Vale Garden Houses Square Logo
For those who appreciate the difference

A Guide to small conservatories & orangeries

The benefits, design ideas and inspiration


Updated: 16th May 2023
A guide to small conservatories and orangeries

At Vale Garden Houses, we understand that a small garden or limited budget should not prevent you from enjoying the beauty and comfort of a conservatory or orangery. A smaller sized extension can be a cost-effective and versatile addition to any home, providing an extra space that brings the outdoors inside.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a small conservatory, design ideas and other frequently asked questions, we will also share examples of our completed works from which you can draw inspiration for your own project.

Example of a small garden orangery

What are the benefits of a small orangery or conservatory?

The smallest of spaces can be used to create a unique addition to any home and often becomes a treasured and valuable room providing much needed additional space. This makes adding a garden room the perfect solution for those with a small garden or limited outdoor space.

Conservatories are frequently built in the most unlikely of places and a useful room can be created out of a previously unused part of a garden or courtyard. Filling an awkward space or dark recess with an attractive functional room, no matter how small, is a great investment and ‘no brainer.’

A smaller room requires less maintenance than a larger one, making it a practical choice for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a conservatory without spending too much time or money on upkeep.

Does a small garden room add value to my home?

Adding a conservatory to your home will not only give you extra space, but it can also add to your home’s value. Choosing the right style, fit and shape can make your conservatory an asset that’ll be well worth the investment when it’s time to sell your property.

This is particularly be the case if your home is already small with limited space available - even a small conservatory will add a generous percentage increase to the footprint of the property.

Also great to remember that a small conservatory or orangery will cost a lot less than a large one - making it more accessible for those with a limited budget.

Example of a small conservatory used as an entrance hall

Does a small conservatory or orangery require planning permission?

In terms of planning permissions, there are a variety of considerations to take into account and every project, regardless of size, is different.

Permitted Development rights allow you to complete certain building projects without the need for formal approvals however, there is a strict list of criteria you must meet. Permitted Development rights do not always apply to every property in the UK. Once you have established that your project meets the necessary conditions, a sensible route for obtaining confirmation of this, is to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness from your local council. As with other planning permissions such as householder and listed building consent, you may need assistance with this process.

Our best advice if you are approaching Vale for your project, is to consult with one of our designers or directly with our specialist dedicated in-house planning team. This way we can ensure you have undertaken the correct assessments for your project, property and local area.

Ideas for Small Conservatories

When it comes to designing a project on a smaller scale, a good designer can help you make the most of your space. Here are some design ideas that we recommend to provide the very best outcome from your investment.

Opt for a style that complements your home. Vale have a wealth of experience in designing for a variety of architectural eras and building styles. We will work with you to design a conservatory that matches the architecture of your home and achieve a cohesive look.

A smaller space can also benefit from natural light so don’t choose a garden room design with a solid roof if you can avoid it. A glazed roof will allow you to let in as much light as possible, making your space feel bright and airy.

When questioning how small you can go when adding a conservatory, this can vary depending on your needs, the space available and your budget. We can design and build projects to any size and shape. However, to give you an idea, a room 2.5 metres by 2.5 metres internally will just about squeeze in a cosy seating area and a bistro table for two. You can use it for living and dining, making the most from your room.

Small orangery photo taken with a drone
Cleverly placed small conservatory
Small lean-to conservatory design
A small orangery project which features a roof lantern
Small decorative conservatory

How to use a small conservatory or orangery

A bright, light and airy space, no matter how small, can be incredibly versatile, and the following images show just a few of the many uses our clients have made with their new garden rooms. Uses include kitchen conservatory and dining conservatory, rooms have also been used as an entrance hall, office (great for the many people who now work from home rather than an office environment) and most frequently we find garden rooms used as a great place to relax and unwind.

Keep it De-cluttered

A cluttered interior can make a small space feel even smaller, therefore opting for a minimalist approach with a few well-chosen pieces of furniture and décor will pay dividends and make your conservatory feel spacious and inviting.

Small open-plan kitchen conservatory example
Small kitchen conservatory design
Decluttered kitchen conservatory design

Use of Plants

Plants are a great way to introduce life and colour into a conservatory. We can recommend plants that thrive in a conservatory environment and have a dedicated conservatory plant guide which can be found on our website. Plants will help bring the outdoors in and give your garden room a more vibrant, fresh and spacious feel.

Small conservatory thriving with plants
Use of plants in a small orangery

You can still go green

If you are not very good at keeping plants, you can always cheat a little and add a touch of the outdoors into your room with some lively wallpaper as seen on the right.

Example of green interior design in a small orangery

Small projects in towns and cities

There is no place needing cleverer use of space and optimising on what you have available than in towns and cities. Many houses and flats have living spaces and gardens that are often small and every square metre is valuable.

Townhouse with a small orangery extension

Adding a conservatory will gain precious extra living accommodation, and make the very most of even the smallest area, whilst still allowing light to flood into existing rooms

Speak to our design team or request a brochure

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.

Request Your Brochure

Complete our online form to download or receive by post our inspirational 108-page brochure featuring an extensive collection of conservatories, orangeries and rooflights.

Request Your Brochure

Conservatory vs Orangery?

Understand the difference between a conservatory and an orangery by reading our comprehensive article on the differences.

Learn More