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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Bulletin Board Inspiration No. 7 | Conservatories

Monday, May 23, 2022

A Paper Series Post 

The latest bulletin board displays a collection of conservatories that inspired my home's sunspace. Dream rooms are different for different people, and one of my dream rooms has always been a conservatory.  

Use a bulletin board to display a collection of photos for dream conservatories.
Conservatories can be formal, rustic, large, small, attached, free-standing, garden rooms, or grand salons. Budgets, gardening zones, and personal styles are the major factors in the ultimate design for each person's dream conservatory. 

Bulletin Board Inspiration 

No. 7


Part of each inspiration bulletin board is seeing images of beautiful spaces, but another part is for seeing images to plant ideas in our minds for how to create similar spaces in our homes. 

Yet, another part of each bulletin board post is to share tips on how to create inspiring bulletin boards to display in our homes for decoration. Bulletin boards are a way to enjoy clippings that inspire us. Bring out those torn pages from magazines, newspapers, travel brochures, advertisements, catalogs, art gallery flyers, and old books. Enjoy them on a bulletin board instead of them lying hidden away in a drawer, file folder, or notebook. Out of sight offers no inspiration. 

The whole is greater than 

the sum of its parts

Gather together photos that relate to each other and display them on a bulletin board to soak in their beauty and design styles. Remember the adage, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Seeing all the individual images together can spark an idea of how to translate their beauty in a new way in your own home. By seeing the photos over several days, little-by-little your mind can make connections not seen in a fleeting one-time viewing. 

Summer brings to mind gardening, flowers, and sunshine. So do conservatories.
The navy painted bulletin board is a fun way to decorate the pine chest for each season. Summer brings to mind gardening, garden parties, and bright sunshiny days. Conservatories do, too. 

Grand Salon

A grand salon conservatory attached to a living room is a beautiful combination of a garden room and a room for spill-over parties.
A grand salon conservatory attached to the living room expands entertaining spaces. Home to both people and plants, the room is a beautiful combination of functions year round for intimate morning coffees to spill-over parties. 

A comfy conservatory with starter plants and an aged leather sofa can be rearranged for additional entertaining space.
Similar in style to the more opulent grand salon above, this space is smaller and more casual. There are garden plants staked along the back right window and a growing ivy trained into a huge wreath along the back wall. A professional artist wooden easel holds a painting in front an aged leather sofa. Comfy, but with a little rearranging and tidying up this space is also an excellent space for spill-over dining and partying. 

Attached Designs
A new glass conservatory attached to an old stone house also connects to another old stone building.
Attached conservatories are the most popular styles since they lower the cost of a conservatory by using an existing wall(s) and give direct access to the space without going outside. 

The clever design of this conservatory not only attaches the conservatory to the house, but also acts as a connection between the house and another building. The house's aged stone walls are gorgeous with the new glass conservatory. Inside, the aged wood table, chairs, and bench offer places to sit, to work, and to dine while enjoying the garden through the open French doors.  

Conservatories sometimes are built to house large potted topiaries and trees.
Attached conservatories connect indoor and outdoor living spaces with areas for living plants. 

Inside this conservatory are large potted trees, one of the reasons conservatories were first designed. Large working conservatories in old French châteaux housed potted topiaries and citrus trees over winter. Often the conservatories were so crowded with plants, there were only small aisles to move inside. 

Potted blooming plants sit outside on either side of the French doors of the conservatory shown above. These plants can be moved inside the conservatory during winter to protect them from freezing. 

One of my favorite design features of this conservatory is the row of iron fleur de lis along the top of the roof. Iron fleur de lis on the roof is a feature I dream about for my garden house. 

Causal Elegance

A conservatory with metal French doors and symmetrical potted topiaries illustrate classic French Country style.
A lean-to garden room with a circular metal awning is the conservatory of my dreams. Its design inspired both my breakfast sunspace and my free-standing stone garden house in the backyard. Neither the sunspace nor the garden house are exactly like the blue-painted garden room, but each have some design features from this garden room. 

The French Country metal French doors and symmetrical pedestal topiaries capture the essence of the French Country style I try to add to my house with every new update. Did I mention the blue color? The blue shown is deeper than the blues in my house and garden shed, but the color illustrates to me how beautifully blue portrays French Country design. A metal circular awning above the French doors in my garden house is still part of my dream for my garden house design. One day I will find a source that can make this dream come alive.... within my budget. 

Small conservatories in a rustic style are beautiful additions for houses with country flower gardens.
Blue French doors to a solid-roof garden room open onto a country flower garden. The design shows even small spaces in a rustic style are beautiful additions as a conservatory. The solid roof is a good option for areas with hot summers since a glass roof will overheat a room in warm climate areas. 

Bulletin Board Design Tips
Add three dimensional objects that connect to the bulletin board's theme to areas near the bulletin board.
A tip I have shared many times for creating a bulletin board for home decor is to include three-dimensional objects related to the clippings on the board. A formal-style pedestal vase holding a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers brings to mind both grand salon conservatories for entertaining and working conservatories designed for growing flowers to create floral bouquets. 

French châteaux open to the public have stunning large floral arrangements created from flowers grown in their conservatories.
Magnificent French châteaux open to the public have stunning large floral arrangements throughout their rooms. Most of the time the flowers in the arrangements are grown in the château's flower gardens or in its working conservatories. 

A tip for displaying a double-page magazine image is to fold one of the pages to lie behind the double-page spread.
When a clipping that is a double-page spread, like the grand salon conservatory photo, sometimes the edges of the magazine pages can be torn out with ragged uneven edges. The two pages do not align any longer and have gaps between the pages and images. 

A tip for camouflaging both the torn edges and the gap between the images is to fold one of the pages so there is part of the folded page behind the two individual pages. The photo above shows the folded page behind the gap. The folded page's image is not part of the large photo of the conservatory, but camouflages the gap. If the two pages were shown without the folded page behind them, the torn edge and the gap in the photos would be obvious since the blue painted bulletin board would show through the gap. 

Look back at the grand salon conservatory at the top of the bulletin board display. While the two pages' images are not perfectly aligned, the placement of the two pages does align well enough to see the whole conservatory's design without a distracting gap.  


Inspirational bulletin boards are not just for ideas about first-time decor using the board's theme. I have a sunspace that serves as a mini-conservatory space in my kitchen. After composing the bulletin board with conservatories, I was inspired to decorate my kitchen sunspace into more of a conservatory style. An upcoming post shows my sunspace decorated for summer with ideas taken from the conservatory bulletin board display.