For many people who enjoy looking at their gardens and the outdoors from the shelter and warmth of the indoors, a conservatory or an orangery can be the ideal extension to the home. Many people are confused, however, about the difference between these two structures which seem to have a lot of similarities.
Indeed, the orangery and the conservatory are very similar. Both are structures which are simple extensions to the home, and make use of a large number of glass panels to allow a clear view into the garden. They act as a way to experience more natural light within the home, and even serve a practical purpose when it comes to growing plants indoors.
Initially, the orangery was an extension of a property or a stand-alone building, which was built with the purpose of growing citrus fruit plants and trees. This is where the name comes from of course, as oranges were some of the most popular citrus fruits that were grown in this kind of building, due to the exceptional light and warmth offered by the large windows.
The difference between this kind of structure and a greenhouse is that the orangery is much sturdier and larger, and can be treated as a place to relax rather than simply a place to grow plants. The same is true of the conservatory, which is a structure that also allows for some the same benefits of a greenhouse when it comes to growing plants.
The conservatory differs from the orangery in that it was initially built for the growing of different plants, not solely for cultivating citrus fruits. Various botanicals could be grown in the warmth of a conservatory, but this structure was generally not a stand-alone one, unlike orangeries.
Considering this, the conservatory can be said to often be more inline stylistically with the design of the original property home. It is treated as an actual extension, although it is mainly constructed from glass panels with very little brickwork and small walls to hold window frames.
Orangeries are a little different in that they were often stand-alone structures in their purest form, and therefore required solid brick structure in which glass panels were placed. The modern style of the orangery often reflects this period construction, using far more brickwork than conservatories.
Generally speaking, the orangery is focused on delivering an element of luxury and grandiosity, which can be compared to the conservatory which is a simple but luminous extension of the home. One element which makes orangeries special is the use of brickwork which can add a more luxurious and imposing appearance compared to the conservatory which consists mostly of glass.
Indeed, a conservatory is much more about viewing the garden from a window, whereas the other option is more about creating an impressive structure with a feel of 'Old World Elegance'.
Both of these types of properties are popular today with those looking to extend their properties, with conservatories being an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a view of their garden as much as possible, with the orangery offering a larger, more luxurious and more stylistic alternative.
You choice, therefore, will all depend on what you want to achieve. It should also be considered that as orangeries require more brickwork than the conservatory, they can require more construction work. This can also mean more expense, which is an important factor to consider for many individuals.
Both of these structures have their unique charm, and if you are interested in extending your home with one of them, it is strongly advised to consult with an expert in the design and installation of these structures, as they will give you a better idea of which is better for you.