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How to modernise your conservatory

Feeling dissatisfied with your conservatory? It might have a lot to do with its age. It should come as no surprise that old conservatories just don’t work as effectively as shiny new ones. After years of facing the elements, they’re bound to suffer from wear and tear.

While you can get a brand new conservatory (this is definitely the more exciting option), there are a few ways that you can modernise your conservatory to restore it to its former glory.

After all, if you have a conservatory, it would be a great shame to stop using it. Ready for our tips on how to spruce up your space? Read on…

How to modernise your conservatory

Make your conservatory open-plan

Open it up!

Blend your conservatory space with the rest of the house and experience a whole new side to your structure. 

If you never use your conservatory because you feel like it’s ‘cut off’ from the rest of the house, then this might be a particularly useful tip for you. Your perception of your interior layout will completely change (mainly because it has changed) and you’ll no longer see your conservatory as ‘out of the way’ or an anti-social place to sit and relax.

If your conservatory is attached to your kitchen or living room, then you’ll still be able to chat with your family. Plus, you’ll be able to nip in and out with ease. 

It’s hard to deny that an open-plan conservatory is simply much more functional than one that’s closed off. Fancy having a dining room that leads on from your kitchen? Transform your conservatory! Always wanted a quiet reading room leading off from your living room? Now you can create a cosy nook.

Before you get your heart set on going open-plan, you’ll need to take a look at your planning permission requirements.

You might be thinking — I thought you didn’t need planning permission to install a new conservatory? While you are correct (you usually don’t), some changes do require approval.

If you want to remove an external door to make your conservatory open-plan (or install a brand new open-plan conservatory), you will need approval. We won’t bore you with the details here, but if you’d like to find out more — give us a call. We’ve completed countless open-plan projects without running into any planning issues, so we’d be more than happy to run you through the process.


Replace the conservatory roof

If your conservatory is cold and uncomfortable, you might have an old or faulty roof. While conservatory roofs are built to last, once they reach the 15-year mark, draughts and leaks can appear. 

If this is the case, the only way to return your conservatory to its former condition is to restore it.

Luckily, this isn’t too difficult or expensive. We can take a look at your roof and get it up to scratch in no time!

Have you noticed moss or algae growing on your roof? Perhaps you’re experiencing cold draughts or noticing more noise pollution? All these things are signs that you should invest in a replacement conservatory roof.

A well-fitted conservatory roof will make your space more enjoyable (and make your structure more energy efficient), so it’s important to choose a reliable provider for the job.

At Otter Windows, we live and breathe conservatories and offer a range of new roof options. Ask us about our glass roofs with UV filters, cost-effective polycarbonate roofs, and tiled or part-tiled roofs. Whatever your priorities, we’ll have a solution for you.


Update old window frames

We’ve mentioned that an old conservatory roof can impact the energy efficiency of your home, but something else can too… That’s right, we’re talking about window frames.

If you know that your windows are over 20 years old or you’re experiencing draughts, condensation problems or leaks, it could be time to invest in new double glazed windows. 

Materials have likely come on a long way since you installed your conservatory and you’ll be delighted at the variety of new glazing options available to you. 

At Otter Windows, we can install panes with UV filters (which help to reduce sun damage to your furnishings). Our self-cleaning windows (that’s right, you heard us correctly!) are also a popular option. Struggle to control the temperature in your conservatory? We have glass that reflects the sun on hot summer days to keep your structure a usable, comfortable space.


Liven up conservatory windows

Even if your conservatory is working as it should and your windows don’t need replacing, you can still change them up to give your interior a fresh new feel.

How long have you had those blinds? Maybe now would be a good time to replace them with a stylish alternative. Injecting some life into your interior design can work wonders if your space is feeling stagnant — don’t underestimate it!

Repurpose your conservatory if you’re no longer using it for its designated function and redesign your space. Choose blinds to match the new decor and rediscover why you got a conservatory in the first place.

Even if you want to keep your conservatory the same, replacing your blinds with similar ones will undoubtedly help to freshen it up. Think about it — your structure is mostly glass panes, so any decorating you would do to walls (if you had them), you’ll need to channel into your blinds and curtains.

Sure, it’s a straightforward tip — but it really does work!


Add exotic plants

Again, if you’re hoping to modernise your conservatory without making any structural changes, brightening up your interior is the way to go.

While this can be a little daunting if you’re not sure about style and are a little concerned about the cost, simply adding some plants is a cost-effective way to (quite literally) bring some life into your conservatory.

Whether you’d prefer a huge Monstera, some sweet orange trees, or a few lively spider plants, most species will suit any decor — so don’t hold back! If you don’t trust yourself with remembering to water them, even hardier plants like cactuses and succulents can look great.

Of course, as conservatories and orangeries were originally designed for horticulture, they’re an ideal place for plants to flourish in the natural warmth and abundant sunlight.

See, you don’t need to be an interior designer to change your space for the better. 


Add corner pillars

If you’re not in the market for replacing your whole conservatory but still want to change the look of your exterior, we recommend that you look into getting some insulative corner pillars installed.

Designed to mimic the aesthetic of Italian Renaissance architecture, these grand, traditional-looking columns will make a bold statement. 


Cosy or statement

Finally, think about whether you want your conservatory to be a cosy corner of your house or a proud statement room. If it’s currently one of these and it’s no longer working for you — switch it to the other!

Maybe you’re not using your calm, minimal space because there isn’t anything drawing you to use it? Or perhaps your designated gym or games room is feeling neglected because you’ve moved on from these hobbies?

Give it some thought and don’t be afraid to make a significant change.


Otter conservatories

Want to discuss your conservatory replacement or upgrade options further? Give us a call or visit us at our Honiton showroom. Whether you’re looking to install a new roof on your existing structure or get a brand new bespoke conservatory, we’d love to help. To see some of our past projects, browse our brochure.

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