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A love letter to the conservatory, a useless hangover from our wildest suburban dreams

Families spent the 1990s attaching these big glass rooms to their homes, only to quickly discover they were useless for most of the year. What a fitting parable for the weirdness of suburban life

Recently, I found myself reading about conservatories. Not musical conservatories—far be it from me to guess at what the New York Philharmonic gets up to. No, I mean the other kind of conservatory: the big glass rooms that suburban families spent the 1990s attaching to their homes, then occasionally using between the months of April and May—after that, it’s too hot—and September and October—after that, it’s too cold. In my deep dive on conservatories, trawling through architecture websites and interior design blogs to understand these daft little glass structures we were…

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