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Updated: May 11, 2021

Spending time in nature is great for our well-being and with the warmer weather beginning to show up for those of us who are in the north, we will be spending more time outdoors. You can get similar health benefits all year long by bringing plants indoors and enjoying their air-purifying and calming properties without having to negotiate unpredictable weather. Add to that some controlled natural light and the beautiful sound of birdsongs and you can recreate the ambiance of the outdoors anywhere.

A conservatory or orangery can enhance your current living space. Conservatories are made predominantly of glass – unlike orangeries which are different due to their rooves and the addition of more brickwork rather than windows. If you are building this as an add-on to your current home it is worthy of noting that with the addition of glass from a conservatory comes an addition of light – bringing more natural light into your home.

Whether it’s a cozy retreat for the winter or a summer sun catcher, relax in your new conservatory – whatever the season. Depending on your desired use of the room, creating an ambiance with candles and firelight or a water feature is a great way of harnessing tranquil vibes for your conservatory. Automated or manual blinds and appropriate cooling systems are the best way to maximize the use of your conservatory in the summer months.

As well as providing natural light, added value, and a relaxing environment, conservatories are also extremely sociable. If you’re throwing a garden party, a conservatory is a perfect way to bring the outside inside. Turn it into a bar or food stand for people to mingle in and out of. Conservatories open up the house but also open up the garden space, creating a sociable living space outside and in.

If building is not in your plans, enjoy experimenting with biophilic design by turning one room in your house into a conservatory or orangery with floor-to-ceiling glass and plenty of plants, including miniature palm trees or perhaps even a living wall. Olive and citrus trees are another nice touch, adding Mediterranean glamour.

And it’s not just plants that you can bring inside. Why not have an indoor fountain or pond? The mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation. Focusing your mind on the soothing sound of water, letting the sound wash over you, helps your brain let go of stresses that may be lingering, and gets your body into an ultimate state of relaxation.

Fill your already serene conservatory with the sound of birdsongs whose sounds have been used to reduce stress, anxiety, and boost productivity. Listening to their sounds has been found to boost productivity and will put people in a more relaxed state. Bird sounds enforce a human's innate connection with nature; when birds sing, we know we are safe – when they quiet down, we panic. This instinctive familiarity with bird songs plays a subconscious role in our stress recovery.

If your home is automated you can program adjustments to light, sound, and blinds during the day so your conservatory is a comfortable temperature, well-lit and sounds wonderful throughout the day and evening, and is a pleasure to be in at any time and during any season.

Linda Price-Bennett

Currator of The Good Life ™

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