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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Inspired Conservatory

Monday, May 30, 2022

A rustic French Country conservatory photo inspired building a sunspace attached to our kitchen when we built our house many years ago. With each holiday or new season new inspiration provides ideas for updated decor and plants in the small sunspace. Most recently, my May bulletin board display sparked ideas for decorating the sunspace with a more traditional conservatory look than usual for the sunspace. 

Glass cloches, blooming plants, and ivy wreaths are items in traditional conservatories
Glass cloches, boxwoods, and ivy wreaths are what I envision would be in a traditional conservatory whether French, British, or American. 

French Country 

Inspired Conservatory

A French Country inspired conservatory attached to our kitchen serves as a sun parlor.


noun:  a room with glass roof and walls, attached to a house at one side, and used as a greenhouse or sun parlor 

The sunspace attached to our kitchen may not qualify as a conservatory since it is really not deep enough to be a room in itself, but we definitely use it as a sun parlor and use it to nurture houseplants. 


Visible to the whole kitchen, an attached sunspace serves as a small conservatory
The space is visible from the doorway opening into the kitchen and is one of the first spaces visitors see as they enter our kitchen. A long island separates the working triangular area of the kitchen from a walkway between the island and stone wall on the left, the back of the stone fireplace in the living room. 

A bank windows in a French Country inspired conservatory overlooks a wooded backyard
The sunspace/conservatory opens completely onto the kitchen, and floods the room with light even on overcast or rainy days. The bank of windows overlooks the backyard and a naturalized woods beyond the yard. 

Large deciduous shade trees provide protection from the hot summer sun in a French Country inspired conservatory.
Large trees shade the space from hot sunlight from April through October. The roof blinds provide greater shade when needed. 

White every day dishes are stored on a French-style shelf in a French Country inspired conservatory.
The space holds everyday white dishes and small plants on a French-style zinc set of shelves. A vintage Shaker-style high chair acts as a plant stand for a large ivy wreath basking in the shaded light. The master bedroom is behind the closed white-washed solid wood door. 

A small sunspace attached to a kitchen was inspired by a French Country conservatory.
The space is totally in view when bedroom door is opened.  

A French Country inspired conservatory serves as a breakfast room in a kitchen.
An eight-foot opening connects the kitchen and sunspace with the living room. 

Conservatory Decor Overall Style 

Add ivy wreaths and glass cloches to a sunspace to create a traditional conservatory style.
Blooming plants, glass cloches, and an ivy wreath clustered on the French antique breakfast table set the tone for a traditional conservatory look. 

Conservatory Style On The Table

A French Country inspired conservatory includes glass cloches, boxwood, and ivy wreaths
White ceramic flower pots with French style medallion embellishments add French Country design to the space. 

A French Country inspired conservatory includes a blue glass cloche tied with a wispy blue ribbon.
A treasured blue glass cloche tied with a wispy blue ribbon adds both conservatory style and a touch of French blue color. 

A fleur de lis decorated candle holder holds boxwood stems in a French Country inspired conservatory.
Late afternoon sun shines through sprigs of fresh-cut boxwood snipped from shrubs along the path to the front door. The fleur-de-lis decorated candle holder sits in a small glass saucer to protect the table from water damage.  

Fresh lavender scent fills a French Country inspired conservatory.
Fresh lavender scent fills the kitchen from two 4-inch starter lavender plants sitting in an oval ceramic flower pot on the kitchen table. 

Conservatory Style Beyond The Table 

A preserved boxwood wreath with a new blue silk ribbon is new decor in a French Country inspired conservatory.
The boxwood wreath on the bedroom door is tied with a new blue silk ribbon bow. Previously the wreath hung from a ribbon with hand-stamped French script on a torn cotton strip. The old ribbon was faded, and the new silk ribbon's blue color echoes the blues elsewhere in the room. 

A tall 24" preserved boxwood topiary adds a French Country touch to a small conservatory.
Traditional conservatories often house large potted topiary plants. The large 24"-tall preserved boxwood topiary on a clay pedestal will stay in the kitchen sunspace for a short time only, since preserved boxwood should not be in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Usually this topiary sits in the entry hall or in my master bathroom, but is perfect for decorating the sunspace in a conservatory look. 

A blue toile upholstered chair is beautiful French Country style for a small conservatory.
As I studied my photo clippings of conservatories, one thing I noticed in most of them was places to sit. Not only were there tables with chairs around the table, there were also large upholstered pieces like leather sofas, large easy chairs, or chaise lounges. 

Small French Country style chairs are easy to move to a small conservatory from a laundry room.
This armchair sat in this same spot for several years when it was covered in floral upholstery that coordinated with the floral valance at the top of the sunspace windows. Over time the floral fabric faded and was damaged by cats. 

When I updated the laundry room a few years ago, the chair was reupholstered in this beautiful blue toile fabric and was moved to the newly remodeled laundry room. When pulling together an updated style for the sunspace this spring, I immediately knew the blue toile chair was just the thing to add for a traditional conservatory look. And, for French Country style. 

A small French Country inspired conservatory overlooks a wooded backyard with a vintage park bench.
A vintage iron and wood park bench sits in the backyard and is easily seen through the sunspace windows. The old bench exudes old-world grand conservatory style. 


While my small sunspace is not a grandiose conservatory, the cloches, boxwoods, French pots, toile chair, and wooded view from its windows add a beautiful sun parlor to our French Country inspired home that we enjoy in every season of the year.