The thing I am absolutely passionate about is bringing interior and landscape design together. I call it indoor-outdoor and it makes for cleverer design, saves the client money and raises the whole level of the plans. But the skills involved in landscape and interior design are very different, and as far as I’m aware I’m the only designer who combines both.
Gardening was my first love – obsession! – but moving into interior design after winning The Great British Interior Design Challenge has expanded my vision. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you think about the two together and approach them as two sides of the same goal – achieving a beautiful place to live.
Most of us don’t think about interior design and garden design alongside each other, and yet they are so very connected. It’s not a new idea. Great architects and landscape architects have worked together through history to create outstanding buildings and gardens that we still enjoy today. But so often these two areas of design don’t talk to each other. Too often I’m brought into a garden when the interiors are finished or the other way round. And that means missing a trick.
The skills involved in landscape and interior design are very different, and as far as I’m aware I’m the only designer who combines both.
After all, you no doubt bought your house because you liked the inside space and the outside space – or at least the potential they offered. And often when it comes to thinking about having work done you’ll most likely be combining the two in practice – extending the living space into the outside to make more room, for example. By thinking about them together at the design stage you can achieve so much more.
I’m not talking here simply about planning work at the same time, although obviously that helps save on disruption. I see many, many home extensions where the builder has been asked to do the patio but sadly I’ve never seen it done well. It’s designing the two together that’s important, thinking about the exterior and interior of your home as one and how to make that into a beautiful and useful living space for years to come.
An interior designer looks at the ‘flow’ in your home, how you move from one room to another. But include the garden into this concept at the design stage and you have an amazing connection with the outdoors, something we all value. The space around you, inside and out, linked in a harmonious whole, increasing your living space and bringing the outside in, in a way that is visually pleasing wherever you look.
As a landscape designer I bring an understanding of the natural world and our connection to it.
Most interior designers wouldn’t touch gardens because they wouldn’t have a clue where to start, and fortunes can be wasted if you don’t understand the fundamentals.
As a landscape designer I bring an understanding of the natural world and our connection to it, which is such an antidote to the busy lives we all lead. I combine that with my experience as an interior designer, translating clients’ own needs, balancing the home and surrounding environment, raising the bar when it comes to beautiful living environments.
By imagining gardens and interiors as connected, we can bring the outside in, and extend our living space outside, with glorious results. There are no limits to what you can do if you think about your gardens and interiors in tandem.