Outdoors

How to create a contemporary garden at your place

Contemporary gardens are all about comfort, style and clean, minimal finishes. Think a stylish pool for parties and playtime

How to create a contemporary garden at your place

Cabana cues

Poolside fun in contemporary gardens is all about keeping things simple and organised. As their pool area is not on the same level as the house, Karmela and Christie have built a cabana where they can store and serve food and drink, as well as lounge comfortably for long periods in or out of the sun. Not only does it house an outdoor kitchen, it also doubles as a windbreak to block southerly breezes. The cabana’s sloping roofline, designed to block the afternoon sun and provide shade during hot summer afternoons, adds interest to the whole area. Its walls are made of Fijian mahogany, the same material as the decking, reinforcing the connection with the rest of the garden.

There are many forms of cabana, from simple pergolas with a shade sail above to exotic kitset Asian-inspired pavilions with brushwood roofs and bamboo sides. To make it really sit well in its surroundings, always choose a cabana style that complements the design of both your house and garden. Try using the same materials in the pavilion as are used elsewhere in the garden, as Karmela and Christie have done, or repeat some of the materials or forms used in the house. You could even continue the colour or design theme from your interior spaces.

Savvy storage

Let’s face it, pool filtration equipment is not pretty. Karmela and Christie cleverly hid theirs beneath the elegant raised dive platform at one end of the pool. This area is also used to store pool toys, which can take up a lot of space. For a clean, contemporary look in your pool garden, check out some of the many portable and built-in pool storage options available, from simple but smart-looking timber boxes that can double as seating to cleverly concealed lockers beneath decks.

Rustic revival

Comfort plus

If your budget allows, try and cover all the bases when furnishing your pool area. Deck chairs and loungers are a must for sunbathing or watching the kids in the pool. But it’s also nice to be able to snooze comfortably in the shade on an outdoor sofa or hammock. Don’t forget a side table or two for drinks.

Go bold

If your garden is bold and beautiful, bring that idea into your outdoor cushions, umbrellas or shade sails. The teal blue geometric-patterned cushions in the Flints’ poolside garden reflect the colour of the pool without being overwhelmed by the reds and yellows of the subtropical garden.

Words by: Carol Bucknell.

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