SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL- design case study

As a landscape designer, I am commissioned to design both large and small residential gardens. Both have their merits and challenges. My favorite spaces are those more on the petite size. Shoebox-size courtyard spaces and intimate urban gardens. Small spaces offer the opportunity for so much more than expected if designed right.

Currently I am working on a 6 x 6m outdoor space. Its meager proportions and simplicity have me visualizing a number of possible concepts. The proportions of this space relate to an average living area. The other great thing is I get the opportunity to hone my interior design skills as this outdoor space very much is an extension of the indoor living area. I follow four main principles of design when working on a concept for small spaces; simplicity, proportion, unity and functionality.
Read my article ‘Designing Small Spaces’ for more helpful advice.

This article is the first of a series of three relating to the design and build of small courtyard in Pt Chevalier, Auckland. In this article I will introduce you to the site and go through the brief. The second article I will show you the concept and the rationale behind the design. Then later down the track, fingers crossed, the finished garden.

The brief

Sandra Batley - Garden Before...

The clients are a busy, professional couple who own a modern three level home. The interior of the home reflects their taste in modern art and furniture. They want an outdoor living area for alfresco dining. They also asked for a water feature so they can enjoy the subtle sound of water. The space is to link with the interior design of the home and include a lush display of plants. They particularly like subtropical plants. The entrance to the home is also a small, enclosed courtyard space that requires a revamp. It gets the afternoon sun, so they would like to use the space for an afternoon drink of wine.

So, see you next time and see what I have designed and why!

Sandra Batley of Flourish is a multi award-winning landscape designer based in Auckland. Sandra is passionate about, people, plants and design.

One comment on “SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL- design case study

  1. we have a very small thermally heated courtyard with concrete pavers,punga fences and a concretewall. Private, but jaded so we are interested to see what you do with this project,

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