Turning An Unused Conservatory Into A Stylish Space : Chatting With Sarah Parmenter

In the days before kitchen extensions became ten a penny, homeowners used to simply  pinch a bit of the garden and add on a garden room – a conservatory. Often these were white plastic upvc, which is now very much out of fashion with the style brigade. Many conservatories are now being ripped down and stuck into landfill, replaced with solid walls featuring wide expanses of glazing and underfloor heating. Solid, expensive walls.

So what happens when your pennies don’t stretch to this large a project? What happens when you move into a house with a bolted on upvc conservatory which you hate, but  you don’t have the funds to simply start again?

I recently filmed a house tour for Real Homes up in Manchester with owner Sarah Parmenter, a new build which very cleverly feels absolutely nothing like a new build. Sarah works in PR but also is extraordinarily talented at taking unloved secondhand pieces and turning them into beautifully decorated furniture.

There’s always something in our houses that we’d radically change if we suddenly came into £30k isn’t there? Something which isn’t ‘needed’ necessarily but would be a luxe spend. Maybe a side extension to add more metres to the kitchen, or a complete redesign of the garden. For Sarah it was the conservatory, which neither her nor her two boys ever used. It was cold, unwelcoming and hard to heat in winter, then too hot & stifling in summer. As one of the main reception rooms to the ground floor is already a bedroom to Sarah’s teenage son Archie, who has cerebral palsy, this useable extra space was critical to the family.

The complaints of fluctuating temperature and liveability are often made about older models of conservatory but what’s the answer? Well, take a look at the video below and see Sarah’s innovative, personal and very cost effective solution.

Great isn’t it?! A very small amount spent but now a room used on a daily basis, feeling like an extension to the kitchen which sits within the core of the house. Archie loves it – and if Archie & his onesie love it, it must be good 😉img_9625The space is now warm and cosy in the darker months, yet still has views to Sarah’s favourite parts of the garden, with sunlight streaming through in warmer months. Plus, heaps of storage.img_9623It doesn’t matter whether you’re taken with the colour of the walls, lighting or shelving because anyone inspired by this idea would make their space entirely their own using paint, wallpaper and soft furnishings. You could also configure the infill walls exactly how you like, maybe having both sides open, or one side and the front too.img_9624And if the house were being sold, an incoming buyer could remove the lot and take it back to being a conservatory again.

A super, stylish and canny solution to a very specific problem, well executed. Thumbs up, Sarah!



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