Need smaller furniture for a compact conservatory? We can help

With a little creative thinking, you can still create a beautifully furnished conservatory.

If your conservatory is more bijoux bolthole than extravagant extension, furnishing the space so that it’s both attractive and functional can be challenging.

Whether you need a study space, cosy seating spot, or would love to enjoy breakfast with a garden view, furniture that traditionally meets those needs is often designed with a larger room in mind.

pink snuggler armchair next to circular gold bar trolleyCredit: Snug Sofa

If this is the dilemma you’re facing right now, help is at hand. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite small furniture ideas to ensure your compact conservatory is never cramped and always chic.

1. Use furniture on wheels

Not all bars need to be fitted

gold bar trolley with neon cocktail signCredit: Margo & Plum
Add some glamour with a mobile bar trolley

If you like to enjoy the odd G&T or savour a scotch under the stars, you can still create a bar in your small conservatory. Choose a glamorous bar trolley that can be wheeled within easy reach.

Style it with a selection of glasses, accessories and a quirky neon light and you’ll soon be sipping cocktails without losing too much valuable wall or floor space.

This beautiful art deco style trolley is currently on sale for £269, reduced from £329.

Featured product

Gold Art Deco Drinks Trolley

RRP: £329

Gold Art Deco Drinks Trolley

Alcohol not your preferred tipple of choice? A design such as this would also make a great coffee station or provide you with a lovely space to display an afternoon tea for visiting friends.

2. Choose storage with a fold-down feature

Combine a study space with a stylish display

bureau with drop down desk shelfCredit: Tikamoon
Make your workspace multi-functional

For a compact alternative to a work table, choose a storage unit with an integrated fold-down desk. As well as offering handy places to store documents and stationery, the open shelves allow for the addition of decorative items such as plants, candles and vases to avoid the feel of a full-time office conservatory.

Featured product

Magda 50s Solid Mahogany Sideboard

RRP: £1099

Magda 50s Solid Mahogany Sideboard

Interior design tip

Choose a unit on legs so that you can see underneath it. Floating furniture will ensure the sense of space is not diminished in any way, as it allows you to see the full extent of the floor.

3. Add modular sofas

For a flexible arrangement use seating you can shuffle

cream modular sofa sections in living space with blue and black scatter cushionsCredit: Dunelm
Opt for modular sofas in lighter shades

If your seating area is on the slim side, choose a modular sofa for a variety of adaptable options.

Usually available in singular sections without arms, the units can either be linked together or placed individually around your conservatory to suit. The armless design naturally feels less cumbersome and lets you easily increase your sofa size in either direction.

Keep your colour palette light when it comes to sofa covers to help reduce the impact of the furniture on your conservatory. Light coloured fabrics are also less prone to fading from the sun’s rays so make them the perfect choice for your sun-filled space.

Colour can be added with removable soft furnishings such as cushions and pouffes – another great small furniture addition that will double up as seating or footrests.

4. Pick an all-in-one lamp and table

Avoid overcrowding the floor by purchasing multi-purpose lighting

two images of floor lamps with integrated traysCredit: Pooky
Use a light with a handy integrated tray

There’s no denying the value of a well-lit, cosy seating spot, and you shouldn’t assume you can’t create one in a small conservatory. Conservatory lighting is as much a key component in conservatory design as it is in any other room.

So if, like me, your definition of a cosy spot includes somewhere to sit and enjoy a magazine whilst drinking a cuppa, fulfil all your needs by buying a beautiful floor lamp that also features an integrated table.

Add a traditional shade for a warm and subtle glow, plus a small occasional chair, and surround yourself with greenery for the perfectly relaxing reading spot.

Featured product

Darcy Standing Lamp with Brass Tray

RRP: £380

Darcy Standing Lamp with Brass Tray

5. Hang plants up high

Use your ceiling to create a luscious suspended hot house

plants hanging in suspended metal circle holdersCredit: Basil and Bonnie
Hang your plants to free up floor space

If your floor space is rapidly becoming filled with furniture but you still yearn for a green-house style conservatory , take advantage of any available beams or crossbars to hang a selection of indoor plants.

Leafy ferns, trailing ivy and even mini succulents could all be suspended from simple hanging pots to create an overhead jungle canopy – just remember to think about how you will water them safely.

Grab a bargain while you can. These lovely planters are currently reduced from £89 to £55 for the large gold version and £50 for the black one.

Featured product

Hanging Planter Halo Black & Gold

RRP: £89

Hanging Planter Halo Black & Gold

Always check any weight restrictions with a registered tradesman or your conservatory supplier before hanging any items from your conservatory ceiling.

6. Pick traditional outdoor dining sets

Their more delicate design feels less dominating in a smaller conservatory space

glass topped metal dining table and chairs in a conservatory with plants and a black slate floorCredit: Holloways
Garden furniture can work just as well indoors

If your conservatory is designated as a dining space but you feel a wooden or wicker dining set will encroach just a little too much, choose a more traditional bistro-style dining set.

Although they can be made from heavy cast iron, their simple but intricate frames are thinner and feel light and airy. With no visible backrest and a clear line of sight under every piece of furniture, the sense of space is far greater – even when the table is designed to sit six guests.

Cream cushioned seat pads will provide comfort, and clusters of green plants placed around the edges of the space will draw the eye outwards, giving the impression the space is larger than it is.

Annie Blackledge, interior designer at Holloways, shares her top tips for choosing conservatory fabric colours.

“Stick to lighter colours in sunny, south-facing garden rooms where any bleaching will be less noticeable,” she says, “and avoid blues, which are notorious for fading.

“Turn your cushions regularly so all cushions get equal exposure, and on really sunny days, place a throw over the areas where the sunshine comes in.”

7. Add corner shelving

Even glass walled corners can house storage space

Use clever corner shelving for extra storage and display optionsCredit: Next
Use clever corner shelving for extra storage and display options

If you’re low on wall space for shelving, give the corners of your room some love with freestanding units designed to let the light shine through.

If your interior scheme is more natural, opt for shelving in wood and sage green finishes to blend in with your outdoor view. Dress with plants, glass vases and quirky vintage finds.

If your conservatory corner is made from a more solid wall construction, pick a monochrome theme for contrast. Stagger storage baskets and lighter decorative accessories to ensure the open nature of the shelving design isn’t covered. A handy drawer on the bottom will provide extra storage for books or a cosy throw for wintertime.

Featured product

Bronx Oak Effect Shelf

RRP: £299

Bronx Oak Effect Shelf

8. Pick pack-away furniture

A table for four? Head right this way

square wooden dining table and four stools with black metal legsCredit: Dunelm
Pick furniture that slots together for a more compact solution

For a cosy but compact dining space, pick pack-away dining furniture that slots together when not in use. Providing ample space for a quick bite to eat, many designs feature stools rather than chairs, which means they can be popped completely under the table at the end of each meal.

Personally, I also think they have more than one function, as they can double up as handy side tables when not being used as dining seats. A hardwearing design made from wood and metal would also be easy enough to move outside for a spot of alfresco dining when the weather permits.

Featured product

Vixen Square Small Cube Dining Table with 4 Stools

RRP: £199

Vixen Square Small Cube Dining Table with 4 Stools

9. Snuggle up in a loveseat

Created for cuddling, snuggle seats sit more than one

pink snuggler armchair next to circular gold bar trolleyCredit: Snug Sofa
Smaller than a two seater but still room to cuddle

If you’re keen to add comfy chairs to your conservatory but just don’t have the room for a multi-person sofa, a snuggle chair or loveseat could be the solution.

Designed to seat 1.5 adults, they can be a luxurious seat for one, the perfect spot for story time with a child  or the ideal excuse to get cosy with a loved one.

Although larger than a normal armchair, they take up less space than a two-seater sofa, and may be the perfect compromise when it comes to picking furniture you can truly sink into.

Featured product

The Rebel 1.5 Seater Snuggler - Blush Coral

RRP: £899

The Rebel 1.5 Seater Snuggler - Blush Coral

10. Try a triple-use ottoman

Pick designs with interchangeable lids for maximum benefit

Is a stool, a tray or storage? It's all threeCredit: Next
Is a stool, a tray or storage? It’s all three

Last but not least on our list of small furniture ideas for conservatories is the humble ottoman. It’s a small but mightily powerful addition to your conservatory, and when bought well can serve not one, not two, but three essential functions.

No space for a dining table? Choose an ottoman with a two-sided lid. When the tray side is on display, it’s the perfect spot for your snack or quick bite to eat.

Have extra guests suddenly arrived? Simply turn the lid over and you’ve got a comfy stool for them to sit on. Or, if it’s been a long day and you need a moment of quiet reflection,  your ottoman makes the perfect footrest.

Still struggling for somewhere to store your books, magazines, jigsaws or cosy winter throws? Open the ottoman and tuck away your treasures until they’re next needed. As the saying goes, good things do come in small packages and the ottoman is testament to the fact.


Featured product

Ashton Storage Stool

RRP: £155

Ashton Storage Stool
Sarah Harley

Written by Sarah Harley she/her


Since first picking up a paintbrush and experiencing the joy of re-decorating her bedroom in a questionable red, white and grey scheme as a young teenager, Sarah Harley was hooked on the world of interior design. This obsession even led to a real life ‘Grand Designs’ project in 2005 when she donned a pink hard hat and appeared on TV screens, project managing the renovation and extension of a Grade II listed 17th century Folly in South Wales.

Throughout her career, Sarah has gained an array of experience in several different roles, ranging from copywriting, PR, events management and photography to interior design and home staging. With her two passions being the written word and the joys of a beautifully designed home, Sarah’s mission is to open the door on the world of interiors, inviting readers in to help them work their way through the vast choice of products, ideas and trends so that their own homes can reach their full potential.

Away from work, Sarah fills her Pinterest boards with more ideas, dreams of where to travel, takes photographs and loves being by the sea. She has two sons and if she absorbed everything they said would also be a football expert. The fact is she is often more interested in the colour and design of the kit – but don’t tell them that.

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