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Challenge No. 8 – Rescuing an 18th-Century Cotswolds Orangery

In the eighth episode of House & Garden Magazine’s Creative Responses series with Janine Stone & Co., our design team was briefed by the Magazine’s editors to rescue a dilapidated 18th-century orangery at a country estate in the Cotswolds

On the brief

The scenario given to us this month was one we are well versed. Take a neglected space, in this case, a crumbling orangery and breathe new life into it. In essence, this brief asked us to restore the orangery to its original grandeur, while at the same time making it feel part of the main house, which had more informal and contemporary qualities. Indeed this is a frequent situation we’ve been faced with, when dealing with clients whose estates are home to both modern and heritage buildings.

Janine stone orangery

Our response

An orangery should feel airy and graceful, be filled with light and showcase beautiful garden views. For this reason, we took every initiative to preserve the room’s graceful proportions and the original Georgian features. Had this been an exact restoration project, then the end result may have end up feeling stiff and more formal than the rest of the property. Instead, we’ve given some of these traditional architectural features a contemporary twist, that helps tone down the formality and dial up the laid back appeal of the space.  The original roof joists were left exposed and by lightly painting them in a cool whitewash, that doesn’t cover the beam’s beautiful natural patina a more contemporary look is achieved. Similarly, by repurposing the timber floorboards from the main house, waxing and polishing each by hand, a warmer, more organic quality is introduced in place of a more conservative original Georgian look.


The interior decoration blends contemporary pieces with antiques, reflecting our modern interpretation of the historic architecture and overall helping to create a timeless look. The orangery has been specially designed to facilitate the entertaining of friends and acquaintances. Whenever you are seated in the room, there is a space to lay down a drink. The organically inspired colour palette sets a serene mood and our favourite feature has to be the single tree, planted in the middle of the room, as a nod to the orangery’s original purpose, connecting both past and present as much as it connects the interior with the outdoors.

How To Follow The Series …

A summary version of Janine Stone & Co.’s eighth design challenge and their response is available to read on the House & Garden website.

Further exclusive content and behind the scenes information is available on the Janine Stone website and Instagram (@janinestone_co), where you can keep up to date with the various design challenges House & Garden will be setting us over the course of this year .

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