The Victorian conservatory is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as homeowners look to add a classical period extension to their property. With a more sophisticated and ornate appearance, Victorian conservatories create of a truly inspirational new living space within a home.
The lineage of the Victorian conservatory can be traced back to the first Orangeries built on many well-to-do homes during the 1700's, and which were used to grow orange trees utilising heat from the main house. As more exotic plants were brought back from the ever expanding empire, it became important to let as much light in to the conservatory as possible.
Around the same time, the Victorians discovered how to produce glass economically and by the late 1800's, the Victorian conservatory had become a must have addition for the most discerning homeowners. Enterprising as ever, the Victorians found new uses for the conservatory with it becoming a place for relaxation and entertainment.
To cater for all these different requirements, a Victorian conservatory is characterised by a multi-faceted front similar to a bay window. This creates a much squarer ‘room' shape that both the Victorians and modern homeowners find most practical, for example, it is more suitable for modern furniture design and layout.
If you're looking to replicate the look of a Victorian conservatory, here are some factors worth considering:
- 1. Low maintenance
Homeowners prefer the beautiful proportions of a Victorian conservatory, but not the high maintenance that the original timber designs were often associated with. That's why most choose a low-maintenance material such as PVC-U, which creates the aesthetics of a Victorian conservatory, without the need to continually re-paint!
Tip: Make sure there is a good colour match across all the different components – the best suppliers can guarantee this but others, which buy in the frames and roof from separate manufacturers, cannot – which ends up looking like a bad paint job!
- 2. Check the sight lines
The original Victorian conservatory typically had delicate frames, ornate ridges and large glazed panels to let as much light into the room as possible. It's therefore important to choose a modern equivalent that replicates these slim sight lines and although there are many ranges in the market, few provide this visual effect.
Tip: Always visit the showroom and check that the frames don't look too bulky. If they do, then it won't have the same beautiful aesthetics as an original Victorian conservatory. It will also mean less light will be able to get into your home.
- 3. Size matters
A Victorian conservatory can range in size from 2m x 2m, up to much larger designs with 6m projections reminiscent of the large country-house orangeries of the 19th Century. Whatever size you choose, the squarer proportions and design detail on a Victorian conservatory is the perfect way to bring extra light and space into your home
Tip: Always try to choose the largest conservatory possible as you will appreciate the extra space this give you.
- 4. Life in colour
Dark woodgrain colours were commonly used in the Victorian era, partly because of the exotic hardwood timbers that become available from the new world. For a truly authentic Victorian conservatory look, but without the maintenance issues, ask your supplier for Rosewood or Mahogany finish on your PVC-U.
Tip: Cream was also a popular colour in Victorian times and many conservatory suppliers now offer this.
As all property professionals will tell you, adding extra square footage of living space to your home is one of the best ways of adding value. When it's in the form of a Victorian conservatory that appreciation of an asset is not just financial – it will be loved by your friends and family too.
About the Author
Chris Coxon writes articles for Eurocell which is part of the Tessenderlo Group, a multi-billion-pound global plastics and chemicals group. As UK's market-leading manufacturer and distributor of quality pvc-u profiles, customers can be sure to receive expertise and resources of highest standard. Explore a selection of products ranging from Upvc Conservatory alternatives such as the Victorian conservatory to lean to conservatory solutions, Upvc fascias and rain water systems.
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