From the leaves falling and changing colour, to native wildlife preparing for colder months, it’s the season of harvest, pumpkins and bonfires. An orangery, with such an abundance of glazing, provides the ideal space to relax and enjoy the changing of the seasons.
An orangery, or a conservatory for that matter, can be purposed in a variety of ways, and you’ll want to be able to utilise the space as much as possible throughout the year. As beautiful as a glazed extension is throughout the bright and warm summer season, with a little preparation and adjustment to the decor, they can be enjoyed all year round.
Plan during the design stages
When designing your bespoke glazed extension, it’s important to consider its use throughout the entire year. Although there is little issue heating the space during the warmer, sunnier months, the transition into autumn needs consideration.
Standard radiators are less favoured in modern glazed extensions, due to taking up wall space and making both interior design and furniture arrangement more troublesome.
Designer radiators, however, are more popular as they are available in a range of different styles and sizes. From functional radiator benches, to vertical styles that could be mistaken for works of art, there are plenty to choose from that will be a welcome addition to your room from both a practical and style point of view.
Underfloor heating is always a popular choice too as it distributes heat evenly, creating a steady, comfortable temperature. Although this could be added as an afterthought, planning it in from the outset is a much better course of action.
Fireplaces and log burners can create a cosier feel throughout the colder months, but adequate ventilation must be installed, so speak with your designer early on if these are your preferred heating methods. The benefit of both of these heat sources is that they also create a focal point for furniture which is visually appealing.
You can also make other design choices to achieve a more homely and inviting feel. When planning an extension, it’s often assumed that straight walls are best, but in actual fact, planning in some recesses and alcoves can make a room more interesting. You could factor in built-in shelving, which also needs discussing early in the design stages due to requiring a solid wall, rather than glazed.
Remember to create a room that’s designed for use, not simply a walkthrough space.
Autumn interior decor
Ensuring that your orangery or conservatory is designed to accommodate year-round use is an important baseline. However, making smaller interior changes as the seasons progress can help optimise the space for the new period.
Switching out your cotton and linen soft furnishings in favour of heaver-weight textures such as cashmere and merino wool knits, chunky woven fabrics, and luxurious velvets, can help enhance the warm, homely feel of the room. You may choose to add a large, soft rug and some extra blankets or throws to accommodate the colder evenings.
Updating your colour scheme is also a change-up that can help you feel at one with the changing seasons: opt for autumnal hues like burnt oranges, ochre, mustard, and plum. These muted tones are known to work well together as they do in nature, so there is no need to be too matchy: play around and have fun with all of the autumnal shades.
Similarly, plain fabrics are calming and cooling in summer but autumn and winter call for more robust patterns. Opt for contrasting braids, checks, tartans and tweeds in cushions to create a relaxed and cosy seating area.
Wreaths and garlands are no longer decorative items reserved for Christmas. Made out of leaves and berries, and natural materials, like woven wicker, these can be incorporated into a room over fireplaces, around lighting, and above significant pieces of furniture and wall art to seamlessly blend the outdoors with the in.
It’s also important to consider the best type of lighting for the space. Adding multiple light sources gives the homeowner the option to create different ambiences as the light fades and the room is used for different purposes. Consider uplights, downlights, floor lamps, table lamps, wall lights and picture lights, all preferably with warm-toned dimmable light bulbs for a multitude of options.
Often used by massage therapists for their soothing and healing properties, investing in good quality candles can also be transformational. They are known to significantly improve health and well-being, as well as relieve stress. A good quality candle will give a room a warm glow as well as the scent giving it a real identity. Different sized candles grouped together can be focal points in their own right but invest in candles with long burn times and those in decorative holders, pots, tins and lanterns for the best effect.
Certain plants are ideal to house inside during autumn, and having living flowers and foliage within your space can help boost your mental well-being throughout the colder and darker months. Plants such as orchids, peace lilies, monsteras, Christmas cacti and calatheas are good autumnal options for bringing some nature inside the home.
Embrace all seasons
Autumn can be a beautiful time of year, with obvious, rapid changes to the landscape and wildlife as the weeks go by.
A glazed extension can and should be enjoyed all year round. However, it is also the time of year to prep the space for winter so that it operates at peak performance when freezing conditions arrive.