Garden design: 12 brilliant modern ideas to copy

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Garden design: 12 brilliant modern ideas to copy

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Giving your garden a stylish modern makeover might seem like a massive undertaking, especially if you aren't planning to hire a professional gardener, but we have some fantastic tips that will help you to focus on the motifs that really make a difference and bring a contemporary vibe to life. The materials you choose to work with, the negative space you leave untouched and the way you account for sociable gatherings all have a huge bearing on the modern look and feel of a garden, but don't just take our word for it; come and see for yourself!

1. Design over multiple levels.

Small gardens always feel far larger when they are laid out over different levels. Different heights of beds and floors need decent structure, which leads to high-quality materials being used and a more chic finish naturally coming through.

2. Install wooden paths.

The warmth and organic beauty that natural wood walkways bring to a garden is undeniable and in terms of modern design, the simpler your path, the better. Choose hardwood panels, finished in a non-slip stain, for the best contemporary access option.

3. Enjoy a comfortable seating corner.

Who says modern gardens can't also be really cosy? Definitely not us! Setting your seating area down into a terrace area will create a naturally secluded, intimate and enjoyable area that, with the right lighting, also looks chic and different.

4. Experiment with non-linear beds.

Gone are the days when all flower beds and lawns had straight edges and nothing else! For a more modern outdoor area, consider creating some smooth curves that draw the eye and fire up guests' imaginations.

5. Add a little modern art.

Garden gnomes, fountains and a host of playful clay figurines will only ever get a wry or sarcastic appreciation these days, because less is more. If you really want to embellish your garden, however, a simple contemporary sculpture would work very well. 

6. Blur the lines.

Having clearly defined indoor and outdoor spaces is a little old fashioned, as more organic and interlinked areas are the norm now, so why not try to include some home comforts in your garden, to meld everything together? A handy outdoor kitchen is always a stylish inclusion!

7. Think outside of the furniture box.

Comfortable furniture is an essential addition to any garden. Wobbly plastic chairs are not the cutting edge of style, so these days, extra large bean bags, day beds and even outdoor sofas are very much the 'in' styles to consider.

8. Used raised beds, for control.

Raised planters and beds are a fantastic way to maintain a tight grip on how rambunctious your chosen blooms will get and offer a wonderful opportunity for bringing some extra colour or materials into your outdoor space.

9. How about some lovely lighting?

If you think you don't need bright lighting in your garden as you'll only be using it during the day, how wrong you are! Once you have a gorgeous modern garden, you'll want to be in it at all times of the day, so we recommend solar lanterns that flick on when you need them the most.

10. Look to the east.

You would not believe what massive worldwide appeal zen gardens have! It's gotten to the point where motifs from beautiful Japanese floral displays are being emulated in every corner of the world, in a bid to encourage a little more inner and outdoor peace!

11. Consider a tiny garden.

Even in the tiniest atrium or backyard, with a little creativity and inspiration, can become a veritable green oasis. Try to think about using taller, skinnier plant varieties and bring extra colour into play by painting the walls!

12. Play with fire.

If you're going to light your garden, you might as well heat it too, so that literally no bad weather can stop you from getting outside and enjoying a little relaxation. A striking firepit is the cornerstone of any lovely and modern garden, so make sure you make one a priority in your space!

For more garden tips, take a look at this Ideabook: 18 snazzy modern water features for your garden.

Which of these elements will you start with, in your updated garden?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd,

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