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Urban Patio

An adaptive design, created this minimalist yet playful outdoor space. This renovation shows how using professional design services can really work to create a stylish easy care courtyard.

Before Paddington Courtyard


You may think this courtyard looked okay before, even with its well-established hedges. Owner Melinda of Melinda Clarke Interiors needed to invigorate the space so she could use it to both entertain in and to provide a safe, child friendly play area for her young family.

Melinda's design and landscape designer Secret Gardens team, bought her outdoor ideas to life!

Her brief:
More light, contemporary, minimalist and low maintenance. So to achieve this, the team re-used and re-purposed existing structures and materials where it was safe to do so.


Never underestimate the value of good design and workmanship. This landscape designer certainly nailed her brief!

The plan was to re-configure the outdoor space with the focus on extending the families living space.

Secret Gardens did the hardscape (structural changes), updated the watering system, put in well needed drainage, installed the outdoor lighting and chose the plants.

Decking and Wire Furniture Jasmine feature wall

Time-savers and styling

The plants in the garden beds were removed, but the retainer walls were reused as the foundation for the new deck and seating – very clever!

A selection of large white pots were planted up with succulents, a frangipani and herbs.

The sandstone pavers worked well with the design. So all that was needed to bring them back to its original vibrancy was a good clean.

An all weather minimalist Tio setting by Mass Productions was chosen and to create more seating, Melinda chose custom made deck seating pads and over-sized outdoor beanbags that could easily be packed away when not in use.

Get the look

  • To create a modern minimalist feel and ensure longevity, the wooden fencing had to go and replaced with a light coloured clad fence.

  • The exterior back wall got a makeover too, it was painted in two contrasting colours – Why white you ask? Melinda’s ingenious idea was to have a large white backdrop so she could use to project outdoor movies!

  • New plantings were established, fragrant trailing Jasmine created a wall of greenery and framed in the deck an ornamental pear tree, her favourite.

  • The inground bollards lights had to go! Instead wall mounted lights were put on along the fence line to create ambient lighting when entertaining.

  • New platform decking was put in– which is set against the backwall, another clever idea she had as the deck doubles for a stage for the kids!