Gardens

Would you opt for a monochrome garden design? This chic garden design has us convinced

Interior designer Rhian Clarke’s Victory Heights garden proves that black and white chic can work in your outdoor space just as well as inside the home

black and white sofas next to an outdoor pool

A palette predilection for black and white doesn’t necessarily shout relaxed garden vibes, but for Rhian Clarke, taking her edgy monochrome aesthetic from the inside to outdoors was a non-negotiable at this Victory Heights home. 

As someone who likes to buck trends, the decision to go with a black tiled pool as the emblematic focal point was a brave decision.

“There’s been a big trend towards white swimming pools, and I’d seen a shot on Pinterest of a black one, which was really dramatic,” she says. 

Rhian Clarke black and white tiles garden and pool
Geometric tiling accents on the steps and outdoor bar strengthen the overall visual impact

Rhian initially held back on going overboard with the use of black, instead choosing to paint the surrounding walls grey, but later made the bold decision to match them with the pool tiles and introduce geometric tiling accents on the steps and outdoor bar to strengthen the overall visual impact.

To add an additional wow factor and respect function, the infinity-edged pool was designed in an irregular shape, thus affording ample space to swim laps and chill at the swim-up bar.

Rather than a single note space, introducing distinctive zones was also key to creating a harmonised, complementary environment, with raised exposed sunbathing and dining spots and a sunken covered eating and lounging area with outdoor barbecue situated close to the kitchen.

Rhian elaborates: “I wanted to create an outside room and approach the space as I would indoors, using rugs, cushions and blankets as well as lamps and other traditionally interior accessories.”

Rhian Clarke black swimming pool aerial view
The black hued pool is striking from all angles

An explosion of floral colour was also a no-go with Rhian opting for all-green landscaping, as she explains: “I wanted clean green and all the plants have been carefully grouped together or in rows as I like things to be neat. I also looked for monochrome or geometric pots.”

Want an outdoor space that stops people in their tracks? Follow Rhian Clarke’s advice…

ceramic bowls on a table
A hand-picked selection of lamps, trays and accessories lend a lounge dining room feel

Consider how you want to use the space.

Think practically as well as aesthetically. If you’re creating an outdoor barbecue area, site it so you minimise the time spent walking to the kitchen carrying food and utensils.

Think about what you want to look at

Most infinity edged pools flow away towards the back of the garden, but if you want to enjoy the look and sound of the water from your sofa, have it built to flow towards the house.

Don’t be afraid to do things differently

Consider how you can create points of interest through colour choices, pool shape or by introducing different levels for different purposes. Lastly, don’t be dictated by trends.

Looking for more pool inspiration? Read Rhian’s tips for designing a unique yet functional pool and see how this Dubai garden received a hotel-like makeover with its own infinity pool.

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