What makes great conservatory design?

Posted November 16th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights
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Conservatory design is unique. The amount of knowledge, craftsmanship, research, and attention to design and detail greatly differs from the creation of any other room in the world. According to Bill Bertsche, with Mercer & Bertsche Architecture & Engineering, “…few architects have the experience required to design and detail a TRUE CONSERVATORY. You could approach it as a stick built room, could make a frame and put in glass and windows, but you’d miss the essence of what a GREAT CONSERVATORY should be – GLASS AND LIGHT.”

Great conservatory design secrets

“In architecture, two major factors determine the success or failure of a structure; the form and the function.”

For over 20 years, our expert designer has been designing some of the country’s most unique and innovative conservatories. From elegant greenhouses to luxurious conservatories to elegant pool enclosures, he always says two main elements create beautiful designs; a structures form and its intended function.

The trick, of course, is how to get there. Close attention to details, he points out, is integral to the process. According to our designer,

Eye pleasing form and specifically defined functions, whether it be a greenhouse, conservatory, or pool enclosure,  should complement each other and come together harmoniously to create a true conservatory design.”

Conservatories are works of art, carefully handcrafted to fit the specific needs of individuals and bring peace to your home. In his experience, harmony is created in the details. What sets conservatory design a part from say the design of your home or office building is the attention to detail not only in the furniture and items within the room and its function/purpose, but the details built into the core structure of the room itself. We approach every design as a blank sheet of paper with endless possibilities; as our designer always says, “I’ve been designing for Tanglewood for over 20 years and of all my favorites, they have one thing in common, I was given total freedom to design from scratch and each structure was built unlike anything else in the world.”

When we asked him what he liked best about designing for Tanglewood, he said, “We never build the same thing twice. Each and every conservatory is different and has its own unique personality and challenges. I’m often amazed at what we’re able to do. Of course, we learn from each one too. It never gets boring. The more complex and challenging the design the better I like them. I would not have lasted 21 years if I did not enjoy the work I do. It’s not just designing and building – we really are creating art.”

Why our clients want conservatories

The reasons our clients want conservatories are myriad. Many are looking to create a space to enjoy a sense of outdoor living no matter the weather outside. Many realize a glass conservatory creates the ideal place to retreat and commune with the beauty and ambience of growing plants and flowers.

Others look to add beautiful works of art to their home, and/or for their community. .One of our current clients is looking to design a conservatory to perfectly frame a stunning view while providing a serene place for personal and family re-creation of those undergoing medical treatment.

Families and friends make memories that last a lifetime and leave a legacy in these rooms. Imagine what that memories you and your family might make surrounded by such beauty.

What would you add to this list? What dreams might the idea of a well-designed conservatory spark in you?

Why we build conservatories

We love building these rooms because we feel they bring a sense of peace, tranquility, and rejuvenation to oneself; the enchantment these spaces bring is unlike anything we’ve ever experience before. We love the challenge of innovative design and using new materials to build truly classical spaces.steel_glass_3

But what is most satisfying, is bringing our clients visions to life; exactly how they envision it.
We start with a conversation with the owner and their team to discover exactly what it is they want to experience in their conservatory. With careful consideration and attention to detail, we turn their vision into hand-drawn renderings which, when the design is exactly what the client is looking for, we begin to bring those drawings to life. Each element in the construction is carefully considered to make sure it exceeds expectation whether it be specially laser carved steel beams or searching for an exact type of rare wood to set the tone of the room, it is important we do our part in creating the perfect atmosphere that will reflect the look and feel the client desires. We make sure your conservatory will appeal to all your senses, detail by detail.
Take a look at our e-brochure & read through it. It may spark your imagination in ways that both please and excite you.

What are some favorite designs?

“When we allow our imaginations to take flight, the results are amazing and often surprising. Anything is possible in conservatory architecture; we just have to break outside of the box and approach every new project as a blank sheet of paper and not trying to fit an existing idea into a preconceived box”

Do you have a favorite design? We can help you achieve the great conservatory design and feel you are searching for. Perhaps a no-cost 30 minute consultation would be a good place to start! To secure yours, call us at 410-479-4700 or fill out our form.

At the Druid Hill Park Conservatory It’s All About the Light!

Posted August 11th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dynamic Glass, General, Insights, Travels
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What do you love most about these wondrous glass rooms?

Opened in August of 1888, the Druid Hill Park Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, is one of the oldest glass conservatories still in use in the United States. With its glass walls and glass roof it exemplifies the joy and beauty of light. Designed by architect George Aloysius Frederick, the original Palm House has some 175 windows and soars 50 feet high. It has long been considered an outstanding example of Victorian structural design. Next door is the smaller Orchid room which is also charming.

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Look closely and you’ll discover  that the window walls that make up the Palm House follow a lovely pattern. Entrance high frames filled with sparkling frames anchor the building to the land. Let your eye wander up and take in how the next two rows of frames are of different heights, topped off by frames holding arched panes of glass.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the attention to detail contributes significantly to the visual impact of the two original structures. Note too that each corner is softened by a slight flattening giving the illusion of gentle rounding.

All this, is of course, covered by the glass roof that curves up to the wind vein topped copula. Small wonder this conservatory is celebrated for its magical light all year round. Imagine enjoying a hot cup of tea while relaxing under the beauty of this elegant large glass roof. Or even snuggled warmly protected when clouds appear.  Could you imagine stargazing under the beauty of this large, elegant glass roof?

The Orchid room, though smaller, is similarly detailed. It echoes the larger structure without duplicating it. For instance, it lacks the glass roof but has the same sort of rounded frames and panes of glass.

Conservatories, also known as glass houses, are cherished because of the light they invite. Natural light makes us feel good; the sunlight is good for us. It’s the druid hill part 2combination of the light inviting glass and the strict attention to detail that leads to a love of conservatories and skylights, old and new.

Consider how inviting light with your own glass conservatory or magical skylight could brighten your home or business. We understand the extraordinary between light and attention to the details. It’s our passion. We’ll work with you to draw from the past while using the best of modern materials as together we create exactly the perfect way for you to welcome in the light.

Call us for a no-charge consultation at 1-410-479-4700 or fill out the form on our contact page.

What Do You Like Best About Old World Conservatories?

Posted August 4th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights, Travels, Uncategorized
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Many are drawn to the BEAUTY OF OLD WORLD CONSERVATORIES; some wonder why they are so drawn to what is obviously old fashioned design. We’ve thought a lot about why we too are so intrigued with, for example, the grand Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco or the modest and charming half-round, glass roofed conservatory at the Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) house in near Hartford Connecticut.

Conservatory of Flowers

We’ve noticed some consistent themes in our appreciations.

The first is that ARCHITECTURE IS ART. Sure, it deals with the facts of physics and the preciseness of engineering, but at its best, architecture is made great when it includes the practical yet moves beyond toward the sublime. This type of thinking is exemplified in many of the old world glass houses and it started with hand-drawn plans similar to what we do today. The intimacy of putting ink on paper allowed a CREATIVE AWARENESS of each element of the construction that is so often ignored and missing in today’s emphasis on costs and speed.

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The second observation is the INCREDIBLE ATTENTION TO DETAIL that became possible with at the start of the industrial revolution. That was a magical period when the craftsmanship of old world building styles spilled over into the sudden ability to replicate beauty. It was during this period – roughly the second half of the 1800s and the first quarter of the 1900s – that you find not only the strength and versatility of cast iron, but cast iron decorated with charming outlines of birds, and four-leaf clovers stamped into steel.

It was also the era when glass became a strong, integral part of the structure itself. The seemingly fragile transparent material adding strength and expanding possibilities of light and warmth to even the coldest regions of the world. The glass conservatory was indeed magic and still is.

We at Tanglewood have taken more than a few techniques and attitudes from that glorious past forward to today, building glass conservatories and skylights that combine the best of beauty and construction details. For more information about how we continue this tradition, CLICK HERE to read our brochure or give us a call at 410.479.4700.

Small Wonders live at the Conservatory at Chateau Lednice

Posted July 20th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in General, Steel Structures, Travels
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The Conservatory at Chateau Lednice at the Liechtenstein Castle in the southern area of Moravia in the Czech Republic is another example of the country’s superlative glass conservatories. When Duke Alois II, the Prince of Liechtenstein decided to add a conservatory during the remodel of his castle in 1840. He looked to England for the design, choosing English architect, P.H. Desvignes, to create the project which was built in the avant-garde Style of John Claudias Loudon. Desvignes began as an engineer who later studied at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Desvignes created the system of semi-circular arches ending in quarter spheres that give the conservatory a particularly graceful look as well as providing much of the building’s rigidity, eliminating the need for the diagonal supports so often seen in glass conservatories. The result is a sense of openness even as the glass protects the lednice_interior[1]contents from weather of all sorts. We’ve written about this  type of construction here.

Famous for its many details, this conservatory leans on oriental designs. For example, Persian rugs inspired the design of the ventilation grilles while the capitals of the cast-iron pillars are based on banana leaves. Topped by a pagoda-like ventilation structure, the total effect is a bit like an exotic oriental garden.

Also known as the Lednice Orangery, this glass and cast iron structure was the first stand-alone glass house in Europe. Small wonder this lovely conservatory was designated a Conservatory Heritage Foundation site. A refurbishing of the structure revealed that in addition to cast-iron, forged iron was used in some of the decorative pillars.

The floor of the conservatory is another marvel. The path that leads one through the plantings is actually constructed of cast iron grates which allow heat from a heating system to warm the interior.

An ideal destination site for conservatory lovers traveling to the Czech Republic, the castle with it’s glass conservatory is set in the midst of an extensive landscape park or region of over 109 square miles. This huge park is designated as a ‘cultural landscape,’ an official term of World Heritage Sites which defines the area as “a landscape designed and created intentionally by man.” It stretches roughly between the Lednice and Valtice areas of the South Moravian Region, near Břeclav in the Czech Republic, providing much to explore for any visitor.

While you’re exploring, let your mind soar as you explore both the small and large details you dream about having in your own home! Your home can have the same atmosphere as the Chateau Lednice with designs and details that relate back to this century-old work of art.

Conservatories Around the World

Posted July 13th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Dynamic Glass, General, Steel Structures, Travels, Uncategorized
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The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory – St Paul, Minnesota, originally known as the Como Park Conservatory, sits on about half an acre of the almost 400 acre campus of the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Designed by German-born architect Frederick Nussbaumer, Nussbaumer modeled this Victorian style glass domed conservatory after Kew Gardens in London. Completed in 1915, it is one of the few glass and wood conservatories left from that era.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is some 60,000 square feet, its footprint well over an acre (43,560 sq. ft.) and anchors the gardens. You’ll find, for example, a large collection of Bonsai plants, a continuation of St. Paul’s annual fascination with the chrysanthemum plus the marvelous Palm Dome. Here over 150 varieties of palms are on display along with a color selection of orchids.

For more details about this marvelous conservatory confection, click here. With every visit, this Conservatory is guaranteed to inspire you for your own conservatory. View their website to plan your visit – they always have something extraordinary going on!

 

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – Las Vegas, Nevada – The Vegas Strip seems an unlikely location for a lovely glass conservatory, but the Bellagio Hotel is exactly where you’ll find one. This is a true oasis of calm. Referred to as a “14,000 square foot floral playground…”  it lives up to its billing with changes in the flora every season plus in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Of course, its soaring 55 ft glass ceiling perfectly sets the stage for a truly over-the-top ever changing display. Not only that, there is no charge to wander through this earthy space.

“Seasonal display” hardly describes what the talented team of horticulturists actually produce. Just for example, the theme of the 2016 summer production was “Under the Sea.” It consisted of some 80,000 blooming plants, including 6,000 tulips weekly. Interspersed were colorful statues of seahorses and with a delightful collection of jelly-fish like installations hanging from the glorious glass ceiling.

If you visit Sin City, make a point to see and experience exactly how a glass conservatory can change a frenetic atmosphere into a peaceful and restorative setting – food for thought as you think about a conservatory of your own. This marvelous spot is more than worth the trip!

 

Flower Dome + Cloud Forest, Singapore – Two amazing conservatories, both located in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, offer perpetual spring in the Flower Dome and the mystery of a high mountain Cloud Forest.

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Flower Dorm was listed by the 2015 Guinness World Records as the world’s largest glass greenhouse, made up of some 3,332 glass panels of 42 different shapes and sizes. With almost 3 acres under glass it comes by its record honestly. It’s volume is equally startling – about as much as 75 Olympic size swimming pools.

Inside the climate is kept a balmy 73-77 degrees with humidity of about 80 percent. That precise temperature control is what allows the amazing variety of plants, from succulents to olive groves and everything in between to grow there in its various gardens – there’s even a bistro that features edible plants.

Cloud Forest is perhaps even more spectacular. The mountain inside rises to well over 100 feet and is designed to mimic an altitude of about 6,500 feet high. There is an impressive waterfall which has a viewing deck near the top.

You reach the top via a path known as the Cloud Walk. It’s built out from the mountain in an almost undulating fashion giving you a close-up view in some places, and a bit more distance in others.

The temperature and humidity are controlled to let you experience the mist so often found in a forest that high. You are, of course, surrounded by an amazing number of tropical trees and other plants.

This spectacular conservatory has 2,577 glass panels of 690 shapes! Together, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are a conservatory experience not to be missed.  They will awe and inspire you.

An Intriguing History & Sense of Style

Posted June 15th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, Domes and Cupolas, General, Travels
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Is visiting this conservatory on your bucket list?

The Conservatory of Flowers is part of why San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is so famous. Not only is it the OLDEST WOOD CONSERVATORY in the U.S., its history is intriguing. We are not the only ones who think so! One family wanted a greenhouses designed to resemble this amazing conservatory! Click here to read more.

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  The Clients Dream Custom Greenhouse

 

In the mid eighteen hundreds, wealthy BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST, JAMES LICK, ordered a greenhouse for his home in nearby Santa Clara. It was designed, and the necessary lumber cut to size. The pieces were packed and shipped to Lick’s home, arriving shortly before he died in 1876. Strangely enough, the designer is unknown.

Although most conservatories of that era were built with iron, the Conservatory of Flowers was designed and originally built with CALIFORNIA COAST REDWOOD (Sequoia sempervirens), an obvious choice since redwood was so plentiful in the area then.

The building is a classic and elaborate VICTORIAN DESIGN. It is some 240 feet long by almost 60 feet wide. Its central dome is 60 feet high! Set on a masonry foundation on a gentle hill, the building is E shaped with L’s, each of which are topped with their own cupola. You enter the conservatory through a glass vestibule on the south side. The central dome is an octagonal pavilion that is topped first by an arched roof. On top of that is the clear story and dome. The octagonal is supported by eight iron pillars. There are a total, it is reported, of 16,800 PANES OF GLASS. Small wonder so many consider it a CHARMING CONFECTION.

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Lick’s estate offered it, still in crates, for sale and in 1877 some of his fellow businessmen bought the greenhouse as a gift for the City. When it opened in 1879 this Victorian-style conservatory soon became the park’s MOST VISITED ATTRACTION. It is the oldest building in the park.

Hardly problem-free, a boiler explosion in 1883 caused extensive damage to the conservatory dome which was restored by a donation of $10,000 from banker Charles Crocker. During the repairs, the dome was raised some six feet topped with a model of the planet Saturn, perhaps as a symbol of farming or growing things, which replaced the original eagle at the very top.

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In 1918 the dome again burned and by 1933 the whole structure was closed for 13 years as repairs were slowly made. In 1995 windstorms did extensive damage and the conservatory was again closed. It was finally again reopened in 2003.

Not surprisingly, given its name, this gorgeous conservatory is also notable for its MARVELOUS COLLECTION OF PLANTS AND FLOWERS, both inside and out.

Check the website for details of events, special displays and other information to make your visit to the Conservatory of Flowers a real pleasure as well as food for thought about what you might add to your own conservatory. CALL US at 410.479.4700 to discuss your project.

All Wood and No Glass – Is It Still A Conservatory?

Posted June 8th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights, Uncategorized
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Have you been to the only conservatory in the world made entirely of wood?

One of the most visited sites in all of San Diego, CA is the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. Built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition, the now 100+ year old structure is the ONLY ALL-WOOD LATH CONSERVATORY on the planet!

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It also happens to be one of the LARGEST CONSERVATORIES in the world! Although we tend to think of conservatories as glass buildings, this one demonstrates how remarkable the design of conservatories of the 19th century has evolved. That’s probably why it is an inspiration to Tanglewood. Passionate about 19th century conservatory design/architecture, Tanglewood is always finding NEW, INNOVATIVE WAYS to bring UNIQUE DESIGN CONCEPTS to life in every project.

Alfred D. Robinson, who was recognized as a world authority on begonias, is credited with the concept of this lath conservatory. He created a structure that would be ideal for those surprisingly versatile and shade-loving begonias he loved so much.

These days, the conservatory houses MORE THAN 2,000 PERMANENT PLANTS, including collections of cycads, ferns, orchids and other tropical plants. The building is also known forInside the Botanical Building. Balboa Park, San Diego.

presenting some Balboa Park’s best seasonal displays of flowers.

The structure is fronted by an equally famous large lily pond that is home to kid-fascinating turtles and a grand selection of colorful, mature koi, plus a collection of wandering ducks all open to the San Diego sky. Often the first impression a visitor has when entering the conservatory itself is of cool dimness and the fecund smell of moist earth as their eyes adjust the amazing collection of plants appear.

This marvelous LATH CONSERVATORY is huge! It measures 60 FEET TALL at the top and the footprint is 75 FEET WIDE by 250 FEET LONG. This not only allows for full-grown tall plants, but creates ample space for generous paths wandering the whole length and breadth of the building. Even with a moderate crowd it’s possible to have a sense of privacy once or twice as you explore.

You’ll often find yourself face-to-face with captivating and EXOTIC PLANTS at almost every turn. Many of the larger displays of plants are surrounded by containers that are designed for easy sitting. Great spots to look closely at a plant or just to relax for a minute or longer.

The Botanical Building Conservatory is open every day but Thursdays from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon and closed on most holidays. Amazingly, it’s FREE TO THE PUBLIC! You can confirm the schedule and find out about special events and exhibits at its official website.

The Botanical Building will delight you and often surprise you – both wonderful reasons for a visit or even two.

The Magic of Smart Glass

Posted May 18th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Dynamic Glass, General, Pool Enclosures, Skylights
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Are you one of the many who are enlivened by natural light but don’t enjoy its overbearing heat or chilling cold when it is gone?

A glass room can bring an ABUNDANCE OF BENEFITS to your home and now we can enhance those benefits! Glass is enchanting, and getting smarter all the time. You no longer have to depend on the weather to be comfortable under glass, nor try using shades or painting glass to give you control over how much light it lets in.

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How is that possible?

Smart glass (also known as e-glass, intelligent glass, switchable glass, and self-tinting glass) is created when special materials, like nano-particles and liquid crystal, are sandwiched between layers of glass, Diagramchanging its properties to respond to light or electricity. We are most familiar with two types, Active and Passive.

ACTIVE SMART GLASS requires the use of electricity. When the electricity flows through a special layer within the glass, its transparency is changed to translucent or even opaque literally at the turn of a dial. Active glass allows you to MANUALLY CONTROL how the glass in your conservatory behaves, like magic!

 

PASSIVE SMART GLASS, on the other hand, responds to surrounding environmental conditions, adapting to its changes almost instantaneously. This allows your glass room to create the PERFECT BALANCE of natural light and heat while preserving an amazing view.  As the sun heats the glass, it becomes more opaque and when clouds pass or night falls, the glass cools and returns to its transparent state.

See it in Action!

Currently, we are creating a marvelous POOL ENCLOSURE using smart glass technology, assuring swimmers and sunbathers total comfort regardless of the weather. We understand the importance of COMFORT and EFFICIENCY in your glass structure. Using either active or passive smart glass to create your conservatory or other structure will ADD VALUE to your home while giving you and your guests a truly special place to relax and enjoy.

We’d love to show you what we can do with it! GIVE US A CALL at 410.479.4700 or fill out the form on our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss smart glass with you.

 

Get the Facts. Improve Your Health.

Posted April 13th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Gardening, General, Greenhouses
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What plants need to be in YOUR GREENHOUSE this season?

According to Harvard’s Health Blog,

Growing your own food has many health benefits… you decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food [and] it lets you control when to harvest your food. Vegetables that ripen in [your] garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables.”

So what is wrong with what you are buying in stores?

What are you really buying?

Advances in biotechnology have allowed scientists to GENETICALLY ALTER different species to create plants that can resist certain insects and grow in unfavorable climates. There are several health and safety concerns such as accelerated aging, antibiotic resistance, and endocrine disruption. Some genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, can be found in corn, rice, tomatoes, canola oil, papaya, potatoes, bananas, and some meats. Although most of us cannot control how our meat is raised, we can control how our vegetables are grown!

Eat. Sleep. Grow.

There is something about growing your own food that sparks SATISFACTION and HAPPINESS; the feeling that what you are bringing to your table is 100% healthy and nurtured by your own efforts. With the ENDLESS GROWING POSSIBILITIES a greenhouse permits, people around the world are cultivating their own gardens Growing Collageto enjoy the health benefits freshly grown foods can bring. With a growing desire to create HEALTHY FAMILIES and HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, expert horticulturalist Dea Schofield recommends these plants to start growing in your greenhouse!

  • Citrus
  • Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Papayas
  • Herbs
  • Lettuce

Dea says, “These are all great plants which adapt well under glass. Some are a bit attractive to bugs, but they are easy to control.”

Start Your Growing Season!

These are just some of the many varieties of plants your family can enjoy growing in your home to bring a happier and healthier you! GIVE US A CALL today at 410.479.4700 and EXTEND YOUR GROWING SEASON with a custom greenhouse to fit your family’s growing needs.

How do you unwind?

Posted March 17th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, latest, Steel Structures
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How do you like to unwind after a long day?

Do you enjoy long walks? Do you watch the sun as it sets over the horizon with a cup of hot tea or a tall glass of wine? Do you enjoy the view of the night sky through the windows of a conservatory?

It’s amazing how the ATMOSPHERE CHANGES when you step under glass. Allowing the stressors of the day to wilt away and add some POSITIVE ENERGY into your life. The SPELL OF A GLASS CONSERVATORY creates a peaceful environment where your mind and body want to relax.

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From mountainous terrains to an amazing lakeside view, families around the globe are beginning to experience the magic of life under glass.

Shelter Island

Have you ever dreamt of living on an island?

Of all the amenities on this clients island their FAVORITE PLACE TO BE IS IN THE CONSERVATORY. He said,

“It has one of the PRETTIEST VIEWS IN THE WORLD… I like to keep this as a retreat to myself. I sit on the front porch and watch the waves and the mountains and it’s just one of the MOST PEACEFUL PLACES ON EARTH.”

 Shelter Island Interior

Click here to read more about the details of this project

When we spoke with the family about their vision for this dream conservatory, they wanted to make it look as though it could STAND THE TEST OF TIME; to serve as a getaway from the world around them. With the most beautiful view on the island, this COPPER CLAD and MAHOGANY conservatory creates a CALMING environment and SEDATIVE nature that makes you appreciate nature in its truest form.

This conservatory was also featured in Discovery’s EPIC! To get an inside exclusive look at the Shelter Island Estate, CLICK HERE to watch Season 1 Episode 10.

Do you feel relaxed?

Nestled within the homes of these families, their conservatories have changed how they live their lives. Give us a call today to START YOUR CONSERVATORY LIFE! Call us at 410.479.4700 or fill out our contact form.