A Conservatory Could Save You Going Stir Crazy This Winter!

There’s something wonderful about winter months spent in the home. Nothing beats the feeling of closing the curtains and cranking the heating on a cold evening. At no other time of year are we so prone to becoming homebodies. If we were honest, the majority of us would rather stay in on a winter evening than head out into the cold. But even when in hibernation, many of us reach a point where we go a little stir crazy. It may be close to freezing outside, but many of us reach a stage, around January and February, where we feel we’ll explode if we don’t nourish ourselves with nature. It’s a difficult situation. Even if you manage to make your garden usable in the colder months, you may not be able to face the freeze and spend time there. Before you know it, you’re clawing at the windows and sick of looking at your walls. The good news is, there is a way to make the most of your outside space during winter. You don’t even have to freeze to achieve it. All you need to do is turn your attention to the conservatory you keep locked at this time of year. With a little effort, you could turn it into the perfect halfway ground between your hibernation, and your happiness. Here are a few ways how. 

Heat the space
First, you need to find a way to heat the space. The main reason many of us choose to forget about our conservatories in winter is because they get pretty cold. They may not quite reach the levels of our gardens, but they often aren’t far off. So, we lock them up to ensure they don’t suck heat from the whole house. If you’re going to bring your conservatory into your winter routine, it’s time you tackled the heating issue. It may still be worth closing the door when the room isn’t in use, purely because windows tend to let heat escape. Leaving a conservatory open at all times, then, could increase your heating bill in a significant way. The trouble with this being, of course, that keeping it closed will keep it cold. Fear not, though; there are clever ways to heat your conservatory which don’t involve losing heat elsewhere. Standalone heating units are always a good idea here. You can turn them on half an hour before you use the room, and they’re sure to heat it thoroughly. Or, you could get fancy, with underfloor heating which will keep the whole room toasty. Either way, you won’t have to worry about the cold anymore! 

Use it for practical purposes
To ensure you make proper use of the room, it’s important to consider practical purposes. You may need that time closer to nature, but if there’s nothing more to do than sit and stare, you won’t spend long in the space. Instead, consider practical reasons to be there. It may be that you buy a dining table for the space from companies like Bridgman. That way, your whole family can enjoy a taste of the outside during meal times. Or, perhaps you would prefer to turn this into a library. By installing a few bookcases and a comfortable chair, you can enhance the peaceful atmosphere. This will ensure you spend a decent amount of time soaking in the sights of the garden. 

Fill the space with plants
Of course, your conservatory may take you closer to nature, but it doesn’t quite bring you into the thick of things. There will still be walls between you and the fresh air you so desire. You won’t be able to smell the plants or touch their leaves if you fancy. Which is why it’s worth incorporating some house plants into your conservatory. These offer a fantastic opportunity to freshen the air and add a literal sense of nature. Bear in mind that you can’t expect any old plant to survive in these conditions. When you’re not in the room, it’s sure to get pretty cold in there. A significant portion of house plants would die reasonably fast. Instead, look out for study options which are sure to stand the test of time. Alan Titchmarsh, king of plants, recommends cacti and succulents for a stylish conservatory. Though he does claim you can use the space for citrus trees, and more exotic options if you’re willing to put in the time. Bear in mind that you don’t want to go over the top here. You’ll have enough work on your hands getting the garden ready for summer. So, opting for easy to care for choices may well be your best bet. 

Keep the windows clear
It should go without saying that the main appeal of any conservatory is the windows. These are, after all, where nature comes into play. Yet, during the winter months, these come under attack from all areas. On incredibly cold days, they could become iced, or frosted with condensation. On rainy days, they can become muddy and dirty. If you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself unable to see anything. Luckily, there are some easy enough solutions to these issues. Your heating system itself should be able to tackle any problems of ice, so you won’t need to worry about that. In all honesty, a well-sealed conservatory shouldn’t have issues with condensation. But, if you do find this is a problem when you turn on the heating, you could invest in a dehumidifier. These help to remove excess moisture from the air, and so remove the cause of the problem. This is actually a crucial step. Leaving condensation to do as it pleases can lead to mold problems, which is never good news. This can be especially problematic in conservatories with a wooden structure. Last but by no means least, you can tackle issues of dirty windows by installing self-cleaning options. These will take care of themselves, saving you the need to get cold in your quest for clear glass!