There are several key differences between orangeries and conservatories, including their roof construction, wall design, purpose, and more. Orangeries are typically more of an extension of your existing home, and conservatories are a great way to enjoy natural light and the outdoors.

Adding natural light to a property and being able to extend its living space have become two common goals for homeowners.

A couple of popular ways to achieve these aspirations have historically been to either install an orangery or a conservatory. Whilst they may look similar, as mentioned above there are several key differences between the two that could well make one more suited to your home than the other.

But which would be the better fit for you? This blog will help you find out.

What is an Orangery?

Orangeries are often referred to as the perfect blend between a conservatory and an extension.

They rose to prominence in 17th-century Italy, before making their way to the UK in the 18th century, primarily serving as a greenhouse to grow citrus fruits and other exotic plants on fruit trees, whilst being a status symbol.

In the modern day, they’re distinct due to their solid brick base and walls, enabling superb insulation.

They typically have large windows and a flat roof with a central glazed lantern to allow as much natural light in as possible and are usually south-facing to maximise this exposure.

White uPVC orangery

What are the benefits of Orangeries?

Increased living space

Orangeries provide valuable extra room to your home, space that is usable all year round thanks to their insulation.

This additional space can be used however you desire, with a work-from-home office, kitchen, second living room, or even a swimming pool being popular options.

Enhanced natural light

A welcome middle ground between the indoors and outdoors, the large windows and lantern roof allow natural light to flow into your home with abundance.

This creates a bright and airy feel, and truly brings the outdoors in, particularly during those beautiful Devon sunrises.

Increased property value

As well as the immediate benefits that orangeries treat you with, you’ll also be reaping the rewards for decades to come.

Orangeries are considered a desirable addition to any home, and as a result significantly increase the value of a property, often by 7-11% – showcasing that you’re better off viewing it as a long-term investment than a short-term hit.


Another way that orangeries can help you financially is by reducing your energy bills.

The combination of solid brick walls and high-quality glazing means that they retain heat well, with the glazing allowing for passive solar heating in the colder months, resulting in there being less of a need to turn up the heating or use a costly electric heater.

In the summer, you have the ventilation possibility of opening windows and doors.

Orangery interior with a full glass roof

What is a Conservatory?

A conservatory is a room or building featuring glass walls and a roof, attached to the side of a house.

Around 18% of UK households now have a conservatory, and they are predominantly used as additional living space, though sometimes the amount of glass involved makes them effective greenhouses.

An example of a conservatory can be seen below.

White upvc conservatory with a grey tiled roof

What are the benefits of Conservatories?


As is the case for orangeries, the additional space provided by a conservatory can be utilised for a whole host of purposes.

Depending on your desires and requirements, conservatories can often be used as a living room, utility area, home office, play area, a spot for relaxation, gym, or anything your imagination conjures.

Nature connection

Given that the walls and roof are predominantly glass, conservatories are an excellent way to enjoy the feeling of the great outdoors, whilst still being protected from the elements.

This can be particularly beneficial on rainy days, where you still want to enjoy the feel of outdoor life – and on a sunny day, you can’t beat South Devon!

Planning permission

This is the case with orangeries too, as they nor conservatories require planning permission the majority of the time.

As a result, both are a more straightforward option than a traditional home extension.

Energy efficiency

Modern conservatories are designed to be energy efficient, with double-glazed windows and insulated roofs.

This means they can help to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, saving you money on those energy bills.

Interior view of an extension's lantern roof

What is the difference between orangeries and conservatories?

You may have noticed that a few of the above benefits are applicable for both orangeries and conservatories, so that begs the question, what are the differences?

Roof Construction

  • Orangery: Usually has a solid roof with a central glazed lantern allowing light in. This creates a more traditional, insulated space, feeling more like an extension of the home than a separate part.
  • Conservatory: Typically, conservatories feature a fully glazed roof, often with a high arch for maximum sun exposure. This creates a bright, airy feel.

Purpose and Design

  • Orangery: More of an elegant, luxurious extension than an additional space, orangeries are most commonly used as a living room, dining room, or general entertainment space and strike the best of both worlds when it comes to natural light and a comfortable environment for all year-round use.
  • Conservatory: Viewed more as a means to enjoy the outdoors and natural light, conservatories have a strong connection to the outside, meaning they’re perfect if you’re prioritising feeling outdoors inside your home.

Wall Composition

  • Orangery: Has more substantial brick walls with large windows, offering a more solid and permanent feel.
  • Conservatory: Primarily consists of glass walls with a low brick or stone base.


Orangeries from Renaissance

At Renaissance Conservatories, we offer a wide range of orangeries, as well as conservatories, windows, doors, and much more.

Our orangery range are inspired by Mediterranean design, giving your South Devon home that coastal feel! Every orangery we install is supplied with a SupaLite Roof, with its design featuring multiple layers of insulation that retain heat – making the roof considerably more thermally efficient.

We also offer glass orangery roofs, an ideal choice for Devon homes in particular, with the Liniar Glass Roofing crafted to handle to worst seaside climates, whilst achieving energy efficiency ratings of A+.

For a more traditional approach, our Liniar Elevate Lantern Roofs are sure to let in streams of natural light from above, whilst retaining privacy. These options all come in an array of colours and themes, available to view here.

Supalite tiled roof orangery

Conservatories from Renaissance

At Renaissance Conservatories, we make finding your dream conservatory possible through our wide range of roof options, frame materials, colours and much more.

Edwardian-styles are more of a traditional conservatory, built to maximise floor space, with weather-tight frames and crystal-clear glass.

If you’re looking for a conservatory that feels spacious and tall, then a Gable-style is the perfect option for you. Complete with an upright roof and imposing style, they complement any home.

Victorian-style conservatories are another popular option, with their rounded shape and bay front enabling panoramic views of your garden, with a pitched, decorated roof.

An affordable option would be the Lean to-style, also a great choice for enjoying the sun. To find out more about them, our bespoke designs, energy-efficient options, and more view our product page here.

White uPVC gable conservatory with a grey tiled roof

How can we help you?


At Renaissance Conservatories, we’re a local family-run business with years of experience, installing quality products such as conservatories, orangeries, doors, windows, all kinds of extensions, and much more. If it’s uPVC French Doors, bifold doors, casement windows, roof replacements, canopies, or anything in between you’re looking for, we’re the local South Devon installer for you.

Our team of friendly experts would love to hear from you, so feel free to give us a call on 01626 333393, or fill out our contact form.

We’re always happy to welcome visitors to our Newton Abbott showroom, too.