Many homeowners use conservatories as summer houses - areas to enjoy the warming rays of the sun and take in the sights from the garden, a space half-way between outdoors and in. To this end, conservatories have perhaps become overly associated with the warm summer months.
While it’s certainly nice to be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer from a conservatory, these extensions of our homes have far more to offer year-round. By design, conservatories draw more light and heat than elsewhere in our homes, which can be a great advantage during the colder, darker months where sunlight is less plentiful.
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Anglian Home Improvements found that 83 per cent of women and 74 per cent of men said the reduction in daylight during the winter months has a negative impact on their mood. The fact that people venture outdoors less during this time may be a contributing factor to low mood and 37 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men polled conceded that shorter days kept them indoors and away from light, more.
Lack of daylight is associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can impact on people’s mood during winter months. It is believed the lack of daylight can contribute to symptoms such as feeling depressed and tired, lacking motivation and energy and over eating.
If you find yourself missing the sunnier, summer months, why not spend a little time reading in your conservatory, or next to a draught-free double glazed window enjoying the light that is on offer? And of course, if the colder weather is drawing you indoors, there’s no reason to be sedentary once there. Spacious conservatories provide the perfect backdrop for some gentle home exercise. How about doing a little Tai Chi or yoga while looking out onto your garden or hopping on a foldable exercise bike for a spot of indoor cycling?
There’s no reason to be anti-social if you’re staying indoors either. Why not invite friends over for coffee or a game of cards in the conservatory during the daytime to make the most of whatever sunshine our weather system blesses us with? Alternatively, make the most of the night time view from a conservatory and hold drinks or dinner in the space. The addition of fairy lights and candle lights can create a truly magical ambience, as you look up at the stars without the risk of the heavens opening on you.
If you are lucky enough to own a conservatory or are planning to have one fitted in the near future, there’s no reason it should be reserved for occasional summer use. In fact, innovative design and technological developments mean conservatories are far more everyday than they ever have been. If you have a good view that you’d like to enjoy, why not make use of it by situating your kitchen or living room within a large conservatory? This will make the most of the view and the light bestowed by the oft-temperamental weather of this land. And, if you don’t want to rely too much on that tempestuous beast, there’s always triple glazing, underfloor heating and clever lighting to make the most of what nature gives.