The extra space and light afforded by an orangery, conservatory or glazed extension really comes into its own when entertaining family and friends over the Christmas period. However, all the glazing can make decorating the room for the festive season a little trickier than other areas of the home.
Here are some of our favourite Christmas decoration ideas for conservatories to inspire you:
Christmas tree – part I
Christmas trees tend to be positioned in the sitting or living room, presumably so that Father Christmas doesn’t have too far to walk from the chimney and so that the family can gather around the fireplace the next morning to open their gifts.
However, our sitting and living rooms tend to be quite warm areas of the home, particularly over Christmas when we light more fires and have log burners on the go. This makes it pretty impractical for Christmas trees as not only does the heat cause the tree to drop its needles but getting the tree out after the festivities creates quite a mess!
How about positioning your tree in your orangery or conservatory? Not only is it easy to get in and out here, but most glazed extensions have hard flooring, so clearing up afterwards is a doddle. However, the biggest plus is that at night time the fairy lights are reflected in the glass, giving the illusion of multiple trees and enhancing the Christmassy feel of your home.
Christmas tree – part II
If your extension has a pretty steep roofline or you’re pushed for space on the floor, you could consider hanging your Christmas tree upside down over the room. The quite recent trend supposedly has its origins in the Middle Ages when Europeans hung trees upside down for religious reasons as they believed it represented the Holy Trinity.
It’s an unusual but dramatic effect that you may have seen work well in shopping centres and large retailers as it really creates a talking point amongst Christmas visitors. Decorations are best hung on short loops so that they still appear to be in the tree rather than hanging down too far from it.
Christmas tree – part III
If you’re simply over pine needles and your faux tree is elsewhere, why not consider a wall-based Christmas tree decoration? Often made from twigs with a modest number of fairy lights, these wall trees are really understated and unique and do not require any jiggery-pokery with existing furniture.
Bays add a classic elegance
Bay trees often adorn French doors as part of an orangery or conservatory and given the origins of these rooms, they look quite at home too. If you’re looking for an elegant update, consider adding some simple fairy lights on a timer or a large Christmas bow to the stems of your trees. Wide florists’ ribbon tends to work best here as the edges are wired which helps the bow retain its shape.
Make the most of the glass!
Why not make use of the glass itself to bring a little festive cheer to the room? Spray-on snow is a great way to adorn windows and doors and if you’re not feeling very artistic, you can purchase all sorts of templates and stencils to get your decorations spot on.
Many orangery and conservatory owners choose to hang a chandelier or similarly eye-catching centrepiece from the middle of their room. This could also be a location for the customary bows of mistletoe. Rather than buy just a few branches, consider making a feature of this decoration and going all out to create a huge orb of this festive plant.
Over-sized flower arrangements
One of the simplest and most effective ways to transform a room is with a display of flowers. We’re not just talking about adding a few poinsettias here and there but consider talking to your local florist about creating a really stunning architectural arrangement to add high drama to a room. Think about including seasonal items in the display such as decorations, pine cones and candles to create structure and wow-factor.
As orangeries and conservatories are very much about blurring the boundaries between inside and out, try using natural materials like a holly garland draped around the top of the walls, just below the glazing. Not only is it synonymous with Christmas and can be seen from all angles, but as with the mistletoe, the garlands also don’t interfere with anything at ground level therefore it could be a winner for owners of ‘helpful’ pets too. Consider using a similar garland for your fireplace and staircase too to create a seamless look throughout your home.
Who made up the rule that Christmas wreaths are only for the front door? If you’re back or side door is on view then consider hanging a wreath here too. And it doesn’t have to be on the outside – adding it to the inside of the door means the family can enjoy it too.
Use the outdoors
If you’re a bit of a minimalist and don’t like to go all-out at Christmas, you might prefer your decorations outside. Why not consider a tasteful wicker or rattan reindeer with appropriate uplighting or an outdoor Christmas tree. After all, one of the reasons you probably chose an orangery was to enjoy the outdoors all year round!
Similarly, a winter patio can be fairly bereft of interest, so speak to a gardener about creating a second set of winter planters and pots which contain evergreen foliage, bright flowers and vibrant berries. For example, Wintergreen is a naturally festive-looking plant with neat leaves and large red berries. Cyclamens also bring festive cheer with their upright stems and bright petals.
However you choose to decorate your glazed extension this year, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas.