One of the things we find ourselves being asked quite often is – what exactly is an orangery?

And it’s a question we’re getting more and more as orangeries start to outpace conservatories in popularity.

The word has been used to describe a variety of structures, most of which are quite different from the seventeenth century’s classical orangeries. So perhaps the confusion isn’t that surprising.

Historical orangeries

To really answer the question What is an orangery? you need to go back a few hundred years to 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, when orangeries first started appearing in the grounds of grand houses. And, as the name suggests, they were used above all for the overwintering of citrus trees and other delicate plants that couldn’t otherwise withstand the British climate, in tubs.

Originally conceived in Italy and adapted in Holland, the earliest orangeries were a real status symbol.

The orangery today

In its simplest terms, the orangery today can be described as a room with a glazed lantern fitted into a flat roof. The lantern adds the appearance of height to give a spacious, open feel.

It differs from a conservatory in that the latter is fully glazed, with roof beams going right to the edge.

Today’s orangery could have any combination of windows, doors and masonry – and doors could be French or bifolding, for example.

While conservatories use minimal brickwork, and are about creating a complete extension of the main house, orangeries tend to be bigger, and have more brickwork.

Finally, while both types of extension can use modern glass technology and double glazing for climate control, orangeries do tend to be of a timber construction, whereas conservatories will come in a variety of materials from uPVC to aluminium as well as wood.

We find our customers love their orangeries because of the versatility of these structures. Whether you’re after a study, dining room, kitchen extension or just some general extra living space, for family or for entertaining, an orangery fits the bill and can be adapted to suit your lifestyle.

An orangery adds value to you home as well as giving you extra space and, above all, being extremely elegant.

So, next time someone asks you What is an orangery? you’ll know the answer!

At Oasis Windows, our clients from Uckfield to Hastings love our orangeries, and we’re getting more enquiries about these home improvements all the time. Get a free, no obligation quote for one of Sussex orangeries today.