What Are The Differences Between Orangeries And Conservatories?

If you want to create more space in your home while incorporating a stylish new addition to your home that will allow you to experiment with home interior décor, there is no better method of doing so than by including an orangery or conservatory onto your house. However, deciding which one of these structures you should choose can be a difficult choice, especially when you are not completely aware of the differences between them. Both orangeries and conservatories share several similar yet different qualities that distinguish them from each other. Let’s take a look at their differing history and designs.

Hardwood orangery photo courtesy of Auburn Hill Hardwood orangery photo courtesy of Auburn Hill


Orangeries came to prominence in 17th century Italy, having originated in the gardens of the upper classes where they quickly became a status symbol. However, Italy was not the only European nation whose culture generated orangery designs recognised across the continent, as their most commonly used appearance owes a great deal to the Dutch architects of the period. In fact, the beamed and vaulted solid roofs of Dutch orangeries remain part of their visual aesthetic to this day.
Orangeries were initially intended to be used for the cultivation of citrus trees in an effort to protect them from the harsh climate of European winters. This practice was an immense success and it quickly led to the use of orangeries as a means of assisting the growth of other exotic plants.
The classic orangery design developed further as the years passed with their appearance evolving with the architecture of each era. One of the more famous classic European orangeries is the Musée de l’Orangerie, a 1617 structure situated at the Palace of the Louvre in Paris. The classic orangeries that originated in the 1800s were constructed with particular emphasis on lavish window designs, which English architect Joseph Paxton was the most prolific designer.


Conservatories have overtaken orangeries in contemporary popularity as they offer homeowners the chance to extend their home and gain easier access to their garden without tampering with their existing space; an aspect that provides benefits for the enjoyment of whole families.
Conservatories first became prominent during the 16th century when rich landowning proprietors began using them to cultivate citrus fruits that were native to the Mediterranean, such as oranges and lemons. Comprised mainly of glass, many globally revered conservatories were built during this time, such as the ‘Great Conservatory’ that Joseph Paxton built at Chatsworth House in 1837. This conservatory became neglected during the First World War and was later demolished.
Most contemporary conservatories are designed to appear visually distinct from a modern terraced house. This can be seen in their shape which is reminiscent of classic stately homes. This stands in stark contrast to orangeries which boast an external look that offers little visual distinction from the home, thereby attaining the impression that they are part of the overall design of the house. This difference also gives conservatories an outdoor quality at odds with the home extension tenor of an orangery. Despite their differences both orangeries and conservatories have maintained the ability to successfully achieve their original goal of being used to cultivate varieties of exotic plant life due to the materials used in their construction being ideal for such a practice.

So which do you prefer, orangeries or conservatories?
Comment and let us know why!

For further information, visit http://ahorangeries.co.uk/ or call 01780 400 500.

One Comment

  • Posted March 4, 2016 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    A very informative article.You have mentioned some important points. Nice work. Keep it up.

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