Design Tips

Good design is all about balance

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Jul 2014 in Design Tips

Side garden restructured Lisa Cox Designs

I’ve recently been working with a client in Woking who, after a big project to renovate the house, needed some help to lift the garden.  They’d already installed the paving and brought in lots of mature specimen plants, but the garden just hadn’t really come to life and they didn’t feel very inspired to spend time out there.

The build phase of the garden is 3/4 of the way through now and the new garden is really starting to emerge.  When I was there earlier this week my client, Peter, commented about the new structure and how I’d been right when I said it would feel much bigger if we divided up the space and gave it more structure and balance.

This is how the back garden looked when I first met my client…

Back garden Woking before redesign Lisa Cox Designs

And as it is now – just the Breedon gravel to go in, fence to paint black and mulch to be applied and this area will be finished.

Back garden restructured part-way through build Lisa Cox Designs

It’s a huge garden really but because the house is large and sits in the middle of the plot, it’s not until you get outside that you realise just how much space there is.

The key to good design is to get the balance right.  The layout should work with the house and the confines of its boundaries so that you maximise the space and give each part of the garden a reason for being.  It’s often difficult to ignore the boundaries, especially if these are panel or close board fences, but if you can try and think about designing the space from the inside out then you’ll be half way there.

This is a view of the side garden shortly after it had been set out.

Woking project during construction Lisa Cox Garden Designs

And now it looks like this – a bit of paving to extend and it will be finished but I hope you see the difference in the structure of the space.

Side garden restructured Lisa Cox Designs

Side garden restructured - Lisa Cox Designs

In long thin spaces it’s often easier to work with a more geometric layout but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a space with a less formal feel to it.  That’s where the plants come in – choose species that billow and encroach over the straight edges of a pathway and soon you’re left with a meandering pathway without any defined boundaries.

Good design is all about balance and it applies in all fields, from fashion to interior design to graphic design.  Sometimes you just need a bit a help to see the space in a different light.  When I approach the design of a new garden I don’t really start to get a feel for the space until I have a picture on paper of what’s there now and start moving my pencil across the paper.

The lesson for the day therefore is to think about the areas you want to create.   A lawn, terrace or shady seating area maybe.  Plan the shape you want them to be and try to ignore the boundaries.  The bits leftover then become the flowerbeds – if they’re a funny shape, you really won’t notice once they’re filled with plants!

Create your garden course – Week 2

0 Written by Lisa on 14th May 2014 in Design Tips, From the drawing board

Week 2 create your garden workshop Decor Cafe Lisa Cox

Yesterday was week 2 of my Create Your Garden course at The Decor Cafe in Putney, which I’m running with friend and fellow garden designer, Sarah Speller. Read more

Create your garden course – Week 1

0 Written by Lisa on 7th May 2014 in Design Tips, From the drawing board

Design your own garden course Lisa Cox The Decor Cafe

It was the first week of my new garden styling and design course at The Decor Cafe yesterday.  I’m running it with friend and fellow designer, Sarah Speller, and it will run over three consecutive Tuesday mornings. Read more

Make the most of your garden course – just 4 weeks left to book!

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Apr 2014 in Design Tips

Working through a sketch with attendee at The Decor Cafe garden design workshop Lisa Cox

It’s just four weeks until my new ‘how to make the most of your garden’ course starts at The Décor Café in Putney.  I’m running the course with my friend and fellow garden designer, Sarah Speller.  As you know, I’ve delivered workshops before, but this one will be slightly different because it will run over three consecutive weeks. Read more

My outdoor living article for M&S Bank

0 Written by Lisa on 27th Mar 2014 in Design Tips, Inspiration

Designing your garden for outdoor living article M&S Bank Lisa Cox Designs

I’m excited to show you the finished article I’ve written for M&S Bank which went live on their website this week. Read more

Ilex crenata – a brilliant alternative to Box

0 Written by Lisa on 14th Feb 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Victorian driveway edging Lisa Cox Garden Designs

If you read my blog on Tuesday then you’ll know that I planted a double hedge in the front garden in North London.  My client was a bit worried about box blight so we decided instead to use Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly) for the low hedge. Read more

Front garden design tips: What about the plants?

6 Written by Lisa on 7th Feb 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Front garden design London Lisa Cox

This is the last post in my blog series about front gardens.  I hope you’ve found it useful and now feel inspired to tackle your own? Read more

Front garden design tips: Storage

2 Written by Lisa on 4th Feb 2014 in Design Tips

Bike storage Garde Trellis Company

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, front gardens are predominantly functional spaces which means that there are things to accommodate that you don’t necessarily want to look at. Read more

Front garden design tips: Considering security

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Front garden Wandsworth by Lisa Cox Designs

Normally front gardens are easily accessible to others so there are a few considerations you should take into account when you’re planning your front garden. Read more

Front garden design tips: What surface is best?

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Front garden Wandsworth Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Last week I talked you through the layout of your front garden so now it’s time to start thinking about the hard landscaping materials.  The surface you choose will probably end up boiling down to cost but, whatever you decide upon, it must feel right with the look and style of your house as well as it’s setting. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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