In this guest post, Westbury Garden Rooms share how a garden room or orangery extension is the perfect solution for families looking to update their homes, post-pandemic.
As the world slowly returns to a new kind of ‘normal’, many are using this period to re-evaluate future goals and intentions. We’ve all had to sacrifice our plans to some degree this year, with holiday cancellations, small birthdays and property sales on hold. Instead, we’ve had to turn our attention closer to home. After spending so many months self-isolating indoors renovating and improving the houses we already live in is now high on the agenda.
During the lockdown, people discovered a slower, more straightforward way of life – and many of us are keen to maintain this new, steady mindset as we emerge from the crisis. Creating a home that allows for quality time spent together as a family is the new resulting trend. In need of some inspiration? Let’s take a look at how a glazed garden room or orangery extension ticks all the boxes for families looking to redesign their homes and adapt their properties to post-pandemic living.
An extension that connects the house with the garden
When we were all housebound, our gardens became our safe havens. Despite the closure of garden centres, we spent a considerable amount of time soaking up the sun in the fresh air, all within the confines of our lawns and patios. All of a sudden, we had the time to tend to our borders, prune hedges and dig out rockeries. Every other meal was eaten outside al-fresco style, and the BBQ’s were lit each weekend.
The very essence of a garden room is about connecting your home and your garden and allowing them to merge into one large space. Expansive, vertical panes of glass drench the room with light, providing uninterrupted views of the garden. In sunny weather, the benefits of an orangery or garden room become apparent as you open up your French doors, letting your family move in and out as they please. Reading on sun loungers, painting on the patio or sharing picnics are fun activities for everyone in the family, and close access to your home makes this way of life effortless.
Perfect for homeworking and homeschooling
According to YouGov research, four in ten British workers had to switch to home working on a full-time basis. Getting accustomed to home working was a challenge for many, especially for those running their businesses and looking after children at home. As a consequence, space had to be made for home offices, and these continue to be essential working areas of the family home as lockdown eases.
When it comes to home offices, a quiet room upstairs or a cabin at the bottom of the garden isn’t compatible when forced to combine working from home with homeschooling. Parents had to learn how to homeschool for the first time, as well as managing working from home, running a household, and looking after parents and neighbours. It doesn’t matter how many times they asked for peace, children found it hard to leave their parents alone. An open-plan, multi-functional space like a garden room or orangery is ideal for this setup. It provides you with a bright and airy spot where you can work, keep an eye on dinner cooking and supervise your child’s zoom call from their teacher at the same time. The office might swamp you with emails, but your kids will still feel close to you as they sit and watch TV or paint rainbows in another area of the room.
A space to enjoy new family activities together
As parents realised that homeschooling was harder than it sounded, they realised that more leisurely activities were suitable alternatives to classroom learning. Reading books, going on nature walks, listening to music, painting rainbows, dancing, building forts and making paper flowers kept them engaged during the lengthy lockdown. For a family, being able to spend time in large, multi-functional rooms makes all the difference when there are lots of projects on the go. With everyone in the family spending days on end at home, space is needed for additional storage too, for craft sets, dressing up boxes and homework folders.
How we spent our time at home certainly changed, but we also dedicated more time to cooking. While many of us would support local businesses by ordering in for special occasions, plenty of us took up home cooking. We enjoyed preparing food together as a family in the evenings. There was a big focus around preparing balanced food that promotes good health and made us feel nourished. A well designed, open-plan kitchen extension is ideal for baking banana bread and sourdough loaves together, with plenty of worktop space for everyone to get involved.
To help everyone feeling healthy and invigorated, many of us live-streamed classes and workshops, such as yoga, fitness and mindfulness classes from the comfort of our own homes. Larger, open-plan spaces like garden rooms and orangeries are ideal when everyone in the family wants to unwind.
Extending your home and creating an open living space is an enticing proposition now that lockdown has ended. A glazed garden room or orangery extension, with multi-functional family areas and spectacular views of the garden beyond, allows you to adapt your home to a new way of life. Over the last 30 years, Westbury Garden Rooms has built a reputation for designing glazed timber extensions of the very highest quality. Contact us today to discuss your project in more detail or book an appointment to visit one of our showrooms.