Garden Ideas For New Build Houses
New Build Gardens – Pretty bleak to landscaped chic
New build homes, in particular their gardens, have often been labelled as devoid of character. When we moved into our property in June last year, we were treated to a shed, nine patio slabs and a sad excuse for some grass. The area was lifeless, with very little going on.
Although there is much to criticise, there is an undeniable feeling of excitement towards the blank canvas of a new build garden. With the right visionary, the design opportunities are endless. However, sometimes, we just need a little inspiration to ignite our projects.
This is why I have spoken to Michelle Kerem (@behind_the_doors_at_no.9), one of our customers, who’s garden caught my attention. She has spent the past two years transforming her garden from pretty bleak to landscaped chic. I wanted to discuss with her the vision, how she executed her design and whether she had any tips for others who are looking to do the same.
From Victorian Terrace to Modern New Build
After living in Winchester for over 20 years, and renovating two older properties in the area, Michelle Kerem and her husband were seeking a new challenge. The pair were looking to move from their Victorian, terraced family home and were drawn to the idea of a transformation project, with the blank canvas of a new build as a foundation.
Lockdowns and Pinterest Research
Michelle and her husband were due to move into their new build home in April 2020. However, covid hit and construction was put on pause, due to restrictions and problems with suppliers. In addition, the couple also lost the buyer on their Victorian terrace. Making the most of the delayed completion date, Michelle spent lockdown, like most of us, immersed in the world of Instagram and Pinterest, searching for home and garden inspiration, before moving into their property in September 2020.
Once settled in their new home, Michelle and her husband began their garden project, tackling it bit by bit. Michelle’s vision stemmed from her lockdown research and subscriptions to magazines such as; Modern Garden and Gardeners World. She noted all the tips and tricks from garden designers when it came to planting, sunlight, zoning the garden and how the outside has the ability to complement the in. Michelle was then able to implement her knowledge and bring this stunning garden landscape to life.
Me, Myself and I
We’re all guilty of wanting everything perfectly finished straight away, but we all know that time and money make that reality much more challenging. This is something that Michelle was faced with, especially considering her and her partner executed all the work themselves. She suggested that tackling the garden in sections enabled the pair to visualise how each area should be styled and how they would all flow together in conjunction with one another. This even meant that their project diverted from their original plan as it progressed. Initially, the plan included significantly more paving, but as the raised beds and decking were completed, the reality of losing too much lawn to the hard landscaping influenced the pair to alter their design.
The Final Result
Two summers later and the garden is unrecognisable. Despite still saving for some further ideas, Michelle and her husband have converted this, once lifeless new build garden, into a serene landscape full of splendid greenery and plants. The garden includes raised beds, full of trees, which line its boundary. In the north easternly corner of the plot, a summer house provides an indoor-outdoor functional space. The pair have also brought the holiday feel to Hampshire. The decked area is home to an egg-shaped swing, matching armchairs and a table, surrounded by potted plants which provide pockets of colour. The star of the show is one of our outdoor kitchens – a compact layout featuring one of our Gusto Charcoal Barbecues and a beautifully accessorised Grillo Vantage Cabinet to finish. The spot is ideal for entertaining friends and family throughout the fast-approaching summer.
Michelle and her husband have created a space that dispels the myth that new build homes, and their gardens, are bland and boring. The couple have maximised their use of the space, creating segmented functional areas which work in harmony with one another. When speaking with Michelle, she made it clear that she was not a professional, but loves design. She admitted that her approach is not brave with big bold moves, but she knows what does and doesn’t look right and her creation compliments its surrounding.
Don’t Rush - Live in it!
When asked if she had any advice for others looking to transform their new build gardens, Michelle had several pointers on the design and execution processes.
First, create mood boards. Utilise social media to find ideas and inspiration. Work out whether it is a realistic design and how it could be implemented into your own garden. ‘Following garden designers on social media is a must, they provide you with loads of ideas and have so much knowledge which is really useful’. This is also how Michelle found out about Grillo Outdoor Kitchens. ‘The style and colour of the kitchens fitted perfectly with the look that I was creating on my mood board!’.
Michelle stated that another important tip is to decide what you are going to be able to do yourself and recognise where you are going to need professional help – vital when budgeting the cost of your transformation. ‘One thing I did to help spread the cost was slowly planting up the garden. I gradually started buying clusters of plants from the garden centre over different months so there was always something of interest in the garden over the seasons. Hardy perennial plants are your best friend. They’re a good investment for the long term and can be used in collaboration with others to create that country garden feel’.
Finally, don’t rush into it! ‘Sometimes you have to live with it for a bit to work out what isn’t quite right about something. That way you will know what needs to be done to fix it. Get to know the space, where the sun goes and subsequently, how you want to create your zones and any screening from neighbours’.
Beth Edwards – Brand Development at Grillo
Beth has recently joined the Grillo team, and is bringing fresh outdoor living insights and content to our customers. With a passion for all things lifestyle, Beth’s mission is to curate inspiration for outdoor kitchen buyers across our website and social media platforms.