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Creating an Indoor Garden Room: Conservatory Reveal

turning a conservatory into a garden room

Our conservatory is a bit of a marmite room. It's a very old conservatory (built in the 80s) that heats up to about 1000degrees in summer and then freezes to about -1000degrees in winter. I'm exaggerating, but you get what I'm trying to say - it's not a perfectly formed extension. It's what typical 80s conservatories are known for; being a tad impractical.

Despite that, knocking it down seemed like a total waste since we would only have gained a tiny extra bit of space in the garden. I think having it as a living space is actually more beneficial, plus, I'd always wanted a conservatory. It might not be the conservatory I had dreamed of, but I certainly wasn't letting it go!

When you have a room so awkward and so ugly, I think the best thing to do is embrace its ugly character and do something weird and wonderful with it. If you haven't seen the 'before' to our conservatory, you can see the whole journey right here. But, essentially it used to be a white box with a leaky roof. 

how to transform an old conservatory

With the idea of doing something weird and wonderful in here, we decided we wanted to turn it into a garden themed room. Somewhere to fill with plants and basically turn it into an indoor garden. I built some pallet seating (which we also have in our garden!) already and painted the floor last year (yes, painted!). But the "garden-feel" wasn't really coming through just yet. So, I began searching for some garden-themed supplies, and a ton of plants. And I thought I would share these little updates with you since I haven't done so yet.

Apple Crates

The first thing I found was these apple crates, which were the most perfect find for this room. I don't think I could get more "garden-y" if I tried! I found them on eBay for just £3 a crate, so I snapped up 5 of them. I've used four to stack in the corner like a little storage section, which I've also filled with garden supplies, like weedkiller and plant food. This is both a practical storage solution and also fits my theme - the best of both worlds!

apple crates as garden storage
indoor garden room
gardening storage ideas

I then used the other single crate to hang up onto the wall, which I plan to cluster a few different "garden-themed" prints on. And maybe a few small cacti's as well. The artwork that's currently on there was a very cheap little number from our recent trip to Japan. This part of the room is still a working progress, but I'm liking it so far!

Pallet shelves with plants

Chalkboard Calendar

What allotment-style garden doesn't have some kind of vegetable-growing planner? OK, I'm not using my chalkboard calendar to help me grow vegetables, but it kinda fits the theme and it's really useful for plotting our monthly plans onto, so we each know what the other one has planned for the month. The chalkboard chart is actually a wall sticker gifted from wallboss and I have a whole post about it here. The carrot bunting was an Easter-themed decoration from TK Maxx, but I love it in here!

Chalkboard calendar wall sticker
wallboss wall stickers

DIY Pallet Shelves

I needed somewhere to show off all the plants I had been collecting, so I made DIY shelves from pallet wood. I simply sanded them down, oiled them (I used Rustin's Danish Oil, same as our kitchen worktop) and attached them to the wall with some simple inexpensive brackets. The ones I've used were £10 for 4 from Amazon, although sadly no longer available.

I hung them off at an angle from one another, which I let you guys on Instagram choose in a poll, and that was the winning shelf combo. I like your pick!

Indoor garden room ideas

The retro radio is a genuine piece of my past, the flamingo watering-can was from a local garden centre (but you can also find it on eBay here) and the metal star was from a local antiques fair.

Adding Plants

I thought long and hard about the types of plants I wanted in this room. I wanted plants that would survive in both warm and cold climates, be easy to maintain (cos I'm secretly a bit shit at keeping plants alive!) and look nice as well.

Despite all that, I'm still quite partial to a bargain so anything on the 'reduce to clear' bay also made its way into my shopping basket, so who knows whether they'll make it past the winter. The ones I think will survive just fine though is the fern, succulents, ivy, "money tree" and the spider plant. I found the vintage plant pots on eBay - also love those!

conservatory green house ideas
vintage hand thrown plant pots

The two 'bigger' plants I specifically wanted for the conservatory, was a Lemon Tree and an Olive Tree. Both can survive hot and cold climates and both I really like the look of. Plus, I'd love to grow my own lemons - and guess what, I have!

Growing lemons in a conservatory

One little reduce-to-clear plant that deserves a mention is this rubber plant, which has absolutely flourished in the conservatory. I've grown a total of five new leaves. I feel like it may die in the winter (even if I move it out of the conservatory, as our house is quite cold too) but I hope not. I'm dead chuffed with how big it's getting!

rubber tree in conservatory

Festoon Lights

Festoon lights in gardens have been huge over the last couple of years, so it only made sense to have them in here too. Plus, since we don't have a proper ceiling light, it was the perfect solution to our lighting problems. I love the ambience they achieve late at night! These are from Lights4Fun and we have two sets connected together (love that feature about these lights!).

pallet seating indoors conservatory
lights4fun festoon lights conservatory

What's Left for the Room?
So that's our garden room! I'm still not entirely finished in here. We need to replace the door (next year this is definitely on the list!!) for ideally, a proper french door that can open up and connect the inside and outside space together. Eventually, I think I'd also like to add a little desk to the other side of the room, where the treadmill currently resides. Oh and I'd also like to get a nice rug, potentially an indoors/outdoors one that won't get totally ruined by messy pups.

quirky fun conservatory

But, hopefully, you get the gist of the room so far. I'm certainly really happy with it all! Sometimes we have dinner in here, other times I sit and chill on my laptop. No matter what the weather or temperature though, I really love the look of this room. We have two large windows that look into this room; one in the kitchen and the other in the dining room. Windows that you would usually expect to look onto a beautiful garden. Well, I may not have that.. but this isn't a half bad alternative! 

What do you think so far?

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how to create an indoor garden room in a conservatory

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  1. Aah gosh — I know just what you mean!! Our conservatory is like an icebox in the winter — unless the heating is on full tilt — and is hotter than the sun in summer!! We're just in the process of making plans to replace it with a proper extension; it would be so lovely to have a proper solid room :) I love what you've done here — especially the festoon lights; I love those :) #HomeEtc

  2. Well you know already I am a HUGE fan of this space and everything you've done with it. You don't fancy a London project when you're done do you?? :) X

  3. I like greenery in my home. I just love this indoor garden room. These are very lovely pictures. Much appreciated for sharing this post.


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