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Do you ever wish that you could enter the Mediterranean coast but by stepping outside your door?  Perhaps you have visited the Mediterranean on holiday.  Or maybe you admire the Mediterranean from a far, combing through pictures on the internet.  


Either way, your outdoor living spaces can embody the rustic, natural design of Mediterranean romance and extravagance.
The Mediterranean region is full of distinct countries, each with its own culture, beauty, lifestyle and natural charm.  


However, a few characteristics seem to illustrate the region as a whole.  The Mediterranean aesthetic is known for its unique textures, calming colors and laid-back vibe.


You can easily incorporate these elements into your design, transforming your outdoor space. I’ve put together a few design ideas that will help you feel as though you are relaxing along Italy’s coast without ever having to pack your bags!






Mediterranean Old World Charm


When I first think of the Mediterranean I am transformed to lovely little pebbles, intricately cut pavings, and textured roof tiles. I can’t help but think of the turquoise waters of Greece, the terracotta homes in Spain, or the Travertine marble clad Roman monuments.  


By design, the Mediterranean is unique.  It’s not linear, simple lines, but almost seems to come to life through a more natural, flowing topography. Don’t be afraid to draw upon the ancient. A key characteristic of the Mediterranean region is its rich ancient history.  


You can draw inspiration from the medieval history that this area is known for. Column end tables or other vintage-looking pieces are a great place to start.  Perhaps a stone coffee table to bring in an “ancient ruin” feel.


Terra-cotta pavers or Spanish tiles are an excellent addition to enhance your Mediterranean outdoor living space. These simple elements will immediately transport you and your guests to the charming Mediterranean countryside.  


Consider including areas of gravel where you can add accents with potted plants and mosaic tiles along a wall that offers privacy from neighbors.  


You can also add thick columns around the pool or garden area to incorporate a bit of Rome’s most famous architecture into your design.  






Landscaping for a Laid-Back Mediterranean Look


To embody the Mediterranean vibe, you’ll want to incorporate wild plants and brightly hued flowers into your outdoor living space. Along the various Mediterranean coastlines, vibrantly colored tropical plants are abundant and they remain wild and untamed.  


While of course you’ll want to keep the greenery in your backyard orderly, adding large planters and vines will lend your space the same untamed look without the high maintenance.  


Consider wild Zoysia grass or Scaveola plants that will help you create an awe-inspiring oasis in your backyard.  


Plants are often secondary to the hard landscaping in a Mediterranean garden, but you do not have to ship in stone from abroad. There are plenty to choose from in Dubai to help you achieve that laid-back Mediterranean feel.  


For example, Travertine Marble natural finish for walls and floors, Terracota tiles for patios, stone cladding and brick claddings for dry-stone walling and riven stone slabs for paving, retaining walls and terraces.  


The result is spectacular!  Pennisetum Rubrum grass and Cyperus grass make a great backbone for your Mediterranean-style border, not simply for their structure, but also for the sound and movement they achieve when the breeze blows through.  






Use True Blue Accents with Neutral Highlights


Create a vibrant color palette of turquoises or blues to instantly lend your space a Mediterranean vibe. Warm tones can be applied throughout your entire outdoor living space or garden, or you can use them sparingly, for example, creating a walkway.


Mix various shades of blue, but be sure to keep them within the same tone.  If you desire something a little softer, use your favorite light shade of blue as the neutral instead. Turquoise looks marvelous with other neutral tones and adds tons of personality.  


You can even get creative by incorporating soft, purple lavenders, or rich mauve and lilac hues to add to your Mediterranean vibe.






Incorporate Soothing Water Features


Water features are a must for any Mediterranean inspired garden. They are soothing while creating a touch of cool to the heat of the summer.  


The gleam of water adds a wonderful new dimension of your garden, while the trickle of shallow water reminds you of the calming sea.  


Whether in ornamental ponds or pools, or custom fountains and features, the sight and sounds of water always provide a wonderful relief that draws upon the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle.

By adding a few details and accents to your garden you can create a Mediterranean oasis right outside your door.  


You can easily incorporate various textures, calming colors, water features, and pathways to transform your space into the laid-back vibe area that embodies the Mediterranean. So for now, you can set your passport aside and enjoy the comforts of your backyard!  



Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create a space in the comforts of your backyard to relax and feel at peace?  That’s precisely what happens when you create your own Japanese garden.


Japanese landscapes are created to be spaces of meditation and reflection. What started as a space made for Japan’s ruling aristocracy to find calm within the storm of their country’s conflict and war, has transformed over time into a way of life and deep-rooted culture.


Therefore, it’s not difficult to understand why the idea of a Japanese garden would be an appealing addition to your own landscape.


In a world that moves swiftly and creates days that are filled to the brim with stress, having a place to unwind, and even find inspiration is more important than ever.  


With a little research and the right materials, you too can create a landscape that will offer a slice of peaceful Zen into your life!






Learn the Basics of a Japanese Garden


On their most basic levels, there are two distinct styles associated with Japanese gardens.  The first type of Japanese garden, often referred to as Zen garden, is a rock garden that includes the soothing element of sand.  


This type of Japanese landscape contains no water element and is intended to depict a scene of the inspirational mountains and rivers of Japan. Wait!  Didn’t you just say there are no water elements in this design? That’s right, no water.  


However, the sand and gravel are raked into a particular pattern that’s meant to symbolize the river, while rocks placed on the sand signify the mountains.  The result is a peaceful homage to the inspirational mountains and rivers of Japan.


The next style of Zen garden you can design is referred to as a moss garden. Lovely, soft moss flourishes in Japan’s naturally humid and rainy climate. Zoysia grass replaces moss easily and is much easier to grow in this climate.


Adding zoysia grass to your garden will establish a soft and balanced feeling that is known to comfort a burdened mind, body and soul. It will create natural varying heights to your Zen garden making it look so authentic.


While each of these gardens is a representation of Japanese culture, your Japanese Zen garden can be a combination of the calm that speaks to you.


Whether you decide on a rock, zoysia grass or even a peaceful pond in your garden, the purpose of your Japanese garden is to create a space that achieves your personal Zen.






Stay True to the Culture of the Japanese Garden


If your goal is to create an authentic Japanese garden, it may require a little education and research to remain loyal to the culture of its creation. We often feel tempted to adhere to the traditional ideas of what the garden should look like, with bright, colorful flowers.  


However, many of these preconceived notions tend to come from Chinese culture.  Additions such as red hanging flowers and bridges covering small streams are all descended from ancient Chinese traditions but are often mistaken for Japanese.


Sure, many of these features have influenced Japanese gardens over time, but a true replica of a Zen garden will not contain flashy or bright colors.  


Instead, a traditional Japanese garden incorporates monochromatic green, which is used to create the primary landscape palette.


When it comes to incorporating flowers into a traditional Japanese Zen garden, they are not completely out of the question.  It’s just important to understand their role in the garden and your journey towards achieving Zen.  


Flowers can be colorful, but they should not be so bright that they become distracting. Above all, the Japanese traditions incorporate flowers that work towards highlighting the green that serves as the balancing color of your peaceful Zen garden.


Additionally, the arrangement of your garden serves as a key aspect to achieving an authentic Japanese garden. The thought process behind a Zen garden comes from understanding that every little detail is a symbol.  


The total sum of the landscape is intended to work towards creating Zen, which means that every detail serves a purpose.






Keep it Small and Simple


Creating a Japanese garden is not an exercise in creating the biggest and the best! So once you decide to create a Japanese garden, you must first set aside any notions of glitz and glamor.  


Zen gardens are a testimonial to simplicity and purpose. More often than not, keeping your design simple and small works best towards achieving a successful final space.


Start by using materials that include simplicity. For example, a bamboo fence that serves as your garden’s perimeter is a natural and simple way to enhance your garden’s design.


This renewable resource (bamboo) will effortlessly add a natural element to your garden. Another peaceful aspect to enhance your garden is found in using small stone pathways that wind past stone statues or icons that speak to your goal of Zen.  


These winding stone paths adhere to the Japanese belief of anticipating what’s waiting in the future while simultaneously respecting and honoring your past. Isn’t that a wonderful way to view life?






Creating Your Own Zen Garden


Understanding the ancient foundations of a Japanese garden is the best way to start with your personal Zen landscape. While this traditional garden does take some time to get just right, the benefits of a Japanese garden are well worth it in the end.  


Not only will you have a space that produces peace of mind, but you’ll create a garden with a purpose that is based on a deep-rooted cultural history.  It’s time to experience your Zen!



What good is a back yard if you can’t enjoy it with our family and friends?  There are few things in life that can compare to creating lasting memories.  


Whether you are looking to throw a rocking party for the neighborhood, host an intimate dinner party for a few close friends, or simply want to create a space that will be enjoyed by your family for generations to come, your backyard can serve as a pivotal space for all of your outdoor entertaining.  


Here are a few tips to ensure that your backyard is certain to become the envy of the neighborhood!






Gorgeous Landscape


First and foremost your backyard should feel like an oasis away from the frustrations and stresses of life.  Create a landscape that is soothing and relaxing. Keep in mind that your backyard is more than just the lush plants and flowers you choose to incorporate.  


You can get creative! Vertical gardens offer a stunning visual effect that will also serve as a great conversational piece. Custom water features and fountains not only add the soothing sight and sound water, but they also work to enhance your space.  


Be sure to add some of your favorite artifacts and unique benches to place the finishing touch on your little slice of paradise.


From Japanese Zen inspired gardens to modern minimalist gardens, you can create a space that speaks to your personal tastes and vibrant personality.






Customized Fire Pit or Fire Wall


Everyone loves gathering around a fire pit! A custom-built fire pit can serve as a focal point, creating a distinct area in your backyard while simultaneously lending a little warmth.  


For example, a patio provides a nice place for friends and family to gather outside and spend time together. Unfortunately, a patio can also be aesthetically boring. Even when it’s textured, a flat surface is still a flat surface.  


Adding a fire pit to your patio is like adding a centerpiece on your dining room table.  A fire pit breaks up the monotonous flat, injects depth, and makes the surface area much more interesting, especially when you’ve got a fire burning!


You can take this love of fire pits to the next level by incorporating a fire wall to your outdoor living space.  A custom built fire wall takes that traditional fire pit to the next level!  


The firewall is a self-contained unit that can provide more heat than a traditional fire pit. It can be designed in any shape or form.  They are truly unique and will help to keep your party going long into the night!  Check out a few of my favorites below.






Take a Plunge in Your Pool!


What better way to keep the party going on a hot day than by taking a dip in your pool?  Regardless of the size of your backyard there is a pool design out there waiting for you!  


Take it up a notch with an awe inspiring infinity pool, that effortlessly extends into a limitless horizon.  Limited on space, a plunge pool provides a space saving alternative that also keep you cool and refreshed.  


Take a look at some of our favorite designs below.  Each was designed to fit into the lifestyle and space for the client.  A backyard pool is a sure fire way to create a rocking party!






Outdoor Kitchens and Barbecues


In the Mediterranean, it’s very normal to see families cooking outdoors. Today, this style of outdoor cooking has become a popular trend in Dubai.  


Homeowners are experiencing the delights of using their outdoor kitchens and barbecues in their own backyards.  One benefit of having an outdoor kitchen is that they’re perfect spaces for entertaining!  


When food is cooked out on the patio, guests can gather around the grill and socialize as dinner is being prepared (and later served).  It might get crowded in an indoor kitchen when everyone hangs out with the chef, but outside there’s so much more space!  


Additionally, you can increase the comfort for your party guests by adding outdoor furnishings, custom mood lighting, and great music.  After all, a great meal is a key element to creating a rocking party for your guests!






Comfortable Sitting Areas


Perhaps one of the most important features for outdoor entertaining is to provide a comfortable space for your guests to relax and enjoy the comforts of your spectacular outdoor living space.  


Shaded areas with comfortable and unique furniture provide the perfect retreat from the heat and inclement weather so that the party never has to end! Gazebos and pergolas can be accented with lights, plants, and your favorite accent pieces to add to their ambiance.  


Be sure to use elements that you love, incorporating special pieces that mean something to you. Items that you pick up along your travels always work well to create a personal space that reminds you of your past adventures.


These unique items will have you loving your space even more!  Shop your own home or head out to your favorite local shop for items that not only speak to you and look cool, but serve a purpose as well.


As you create your outdoor entertaining oasis, remember that this is your space! This is the area that you and your family will enjoy, creating lasting memories for years to come. So let’s get the rocking party started!  If you ever need any tips, leave a comment below!  


I love hearing from you!



Would you like to turn your home into a holiday destination?


Traveling creates lasting memories, where even the smallest memento can take us back in time to the sights, sounds, smells and emotions we experienced during our adventures.  


For all those other busy times of the year when we are unable to travel, experiencing those memories can bring great joy and happiness into our day.  


Every summer, we travel as a family to different destinations around the world. Over the years I have experienced over 50 international destinations and 160 Indian cities, each destination offering a unique experience.  


Along the way I have collected so many interesting artifacts, art works and other souvenirs. Each destination left a lasting memory and an imprint in my mind and heart.  


Each new location offered its own unique geography, landscape, vegetation, architecture, monuments and infrastructure. My travels offered me such amazing learning opportunities.  


I’ve used these experiences to enhance my design ideas, creating homes that feel like not only feel like a resort, but also homes that serve as a reminder of your favorite travel destinations.


Surround Yourself with the Great Outdoors


My visits to Switzerland, Rome, Rhodes, Sorrento and Mykonos in June and July 2014 were extremely memorable.  Here, I discovered the neutral beauty of nature.  


These soft colors in nature almost spring to life against area vegetation and plants, creating an artistically inspired array that dazzles the eye.  There are so many beautiful shades of green, each shade adding to the interesting depth of landscape.






Regardless of where you travel, weather it’s snowy mountains, or a rushing river, nature creates of a rainbow of neutral colors! Within the neutral colors of beige, brown, black, white and grey, the various shades of greenery stand out.


Nature is playful, meandering and harmonious.  Adding these natural elements into our surroundings creates the feeling of total relaxation and bliss.






I love natural landscape and try to incorporate nature into my design. This featured garden we designed is so natural, serene and peaceful.  Notice the calming water feature, where the lovely Lilly pads add a pop of green against the various beige rocks.


The structured pathway seems to disappear, melting into its surrounding natural topography of greenery, pebbles and rocks.  Add to that the soothing sound of the water and you really have created your own slice of heaven!


Theme Gardens Inspired by Your Favorite Destination  


One of my favorite holidays was to Rhodes, Greece where we stayed immersed in the heart of the old town. The architecture was stunning, with very interesting places to eat and shop. It was a very old historical place surrounded by castles.


Drawing upon the inspirations of Old World charm, the roads were crafted of pebbles, inserted throughout the cement in intricately designed patterns that came to life with each and every step. It was extraordinary!






Crazy cut pavings also highlighted the streets, creating intriguing patterns. You simply couldn’t look away! Pink Bougainvillea looked absolutely stunning set against the neutral grey and white road.  

I have incorporated all of those delightful ideas in my design.  Here are a few of my favorite patterns that were inspired from my visit to Greece






Natural Memories: Adorning Your Garden with Travel Artifacts






When I traveled to St Moritz, Switzerland I fell in love with the local sights and sounds, and with a particular log of wood planter.  It was so unique, I simply had to have it but it proved impossible to carry.  


When I arrived home I was determined to find a replica.  I searched high and low and managed to find one here in Dubai! Placing it in the midst of the pebbles in my garden design added the culminating touch to the very minimal Zen design.  


Bets of all, it will always serves as a reminder of Switzerland and my quest to find the memorable piece that left such a lasting impression.


In this particular design, I incorporated many pots and garden artifacts. The client loves to collect art pieces, sculptures, and candles.  


Adding these elements into their garden space is not only aesthetically appealing but it also serves as a constant reminder of their world travels.  Each artifact provides the snippet of a memory from its associated destination.


Incorporate Design Trends Into Your Home


All hotels incorporate the latest materials, accessories, artworks and designs in their indoor and outdoor spaces. Vertical gardens, firepots, outdoor murals, and investment in custom LED lighting fixtures are among the latest trends.  


Though expensive, they create more than just a space.  These accents create an elegant and glamorous environment.


While traveling in France I came across this stunning vertical wall (pictured below). Vertical gardens create a vertical green wall that has a far more dramatic impact than tradition trees and bushes.  


It’s an enormous mass of lush plants, resulting in an awe-inspiring detail that leaves a lasting impression.  As you can see in the featured design below, I use vertical gardens in my designs, adding the culminating finish to an extraordinary space.


When it comes to incorporating your travels into your design, the possibilities are endless!  As you embark on your next holiday, I encourage you to take pictures.  Create a travel log to capture ideas that you love along your adventure.  


Collect art pieces and artifacts that will evoke memories for years to come. When you return home from your travels, we will help you design an extraordinary space that incorporates those memoires into your home.  


You may not always have the time to travel, but at least now you can have a space that serves as a constant reminder of your great adventures and the adventures yet to come!