ESHER

OUTDOOR LIVING

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Brief

This was a really good sized garden that generously wrapped all around the clients house. We were asked to help our client transform a disused former kitchen garden and storage area that had become a dead space. The brief was to help integrate the clients kitchen extension and garden together whilst providing an outdoor kitchen area, dining space and a covered area for table tennis to provide a garden that the whole family could enjoy all year round. Our client is a keen gardener and the remainder of the garden is well cared for so adding interesting planting and a privacy screen between themselves and the neighbouring property was also an area needing attention.

Solution

Firstly, the most important element of the design for us was how we integrated the beautiful light kitchen extension space into the garden. Levelling the two areas was not an option and we were working over three levels to create the fire pit area so a deep feature step in contemporary sandstone was added as you step out of the kitchen. Incorporating the existing garden features and trees was key part of material and plant selection however a few specimens that were in the wrong place or out of character were removed. This instantly made the gardens existing planting feel more consistent and established a connection with the newly landscaped area and planting. We designed and built a bespoke kitchen unit that integrated an existing BBQ grill and a new pizza oven with lots of storage. We designed the space to incorporate the main areas with the first being a sunken fire pit. Initially we designed a curved bench however our client chose to have freestanding lounge chairs that can be moved around and also means everyone has their favourite for maxing out on comfort on long summer evenings in front of the fire. The second main area is the kitchen and dining area which forms a focal point from the interior glass walls with matching Iroko feature privacy screen and kitchen cladding adding a contemporary focal update to the brick wall. The 3rd area hides a big practical storage shed and accommodates a pergola with retractible awning with a table tennis beneath. This is a flexible space that can be adapted in the future should our clients need to.

Outcome

By carefully selecting materials and contrasting subtle contemporary finishes such as clay brick paver with sawn sandstone paving, the garden has a really fresh feel whilst sitting timelessly with the house and existing garden. This garden was completed in the lockdown of 2020 and has been a truly invaluable space for the clients and their family who have used the garden throughout the whole day, every day. Outdoor cooking is now a way of life even in winter and the space is appreciated even on dark or wet days with the subtle lighting scheme that softly highlights planting and landscape details.

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