Conservatory or Orangery?

Conservatory or Orangery?  This is the question…

You are most certainly not alone, if you are unsure about the difference between a Conservatory and an Orangery. Most new enquiries we have ask this question, so hopefully, this will help bring some clarity and direction for your research.


What is an orangery?

Dating back to the 17th - 19th Century, the Orangery was in fact the forerunner to the Conservatory.  The original Orangery or, 'Orangerie', design had large windows and doors within a stone building that provided protection to valuable and exotic plants and fruits (such as Oranges) during the winter months. The Orangery was often referred to as the 'hothouse' and has always been recognised as a sign of prestige and wealth, which hasn’t changed in modern days but withe added benefit of a New Generation Glass WonderGlass to keep the room at an even temperature.


What is a Conservatory?

It is generally accepted that Conservatories  were created as a by-product of Orangeries – the difference being that they were primarily about protecting shrubs and herb plants than fruit. In the 18th century a Dutch scientist pioneered the use of sloping glass to bring in more light for the plants than the tall glass side walls of orangeries. This type of Conservatory was popular in the early nineteenth century, particularly in England due to the love of gardening, and by the end of the century people were also giving them a social use, such as holding tea parties.

The widespread construction of UK Conservatories came to a halt with the onset of World War II. While the advent of insulated glass in the 1950s and 1960s saw the development of simple sunroom structures, it was not until the 1970s that creative architects and builders began to recreate the Victorian styling of 19th century English Conservatories in smaller domestic versions using insulated glass.


Modern Differences

An Orangery is still regarded as a prestigious extension today, and its appeal is just as strong. The modern Orangery is a more substantial structure and has more of a feel of an actual room. It has much heavier framing than the usual Conservatory, with pilasters or posts and sometimes extended brickwork, with a roof lantern surrounded by a plaster ceiling. The emphasis is often about luxury with an Orangery.

In contemporary construction, a Conservatory differs from an Orangery in having more glazing and minimal brickwork. A Conservatory is more often about viewing the garden from a room that feels like a part of the house, a Room Outside!



Traditionally, Orangeries are made from Hardwood Timber, although in recent years PVCu has become popular and for a more contemporary design, Aluminium is also available. Conservatories can also be constructed from any of these materials too.

Room Outside have been supplying conservatories since 1973 and have seen a considerable change in their design and use. No more so, than after 1999 when we introduced to the UK market the first revolutionary solar controlled glass.  This has now been developed further and we believe that our New Generation Glass still leads the field today with its far superior specification, reflecting heat and light back to its source, keeping your glass room warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a result, the Conservatory no longer limits itself to being just a ‘garden room’ to enjoy the views in reasonable weather, but can now be used all year round as a functional room within the home.

We were also pioneers in the UK of the modern day Orangery, supplying tailor-made luxury structures long before they became mainstream. We have seen a significant growth in the popularity of the Orangery with its unique characteristics offering a well-insulated, stylish, bright and light alternative to a standard house extension or Conservatory. They have become a particularly popular choice in the modern trend to create large, open plan kitchens.

We have an extensive gallery of both Conservatories and Orangeries on our website and we have sold more structures in the South than any other Company!

You may wish to have a no obligation appointment with one of our specialised design consultants to see which structure best suits your needs, design and budget.

Contact us on 01243 538 999   Select Option 1

Alternatively, complete our enquiry form or email us direct on