As the weather cools down and we think about spending more time in the great outdoors here are some tips for creating a stand out yard
Whether you’re throwing a party for a large group of friends or want to create an intimate coffee corner for two, we’ve caught up with the landscaping experts and interior designers to get the lowdown on how best to transform your garden into a welcoming space…
Zone out your garden
Your outdoor eating area is a good starting point for mapping out your outdoor space. “Consider where your indoor kitchen is and see if you can have your outdoor dining and/or barbecue area located close by to keep the walk, carrying hot dishes and tableware, to a minimum,” advises interior designer Rhian Clarke. “You will also want to offer shade over the eating area, whether that’s with a pergola or an umbrella.”
If you plan to grow your own herbs or have your own vegetable patch, it also makes sense to choose a location close to the kitchen. “However, you’ll also need to plant according to where the sun and shade falls in your garden,” advises Meadows 7 resident Heather Drake.
If space and funds allow, you will want to consider the location for a swimming pool, whether it’s a focal point in the garden or hidden at the side of your villa. “If you’re on a budget, consider creating your garden in stages,” says Heather. “We put in a lawn to begin with, while we saved up for our swimming pool.”
Meanwhile, your borders will be the perfect spot for growing trees, bushes and plants to hide unsightly walls, create privacy and make a beautiful backdrop. It’s also the perfect location to add lighting.
Let there be light
“If your garden is dark at night, it won’t get used once the sun goes down simply because it’s not pleasant to sit in the dark,” cautions Rhian. To that end, consider illuminating your garden as you would your home interior. That perfectly positioned pergola, which casts shade over your dining area during the day, is also the perfect spot for hanging a pendant.
Add a dimmer switch for mood lighting. The pillars of your pergola and boundary walls are good places for spotlights, too. You can light up trees with spotlights or fairy lights, as well – consider using solar-powered lighting, which is low-maintenance, eco-friendly and will come on automatically.
Take a pew
When it comes to your seating area, arrangement is key to ensure ease of movement around it and in between different zones of your garden, inspire conversation and aid hosting. Plus, there are plenty of creative options. A rustic daybed repurposed as a chaise longue, a built-in bench, a banquette strewn with colourful cushions, a suspended lounger or a hammock hung between two trees create intimacy, make clever use of space and are conversation starters in their own right.
It’s worth investing in durable materials for your bigger pieces of furniture so that they withstand the harsh UAE climate, while accessories can be the budget items that can be updated, as trends, seasons and your personal preferences change.
Fire and water
You can’t beat the sound of moving water for creating a serene ambiance and a water feature will add a pleasant contrast to our desert locale. Meanwhile, a fireplace will give guests something warm and cosy to gather around during the cooler months of the year. “I love to play card games, and enjoy drinks and nibbles around the fireplace with my husband and friends,” says interior designer Lilly Engelbrecht.
Need more garden renovation ideas? See our more of our solutions for transforming your garden and outdoor space here.