Small garden for entertaining

Earls court, W8 London
Small Right angled outside space extending from ground floor flat

To design and build a useable space for a young family with accent on eating and cooking.


Catering for outdoor needs of a family of 5 in a small awkward stepped site with large glass lightwell.

Design Response:

We believe that this garden represents a real sweet spot for Harrington Porter and highlights every discipline we have led the market at over the last 15 plus years. When we first saw the ‘garden’ of this London flat it’d be fair to think this wasn’t much of a garden at all, that there would be very little you could do to enhance it and what was the point! On the contrary! Despite the small size and awkward shape, we knew this space could be transformed and could become a wonderful little outdoor space. Applying our skills and experience – clever design, immaculate finishing, cohesive palette of colours and materials  – all combined to create an amazing and useable outdoor area that functions on all levels for this busy family.

We have used every last inch yet kept some beautiful simplicity to the design. Carefully curated, clever and cohesive and comfortable!

We started by choosing materials to compliment the interior feel and with our experience of those at our disposal allowed us to find appropriate a weatherproof match, ensuring this garden install stands the test of time.

These included a grey composite decking, a painted and treated fence, granite worktop and sideboards, porcelain wall cladding. We planned to lift levels to minimise all the steps, combing the deck with artificial grass on a raised permeable base.

Once the materials had been selected, the layout came next and it felt obvious that the largest area was the right hand corner and should house the seating area, designed to be both lounge and dining space. We created a snug and inviting area with a pergola overhead. Dressed in evergreen Jasmine the pergola became an inviting backdrop and with wall heaters and feature pendant light installed, this really aims to seduce the family into using the garden all year round.

Our designs encourage our clients to extend their time outside and maximise all the space they have in the home. It justifies the investment in the garden but moreover is there anything better sitting outdoors, warm and cosy, whether in Autumn or Summer, drink in hand, enjoying time with family and friends?! We think not!

““Chris and his team are fantastic. He was a pleasure to work with and his team of garden landscapers were all very diligent and experienced. Highly recommended!””

Once the focal point of the garden had been created and materials chosen, it was then left to the Harrington Porter team to add the remaining elements. Outdoor “kitchen” where we included some exceptional detailing including powder coated slide bolts on the outdoor kitchen doors, stainless steel sink with hot and cold water, stainless steel gas BBQ, floating shelves, Granite side boards, weather proof cushions, remote control lighting and irrigation.

The design response has created a garden to be used all year round and minimise the changing seasons. However we still feel no outdoor room is complete without some planting. It is a garden after all!

We included neat and accurate flowerbeds integrated within the hard landscaping and finessed these sharp lines with soft and textured planting, Ferns and Liriope in the shady areas with 3 olive trees opposite with free draining soil (nothing a metal bar and some elbow grease can’t sort – good for the abs!) allowing for some sun loving Lavender and mixed perenials. Our client understood the requirements of these small beds, which will need year round care so they don’t detract from the clean lines of the hard landscaping – balance here is essential. It may be that the lavender needs switching out every couple of years. A shame but a small price to pay – you can always transplant elsewhere.

The paint colours enhanced the material choice, creating a lovely inviting warmth to the garden, especially at night. The final elements of this accurately orchestrated design was a Fermob table and chairs, scatter cushions, Creastone pots with herbs and integrated cupboards (to store gardening tools and soft furnishing elements such as candles and crockery).

Concept visuals

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