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The Brief

This period-style terraced town house has a small, dark, north-facing garden with a steep slope that banks up from the house to a gate, leading straight into Tunbridge Wells’ town centre. The challenge was to maximise space and light to transform an unusable garden into the perfect spot for entertaining and outdoor living.

The Design

The garden had a height difference of 1.6m from its highest to lowest points and, at just 7mx 6m, space was at a premium. The garden was lowered to restore the damp course around the house, but it also meant that we could ensure ease of access from the kitchen out to the bbq and dining area.  We made the seating area the central focus with Larch benches built in and under plant lighting to create space and ambience with a chiminea to make the most of the garden into the evenings We also added a small storage room.

Design Detailing

We designed the focus of the space to capture the evening light that filtered in from the west to make this a place to relax after a long day at work. We wanted to use the best materials we could within the budget, bringing the colour palette from the recently redecorated interior though to the outside space through use of grey, glossy red and white. The concrete steps to the gate were overlaid with slate that not only fitted in with our client’s budget, but, with its striking grey tones, served as a key feature of the design.  Rather than creating retaining walls in a garden where space was at a premium, benches doubled as support to keep the terraced structure and provided a seating area. Space for large planting beds added interest and softens the hard landscaping.

Bringing The Landscape Into The Design

This garden has limited access points, so our choice of materials and our site build required careful consideration. The garden planters were made from recycled plastic, light enough to transport through the back gate into the garden, but durable and big enough to create large planting areas. For sustainability and to maximise the available budget we re-used rubble and added gravel to maintain drainage, a key factor to ensuring the durability of garden walls. We also used the soil removed when levelling the garden to fill the garden planters – nothing was wasted!


Contemporary Design

Our contemporary design used geometric details to add focus and style to transform an underused space into a modern outdoor living zone. This investment added a ‘room’ to a small home right in the heart of the sought-after town of Tunbridge wells, adding functionality, desirability and increased the overall value of the property.


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