Erskineville, Sydney NSW

A garden path

Our client waned to generate a sense of privacy and security and one of a multi-functional atmosphere to her side path. She wanted to not feel asthough she didn’t have to be inside because there was no outside.

The slightly oversized first floor entrance porch needed to be transformed into an area to unwind, rest and support the desire of a garden setting.

The Back Story

We were invited to create a slip of land and 1st floor entrance balcony into a multifunctional area that instantly gave peace and harmony as you stepped up to the path from the main street.

Working with some 1.2m width it was so important to provide a practical area for getting to the home but also a balanced garden that was able to support various plantings throughout.

Being in the heart of Sydney, and given the era in which this block of apartments were built, the entrance was designed to be simply that, an entrance and little regard was given to making it feel like  a garden area.

Our client felt it was such a shame to have this sense placed on her home and garden and wanted to be able to turn this mood on its head.

Before After

The Challenge

The challenges were:
  • Creating a design that pushed away the sense of busy due to the size and shape of the land.
  • Drainage problems.
  • A simple garden but one that required every inch of space to be thought about to ensure balance, shape and form.
  • The garden needed to support 3 dogs and a cat.
Before After
Before After

OUR SOLUTION

Straight from the beginning and without knowing what shape and form the garden would take, we knew we had to use large format stone tiles. The simple reason for this choice is that they create a sense of space due to having less joins / grout lines. Also, being a slip of land bounded by flats, natural light was not in plenty. We chose plants that were hardy, well established to take advantage of the canopy they created as well as being stable in low light and poor drainage scenarios. 

Trying as always to design a question mark into our gardens, we decided the question mark would be the path. With so little room we decided to zig zag the path thus giving the path a sense of sway or meander. Whenever you bring this into play it evokes calm and slowing down, when done right.

Using this design form gave the sense of a garden when entering and not a path with the dove tailing of ‘this is private space’ from passer bys.

As a twist of fun, we created a be-spoke water feature out of a rain chain. Simple, quiet white-water noise, yet visual letting light bounce off the wet bells and chain.

We spoke about the cat with out client and found out that he liked to sleep on his bed up on the upper balcony above the main entrance porch. So, with a little designing we created a set of shelves that where both able to let him go up to his bed by means of a set of steps, but also enabled us to secure items of fun placed on the shelves.

As a late twist of design, we came across a wrought iron mirror which had seen better times. The frame was bent out of shape; what better than an old tired mirror  to sit on the wall providing added light to reflect onto the porch whilst not trying to be over stated.

From the client

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