Westbury Garden Rooms - Palmers Orangery - Humphrey Munson Blog

The History of the Orangery

After a recent conversation with one of the designers at Westbury Garden Rooms, we thought it would be really interesting to share a little of the history of the orangery. When it comes to designing interiors, light and space are undoubtedly at the top of most people’s wish list. In order to maximise these elements many of our clients choose to incorporate a glazed extension providing additional floor space that is bathed in natural light.

We work on many projects with Westbury Garden Rooms with the majority of clients choosing to commission the design, manufacture and installation of an orangery that in many cases provides additional open plan kitchen, dining and sitting room space. While we tend to think of extensions as a relatively modern way to transform a home, the tradition of updating a home by adding an orangery actually dates back hundreds of years.

Westbury Garden Rooms - Palmers Orangery - Humphrey Munson Blog

In the 17th century, having an orangery suggested prominence and affluence. As far as the aristocracy were concerned, these beautiful rooms added to the sides of their mansions were practically de rigeur. Made from glass, timber and masonry, orangeries were specifically used to protect rare and valuable imported citrus trees throughout the cold British winters, but they also brought a sense of splendour and opulence with their fine structural details and elegant style.

Today, the use of the word “orangery” in the context of contemporary glazed home extensions was first adopted by specialist timber framed manufacturers wishing to differentiate between the common fully-framed and glazed ‘conservatory’.  As popularity for the latter grew during the 1990s, the limit of their capability to satisfy the increasingly onerous requirements of Building Regulations led to a handful of premium suppliers developing designs which still incorporated fully glazed elevations, but with glazed roofs inset from the edges and supported off a perimeter flat roof.

Orangery Kitchen - Humphrey Munson - Westbury Garden Rooms

 The luxurious connotations of an orangery remain, but its function has most certainly evolved bringing endless opportunities to a family home – from bright and airy dining rooms and art studios to spacious living rooms and kitchens that offer impressive views of the garden and beyond.

Orangery Kitchen - Humphrey Munson - Westbury Garden Rooms

Unlike a conservatory, which still has strong horticultural connotations, modern orangeries provide greater opportunities for improved levels of insulation but can also be designed with larger floor plan dimensions without fear of the glazed roof becoming too large and domineering. Bespoke roof lanterns can be fitted to the flat roof instead, creating a range of options with different roof shapes and styles. The orangery extension at this Ashurst House project was designed, manufactured and installed by Westbury Garden Rooms while Humphrey Munson worked on the cabinetry designs for the kitchen, scullery, boot room and utility room.

To contact Westbury Garden Rooms regarding their orangeries, please call 01245 326500 or email info@westburygardenrooms.com.

Images kindly supplied by Westbury Garden Rooms.