Conservatory interior ideas

Written by kim hoyum

The interior of a conservatory can be difficult to design and decorate, because conservatories, or sunrooms, comprise mostly windows on one or more walls. This creates a feeling of openness and light, which is pleasing to most homeowners, but presents a few interior design challenges. Keeping the room uncluttered and stylish can be accomplished with some of these design ideas.

Victorian

The conservatory, or sunroom, was popularised in the Victorian era, as it became de rigueur to grow exotic tropical plants in a hothouse-type indoor environment. One idea for designing the interior of your conservatory is to take a Victorian period approach. Because the room's function is to nurture plants and host guests, fill the corners with potted plants of your choosing. Pretty pots or tables to display them can take on a Victorian look through highly decorative patterns and dark colours. Drape windows with sheer fabric to keep light flowing throughout the room, and use Oriental-patterned area rugs to warm the room. Adding window seats with cushions make the interior reader- or kid-friendly, and Victorian notes such as carved wood finials or pinstriped cushions add an old-fashioned authenticity to the conservatory.

Garden

Whether your inspiration is the French countryside, English garden decor or your own backyard, a garden-inspired conservatory will add a space that is open, natural and fresh by bringing the outdoors inside for your enjoyment. White-painted furniture is a classic garden piece, but blues, yellows and greens also are great for this decor style and fit a conservatory interior perfectly. Chandeliers, topiaries, toile prints and birdcages all add whimsy and charm to a garden-style conservatory. Or, use classic English-style elements, such as leather, oak and comfortable plush sofas, to turn your sunroom interior into a cosy gathering spot for family and guests. For a serious garden atmosphere, install latticing panels above key pieces of furniture, doors or windows. You also can bring garden furniture inside with wooden, wicker or stone tables and chairs.

Modern

A more modern sunroom interior can be achieved through simplicity. Rather than incorporating floral patterns or ornate decoration, go with clean lines, pure colours and a limited palette. White-on-white is both modern and airy for a conservatory interior, while filling the room with glass and metal is a very urban, contemporary contrast to the traditional purpose of the room. If the rest of your house is decorated in a modern style, keep the same feel in your conservatory, but use a contrasting, attention-getting colour like Chinese red or deep plum that will benefit from all the light and air the room provides. Sleek Swedish furniture in a neutral colour can bring together a modern look paired with bold-framed mirrors to reflect light around the conservatory. Roman shades in sturdy fabric and a complementary hue are elegant and functional.

Mediterranean

A warm terracotta tile floor is a great start to an Italian-, Greek- or Spanish-inspired conservatory interior. Add simple white linen curtains, blue enamelware or ceramic pottery accents, and rustic wooden or metal furniture for an indoor-outdoor Mediterranean conservatory look. Sunswept colours such as dusty red or bleached yellow are great for walls or accents, while natural fabrics like jute, hemp and cotton add authenticity and an Old-World feel. Add ironwork candleholders and wall art for a rustic feel, and use potted, fragrant herbs in washed clay pots to add a green touch to corners. A Roman-style chaise longue adds elegance and relaxing seating, while soft pillows in warm colours welcome those entering the room. An indoor fountain tiled in mosaic fashion is a great idea to add a Mediterranean feel to your conservatory, giving the feeling of a city square.

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