Orangery vs. Conservatory

When shopping around for a new extension to your home, you may have come across the two different terms “Orangery” and “Conservatory”, but what exactly is the difference?


The word orangery might make you picture a place that you’d find oranges growing, and you’d be partially right!

The term was first used in the 16-19th centuries within the wealthy and elite of society for a building within their grounds that housed citrus trees to protect them from the cold. Eventually citrus fruits began to grow in popularity and become more readily available to buy, so the orangery buildings became home to exotic plants and shrubs when they were no longer needed.

As it was typically the wealthy that had orangeries, older structures are typically large, elaborate buildings. Today, however, it is not uncommon to see smaller orangery buildings attached to their homes.


This is probably the most recognisable term of the two.

It seems that conservatories came about as a consequence of orangeries, with the distinct difference that conservatories were considered an attachment to a home, rather than its own separate structure like the orangery, and for the purpose of protecting and encouraging the growth of shrubs and herbs rather than exotic fruits.

At first, the use of glass was to aid the rapid growth of the plants within the extension, but as it was a direct extension of the home, people began changing their usage of a conservatory to be an expansion of the living space of their home, rather than solely for the use of storing and protecting plants.

So, what is the difference now?

Even though there is very little difference to modern usage of an orangery and a conservatory, it is beneficial to know the differences that do exist.

Orangeries do tend to be larger and feature a lot more brickwork than a typical conservatory. They often feature large sloping “atrium” style ceilings with pillars. As they are so large, a lot more planning and designing needs to be done, as well as the possibility of planning permission before a build.

Exterior Of House With Conservatory And Patio

However, the heavy use of brickwork rather than the frames of a conservatory make it a lot easier to customise an orangery for each customer, so if it is a unique build that you want, designers will be able to adapt buildings to your specifications.

The interior of an orangery has a lot more elegance and class about it. Rather than following the interior of the house, the brickwork is on show, and the large windows and high glass roof emphasize that this is a luxurious building.

Esszimmer - Dining Room

As they are mostly brick based, the aesthetics of an orangery do tend to fit in well with the brickwork of an existing house, while still remaining a private room as opposed to the open space a conservatory gives.

Conservatories tend to act as a complete addition to the house; keeping the design features such as the colour of the frames as similar to the existing house as possible to maintain some form of uniformity. They are usually used as “sun rooms” to let as much sun in as possible, and allow an excellent view of the garden, while you are in the comfort of your own home.

If you are still unsure as to which structure will fit your needs, and you are looking for conservatories in Stoke On Trent, FAB Systems are here to help! For more information on how you can get the most out of your conservatory, contact us by calling 0800 066 5644 and speak to one of our experienced team.