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3d visualisation of lorimer gable front sunroom with anthracite grey windows and french doors

Designing your new living space: Part 1


Creating a new room or extension to your home is exciting. It is that longed for blank canvas on to which you can make a very personal statement. To imprint your individual style. Realise a dream. From the architectural structure through to its interiors, building and designing a new sunroom, orangerie or conservatory is a wonderful opportunity to create something truly special for you and your family.

Over the years, we have helped hundreds of customers bring their ideas to life with stunning results. Every step of the way, we are at your side, producing visuals and project plans to ensure everything meets your expectations. The key is always an attention to detail and good planning

Here we explore the possibilities with our own design team in Part I of Designing Your New Living Space, with interior designer Malcolm Duffin offering his top tips on how to create an emotionally packed living space in Part II.

Where to start when designing a new living space?

More space to enjoy family time is often the reason many seek out our advice on extra living space. But there are a multitude of uses for a new sunroom or orangerie, from a spectacular dining area to a music room, gym or, increasingly as our working lives shift, to a home office.

Knowing what the space will be used for is important to determine the space, the design of the build, the position of doors and windows, and even the flow from the existing house. This is where our expertise comes in.

The orientation of the build matters and how it relates both to your existing home and to the garden. As does the style of roof, materials and fixtures and fittings. As we discuss your dream room, these are just some of the considerations we will guide you through at the very start of the process:

Large white house and garden
Lorimer open plan sunroom
  • The space. Does the space truly allow you to accommodate that 12-seat dining room table, install the 50” TV screen or bring in gym equipment? It is not uncommon for us to design a whole living space around a favourite piece of furniture.
  • Light. What is the position of the sun and how does it travel around your home? This will determine how we maximise both the natural light and the level of lighting to introduce to the build.
  • The view. To get the most of any view and to gain maximum visibility of the garden, careful consideration needs to be given to the positioning of windows, and their style including the use of openers.
  • The garden. A new living space can be designed around the garden and the flow from one to the other, either via steps or an outdoor living area such as a patio.
  • Structural design. It is important to consider the style of structure and shape of the roof in relation to your home. In many cases we can mirror the design in such a way as to ensure that the build matches your home’s existing character, while other considerations, such as a gable-roof can bring more light into an adjoining room.
  • Materials. So that the new extension sits perfectly with your existing home, we will talk you through the choice of materials.
White living room with blue seats
Lorimer open plan sunroom

What design choices are there to make?

When CR Smith builds an extension, we do everything. You’ll have choices about interior finishes, lighting options, flooring and heating. We do this at the start of the process to ensure that everything is planned in and the build runs smoothly. 

We will take you through the options for the timber sills and surrounds of your windows and doors from our range of Ash, Oak, Cherry and white painted finishes. We will also bring in our decorators to paint the walls of your new living space in either white or magnolia so that you have the blank canvas to put your own stamp on the interior design, or to create a seamless flow through from an existing room.

Lighting is an important issue and once the style of space has been agreed, we will talk about pendant lighting and dimmable downlights.

Heating is another subject we will discuss with you. We offer a climate control unit that provides both warmth in the winter and cool air conditioning in the summer. Alternatively, we can plan to integrate radiators with your existing central heating.

Finally, flooring options is the other major decision. The options include engineered timber, LVT or Porcelanosa tiles.

Helping you make the final decisions with our 3D Design service

CR Smith has a team of designers who with just a few photographs and simple measurements can translate your ideas into photo-realistic visuals. Every customer gets to see their designs come to life in this way, helping them to make the important choices about styles. Because it is easy to change colours, the finishes to windows, or the arrangement of furniture, our 3D visuals are ideal to help with the final decisions about the details such as lighting and flooring. It makes a big difference and is an important part of the design process.

White conservatory exterior
3D rendered visual