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.
In order to allow the boldest elements of the landscape to take center stage, designers Debra Yates and Benjamin Burle use neutral tones in non-focal areas so the backdrop takes on less visual importance. “We often use a sharkskin color, a subtle grayish blue, on property walls,” says Burle. “We want perimeter walls to fade by the wayside, so the emphasis is placed on colorful fountain walls or other design elements.”
In this landscape, Yates and Burle used freestanding fence panels to create transitions when walking through the garden. They selected blue-lavender and yellow ochre stains, which contrast and harmonize with the spiky Sanseveria and yellow Tabebuia tree in the courtyard. The neutral tones of the backdrop recede from view, creating the illusion of a larger space.