Upcycle Your Conservatory.

Published on 1st October 2014
It could be argued that if there’s one problem with conservatories, it’s that they show their age. It’s not so much that they suffer from wear and tear and lose their structural integrity (although poorly made uPCV structures often do), more that we, as homeowners, don’t really know what to do with them, so the swish new conservatory can soon become a form of domestic time-capsule.

The trick to avoiding the conservatory trap is to treat your extension as you would any other room, working to your own budget and your own needs, following the three Rs.

Revamp – When your conservatory’s decor becomes stale, revamp it. This needn’t involve spending a lot of money; simply having a good clear out and repositioning the furniture can be surprisingly effective. When coupled with a new throw, some cushions and a fresh rug, the whole feel of a conservatory can be changed. Add in some pot plants, an attractive window screen, new lighting, or a piece of feature furniture and the room can become unrecognisable.

Redecorate – Because of the large amount of glass used, it’s commonly believed that conservatories don’t need to be maintained and redecorated. The problem is that in the places where there is no glass, the paint still flakes and mould still forms. Because of the relatively small size however, conservatories can be simple to restyle. Begin as you would with any other interiors project; empty out the furniture and give everything a good scrub down; glazing; frame; supportive walls. If you have a wooden frame, now is good time to re-stain and protect it; polyester powder-coated aluminium frames (such as those used by Apropos) just need a wipe down with soapy water. Then, break out the rollers and tackle the back wall and any other plastered areas. For a completely new look, try adding roof blinds

Restructure – If the structure of a conservatory is unsound or no longer fit for purpose, it’s obviously time to call in the professionals, however while a completely redesigned replacement is a popular option (a bespoke conservatory or extension by Apropos will average around £30,000), if you’re working to a smaller budget, it is also possible to replace key parts, such as the roof glazing.

When working with a larger budget, your scope for improvement is almost unlimited. One of our favourite recent projects at Apropos was this orangery in Murrayfield. The existing structure, a tired old uPVC conservatory, which was showing its age through both its architectural style and thermally inefficient glazing, was rarely used by the homeowners. The new, Apropos structure makes a strongly contrasting aesthetic statement; rather than pretending to be a part of the original house, it stands proud, highlighting its independence, with clean lines, modern materials and a bright, airy design.

Conservatories are often seen as indulgent spaces, great for high-days and holidays, but abandoned in between. If well-maintained however, the conservatory can become a fully integrated part of the home; a convenient, pleasant, usable space, so it’s worth putting some thought into the design and upkeep of yours.

So why not upcycle your conservatory? Get started today by ordering your free Apropos brochure – for inspiration or more extensive work – or request a design consultation to discuss things with our experts. 

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