As summer fades into autumn, conservatories and garden rooms come into their own.
While the leaves turning means we can no longer guarantee long, languid days in the garden, a welcoming conservatory means all that effort weeding borders, deadheading roses and keeping shrubs in shape doesn’t have to go to waste until spring.
Since the 16th century, glazed rooms have been on homeowners’ wish-lists.
While once the preserve of wealthy landowners keen to propagate exotic citrus fruits, today’s conservatories and garden rooms are more about relaxation than cultivation, a bridge between outside and in.
Traditionally, cane was the material of choice for conservatory furniture, creating a serene sitting room away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house.
Now, increasingly, conservatories are being used as yoga or art studios, informal dining rooms, playrooms for the youngest members of the family and even home offices, so it's a smart move to choose versatile furniture that will allow you to segue between tasks.
Whether you're choosing a sofa, armchairs, recliner or dining tables and chairs, or a combination of all, make a statement with modern, pared-back conservatory furniture styles in materials from banana leaf to woven rattan and wood.
The joy of a garden room or conservatory is surely the light flooding in. So while you might want to keep your walls pale to maximise daylight and the feeling of space, add multiple layers of texture with natural fabrics and architectural plants and bring in pops of colour with bold patterns and fresh accessories which can be changed if they fade in the sunlight.
Wooden furniture helps build that all-important bridge between your garden and interior, working with the natural elements of the great outdoors. With looping lines reminiscent of Eames, the celebrated US designers, this Barcelona sofa set has a small footprint but makes a big statement. Ideal for a compact conservatory or garden room - or even a stylish holiday let - it’s available in a wide range of wooden frame finishes with a choice of leather or technically-advanced, stain-resistant Aquaclean fabrics in bold colours from lime to terracotta and teal.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing like an afternoon snooze in the sunlight. And chairs like the Navarro offer a smart, contemporary, comfortable spot with a hidden bonus - a built-in footstool. Touch the discreet button on the side, and a powered leg rest rises to complete this cradle of comfort. It’s available in a wide choice of leather or Aquaclean fabrics - meaning the drama will come from your choice of TV programme, not that spilled cup of coffee or glass of wine.
While it’s important to create flow in your home, the design of your garden room or conservatory can be a step away from your usual style. As dramatic as it is comfortable, the contemporary Granada swivel armchair, with its matching footstool, has a gentle reclining action and adjustable headrest to take you from your favourite book to forty winks. Upholster in luxurious leather (or again, go for the Aquaclean option) for a clean, modern look in a contemporary barn conversion or glazed extension.
Recliners like the Mateo are a new take on an old idea. At the touch of a button, dual motors take it from an upright to a full recline, with independent adjustment of the headrest, footrest and swivel. The perfect marriage of cutting-edge technology, great design, style and outstanding comfort, it's available in a choice of bold, modern fabrics to add a pop of colour to your conservatory, from rich terracottas to striking limes and a deep ocean blue.
Dine in style
A conservatory or garden room can be the perfect dining room. Think long lunches in the sunshine and dinner under the stars. Tables like the Sheldrake, with its elegant turned legs, pair beautifully with high-backed Long Island chairs. Loose linen covers in a choice of natural fabrics allow a seamless transition between the seasons and look fabulous in a modern, light-filled space. This Tresco dining table, made from solid oak in a tactile oval shape, comes with six chairs upholstered in bold shades of wool, or luxurious leather.
Earn your stripes
Sink-into sofas will always be a favourite in sunny conservatories - the perfect place to soak up the warmth of the late afternoon sun. But traditional materials don't have to mean mean a compromise on contemporary style. This Knightshayes two-seater sofa and two armchairs set is both comfortable and modern. Woven from rattan, it comes in an almond finish with a stunning choice of fabrics, and there's a matching footstool too, perfect for plonking down a tray of drinks or to put your feet up in comfort.