Design Tip: Taking your cue from the building

When Kathy Taylor was commissioned to redesign a garden after a major renovation and extension to their Edwardian house, the owners wanted a patio in keeping with the period of the property but with a contemporary feel.


The first thing Kathy needed to do was decide on paving that complemented the creamy-yellow walls and, after trying several colours, she lighted on a clever combination that we haven't seen anyone choose before: Jura Beige Limestone and Tumbled Mint Setts. Although they're different natural stones—the Mint Setts are of Indian sandstone, whilst the Jura Beige Limestone hails from Germany —the soft beige base colour of the limestone is picked up by the setts and both blend well with the house colour.

Why choose to use both setts and paving stones? “Because,” said Kathy, “it breaks the space up. Large areas of paving aren't very attractive.” A contemporary feel was subtly enhanced by the paving pattern. “The paving is offset, which refers to traditional style, but is laid in lines that follow through, which gives the layout a contemporary edge.”

Those with sharp eyes will also notice that the combination creates an echo of the glazing in the windows, where large rectangles of glass are topped by small square panes. So, by colour and shape, the horizontal plane of the patio is immediately tied to the vertical walls, marrying house and hard landscaping into a united whole.

You can find more of Kathy's work at

Published 17th September 2015
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