Take a peek inside creative couple Wim and Griet’s vibrant Falcon City of Wonders garden
Homeowners Wim Bonjean and Griet Van Den Auwelant share a passion for colour. This is evident upon meeting the Belgian couple, and even more so once you step inside their Falcon City of Wonders villa. Creatives by day, the husband and wife have a distinct style that echoes through their clothes, home, and now out into their newly renovated garden.
“We used to go to our boat every weekend, but since we’ve redone the garden, we haven’t been on it in two months!” laughs Wim as we chat about his bright alfresco space. Starting in November of 2020, the project was finished by February of this year and the fun-loving couple hasn’t looked back since.
The initial idea to renovate came after they purchased their rented villa in Falcon City during September of 2020. “The moment we actually bought the house, we immediately wanted to do the garden up,” the couple explains. “We dug out the whole place,” says Wim, who runs the Dubai branch of media production company B.U.T.
Hiring a landscaper to help with the renovation process, the parents of two raised half the garden up for a swimming pool and extended the terrace outwards. “The terrace was so small that you couldn’t even fit two people on it before,” says Griet, “There was a huge water tank in the way, so we removed that and extended it.” Giving the space a complete overhaul, the trendy couple were worried it would look too clinical, as while they were renting the home they had used the outside space to create an at-home beach. With sand and surfboards, the garden reflected the couple’s creative personality but, “after a while the sand started to go hard and it wasn’t very nice,” says Wim. So, stripping back to plain grey slabs was a big change. “I was a bit scared that it was going to look too polished and grown-up, but then you throw in like a pink chair or whatever, and then you’re just like, ‘okay, it is mine’”, says Griet, who is a ceramic sculptor and artist
(@ceramic_by_griet) by profession.
Using her artistic talent, Griet and her daughter painted a bold mandala mural on the wall which forms a colour palette base for the space. And accessorising with a mix of her own sculptures, plus those of a favourite Belgian artist, the minimal garden was injected with personality. “I tell stories with clay,” says the artist, whose current charity exhibition in collaboration with 30 local women, titled XLIX, is displaying at City Walk (xlix.auction). “I make characters and then tell their story to the world.” Naturally, Griet’s garden tells the tale of an art loving family who like to spend time under the sun.
Separating the garden into sections, Wim built a palette sofa and the pair opted for a large dining table to take centre stage in the space, a favourite for the family as, “we eat dinner outside for most of the year,” says Griet.
Another highlight of their new space is the low maintenance, “I don’t understand how people keep grass green year-round here, we never could. So, this is perfect for us, as it doesn’t require much work but it still it feels naturey,” says Wim – and he’s right. The garden has a verdant feeling even though it might be lacking in traditional turf and trees. The pool’s lining of shrubs and the array of potted plants add to the garden’s vibrant feel, that is oh so reflective of its effervescent owners.
You can browse more local garden inspiration here