We were lucky enough to work with Joe Savage Garden Design on this beautiful project in Rownhams, Southampton from the very beginning and we loved watching it go from concept to how it stands today. It took a few deliveries of our Minstead Beige porcelain paving, a lot of cutting to create the steps and copings by our in-house cutting hero Ralphy and a sprinkling of our Jasmine grout… oh, and a lot of work from Joe, his team, Tramar Developments (who built the extension) and Fowler Brothers Carpentry creating the outbuilding.
We popped over to the have a look at the finished project and have a chat with Joe to find out how the project came about and how he and the clients chose the paving.
Craig: This is looking pretty good, mate. You’re getting decent at this garden design build
stuff, aren’t you?
Joe: (laughs) Yeah, I’m starting to get the knack of it now. It’s looking nice, isn’t it?
Craig: Very nice, mate. Looks beautiful. How did you meet the clients for this job?
Joe: We were introduced through Tramar who built the single-story extension on the back
of the house with the lovely bifold doors.
Craig: And this garden is multi-tiered, so how did you come up with the design and choose the
planting for each section?
Joe: The bifold doors opened up onto the old retaining wall, which completely got in the way
and blocked the view of the upper sections of garden. This has been replaced with steps
leading up to the first level of the garden, making each section easy to access and providing a
lovely view over the whole garden from the house. Previously the garden had pressed
concrete slabs, which the owners kept immaculate, so they were keen to replace it with
something clean looking that was easy to care for.
Craig: Which brings us onto the paving. How did you and clients settle on the Minstead Beige
Joe: The client wanted a pure aesthetic and a clean, modern look but wanted the slabs to be easy
to care for, so porcelain was a must. They originally wanted natural stone for the paving and potentially the walling but
decided to use the same bricks as they used in building the extension to tie everything in.
It made sense to use porcelain paving that would complement the interior tiles for a seamless look –
going with the Minstead Beige in the end.
Craig: It looks really good and definitely gives that high-end seamless look.
Joe: Yeah, in this case, less is more. I think sometimes clients see pictures of things but have no
idea about what materials they want, or they mistakenly think you need to use loads of
different materials to achieve their desired look, but this can actually just over-complicate
Craig: Tell us a bit about the seating area – how did you plan to make it big enough?
Joe: It’s important to get the size right for the proportions of the garden but also to remember to
factor in the size of your table and chairs and any other furniture or features you want, plus
enough room to walk around them all!
Craig: Yeah, good point! And again, planting wise, everything is quite simple and timeless.
Joe: Yeah, the client really wanted something simple and classic, hence the minimal colour
scheme – lots of shades of green – nothing too fussy. It gives the garden and overall class and
Craig: And of course, we need to talk about the most important part of the build – the bar.
Joe: Ha! Yeah, the clients mentioned that they always wanted a building they could have a bar in.
Craig: So did you design the bar yourself?
Joe: Yes, I designed the bar and asked Fowler brothers carpentry to build it for them,
because they specialise in outbuildings. Then Ben, the company director suggested they put
in the bifold doors, which was a really nice touch for that inside/outside feel. It also provides
a lovely space to sit and look out over the garden.
Craig: Is there anything else you want to cover before we wrap things up?
Joe: Well, I’d like to say a big thanks to my mate Craig for supplying the paving.
Craig: Ha! I didn’t tell you to say that. That’s staying in though. It’s been a pleasure working
with, Joe, as always. Looking forward to the next one!
If you’re thinking you’d like to use some of our beautiful paving on a project of your own have a browse of our paving collection.