Jamie Durie's Process for Planning an Outdoor Room


Jamie Durie's Process for Planning an Outdoor Room

May 31, 2012

Whether it’s a landscape in Australia, America or Barbados, Jamie Durie follows a similar process. “It’s about creating a space that represents your lifestyle and stylistic preferences and also, simply, about being outdoors and letting nature soothe our souls,” he says. 

  • Identify a wish list. How does each family member envision using and enjoying the landscape?
  • Plot the plan in scale. Sketch out your property, including the house, border, large trees and plantings.
  • Follow the sun’s course. “Think about where the sun falls, what kind of shadows your house throws out, and the positive or negative light requirements,” he says.
  • Note assets and liabilities. Start by taking 360-degree photographs of the interior and exterior points of view. Consider the soil health. Look at the borrowed landscape. Make a list of features you want to downplay or play up.
  • Compartmentalize distinct rooms. “It doesn’t matter how small your backyard is, you can maintain intimacy in the design and get two to three rooms out of it,” Durie says.
  • Maintain a sense of mystery. “You don’t want to see the whole garden through the kitchen window,” he says. “But you do want to connect the rooms to convey a sense of discovery.”

Related: Jamie Durie: The Outdoor Room