garden views



Frame beautiful garden views onto your green spaces so you can enjoy the vista from inside and out. Here’s a host of design tips.

Words: Tina Lofthouse

There are huge benefits to our well-being from being out in nature, and when the sun shines, it is easy to enjoy the outdoors and relaxing in our gardens. But clever design with a stunning garden view allows us to appreciate our outdoor spaces and views on to nature, whatever the weather. 

This can be as simple as rearranging your furniture to create a window seat in your kitchen, bedroom or even a bathroom. Or use the opportunity for home renovation to really think about how a garden view can be framed. 

Think too about how that view will change through the seasons and plant accordingly, adding interest as you move through the year. 

The Banana Tree House

YARD Architects, photos: Richard Chivers

The desire to create a tropical oasis in south London was the inspiration behind this brilliant renovation of a three-storey terrace. A reorganisation of the downstairs space brought an opportunity to open up a kitchen/ dining area and offer views out onto steps planted with greenery and up towards the patio. Proving you don’t need a huge garden to achieve your aims, wide steps covered with striking plants provide a natural terrace. In good weather, these also act as a place to sit.

Meanwhile, the glass box infill created in the side return brings in lots of light into the kitchen/diner and offers views on to the terrace to enjoy when cocooned inside. A pivot door really joins the inside with the out and large tropical plants inside pick up on the theme.

The White House

MW Architects, photos: French+ Tye

The renovation of an 18th Century property in London provided the perfect opportunity to create views out on to green spaces, with a glazed ‘box’ connecting on to the garden and clever consideration of how to use the windows upstairs to frame the views.

Says architect Clare Paton: “For the kitchen,we wanted to make a clear visual and physical connection to the garden and did that in two ways. One was the glazed ‘box’ that creates a large window seat and dining area; the other was with large sliding doors that had a floating corner opening to allow the kitchen to be completely opened up to the seating area in the garden.”

A master-suite upstairs – originally an old bale store – was designed to offer great views from the bath but also retain privacy. Clare says to consider all the options as to how a view can be created. “Is the best view upwards, meaning you might want to add a roof light? Is the best view when you’re lying in bed,therefore you may wish to have bespoke window sizes to frame this? Openings in any room can make such a difference in terms of the light, ambience and experience of the space, therefore it’s worth really thinking about what the space is going to be used for and how the views out add to the enjoyment of it.”

Creating clear sight lines through the house can have real impact. Says Clare: “Being able to see your garden from the front of the house – a clear view through – is really lovely and helps to bring lots of natural light into the middle of any home, which can often be a darker space, especially if you live in a terrace:’

A House For A Gardener

Amos Goldreich Architecture, photos: Ollie Hammick

A much-loved garden was central to the design of this side and rear extension for a Victorian mid-terrace house. The project arranges a sequence of living spaces around the garden and an internal courtyard garden gives constant connection to greenery.

This internal winter garden is set below an entirely glazed roof and draws light and nature into the heart of the home,allowing the owners to be surrounded by plants even in inclement weather.Glass swing doors with black Crittall-style frames allow the winter garden to be combined or separated in a “broken-plan” layout that gives a flexibility to the use of space.

Automated skylights that regulate the temperature of the courtyard and an irrigation system installed in the garden mean that the plants are taken care of when the owners are away.

The Sponge

Unagru Architects, photos: Ståle Eriksen

Unagru delivered a free-flowing reinvention of this London terrace home, with a strong connection to the garden.The name is inspired by the deliberate design intention of puncturing the house as much as possible with windows, skylights and glass, allowing natural daylight to penetrate deep within the building.

The basement and ground floor are interconnected open-plan spaces, designed to be directly related to the garden. Sliding doors, changes in levels and slatted screens have replaced partitions, doors and corridors to provide a fluid space with varying degrees of separation and privacy.

Each of these areas functions as an internal greenhouse,enhancing the tranquility of the home with natural greenery.