How to Bring the Outside In: Decorating a Conservatory

A conservatory can be a beautiful addition to a home, but as a bland, blank canvas, decorating one can be daunting. A great way to think of a conservatory is as a space where home and garden converge, and with some imagination from both, your conservatory will soon become an inviting and energising place to be.

Hot Stuff

Before you think about decorating, remember that there are some absolute must-haves for your conservatory. Unless you fit blinds, you’ll be getting hot under the collar in little more than a glorified greenhouse, so find a style to suit you and have them professionally fitted. Hot in summer means cold in winter, as glass does not effectively trap heat. Heat will escape a conservatory very easily, so if you plan to use yours all year round, under floor heating is great idea – just be sure to investigate cost and efficiency.

Gone to Ground

Bringing aspects of home and garden together with conservatory flooring is easily achieved. Think ceramic tiling in earthy tones, its cooling qualities being great for a south-facing structure. Wood will give a stunning natural feel to your project, bringing together inside and out very effectively. Budgets must be considered here, and if yours won’t stretch to real wood or stone, do not dismay – simply opt for laminate or vinyl finishes. The best are easily mistakable for the real deal.

A Room with a View

Your conservatory may be constructed from wall-to-wall glass, but if not, it’s time to devise a colour scheme. For the ‘indoor garden’ look, choose neutral colours. Cream shades will warm in winter and cool in summer, and will provide a great base for your decorating. A neutral scheme will also prevent your look from overpowering and jarring with the colours and textures outside in the garden.

Nature’s Way

When choosing furnishings, opt for natural colours and materials, such as dark woods, rattan and wicker. Thinking of your conservatory as an informal ‘garden room’, these shades will complement your cream walls and contrast beautifully with the vibrant greens of indoor planting arrangements. The idea is to create your look so that the eye flows effortlessly from home to garden, so browns, creams and greens will work together perfectly.

Green Fingers

Again thinking practically, it’s likely that you’ll use your conservatory for small garden jobs, especially when the weather dictates. Work this into your decorating by accessorising with attractive garden features – baskets made from natural materials make great display containers, and stone plant pots can be painted to show off pinecones, bulbs and other garden treasures. Accessories should follow the natural theme, so look for those made from wood or stone, and try to stick to pieces that started life outside.

Decorating a conservatory along this theme will ultimately create a light, airy space where you will feel inspired and awakened by nature, whatever the weather is doing outside. Whether you’re popping plants into pots, or relaxing with your feet up, you will be bringing a little of the outdoors in.