I’m happy to say that a member of Anglian Home Improvements has been kind enough to respond to my request for a guest post. This is an insightful one, and as always comments are welcome:

Are Orangeries still a preserve of the rich or are they becoming affordable enough for the average household

Home improvement companies across the UK are introducing Orangeries to their product list, but are they going to be a fashionable accessory for our homes or just a fad?

I personally think that, as with all fashions, the orangery is overdue a comeback and once again be a popular choice for homeowners, this time for the masses not just the aristocracy.

They first become popular when Italians started producing large sheets of glass in the 17th century, allowing them to create beautiful glass roofs, harnessing the sun’s rays. This was embraced by the Italians who put fruit and plants into the Orangery, giving them their fruity name.

Orangeries have never been a mainstream product available to everyone, which has given them an association with being wealthy, as they have until recently, mainly been found on big manor houses ans stately homes. This classic association of Orangeries and wealth, I believe is firmly instilled in our minds, so putting an attractive Orangery on our homes is acting as a rich symbol, giving us more reason to be house-proud. (And make the neighbours jealous).

As Orangeries are now much more affordable it is even more of a reason to go down this route, but does this mean that it will lose it’s affluent image? My thoughts are, maybe! If everyone has one, its bound to lose it’s novelty and some of it’s association with wealth, possible becoming just another room in an average house. Of course it will still have the fantastic lighting, extra warmth in the summer months and the well structured pillars, but are we going to remove it’s status by increasing it’s availability?

Then again Louis XIV had one, so why not? I would like to feel like a King!

Personally, I don’t think Orangeries will lose their affluent image just yet, for two reasons. Firstly, they are still quite a bit more than conservatories when it comes to cost. The extravagant roofs and lavish internal decoration separate them from standard conservatories. Secondly they also look far grander than a ‘white plastic box stuck on the back of a house’. The parapet walls, lantern roofs and bi-folding fronts create an image which far exceeds that of a normal conservatory.

But as new products become the norm, prices drop. Orangeries won’t always be as expensive as they are now. And when prices do start to fall (which won’t happen for a while unless raw material prices increases stop), then we will probably see the affluent tag disappear.

Again, thanks to the Anglian team for providing this post.