How we used a tranquil outdoor space to extend indoor open plan living out into the garden, creating an extra 'room' for our clients so they could make the most of their property.

Here at Ayegardening we strongly believe that your garden should work as an outdoor room, complimenting the style of your home both indoors and out. In this recent project, we worked with garden designer Laura Bedell-Pearce to turn this straggling grassed garden and into an urban oasis.

Facts & Figures

Who lives here? Andy, Emanuela and their children

Location: Redhill, Surrey

Garden Dimensions: 11m x 9m

Maintenance Advice: Mint sandstone paving

Why we loved this project:  We have worked with Laura on this project as it was great to work with a local garden designer. We also loved transforming a space that we knew would make a big impact to this family and give them lots of enjoyment in their new outside space.

The Clients:

A stylish professional couple who had recently renovated their home to embrace open plan living.

The Brief:

The clients required a sophisticated outdoor room to mirror the style and finish of their recently renovated open-plan home. They wanted to transform a small, bland, suburban back garden into a functional living space that was part of the natural flow of the whole property.

The large glass barriers that looked out onto the garden from the main living space gave us the opportunity to build a space that was inviting and visually appealing, from the inside of the home as well as the outside. It felt enclosed due to the high fencing and they wanted it to feel bigger.

Before photo of the garden in Reigate

The Solution:

Overcoming shady location

The existing grass had failed to thrive in the garden due to the shady location and heavy clay soil, so we needed to find creative ways to ensure the garden flourished. We introduced a tumbled mint sandstone paving instead of grass and built raised beds to give the illusion of a larger space. A better quality of soil was used in the raised to provide the right nutrition and drainage requirements for the planting.

Landscaped garden in Reigate

Continuity from indoor space

As well as working on the garden itself, we made sure to work the design into the property as a whole. Because the outside space was designed to be an additional room to the house, cohesion between the indoor living space and the outdoor room was important. As the project developed, it became clear that the existing steps to the house were not enhancing the garden, so we adjusted the plan to build new steps into the property.

The completed garden works as a seperate, but connected, outdoor room of the house, framed by the large glass doors from the back of the property.

Design Focus:

We would particularly like to focus on the following parts of the design:

  • Lighting - Lighting was an important part of the design, illuminating the outside space so that it could be seen from the house at night and during short Winter days. Rather than looking out at a flat, dark space through the window, the garden is brought into the living space through being lit and visible through the glass doors of the open plan inside space.
  • Paving: We chose the tumbled mint sandstone paving because of its slightly antiqued look that also brightens up the garden. It also feels good underfoot, making it ideal for paved areas like this that are used as a continuation of the indoor space.
  • Painted fencing: Fences, troughs and planters were painted in dark grey, giving the visual illusion of receding boundaries, which again opens up the space and make it feel much bigger.
  • Movement: Nature is encouraged into the garden through a number of bird feeders placed throughout the garden, together with planting chosen to encourage wildlife year-round. This constant movement in the garden helps to bring the space alive and echoes the inviting feeling of the whole property.
  • Planting: Our garden designer chose plants that work all year round. Ferns, grasses and long-flowering perennials ensure that there is interest to the space throughout the year.

Working with Laura's gardens

We worked closely with the Laura Bedell-Pearce of Laura's Gardens on this project. We were delighted to have been chosen to work with her on this important project for her clients. Ayegardening have worked with Laura's Gardens on three occasions and we are establishing a strong working relationship.

Laura from Laura's Gardens

If you are considering a garden landscaping project and you don't know where to start in terms of budgeting, then it may be useful to read the following guide that Laura has produced which outlines the process involved with planning a garden makeover.

If this tranquil outdoor room has inspired you to think more creatively about your garden, please email us at office@ayegardening.co.uk or call Susan on 01293 516874 to start the conversation. We love talking about your vision for your garden!