Alt - The Family Lifestyle Garden – BALI Award Winner 2019

The Family Lifestyle Garden – BALI Award Winner 2019


Georgian Regency Villa Meets Modern-day Family Lifestyle Garden

Not only did we find this project a joy to deliver, we also won a prestigious British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) National Landscape Award for Domestic Construction. Our attention to detail was rewarded with our client’s delight and a prominent industry accolade.

Introducing the client

Isola Garden Design was briefed by a young professional couple who wanted to create a modern-day family lifestyle garden to suit the needs of their three children as well as their own. Situated in the heart of Royal Leamington Spa, it needed to sympathetically pay homage to its Georgian Regency roots.

 “We are both busy professionals with very young children and having our garden ‘done’ was truly effortless from our point of view, and we are beyond delighted with the result.”

How would you describe your home and garden?

We live in a seven-bedroom regency villa in Leamington Spa. It has grand proportions and original period features yet works brilliantly as a home for our young family. For the interiors, we have used contemporary fittings and bright, modern decor and furnishings to contrast with the architecture. We have Danish heritage, so there is certainly a Scandinavian influence in the interior design! The walled garden sits alongside an original coach house, and we are very fortunate to have a good-sized outdoor space within the central town location.        

What was Isola’s design brief?

We wanted to utilise the outdoor space to its best potential. Our primary objective was to make the garden a fun and safe place for the children to enjoy, whilst being future-proofed and reasonably low maintenance. We specifically wanted a heated, covered outdoor space that could be used year-round and therefore increase the utility of the garden during the winter, and a growing area and greenhouse for growing fruit/veg as a family.    

Why did you decide to work with Isola? 

Our neighbours at a previous property had had their garden built by Isola, and I could see first-hand what a great result they had achieved. On meeting James for the initial consultation to discuss the project, I could see quite clearly that we would be in excellent and capable hands.  

What was it like working with the Isola team throughout the project? 

They were an absolute delight and quite genuinely a pleasure to have around. During the build, they were always punctual, very tidy and made truly heroic efforts to keep noise to a minimum and time it around our baby’s naps, which was incredibly considerate and so appreciated. You could tell these guys love their job and are truly passionate and knowledgeable about what they do. It was amazing to see the garden come to life as the project progressed. 

Did you have any concerns/issues during the project? 

None. An interesting discovery was made when the garden was initially dug of an original 1830’s subterranean ’soak-away’ drain, which was hidden several feet underground. The team handled it brilliantly, and the plans in that area were swiftly modified to allow this to be preserved and yet retain the overall design.    

What do you love most about your garden? 

We love that it is family-friendly and yet looks really stylish. The planting schemes were so thoughtfully considered. During our first winter with the new garden we were thrilled to see some lovely winter bulbs pop up, so we have flowers in January – fantastic. Isola has thought of everything!   

Would you change anything about your new garden?

No. We love the garden so much we wish we had done it sooner!

How do you feel about your garden now?

I cannot do justice to what a great job Isola have done using just words; the pictures speak for themselves. We couldn’t have asked for a better result, or a nicer, more capable team to do it. We are both busy professionals with very young children and having our garden ‘done’ was truly effortless from our point of view, and we are beyond delighted with the result. Thank you, Isola!

Isola Garden Design Project Description

The primary objective of the client’s brief was to create a family-friendly garden that’s fun and safe for their young family while future-proofing the space. It needed to be reasonably low maintenance with a sympathetic mix of traditional Georgian elements and a hint of rustic, industrial facets. From the very beginning, the client was clear they wanted a functional space; not a perfect ‘show home’ garden.

Due to the north-facing aspect, our planting palette was limited, so a thoughtfully considered planting scheme included an evergreen structure for all-year continual aesthetics. The ergonomics acknowledged the sun and where best the seating and greenhouse could be positioned. The kitchen doors had to open out onto a hard-standing area and all areas of the garden needed to be accessible by transitional pathway spaces.

To us, the garden is an extension of the house interior, so we created corridors and rooms within the scheme, to direct the user and fulfil all the needs of the space. Day-to-day living areas and thoughtful transitional pathways lead to a safe children’s play area, a kitchen garden with greenhouse, patio, lawn, and outdoor covered living space with an open fire for heating and cooking, as well as heaters in the ceiling and feature lighting. It provides open plan living and entertainment space for all members of the family.

We’ve naturally created a broader ecosystem for wildlife and birds by including a more varied planting scheme, insect hotel and birdhouse; providing an educational stimulus for the children to connect with nature. We’ve used native trees and tried to source and reuse as many British materials as possible, including British Larch for the outdoor building. 

The centrally located Royal Leamington Spa garden is practical, future-proofed and low maintenance, to meet the needs of a busy family lifestyle.

If you would like to find out more how we could transform your garden, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.