Create a contemporary garden that’s liveable with these top tips. 

The clean lines and simplicity of contemporary gardens have surged in popularity as they pair so well with modern architecture. Contemporary can also be low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing all year round; meaning you can spend less time working in the garden and more time enjoying it.

5 ways to design a contemporary liveable garden

The simplicity of a contemporary design, however, doesn’t need to be boring. You can create a warm, livable garden that balances interest and functionality while still remaining true to the design style with these tips.

1. Visual connection

designing a contemporary liveable garden
A contemporary garden creates visual connection between the inside and out.

Contemporary gardens typically take cues from the architecture to help resolve the layout. Continuing the lines from the built form into the garden helps create visual connection and simplifies the space. This could be lining up the pool edge with the building’s edge or laying the paving so that it’s central to the interior living space.

2. Restrained colour palette

Using a restrained colour palette outdoors helps create uniformity and a sense of calm. Consider opting for a restrained colour palette from the plants and hardscaping to paint and furniture. Whites, greys and greens typically work well in a contemporary garden.

3. Natural planting style

A simple planting palette is integral to a contemporary garden
A simple planting palette is integral to a contemporary garden

Contemporary gardens that are liveable artfully balance structure and form with softness and ease. Instead of choosing a minimalist planting style with sculptural plant varieties, take a more relaxed, natural approach. Use single plant varieties en masse to create visual impact and combine the sculptural forms with softer plants that spill over the edges for contrast.

4. Contemporary stone paving

Contemporary stone paving adds sophistication and warmth
Contemporary stone paving adds sophistication and warmth

Clean lines and a refined palette are two key aspects of contemporary garden design. Stone paving in a modular format is the ideal material for modern outdoor spaces. Choose one with subtle tonal variation that will still add warmth and interest while remaining true to the contemporary, clean style.

5. Introduce texture

Texture through materials and furnishings  makes a contemporary garden feel liveable.
Texture through materials and furnishings makes a contemporary garden feel liveable

To avoid your garden feeling too cold and sterile, introduce texture into the outdoor space. Texture can be added through materials such as timber, stone or concrete in areas such as a feature wall or built-in bench seating. You can also introduce texture with your furniture choices. Quality timber furniture will add warmth and a natural feel to your outdoor space. Additionally, woven materials and natural fabrics such a Belgium linen are perfect choices for a contemporary, yet liveable, garden.