Sunday, October 12, 2008

What is a Conservatory? What are the different styles of a Conservatory?

A Conservatory or greenhouse as it is generally called, is a glass and metal structure traditionally found in the garden of a large house, but can also be built as an extension to the main structure of the house. The traditional nineteenth century conservatories were large greenhouses used for growing tender and rare plants, and sometimes for birds and rare animals.

Small garden Conservatories became popular in the second half of the twentieth century, as greenhouses, for conserving plants, and for recreational purposes, as a solarium or sunroom. Conservatories are also often used as an extra room rather than for horticulture. Most modern conservatories are small, due to space constraints, and can be made of PVC, wood, and glass, and are added to houses and gardens for home improvement purposes, and recreation or leisure.

Conservatories can be built in different shapes, styles, and sizes and building or adding a conservatory to your home is a relatively simple way to increase the habitable space in your home. You can either build your own conservatory with a DIY kit or hire someone to custom build it for you. Some of the different styles are as follows:

Gable Front Conservatory
The gable conservatory is a light and modern conservatory that brings your garden into your home. A Gable Front Conservatory is recognizable from its rectangular floor plan and triangular frontage. A major feature of this style is that the front elevation windows extend to meet the apex of the roof. This helps to maximize the feeling of light and space and create a feeling of great height within the conservatory.

P-Shape ConservatoryA P-Shaped conservatory refers to the floor plan of the conservatory in which the vertical line of the P will usually be a lean-to design structure attached to the property, while the semi-circle of the P could be a Victorian or Edwardian design in harmony with the lean-to part of the conservatory. Bespoke conservatories, such as a P-Shape offer increased flexibility in design and increased usability.

Victorian Conservatory
The Victorian is the most popular style of conservatory, thanks to its impressive versatility and its ability to complement most types of property. It can be distinguished by its steeply pitched roof and its use of ornate detailing along the roof's center apex (called the ridge). Victorian conservatories have 3 or 5 facets, these are the angles of the conservatory that give it a curved appearance and provide maximum space.

Edwardian Conservatory
An Edwardian (also referred to as Georgian) style of conservatory is similar to a Victorian. The main difference being a rectangular floor plan which maximizes the use of internal space. Edwardian conservatories are more understated in design and therefore detract less from the visual impact of the main property.

If you need more space and do not want the hassle of moving to a another house with some greenery around, then adding a conservatory to your home could be a perfect and cost effective solution. A conservatory will provide an elegant addition to your home and will become the center of summer activity.

You can find more information on building your own conservatory or sunroom in a suitable style at or

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