Conservatories have horticultural roots, yet today have evolved into light-filled spaces with a variety of uses from living rooms to kitchen extensions. Amelia Thorpe explores eight exciting possibilities.

Plant life (pictured above)

Whatever the weather, enjoy the garden year-round from the comfort of a bespoke glass-and-steel-grey-aluminium extension by Apropos, prices from £15,000 (0800 328 0033; http://www.aproposconservatories.co.uk)


Light flow

Internal bronze doors allow light to flow from the orangery into the interior of the house and the double glazing of the doors helps keep warmth inside during the winter months. £6,000 for a two-door set, Architectural Bronze Casements (0845 600 0660; http://www.bronzecasements.com)


Cotswold charm

A good example of creating more space for dining and entertaining, this orangery has bi-fold doors that open to create an almost seamless connection with the beautiful garden. It’s finished in a soft cream shade to perfectly complement the sandy-coloured Cotswold-stone surroundings. About £90,000, from David Salisbury (01278 764444; http://www.davidsalisbury.com)


Approved choice

Adding a conservatory or garden room to a listed or historic property can present its challenges, so it may be worth seeking out a company experienced in statutory consent processes, such as Hampton Conservatories. The bespoke orangery shown here costs £130,000 (020–3613 0511; http://www.hamptonconservatories.co.uk)


Natural selection

An oak structure can blend naturally into garden surroundings and this bespoke orangery with both bi-fold and French doors offers a good sense of flow between inside and outside spaces. From £40,000, Prime Oak (01384 296611; http://www.primeoak.co.uk)


Green view

This classic conservatory is made from solid Sapele hardwood with maintenance-free aluminium cappings and painted a soft green to blend well with the garden surroundings and old stone of the house. Although traditional in design, it features modern temperature control, including underfloor heating and thermostatically controlled roof vents that open and close automatically. Made by The Caulfield Company, prices from £25,000 (0113–387 3118; http://www.caulfieldcompany.co.uk)


Entertaining set

Proof that a conservatory can provide invaluable additional living and dining space, adjacent to the kitchen, comes in the form of this elegant Georgian timber design, painted in Porcini, from Vale Garden Houses. Prices from £40,000 (01476 564433; http://www.valegardenhouses.co.uk)


Roof top

Previously an open roof terrace subject to the vagaries of the British weather, a lantern roof and full-height glazed doors and windows make this space into an elegant and comfortable orangery, perfect for entertaining and enjoying the roofscape views. Westbury Garden Rooms, prices from £45,000 (01245 326500; http://www.westburygardenrooms.com)