There is something decidedly poetic about a conservatory. Inspired by the crystal beauty found in glass, these structures provide an enchanting allure to all types of architecture. Viewed from the outside, they evoke an appreciation for the finer things in life... from the inside, you feel as though you journeyed back to an era when afternoon tea was a not-to-miss event. No matter the final design, however, these romantic structures are actually ideal solutions for many modern architectural challenges. Seemingly open to the world around them, they are in fact quite intimate. Many architects recommend them to homeowners seeking extra recreational space for family get-togethers, a home office, or a secret retreat from everyday hassles and stress. Truly, the reasons for selecting a conservatory are boundless. The conservatory as we understand it today evolved from humble roots. Once known simply as orangeries (the name is still used by some), conservatories' main purpose was to cultivate sun-loving citrus in colder, damper climates. Before then, oranges and lemons could only be enjoyed by those lucky enough to live in temperate places like the Mediterranean. But, when the merchants of old traveled to far-off lands, they opened the world, and citrus soon became a much-desired commodity for those living in cooler areas. Not wanting to wait for their favorite luxury to be delivered by ship, impatient landowners worked with their gardeners and builders to devise a way to grow citrus year-round on their properties. Essentially a greenhouse, orangeries eventually developed into something more than a gardening accessory and transformed into luxurious compositions, reaching their magnificent zenith in 19th century England. English conservatories grew to define the genre. Today, the grace and style found in historical conservatories throughout Britain can also be seen in replicas throughout the world-but with a contemporary twist. Today's skilled designers and builders have many tools at their fingertips, including tempered, self-cleaning glass, radiant heating, premium wood finishes, and custom-fitted roller blinds. Throughout the pages of this book you'll find a variety of luxury conservatories showcasing many design styles, options, and features. Although all of the conservatories fit in seamlessly with their surroundings, they are also the home's focal point. In the hands of an expert designer and builder, a luxury conservatory becomes the heart of the home in a subtle yet majestic way.