The glass pyramid in the courtyard at the Louvre museum in Paris is a striking architectural feature. It measures 70 feet high and 116 feet wide and is made up of glass triangles and diamonds. This unique conservatory acts as an entrance to the museum, a reference to the Egyptian exhibits inside and a visitor attraction in its own right.
Like the Louvre pyramid, a conservatory can have many functions. Considering a conservatory as an addition to your home? Here’s how to create a home conservatory to make the most of your garden and outdoor space.
What Can a Home Conservatory Do For You?
A conservatory is an amazingly versatile addition to your home. It can be so many things. It’s important to plan what you want to use it for because this can dictate how you design and construct it.
A conservatory can be an additional living space as an extension of an existing living room or an alternative living room. It can be a dining area, seating area or games room. It can be a way of bringing the outdoor garden space into the indoor living space.
Do You Need Planning Permission?
If you are building an extension to your house or making any changes to it, you may need planning permission. If you progress with work which requires planning permission without first obtaining it you are committing an offence. Breaches of planning laws can lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment.
Some conservatories don’t need planning permission so they can be a way of adding living space and improving your home without the hassles of making a planning application. Contact your local authority for advice on what kind of developments will need planning permission and which don’t.
Design and Style
The term “conservatory” is sometimes applied rather loosely to a number of different features. Conservatories, orangeries, and loggia all provide a way of extending your home and providing a light-filled space. With modern construction methods, they can be warm in winter and cool in summer.
Building a conservatory that will add value and appeal to your home starts with considering what will be the appropriate style. A modern home will suit a modern conservatory design but a period home may not. Use your home as the reference and benchmark for deciding the proportions, materials, colours and features of your conservatory.
Orientation and Context
As well as matching your house, a new conservatory has to fit into the external space too. Consider what difference the addition of a conservatory will make to your garden space. Does it enhance the home and garden space or does it diminish it?
Think about where the sun shines on the garden. What difference will the conservatory make to this? How will surrounding trees affect the light on the conservatory?
South facing conservatories will have lots of natural light but you will need to ensure you incorporate materials that help reduce overheating. An east facing conservatory will capture morning light but might be a dull room in the afternoon. A west facing conservatory may make a lousy breakfast room.
Use Your Imagination
Go ahead with constructing a home conservatory only after you’ve used your imagination to explore how you intend to use it. These daydreams will inform so much of the decision making about the design.
Here are more ideas for bringing the outside, inside your home.