The Contemporary Cottage Courtyard

This small courtyard adjacent to the house was previously an underused area within a larger cottage garden. The clients wanted the courtyard to be transformed into an outdoor room which could be used as an extension to their living space for relaxing and entertaining. We used the idea of an oriental carpet as the basis for the scheme with paving, gravel and planting in an attractive geometric design. Other design elements were derived from the surrounding house and garden with colours, shapes and materials carefully selected to ensure that the courtyard would sit harmoniously alongside existing features and provide a light, inviting space.

The pleached trees and the raised beds lend height to balance the mass of a dominant chimney stack on the side of the house. The planting beds pick out the tone of the window frames and mellow sandstone pavers echo the soft red of the brickwork, while the colour of the garage door is complemented by Pyrus salicifoilia ‘Pendula’ trees in the wider garden. A contemporary water feature was relocated to create a focal point when viewed from the conservatory, and wrought iron gates in a beautiful organic design ensure the area is self-contained – a necessity to keep the client’s dog from escaping – yet preserving an open aspect to the garden beyond.  Planting is predominantly evergreen with splashes of muted colour from bulbs and perennials ensuring that the scheme looks good year-round with relatively low maintenance.

Outdoor living is delivered with ample seating for guests, creative lighting and the masonry barbecue which could cater for long summer evenings eating outside, or to toast marshmallows for hot chocolate on crisp autumn days. The space is now one that can be enjoyed all year round.