Archive for the ‘Conservatory Design’ Category

What to Look for When Planning a Conservatory

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Victorian Hip Back_conservatory_scotlandIf you’ve always fancied the idea of adding a conservatory to your home, there are a lot of things that you’ll need to think about in order to make sure that the resulting structure becomes a successful addition to your property…

As a conservatory specialist with over 20 years of experience, Ideal Windows and Conservatories Edinburgh have a few pointers to steer you in the right direction…

Pick a material which suits your needs

Modern conservatories will typically be constructed from one of the following materials:

  • Aluminium: Versatile, strong and durable, this metal is perfect for modern homes and period properties alike.
  • Hardwood: This material will add a classical, timeless charm to your property, but might require a little more maintenance than other options.
  • UPVC: A great all-round construction material, this form of high-tech plastic is durable, efficient and cost-effective.

Find a design which will compliment your property

Georgian, art-deco, contemporary: Whatever style of home you have, it is important that your conservatory will be a perfect match: Whereas a poorly-chosen design might look as out of place as an alien spacecraft which has touched down on your lawn, a carefully-selected style should blend in seamlessly with its surroundings.

Ensure that it will be secure

Looking good is one thing, but your new conservatory will also need to perform where it matters most: By investing in a securely-designed conservatory, you’ll gain valuable peace of mind that your home will be protected against unwanted intruders: Make sure to ask your conservatory company for information and advice on choosing options which will help to safeguard your property.

Make certain that your new conservatory is energy efficient

The whole process of selecting an efficient conservatory is akin to choosing a fridge or washing machine:  Some models are simply more efficient than others…

Whilst most high-quality modern conservatories are designed to keep heat in and insulate your interior space against the elements, it still makes a lot of sense to check with your conservatory company to find out which of their products possess the most efficient characteristics.

By spending a bit of time researching your options, you could end up saving a lot of money in the long run: After all, you can expect a high quality conservatory to last a lot longer than the average washing machine!

Locate a local provider that can give you a good deal

Finding a local conservatory specialist that can provide a winning combination of inspiring design, supreme build-quality, effective security measures and maximum efficiency is no mean feat, especially when you are looking for a cost-effective solution;

Make sure to narrow your search for a provider down by browsing the websites of suppliers that are situated within your local area: This will allow you to gather more information about what options are available to you…

Things to look for in a supplier:

  • Make sure that you deal with a company which can provide products which have been tested to the highest British safety standards.
  • Ideally, your supplier should have a showroom, so that you can sample the quality of their products first-hand.
  • Look for a specialist that can give you a guarantee on their conservatory installations.
  • Your supplier should be able to provide a good selection of conservatory styles in a range of materials.
  • Try to find a well-established firm which possesses the experience necessary to provide you with a high-quality end-result.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning a Conservatory

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Few home improvement projects will transform your property quite as profoundly as a brand new conservatory installation.

Such a project can help you to gain a bright, beautiful and practical new space which could add value to your home: but this will only be the case if your project is carefully planned out and executed with the assistance of a reputable conservatory specialist.

To help you to get the crucial planning stages of your new project off to a good start, Ideal Windows and Conservatories Edinburgh recommends that you ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Which conservatory company should I use?

Ultimately, your choice of company is likely to have the biggest impact on the end result of your project.

Ideally, the firm you choose should:

  • Be able to provide helpful, expert advice
  • Help to take the stress out of activities like submitting planning applications
  • Possess the relevant expertise to carry out a reliable, rock-solid installation
  • Meet or exceed all of the highest British quality and security standards
  • Use high quality materials and construction methods
  • Offer a wide range of design options
  • Offer an installation guarantee

2. What type of conservatory is right for me?

It is important to choose a conservatory which compliments your property, but this doesn’t mean that your new installation can’t have a personality of its own.

  • The best way to decide what is right for your individual needs is to have a chat with your conservatory firm’s experts and to look at their range of products;
  • A reputable firm should have knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you and should also carry a high quality selection of products.
  • Take the time to look at brochures, online information and, if possible, visit a showroom to start forming a picture in your mind about what your goals for the project are.

By spending enough time looking at what is available and discussing your needs with experts, it will be possible to reach a decision about which style of conservatory will be a perfect fit for your home.

3. What features should I look for in my new conservatory?

Whilst your individual needs will dictate the features you require, we recommend looking for a conservatory that is:

  • Secure: Ensure that your new conservatory comes equipped with high quality, robust security features, so that you can gain valuable peace of mind that your home will stay protected against intruders.
  • Efficient: With a glazed structure like a conservatory, it is important to ensure that it has been designed and built to be energy efficient: this way, you’ll save money and be able to enjoy improved levels of comfort.
  • Durable: Your conservatory should be a lasting investment: by choosing a quality design and high-end materials, it is possible to own a structure which holds up against time and the elements.

Open Up Your Options with French Doors

Friday, April 19th, 2013

If you are looking for a stunningly beautiful, yet thoroughly practical way to bring the beauty of the outside world into your home, French doors could be the perfect addition to your property;

How did French doors evolve?

The earliest French doors were a renaissance-era development, which were designed to embody the ideals of classical architecture: as such, they found their way into the most fashionable homes throughout Europe.

French doors are typically double-leaved systems which feature full-length glazed panels, surrounded by a sturdy, but minimalistic frame: normally, these doors do not feature a central mullion, making for easy access to and from the home, with no obstructions getting in the way once they are opened.

With an enduring style of their own, French windows are timeless classics which will perfectly compliment modern and period homes alike: but aside from just looking fantastic, today’s designs are engineered to bring plenty of practical, useful features into your home…

Why should I invest in French doors?

If you choose to have high quality French doors added to your property, you’ll enjoy:

  • Improved lighting conditions: Thanks to their large glass panels, French doors will let plenty of light into your home, reducing the need for artificial lights during the day and providing unobstructed views of the area surrounding your home.
  • Outstanding thermal efficiency: Advances in modern materials and engineering methods mean that the best French doors are designed to be effectively insulated against the elements: by cutting out draughts and minimising heat loss, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable interior living environment – and you could even save money on heating bills during the colder months!
  • Enjoy the outside world from the comfort of your home: Thanks to the full-length glazed panels which typify French doors, you’ll be able to enjoy the rich tapestry of your beautiful garden, revel in the splendour of a clear and starry night, watch wildlife or gaze out upon a spectacular cityscape: whatever lies beyond your doors, you can enjoy great views without exposing yourself to the elements: and during those occasions when the sun is shining at full strength, this door design will allow you to easily circulate fresh air around your home.

Why choose Ideal Windows and conservatories for French doors?

For the ultimate French doors, you need look no further than Ideal: proudly serving its customers across Edinburgh, Fife and the Scottish Borders for over 18 years, this family firm offers top quality products and professional installations which come with a rock-solid 10 year guarantee.

Get a free instant quote, give us a call on 0131 440 4117 or pop into our showroom and our experienced team will help you find the perfect French doors for your home.

How to Choose a Roofline That Will Last

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

When it comes to protecting your house, it is easy to put a lot of emphasis on choosing robust, modern windows and doors: but one part of the home which tends to be neglected is the humble roofline: the fact that we are rarely face to face with this feature may help to explain why this feature is often underappreciated and left to degrade over the years;

Is water damage waiting to strike your home?

A poorly maintained or out-of-date roofline could fall victim to rot, warping, flaking paint or any number of damaging factors, which can all lead to deeper problems setting root in your home, including the serious possibility of water damage.

What can you do to prevent issues with your next choice of roofline?

If you are looking to upgrade to a brand new roofline, it is worth taking your time to choose carefully, to ensure that you are picking a design which will give you many years of reliable service to come;

For a wise choice, try making sure that your new roofline ticks the following boxes:

  • It should be graded as ‘weatherproof’ by the manufacturer
  • It should resist most alkalis, acids, air pollution, seawater, insects and other contaminants.
  • It should resist UV degradation.
  • It should require very little in the way of maintenance.
  • It should perfectly complement your property.

Choose a roofline that comes with a guarantee

It is possible to get rooflines which come with a 10 or 15 year guarantee against environmental weathering: this means that they should retain their full functionality and appearance for the minimum duration stated in the guarantee: typically, however, you can expect any high quality roofline with a guarantee like this to last much, much longer.

What enhancements are available for the latest rooflines?

Aside from just being functional features of your property, modern rooflines come with a range of enhanced features that will give you improved functionality and help to improve the look and feel of your property;

Some of the most popular enhancements include:

  • Decorative fascias: these help to make for a more attractive appearance, with some options including compatibility with specialised lighting systems.
  • Guards: protection against unwanted debris or even specialist guards designed to prevent insects from entering your home via the roofline are available for modern installations.
  • Improved ventilation systems: Look for a roofline which comes with enhanced ventilation, to ensure that you can avoid problems associated with condensation.

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Sunroom

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

When it comes to planning an extension for your property, few spaces could be as versatile as a sunroom;

This ingenious type of structure combines the best features of a glass conservatory with the advantageous characteristics of a regular room, thanks to the more conventional roof-style that typifies this kind of structure.

A new sunroom opens up many unique possibilities, with a range of configurations and styles available to suit any home – what will you use yours for?

  • A light soaked home office?
  • A dazzling lounge area?
  • A bright dining room?
  • A home theatre zone?
  • An indoor gardening space?
  • A spare bedroom?

Whatever you choose to use yours for, you’ll be guaranteed to gain a naturally bright, practical, highly usable space that is designed to fit in with your property.

Open up the possibilities

In modern sunrooms, the three wall sections will typically feature large glazed panels, which are designed to flood your sunroom interior with beautiful natural light.

The standard roof design means that you can use your sunroom for activities that would be impractical in other extension styles, such as a glazed-roof conservatory, where the extra sunlight coming in through the roof could prove to be problematic.

Enhance your property

The extra space you’ll gain from getting a sunroom added to your property can help to boost the value of your home as well as to increase its appeal: after all, what could be more attractive than a gorgeous, light and airy extra room?

Configure the perfect sunroom for your needs

Modern Sunrooms are available in a wide range of styles, such as:

  • Full or partial glazing: Choose from floor to ceiling glazed walls, or windows which extend from a few feet up the walls to the roof line.
  • Insulated or Un-insulated designs: choose according to your needs – an insulated design is much more versatile, since it can be used all year round: you can, however, choose un-insulated if you intend to just use the sunroom during the warmer months alone.
  • Roof Windows: If you’d like a bit more light than a conventional sunroom, but prefer not to go down the route of a conservatory, it is possible to add roof windows to your sunroom – perfect for stargazing during the night, or reading the newspaper over breakfast.

Aside from the design of the overall structure, it is possible to further customise a sunroom by choosing a specific combination of window and door styles.

So, whether you choose the practicality of tilt & turn windows or the classic appeal of sash & case windows, you can pair your selection with a range of beautiful, effective door styles, such as modern bi-fold, smooth sliding doors or chic French doors.

Whatever option you choose, you’ll be making a solid investment when you add a sunroom to your property.

The Benefits of Introducing a Conservatory into Your Home

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When trying to add value to your home, a conservatory should be first on your list. This type of extension will introduce warmth and light into your home, as well as additional space. Regardless of the size of your property, a conservatory will offer a whole host of benefits and when you consider the advantages of these property developments, this will outweigh the associated investment.

Property Value

Introducing a conservatory into your home will boost property value significantly. Higher equity will be admirable if you are planning to put your property on the market in the near future. conservatories are the top choice for homeowners who want to raise property value because of their versatility throughout the year.

Appearance

It is obvious that a conservatory is aesthetically pleasing and the transparent glass panels allow for an injection of light, even in the winter months. This will give the illusion that the property is bigger than it actually is and panoramic views of your garden can be enjoyed when relaxing in a conservatory.

Various Styles

The great thing about getting a conservatory built onto the exterior of your property is that there are numerous styles available to suit all tastes. Different techniques can be used to create certain effects and common Conservatory Designs include:

  • Lean To
  • Victorian
  • Lantern
  • Gable
  • P-shaped
  • Edwardian

You can even select the appropriate type of roofing, with glass roofing offering plenty of light. Types of conservatory roofing include:

  • Glass roof
  • Lead roof
  • Polycarbonate roof
  • Tiled roof

Enhanced Health

What many people are not aware of is that conservatories can improve your overall health. Exposure to natural sunlight will improve your mood and when sitting in a conservatory, you can open windows and doors to advance air quality. Relaxing in a conservatory will also reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

Interior Design Tips for Your Conservatory

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

You don’t need to be an interior designer to create a ‘grand-design’ of your own at home which will impress your guests and give you a space to admire – it needn’t cost a lot of money to do so either, so what are you waiting for?

conservatories open up some exciting design possibilities which would not be possible in other areas of your home…get inspired today with these top tips:

Play with the juxtaposition between your interior and exterior spaces

Your conservatory is a meeting place between the natural world and the built environment – to play with this theme, try blending the two distinct zones by including a concentration of outdoor-inspired elements as part of the décor in your conservatory – some examples:

  • Potted Plants, perhaps even some of the same species you have in your garden
  • Garden ornaments, brought indoors
  • Furnishings made from natural materials
  • Nature-themed artwork, such as landscape paintings and photographic prints – these could be mounted in self-standing frames, on easels, or simply placed on a table-top

With a few small, but creative touches, it is possible to really blur the line between the indoor and outdoor spaces of your home and further enhance the illusion of being outdoors whilst lounging back in your comfy conservatory.

Whether you choose to add a cheeky garden gnome, some twigs and pinecones in a glass vase or use an old watering can as a plant-pot, you can get away with some daring design flourishes here which you couldn’t in other parts of your home!

Think about the transition between your house and conservatory

You have thought about the way in which the garden melds into your fab conservatory, but what about how your joining room merges with this lush space?

Take a walk from your conservatory to the rest of your home interior…have a brief pause for a minute, then walk back and take note of how the ambience changes between the two areas…

As a much lighter space with a better view of the outside world, there can sometimes be a jarring sensation as you enter a conservatory from a room which is drastically different;

If you want to blend the two spaces more subtly, you could try bringing the ambience further indoors by adding elements with an outdoor theme (in smaller concentrations to the conservatory) in the approach to the conservatory: perhaps some smaller plants, artwork with a natural theme or even some additional lighting, if the space is significantly darker than the conservatory – these changes can help to create a gradual thematic journey from one area to the next instead of a sudden leap.

Come up with a theme for the conservatory

Perhaps you want to go beyond just creating a ‘nature’ inspired look, or are looking for something completely different…conservatories make for a wonderfully versatile space to work with: the extra light levels can work wonders if you are going for a minimalistic, modern feel as much as this characteristic would benefit a whimsical, rustic look.

We recommend flicking through interior design magazines and books for some ideas which will suit you…look for inspiration in many different places: for example, if you are seeking to create a period art deco look, you could pop down to your local library to find books on the style, visit a museum with items from this period, do some research online, or even watch a bit of ‘Poirot’ or ‘Boardwalk Empire’ on TV for inspiration.

When it comes time to plan out your design, make a nice pot of coffee (or similar refreshing beverage) and put together a scrapbook with magazine cuttings whilst relaxing in your conservatory…you will be surprised at how easily the ideas will flow when you are in the space that you are looking to decorate, in a relaxed mood with inspirational materials at hand…just remember to keep your pencil handy to jot down those precious ideas!

Remember that function should be considered along with form

When picking items to populate your conservatory with, remember to choose articles which will be suitable for use in such a brightly lit environment, as too much UV may damage the finish of furniture which hasn’t been designed for this type of beautifully sunlight-soaked space: consider rattan, cane or other materials which are up to the task – so many design options are available in suitable materials these days that the only limit will be your imagination!

So go on, unleash your inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen today and bring your own style ideas into your Conservatory Designs.

What type of furniture is best for your conservatory?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Your Conservatory is a fantastic investment which you will be able to enjoy for many years to come: but can the same be said for your choice of furniture?

conservatories are able to bring the feel of the outside world indoors in a unique way: they are a sheltered, comfy environment which sits between your home interior and your garden;

In such a sun-bathed space, it is a good idea to carefully consider the design and materials of any furniture which you are intending to add to your conservatory.

Before you go out and purchase that suite which caught your eye in a TV ad, or move your old living room armchair in, have a think about how suitable it will be as part of your conservatory’s décor, in terms of form and function;

To help determine how suitable an item is for use in your conservatory, here are a few recommendations to consider:

Avoid furniture which will fade easily

Articles which furnish your conservatory will be exposed to more sunlight than they would in other parts of the house: pick furniture with the wrong materials and you could end up with faded, sun-damaged items which will look out of place in your beautiful relaxation zone;

Prevent disaster by picking high grade cane, rattan or synthetic wicker furniture which is suitable for all-weather conditions;

Some of the conservatory furniture you can buy these days will be suitable for outdoor use – choosing articles with this property will give you a versatile addition which will do double-duty indoors and out for those lazy summer evenings that you never want to end.

Consider your comfort

Rattan is perfect for constructing conservatory furniture from, due to its flexibility, strength and it’s amazing ability to cope with anything that Mother Nature can chuck at it – what about your comfort though?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the best features of your comfy living room furniture with the robustness of outdoor garden furniture?

To achieve the ‘best of both worlds’, we recommend picking furniture with a rattan frame and foam reflex cushions: look out for showerproof cushions for the ultimate in flexibility.

Think about how the furniture will fit in with its surroundings

How can you ensure that the furniture you pick will compliment your home? Consider what themes are present throughout your house and carry these into your conservatory…picking throws and cushion covers which complement the colour scheme of your other rooms is one easy way to transform the appearance of furniture to match the rest of your home, but you should also consider how the furniture appears in its default state, particularly if you are going for a more minimalistic look – after all, your conservatory is a place you go to enjoy some rest and relaxation…the last thing you want to do is make it feel cluttered.

6 Ultimate Conservatory Accessories

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Whether you have a large conservatory or a small conservatory in the north of Scotland or the very south coast of England, you will always be able to find a way to improve your conservatory with the right accessories.

Here are 6 of the best to help inspire you:

Cane Furniture

Cane furniture and conservatories go together like fish and chips. Their natural shapes, comfy cushions and style just work in the light filled space of conservatories and Sunrooms. You can choose sofas if you want to lounge, a dining set for conservatory dining rooms or even sets designed for breakfasting. They are light enough to move around the room as you like and indeed to take outside when the weather is particularly nice.

Here’s our range of Rattan cane conservatory furniture with pictures to prove it.

Plants

Because conservatories tend to get a lot of light (particularly if they’re south facing) it makes them perfect places to grow plants. My favourite ones at the moment are:

  • Mini fruit trees – they smell amazing
  • Herbs – also smell amazing and great for cooking
  • Yucca plant – doesn’t need a lot of watering

What’s more, if you are a keen gardener, you can move your more delicate outside plants into the house for the winter. (A great excuse to buy some gorgeous colourful pots too.)

Air Conditioning

Many conservatories are built without heating or air-conditioning as they were traditionally meant to be used during the fair weather months exclusively. To make yours comfortable all year round it may be worth you investing in through the wall air-conditioning that can keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Fans

In a similar vein, fans not only help the warmer air that naturally flows upwards to be blown back into the room to regulate the temperature, but they also look amazing. You can even now get ceiling fans that match your cane furniture.

Blinds

Blinds allow you to turn your conservatory into a private space at night, save you from having heavy curtains all around you and can even be installed inside your double glazing to save space and on cleaning. They create a shade when its particularly bright and can be tucked away when you want a light bath.

Tiles

While wooden floors look great in a conservatory, tiles when coupled with under-floor heating are perhaps the ultimate flooring option. Tiles conduct heat extremely well and allow you complete control over the colour, pattern and style of your floor. What would your dream floor look like?

Just one of these accessories can turn your conservatory from a nice room into your favourite room. Depending on the size of your conservatory and your budget you can easily find the right accessory for you.

Will New UK Planning Policy Affect Your Conservatory Options?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

In what the government has described as being the biggest cutting down of red tape in history, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has it seems, effectively paved the way for new building projects that would have previously been restricted, to go ahead in England. The plan is in favour of sustainable developments that critics say will be at the expense of the environment and the crucial green belts around our towns and cities.

This all started back in 2011 when a draft was laid out that described how it planned to cut out hundreds of pages of planning paperwork in order to make everything simpler, basically to spur the building industry that wasn’t being helped by fairly archaic planning systems.

For and Against

Those ‘for’ the policy as it stands are obviously builders, developers and businesses with a foot in the building world, as it will make life a whole lot easier for them, while those ‘against’ are of course conservationists and groups like the National Trust who believe this will mark the ground breaking of a soon to be concrete country.

Ministers have said that green belt land will not be affected by this new policy but that hasn’t stopped campaigners pointing out some major issues:

“Ministers have relied heavily on making references to a vague notion of ‘sustainable development’ in order to convince critics that the NPPF will not weaken environmental protection. Yet the draft NPPF failed to make any reference to the five key principles of sustainable development[…]rather the draft only refers to the older […] definition which does not provide an adequate basis for planning decisions.”Campaign to Protect Rural England

The National Trust agrees that this term is inadequate and that there “must be a clear, robust and practical definition written into the NPPF and reflected throughout, and it must include environmental limits.”

The decentralisation and cities minister Greg Clark has of course defended the changes and has said that they will simplify the planning system, help provide the homes and jobs needed at the moment, and in response to the ‘sustainable development’ term he said:

“…what it means is there is a test of whether it is in the public interest to approve an application. If there are reasons, it destroys the environment, if it builds on greenbelt, if it builds outside a town centre when it’s a commercial premises when you want to keep a town centre thriving, that would not be sustainable, it would not be in the public interest and therefore it would not go ahead.”

So will it affect your conservatory options?

Well if you live in Scotland then no as this policy is just in England.

If you are in England, you will have to wait and see. The policy was laid out on Tuesday 27th March and will no doubt face a stern backlash from environmental campaigners, but I imagine it will arrive without too many edits.

You may find it easier to get planning permission, which is nice, but you’ll need to ask yourself if your development will be sustainable first of course.

How do you feel about the changes?