Gardens, Swimming Pools and Outdoor Spaces - 29 Projects

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Outdoor space is an essential for every luxury property, and a well-designed garden acts as an extra room of the house. Top interior designers know that garden spaces deserve the same consideration of furniture and accessories as the rest of the home, and maximise the potential of every patio, solarium, balcony and swimming pool.

There is luxury furniture to suit every function of your outdoor space, from drinking and dining to sunbathing. Interior designers add bespoke garden sculptures, candleholders and outdoor rugs to create beautiful and practical solutions which can be used all year and work in harmony with your plants and flowers.

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Garden and Outdoor Design Ideas

Whether your property has an extensive garden space or a compact balcony or roof terrace with a view, each type of outdoor space can be made into a beautiful and practical addition to your home. In a smaller space, create a well-defined purpose such as dining or sunbathing, whereas for a larger space it is often advisable to create several distinct areas to break up the space into more cosy and defined areas.

Outdoor Dining Area

An outdoor dining area has become a must have for any contemporary garden design, however there are many different ways of incorporating a space for dining and entertaining out of doors. For the serious foodie, it is possible to deck out the garden with a wood burning oven, or open fire for cooking on, which can be accompanied by a large dining table and a bar to really create the right atmosphere for entertaining friends and family. Consider having the dining area partially enclosed, as a roof can provide shade or shelter in any weather and creates a more cozy feel that is perfect for long evenings spent entertaining out of doors.

Alternatively, a small round table with just two or three chairs can provide a more informal space for dining outside, which is perfect for an intimate breakfast or light lunch.

If you choose to create a covered area then there are many options, from a large, wooden pergola that creates the look and feel of being on holiday to a more minimalist white-walled space that has a chic, retractable, fabric sun shade. Choose the size and style that best complements the property and your personal requirements for the space.

Demarcate the dining area with a luxurious floor covering - a stunning, patterned tiled floor can set the dining area apart from the rest of the outdoor space with a fun and vibrant look that is so suited to the outdoors. A wooden floor has a timeless and elegant look, as do large tiles, whilst poured or polished concrete has a stunning, contemporary look that borrows from brutalist architecture.

Accessorise the dining area not only with a dining table and chairs, but also consider adding an outdoor rug, lighting and other small details, and don’t forget to bring the rest of the garden into the al fresco dining area with potted and ornamental plants in a variety of beautiful vessels…  

Outdoor Seating Area

An outdoor seating area is a wonderful place to relax, read a book or socialise. There are many interesting and unique garden design ideas for outdoor seating, such as a loveseat with its own adjustable sun shade or a chic sofa that would be stylish enough for the interior. Create a seating area with a selection of chairs, from a single armchair placed in the shade, to a cluster of sofas, armchairs and loveseats to recreate the comfort and ease of the living room whilst out of doors…

Consider adding a coffee table for practicality, which could be a single, large table in an eye-catching material such as marble, or a selection of smaller tables that can be moved according to the occasion.

A bespoke outdoor sofa can work wonders in a difficult or large space, as it can be made to measure. Consider including bespoke pieces in the garden to pull the space together and to create a unique and luxurious look.

Look for a deep, plush seat with thick cushions with removable covers in a material that can withstand being out of doors. Crisp white upholstery has a classic and chic look, however the garden can be a wonderful place to include some bright, vivid or even contrasting colours as they can look wonderful against the greenery of the outdoors.

Swimming Pool

A swimming pool is the ultimate luxury accessory for the home, bringing instant glamour to the garden. A pool can vary greatly in size and shape, which will mostly be dictated by the size of the space. However, a pool of any size can be beautifully finished to make the most of it. White or coloured tiles bring a simple geometric pattern to the pool and its surrounding area, providing practicality and beauty.

Accessorise the swimming pool with chic, contemporary sun loungers. Complementary coffee tables and an umbrella complete the look. An outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area is wonderful when paired with a shaded area for eating and relaxing, as this creates a space that can be used all day and in many different ways.

Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

The available designs for outdoor furniture have improved greatly in recent years, with the designs now being parallel to interior furniture. The use of clever materials and finishes have made the fabrics that are used for upholstery in outdoor furniture equal in both style and function to those for the indoors, so there has never been a better time to invest in redesigning your outdoor spaces.

Choose sleek, minimalist designs in bright, white colours or dramatic pieces in dark colours to set the mood. The garden takes well to a mix and match look, meaning that you can combine different styles, colour and shapes of furniture to create a fun and eclectic look - but equally a matching suite of furniture is unmistakably chic and timeless.

An outdoor dining table comes in many guises, a circular glass table top with a curved central leg has a sleek, modern look whereas a more traditional, rectangular table comes in either natural wood for a discrete, organic feel or with a cast and extruded aluminium frame that is polyester powder-coated and topped with a stunning steel surface that is finished with porcelain enamel, chosen for its excellent weather-resistant properties. Select chairs that match or contrast with the table, depending on the look that you wish to achieve. With styles made in wood, rattan, woven or solid plastic and painted steel there is a style, shape and colour to perfectly suit your space.

Deep, low and relaxed styles are perfect for an outdoor space, and there are many sofas and chairs to create the informal and casual atmosphere that so suits the out of doors. Round and curved shapes seem to accentuate the relaxed mood of the garden, however, strict lines or rigorous shapes can look equally as wonderful thanks to the contrast with the natural shapes and atmosphere of the garden.

Trees and Plants

Grass can provide a natural and comfortable flooring option in the garden, and looks particularly beautiful when trimmed with a marble or stone border. However, grass is not the only option for the garden, as it can look wonderfully clean and modern to have a wooden or tiled floor with trees, plants and flowers in pots. Potted plants are a way to introduce colour, texture, shape and personality to an outdoor space, where you can bring together an eclectic mix of contemporary ceramics and antique pots to bring a sense of true individuality. A garden with only potted plants is the perfect solution to bring flora and fauna to a balcony, rooftop or walled garden, as well as being a good option for those who aren’t exactly green-fingered…

Finding A Garden Designer

An interior designer will be able to pull together a cohesive and stylish look for your outdoor space. To find the right interior designer for your project is is important to start by doing plenty of research. Take a look at the Art of Bespoke website for inspiration and to see work by some of the world’s best designers. Make sure that your research is broad and comprehensive, as this will lead to better results in finding the right designer for the job.

Select an interior designer by looking through their portfolio, choosing those that have a similar style to your own, and who tend towards materials, colour and design schemes that you admire. Contact a few of your favourite designers to discuss ideas, your budget and expectations and from these conversations it will be possible to pick the best designer for the project.

Very often a designer will be able to suggest ideas, layouts and pieces that you may not have previously considered, bringing a roundness and a more complete look to the space. An interior designer is able to find interesting solutions to the problems that are specific to each individual space, which often results in a unique and well thought-through final design. Bringing previous experience, expertise and a broad knowledge of what is available, a designer can transform your outdoor space into an extension of your home, adding further space and luxury to your property.