Brighten up the winter months with tips from interior stylist Alison Davidson and Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass

03 December 2010
Pilkington glass has teamed up with leading interiors stylist Alison Davidson to devise some valuable tips for you to create a seamless link between house and garden and maximise the use of your conservatory throughout the year. By ensuring that there is always something nice to look at in the garden and by carefully framing doors and windows you can easily bring the outside in for the winter.

Installing Pilkington Activ™ means that you’ll get a clear view through your windows even after the heaviest downpour. It’s dual-action coating uses UV rays to break down organic dirt (for example, fingerprints, bird droppings, tree resin) and then the coating encourages rainwater to flow down the glass in an even ‘sheeting’ effect washing away any loosened dirt. This ‘sheeting’ action prevents water from forming droplets and drying in streaks and smears following a rain shower.

Additional premium features such as Pilkington Activ™ Blue is specifically designed for conservatories.  It is an attractive blue tinted glass that combines dual-action self-cleaning properties with solar control technology, which helps to prevent conservatories becoming unbearably hot in the summer. The blue tint allows considerably less heat into the room compared to standard glass, making it a more comfortable environment to enjoy.


1.   Choose furniture that will look good in winter and summer, something neutral so that you can change the accessories with the seasons, and with a low back so that you can make the most of the view into the garden.

2.   Add a wool rug to warm up the floor to make the conservatory look more comfortable and inviting. Pilkington Activ™ Blue combined with Pilkington K Glass™ will also contribute to the overall warmth of the conservatory as it prevents heat being lost from the room by reflecting it back into the home.

3.   Add lights to illuminate particular plants – it really adds drama and draws you out into the garden. Lighting on steps is a clever idea; they lead you into the garden and make it easy for you to see where you are going when it is dark as well as adding ambience.

4.   Choose plants that flower at different times of the year so that you have colour all year round. Evergreen trees such as Maiten (Maytenus Boaria) and Luma (Myrtus Luma) have green leaves all through the winter and produce flowers in spring and summer. A Virginia Creeper is also ideal as it has green leaves in summer and red leaves in autumn.

5.   Bring plants in pots closer to the conservatory so that you can enjoy them in the winter. Rearrange the furniture to have a seat in the conservatory by the windows so that you can see into the garden but you are warm inside. Trees with ornamental bark such as Chinese Paperbark Maple (Acer Griseum) and Manchurian Bird Cherry (Prunus Maackii) make for interesting winter garden features.

6.      When the weather turns cold, bring tender plants indoors to keep them safe from frost and to add some ‘life’ to your conservatory. Add to them with indoor plants so that you have an ‘indoor garden’.