Sunday, 12 October 2014

Garden Glamour

Home terrace-garden made glamorous!

 In a city like Mumbai, with all the space scarce, it’s a big boon to have an attached garden to our flats. And my aunt & uncle precisely have this absolute luxury of an outdoor escapade right outside their living room. But the outdoor space wasn’t exactly as beautiful as it ought to be. It always irked me that such a blessed space has not been done justice to. So luckily they were off for 3 days and the house was empty. This was the ideal time for us to do justice to the outdoor space that it deserved. And definitely surprise my aunt & uncle upon their return (hopefully with delighted notions).

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So my wife and I embarked upon this garden transformation project. We had 3 days to complete it and boy it did look like quite a task before we started. We had loads to do, but the first question was - what to do? We definitely wanted this place to be lively and colorful and all lit-up. So that was our cue.

First we started to de-clutter that space (approx. 150 sq.ft.). Disposed off the old & worn plants and pots. Kept the good ones. We cleared out the space so as to get exact idea of all our design requirements and proceedings. We segregated our project into smaller units and one by one we started working upon them:

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Fish Tank: My aunt & uncle had this big fish-tank which housed 2 piranhas, and by natural choice we wanted those 2 deathly beauties to be highlighted. On the wall where the fish tank lay, we decided to add some decorative element - by covering the wall with a long, colorful plastic mat. The colorful mat with its bold blue-orange-brown colors, became our color inspiration for the entire project. From behind the colorful mat we randomly popped out bulbs of a light streamer. This simple trick gave a brilliant lit-up starry effect and instantaneously drew our eyes to the delightful color-light-fish interplay.

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Wall Gallery: Right next to the fish tank, there was still a half-empty wall. This half-wall we decided to convert into an artifact gallery of sorts. Our idea for this project was to keep it budget-friendly, yet evoke awesomeness. So we bought these wooden fruit crates. We stacked 5 of them into a kind of wall unit. Thus, each crate created a hollow that would hold our ‘gardenified’ artifacts:
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11. On the top-most one we created a vignette using brass pots and decorative wood panels.
22. Next one we put dried flowers & leaves in a beautiful golden dish, and inclined it against a stone for better viewing.
33. Then in the third, we hung this round-rose bouquet. Simple and elegant.
44. On the right lower crate we kept this over-sized hand painted blue ceramic pot. Resting against it was a pair of garden tongs, whose handle was painted bright orange.
55. For the 5th on we were falling short of ideas. So we simply filled up 3 empty mineral water bottles with mud. Painted its base blue. And skirted them with orange dotted ribbons. At times the most basic elements create the best visual effects.
With all these elements we created our garden wall unit. It had this beautiful rustic-colorful feel to it. Every element in it screamed for attention.
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Sitting Arrangements: Right opposite the wall gallery and fish tank we needed to have our sitting area. They already had an old wrought iron seater. We just covered it with a jute panel and a couple of bold bolsters – and we were sorted. Behind the seater was a grilled opening to the foyer. So we simply covered that too with another seamed jute mat. Also made sure to let a few creepers fall in front of the panel, in order to negate its emptiness. In front of the seater we made a coffee table from the wood fruit crate itself. Simple!

Plants & Pots: Next was time to arrange the green bit. We put the large pots on the periphery of the terrace. Then layered the plants one in front of another as per size & scale. We also painted a few pots with bright orange and deep blue oil paints. Made sure that the posterior region was clustered with plants. Putting all plants together rather than scattered, always gives a more wholesome and more natural rendering.

Lighting: Here comes the trick to elevate any space. Light it up! And that’s what we did. The entire periphery of the area was laced with tubed LED lights. I always prefer the lighting in yellow-golden hues – they give such richness.

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And that’s about it. It took us 3 long & tiring evenings to make sure we complete this project. None the less it was exhilarating, fun and contending – ‘cause we knew that the end result looked delightfully extravagant yet comfortable. A definite eye-turner, I say (so did the neighbors)!

Upon my aunt & uncles return home, immediately I get a call from them saying how much they loved the space and with all the complimenting around, we felt extremely proud and happy.

But the best compliment we got is that everyday my aunt & uncle without fail sit outside in their garden and enjoy a hot cup of tea to kick start a beautiful day from a beautiful space.