This was a home that had not been updated in many years. A property developer and interior designer bought the property to develop and then sell on. The target market being the commuter family. The first main problem to solve was parking and access, an impossibly steep drive, limited drive space, and a 150 metre trek to the front door along a steep and dangerous path. Above all, to develop kerb appeal. After that it was about creating a garden to give the house a sense of space and place, where a family could be at home equally indoors and out of doors.
The plot has many complicated levels, the main property is separated from the driveway by a 2.5 metre embankment, although the actual height difference between the house and drive is only about 1 metre, giving the possibility of a new cutting and entrance from drive to front door. After that, it is about understanding the existing features and how to sculpt that space to make the most of the views and to give the client what she was looking to achieve. In particular, the house was to be extended and the entrance moved to the side of the property, so how could this be accommodated to enable this to happen?
This involved lots and lots of hand sketching to work out possible layouts. Meeting with the client to see which ideas worked best for her was key. Finally developing the best of those ideas to create a space that felt right, complimented the plans for the house, and made the most of that garden and it’s views. This garden based on octagons, allows the outside space to be aligned with both the house and the main view. Not only does it create a main vista as you arrive from the drive into the garden, but it also connects the kitchen to the main terrace, the lounge to the steps and paths beyond.
The side cutting for the new entrance to the house involved moving a lot of soil, which we used to create the area in front of the garden room and the main terrace. This minimised the amount of spoil to be removed from site. After this, sandstone gabion walls have been used to retain the embankment, and to replace the old retaining walls around the terrace and upper level of the lawn. New steps and staircases have been constructed and there are paths and paving, water features and planting to follow.
The bespoke water feature was constructed from powder coated steel and comprises two tanks linked by a rill. The design allows for the upper larger tank to be planted with pond style plants should the client choose, and the pump ensures the water is in constant circulation when running. This was discreetly installed and burbles away bringing a relaxed feel to the mid section of the garden. Water features, as well as providing tranquility to your garden, are also an aesthetic way of detracting from traffic noise.
The work was completed on time by the end of June, please see the gallery for further pictures of the finished garden. The paths and terraces were laid, and the pergola and water feature installed and ready for that first sundowner…