A conservatory is a fine addition to any home. It’s a great space to enjoy the sunshine and a good venue for entertaining. However before you splash out at the shops, and deck the space out with new furniture, there are some things you should know.
Rule Number One
The standard conservatory is designed to act as a suntrap and is normally made up of 90% glass. If this sounds like yours, the first thing you need to think about are blinds.
Blinds are absolutely essential. You might like the thought of being exposed to the bright sun, but on baking hot days, blinds will provide you with some welcome shade. They also give you some privacy and security.
Choosing the right blind is not as straightforward as you may think. You have to decide on the material, the colour and whether they should be high-tech and electric or not.
The traditional option, which remains popular, is a wooden roman blind. They are chic, practical and come in a variety of woods. Not always the cheapest option, particularly if you want them installed on the ceiling, but wooden blinds do seem to absorb light and heat well, something that can be a blessing in the warmer months.
Your second options are pleated blinds. Easy to maintain and keep clean, they are available in the widest range of colours and finishes. They are an economical choice and one that will stand the test of time.
Go for neutral colours such as whites and beiges – these will blend in with any colour scheme or fabric combination you choose for the furniture.
The blinds form the foundation of the conservatory interior and can impact the overall direction you want this space to go in so think carefully. Play it safe and go for a neutral colour in an enduring material.
Rule Number Two
Flooring is a major consideration. Do you go for tiled floors because they are easy to keep clean? Or do you want something a little more homely like deep-piled carpeting?
The practical option is obviously a tiled floor. They can be kept clean and if you intend to have a lot of plants in the conservatory, you don’t have to fret about spillages. Tiles also keep cool in the sun, although stepping bare foot on them in winter may provide a shock to the system!
Tiles are cheap, available at any home DIY store and can be fitted by a professional, or, if you are feeling up to it, by yourself.
If you want the conservatory to be more like an extension of your actual home, don’t be afraid to add a natural wood floor or even a carpet.
If you can get it to match the flooring in the other rooms then you will achieve a nice flow within the house. Do be careful though – if your conservatory is single-glazed, it will be prone to condensation and the air may, over time, effect the carpeting.
Rule Number Three
With the blinds and carpeting finalised, the next consideration is furniture. As with the flooring, you must think about the type of conservatory you have before you hit the shops.
Single glazed windows equals condensation and condensation equals damp and mildew. In such cases, your options are limited. You should go only for low absorbent furniture. Basically that means metal and plastic – materials that are not affected by mildew.
Be cautious when thinking about accessories – cushions will absorb the damp and create nasty smells, which over time, will pervade the room.
If you can’t be without those comfy cushions and furnishings, just take them out of the conservatory at night or at particularly wet times of the year. This keeps the comfort factor high and also ensures that those accessories last as long as possible.
Conservatories are a fantastic investment. They extend your home and provide room for entertaining and relaxing. They are truly unique and have special decorating requirements.
Pay attention to these rules – get the right blinds, flooring and furniture and you will create the perfect space for your family.