Conservatories come in all shapes and sizes and each of these come with their own obstacles.
When you have a small conservatory, you obviously want to maximise the space but risk cluttering the room and causing a bit of chaos.
Many of us use our conservatory as a multipurpose room, many host parties, play-dates and meetings within hours of each other.
Here are 14 ideas for what to put in a small conservatory to magnify the space and keep it looking chic:
- Leaning shelves
Everyone always wishes they had more shelves, there is never enough room for all the old books, CDs and family photos in any house!
But a large unit can overpower a room easily and wall-mounted ones don’t always serve the right purpose.
Leaning shelves look great and fit far more than you would have thought. They come in various heights, depths and can be tailored for the location. Corner units are great for a feature.
They are perfect for your conservatory plants but can also serve for so much more.
Wider ones could house a small TV to form a second living room, the kids’ toys can perch happily when they’re not being played with. You could use them for serving canapes and prosecco at your next party.
- Bench Seating
I have seen so many bulky sofas and futons in conservatories. They are rarely used and take up most of the space. Bench seating is an incredible alternative.
If it is within your budget, having a custom unit fitted looks sleek and saves space. Many are made with storage underneath, a perfect place to hide bric-a-brac.
Dress this up with cushions that complement the room, this can really modernise a conservatory. When the room grows a bit tired and out of date, it will be far easier and more affordable to replace these covers than buying a new sofa.
- Corner Shelves
If leaning shelves aren’t your thing, corner shelves are a great alternative. They are available in so many styles and are kept nicely tucked away.
These shelves take up no floor space and minimal wall space so they still leave room for decorative bits and pieces without being overbearing.
You can choose one alone as a feature or have them fitted floor to ceiling depending on the storage you require. Varying the size, shape or colour can give the place some added personality too.
- Hanging Chairs
In terms of size, these hardly vary from putting an armchair in your conservatory. However, you have the added bonus of floor space underneath.
You can use this nether space for virtually anything, shoe racks, boxes of books or whatever needs a place to live.
But it also serves as that little added bonus when it comes to finding a good rug for winter. Typically, you would not just take into account the surface area of the floor but also furniture placement.
This worry is completely eradicated with a hanging chair as you can pop any rug of your pleasing beneath.
It may not seem like the most inventive idea, but believe me, pegs can really help with preventing your small conservatory looking too cluttered.
It is not uncommon to be in the garden on a hot day, adorning your most fabulous sun hat. Upon coming inside, many are cast onto chairs, tables and floors.
Having pegs in the conservatory encourages items to be put away neatly and keep the room free of clutter.
They are also useful for general storage. I’m sure I am not the only one with bags of ‘stuff’ lying around.
Invest in some shabby chic hessian tote bags, fill them with all the bits and bobs that are yet to find their true home in your house and hang them up. Your guests will be none-the-wiser that your perfectly coordinated peg rack is actually chao within.
Pegs also serve for decorative purposes, you can hang macrame pot holders from them, vary the lengths and voila! You have an impressive focal point for the room without surrendering floor space to plant pots.
- Folding Tables
These are a personal favourite. Whether you need a desk for workspace or an area for a spot of brunch, these are ideal.
There are so many varieties on the market nowadays that all have their own unique way of working.
Some simply flip up and down when needed, others can be concealed as a mirror or framed print so when it isn’t in use, no one would even know it was there!
If you don’t want to start drilling into the walls, there are stand-alone models, like the one pictured. This folds away neatly and can act as a sideboard when not in use. When put into action, it can seat 4-6 people. Great for dinner parties!
To give the appearance of a larger room, ceiling-to-floor curtains can really elongate your walls.
Just like clothes, vertical stripes or patterns can really accentuate this, but if in doubt stick to a plain fabric.
They all add a touch of elegance to a room and help to keep the heat in during winter.
- Nesting Tables
These are great for entertaining or even for the little ones to eat at.
Nesting tables offer the ideal storage-saving solution, they are often cheap too. I am forever spotting them in charity shops.
Often second-hand, they are a little worse for wear but this isn’t always a bad thing. Give them a good sanding and a new coat of paint and they’re as good as new.
Perhaps you could paint each one a different colour or use wallpaper that matches a wall in your house for a trendy vibe.
Mirrors are extraordinary illusionists. There isn’t even such a notion of ‘too big’.
Placing a statement mirror on your wall not only creates a feature but will open up your conservatory.
Strategically placing mirrors opposite windows to reflect the sunlight can also help to keep the room bright all year round.
If you don’t have a lot of wall space, even smaller stand-alone frame mirrors will make a difference.
- Low Furniture
So this one is a little ambiguous but can really make a difference.
Avoid furniture with a lot of height if you can, sofas and conservatory chairs with large backs can overshadow a room.
By choosing items that are small in stature, you can optimize the space and if you are consistent throughout your conservatory by doing so, it will be hardly noticeable.
Floor and table lamps are a great accessory but are a waste of space for a smaller conservatory.
On the other hand, light gives the appearance of greater space. It’s a bit of a dilemma.
Wall-mounted lights give a sleek finish and take up minimal space.
Nowadays, you don’t even need an electrician to install them. Many models can simply be plugged in at the wall and you can guide your cables so they don’t appear unsightly.
You could even hang a floating shelf with lights fitted to the underside and create both storage and lighting at the same time.
You will be forgiven in thinking a smaller rug suits a smaller room. This is a common misconception.
A large rug doesn’t break up the floor visually and tricks the mind into seeing a grander surface area.
If the rest of your decor is quite neutral, a bold print can make an impressive statement and won’t leave your conservatory appearing crowded.
These are great as they can serve more than one purpose.
A comfy footstool, extra seating and can even be transformed into a coffee table with the addition of a solid surface, such as a tea tray.
Lightweight, ottomans are easy to move for each intended purpose.
Many are available with storage inside, what’s not to love?
- Extend to the Outdoors
This works wonders in the warmer months.
Take elements of your conservatory and incorporate them into the garden. This could be matching cushions with outdoor furniture or outdoor plant pots the same colour as your walls.
This ties the two areas together and tricks the eye into seeing them as the one space. If your conservatory has bi-fold doors you can even let your indoor furniture trickle into the outdoors.
This can work wonders when entertaining as it eradicates the divide between indoors and outdoors.
Hopefully, you have gathered some inspiration to optimise your small conservatory. It’s always a delicate balance between being able to use your conservatory for its intended purpose and becoming messy.
That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment, most retailers will allow you to return items if they don’t suit. If you’re in two minds about a purchase, give it a go at home as you never know until it is in the space.