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A storied tradition

Words by Hannah Tapping.


Adding elegance and flair one pane at a time, an orangery can elevate your home in more ways than one.



If you’ve been dreaming of adding a sunroom to your property, you might be wondering about the key differences between a conservatory and an orangery. Both of these home extensions promise to bring the outdoors in, flood your space with natural light, and create a seamless connection between your interior and the world outside. However, there are subtle yet significant distinctions to consider, ranging from costs to design preferences.

Originally crafted in Renaissance Italy to shelter delicate orange and lemon trees during the winter, an orangery is characterized by its glass roof, which typically covers less than 75% of the total roof area, and glass walls that account for less than 50% of the total wall area.


Typically, an orangery boasts a lantern-shaped roof or a flat roof with a lantern rooflight, complemented by brick pillars or timber pilasters in the corners. These structures were traditionally seen as glamorous additions to homes and are particularly suited to a home with a more traditional architectural style, however, a more modern take on an orangery is perfectly possible with a minimalistic aesthetic whilst still retaining the classic features.



When deciding which to choose, it’s worth considering your specific needs and usage for the extra space. Are you looking to enhance your garden view or boost your property’s resale value? Often orangeries are designed as a light-filled extension to create an open plan kitchen/dining area. Orangeries tend to add more value to your home, but that shouldn’t be the sole factor influencing your decision. Instead, focus on what will genuinely enhance your quality of life.


At Philip Whear, which has been running since 1985, the orangery designs are fully bespoke with a choice of uPVC, timber or aluminium construction, and an in-house paint booth, so colour and style is also fully customisable. Customers are able to have as much or as little input to every element of the design, and the highly experienced sales designers are always on-hand for guidance. Huge technological advances in the glass industry mean these rooms are well insulated, keeping the heat out in summer but in during winter. The experienced team handle all elements of the build, from the masonry right through to the finished product, which comes with a ten-year guarantee.


Over the coming pages, we showcase some of Philip Whear’s exquisite designs, with many more available to view in the extensive showroom.



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