History tells us that the first conservatories date back to the Roman Empire, but the modern conservatory was first crafted in the 16th century by English aristocracy. Seeking to grow the exotic fruits and spices that tradesmen brought with them from India, Asia and Africa, glass conservatories were a status symbol among the wealthy and a place to entertain at home. Orangeries, as they were called, were filled with tropical plants and citrus trees that otherwise wouldn’t survive in cold climates.
The conservatories of today are more versatile, family oriented living spaces. They are glass enclosed breakfast nooks, playrooms, and lounging areas that allow the stunning views of nature to be enjoyed from the comfort of the indoors. Finely crafted of mahogany or aluminum, a well-built conservatory can be enjoyed in all four seasons, remaining cool on the hottest days and warm in the coldest of winters. Moisture, temperature and sunlight are carefully regulated by automated vents, heating and cooling systems, and solar glass.
Coordinating the style of the existing structure with the design of a conservatory is essential. A seamless addition takes into account the architectural design of the entire house, and balance is achieved when the conservatory is effortlessly defined as its own space without detracting from the rest of the home. Creating a conservatory is not limited to an entire home renovation; an interior room can be transformed into a sun-soaked space with glass walls, windows and skylights. Our Gallery offers some wonderful examples of these options.
Custom homebuilders have more flexibility when deciding the optimal location for their conservatory. Conservatory designs can be adapted to accommodate the slope of the property, orientation to the sun, and the outdoor views surrounding the space. The timeless elegance of a conservatory is emphasized by interior design options that not only compliment the room, but provide protection against weather and time. Shades and blinds are not only decorative, but also help keep the conservatory cool by limiting sun exposure. Customization with conservatory accessories such as leaded glass, specialty muntins and mirage screens offer character and distinction.