Lantern luxury

It’s time to shed some light on your next home improvement. The delicately framed conservatory, so popular ten to 15 years ago, has evolved into the more sophisticated and substantially framed orangery.

This evolution has resulted in the resurgence in fashion for single-storey extensions, the principal feature of which is invariably an eye-catching glass roof lantern.

A beautifully designed and professionally built orangery roof placed to define a room’s key feature, such as a kitchen island or perhaps a dining area within an open-plan kitchen/diner, can be the making of an orangery.

Leading the field locally in this ever-evolving sector is The Build Directory, who are receiving an increasing number of orders for orangeries featuring roof lanterns. You could even say they are raising the glass ceiling.

Alisdair Beveridge, The Build Directory’s managing director, says the market for easily installed lantern roofs has rocketed over the past couple of years alone.

“Orangeries crowned with a really classy roof lantern have become increasingly prevalent just in the last three years or so,” says the owner of a business based in Stockton’s busy Portrack business zone.

And he is in no doubt what’s driving the move.

“The market has changed and much of that is driven by TV programmes, especially those where celebrities invite you into their own home.

“Customers see beautiful homes on shows such as Grand Designs, Through the Keyhole and MTV Cribs and they’re inspired.

“They want their own homes to look like that and aspire to have similar features to those they’ve seen in the homes of the stars.”

And the great news is that you no longer need the income of a celebrity to afford to replicate such fabulous features.

“Once upon a time orangeries were the bastion of the landed gentry but nowadays you don’t have to be a millionaire to be able to have one in your own home.

“Where once you could only see one at Rockliffe Hall, now you can see them on Rockliffe Road. That’s the great thing about them. You don’t need a mansion to have one. You can create an oasis in the centre of town with a little imagination.”

A one-stop home improvements shop, The Build Directory is fast becoming the name across Teesside and beyond to meet the increasing demand for an extensive range of home improvements. These include new windows and doors, kitchens and bathrooms, driveways and patios, central heating systems and boilers.

But leading the home improvements rush are orangeries.

“Orangeries are the best bits of a conservatory and the best bits of an extension rolled into one.

“People go to The Orangery restaurant at Rockliffe Hall and wow at all that glass but now you can sit in your own home and enjoy your own orangery.”

Best of all it’s a luxurious but attainable feature. “People are always surprised by the affordable price. They see what they can achieve with their budget and think ‘Wow – that’s amazing’.

“All that natural light, a room that never gets too hot or too cold, and a ceiling view that’s never the same from one minute to the next, whether you’re looking up at the sun and the clouds or the moon and the stars.

“It’s a room you can use all year round. What’s not to like about that? It’s your own little bit of magic.”

  • Check out The Build Directory at, phone 01325 728560 or email