A sunny room can have several definitions

A room with plenty of sun. Simple in theory, but a tad complicated in practice. Orangery, conservatory, sunroom – deary deary me – would who would have thought that a sunny room can have several definitions? I went in search for further details.

A sunny room can have several definitions - GardenRoomStyle

Personally I’m fairly clued up about orangeries. They are historical architectural features, instigated by royals and other highfliers back in the 1600s. Back then they were (usually) separate buildings housing citrus fruit during the winter months. Oranges and the like were prestigous possessions showcasing wealth and status. Orangeries were facing south and had huge windows allowing plenty of sunrays to reach those treasured plants.

Then in the 19th century, technologies such as heating and making complicated glass structures vastly improved, especially in the Netherlands and the UK. Wealth among “common” people increased and they also wanted a sunny room. The conservatory arrived on the scene and the lines between orangery and conservatory became blurred.

A sunny room - traditional sunroon - several definitions - Garden Room Style

A traditional sunroom – source thisoldhouse.com

I see plenty of advertisements for orangeries and conservatories and I’m not shy of admitting confusion. What is exactly the difference in this day and age? I found Vale Garden Houses explanation helpful, reading as follows:

It is in a combination of factors – mainly seen in the amount of glass within the structure and the differences can be demonstrated in both the roof and the side, but it is also found in the general construction of the roof.

In the roof construction, a conservatory will generally have over 75% of the roof glazed whilst an orangery will have less than 75% glazed.

Furthermore …

A conservatory will have a more delicate side framework and larger proportion of glazing to other features that may be found within the side. In contrast, an orangery will incorporate generous sized pilasters and entablature, creating the feel of a more substantial build.

A sunny room may have several definitions - Garden Room Style

A contemporary sunny room – source 6sqft.com.

So far, so clear(ish). What about the sunroom then? This may be defined as ‘a room with large windows and sometimes a glass roof, designed to allow in a lot of sunlight.’ OK – but does not sound all that different to what has been written about above. And that’s because there’s basically only a linguistic interpretation. Orangeries and conservatories is English (European) terminology, sunroom is mostly used in the US and Canada. A sunny room can have several definitions but being specific always helps.

A sunny room may have several definitions - Garden Room Style

A contemporary sunny room – source zameen.com.