A modern or contemporary garden design often has sharp lines which are used to define spaces or areas and is frequently characterised by a general absence of the use of symmetry. Modern and Contemporary garden styles are usually based on geometric layouts which use scale and proportion to add 'drama' to the space.
Architecture plays at least as big a role as planting in contemporary garden design. Sunken gardens, solid structures, such as pergolas, are often used in a modern styled garden.
The palette of hard landscaping materials used in paving, walls and seating areas is often understated and minimalistic. Limestones, sawn sandstone, concrete and porcelain paving offer smooth clean lines and surfaces that work well to create simple backdrops for the plants. Planting is often simpler and more architectural than in a traditional garden design.
What are the characteristics and features of Contemporary Garden Design:
Use of clean, sharp lines
Smooth materials like sawn stone, limestone, concrete, glass and steel
A more minimalistic planting palette
Use of ‘scale’ and ‘proportion to build drama and interest in the space
Extensions of the internal space, where the house interior blends with the garden outside, using a continuation of materials from indoor to out
Firepits and outdoor fireplaces are another popular feature in current contemporary gardens
Lighting can be used very effectively in contemporary garden design. At night the garden can be a dramatic backdrop to the internal life of the property.
Furniture and seating will often echo the clean lines of the contemporary design. Built in seating creates areas in which to lounge and relax or entertain.
What style of property does a Contemporary Garden best work with?
A contemporary garden works well with a newer property but the simplicity of modern design can also enhance more traditional properties. A modern garden can help to accentuate the beautiful architecture and details of a classical building and so the two can work together giving a cool relaxed, uncluttered outlook.
What are the advantages of Contemporary Gardens over Traditional Gardens?
One of the considerations you may want to make when deciding on the design of garden will be the pros and cons of certain specific styles.
Advantages of a contemporary garden design:
Lower maintenance: but not necessarily ‘low maintenance’. Contemporary gardens will often have more hard landscaping that more traditional styles of garden such as cottage or formal garden design. Larger areas of hard surfaces such as paving and decking will mean less lawn care.
Hard wearing: where lawns and beds need constant maintenance, and can show signs of wear, contemporary gardens can be harder wearing needing less day to day maintenance.
Extending your enjoyment of the garden; even in wet or cold weather, good use of cover, firepits and hard flooring can allow the garden to be used in all seasons.
Disadvantages of contemporary garden design:
Wear & Tear: Hard landscaped surfaces such as pale coloured paving and wooden decking may need to be jet-washed regularly to keep the space looking clean and calm.
Expense: The hard landscaping element of contemporary gardens can sometimes be quite expensive to install correctly which is important to ensure a long life.
Child unfriendly: Hard surfaces, expanses of water, sharp edges and stepped levels. Some features of contemporary design may not be as child friendly as a more traditional design with lawn and soft bed planting.
Fixed features: Unlike some more traditional designs, contemporary garden designs may have quite a number of ‘fixed features’ which can make adapting the design at a later date more difficult or costly.
Dated or out of fashion: One consideration might be to avoid ‘current’ fashions’ or ‘gimmicks’ that may date or fall out of fashion. Consider if you will always want to live with large or striking features or design statements, will they remain practical or will they become an issue?
Would you like to discuss designing a contemporary garden for you home?
Modern & Contemporary garden designs completed for clients.
Contemporary Garden Golders Green
The contemporary design of this garden in Golders Green complements the internal finishes of our clients' home. Soft grey granite paving areas and iroko decking create a garden to be enjoyed on different levels. Shade loving plants thrive at the back of the garden, whilst mediterranean shrubs and trees enjoy the sun around the patio seating area. Bold black boundaries provide the perfect backdrop to show of planting.
Contemporary Marylebone Roof Terrace
Our garden loving clients asked us to design a roof terrace for their chic Marylebone town house appartment. Additional privacy is created using bespoke contemporary slatted screens. Light weight, lead look planters provide ample planting opportunities, without compromising the integrity of the roof structure. The mediterranean style planting is wind and drought tolerant and thrives in this hot and sunny space.
Country Pool Garden Design
Our clients for this project wanted to create a cool, contemporary entertaining space, from which they could enjoy the fantastic views over the Hertfordshire countryside. The focal point pool is surrounded by granite paving and iroko decking. On cooler days the garden can be enjoyed from the stylish iroko clad garden room.
Ealing Show Garden Design
We were delighted to be commissioned by London property developers to design gardens for their new exclusive family homes in leafy Ealing. Working with the team of architects, builders and consultants, we created a basement garden for the rear of the show house which is designed to maximise the potential of a compact space. The low maintenance planting scheme ensures that the garden always looks its best.
Finchley Roof Terrace Garden Design
This roof top apartment boasts a large outdoor terrace, previously a little dated in style. We were enlisted to design a new roof garden terrace to complement the owners' impressive new extension. Porcelain tiled flooring is used both inside and out to blend the two spaces and light weight bespoke planters were commissioned for the new drought tolerant planting.
Golders Green Contemporary Garden
Our clients in Golders Green were remodeling their north west London home and took this opportunity to completely redesign their back garden. The new diagonal layout, arranged over two levels, creates interest and a feeling of increased space within the garden. The black basalt paving gives a contemporary edge, which complements the minimalistic, low maintenance planting scheme.
Hampstead Basement Garden Design
Our Hampstead clients brought us in to add life to their previously dark and uninspiring basement garden. Design using bold colour brings warmth to the space, whilst the metalwork panels add interest and reflect additional light. The new scheme is completed with shade loving plants, whose evergreen foliage will give year round structure. If I add more text does this make it sit in line. I think I still need to add more text.
Exotic Kentish Town Garden
Our Kentish Town clients had outgrown the design of their small family garden and wanted a space which was less a football pitch and more an a space for relaxing. Using a strong geometric design, we created a sunny patio area and new planting beds. The existing exotic tree ferns and palms were kept and new shrubs and perennials added to create a colourful urban retreat which can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Long, Narrow Garden Design Hampstead
Following a complete house renovation, our clients asked us to redesign their long narrow, sloping garden. Our redesign breaks the space into a series of ‘rooms’ on different levels, which gradually lead you through the garden, from the dining area, up past the focal point water feature to the retaining gabions at the rear, ensuring that the whole garden is used. The borders were planted with a white flowering scheme of shrubs and perennials.