If you’ve spent happy hours in the conservatory over the summer, losing the space and light of an extra room can be a sad prospect. Cosy up the conservatory for autumn and winter, though, and it can be a fantastic dining or relaxing space even in the colder months.
Pic: Ludlow Stoves
Heat the space with a stove
What better way to make a winter conservatory a welcoming place than with a stove? As well as bringing up the temperature of the room so it’s a comfortable place to sit, a roaring fire will give it a focal point when the view to the garden’s not at its best.
Bear in mind that it’s vital to bring in a qualified installer to make sure any stove is safe and that it provides the right heat output for the room. Find a competent person via HETAS, which approves solid fuel heating appliances and registers installers and servicers.
Pic: Farrow & Ball
Think conservatory colour schemes
Warmth is in the eye as well as other senses when we’re talking home design, so take a look at your conservatory’s colour palette. Wooden conservatories with window frames painted in white will look chilly once the days are shorter. Consider new shades for the woodwork to adjust the thermostat visually. We like soft blues like the shade above – when you’re choosing look for a blue that tends towards greens rather than violets as it’ll feel warmer.
Worried a winter-warming colour won’t look right when the summer comes round again? Don’t fret. A gentle blue or green will blend beautifully with any flowers or foliage around the conservatory when the garden’s in bloom.
Pic: Dash & Albert Europe
Warm up underfoot
Garden rooms are usually fitted with easy to clean and hard wearing flooring that’ll stand up to the whole family moving to and from the garden. It’s flooring that feels pleasantly cool when the mercury rises, too. Come winter, though, and tiles and other functional floorcoverings aren’t kind to the feet.
Transform a cold conservatory floor with a generous rug that’ll put a warm barrier between you and a chilly floor. Go for a design made to stand up to foot traffic and dirt. Indoor-outdoor rugs can be vacuumed as normal, but are made to be scrubbable so any mud transported from the garden’s easy to remove. They come in colours and patterns that are just as gorgeous as those you’d pick for other rooms, though, so a practical solution needn’t compromise the décor.
Get cosy on seating
Chosen conservatory furniture that’s woven from rattan or wicker? Included a sofa in pale shade? Now’s the time to give summery furniture a quick makeover with throws that spell warmth and softness when you take a seat. Plaids look cheerful and faux fur will appeal to the sense of touch as well. As for materials, think wool in chunky knits rather than cotton.
Dining chairs needn’t miss out on the treatment either, if your room’s a place to eat. Take a leaf out of the Scandinavians’ book and dress chairs with sheepskins. Lookalikes are more practical and affordable than the genuine article and aren’t hard to track down in DIY sheds.