WITH a rare hot summer on the way, making use of your outdoor space this year will be a priority for anyone with a garden and a bit of an itch to renovate.<br /><br />Enter the conservatory. Banish thoughts of hyacinth-filled, musty rooms belonging to ladies with cats or ageing parents. They are an increasingly sleek and ever-lovely way to expand your living space and to provide a conduit between inside and out.<br /><br />Alan Waxman, head of Landmass, a London developer, says: &ldquo;Today more than ever people appreciate the importance of a lot of glass to get as much light as possible, which then magnifies the sense of space. Conservatories are becoming more and more popular.&rdquo; This is largely because of advances in technology. Dual purpose glass deflects sun and glare in summer (most conservatories have a solar film added when complete) and insulates the space in winter &ndash; air conditioning and central heating regulate temperature year-round. You can also have collapsible doors so entire walls can be folded away.<br /><br />Ian Harvey, designer and surveyor at Malbrook, a Putney-based firm, says remote control of ceiling vents is another innovation making conservatories more attractive (formerly each would have to be open and closed separately).<br /><br />Harvey says most people build conservatories adjacent to their kitchens to create a dining and relaxation room. Although there are super-modern structures that can look excellent when paired with a Victorian, Edwardian or Georgian property, in general it&rsquo;s a good idea for conservatories to chime with the proportions and style of the building &ndash; something any good designer will take into account.