Let's start with a scenario..
You've decided to do up the garden (great idea btw!) and you are excited about all the possibilities. You start compiling a wish-list while trawling through blogs and mags for inspiration. You become obsessed. You want the perfect space. You overload on ideas and your wish-list turns into a gotta-have-it-all list.
Now a little less excited and a little more confused, you're finding it hard to implement ANYTHING in your space... even with the 101 ideas and 58 boards you have on Pinterest! (Yep, I'm addicted too..)
You are experiencing one of the biggest design dilemmas most will face -- Am I making the right decision about what I want?
Oh how easy it can be to romanticise what will be before we've really thought about it, right?
Well you can take comfort in knowing this -- it's all part of the process! We were recently faced with this same dilemma for our own garden, too!
Being privy to all the different products, materials and styles can at times be more of a hindrance than help -- I tend to love & want it all! To make it the more difficult, our lifestyle is in a bit of limbo. Right now we are a "professional couple" but in the not too distant future we may be in a "family with 2.4 kids" kinda situation. We are stuck between do we make a decision to suit our life situation now or what may be later?
So, with an overload of ideas and question marks, how do you make the right choice?
After a bit of thinking, I came up with this - One Space | Two Options.
To explain, here's a rundown of how this idea worked for us.
We thought about our dream (albeit a very tiny 30m2), polar opposite gardens and what they would look like in each of our life scenarios (family/professional couple). Our list looked a little like this -
Secure, shade, privacy from street, lawn area, deck from house, built in seating with long table, BBQ, herbs, citrus, the option to 'potter' in the garden.
Plunge pool, industrial, pool deck, small eating table, privacy from street, low maintenance planting, different use of materials for pool fence, swim jets.
We designed two spaces, being as true to the list as we could.
L A W N C O U R T Y A R D
P O O L C O U R T Y A R D
We imagined living in these two situations and, with this visualisation, were able to build a solid list of pros and cons for each space -
Pros for the lawn courtyard:
We can open the front and sliding doors while being secured by the entrance gate; the space feels more generous for the previous reason; we can grow citrus (espaliered) and herbs; the (future) kids can run around in circles from the house, to the deck, to the lawn, around the front path and back to tire themselves out; generous seating for outdoor dining; greenery.
Pros for the pool courtyard:
Pool time; little garden for maintenance; water movement; tiled wall; style suits the existing house; pool will be a beautiful feature at night; jet swimming for training; resale value; no lawn to mow; who can say no to cocktails by the pool?
Cons for the lawn courtyard:
No pool; more maintenance for fruit trees; lawn mowing; not as interesting.
Cons for the pool courtyard:
Pool maintenance; pool fence cuts the space in two which can be the death of an already small area; cost per square metre; no lawn, play area or spill out for family and gatherings; very much a hardscape garden.
We finalised a decision!
By using the reasons above, comparing the two and analysing the options the benefits were clear; making it easy to work out what garden was best suited for our lifestyle. In the end we felt confident in choosing the lawn courtyard. YAY!
So if this was your situation, would you have chosen the green garden or gone with the pool?
Do you have a garden dilemma similar to this one? I'd love to read your comments below. It may even make for a great post idea!
I've also got some very exciting news coming up (woohoo) that may involve me taking a look at YOUR garden for a One Space | Two Options feature - S T A Y T U N E D !
Til next week,