Born to Evoke the Joy of Light and Life

Posted February 8th, 2018 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Lectures, The Arts, Uncategorized
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Typically, a design brainstorm session at Tanglewood starts something like this:

“The family wanted something so unique and have a sense of history that there was nothing like it anywhere in the world” – A Client’s Representative

The solutions We propose are often a mix of the old and the new, a synthesis of the contrasts of glass and steel, wood and copper, light and dark – and a sum greater than the parts that went into it. Indeed, nothing less than an experience.

Two disciplines that Tanglewood champions are the architecture styles of Art Nouveau and that of the European and American Conservatories, innovations and traditions that sought to fill very different yet similar needs.

As Tanglewood President and Director of Architecture Alan Stein points out:

“Art Nouveau started as an intentional search for a new aesthetic, whereas conservatory design started with a response to an actual need – to conserve orange trees and other over winter through the use of glass. It then developed into an aesthetic, not so much because of an ideological position, but because it was not possible to use the existing classical architectural language for glass buildings. Classical architecture is based on masonry construction where it is the “solid” walls that are the important elements.”



Architect and Engineer Bill Bertsche warns that “True conservatory design takes experience, talent, a keen eye for detail, and innovation. You cannot build a conservatory the same way you build a house [There must be] much more flexibility for design & detail.”

The architectural styles and inspirations of Art Nouveau provide those options. With its emphasis on the organic and its evocation of living organisms, Art Nouveau was born to live. This is particularly evident in the trees, flowers and other botanical embellishments that typically can be found in the details of Art Nouveau inspired buildings.

As the Encyclopedia Britannica comments, “Art Nouveau is characterized by its use of a long, sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustration. It was a deliberate attempt to create a new style, free of the imitative historicism that dominated much of 19th-century art and design.”

Conservatory architecture, on the other hand, was born of a need to preserve.

Initially, Conservatories were seen as a place to preserve the conditions of a growing environment for the fruit trees and other botanicals of the Elite, as well as to provide a refuge from the calamities of the Outdoors. Indeed, the root of “conservatory” is postulated to be from the Latin “conservato”, relating to the Ancient Roman practice of having specific rooms or building designated for the preservation or “conservation” of food stuffs.

Together the two styles create an aesthetic for organic, living spaces that breaks from the traditions before it and grows it into the future. As Architect and Tanglewood Collaborator Dan Russoniello comments, “When working with the environment we end up with a better quality of life as well as a better sustained quality of life.”

So, what is the Future of Conservatory architecture?

Dan observes that:

“People are amazed at the absolute beauties of the… historical conservatories and they don’t realize that they are still being built. And the ones that are being built today are in many ways equally beautiful and equally experimental – in terms of the use of technology and engineering – as they were in the day when they were built a hundred years ago.”

Alan concurs when observes that:

“There is huge interest right now in building new conservatories, renovating existing conservatories … We would like to assist in pushing that initiative forward by offering something which is really not offered out there, which is a … history and an insight into the beauty and the relevance of the building itself … In terms of the building and its pedigree and its possibilities I think we’ve got something unique to offer the public that they find really interesting.”

Ralph S. Dweck residence in Bethesda, Maryland photographed May 17, 2017 by Walter Smalling.

To see examples of Conservatory architecture from the past check out our web-gallery at

And to see a portfolio of current projects that Tanglewood has assisted with or completed check out


Tanglewood Conservatories is more than a collection of craftspeople and designers devoted to the new renaissance in glass and steel domestic architecture. We are Caretakers of the Conservatory traditions – past, present, and future – and We will enjoy sharing our knowledge and passion for this living architectural style with You and Your Clients.

Contact us via phone at 410-479-4700. Or, if you prefer to communicate via the Web, you can fill out our web-query form at 

Tanglewood Conservatories – After all, “Anything else … is just another room”

A Designer’s Vision: Spotlight on Diane Page

Posted November 9th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Client Stories, Community
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Diane Page is an award-winning Interior Designer specializing in residential projects, something she has been doing exclusively for nearly 25 years. Recently, Diane talked with us about a client’s conservatory project she has been working on with Tanglewood:


The Project –

Diane was challenged by a client to help create an enclosure featuring glass-work that would allow them to feel the “great outdoors” comfortably and stylishly inside, starting from where a mere trellis with pavers previously was. Diane suggested a solution from conservatory architecture – an “orangery” – a Particular Passion of hers.

Originating in Renaissance Italy, orangeries feature expanses of glass and lattice work that were originally meant to incubate the fruit trees and other exotic plants of the Elite. Today, they offer a warm and cozy environment where home-owners can spend their leisure time enjoying the natural light of the Great Outdoors, indoors.


Diane shares her passion for the past with Tanglewood’s crafts-people and in-house designers, a trait that came in handy as the Clients expanded their initial idea of a screened-in porch to a fully formed, enclosed room with glass and wood treatments. Listening to her clients Diane relates that she told them that if they wanted that, “then why don’t we just do something beautiful!”

Diane chose to work with Tanglewood Conservatories to make that “something beautiful” a reality. With our extensive conservatory experience and expertise, Diane knew that We would be a natural choice to work with. Like Diane, Our People rely on the knowledge of the past to bring innovation to the future – Your Future. (It’s a passion commonly found in Tanglewood’s Collaborators, Designers, Craftspeople, and Suppliers – See our previous blog post about Our recent Italian trip to meet the crafts-people at Brombal, crafters of the custom Windows and Doors featured in our constructions.

Diane relates that her clients were very enthusiastic at her suggestion. Working together with Tanglewood, Diane and Tanglewood helped bring her clients’ desires to fruition by designing and crafting a 263 square-foot, China-White interior-painted home-addition constructed of Sapele Mahogany Wood, and featuring such additional details as:

Ø  A Grooved Wood Ceiling

Ø  An Extruded Aluminum Glazing System

Ø  Built-In Gutters with a Copper Lining

Ø  And Motorized, Easily-operable Windows to Effortlessly Let the Fresh Air In


The Passion –

Diane comments that she loves the work of interior design and plans on doing it “forever … as long as I can!”. She prefers residential projects over commercial ones because “… They’re shorter span projects and they’re a lot more creative”, as well as being a more intimate sort of architecture that allows her to have a freer rein with her imagination – an imagination that includes the pre-Modern Italian, French, Jeffersonian, and Georgian traditions and styles that Diane loves and which are not currently in favor for most Commercial buildings.

And in addition to being an accomplished Designer, Diane is also a skilled draftsperson, with over 40 years of experience in both designing and drafting. Her draftspersonship comes in handy with Clients since Diane likes to communicate her visions via her custom hand-crafted drawings. In fact, she notes that most of her clients “don’t know what they want until they see it”, an envisioning that she is more than happy to help guide them with personally. As Diane relates, “The more pictures you draw the better (your clients) feel about what you’re doing”.

Diane is just one of the many outstanding creators and innovators who work with Tanglewood to make your dream project come true. At Tanglewood Conservatories we believe in engaging with the best designers and artisans to bring You or Your Clients estate enhancements to Life and construct some of the best home-additions in the World.


Contact Tanglewood and Diane today to find out more about designing and constructing you or your clients next home addition, whether it be an orangery, a conservatory, a greenhouse, a skylight, a pool enclosure… the sky and your imagination are the limit! We have extensive experience working with homeowners and professionals to make their dreams come true. And Innovative Designs are Our Specialty!

Diane Page Design | Diane Page

Tanglewood Conservatories | Jennifer Beletsky 410-479-4700 Or You can fill out Our contact form at and We will respond promptly.

At Tanglewood, We believe in crafting Quality You can Live in. After all, “Anything else … is just another room!”.

Domes, Lanterns, Skylights

Posted October 23rd, 2017 by Alex and filed in
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Domes, Roof Lanterns, Cupolas & Skylights



Rooftop domes are usually ornamental in nature but they can be useful as well, by providing natural light and ventilation. Tanglewood prides itself on being able to create and build glass and copper, circular or polygonal, rooftop vantage points for homes, gazebos, swimming pool enclosures, or whatever you can think of.
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Cupolas & Roof Lanterns

Cupolas (derived from Latin, Italian and Greek for small or upside down cup) and Roof Lanterns are usually small, dome-like creations that sit on top of roofs or domes. They are ornamental, but like their larger dome counterparts, can be useful as well by providing ventilation and light to a room or other structure upon which they sit.
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Metal-framed skylights used to grace almost every Victorian era row house as an enclosure above their stairwells. Tanglewood Conservatories has had a hand in the evolution of skylight design and we consider them a form of artwork with which to grace conservatories, greenhouses, or any other type of room. We will even take a step back in time and enclose a stairwell!
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What Can a Skylight Do For You?

Posted May 17th, 2017 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Skylights
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Skylights bring as much as three times more light into your residence or office than the average window. That additional light pouring in from above makes the space look more inviting and spacious. Or, when dimmed by fog or clouds they continue to add a sense of cozy spaciousness.

At night, skylights open the room to the stars, help you watch a storm, or just add a sense of openness and space. They are great for brightening up a dark corner and can cause light to brighten a dim stair case.

apply smallPerfect for all homes, skylights come in all sorts of styles from the typical dormer we tend to think of first to the all-glass circular entry to Apple’s store in Singapore. modern skylightThe gently curved skylight of the light rail station, Canary Wharf, London is a wonderful example of a thoroughly modern skylight.

What Tanglewood does is bring the beauty of style and attention to detail from the 19th century and combines it with modern style and technology to turn the average skylight into a work of art.

Read about our most recent skylight project HERE.

dome skylight cropedThere are many different types of skylights For example, glass domes and cupolas, which are sometimes called roof lanterns, serve the same function of opening up a room to the sky and have their own kind of charm.

Because skylights are best when they are custom built specifically for your space when you’re cupola pixabaybuilding your home or adding them to an existing structure there are several factors to consider. Wood frames are traditional; the warm look of wood can be had with more modern materials that need less maintenance. Copper is another traditional material for skylight frames as is bronze. Both weather to a glowing patina, and both can be used well in modern design.

CLICK HERE to get in touch with our Project Manager about adding skylights to your home.

Today’s skylights are engineered to be weatherproof. Gone are the days of leaks, wind-driven whistles, and other problems. Your skylights can be fixed or operable, have structural glass when that’s called for, and use glass that actually responds to the amount of light and more.

Skylights, no matter what their style, add a truly magical and beautiful touch to any structure.

At Tanglewood, we’re as proud of our skylights as we are our glass conservatories. We’d be delighted to talk with you about your ideas and wishes for opening up your world with skylights.

Please, call us at  410-479-4700, or fill out the form on our CONTACT PAGE and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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.

druid hill park 3

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.

Skylights in Unique Places

Posted September 23rd, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Domes and Cupolas, Dynamic Glass, Steel Structures
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Novelty Skylights – where would YOU put one?

Clients around the globe are looking for new, innovative ways to use skylights. Whether it is a dome, cupola or other type of skylight, these additions can add beauty to any structure, while giving it an exclusive look and style. Check out these clients who took their skylights to UNIQUE PLACES!

Garden Swings

IMAGINE… It is late at night and the stars are out; you feel the soft warm breeze brush across your skin. Where are YOU? These clients are sitting under their custom copper and glass dome on their garden swing! Placed at the edge of their garden, they took an ordinary swing set and turned it into a custom work of art.

Look at the detail…

PicMonkey_45 West Lake AS

Made entirely out of steel, copper and glass, notice the small panes of overlapping glass and detail carved into the copper work of the dome. The beautiful columns surrounding the swing set an atmosphere so peaceful, you cannot help but spend your nights star gazing. Thanks to Meyer and Meyer Architects in Boston for their help in creating this dream!

Showers in the Sun

When a client asked us to design a fanciful skylight for a backyard shower, we thought… “He can’t be serious!” We had designed a beautiful conservatory for him years ago, but this seemed an unlikely project. However, six months later and after hours of design work, a most amazing structure emerged. This copper clad steel skylight with antique lapped glass and ornamental finial creates a soaring light to drench this elegant space with warmth. Only a simple arched wooden door hinted at the dramatic space behind.

PicMonkey_lascano pic

The Star Cabin

Do you have a love for stargazing?

Looking for a quiet space away from civilization, the last piece to this client’s dream home is an observatory.  In the midst of building a new home in the countryside, they turned to Tanglewood in search of creating a SILO off of their beautiful log cabin home to share their love of astronomy. Just imagine… relaxing at the top of this secret hideout and, through this enormous glass dome, watching the Aurora Borealis! Flashes of various colors engulf the night sky, dancing around the stars, creating a magnificent show for you and your family.

PicMonkey_Silo - SRC

For MORE INFORMATION on our skylight, dome or cupola structures feel free to give us a call at 410.479.4700 or submit a form online at our website! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about these stories, structures and more.

Skylights: Designing & Installing

Posted May 22nd, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Uncategorized
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Skylights are terrific additions for any home! Filling your home with warmth and brightness, skylights enhance spaces which lack natural light, such as stairs and hallways. Skylights can allow three times as much light into a space as ordinary windows and are accommodating to architectural design.These home additions are flexible in design; allowing for different shapes, sizes and styles. When considering skylights a few questions should be asked: How do you want the light moving through your home? How can skylights be incorporated into the design of your home? What will its purpose be?



The size of a skylight impacts the amount of solar heat gain and conduction gains and losses. Keep in mind, the larger the size of your skylight the more heat you’ll acquire.If you’re installing multiple skylights in a single area, spacing becomes a factor. Whether lighting a small or large area, you want to promote an even light distribution. Tanglewood suggests spacing the skylights roughly 1.5 times of the height between the floor and the roof.

PicMonkey_Skylights Fixed


Aside from the traditional glazed skylight units, roof windows are a popular choice for houses with an attic or minimal roof space. This design can be installed on a conventional flat ceiling and are usually sealed double-insulating glass units. Tubular skylights are another option. This addition is quite small and can reduce the amount of heat loss and gain due to the small area is occupies. After installation, this skylight transmits the captured light down a highly reflective light well and connects at ceiling level around the room. A reflecting tube is also installed to direct the sunlight downward.


Interested in learning more about skylights? Take a look at some of our work and give us a call at 410.479.4700.


Let in the Light!

Posted May 15th, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Uncategorized
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We can’t help but be cheerful when the sun is high in the sky and the birds are singing on a beautiful warm day. It’s our pick-me-up that makes us want to be outside and active. Take a minute and visualize yourself standing in your favorite room. Is it your living room or conservatory? Maybe your passion is cooking and enjoy being in the kitchen? Now take that image and introduce the sun’s full spectrum of light entering your favorite room. You feel its warmth on your skin and watch as the natural rays bring it to life.


When we introduce light into our home we bring the spacious feeling of the outdoors inside, changing the way we look at the room. As the sun moves, light is distributed at different angles throughout the day. So as it’s moving, the light projected into your home moves through the room as well, creating a visual interest and movement. To maximize the amount of sunlight that enters your home we look to structures such as skylights, domes, cupolas, roof lanterns and even entire conservatories to give us that spacious warm feeling. With these additional structures we can take advantage of the sunlight to minimize the amount of artificial light we use. The end result, beautifully lit rooms and lower energy bills!


Now that flashes of designs and ideas to enhance that favorite room are running through your mind, where are you going to put them? The placement of these additions should be considered due to the suns effects. First, be aware of where the sun begins and ends. If you are considering a skylight or roof lantern for example, south-facing lights are likely to overheat your room where as north-facing lights give off all day soft light without the “sun-splashed” effect. Second, do you need to protect the objects in that room from the sun’s rays? Things such as cabinets and vanities can undergo bleaching from the suns rays if they are not properly protected. Consider glazing the glass with a gray or bronze tint to block the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. Glazing can also insulate the glass against heat build up in the summer and heat loss in the winter.



Finally, lets’ take those dreams and ideas and make them a reality! We encourage you to send us an email about the details of your project. Our team is here to work with you in designing and creating your dream. For more information on these light structures visit our page Domes, Lanterns, Cupolas & Skylights!

Domes, Cupolas, Roof Lanterns & Skylights: What’s the Difference?

Posted May 8th, 2015 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Uncategorized
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Imagine star gazing from inside your home, enjoying everything about the outdoors but from the comfort of your home. Wouldn’t it be great to feel the warmth of the sun through the skylight or circulate fresh air throughout you room with a cupola! Although these are all striking additions, what elements create the diversity between these structures?

Cupolas and Roof Lanterns

Roof Lanterns and Cupolas are great elegant structural additions that give a sense of open space to your room. Cupolas are small functional structures on top a larger roof or dome. They are pieced together by three sections; the base, vents/windows, and the cap. The base is the section of the cupola that conforms to the slope of the roof, holding it all in place. Roof lanterns on the other hand are just another term for a cupola. These structures are large multi-pained glass structures positioned on top a flat roof. Compared to a skylight, roof lanterns provides significantly more natural light and gives the room an opening bright feel. Just think of all the money you’ll save on energy bills!



Skylights, in essence, are windows for the roof. These small structures can hold a flat or domed appearance and can either be fixed or ventilated. Unlike windows, skylights are positioned directly facing the sky, away from any possible obstacles or objects that could impede lights entrance. As a result, more natural light can enter and warm your room. Then, if you choose to add ventilation to your skylight design, fresh air will fill your room, creating a more outdoor feel. It all comes down to your needs and desires!

PicMonkey Collage_Skylight


To best describe these structures, domes resemble a hollow upper half of a sphere,creating a favorable open atmosphere in your room. Domes are extremely durable and strong, forming together a series of triangles to create its circular appearance. Through the years, dome structures have become distinct features in several well known buildings. Have you ever been to Disney World? Did you go to Epcot and see Disney’s “Spaceship Earth”? This world famous ride takes dome structures to another level! Other well known structures include the national Capitol at Washington D.C., St. Paul’s, and the Pantheon.



So what are you looking for? Are you looking for a more open feel to your room or does stargazing capture your interest? Let Tanglewood help capture your ideas and turn them into works of art! For more information about these structures we welcome you to visit our web page Domes, Roof Lanterns, Cupolas & Skylights or send us an email.

Let the Light Shine In

Posted November 3rd, 2014 by Bonnie Hall and filed in General, Uncategorized
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It’s that time of the year again where the days are getting shorter and it seems like we just cannot escape the encroaching change of season. Most of us have a natural affinity for sunlight and seek the warmth the sunshine provides along with the natural serotonin boost. However, during the long winter months, seeking the sun and its beneficial rays can be a bit of a challenge.

sunshine2  One undisputed remedy for the short winter days is to spend more time in natural light, which can be very difficult when the weather outside is freezing cold and snowy! There are many products on the market that simulate natural light – but why not bask in the warmth of natural light in your own private retreat? A custom-built conservatory is a perfect method for bringing in lots of natural light in and keeping all the freezing cold outside. With recent advances in the heating and cooling of glass houses, a conservatory is the perfect way to invite more natural sunlight into your home. A conservatory is primarily constructed from glass which allows plenty of natural light to bathe the room in bright warmth. Even on a dull winter day, your conservatory will be flush with natural warmth and light. Your conservatory can also provide the perfect backdrop for gentle home exercise such as Tai Chi or yoga which studies have shown to be beneficial.

Tanglewood Conservatories are master craftsmen in constructing glass sanctuaries and will work with you to obtain maximum sunlight exposure in the winter while having the ability to cool and provide shade in the summer. A consultation with Tanglewood Conservatories to build your dream conservatory will brighten your long winter days for many years to come.