As with many of the outdoor spaces we work with, this one presented challenges with the configuration – the side garden felt like a dead space with no purpose, and the concrete patio was too small for furniture.​ The owners wanted more space for relaxing and entertaining with good indoor/outdoor flow, and to create a more functional area down the side of the house.

To respond, we build a good-sized deck over the concrete patio that sits flush with the sliding door – for indoor/outdoor flow – and wraps around the side of the house to create a connection between the two spaces, inviting you to walk between the two areas and explore the other parts of the garden. Down the side of the house, we created a pathway and installed staggered corten steel planters to create a sense of discovery. At the end of the pathway, we placed a custom-made corten steel mirror which reflects the surroundings and creates an impression of space. ​

For the overall theme, the owners wanted a contemporary yet rustic style that felt relaxed and informal. We used a combination of concrete to nod to the contemporary aspect and hardwood timber and corten steel to bring in a rustic feel. The three white planters provide a pop of contrast that lifts the space and create a sense of depth and volume.

For the planting, we used a selection of NZ natives and lush exotics to tie the themes together and create continuity throughout the garden. The owners didn’t want too many flowers, so we incorporated pops of colour with foliage and added a light pink Camellia hedge which will provide additional privacy as it grows.