Homes - Gardens

Garden design: Sophisticated outdoor style

Transform your backyard into a fab and functional space and enjoy outdoor living at its finest.

We'd almost stopped going outside. With its unappealing patio and ramshackle shed, our 34' x 48' garden belonged to the overgrown shrubs, not to us. Even the lawn had quit, worn away by two badminton-loving girls. One brilliant design later, we now recline in the sun. We also dine under the stars, curl up on rainy days, hide away our bikes, bins and tools, and enjoy glorious blossoms spring, summer and fall. We even dance out here!

We have Bill Chandler, of Chandler & Company, to thank for this Georgian-style garden retreat inspired by our home's architecture. Bill erected a pavillion where the original garage stood decades before, adding a beautiful columned porch. Separate storage rooms at either end of the building flank a high-ceilinged sitting room. Two terraces form the garden's centrepiece. "The yard has become a comfortable, dynamic space that takes advantage of the garden's width," says Bill. Perimeter pathways and planting beds enclose the terraces, surrounding us in flowers. There's magic in this design: adding the building to our little garden has actually made it feel larger.

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Dining terrace
I was anxious about paving over so much of the backyard, but contrasting materials in size and colour helps vary the look. Small, creamy Brussels Block brick defines the seating area.
This article is featured on Garden design and decor
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