Strapped for study space? These 10 office conservatory ideas could provide a solution

Whether it’s a work-from-home space or a quiet spot for reflection, here’s how your sunny space could be improved.

If you dream of a life outdoors but still find yourself needing to spend time at your desk, why not use your conservatory as a study space?

Bathed in light and providing you with a potential wellbeing boost from the immediate connection – visually and physically – to the outdoors, a conservatory makes the perfect office space.

Transforming it can be a simple task, if you focus on getting three key elements right: light, proportion and temperature control.

wooden desk carved from slab of tree in front of windowsCredit: Unsplash/Roberto Nickson

With the help of experts, we’ve rounded up 10 office conservatory ideas to bring a new dimension to your working day.


1. Use a bold feature wallpaper

Create a statement with an eye-catching design

When it comes to design features, it’s likely your conservatory’s view tops the list. But if you can’t position your desk in front of the windows – or would prefer not to be distracted by it – choose a bold statement wallpaper as an alternative backdrop to your work station.

black and white graphic wallpaper with desk, chair, laptop and red desk lampCredit: Tracey Andrews Interiors
Create an alternative view with a wallpaper mural

Using a monochrome colour palette can also be a great way of complementing the glass, says Tracey Andrews, interior designer.

“By their very invention, conservatories have a lot of glass, so depending on your style of conservatory, a neutral interior design backdrop can give you the scope to add a showstopping floor, such as striking black and white tiles set on the diagonal.”

Add pops of colour, such as red, with accessories and lighting.

2. Build the library of your dreams

Pop a bureau to the side for a neat workspace solution

If you crave the luxury of a library but still need a space to study or work, run a series of shelves along one wall but stop short of the full length so you can position a bureau within the alcove.

conservatory with floor to ceiling bookshelves and bureau to the sideCredit: Vale Garden Houses
Browse books at a neatly positioned bureau

As well as still leaving you ample space for a comfortable seating area, placing a bureau within an alcove can minimise the impact of light when you’re working.

It’s one of the top tips interior designer Emilie Fournet shares with us when talking about office conservatory design. “Try to work out if there is a corner or area in the conservatory that isn’t in direct sunlight. This could be a good space to have a desk or screen that you can use any time and not to have to worry about glare.”


3. Place your desk centre stage

Create a corporate feel with streamlined design

Although many of us have gone back to work following the pandemic, it’s reported that more than 40% of us are still working from home. However, this shouldn’t mean we have to resign ourselves to working from a makeshift office in a cluttered spare room.

if you’ve been used to a sleek and contemporary corporate office, you can still replicate this feel in an office conservatory.

bank of grey cupboards with gold inlaid display shelves and a large desk and chairCredit: Hammonds Furniture
Working from home can still be done in style

Commission a specialist furniture company or carpenter to design a bespoke wall of storage, and use darker paint and soft colours for furnishing for a more sophisticated feel. Add a sense of luxury with gold or metallic shades to frame display shelves, and carry this through by choosing a desk in the same metallic tones.

Take a minimalist approach with your lights and flooring to ensure your overall look oozes a sense of power.

4. Use natural materials

Embrace the outdoors with a desk honed from trees

Prefer a more rustic look when it comes to interior design? Fully embrace the concept of immersing yourself in the outdoors and install a desk carved from a slab of natural timber.

wooden desk carved from slab of tree in front of windowsCredit: Unsplash/Roberto Nickson
Embrace nature in your office conservatory design

Taking inspiration from the outdoors is a concept well known within Japanese culture, says Mervyn Montgomery, founder and director of Hampton Conservatories.

“A glazed extension is the ideal location for a home office because working in or near a natural environment is great for our mental health,” says Montgomery.

“It has been proven that being in green spaces, such as woodland or a garden, reduces cortisol, which is a stress hormone. At the same time, it  raises endorphins and dopamine production, both of which are associated with happiness. The Japanese have a word for this – Shinrin-yoku, meaning taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing.”

Regardless of the nature of your job, creative or more corporate, positivity is a welcome boost, explains Montgomery, helping us to tackle whatever the working day throws our way.

5. Combine wicker with black and cream

Bring traditional conservatory materials up to date

An already popular material choice for conservatory furniture, wicker can also be used effectively in an office space. If you already have a wicker dining table and chairs, soften the space with a cream sheepskin rug and add a simple cream glossy desk for an immediate work area.

black and cream striped rug on floor with cream desk, artwork stacked against wall and leafy green plantsCredit: Furniture and Choice
Use black, cream and green with natural wicker

To create a connection with a black computer screen, zone the space by adding a striped black and cream rug, a simple black wire shelf for storing books, and prop abstract art against a wall for an almost loft-like appearance.

Complete your work zone by “introducing abundant plants for a natural colour vibrance and to improve health and wellbeing,” says Andrews. Choosing wicker baskets for lush green foliage will also ensure the scheme is cohesive but contemporary.

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6. Use curtains for cover

Divide your workspace from your home with a floral-patterned curtain

If your conservatory space is smaller, create a private salon-like space with an antique upholstered sofa, and an ornately carved desk, and choose a bold floral wallpaper in yellows and pinks to make the room feel like it is filled with sunshine.

conservatory with yellow patterned wallpaper, small sofa and deskCredit: Vale Garden Houses
Carve out a salon-like space and decorate with sunshine colours

Choosing the right size furniture is key when it comes to making office conservatories work, according to Fournet.

“The most important thing to consider in small spaces is proportions,” she says. “Don’t put a giant desk or sofa in a small space, for example, as it will completely overwhelm the room. Instead go for a more compact table or a single chair.

“Several smaller items will always work better than one big piece of furniture. Also consider the look of them – a sofa on legs will look more elevated and give more of a sense of space than a boxy, legless sofa.”

For those times when privacy is required, rather than adding doors, simply hang a curtain across the divide. Choosing a floral pattern will link the outside to the space and could also help with temperature control during the colder winter months.

How to deal with temperature in an office conservatory

Montgomery shares valuable advice for keeping it cool:

 Working under glass can cause a potential problem with solar gain. Most people working a standard nine-to-five shift will need to plan their glazed extension accordingly if they want to avoid this. But with careful consideration, it can be mitigated.

“Simply put, solar gain is the effect you get in a greenhouse where the radiation from the sunlight heats the space inside a glazed room. Technological advances now allow coated glass to reflect the radiation from the sun, preventing it from reaching and heating the room.

“The effectiveness of solar control glass at preventing radiation from passing through is described using g-values. Generally, low g-value glass would be specified in a south-facing roof, whilst glass with a higher g-value may be more appropriate for a north-facing roof.

“It’s also worth considering adding roof vents, electrically operated with thermostat control, and rain sensors, along with side-opening windows. This creates a chimney effect – where cool air comes in down low and then the heat rises and escapes through the roof vent – which is better for air circulation, keeping the home office user refreshed and alert for their working day.”

7. Hide your office with cupboards or screens

Clever storage needn’t be office-like

If you’re concerned about making your sunny spot too serious, take a more eclectic approach to your interior and use sympathetically chosen furniture to provide quirky storage solutions.

two images of a conservatory office with green chaise and rattan screen dividerCredit: Emilie Fournet Interiors
Be clever and quirky in your lean-to office conservatory space

More traditional in nature, lean-to conservatories are often narrow and separated from the home by a set or series of doors. Rather than trying to change the nature of the space with built-in furniture, Fournet says: “Consider floor-standing shelves and small cabinets, or multipurpose pieces of furniture like a seating bench with storage underneath.”

And if items are simply too large for a cupboard, use a screen to ensure your space remains serene but functional.

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8. Coat your roof lantern

Flood the space with natural daylight – but avoid the glare

“A constant stream of natural light during the working day is far more beneficial than having to rely on artificial light,” says Karen Bell, creative director at David Salisbury. “It’s good for your wellbeing and also for saving energy,” she adds.

conservatory with large roof lantern and floral wallpaper muralCredit: David Salisbury
Bring a natural sense of wellbeing to your office with oodles of daylight

And there’s nothing better than a roof lantern for achieving this. But with the glare from light potentially affecting a computer screen, how do you deal with minimising the effect?

“Glare is not usually a significant issue from vertical glazing,” says Montgomery, “but the overhead sun on cloudless summer days can make it a major consideration when it comes to glass roofs.

“To deal with glare, a number of glass solutions, such as tints and coatings, have been developed,” he says. “These filter and reflect the sunlight, allowing natural daylight in but reducing the possibility of glare. For example, the very soft tint of grey anti-sun glass is unnoticeable when installed but significantly reduces glare without darkening the room.”

9. Add Shaker-style storage

Blend a conservatory kitchen and office

For an office conservatory located off a kitchen, choose Shaker-style cupboard doors to unite the spaces.

For a colour that looks at home in either room, choose the ever-popular grey and keep door handle design to a minimum. Running cupboard doors from floor to ceiling in the office also maximises the available space and could provide additional storage for kitchen or dining items not used on a regular basis.

grey floor to ceiling shaker style cupboards with black glass desk and white chairCredit: Hammonds Furniture
Blend styles and furniture choices for a multi-functional space

Choose a glass desk for extra light reflection and dress it with glossy accessories and fresh garden flowers.

But there’s more. This kind of desk design also comes with added benefits – extra dining space. Clearing away work-related items and replacing them with table settings would turn your office into a dining room in no time, with the bonus of an even more multi-functional room.

10. Pick matching furniture

Choose light and bright furniture sets for a studio-like feel

If your work is more creative than corporate and you find yourself inspired when surrounded by beautiful objects, pick a set of lightly coloured furniture for work and display purposes.

Opt for a desk with ample drawer space to provide easy access to materials, dress shelves with treasured items and objets d’art, while at the same time choosing stylish storage boxes for hiding away essential work items.

white and oak desk and bookshelves in conservatoryCredit: Oak Furnitureland
Choose matching furniture for a bright studio office space

Add tropical plants for an immediate sense of wellbeing, and paint walls in darker contrasting colours to ensure the already well-lit space doesn’t become just a little too bright.

Fournet shares her final top tips for creating an office conservatory.

 Be practical:

“Make sure of the feasibility of having an office in a conservatory. For example, is it going to be an ice box in the winter because of bad insulation and lack of adequate heating – or equally, will it feel like a greenhouse in the summer because it’s a south-facing room lacking shading or good ventilation?

“If you can only use the space as an office for a few weeks a year in spring and autumn, then you may need to remedy issues like insulation and heating. You want a comfortable space you can use all year round and at any time of day.”

Window coverings are essential:

“I would always recommend having adequate shading in a conservatory, whether that is blinds, voiles, etc… You could consider electric blinds that automatically close when the space gets sunny. This will also prevent sun damage on any furniture or fabrics you have in the space.”

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.

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