the right furniture 

From wicker to synthetic rattan furniture, there are plenty of luxury options on the market that offer comfort and relaxation combined with practicality and style. 

The sets of sofas in synthetic rattan, in particular, are perfect for decorating the winter garden as they can also be easily moved outdoors thanks to their lightweight and at the same time, weatherproof structure. 

The cushions, in the right colour choices, will help to get an elegant look all year round.

Install energy-efficient curtains

The choice of the right curtains can help to create a shaded space in the spring and summer months and privacy when needed.  The same curtains help to insulate the environment in the winter months.

Choose insulated door and window frames and Low-E glasses

The insulated door and window frames solution ensures that the thermal  conductivity and the respective flow are interrupted, "cut" by the thermal insulation material inserted inside the door and window frames. The Low-E glasses make it possible to keep the heat inside avoiding heat loss.

Foresee connections for the electrical, water and gas systems during the design stage

In this manner, it is possible to create the ideal space also for a kitchen to entertain guests and organize parties. 

With these solutions, it will be possible to get the most out of every Conservatory, making it perfect and elegant for every event, situation and structure.

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How to improve the Conservatory according to its intended use

Since a Conservatory is really suitable for many uses, it is important that it is designed and furnished in the most optimal and functional way possible so as it can be fully enjoyed along with the relaxation that it offers.  

So here are a few hints on how to arrange the winter garden according to its use.

  • for a breakfast hall: the light-coloured furniture would give a fascinating atmosphere. While the chairs should not be too large to prevent the breakfast area from taking up too much space from the entire Conservatory.  This kind of furniture would give elegance and a pleasant charm to the whole space. 
  • For an den: a Conservatory would really be a productive space if used as a workplace! In fact, it offers the possibility of being separate from the area of residence so as to freely make business calls or attend meetings, but with all the privileges of working from home in a calm and peaceful environment. 
  • for a children's game room: a separate place, dedicated only to children and their toys. With colourful paints and glittering stickers, the space would be effective and playful. 
  • as a kitchen or dining room: during festivities placing ornaments and decorations inside the Conservatory will create a welcoming and thematic atmosphere, which will welcome guests giving positive and harmonious feelings.
  • as a space dedicated to fitness or an indoor swimming pool: an unparalleled space where to exercise while looking at the landscape or swimming under the stars. 

How to get the most out of your Conservatory based on the direction in which it is positioned

To get the most out of a Conservatory,is important to take into account at the design stage the position where it will be installed, as the direction has great impact on the amount of light and heat that enters the room at different times of the day and year. 


Conservatory facing North 

In the summer months, a north-facing winter garden is a great space to be used, as the environment will be warm but not too hot.  In winter, however, it may be a bit too cold as it will not receive much direct sunlight in the afternoon. 

The solution consists in installing a heating system and using glass that does not disperse heat outside so that to make sure to use the north-facing winter garden all year round.

Conservatory facing South

Overheating can be a problem for South-facing winter gardens in summer, as they receive a lot of direct sunlight.  In this case, it is important to design a well-sized air conditioning system and install sliding glass partitions and French doors so as to increase the air flow in the room.

The use of suitable glass, called selective Low-E glass, capable of filtering UV rays originating from outdoor and not dispersing the coolness of the indoor space will certainly make the garden more comfortable.  

Conservatory facing East

Since it gets the early morning sun, an East-facing winter garden is the  ideal place to spend the first moments of the day.  Here, too, to maintain optimal comfort throughout the day, it is necessary to install adequate insulation systems and a good lighting system to create a warm and welcoming environment.

Conservatory facing West

On the contrary, a West-facing winter garden will be lit by the sun in the second part of the day making it ideal for the evening.  With careful lighting, the space will be exposed to light and heat even at sunset.

For the morning, when natural light may be less, the right heating and lighting systems will help.

The maximum of the winter garden all year round 

A Conservatory is a luxurious outdoor room made of glass and iron.  Used as a living area, dining room or study area, it is a fabulous place where to spend time alone or with friends.   In addition it embellishes the property and increases its value.

It is time to move away from the idea of a Conservatory as a place that can only be enjoyed only in the summer.  Today's winter gardens provide the same living comfort as the interior spaces of the house and can be furnished with the same style. 

Whether it is furnished exactly like a room inside the property or is made with a more exotic style to have a particular space that recalls the colours of nature and the contact with the outside environment, the Conservatory remains in effect a finished structure and finished in every detail. 

With the hints described above, and with the right partner, you will be able to design a Conservatory that can be enjoyed all year round in full comfort and without giving up the luxury of the interior spaces.

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Tags: Outdoor furniture

Chiara Bastianelli

Written by Chiara Bastianelli

CEO and and Marketing Manager at DFN - Italian outdoor design company providing you with first-class, customized outdoor furniture and services.

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