Conservatories, garden rooms and orangeries are often beautiful, light-filled living spaces but they can feel pretty cold and unenjoyable as soon as the temperature plummets.
In order to continue using these rooms during autumn and winter, we’ve compiled some practical conservatory decor ideas full of smart tweaks (which can also be applied to an orangery and garden room) to help create a warm and cosy space.
‘Cold weather needn’t mean these rooms should be abandoned. Instead, we update them to make them extra cosy and comfortable to relax in whatever the weather,’ says Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura.
‘Garden rooms and conservatories are a connection between our indoor living space and the outdoors, which is so beneficial for our wellbeing, but these rooms can get chilly, dark and damp as the weather cools down.’
From using a wood burner to styling your room with decorative rugs, there are plenty of ways you can keep your space cosy throughout the colder months. Get some inspiration with these conservatory decor ideas below…
1. Hang curtains or blinds
As well as adding character, curtains and blinds will help your conservatory or garden room to retain heat in the cooler months.
If you’re not sure which style to go for, Catharina suggests: ‘It’s tempting to choose heavy, dark winter curtains, but for longevity, choose a neutral colour that will work all year round. Soft greys, warm yellows or soothing greys all work well. If possible, choose floor-to-ceiling options to retain the most heat, these can be tied back in summer as well.’
2. Warm lighting
Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with beautiful lights. Harsh lighting can be abrasive in the darker months, so opt for floor lamps, hanging fairy lights or table lamps instead.
‘You could add coloured lantern style lighting (red or amber look really inviting) combined with tea lights for a warm, cosy glow,’ adds Catharina. ‘Strings of fairy lights hung strategically can enhance a cosy look. Alternatively, look for lights with a dimmer option so you can adjust the light brightness to suit the required cosy factor.’
3. Decorative rugs
Most garden rooms and conservatories have wooden or tiled flooring, so warm rugs are brilliant for adding warmth underfoot. As well as helping to retain room temperature, they can also help to bring the overall room style together.
When it comes to pattern, Catharina explains: ‘A bold print rug, such as decorative Indian style, can look great combined with more laid-back interiors, but play around with shape, colour, texture and size to find the right look for the space. Rug wall hangings can also look stylish and help prevent heat loss through the walls.’
4. Cosy textures
Add an extra of layer of warmth with cosy blankets, cushions and throws — perfect for curling up with.
Catharina adds: ‘Choose warm colours and earthy tones that work well for autumn/winter, such as burnt orange, moss greens and warming terracotta. Go for textures that are soft and woolly for the most cosy look. If your sofa or armchairs are looking a little tired, an instant way to update them is to add throws. Your furniture will look brand new, without a hefty price tag.’
5. Minimise draughts
Eliminate cold draught and slow down heat loss with a draught excluder. Most heat escapes from door and window frames, so place draught excluders around these areas to ensure you’re keeping heat in and the cold out. It’s perfect to consider if your garden room or conservatory is feeling chilly.
6. Invest in a wood burning stove
Wood-burning stoves are a more expensive purchase, yes, but they’ll heat your room in an instant. ‘A wood burning stove can be a great focal point for your garden room through the winter, as well as providing the much-needed warmth. If space is tight look for a compact stove that doesn’t overpower the room,’ advises Catharina.
‘For fitting into an existing chimney breast you could consider an insert stove, and if you want a statement stove that can be positioned anywhere in the room, opt for a freestanding stove. Burning logs from scented trees such as apple or cherry gives off wonderful wood and fruit scents, so add these varieties to your log basket for use throughout autumn and winter.’
7. Accessories and scents
Get your home set for the season ahead with autumnal wreaths, sweet-smelling candles and accessories such as conkers, fir cones and dried flowers.
‘Plants and flowers can instantly lift a tired room and give it a new lease of life. For autumn/winter, look to add warm toned flowers such as copper coloured chrysanthemums, red roses and red berries for a boost of colour,’ adds Catharina.
You might be indoors but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the outdoors in with bulbs. For winter rooms, Catharina suggests narcissus and hyacinth, as well as herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and dill: ‘You may need to adjust your watering levels to suit colder temperatures and ensure plants get a daily dose of sunshine.’
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