It is a common question that many people have when they begin considering an extension to their home – what is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery? Those looking to expand their home to include an open, bright space are likely to have encountered both during their research. Initially, it can be difficult to distinguish between one from the other as there are a number of similarities between them. However, there are also a myriad of subtle differences between conservatories and orangeries that homeowners may wish to know about before they decide which type of extension to get for their home.

Before we launch into these differences, it is important to know the history. Orangeries were originally built to grow citrus trees during winter months between the 17th and 19th centuries. They were, therefore, luxurious additions to a home. Today, an orangery is not commonly used for this purpose, but they do maintain their luxury – and this is where the differences begin to emerge.

Orangeries are designed to be elegant made from materials like timber, brick and commonly distinguished by their glass roof. Aluminium and uPVC are more commonly applied to conservatories instead. Where conservatories differ from this are not just the materials used, however. It’s also the way they are used. While conservatories are made to feel like an additional room on your house, furnished in the same way, orangeries are made to stand alone. They will not always share the same design features, nor will they share the aesthetic and colour tone.

The differences between a conservatory and an orangery are very nuanced, maybe even unnoticeable to some people. However, depending on what kind of extension you want for your home – whether you want another room to add on to the house or a singular, more private space – customers may wish to consider the pros and cons of both respective designs.