Cre­at­ing a win­ter gar­den room

In­sight Bowled over by Mag­gie Calmel’s win­ter room? These days, out­door spa­ces work year-round All-weather friend Softly, softly profe ssional a dvice

25 Beautiful Homes - - Restored Cottage - Ella reed, david SAL­IS­BURY

Gar­den rooms were once thought to be the pre­serve of the sunny sea­son, pro­vid­ing an in­for­mal link be­tween in­side and out. But these days, rooms such as these do much more than cul­ti­vate plants that need pro­tec­tion from win­ter frosts. They are now in­te­gral to a liv­ing space and of­ten pro­vide a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion to the kitchen. Mag­gie Calmel’s gar­den room comes into its own in win­ter with its mag­i­cal glass dome, par­tic­u­larly el­e­gant when lit from within. If you are go­ing to opt for this look, re­mem­ber that in­su­la­tion is key, es­pe­cially if the struc­ture is mostly glass.

The in­su­la­tion for a win­dow, as with any other build­ing, is mea­sured by its U value, which should be as low as pos­si­ble, This will vary de­pend­ing on the glass type, num­ber of glass lay­ers and the width be­tween them, plus gas used to fill the gap.

‘Choose dou­ble-glazed units with a low emis­siv­ity coat­ing,’ adds Jane Hind­march of Vale Gar­den Houses. ‘This helps to re­duce heat trans­fer.’ Also, con­sider the di­rec­tion of sun­light to avoid over­heat­ing and glare, but add a pri­mary heat source – un­der­floor heating is pop­u­lar. Most rooms can be built un­der per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment as long as they don’t cover more than half the gar­den – check with the plan­ning of­fice. Win­ter rooms work best when they evoke a cosy at­mos­phere, as swathes of glass can feel un­wel­com­ing. Counter this with a com­fort­able sofa, throws and a chunky rug. ‘I like to use Oyuna cash­mere throws,’ says in­te­rior de­signer Roselind Wil­son (roselind­wilson­de­ ‘And the Necker rug from Tim Page Car­pets is ideal. It re­sem­bles a chunky ca­ble knit jumper, only with more struc­ture.’

In win­ter, think about scent, too. Dr Vran­jes, Dip­tyque, The White Com­pany and Oka all of­fer an en­tic­ing se­lec­tion of can­dles and reed dif­fusers. As for light­ing, ta­ble lamps and up­lighters work best, but for im­pact, add a big chan­de­lier, es­pe­cially in a domed glass roof like the Calmels’. ‘A gar­den room pro­vides a bright and airy ex­ten­sion that can be en­joyed in au­tumn and win­ter. It should be a room that you can use all year, es­pe­cially as gardens can be just as beau­ti­ful through­out the sea­sons.

It’s vi­tal to choose a struc­ture that will stand the test of time, and that com­plies with build­ing reg­u­la­tions. En­sure the room is well in­su­lated, even when open-plan to your home. Us­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in glass will min­imise win­ter heat loss and re­duce heat gain in sum­mer. Ven­ti­la­tion is im­por­tant and adding open­ing win­dows and roof vents will al­low a through breeze.

In­cor­po­rate a pri­mary heat source. Un­der­floor heating is a re­li­able choice, and it doesn’t take up wall or floor space. Wood­burn­ing stoves are a good sec­ondary heat source, plus they’re cosy.

Tim­ber struc­tures are more in keep­ing with na­ture and are suit­able for pe­riod prop­er­ties, par­tic­u­larly listed build­ings. These also pro­vide softer acous­tics com­pared to metal-framed ex­ten­sions.

Oak-framed gar­den rooms are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar due to their sim­plic­ity. But, at the other end of the spectrum, an ul­tra-con­tem­po­rary curved glass dome has time­less ap­peal.’

Vale gar­den Houses are full of ge­or­gian beauty

West­bury gar­den Rooms are ideal for pe­riod prop­er­ties david sal­is­bury of­fers be­spoke gar­den rooms

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