Subtropical Modernism: Lively Landscapes in the Florida Keys
Debra Yates and Benjamin Burle of Debra Yates Great Space, Inc. in the Florida Keys use brilliantly colorful garden walls and sculptural plants against a neutral backdrop for a lush, lively take on modernism. Here, they share six tips on how they achieve their signature look.
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Keep the look clean by using multipurpose elements
"We want to create a Zen-type setting where you feel comfortable," says Yates. "There's a negative energy when you have too much stuff." A lack of clutter allows your eye to travel all the way through the home and landscape to the back of the property, and makes your outdoor space feel larger and more gracious.
In order to keep things open and uncluttered, Yates and Burle incorporate storage, privacy, and other uses into fountain walls and other aesthetically beautiful pieces. "We want our design elements to serve more than one purpose," says Burle. To that end, they place colorful exterior walls and fountain walls so they not only serve as a focal point of a garden, but also provide privacy from neighbors or screening from unattractive elements such as garden sheds or pool supplies. Benches can also double as storage, where the seat acts as a lid to hide hoses and other garden errata.
To define the space indoors, they have used a multipurpose freestanding wall on wheels, which has storage and an entertainment system on one side, and a painting on the other. This can be moved around for parties to encourage either larger or more intimate groupings.