In recent years, you may have heard the term ‘orangery’ creep into conversations about home improvements. And while, on the surface, conservatories and orangeries are similar in both appearance and function, there are a number of key differences. So, what is the difference between a conservatory and an orangery? And which is right the right choice for your home?
What is an Orangery?
Orangeries first appeared in the UK in the 17th and 18th centuries and were originally used, as the name suggests, to house exotic plants and fruits appearing in the UK as a result of the growing discovery of the world. At the time, they were status symbols, often grand and impressive buildings built within the grounds of stately homes. The buildings were largely made of glass in order to allow in the amount of light required for tropical plants to flourish.
A contemporary orangery is a structure built in a similar design to traditional orangeries, but for leisure and recreation purposes.
The key differences
There are a great many similarities between a modern orangery and a conservatory. They are both additional rooms built onto a house; both are constructed primarily of glass; and both are used mainly as an additional room in the home. However, as an orangery is designed in the style of a traditional orangery, there are a number of key differences in the style of the structure.
While both a conservatory and orangery are constructed mainly with large glass panels, an orangery makes use of more brick or timber work. A conservatory tends to be constructed of large glass panels which often reach from the ground to the ceiling and are joined by only a window frame, while an orangery is often constructed using a brick base and with large windows set between brick or timber pillars.
Pitched vs flat roof
Conservatories generally have a pitched roof, whereas an orangery generally has a flat roof, with a central spire or pyramid.
Which should you choose?
So which is the right structure for your home? Ultimately, the decision comes down to a design choice and which you feel fits your home the best. Because of the flat roof of an orangery, you also tend to get more of an enclosed feeling, compared to a brighter and more airy feeling from a conservatory. This can affect the function of the room – for instance, a conservatory will provide an outdoor living space for the summer months, while an orangery can be more effective for relaxing or entertaining all year round.
If you are still unsure about which is the right choice for your home, take a look at Progress Window’s range of conservatories and orangeries on our conservatories page.