Modern living and busy family life has resulted in the kitchen increasingly becoming the favourite room in the home. It can be a relaxing and informal place where recreation and work go hand in hand. A sunny cheerful kitchen is everyone’s ideal and a kitchen conservatory or orangery extension provides just that. It can be used at all times of the day by all members of the family for a wide range of purposes.
Kitchen orangery extensions are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners who want to add extra space to their home whilst creating a unique and stylish kitchen with the possibility of adding a living/dining area. If you are looking to extend your home with a kitchen, an orangery extension may be the answer.
This article will explore the benefits of a kitchen orangery, provide you with a few points to consider when planning an extension and provide some inspirational design ideas for your own project. There is little doubt that the addition of a conservatory or orangery will add a whole new dimension to your home by providing a room you want to spend a great deal of time in, a bright and airy atmosphere which will transform your lifestyle.
A well-built conservatory or orangery extension can add a huge amount of solar gain and light. This is especially beneficial with older homes that traditionally can have low ceilings, small windows and may be constructed of dense materials.
Letting in plenty of natural light, will help to create a bright and airy atmosphere in your kitchen, which in turn makes the space feel more welcoming and comfortable and uplift your spirits.
Adding a conservatory or orangery to your home can be an effective way of increasing space and extending the functionality of a home without disrupting the existing architectural integrity.
A glazed kitchen orangery can be the most sympathetic way to extend a period property. Brick-built extensions often form a bulky and heavy visual which is not necessarily compatible with a lot of homes. The beauty of timber orangeries and conservatories is that they provide a transparent living space which breaks down the barriers between home and garden.
A kitchen orangery can be used for a variety of additional purposes and a well-designed open plan kitchen removes the physical barriers that separate the kitchen from the rest of the house, creating a space in which to spend quality time. The kitchen no longer has to be just a place for cooking, but can also function as a space for working or to relax and unwind.
By incorporating a space for dining, it becomes a room to bring the whole family together for mealtimes and will also make a great space for entertaining friends and for social occasions. Our clients frequently tell us their kitchen orangery extension is the most used room in the home.
Linking your home and garden is a very desirable concept, and a kitchen orangery extension with direct access to an outside space, ideally with space for outdoor dining, gives you the opportunity to do this.
Large windows and glazed walls in an orangery can provide you with stunning views of your garden. This can help create a feeling of connection to the outdoors - even when you are inside. In summer, conservatories and orangeries with bi-fold doors can be used to help create a seamless transition between the inside and outside.
Adding a well-designed, structurally sound kitchen orangery extension that compliments the existing architecture of your home can also increase the value of your property.
The concept of open plan living in conjunction with a bright and airy atmosphere has massive appeal and is a key feature for anyone looking to either purchase or sell a property.
Whatever period or style of home, the addition of a kitchen orangery extension gives you the opportunity to reconsider the layout of existing rooms and make changes to provide greater purposeful use of and flow of space. As with most open plan kitchen/living extensions, the scheme will often require structural alterations such as removing walls to make the very best use of what is available. Vale have decades of experience in all types of kitchen orangery extension and can guide you through what can and can’t be done to help you achieve your perfect room.
If you are wanting to incorporate an informal dining area and some comfortable seating, the functioning kitchen area will generally work best if positioned towards the rear of the room where you will usually have ample wall space to accommodate cabinetry and all your white goods and where there may already be water and electricity connections. This will also allow the area earmarked for relaxing and/or for dining to enjoy the views of the outside and easy access to a terrace or gardens.
The most important consideration for any busy kitchen and keen cook, is providing adequate space for all your equipment, preparation, cooking and cleaning, whitegoods and foodstuffs. It is therefore really important to make sure that wall space is well utilised within the scheme, whilst keeping the things frequently used close at hand.
It may therefore be a consideration to design your kitchen orangery extension with a combination of solid wall and glazing within your scheme as seen on the projects below which provide the perfect place for a cooking station or a sink area.
If your kitchen is actually situated directly in the orangery, it is also worth considering increasing the height of the wall on which the glazing sits to accommodate kitchen units. Low walls are usually around 500mm high for improved aesthetics and to allow greater enjoyment of the outdoors, but by increasing this to around 900mm high will provide you with so many more options as to what goes where in your new kitchen.
Island units are also extremely useful as they will provide you with much needed cupboard storage and preparation area without taking up precious wall space. Cleverly designed, as the kitchen below, the island also incorporates ovens, a separate sink and a great breakfast bar which doubles up for entertaining friends whilst cooking lunch or evening meal.
Another big decision will be whether you want your kitchen orangery extension to have a glazed roof or a solid roof. Your decision may depend on which direction your kitchen orangery extension faces - whether north, south, east or west.
There are positives to be taken from each option as a glazed roof will accentuate the light and open feel of the room which is particularly appreciated on sunny days, casting light deep into the room, whilst a structure with a solid roof will offer a degree of shade for those orangeries in a particularly sunny aspect.
Overall, good ventilation in a kitchen conservatory or orangery is crucial for maintaining a comfortable, healthy, and safe environment by controlling heat, removing odours, managing moisture, reducing airborne contaminants, and enhancing fire safety. This is of paramount importance whether your new addition is large or small.
If designing around a kitchen project, we usually specify good side ventilation coupled with roof ventilation to create a through draft, and recommended extractor fans to deal with local moisture and smells.
It is important to consider how the new space will be heated. This may require extending your existing heating system or installing a new one.
In this type of extension where wall space is valuable, the number of options can be reduced and therefore underfloor heating can be hugely beneficial in providing a constant ambient temperature.
Read more detail on heating an orangery in our in-depth article on How to heat an Orangery Extension
Kitchen orangery extensions, by their very nature, can attract a more involved planning process than, for instance, a conservatory or orangery project that ticks all the criteria for ‘permitted development’. We find that designs that incorporate a kitchen are generally dictated to by the size of a structure, as kitchen spaces often command a more generous size of room. However, it is always worth checking to see if your specific project falls within ‘permitted development rights’.
Kitchen orangery extensions will often involve the remodelling of certain areas of your house; these can include new structural works i.e. knocking through existing walls, the installation of steels and the extension of existing heating systems to create an open-plan space. These works, in their own right, will attract ‘Building Regulation Approval’.
Adding a rooflight can significantly transform an existing kitchen in many positive ways that make the investment worthwhile. A rooflight allows abundant natural light to flood into the kitchen, creating a brighter and more inviting space. Natural light can enhance the appearance of surfaces, colours, and textures, making the kitchen feel more vibrant and fresh.
Thermostatically controlled ventilation designed into the rooflight will allow fresh air to circulate in the kitchen. This helps remove cooking odours, excess heat, and moisture, improving air quality and making the space more comfortable to work in.
The introduction of a rooflight creates a visual connection between the kitchen and the sky above. This connection can make the room feel more expansive, as though it extends beyond its physical boundaries. It also offers glimpses of nature, such as trees or clouds, which can contribute to a calming and pleasant ambience.
A rooflight can serve as a stunning design element in the kitchen. It can be strategically positioned to highlight specific areas, such as a kitchen island or dining area. The natural light that filters through the rooflight can accentuate architectural details, textures, and finishes, adding visual interest and depth to the space.
A butler’s station or a cocktail bar in an orangery or conservatory provides a convenient location for serving drinks and refreshments. Well designed as in the projects seen here, it adds an element of elegance and sophistication to the space, making it more inviting and visually appealing.
Well-equipped, it eliminates the need to travel to a distant kitchen, allowing guests to enjoy their drinks without interruptions. It serves as a focal point for entertainment and becomes a space where guests gather, interact, and watch the bartenders prepare delicious drinks, enhancing the overall ambience and social experience for everyone.
Incorporating a butler’s station or cocktail bar allows for versatility in hosting events and gatherings. Whether it’s a small intimate gathering or a larger party, having a dedicated space for serving beverages ensures efficient service and a designated area for socializing.
Looking for more examples to inspire your own orangery extension? Explore our case study section, where you'll find a diverse collection of projects, including some that showcase homes beautifully extended with a kitchen orangery.
Open plan kitchen orangery extension on london edwardian homeView Case Study
Bringing the family together with a cleverly designed kitchen orangeryView Case Study
Vale Garden Houses have the expertise to help you design and build an extension to your home that meets your needs and complements your property. We have over 40 years of experience designing and manufacturing bespoke conservatories and can work with you to create a conservatory that suits your style, space, and budget. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you bring your project to life.
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Understand the difference between a conservatory and an orangery by reading our comprehensive article on the differences.Read Article