I’ve just returned from a short trip to Switzerland. Whilst most England football fans were sitting in the sun, I went to the Vitra Design Museum. You had to take the bus across the border to Germany which was interesting, it is so easy to travel around now, you don’t even realise you are in a different country apart from, in this case, the currency.
The Vitra Design Museum is a collection of buildings designed by international architects including Frank Gehry and Zara Hadid. I was especially interested in the Vitra haus which is a four floor showroom of all the products they make/sell laid out in room settings. This is not IKEA however, there are some well known design classics such as the Charles & Ray Eames Lounge Chair.
My interest in design covers objects, architecture and of course landscapes and gardens. I find beauty in different colours, shapes, textures and materials and all of this inspiration can be transferred into my garden designs. I also think that spatial awareness is intrinsic to a garden design.
The room layouts in this showroom were largely based om open plan living which is much like the different areas in a garden, for example the patio, lawn, flower beds and play areas. My husband’s comment of the showroom was “there’s too much stuff”, he was probably right and this is something to be aware of.
As a client you may have an area 5 x 20m and want a patio, large area of lawn for football, a trampoline, space for the rotary airer and then flower beds which camouflage the above.
The shed at the end of the garden then takes up more space and before you know it you have a cluttered look. By using a garden designer they can incorporate your list of must-haves and some of your ideals in a well thought out and constructed way.
Before you meet a designer consider the elements you want in your garden, perhaps noting exactly where you think the patio would be best according to sunlight and access.
Having two lists of things you want, essentials and non-essentials is useful and tends to concentrate the mind. Would you buy a house without beforehand thinking along these lines?
The feel of the planting is often linked to its colour, texture and shape, so think about this as well. Many people don’t like yellow in a garden, for me it is a sunny, bright colour and natural so I love it. It can work well as accents which highlight he rest of the colour palette. Equally if you prefer blue, pinks and purples – the cool colours – white works well as a highlight.
The material of the patio is important, generally you want something smooth like stone or decking on which table and chairs don’t rock irritatingly. Gravel or slate ca work well as paths if you want to define the difference, and they can be cheaper.
Recently we have started using Pinterest as a gallery of images we feel sum up the look we are trying to achieve in clients gardens based on the information we have been given.
We have boards relating to different areas of design, not solely gardens and landscapes; this is our inspiration, things, places and views we admire.
You could collect images you like and upload your photos to it to demonstrate what you like and have in mind. We are hoping it is a two-way process so as designers we have a pool of ideas to work from.
So get started today thinking about what you want, like and dislike and we can create your dream space.