by Sejal Nagjee
Planning your landscape design is an exciting time. Whether you want a new outdoor dining area, an infinity pool with a nearby Pergola or an area to relax long into the evening under the stars, planning your dream landscape design is attainable. Best of all, you can plan your dream landscape within your budget!
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you plan your dream backyard while sticking to your budget.
Know Your Budget
The first step to sticking with a budget is knowing how much you can spend. Knowing your budget will help you choose between the various hardscape and landscape options available to create your dream landscape design.
In design, we typically categorize landscape into the following four pricing categories, ranging from 550 dirhams per square meter to 1,500 dirhams per square meter. Your exact price point will depend on the structures and features you build.
To start a project you will need to:
- Take your total plot area and subtract the existing ground floor built up area of your villa, garage, and service blocks (if applicable). For example, if your total plot is 10,000 square feet and a total built-up area is 5500 square feet. 3,500 square feet would be the total built-up area of your ground floor and garage. Do not count the first floor.
- Now you will be left with 6,500 square feet of land to be developed.
- Once you have determined your square footage to be developed, multiply the number by .09 and you will arrive at the square meter to be developed.
- In this example 6500 sq.ft x.09= 585 m2. You would have 585 square meters of land to be developed.
Depending on your budget there are different categories of projects:
- Low-end budget – 585 square meters at 550 dirhams/sq. m = 321,750 Dhs.
- Mid-range budget – 585 square meters at 700 dirhams/sq. m = 409,500 Dhs.
- Mid-range with some features – 585 square meters at 850 dirhams/sq.m = 497,250 Dhs.
- High-end budget – 585 square meters at 1100 dirhams/sq. m = 643, 500 Dhs.
- Luxurious budget – 585 square meters at 1550 dirhams/sq. m = 906,750 Dhs.
Anything below 550 square meters can prove challenging. Typically, below 585 sq. m indicates to the landscape designer that you are not looking to invest for the long term. Perhaps this is a rental property or you plan on moving in near future. In this case, we would suggest a minimal landscape design with minimal features.
If you fall within the 1550 dhs / m2 rage, you might want to consider including a pool, Waterproof shade structures, water features, tough 3 cms thick granite or 2 cms thick porcelain for larger areas of the driveway.
Additionally, you could include fireline, firepots, high-end water features, sculptures, and other accessories, such as a koi pond, immaculate lighting, and high-end planting.
You live in Emirates Hills, Dubai hills and are building a villa for many years to come using high-end materials. You love to entertain and want to utilize your villa to entertain friends, family, and business associates. It’s your own personal resort!
Plan Your Features
As you start to plan your landscape design, take a moment to consider all of the features you want in your backyard. If you don’t plan your features these items can add up quickly. Not to mention, you need to make sure you have space in your landscape design for all of the items you wish to incorporate.
Water features, swimming pools, lighting features, planting, living walls, and automated irrigation systems work together to create a stunning and functional landscape design. As you think about the features you desire, be sure to consider your existing landscape features and plant life.
Plan enough numbers of seating and how you wish to spend your time in the garden.
Phasing Your Project
Due to the arid nature of the UAE, villa owners should at minimum cover their soil with artificial grass, pebbles, or even a minimal landscape. This will allow you to develop your landscape in the future as your budget permits.
If you are working with a limited budget, we suggest breaking your project into various phases.
- Phase 1 – Generally, this first phase includes completing all groundwork required for your landscape design project. During this phase, all civil works including excavation, ground clearing, removing of debris, concrete works, tiling and paving of pathways should be completed.
Additionally, all wiring, irrigation, plumbing, electrical, and digging (i.e. a pool), will also be developed during phase one. During this phase, your design team will remove all salty soil and replace it with sweet soil, which is optimal for planting and grassing lush lawns.
- Phase 2 – During the second phase, you will start to build your landscape spaces. During this phase, you will build your outdoor kitchen, backyard barbecue, concrete seating areas, wooden embellishments, customized furniture, and customized dining areas.
- Phase 3 – During this last phase, your design team will focus on the finishing touches of your landscape design. Depending on your needs, this may include sculptures, wall arts, feature walls, works of art, pottery, firepots, swing, special outdoor furniture, and other decorative accents.
It’s important to note that there is always a loss when you complete your project in phases. Typically, phased work requires one thing or another being redone or uprooted. Additionally, as the landscape ages between phases, more and more work will arise.
For those starting with a minimal budget, we would recommend starting with artificial grass, pebbles and plants and irrigation as it can be easily used at a later date. Grass can be removed and used and pebbles reused. Taking plants into consideration, you can plant tall trees and tall bushes and plant short bushes and ground covers later.
Create a Master Plan
Plan your entire space. A Master Plan will make your phasing easier in the future, as your designer will have a general understanding of what you envision once all of the work has been completed. Phasing your landscape design in a planned way will help to curtail your losses in the end.
Entertaining your family, friends, and colleagues from the comforts of your backyard provides homeowners with an exciting opportunity to create the ultimate backyard party. However, when you plan ahead you can create your dream space well within your determined budget.
If you are considering transforming your landscape, contact the design experts at Milestone. Whether you know what you want or need a little inspiration, our team is here to help.
by Sejal Nagjee
Your backyard is the perfect place to throw a party. Whether you plan on throwing an intimate dinner party for a few close friends, or a large party for your colleagues and business associates, building your landscape for the ultimate backyard party is fun and exciting.
As the Founder and CEO of Milestone, I have compiled a few of my favorite landscape design tips for building the ultimate backyard party.
Plan Your Garden for Entertaining
Properly planned seating is essential to the success of any party. I always start my backyard design process by taking into account how many guests mt client will be entertaining on a recurring basis.
For example, are you planning on hosting more intimate events with 10-15 people, or will you be throwing larger events with 30-100 people? To accommodate your guests, you must consider where they will sit and relax during your event.
As you look around your landscape space, consider where you can incorporate seating areas. Depending on your needs, you can add seating near the dining area, bar area, outdoor kitchen or barbeque, or near the pool. Adding seating across all of these areas will really help your party to come alive.
Water, Fire, and Feature Walls to Create the Ultimate Backyard Party Space
There are few things in life I enjoy more than the soothing sounds of water. Water is the perfect way to create a relaxing and tranquil tone for your ultimate backyard party. Water features, such as fountains and water walls, create a peaceful ambiance for your backyard party while helping guests to unwind and rejuvenate.
In adding a custom water feature to your backyard landscape design, you don’t need to have any other decorative decor’ (unless you want to). A water feature combined with a fire feature will also work wonders for setting the tone for your backyard landscape design.
Firewalls, living walls, and other feature walls create an awe-inspiring backdrop for your backyard party. Not only do they look amazing, but they also serve as a great conversation starter for your party guests!
Light it Up
Lighting is a very important aspect for any backyard party. This is particularly true if you are hosting evening events. When you plan an efficient lighting scheme into your landscape design, you will not require additional lighting for future backyard parties. Not to mention, if you have to rely on your floodlights for evening events it will really spoil the mood of the party.
Mood lighting is not only effective for creating an ambiance, but it also serves to light up pathways during evening parties. If you plan on hosting backyard parties you will need to add mood lighting, feature lighting, functional lighting, and spotlighting. Cohesively, these lighting elements will work together to create a successful backyard party.
Plan Your Entertainment Area
When I throw a backyard party, I don’t simply want to host – I want to entertain! Consider where you plan on hosting and entertaining in your backyard space. Will you be entertaining in a seating area under your Pergola, next to your bar area, or around the outdoor dining area?
Once you determine where you will entertain, you want to ensure you add comfortable seating with pillows to entice your guests to relax and unwind. On the other hand, you don’t want to add too much seating for your space. The last thing you want is for your guests to be hampered by excess furniture or cluttered pathways.
Another important aspect for successful backyard parties is accessories. Think of these accessories as the icing on the cake of your landscape design. From ornate sculptures and decorative accents to living walls or a swing with plants, these accessories will place the finishing touch on your landscape design.
Entertaining your family, friends, and colleagues from the comforts of your backyard provides homeowners with an exciting opportunity to create the ultimate backyard party. From smaller intimate gatherings to large corporate events, if you stick to my design tips you’ll be well on your way to creating the ultimate landscape design for successful entertaining.
If you are considering designing your backyard for the ultimate party, contact the design experts at Milestone. Whether you know what you want or need a little inspiration, my design team and I are here to help.
by Sejal Nagjee
Whether you are thinking about selling your home or want to create a more functional space, take a good look at your landscape design. Not only will a thoughtfully planned landscape design increase the value of your home, but it will also enhance your lifestyle with a functional outdoor space.
Here are a few of our favorite landscape design tips to set you on the path to enhancing your landscape and garden.
Ageless Landscape Design Ideas
When it comes to landscape design, there is no great loss for yearly trends. However, trends come and go. Not only will themed gardens lose their charm over time, but they may not appeal to the next person who buys the property.
As you consider your landscape design, think about what will work for you now and long into the future. Consider ageless designs that will remain functional and aesthetically appealing 10-15 years down the road.
Design your hardscapes in neutrally colored materials, injecting coloured with your greenery and flowering plants. Creating a simple and elegant usable design will help to increase the value of your home and appeal to a wider range of potential buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.
Create Designated Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces provide a place for you to connect with nature while spending time with family and friends. It’s essential to design outdoor spaces that meet the needs of your lifestyle. However, keep in mind what would appeal to potential buyers.
Think of what you enjoy outdoors. Is it reading? Regardless of how large or small your backyard is, you can create distinct spaces for dining, relaxing, and entertaining. From outdoor kitchens and barbeques to designated seating areas and play areas, the right design will make the most of your space to enjoy long into the future.
Do you need a pool and a jacuzzi? Do you enjoy swimming? If the pool is not used, it only adds up to additional water bills and maintenance costs. It also takes away a large piece of land. So make it if you will use it regularly.
As the temperatures increase throughout the year, you need to make sure you can enjoy your backyard even during the hot summer months. Custom made, high-quality shade structures will help to increase the value of your home.
Pergolas and gazebos not only create a designated space for your landscape design, they provide shade and relief from the heat and sun. Consider solid wooden or aluminum shade structures for outdoor kitchens, outdoor dining, barbeques, and seating areas. Not only will you enjoy these structures for years to come, but they will also appeal to future buyers.
Shade structures surely add a cozy feeling and allow lights, fan and music speakers to be used to create a nice corner. An elevation in design is of great use in lighting up adjoining grass areas and fill up a large empty space with light by using height to add directional spot lights.
Energy Efficient, Sustainable Design to Increase the Value of Your Home
Custom, energy-efficient, sustainable landscape lighting is an instant way to increase the value of your home. The latest advances in lighting technology and design allow all wiring to be placed underground, which significantly increases the aesthetics of your landscape design. Additionally, LED lighting options use less power, which equates to instant cost savings.
You can also increase the value of your home with automatic irrigation systems. With smart water systems, the timers or controllers use technology to automatically adjust your watering schedule to your weather, plant, and soil conditions. Your plants will receive the water they need when they need it. Not to mention, you’ll save money on your water bill when they don’t need it!
Alternatively, artificial grass is a great alternative to live greenery. Not only does it looks natural, but it also greatly reduces your water bill.
Keep it Simple
Like many other aspects in landscape design, less is more. Keep it simple and clean. The idea is to create a natural oasis to enjoy with your family and friends. If you stick to the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a landscape design that will increase the value of your home.
Use long lasting materials
Using outdoor porcelain tiles which is so close to natural stone and available in large sizes is a great choice for outdoors. It is now available with many suppliers including RAK Ceramics. Porcelain avoids quick weathering that happens in natural limestone, sandstone and travertine marble. Natural stone like brushed finish Travertine marble, Limestone, Sandstone, Flamed granite are always great so use them on entrance landing, steps and treads, small patio areas and use porcelain for a long lasting flooring option.
At Milestone, our team of designers will work with you to create your space home while increasing the value of your home. We take great pride in turning your visions into a reality to enjoy for years to come.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your free design consultation. Need a little inspiration? We’d love for you to stop by our show villa. Either way, we look forward to working with you.
by Sejal Nagjee
If you are looking for a way to increase the value of your home, enhancing your exterior lighting design is a great place to start! Exterior lighting will simultaneously enhance the curb appeal of your villa while adding value to your home.
A well thought exterior lighting design will highlight the structural features of your home, to include pathways, water features, fire pits, herb garden, and more. Additionally, exterior lighting will help you define your exterior spaces, to include dining and seating areas.
Start with Underground Wiring
Completed during the preliminary design stages, you only have one chance to set the wiring. All of your wiring should be placed underground from the start of your project.
Underground wiring helps to preserve the natural beauty of your landscape design. Additionally, underground wiring will not be damaged by weather, wind, or other natural elements.
Together with your design team, you will determine the number of lights and number of circuits, as well as the load and placement of switches and automation. Correct planning of your exterior lighting will allow you and future owners to use your garden after the sun goes down. Most view at night is your own internal view as lakes and golf courses facing villas do not see them at all at night as they are not lit.
Light Up Your Garden & Increase the Value of Your Home
You’ve gone to great lengths to increase the value of your home with an extraordinary landscape design. However, your outdoor space is useless without proper lighting. Exterior lighting design will allow you and future owners to enjoy your backyard long after the sunsets.
Be sure to add light to highlight your landscape features, such as seating areas, bar and barbeque areas, and dining areas to enjoy these spaces under the stars. Use focus lights on water features and other garden features.
Lighting design can be used to turn your backyard into your personal resort. It can make your home look very glamorous, highlighting the architectural accents of your villa. Additionally, proper landscape lighting can enhance smaller gardens.
Highlight the View
Many people purchase properties for their stunning views. While you can use lighting to highlight your natural view, you can also create a view with exterior lighting! Using the proper lighting, homeowners can highlight their gazebos, pergolas, water features, sculptures, outdoor dining areas and much more. Feature trees like olive or palm trees are highlighted too.
Additionally, you can use exterior lighting to create a mood and ambiance, while including functional lighting for paths and security.
Invest in Energy Efficient Lighting
Custom, energy-efficient, sustainable landscape lighting is an instant way to increase the value of your home. The latest advances in lighting technology and design allow all wiring to be placed underground, which significantly increases the aesthetics of your landscape design. Additionally, LED lighting options use less power, which equates to instant savings on your energy bill.
You can also increase the value of your home with automatic exterior lighting. With smart lighting systems, the timers or controllers use technology to automatically control your lighting. Your backyard will be illuminated based on your needs.
At Milestone, our team of designers will work with you to create your space home while increasing the value of your home. We take great pride in turning your visions into a reality to enjoy for years to come.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your free design consultation. Need a little inspiration? We’d love for you to stop by our show villa. Either way, we look forward to working with you.
by Sejal Nagjee
If you live in an arid region where lush lawns are difficult to achieve, consider desert landscaping ideas with plant life and materials which work with your natural surroundings.
With a little help from the experts at Milestone, you can create a dynamic desert landscape design to turn your backyard into your personal oasis.
Create a Focal Point
Regardless of the size of your space, you want to create a focal point to work around. Showcase your favorite plants in a place where they are most likely to be viewed.
For example, you could position striking plants and large plant combinations to highlight your backyard entrance. You could also feature your plants around your pergola, gazebo, or outdoor dining area. Ultimately, place your plants where you’ll be able to enjoy them the most.
The key to desert landscape design is to incorporate plants that offer multi-season interest. Examples of plants that work well in a desert environment include:
- A patch of Opuntia, also called a prickly pear cactus, offers seasonal color with flowers that bloom through spring.
- The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, or China rose, flourishes in the sand with stunning red, or yellow flowers.
- A stunning Adenium, commonly called a Desert Rose, will inject a bold splash of red to your landscape.
- A palm-tree like beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata) can inject a dramatic crowning touch to your outdoor space.
*For more plant ideas contact a Milestone landscape design expert.
When it comes time to select your landscape elements, the shrubs, rocks, trees, and flowering plants in your yard should complement each other. This doesn’t necessarily mean every design element should be the exact same size. However, as you plan your desert landscape design, scale should be your guide.
For example, a ring of shrubs positioned around larger desert grasses or flowering plants will create emphasis and density. Larger rocks and boulders can serve as walls or be used to define a specific space (i.e. a path or outdoor dining area).
Using a large Olive tree as a focal point in a raised planter box could prove very interesting. The thick trunk and form of the Olive tree is absolutely amazing.
Using a large tree of height 3 – 4 meters that is mature like, Cassia Fistula, Cassia Javanica, Bauhinia, Delonix Regia will create a great ambiance over time. Lighting up the tree with hanging bulbs will certainly create a feature!
Consider Your Colors
When it comes to desert landscape design, selecting the right colors is essential to creating a harmonious space. Colors should be introduced into your landscape design strategically.
Warm yellow, purple, green and red succulents create excellent focal points in any backyard garden design.
Additionally, these versatile, drought-resistant plants can be potted or planted directly into the ground. You can even add them to a living wall for a pop of color.
You can also add color to your desert landscape design with natural rocks, or by incorporating colorful furniture and art into your design.
Use of crushed or polished pebbles and planting fewer plants could enhance the desert theme further.
Desert Landscape Design with a Minimalist Twist
A few well-placed drought-resistant plants can do wonders for your landscape design. Derived from the Greek xeros meaning dry the term means literally dry landscape – xeriscaping is the art of combining minimalist vegetation with a simple, yet attractive natural foundations (usually pebbles or rocks). This intriguing landscape design form is a popular way to landscape backyards in arid regions.
However, just because you’re opting for minimal plantings, does not mean you can’t get creative! Consider including some unique rock formations, eclectic pottery, or a natural sculpture, such as a skull to create a creative, artistic appeal with intrigue.
If you prefer a desert landscape design with a bit more depth, consider adding a pond or custom water feature. A lovely pond, with a waterfall feature will help the water of the pond to circulate, and the mirror-like surface will reflect the stunning sunrises and sunsets for an added experience.
Here at Milestone, our design team wants you to love every inch of your backyard. We encourage you to visit our show villa or to contact a member of our team to schedule your free design consultation.
Together, we can transform your backyard into your personal oasis.
by Sejal Nagjee
As the temperatures become more pleasant, we all look forward to enjoying more time outside. Adding the element of fire (fire pits) into your landscape design is a great way to add the finishing touch to your backyard design.
Not to mention, research indicates that the crackling sounds and sights of fire create a relaxation response that’s linked to an evolutionary adaptation dating back to early man!
Whether you are dining under the stars or simply looking to relax with family and friends, fire pit design is ideal for taking your backyard to the next level. Outdoor fire features come in many styles and sizes, and with a little help from the experts at Milestone, we can create the perfect fire pit, fire pot or fireline to light up your backyard entertaining.
Fire as a Feng Shui element is often used to enhance fame areas.
Modern Fire Pit Design
A modern outdoor firepit design works in any setting. A classic concrete or stone pit is designed to keep your fire contained safely while providing a focal point for entertaining.
A ready-made fire pit with a table is also widely used. These are available in La Veranda Home&Garden in Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road. This table acts as a fire pit when in use and otherwise can be used as a coffee table.
If possible, consider placing your fire pit design in a nook or corner of your backyard. Add the right furniture and a few small tables for guests to place their drinks, and you’ve created a beautiful little space for entertaining.
Fire pits are often used in sunken seating areas or in the middle of the seating whilst you entertain.
Create a Separate Space
If you love to entertain in your backyard, creating a separate space for your firepit is a great way to keep things cozy and intimate.
For example, a fire pit on a separate patio or under you pergola creates a space designed for relaxing around the fire. This space allows your guests to connect with one another in an area designated for relaxation and entertaining.
Sunken seating Fire Pot
When it comes to your fire pot or fire line design, get creative and think outside of the box. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an outdoor fire pit or firewall to be set into the ground.
If your space allows it, consider creating a drop-down deck with a seating area around the fireplace. Here you can feature a traditional above-ground fire table, or design a unique fire pot directly in the ground.
Enhance the View with Fire Pit Design
Typically, outdoor fire pit or fire line design focuses on creating a focal point around the fire table so that everyone feels like they’re part of the group. However, you may have an amazing view in your backyard. Not to fret, you can use your fire pot design to take your view to the next level of breath talking.
A semi-circle outdoor fireplace is perfect for highlighting a great view or skyline at dusk. With the right seating arrangement, guests can enjoy the entrancing flicker of the flames as the temperatures begin to dip after sunset.
Fire on the Floor
Again, try to think outside of the lanes of traditional fire pits. Instead, consider a fire line design that sits right into the floor of your sunken area. Just be sure to keep your seating area a safe distance from the open flames.
Having the firepit set directly into the ground is a creative idea and a unique way to add an intimate focal point to your space.
Fire and Water
An outdoor fire feature is the perfect element to accent your pool. While most gas fire tables use gray or black rocks in their design, you can add beautiful blue rocks to balance the color of the pool water.
Our design experts can also incorporate elements of water in the space where you design your fire feature. Whether it’s a lovely pond, custom water feature, or soothing water wall, combining the elements of fire and water create an amazing aesthetic.
Add a Flaming Backdrop
An outdoor fireplace doesn’t necessarily need to be the focal point of your backyard space. Rather than gathering around your firepit, consider a firewall in the backdrop.
As the fire burns quietly, it will create a relaxing mood while simultaneously keeping the focus on family and friends.
Sophisticated Planika Fire Pots
A sleek black planika fire pit, commonly referred to as a fire table, is sure to add a level of sophistication to your backyard. Crafted to contain the fire, the surrounding area also reflects the light from the fire, creating a stunning ambiance.
A ready-made planika fire pot is a unique outdoor fire feature that is sure to lighten up your garden and landscape design. These modern fireplaces provide a unique element of fire to highlight your outdoor seating area to create the perfect space for outdoor entertaining.
Milestone Interior and Landscape Designs
Regardless of the size of your backyard, a custom fire pit, fire line, or readymade planika fire pot is guaranteed to enhance your space, improve your entertaining area, and keep the conversation going after sundown.
Here at Milestone, our design team wants you to feel comfortable in your home. We encourage you to visit our show villa or to contact a member of our team to schedule your free design consultation.
by Sejal Nagjee
In pergola design plans, a pergola forms a shaded area, a passage, sitting areas, or a walkway on vertical posts, which support horizontal beams that can be accented with garden plants or with wood shades.
Whether freestanding or built off an existing structure, pergolas provide an exceptional way to add structure, shape, function, and beauty to your yard. Additionally, these pergola design ideas offer helpful tips and tricks of the trade to enhance your outdoor space.
Work with Your Existing Landscape
When considering your pergola design, take a good look at your existing landscape design. Oftentimes, there’s a natural spot in your backyard for a pergola. However, don’t let your existing landscape elements deter you from adding a pergola to your yard.
The flexibility of pergola design enables modifications to best fit your needs and requirements. For example, an existing tree provides natural shade.
The versatility of pergola design allows for a pergola’s roof to be built around an existing tree (when necessary).
Alternatively, if you’re short on square footage, you can build your pergola off of an existing structure.
Pergola Design as a Transition
Some pergola designs inject both a decorative and functional design for your space. For example, when you build off of your existing villa, you can accentuate the architectural design elements of your home.
Consider adding textural materials on the exterior repeat of your pergola design to offers a welcoming, softening the transition between your villa and deck areas. You can also design your pergola transition between spaces in your landscape (i.e., between your pool area and outside living area, etc.).
Pergolas are also a great way to ease the transition from your home to other hardscape amenities, such as a pool and outdoor kitchen. Depending on your space, you can set the pergola’s roof boards as needed to shield the sun.
Create a Designated Space
While a pergola can be designed to stand alone, it also works well with other outdoor structures, such as a deck or patio. Depending on where you place your pergola, it can also help designate the various zones in your yard, such as a seating area or walkway.
Cramped for space? Not to worry. Even a small pergola design can help to accent a home’s patio, providing an intriguing backdrop, while creating the feeling of a separate space. Regardless of the size, a pergola is ideal for an outdoor seating area, dining area, or even by your pool.
Pergolas are a natural fit and integrate well with other outdoor living amenities. Depending on your pergola design, the large beams of can blend with the bulky structure of the stucco fireplace.
Create a Focal Point
A pergola is versatile. You can design your pergola in a range of structures. Whether you want to create a charming and cheerful seating structure, add a focal point to your garden, or draw attention to a specific area of your yard – the right pergola design will help!
Although space and budget play a role in your pergola design, in general, the “rules” of pergola design are adaptable. For example, you can play with multiple heights in a pergola’s ceiling to add visual interest or add columns to create a more formal look. The choices are limitless!
When designing a pergola, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination! Start today by contacting a member of the Milestone design to discuss your pergola design needs.
by Sejal Nagjee
Partnering with the right landscape design team for your project requires careful consideration. After all, the design stage of the landscaping process influences every consequent step.
Additionally, hiring the wrong landscape design team can cost you time, and money. Not to mention, headaches and stress. Luckily, you are not alone!
Whether you’re looking for a complete landscape overhaul or a simple garden design, the expert landscape design team at Milestone is here to help.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid landscaping woes during your next project by partnering with the right landscape design team from the start!
Landscape Design Starts with Relationships
The best landscape design projects begin with a great partnership between the design team and the client. First and foremost, you need to like your design team. Secondly, you’ll be spending a great deal of time with your landscape designer and their team.
Landscape designers aren’t mind readers. You need to tell them what you have in mind for your project, as well as your project budget. It’s important that you tell your landscape designer what you like, what you desire, and what you need from your landscape design.
Experience and Examples
You wouldn’t hire a doctor without knowing how experienced they are. Why would you hire a landscape design team without knowing their experience? What sort of experience does your landscape team have? Are they licensed and bonded? Be sure to check their certifications and professional affiliations.
Before you hire a landscape designer, ask to see examples of their previous projects. Additionally, ask for a list of references. While many reputable companies cannot give references of their entire client list (due to confidentiality agreements), most should be able to provide a few project testimonials.
Regulations and Building Codes
Before you enter into a landscape design contract, be sure your potential designer understands local zoning regulations and building codes. They should also be able to find out what (if any) homeowner association rules apply to your property.
For example, what are the local requirements for how close to the property line you can landscape? How high can you build a pergola? The last thing you want is to hire a team that does not understand local building laws and regulations. Correcting errors means extra time and money for you.
Know Who Will Supervise Your Project
It’s important to know who you will be working with once your landscape project is underway. Larger companies, with several crews and supervisors, often require several project managers. Depending on the size of your design, your project may be assigned one or more supervisors and several crew teams.
Regardless, you should know who to direct your questions and concerns to from the start of your project. The last thing you want during your potential time of need is to be scrambling for answers.
Milestone Landscape Design
At Milestone, we base our landscape designs on the individuality of each client and the unique quality of every site and every home. From the start, we view our relationship with our clients as a true partnership.
We want to fully grasp your perspective, to allow us to focus on meeting all the objectives of your project. We will not stop until we deliver the space you desire.
Our landscape designers will take the time to listen to your needs, wants, desires, vision, and dreams. After all, this is your space!
If you’re interested in learning more about we can take your landscape design to the next level, contact a member of our team for your free design consultation.
by Sejal Nagjee
Most famous in the countrysides and seasides of Greece, Italy, and France, Mediterranean landscape design has influenced landscapists all over the world.
With their soft colors, brightly patterned tiles, clipped hedges, and gravel paths – it’s an inspiration to design The informal and drought-tolerant plants make Mediterranean landscape design the perfect option for your UAE landscape.
Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, generally low maintenance, and water-wise, you can easily achieve a Mediterranean landscape design with a little help from the experts at Milestone.
Shaded Seating Areas
A key component to achieving an authentic Mediterranean landscape design is establishing defined seating areas. The UAE climate is so hot that outdoor seating areas are a must!
Shaded seating areas provide a place to unwind from the heat of the treacherous sun. They offer a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of tea early morning or a place to enjoy the sounds of the night once the sun sets. However, the key to outside seating is shade.
Pergolas provide the perfect shade structure to ensure your seating area is protected from the direct sunlight. Additionally, pergolas provide a lovely decorative accent for your backyard. You can accent your pergola with climbing plants.
For example, Jasmine or Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis Indica) is a drought-resistant plant, which blooms with perfumed flowers in the spring.
There are few better ways to celebrate the Mediterranean culture than by dining al fresco with family and friends. Your shaded area is also the perfect place to establish an outdoor dining area.
Gravel Pathways, Pebbles and Cobblestone
Another key element associated with Mediterranean landscape design is gravel pathways and flooring. In Mediterranean areas, property owners have long grappled with too little water for their plants. As such, they have replaced green with more drought-friendly options.
Mediterranean landscape design often replaces grass with paving, stone slabs, gravel, pebbles, cobblestones, or a combination of these natural elements. The creative experts at Milestone can weave cobblestones and pebbles into intricate designs.
Pebble mosaics were the earliest types of mosaic in all areas of the Eastern Mediterranean. These stunning designs have a rich history that dates back to ancient times.
Not only do these stone accents look fantastic, but it also significantly reduces the need for water. Additionally, gravel and other stone elements are low maintenance and long-lasting.
Custom Water Features
Are you considering an ornamental pond, custom fountain, water wall, or full-scale pool? Water features are a must in Mediterranean landscape design to cool the hot summer air. The soothing sounds and gleam of rushing water add a delightful element to any backyard.
Regardless of which water feature you choose, the sounds and sights of water provide an enjoyable relief on hot summer days. Moreover, the birds and butterflies will enjoy your water features too!
Mediterranean Landscape Design Plants
One of the great appeals to a Mediterranean landscape design within the Middle East lies in the beautiful drought-resistant plants.
From attractive succulents and flowering plants, you simply can’t go wrong with the stunning appeal of Mediterranean inspired plants.
Think agaves with their beauty. Jasmine plants with their serene white fragrant scented flowers. Or, yucca plants with their large leaves and creamy white flowers.
Clipped hedges are not only pleasing to the eye, but they also add to your garden’s architectural framework.
Tecoma stans, Nerium Oleander, Murraya Paniculata, Thevetia are some of the more common hedges used on Mediterranean landscape design. Very versatile, this evergreen offers height and an element of dramatic flair to your garden.
Additionally, hedges can be added to your garden. These drought-resistant plants offer a year-round element of greenery that also doubles as a privacy fence.
Because of the ideal climate, the people of the Mediterranean lead an outdoor lifestyle. For hundreds of years, they have been gardening, socializing, and dining outdoors. If you are looking to add an element of the Mediterranean to your backyard, you’ve come to the right place.
Contact a member of our team for your landscape design consultation today! We look forward to bringing your vision to life.
by Sejal Nagjee
You placed significant time, effort, and investment into making your villa and landscape look amazing. So why should all of that disappear into the night?
With well-planned lighting system, manual or automated, strategically placed landscape lighting to light up the villa facade, pool features, trees and walls, you can illuminate the darkness to enjoy your yard long after the sun goes down.
When properly designed, landscape lighting makes your yard functional after sundown. Additionally, landscape lighting can be positioned to highlight specific areas of your yard, such as your home’s architectural features or drawing attention to prized plantings and trees.
Understand the Purpose for Your Landscape Lighting
Before you invest in any landscape lighting, understand the specific purpose of your lighting from your landscape designer. What’s the purpose of lighting up your backyard?
Perhaps you want to create a soft, cozy mood during the evening hours for intimate dinner parties. Maybe you have shadowy center areas, a water feature, dining and bar area or pathway you want to highlight.
Beyond setting a specific tone or atmosphere, consider the safety of your property after the sun goes down. Do you need to light up a path leading through your yard or a staircase for safe walking? Perhaps you want motion detectors for the evening hours?
Regardless of the reason, before you start to design your landscape lighting, it’s always best to know what you desire for your backyard.
Whether indoors or outdoors, lighting is typically divided into three layers based on function.
- Overall – overall lighting provides light for an entire room or space.
- Task – task lighting is used for a specific purpose, such as to light a path.
- Accent – accent lighting draws attention to an object or area, such as a water feature or garden sculpture.
Less is More
When it comes to setting up your landscape lighting, remember that less is always more. It’s best to install fewer lights, which highlight the beauty and appeal of your yard.
Placing fewer lights in the right positions will also keep your yard intriguing. From pathway lights and accent lights to directional spotlights and concealed led strip lighting, you can keep it simple while keeping your backyard engaging.
Too much light, or poorly installed landscape lighting, can create unwanted light pollution. Light pollution is light that shines into an area where it is undesirable.
You do not want your lighting to shine into an indoor room, to wash out the view of the stars, to create a glare that bothers your guests, or wastes energy.
Schedule a Professional Design Consultation
You know what type of landscape lighting you want. You know what you will use your lighting for.
Now comes the hard part – bringing your plan to life. It’s always best to schedule a professional design consultation to execute your plan. When you contact the experts at Milestone, they will help you create a visual sketch of your yard.
Typically, design sketches include the existing buildings, benches, water features, outdoor dining areas, existing greenery, as well as the lights you want to add to your landscape.
It’s important to consider the various elements of your existing landscape design, as these items will reflect or absorb light.
With a little help from the design experts at Milestone, you can add the finishing touch to your exterior spaces with well-planned outdoor landscape lighting.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your free landscape lighting consultation today!
by Sejal Nagjee
A swimming pool is the ultimate backyard addition. With the right pool design in your backyard, your pool can become the center of family life.
Whether it’s a barbecue by water or your children spending their day splashing away the heat, a swimming pool is a stunning, fun addition to your backyard.
A stunning swimming pool is not only fun and functional but also a strong visual focal point for your landscape.
Additionally, when pools include unique lighting, water features, stone accents and other stunning design features, your swimming pool can create a powerful influence on your outdoor living space.
Here are a few tips to create the perfect pool design.
Create a Recessed Lounge Area
Talk about an attention-grabbing addition to your pool design! In fact, a recessed lounge area lets your guests sit in the pool without getting wet.
This unique pool design feature lets you add a recessed seating area “inside” the pool so your guests can enjoy their pool even if they don’t want to get wet.
Pool Design with a View
If you have an amazing view, you need to make the most of it. Whenever possible, your pool design should take advantage of your view.
Consider adding steps to a raised seating area to allow your friends and family to enjoy the stunning views.
Not only will your friends and family be able to enjoy the fresh water, but they will also thank you for the view.
There is nothing quite like swimming under a starry sky. With the proper lighting, you can create an entire ambience dedicated to your nighttime dinners and entertaining. LED multicolored lights add enhanced color to the nighttime feel.
Consider adding a stone fireplace or firewall next to your pool for an additional natural element to take your pool design to the next level.
Cascading Waterfalls and Water Features
Adding water features to your swimming pool adds both elegance and excitement to your custom pool. Your choices of water features are endless. In fact, your choices are limited only by your imagination.
Very few things enhance the fun and excitement of your pool design like a custom water feature. With the right water feature, you inject new sounds, sights and excitement to your pool design.
From cascading waterfalls and pool gushers to swimming pool scuppers, natural rock walls, and stunning grottos, a custom water feature will take your pool design to the next level.
When planning your pool design, it’s important to consider all the factors that may impact how your pool interacts with the surrounding landscape. Additionally, natural plants and greenery will enhance your pool design.
Adding natural rocks, beautiful flowering plants, and lush greenery will enhance your pool design. These natural elements will also help your pool to seamlessly blend in with your landscape to create a stunning, fluid outdoor space.
Zero-Edge Infinity Pools
When you are inside an infinity pool, the water appears to go over the edge, disappearing into the landscape. With an infinity pool, you don’t feel the traditional boundaries of a swimming pool.
You can even add custom glass tiles to surround the entire raised exterior of the pool. This added touch will enhance the visual effects of your zero-edge pool design. Not to mention, an infinity pool adds a dramatic element to any backyard.
When it comes to creating a custom pool design, the design experts at Milestone have the experience and professional design tools to create a one of a kind swimming pool to take your backyard to the next level.
Contact a member of our team to schedule your free design consultation.
by Sejal Nagjee
Forget the clutter. Modern landscape design is known for a clean, minimalist look. A naturalistic landscape design emphasizes wavy borders and free-ranging plantlife.
In contrast, a modern landscape emphasizes geometric shapes and straight lines. Modern design elements are meant to reflect and relate to the surrounding architecture.
One of the key ways to know if your modern designs are successful is when every element in the landscape is imperative. Even so, when you get rid of the clutter, the simple beauty and sleek, sophisticated style of modern design shines through.
Here are a few tips to set you on the path to creating the sleek, clean, modern design landscape you have been dreaming of.
The Importance of Geometric Shapes in Modern Landscape Design
Let’s get geometric! When designing your modern landscape, think triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles. Not only are all of these shapes key pieces in modern landscape design, but they also look fantastic.
Aside from adding a clean-lined modern look, these geometric shapes allow you to create defined areas in your garden.
For example, a straight-lined stone path can lead you to an outdoor seating area. You can further define this area by adding a squared boxwood enclosure. Consider circular stepping stones leading to an outdoor pool area, or perfectly placed sculptural accents.
Geometry goes beyond ground cover and stones. You can also use it in the plants you add to your modern landscape design. Additionally, concrete and gravel are hallmarks of modern design.
Consider pavers with alternating lengths to create interesting movement within your space. The possibilities are endless.
Inside a modern villa, everything has its place. Clean lines dominate, and clutter is strictly forbidden. These same design concepts should be applied to create a modern landscape design.
Unlike a traditional English garden, where it’s elegant to let plants roam free and wild, a modern landscape is very controlled. For example, the modern garden design includes clean lines, and minimal manicured plants, with every element distinctly placed.
Choosing the Right Plants
Plants in a modern landscape are manicured and clearly defined in tidy spaces to create the pristine look most other landscape designs fail to achieve. Additionally, modern landscape design uses symmetrical rows of grasses and shrubs to create a sleek appearance.
It’s best to choose plants that are open to pruning. Here are a few modern garden plants to consider:
- Ficus Bonsai, Boxwood and shaped plants
- Ground cover plants like Carissa, Rheo, Wadelia
- Hedges like Bamboo, Thivetia, Jetropha, Caecilpinia, Murraya jasmine
- Bushes like Sesevaria, Leucophyllum, Ixora, Jasmine sambac,
- Succulents and Cactus
- Reeds and grasses like Cyperus, Pennisetum Rubrum, Pandanus, Haemaenocalis
Japanese boxwood is a modern landscape design favorite because it can be clipped and manipulated into different shapes. However, soft-textured plants, spiky plants, and any plant with a bold visual impact can create the right effect for modern landscape.
Stone and Ground Cover to Shape Your Garden
Stone and ground cover are essential tools to create a modern landscape design. These items can be used to divide your landscape into areas. Additionally, they lead the eye from one section of your landscape to another.
Consider a low strip of planted ground cover Carissa to create a modern border around a garden pathway or pond. What’s more, concrete can be used to create a squared path to a pool. However, these accents don’t necessarily have to lead you somewhere.
Instead, you can use these elements as visual tools to pull your design elements together.
Add a Touch of Zen
Many modern landscape designs include zen elements. Including a square sand garden with a few well-placed rocks is the perfect modern element to enhance your landscape design.
Not to mention, it’s a unique focal point for your space. Rake lines into the sand garden, swirling them around your stones. This will create a soothing and modern landscape design element.
As you can see, a modern landscape design includes many distinct elements. If you remember to include clean lines, stone paths, lots of geometry, and distinct borders, you’ll be on the right path to creating a modern outdoor space.
Need a little help? Contact the design team at Milestone to schedule your free consultation.
by Sejal Nagjee
Planning a garden in limited square footage, like a terrace or balcony, can be challenging.
Not only can it be difficult to come up with imaginative ideas to create a fantastic balcony garden, but also it’s difficult to execute your ideas within the tight confines of a small area.
However, you can take advantage of the opportunity to create a terrace garden masterpiece right in the comforts of your cosy balcony.
If you are limited to a balcony garden, it doesn’t mean you can’t be original to create a unique outdoor space. Here are a few ideas to inspire you!
Think Beyond the Tiles
When you are designing a balcony garden in a small space, skip the tiles. Instead, consider adding a simple floor with a decorative rug.
You can also get creative and add an artificial green carpet or turf rug to imitate the look of a lush lawn.
If artificial turf isn’t your style, you can also apply wooden tiles for a natural look.
On one hand, artificial turf provides the illusion of a vivacious green lawn. On the other hand, there is something to be said about the rustic element of natural wood.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Potted Plants and Flowers
Rather than placing large pots in every square inch of floor, the design experts at Milestone suggest creating a display of various potted plants in one small area.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different size pots and various heights to add dimension.
You can even refurbish household items such as watering cans or decorative vases for an original take on the traditional pot.
Hanging Baskets are a Must for Balcony Gardens
When it comes to balcony gardens, hanging baskets are a great way to add a wide variety of plants while saving space.
Wonderfully-designed hanging baskets allow you to add plants at higher levels. Not only do they look amazing but they also lend the illusion of more space.
Hanging baskets are simple, yet they create a striking impact without consuming all of your balcony garden space.
They offer a great alternative to add texture and colour to your balcony garden while maximising your space.
Not to mention, several herbs, vegetables, and flowers thrive in hanging pots.
Just be sure to hang your plants at a height that makes them easy to water and maintain.
And don’t forget your terrace railings. Consider installing hanging flower boxes on the outside of your balcony railings to create more space for lush plants.
Think Vertical Walls
A vertical green wall is a perfect way to enhance your balcony garden. If you space permits, consider creating a small structure for support or install a trellis for climbing plants.
Lush vertical gardens are an excellent way to maximise the space of your balcony garden.
Think Outside of the Box
If hanging baskets and potted plants aren’t really your cup of tea, there are plenty of other exciting and imaginative ways to decorate your balcony garden.
Think custom water features, decorative sculptures, or mini rock gardens. Not only does this inject your personal taste to your balcony, but also makes your terrace garden more welcoming.
If you can dream it, we can design it!
If your terrace space permits it, place a small table with two chairs for a cosy seating area.
Not only will this little area be the perfect place to sip your tea on a warm afternoon, but also it creates the perfect place to take in some fresh air before you start your day.
You can even get creative. Consider refurbishing an old shelf or bookcase against the outside wall.
This is a great way to showcase your potted plants and other favourite garden decors. The possibilities are endless.
Milestone Gardens & Interiors
Designing and planning a balcony garden can be challenging.
Not to worry, the experts at Milestone are here to help. From small terrace gardens to complete landscape overhauls, we know landscape design.
Whether you know exactly what you want or need a little inspiration, our team has the experience and knowledge to make the most of your terrace.
by Sejal Nagjee
Green walls are becoming more popular in both villas and offices. Their attention-grabbing allure and eco-friendly appeal create an exceptional design accent for businesses and homes alike.
Not to mention, green walls full of lush plants create a warm and inviting environment for both staff and clients.
Here’s everything you need to know about green walls. We’ve also included a few design ideas to provide a little inspiration for your space!
What are Green Walls?
Green walls are exactly what they sound like. They are walls covered with green plants and flowers.
Also called living walls or vertical gardens, green walls include all the materials needed to help your plants thrive, including soil, custom lighting and an irrigation system.
You can design your living wall for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Living walls create a stunning, eco-friendly work of art to enhance any area with plant life.
Additionally, living walls have many other added benefits.
The Benefits of a Green Wall
From green walls to interior gardens, the benefits of working and living in a space surrounded by plant life are vast.
In fact, in a study completed by the New University of Technology Sydney, plants were added to offices for a three-month period.
The research showed employees with plants in their workspace experienced a 30-60% reduction in stress levels.
Not only do green walls reduce stress and increase happiness, but they also can improve a person’s overall health and wellness.
Restaurants, hotels, and offices that include living walls enjoy a wide range of benefits.
- Green walls create a warm and calm space for staff and clients. Furthermore, adding plant life to indoor spaces improves visual appeal.
- Living walls create a lovely, eco-friendly accent guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
- Plants improve air quality. In fact, the presence of plants improves air quality by filtering toxins and removing harmful particles from the air.
- Living walls create a natural noise barrier.
- Plants are proven to increase health and wellness. In fact, green plants and flowers make people healthier, more productive, and happier.
Don’t Forget the Water Features
Green walls can also include custom water features. Living walls are the perfect place to create a focal point with a soothing fountain or custom water feature.
Green walls with waterfalls and water features have the double benefit of injecting the soothing sights and sounds of water in your space.
In fact, living walls coupled with water walls add to the unique visual appeal of bringing elements of the outdoors into your interior design.
Milestone Gardens & Interiors
At Milestone Gardens and Interiors, our design team plans and builds custom living walls for interior and exteriors.
Whether you desire a traditional green wall, wish to create a living wall in a unique space or want to get creative with wrap around corners, the options for adding plant life to your space are endless.
Vertical gardens are taking root in locations across the world.
In fact, this eco-friendly and versatile concept is reaching new heights as we literally look up for new gardening opportunities.
Green wall gardens are a system of panels that hold plants onto a fixed or freestanding wall.
Also called living walls or green walls, these eco-friendly gardens create a lush, beautiful work of art that’s great for the environment and your landscape design.
The History of Vertical Gardens
In recent years, green walls have become more popular.
However, living walls are not new. In fact, they trace their history back to the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The modern history of living walls is not well-documented. However, the record shows that in 1938 Professor Stanley Hart White, at the University of Illinois, patented the modern vertical garden.
Additionally, Patrick Blanc worked with architect Adrien Fainsilber and engineer Peter Rice to introduce the first vertical garden in 1986 in Paris.
Interior and Exterior Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens provide the perfect alternative to add a beautiful green garden to your landscape.
In fact, they even work when you are short on space. The initial appeal to green walls focused on urban gardening (as traditional garden space in these areas is cramped).
However, in recent years the appeal of vertical gardens is drawing interest from gardeners outside urban areas.
In addition to adding stunning visual appeal to your space, other benefits of living walls include:
- Lowering the temperature of buildings.
- Increased air filtration and air quality.
- Protecting building materials such as concrete and brick from extreme temperatures.
- Noise reduction.
- Adding color and a unique decorative accent to your space.
- Creating a lovely garden in harsh, dry or very hot climates.
- Creating a garden in an area lacking the space for a traditional garden.
Versatile Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens can be used indoors for homes and businesses.
Additionally, green walls add color and a distinct element to lobbies, conference rooms, hallways and reception areas. They also add a lovely living accent to your home.
Interior vertical gardens provide all of the benefits of adding plants to buildings.
In fact, according to a scientific study conducted by Dr Chris Knight, of Exeter University, employees are 15% more productive when their work environments include plant life.
Not only do green walls look fantastic, but vertical gardens can help improve creativity, reduce absenteeism and other workplace concerns.
Can Vertical Gardens Feature Custom Designs?
Depending on the amount of space you’re working with, there are several options to choose from.
You can build vertical gardens indoors or outside. They can be freestanding or attached to an existing wall.
Best of all, they come in a wide range of sizes. Green walls can be made to meet the requirements of your floor plan and square footage.
At Milestone, our landscape design team can design, plan, and build a vertical garden to enhance your exterior landscape or your interior decor.
Regardless of the amount of space you are working with, vertical gardens offer a great alternative to add a unique lush accent to your space.
Contact the experts at Milestone for your free design consultation. We look forward to bringing your vision to life.
If your current landscape design could speak, what would it say?
Perhaps it would ask for more greenery?
Maybe it would ask for a dedicated pergola to host your family and friends? Or perhaps it would ask for a living area for you to relax while your children laugh in their new play area?
Whether you have a backyard you want to redesign or you need help with your landscape design from the ground up, the experts at Milestone are ready to help.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the path to inspiration for your upcoming landscape design project.
Dress Up Your Deck
Make your deck a destination for entertaining by creating different zones within the space.
Depending on the layout of your yard, you can create multiple levels to carve out areas dedicated to dining, relaxing, and even cooking.
Moreover, this space will serve as an extension of your interior design.
Your outdoor retreat will feel more like an oasis if you create a sense of privacy and enclosure.
Garden walls and fences ensure privacy for patios. However, if you are working with less space, you can also use lattice. Additionally, you can also use landscaping to define your outdoor space and create a sense of seclusion.
At Milestone, we’ve designed and created a wide range of outdoor areas for entertaining.
Our exterior spaces are perfect for creating memories with family and friends. What’s more, outdoor kitchens and dining areas to living areas and poolside seating, we’ve done it all.
Our design team will plan, design, and produce a landscape design to exceed all of your expectations.
Incorporate a Pergola or Gazebo
Adding a pergola or gazebo to your landscape design can work to create a central focal point to your backyard. Not to mention, they provide a separate backyard space.
A pergola differs from a gazebo by its roofing style.
A gazebo is like a hut, with a tapered roof and a pergola has a flat roof. They both provide shade and relief from the heat, and a stylish, functional space to entertain your family and friends for years to come.
You simply can’t go wrong with a pergola or gazebo covered with luxurious vines and a wealth of potted and planted plants.
This elegant addition will work to bring the surrounding garden landscape up onto the deck, blending your outdoor structure into the surrounding landscape design.
Don’t Forget to Add Décor
Fountains, water features, fireplaces, and outdoor décor enhance the beauty of your landscape design while helping to create distinct areas.
Fountains and water features add the soothing sound of trickling water to your landscape design. Furthermore, they also serve as a unique focal point for your space.
Fireplaces and firewalls produce a natural focal point. They define your space, and can provide privacy for an outdoor room. Not to mention, fireplaces are also a great starting point for an outdoor kitchen!
Finally, be sure to accessorize your landscape with garden statuary, weatherproof art, and pillows covered in vibrant weatherproof fabrics.
Together with other outside decor, these additional decorative touches are sure to enhance your landscape design.
Milestone Landscape Design
At Milestone, our landscape design team is prepared to handle all of the details of your landscape design project.
From concept consultation, planning and procuring all the necessary permits to contracting and construction, our team has you covered from start to finish.
Our skilled team members can enhance your existing landscape design or start from scratch to create exactly what you desire for your outdoor space.
Our skilled team members can enhance your existing landscape design or start from scratch to create exactly what you desire for your outdoor space.
Above all else, our team will work with you to fully understand what you wish to achieve and we’ll help you turn that dream into a reality.
Contact our team to schedule your free landscape design consultation. We look forward to working with you!
Regardless of the size of your backyard, with a complete landscape renovation you can transform your backyard into a relaxing retreat.
From dining al fresco in your outdoor kitchen and sipping a cold beverage at your outdoor bar to escaping the heat under the shade of your pergola, the experts at Milestone can enhance your backyard into the functional space you’ve been dreaming of.
Commercial and residential, we’re ready to help you with your complete landscape renovation project.
In the meantime, we’ve compiled a few tips that are sure to enhance your backyard.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen & Bar
What better way to enjoy the wonderful weather than preparing and enjoying a meal in the great outdoors!
When it comes time for your complete landscape renovation, don’t forget to add an outdoor kitchen and bar countertop.
An outdoor kitchen can be designed to include all of the amazing attributes you love about your indoor kitchen.
From amazing appliances and barbecues to cabinet storage and sinks, we’ll design your outdoor kitchen to serve as an extension of your internal living space.
Pizza oven, Barbeque grill ( Charcoal only or Charcoal and gas combined), single or double burners and Hibachi grills, we can give you them all.
For the doors, we can make them from wood, provide stainless steel doors, a garbage bin drawer, and more.
Of course you’ll want a place to enjoy your meal!
A pergola is the perfect addition to create a separate dining or seating area to relax and entertain friends.
By adding comfortable outdoor furniture and decor, you can really make this space an extension of your home.
A bar counter is also a great idea to add additional backyard seating.
Ideal for hosting dinner parties and large gatherings, your bar will look amazing with a granite countertop and stone cladding.
It allows the bartenders to serve easily with all conveniences of a sink, cocktail counter, fridge, wine cooler, power sockets and more.
Custom Water Features
Take the relaxing elements of nature to the next level by adding a custom water feature to your backyard.
As you consider your complete landscape renovation think about what water feature you’d like to incorporate.
Whether you want to mask the noise from a busy road or create a quiet, contemplative space, a water feature is sure to inject some tranquillity into your backyard.
Regardless of the size of your backyard, even a small water feature will add the soothing sounds and sight of water to your backyard retreat.
From small fountains to large water walls and koi ponds, a custom water feature is sure to please. We can get creative by adding plant life to enhance your feature. The possibilities are endless!
Remember the Lush Greenery
It wouldn’t be the great outdoors without plant life!
Even when we’re working with a small space, we can add some life. As you consider your complete landscape renovation, think about the types of plants that you want.
Do you want flowering plants or do you prefer to stick to greenery?
Does your preference include an elevated garden? Do you enjoy cooking? If so, you might want to consider adding an herb garden to your backyard.
From tall bamboo trees to smaller bushes and shrubs, the right plant life is sure to create an amazing backyard.
At Milestone, our design experts specialize in complete landscape renovation in Dubai.
Whether you want to enhance your villa garden or require a large scale community landscape design, we are up to the task.
Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!
Creating a Japanese garden in your home gives you a space that is both serene and peaceful. They are world-renowned for their grace, beauty, and style. Many visitors to Japan bring home souvenirs – posters, paintings, artwork – depicting their exquisite settings.
The Japanese word for garden, “niwa”, has its origins as “ritual space”. They are created to be used as places of contemplation, meditation, and reflection, and as imitations of the natural world. This simplistic goal leads to gardens with a flair for style and distinction, but not a lot of flash.
They encourage one to relax, turn inward, forget the cares of the world, and settle into a more uncomplicated mood.While you may not hold to Zen Buddhist philosophies of enlightenment and introspection, their peaceful recreation of the natural world is something you CAN create in your own backyard, bringing a bit of the Orient to the desert.
SIMPLICITY IN STYLE
Japanese gardens have, at their heart, an air of simplicity and minimalism. From the rocks or sand of a Zen garden, to a rather monochromatic color palette, to the uncomplicated sound of a single water feature, Japanese gardens aren’t known for their flash and flair.
A Japanese garden, rather, finds its beauty in its careful, sophisticated design. Most only feature a few plants, carefully placed. Nearly all have only a single visual focal point – a tree, a statue, a pond. The colors are vibrant but few, splashes of blossoms against dark leaves, or white rock against green turf.
Negative space – the pebbles in a rock garden, or a lush ground cover – is as important as the features that draw the eye.This simplified, uncomplicated style makes recreating a Japanese garden easier than say, a lush French-inspired landscape. But it also means you must be very careful not to go too far and lose the “look”.
YOUR OWN ZEN ROCK GARDEN
The best-known version of a Japanese garden is the rock garden. Traditionally, these are used for contemplative, meditative exercises like raking and rock stacking. The monk or gardener would find inner peace while raking designs in the sand or pebbles, or in stacking one rock upon another.
You don’t need a journey for inner enlightenment and a daily meditation practice to have a rock garden now. You can create one for the joy of its simple beauty. It’s also an excellent option for areas that may already have “hard to grow” sandy soil.
You can choose whether or not to have it as a feature in your Japanese garden, or as just a nice addition off in a corner. It can even become a real conversation piece, especially if you periodically DO rake a new design in it.
A JAPANESE STROLLING GARDEN
Another form of Japanese garden that is quite popular is the Strolling Garden. Here, a pathway winds through the garden, pausing at various focal points – statues, plantings, benches, a pond.
This is easily recreated with a pebble or “negative space” walkway and carefully placed accessories and plants. You can even screen parts of the garden from others with pots of bamboo (yes, some WILL flourish here) or wooden wall portions.
JAPANESE STYLE IN A DESERT CLIMATE
Most traditional Japanese plants, sadly, don’t do well in the dry, hot climate of Dubai. However, there are a few that can successfully be grown here. Golden Goddess bamboo ( Bambusa Vulgaris) will add just the right Asian touch to your pond or pathway. Buddha Belly Bamboo (Bambusa Ventricosa) is a dwarf bamboo that grows beautifully in this climate.
Japanese maples will also do well, if you keep them out of the wind and water them properly. Many “bonsai” tree varieties, such as Ficus, Desert Rose, Juniper and Cedar, can also be grown in their miniature containers, adding a truly authentic Oriental feature to your Japanese garden.
Some desert climate plants, like those in the ajuga family, have the right style and visual appeal for a Japanese inspired garden. Our landscape experts here at Milestone can assist you in choosing just the right plants and trees for yours.
Don’t forget that Japanese gardens are also to be used and enjoyed. That includes accessories such as simple wooden or stone benches and tables, lanterns and fire pits, and statuary. Your strolling garden, after all, has to have focal points to encourage you to stop strolling, relax, and enjoy those features along its path.
CREATING A JAPANESE GARDEN WITH MILESTONE
If you have a yen for a Japanese garden in your life, as we’ve seen, it’s not an impossibility here in the UAE. And it will certainly set your garden apart, as few would think to find such a hallmark of Asia here in the Middle East.
However, there is a lot to consider, from garden style to layout to accessories and features, and a lot of work to transform the typical Dubai garden into an Asian paradise. That’s where Milestone can help. Contact us today and we can begin the planning creating a Japanese garden of your own. Bring home more than souvenirs!
Tips for Creating the Ultimate Backyard for Entertaining
Are you ready to make backyard entertaining something to remember in 2018? Backyards aren’t just for gardens and greenery.
In fact, more people are transforming their backyards into an extension of their home’s interior. A well-planned design creates the ultimate backyard for entertaining family and friends.
An outdoor living space provides the ideal sanctuary to unwind and relax after a hectic week. The expert landscape designers of Dubai have created a list of the top innovative landscape design trends for creating the ultimate backyard for entertaining.
Charming Structures Create Stunning Landscape Features
When it comes to outdoor entertaining, it’s all about creating a sense of space. Adding a custom built pergola or gazebo to your backyard is a fun and functional way to spice up your backyard for entertaining.
A vine covered pergola provides relief from sun and heat, while creating a seperate space within your backyard. Pergolas and gazebos also create the feeling of cosy tranquility while adding a decorative accent to your outdoor space.
Spruce Up the Hardscapes
The comforts of your home should not disappear when you step into your backyard. Get creative! Rather than a simple slab of concrete or patch of grass, why not think aesthetically outside of the box?
Consider adding a natural stone floor or colourful cobblestone pathway throughout your backyard? If you prefer concrete, consider adding a textured or colourful variety to boost visual appeal.
Regardless of what materials you use for your hardscapes, remember to incorporate your style to create a personalised backyard retreat. After all, when you feel comfortable your guests will too!
Elevate Hardscapes with Interesting Plant Life
Elevate your hardscapes with beautiful landscape details, such as gardens, flower beds, and living walls. When it comes time to select your plant life, don’t be afraid to choose interesting varieties.
Add colour and textures, and consider all the different height levels in your outdoor space. You can plant directly at ground level, use potted plants for mid level, and add height with climbing vines and hanging plants.
Depending on your prefered style, you can include anything from Japanese garden plants to tropical-style gardens.
Colourful flowers and lush greenery add the culminating touches to your outdoor entertaining area. A living wall adds a stunning visual accent to your backyard retreat which also serves as a great conversation piece when entertaining outdoors.
Add An Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen is where design mingles with the’ foodie’ in us all to create ultimate functional landscape accent for backyard entertaining.
An outdoor kitchen is particularly important if you want to take full advantage of the good weather to create the ultimate backyard dining experience.
When it comes time to design your outdoor kitchen you can keep it simple with a built-in grill or take it to the next level with a full kitchen.
From stylish countertops and top-of-the-line sinks to beautiful cabinets, outdoor refrigerators, and full outdoor bars – the possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.
Create a Separate Outdoor Dining Area
Not that you’ve envisioned your outdoor kitchen – where will you enjoy your wonderful meal? A dedicated backyard dining area is sure to complete your culinary nirvana. There’s nothing quite like outdoor dining.
To enjoy pleasant conversation and enjoy mouthwatering dishes underneath the sun and the stars is to experience a little slice of bliss.
Even if you dedicate only a small section of your backyard – it will be worth the effort. You can use garden walls, lattices, or even pergolas and gazebos to separate your dining area from the rest of the yard.
This dedicated space will create a cosy sense of privacy to enjoy your outdoor meals day and night.
Fire and Water
The elements of water and fire instantly create a soothing and relaxing environment. Whether you decide to add a pool to your backyard or opt for stand-alone water features (such as waterfalls and water walls), these landscape features inject tranquillity and relaxation into your outdoor space.
Ponds, fountains, and other types of custom water features are easy to maintain and provide a boost to your landscape design. You can even get creative by adding stones and rocks to create contrast and texture.
Whether you have a specific backyard design in mind or you need a little inspiration, we can help! When it comes time to create the ultimate backyard for entertaining, the design experts at Milestone have the creative vision and skills necessary to turn your dream into a reality.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Redesigning Your Already Designed Landscape
Your new villa is stunning. You’ve finally gotten the opportunity to have the interior you’ve always dreamed of. Outdoors, though, is another story.
You’ve “inherited” the former owners’ landscaping and you’re less than overjoyed with it. It is not “you” at all. It isn’t appropriate for you and your family’s needs. What can you do?
Redesigning or redecorating a room, or even a whole house, is often easily accomplished. New paint or wall coverings, some new carpets or flooring, a room addition or repurposing, and then there’s your personal touches – furniture, art work, accessories.
Outdoors, you typically have more space, but less room to work. Redesigning a landscape is no quick fix.
And that’s where you need professional help, like we give here at Milestone. There is a process for working a new and old design together, and here are somethings to consider.
Knowing What Landscape You’ve Got to Begin With
The first thing that needs to be taken into account is your current design and landscape. A plan of your existing space needs to be drawn up.
- What is the purpose of each part of the garden?
- Are there features such as a pool, water feature, or fire feature?
- What about architecture – gazebos, pergolas, decking?
- What plants are there, and how are they planted – in raised beds, defined spaces, or groupings of pots or planters?
Knowing exactly what your existing landscape consists of can help greatly when it comes to redesigning it. There may be hidden benefits, such as shade or relaxing sounds and/or scents that you may not realize are there until observed and experienced closely.
It can also assist you in deciding your next step – how to use the space for your own purposes.
What Do You Want From Your Landscape?
Gardens typically have more than one purpose.
You want a space for entertaining, for relaxing, perhaps you need a play space for the children. Or a mini football pitch for the kids to practice their goalkeeping skills. And then there’s the family dog to think about.
Maybe you need it all – grownup space, play area, and pet space all in one.
Deciding what “room” goes where in your outdoor living area is just as important as deciding what color to paint the rooms inside. When working with an existing landscape design, you may be able to retain a space or two, or simply repurpose them, to meet your needs.
That carefully manicured grass may be just the thing for those after-school football matches. The patio under the pergola may make a lovely entertaining area.
And the plantings under the tree by the garden wall may have to be sacrificed so Farasha can have a space of her own.
Using a professional landscaping company like Milestone ensures that your desired plan and your existing plan can work together with minimal loss of use of the space.
What Landscape Can Stay, and What Goes?
Now that you know what you’ve got to work with, and you know what you want to get out of your landscape, you have the most important decision to make – deciding what to keep and what absolutely MUST go.
Unless you want to lose months of use of your outdoor living space, you may want to keep major changes to a minimum. If that is not a concern, then you may decide to keep nothing and change it all.
Again, your professional landscape designer can tell you approximately how long your landscape will be out of commission during the redesign.
Large features like pools and walls, and even some architectural features may just have to stay, at least for winter.
Even though it doesn’t rain much, rain CAN delay your project, or prohibit it from progressing altogether. That means you may have to put up with some of the former owners’ design elements for a little while.
Also, certain plantings may be necessary for the health of your landscape. Large trees may provide much needed shade and water retention. Other plantings and/or architecture may be holding back soil erosion, or providing cover for an unsightly retaining wall or other view.
Don’t forget to consider the noise-dampening qualities of certain types of lush foliage, too. What may look like an unruly bed of greenery may help to keep the sounds of nearby traffic at bay.
Incorporating Your Own Style in to Your Landscape
You’ve taken a close look at what you’ve got. You’ve assessed how you want to use your landscape. You know what you want and what you can or need to keep, and what can go.
Now, how do you get YOU into your old owners’ landscape?
Use Your Favorites
Have a favorite flower or combination of flowers?
Remove existing plantings and replace them with your favorites, if your designer says it is possible. Bring in your favorite stepping stones or type of garden path. Add a sauna or wading pool for the family to enjoy.
That spot by the corner may make a perfect koi pond, much to the delight of the children. Bring your own personality and style into your landscape by simply adding some of what you know you like.
Replace Features and Accessories
Add your own style by using your own accessories and architecture. That old gazebo can come down, and a beautiful pergola can go in its place.
Those awnings by the pool are NOT your taste and must go, to be reconstructed in shades of your own favorite color and style.
That statue in the fountain, or perhaps the entire fountain itself, can be switched out for something more to your liking.
Small changes can make a BIG difference in how you feel about your landscape.
Use The Space In Your Own Way
Your landscape may not be exactly what you want it to eventually be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Use it as you see fit, and as best as you can.
That shady spot under the tree may prove the perfect place to escape with a book and a cool drink on a stressful day. That gazebo may not be to your liking, but it’s still a wonderful place to entertain your friends.
The fire feature by the waterfall may not appeal visually, but it can be a pleasant place to spend evenings with the family. Use the landscape you have in your own way, and it will naturally become your own.
Landscape Design and Milestone
At Milestone, we understand landscape design. We have experienced designers who can create the perfect landscape for you, either from scratch, or by redesigning an existing plan.
We can help you in every step of the landscape redesign process, from plotting out what you’ve got, to creating your own style and spaces with it.
Contact us today for a consultation. We’d love to see you have a landscape to love.
Owning a Slice of The World
By Kuheli Sen
Looking out at the leafy world through the large bay windows of this charming tapas bar in Mallorca, as the owner extols the virtues of authentic local cooking styles in a smattering of Spanglish, one mulls how the same can be said of architecture.
The well-heeled home-maker knows the difference between Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudi.
And their home is sure to be distinct from all others for they tend to pick up memories and lifestyles besides the regular knick-knacks from the world over.
The opulent world of their own they create finally is as inspired by Bali’s Ubud as the profusion of pillars and ornate tastes of the Mediterranean, they will incorporate indoor gardens, perhaps even infuse bright colours of the Philippines or borrow the sober English shades.
The number of villas inspired by Mediterranean and tropical indigenous architecture in Dubai is testimony to this nod to adapting vernacular styles.
And how one adopts these native styles and owns them adding a personal touch every time, bringing home the best of world’s cultures, is nothing short of a marvel.
A lot of influences colour Dubai homes melding modernist lines with the tropical rustic, refining them to suit local needs.
Some distinct styles are more sought after, some for their clean simplicity that embraces the future even as it holds on to the past; some for innovative use of local materials while others for the inherent philosophy itself.
If Zen be the quest, then one looks to Bali, the divine Indonesian island. The Balinese style is centuries-old reflecting the island’s traditions and ancient Javanese elements. Use of coconut wood, bamboo poles, teak wood, stone and bricks are traits of this form.
Luxury villas make effective use of Balinese architecture for infusing a relaxed tropical atmosphere that is in tune with the environment.
Spatial organisation is prominent in this design philosophy focussing on good ventilation, strong foundation, spacious front yards, high walls protecting from prying eyes and the villa itself will have separate zones for different uses connected through a series of gates.
Another key element is beautifully landscaped gardens with decorative tropical plants bringing one closer to nature, most often with a water feature to reinforce the calming and relaxing ambience.
Another popular tropical inspiration is Hawaiian. High, steep roofs are characteristic of this style. The original Hawaiian thatch homes of yore, hales, though were more or less grass cabins with typical high roofs and square holes for windows resulting in surprisingly cool interiors.
Today one can spot massage huts, and sometimes bars, reminiscent of the hale in many resorts. Interestingly, the Hawaiian design philosophy too calls for separate sections for separate activities.
Using the horizon as the reference point, the Maui builders used their body parts to measure.
Since integrating with the United States in 1959 as its 50th state, a new landscape was sketched in Hawaii, that of tropical modernism.
It was but natural that the architects of this new land were the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Russian modernist Vladimir Ossipoff known for his avowed dislike for “ugliness”.
One gets a taste of this tropical modernism from the moment of stepping down on the tarmac at the airport at Honolulu.
Sample the concept of indoor and outdoor patios, known locally as lanai, blooming border gardens and a general sense of openness, all hallmarks of this tropical form.
A third most liked form is that of tropical chic, a muse for many a well-travelled owner and what better than Maldives to infuse some tropical appeal.
This island paradise espouses green and sustainable architectural practices, whether it is in sourcing materials for construction that makes good use of indigenous resources such as coral stone and plant products or the stress on simplicity.
The theme here is laid-back and unfussy. The clean lines are not grand or verbose but whisper an understated minimalism that sets this style a class apart.
Beating a similar rhythm to the other two forms, indigenous Maldivian architecture too calls for certain functions to be built separately, such as the badhige (kitchen) and even bathrooms.
While such extreme measures might have suited housing needs of a bygone era, a touch of modernism has refined the simplicity to suit 21st century demands. Maldivian houses also accentuate ventilation and lighting techniques.
Bringing home a whiff of the roads travelled by building a personal Shangri-La is now possible. Irrespective of what one fancies, what is paramount is the sensitivity to the surroundings and being true to the chosen style.
With Milestone working on your behalf, you can capture a slice of these distant lands within your home in a tasteful and personal manner.
During a complimentary design consultation with our expert designers, we can show you how to bring your space to life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
On our visit to Italy this time, we went through the usual Rome-Florence-Venice routine, and then on a whim, or perhaps because friends raved about it, took a leisurely drive along the Amalfi coastline.
And what an experience awaited us! Enchanting is perhaps too scant a word to describe this 50-km stretch in the Campania region.
What does it not have by way of dalliance – pastel vistas, diminutive beaches, azure bays, enigmatic grottos, quaint fishing villages, rugged shores, and terraced vineyards?
Then there are the famed lemon groves conveniently tucked into the landscape reminding you of the fragrant chilled glass of Limoncello awaiting you on the hotel balcony opening up to an expanse of blue blue sea.
The serenity makes it hard to imagine that Amalfi was once a bustling maritime power to reckon with, until that fateful earthquake of 1343. It was followed by a massive tsunami, which saw most of the old city claimed by the sea.
So, much of what we see today is relatively new. It is interesting to note that the architecture of this region has heavy Arabian, Sicilian and Norman influences.
Juxtapose that with the number of villas built in the Mediterranean style in Dubai and you find a striking affinity with the surroundings.
The Amalfi landscape, incidentally also a World Heritage Site, is verdant with gardens, both public and private spaces.
Ravello, for instance, has played muse to many a philosophic heart. Its spectacular gardens and elegant estates that found a common chord with writers D.H.
Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster, and composer Richard Wagner, more than complement the striking Mediterranean views.
Gardens, one feature that we don’t exploit often enough in our homes, are on full display here, painting the vista in myriad colours –pink Bougainvilleas draped over pretty pergolas, majestic Pandanus and palms share space with vibrant roses and pastel hydrangeas, offering stunning views from the many lookout points or belvederes.
Of course, the temperate weather of Amalfi makes the outdoor more inviting, but that does not mean that tropical climates such as Dubai cannot boast of green havens.
In Dubai, technology has played a huge role in turning the city green with blooming flowers and luxuriant plants almost everywhere, which is nothing short of a miracle considering that it is in reality a desert!
Bringing in the outdoors is possible today with some effective planning. For example, most homes that boast of some greenery ensure constant and proportionate watering.
If you are looking for inspiration, then Amalfi has all the right answers. The high point of Ravello, a picturesque town in its own right, has to be the famed Villa Rufolo that is the setting for Wagner’s ‘enchanted garden’.
The garden itself is true to its name and a riot of colours spread across two levels. Hydrangea, Japanese Spindle, Holly, Oleander, Rosemary, Hawthorn, and many more flowering plants prettify the garden while Cedar, Cypress, Ginkgo, Olive and varieties of lime are just some of the trees.
Such an extensive variety will not be possible in Dubai but a resilient and low-maintenance selection can include Raphis palm, Oleander, Pandanus, Ixora, Caecilpinia, Ruelia, Duranta, Bauhinia, Flame of the Forest and Alstonia among several others.
However, the key to a successful garden is in planning the little details that make the natural beauty stand out and shine. The architects of these Mediterranean gardens knew just how to accentuate the glory of nature.
Notice the calm cloister leading to stunning views of a garden bursting with joyous colours or the stark walls forming an apt backdrop for a fiesta of creepers.
Even today, smart use of hardscapes such as gazebos and pergolas can work wonders to transform a space. An elegant brick pathway or simply some stepping stones can add that old world charm.
While natural stone paving is practically on the verge of extinction with ceramic and porcelain tiles ruling the roost, if old is what still enchants you, use natural stones.
Lingering on in Amalfi is easy, there is so much to captivate the mind. Travelling around Christmas has its benefits – a glimpse of the popular presepes (nativity scene) complete with intricate and life-like figurines of shepherds, pizza makers, shepherds and sheep!
These presepes are prepared at this time of the year and are generally placed near or in fountains, sometimes they are so elaborate that they are permanent features of the landscape.
In Dubai climes, fountains and other such water features can lend to a cooling and soothing effect in addition to beautifying the area. There is a world of possibility once you find your muse. Are you ready for your green getaway?
If you’d like a slice of the Amalfi coast in your home, contact us for a complimentary consultation today.
For some time now, celebrity have been gravitating towards the luxurious villas nestled in the heart of Dubai. Among these investors are an elite group of Bollywood stars who have dazzled audiences with their stunning performances over the years.
Once the cameras are off, and the movie set has wrapped, these Bollywood stars head to their Dubai villas to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation in their personal sanctuary. So let’s take a look at who’s living among the Bollywood celebrity elite in Dubai.
Investing in Luxurious Villas in Dubai
For some of the most famous Bollywood stars, Dubai offers a corner of the world where they can escape their celebrity in the lap of luxury, spending time with their family and friends.
Sharukh Khan’s K-93 villa, located at the Al Khasab Cove of the Palm Jumeirah. Painted in a pristine, modern white the two-floor villa is spread over an expansive 8,500 sq. ft., this extraordinary villa is more aptly called a personal palace.
Complete with a lush green garden, the exterior of their luxurious villa is open to visitors, the inside entry, featuring grand archways, is restricted.
When spending time at their Dubai villa, the Khan family enjoys all the amenities of Jumeirah, to include access to water sports, a private beach, deep sea fishing and shopping.
Abhishek and Aiswarya Bachchan
Bollywood power couple Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan own a glamorous villa in Sanctuary Falls, Jumeirah Golf Estates. With no expense spared, each villa in the community comes furnished with Scavolini designer Kitchen and Miele appliances, a family lounge equipped with a Bang & Olufsen Home entertainment system, and an advanced home automation system by Archimedia.
Priced between AED 15 to 35 million, each villa features a lush landscaped garden and resort style swimming pool. When they aren’t enjoying their dedicated concierge service, the Bachchan’s enjoy all the comforts and amenities of Sanctuary Falls.
Milestone Home & Interiors
You don’t have to be a Bollywood star to turn your home into a luxurious villa to escape the hustle and bustle of life.
At Milestone, designing houses and planning interiors is our speciality! We are experts at creating architecturally infused, stylish, and functional villa interior designs.
Whether you are planning a modern bathroom remodel, transforming your master bedroom or enhancing your dining area to entertain family and friends, our villa interior design team will bring a touch of modern beauty to your home décor.
Perhaps you’re looking to elevate your backyard. Our landscape design team can transform your backyard into a fun and exciting space to entertain family and friends.
From outdoor kitchens and dining areas to pools, custom water features and pergolas, we can design a build the backyard of your dreams.
if you’re considering upgrading your existing home or you are moving into a new property, book a complimentary design consultation with us.
we’ll help you gain clarity of what you truly want and help you understand the time and cost associated with your project:
You may be wondering what the difference between landscape design and garden design? We all want to have a beautiful and functional outdoor space that we can enjoy. A place to escape the hustle and bustle of life in our own personal outdoor oasis.
However, creating this space is a time-consuming and daunting task. Thankfully, there are professional landscapers and gardeners who will complete the planning and work necessary to bring your vision to life.
These professionals can use landscaping and garden design to create your garden. The professional landscape designers at Milestone have outlined the differences for your future reference.
What is Gardening
Garden design in its most basic sense is the method of designing and planting a new garden. Similar to landscaping, gardening involves design, planning and maintenance, but gardening generally only involves the plant life in a space.
Gardening involves growing plants and flowers ranging from planting to a single plant to an entire variety of plants.
Gardening also involves growing and caring for plants in pots or in the ground. However, garden designers will not build your garden for you; you will need to go to a landscaping company bring your design to life.
Gardeners will often work with a landscape design team to incorporate the garden and plant life for the overall design plan.
What is Landscaping
Landscaping is the process of altering your landscape (front or backyard) transforming it into your personal sanctuary.
Landscaping involves incorporating design elements, such as installing retaining walls, pathways, building small structures such as pergolas, gazebos, patios, installing water features, pools and other features within an area.
The purpose of landscaping is to increase the attractiveness, functionality and value of your outdoor space. Landscaping may also include aspects of gardening, such as installing new garden beds, planting trees, plants and flowers.
Gardening vs. Landscaping
Definition: The practice of growing plants outdoors or indoors.
Practiced: Can be done by anyone.
Purpose: Hobby or interest.
Definition: The design and construction of gardens and outdoor spaces.
Practiced: Completed by professional landscape designers.
Purpose: Designed to achieve a desired aesthetic, and to create and build a space with a specific purpose.
Landscapers and Gardeners Working Together
Landscape design teams often work together with their in-house gardening team. Together they will sketch a design for a garden and determine a plant list.
However, the gardeners only plant, weed, cultivate, replace and harvest various plants. Whereas the landscape team conceive and develop all other aspects of your outdoor space.
Your landscape team design and build the blueprints for your outdoor space, to include:
• Custom Lighting Features
• Outdoor Living Areas
• Outdoor Kitchens
• Fire Pits and Fire Walls
• Custom Water Features
If you are ready to transform your backyard into a luxurious outdoor retreat, the professional landscape design team at Milestone is here to help.
if you’re considering upgrading your existing home or you are moving into a new property, book a complimentary design consultation with us.
we’ll help you gain clarity of what you truly want and help you understand the time and cost associated with your project:
You’ve spent a lot of time and money to turn your villa into your personal sanctuary. However, finding the right items for your home is only half the battle. The professional interior designers in Dubai at Milestone are here to help!
Where you place your ottoman or sofa will dramatically impact the appearance of your space. To help you create the most beautiful space, the interior designer team at Milestone have compiled a few tricks of the trade that will help make your space flow better.
Follow these simple tips to create an elegant, fluid space in your modern home.
Create Space in Between Your Furniture
Whether you are looking to add new furniture or are determining where to place your current pieces, interior designers recommend leaving plenty of space between each item.
Leaving space between your items allows your family and guests to move easily around your living space without bumping into other items.
As simple as this seems, providing space between each item allows for easy mobility and will create flow in your interior design.
Establish a Focal Point in Your Space
Whether you are in the living room or in your master bedroom, there should always be a focal point in every room of your home.
It can be a larger item, such as a custom piece of furniture, a light fixture or a water wall – whatever you choose, it will anchor your space.
The item you choose should draw attention to your space and work to bring the entire room together.
One of the first things your interior designer will tell you is to avoid the clutter.
Decorative items are great additions to your interior design. They personalize your space and inject your style into your space making it feel comfortable and cozy. However, too many items can clutter your space.
Start with a few special pieces, such as a unique sculpture or work of art, and add more items sparingly. These items will create a decorative theme for the room without it feeling overly cluttered.
Arrange Your Furniture According to Your Rug Size
A lovely area rug is a great addition to elevate your space. If you have an area rug, be sure to think about the placement of your furniture.
For larger rugs, consider placing all of your furniture on top of the rug. This can help to create a segregated space in a larger room.
For smaller rugs, consider placing your furniture around the rug rather than on top of it. Placing all of your pieces on a small rug creates a tighter space which results in poor flow.
When you place your furniture around a small rug, it will serve as a decorative feature for your room, while adding comfort to your space.
Are you grappling to find the right pieces for your space? Sometimes the vision in your head can be hard to recreate in life. That’s where the interior designers in Dubai can help.
At Milestone, we can help you find the inspiration to make your home shine with your personality and personal style. We can help you turn your vision into a reality!
From curating the best pieces to custom designing any piece of furniture or cabinetry you desire, our team of design experts are here to help. Contact us today for your free interior design consultation. We look forward to working with you.
Few colours are as playful and stunning as turquoise. Whether you’re using it for an accent wall or as a decorative accent, this vibrant colour can be whimsical, bold, lively, or dreamy.
Why Decorate with Turquoise
Turquoise is far more than another colour from the gemstone family. With its various hues, shades and tones the colour is deeply imbued in human history as a colour that brings harmony, peace and lasting happiness.
Often referred to as the summer shade, this stunning jewelled colour is perfect for any season.
Turquoise can be used in traditional and classic rooms or modern, contemporary spaces.
Mix and Match with Other Colours
Because it has both cool and warm undertones, turquoise will compliment just about every other colour.
For a whimsical and feminine appeal, considering mixing the colour with pinks, soft greens and lavenders. Looking to create a more masculine vibe, consider pairing it with hunter green, chocolate brown or charcoal.
If you are feeling lively, you can create the feeling of spring all year long by decorating your room with turquoise and lime green. Mixing it with yellow is a great way to create a sunny, vibrant ambience all year long.
Decorating with Colour Creates Exciting Accent Walls
Like many energetic colours, turquoise is often used to add a pop of colour to an accent wall. It adds light and energy to an otherwise neutral dining room or kitchen.
Consider adding a vibrant colour to an accent wall in a room with natural wood and warm whites. Or add a splash of colour and dimension to dark coral walls as well.
A paler, bluer turquoise works in a full room and creates a colourful backdrop for black and white modern decor. The possibilities are endless with this versatile colour.
Stone tiles with vibrant accents create a lovely decorative accent for your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor landscape design. Subtle, yet stunning using tile creates a luxurious addition to your home or office space.
Use Your Accessories
Our interior designers can take an ordinary piece of furniture from drab to stunning with a fresh coat of paint. Do you have a piece of furniture that needs a little love? Consider painting it turquoise!
Looking to add a splash of feminine flair to your space? The combination of pink and turquoise is both energetic and feminine. Throw in some white accents to keep your palette fresh.
Add this decorative colour to your existing décor by carefully selecting accents. Highlight your white walls with colourful lamps, decorative art, or drapes.
Focus on One Area
In a large room, you can create a separate space by using colour. For example, your seating area can feature a combination of turquoise armchairs, matching accent pillows and an area rug incorporating the same colour.
A symmetrical décor makes a room feel more comfortable and inviting. If you decide to add an area rug with colourful accents, consider also adding a bold chandelier or pendant light. The key is to use the colour to create a separate space.
It’s ok to be subtle. Your colour doesn’t need to be bold or dark to stand out. Even when you use a very light shade of turquoise, this stunning shade can be a vibrant accent for your home as long as your other colours come to its aid.
Decorating with colour can do wonders to reinvent your space. Are you looking to take your interior colour palette to the next level? Contact the interior design professionals at Milestone for your free consultation.
Home extensions can be both exciting and daunting.
On one hand, you are adding to your villa. On the other hand, there are so many pieces of the puzzle to consider.
After building beautiful home extensions throughout Dubai and the UAE over the past two decades, there are a few things the experts at Milestone have learned along the way!
We’ve compiled the most important things you need to know before you embark on your home extension.
What’s Your Budget?
Determining your budget is one of the more fundamental aspects of your home extension projects.
Before you make any decisions (and ideally before you contact your design team), you should take a minute or two, and decide how much you would like to spend on your home extension project.
Once you’ve given yourself a budget, your design team will be able to stick to it. They’ll provide you with cost effective solutions and options that meet your project requirements and personal tastes.
What Do You Want to Achieve with Your Home Extension?
Before you invest in a villa extension, it’s important that you understand what you want to achieve with your new space.
Are you looking for a new living area that the entire family can enjoy? Do you envision an extra room for a home office or new addition to the family? Perhaps you want an expansive kitchen and dining area to entertain family and friends?
What you want to do your new space and what you want to use your extension for will determine what kind of alterations you need to make to your home.
How Long Will it Take?
House extensions don’t happen instantly or even overnight.
Setting aside the actual design and build processes, planning permissions and building permits take time. Keep this in mind and remain calm and patient.
When planning a home extension, we always recommend considering the time of year, factor in personal variables such as holidays, family events and other occasions to avoid any massive disruption to your routine.
Once you do decide the best time frame for your home extension, the secret is to plan as far ahead as possible.
Be sure to share your timeline with your design team from the start. This will help keep the project on time and ensures everyone is on the same page.
There are Rules and Permits Required
With local councils invested in the changes that happen in their local communities, there are rules and regulations that villa owners must comply with.
You may be surprised to discover that where you once had a window positioned in your existing villa, it’s no longer permissible in your new renovation.
The only solution is to work within the guidelines and to choose a design team who has experience in dealing with your local planning department and the residential regulations.
This ensures all permits are obtained and that all renovations meet local building guidelines.
Hire an Expert
If you’re like most people, you have neither to skills or time to complete your home extension on your own.
Like many other things in life, when in doubt you should hire a professional! It’s best to partner with design professionals to guarantee that your villa extension turns out exactly how you envision it.
When you’re planning a home extension, it’s essential that you hire the right people.
And the right people are professional designers and builders.
Before hiring a design and build team for your villa extension conduct a thorough background check on any company you are considering working with.
Take a look at their recently completed projects, client testimonials and their industry reputation.
At Milestone, we take pride in helping you transform your space.
Whether you want to add a single room or an entire wing, our team of professional designers and builders are excited to bring your vision to life.
Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how we can get your project started off on the path to completion.
Gardening is a rewarding pursuit. At Milestone, we are in love with the entire garden design process. However, there’s so much to learn, and only so much you can absorb in a single growing season.
So we’ve come up with a list of helpful tips to get you started towards designing and growing your lavish green garden!
Before You Start Digging, Make a Design Concept Plan
Before you get involved with the physical aspects of bringing your garden to life, such as sourcing, purchasing and installing your plants and accessories, you should have a clear and concise creative vision.
You need to invest as much time as possible into really knowing what you want from your garden in advance. Place your plan on paper to help you see how your design elements will work together. This also allows you to make changes as necessary.
Planning is essential to growing a lavish green garden. Even if you are just beginning with your garden, you should never “wing it.” Start by learning about your climate and seasons.
Even if you are only starting with a few pots of herbs or flowering plants, understanding your climate, rainfall, soil type, and sunlight exposure is very important. All of this will help you determine the types of plants you can grow and what supplies you’ll need.
A garden is more than just plants and flowers. It will serve as your backyard sanctuary. Be sure to consider the various areas you want to add to your backyard garden. How will you and your family be using your it?
Do you want a sitting area or an outdoor kitchen for entertaining? Will you add a pool or fire pit for late night fun? All of these elements must be considered in your garden design plan.
So make a comprehensive schematic layout with full measurements to visualise how you will plan all the spaces in hardscape and softscape in your garden along with irrigation and lighting with full details of materials to be used.
It’s All About the Plants
When it comes to a growing a lush green garden, it’s all about the plants. Deciding what you want to grow may feel overwhelming, but it’s also fun!
Are you looking to elevate your garden with lush seasonal flowers in Winter months of October to March in UAE or do you wish to supplement your grocery budget with homegrown fruits and vegetables?
In Dubai and UAE climate, growing vegetables may be a bit tough with extreme heat for 6 months of the year but growing herbs like Rosemary , Basil.
Lemongrass, Mint and having fruiting trees like Mango, Pomegranate, Date, Chikoo, Lemon, Orange, Papaya, and Fig are possible throughout the year.
Tomatoes, Aubergine, Chillies and Cucumbers are some of the other vegetables that can be home grown during the 6 months growing period in Dubai. It’s quite exciting to do your own organic farming and a great learning experience for kids.
Do you want an evergreen garden with perennial planting so you do not keep on changing the seasonal flowers all the time, increasing costs and budget?
Perennial does not mean that it will keep flowering and fruiting. All plants have their seasons. It will bear flowers and fruits as per their season but when they are not flowering or fruiting, they will not perish.
They will shed leaves in fall and will revive back lasting for many years unless attacked by disease and not taken care of.
For planting in Dubai and UAE, look for heat tolerant varieties that will thrive in this area and climate. Be sure to plant according to the season, as sunlight and rainfall can make or break a garden.
Dubai has negligible rainfall so you must consider adding an automatic watering system to ensure your plants receive the water they require to grow and thrive. No gardener will visit your house 3-4 times a day.
Whereas the automatic timer can be set as per need to water the plants 3-4 times in the summer and twice in Winter.
Shed Some Light on Your Garden Creation
If you are going to entertain in your garden throughout the seasons, it’s crucial you incorporate efficient and stylish lighting. Luckily, the broad range of fittings available for your backyard garden is incredibly diverse.
Whether you invest in small and flexible spotlights or wall mounted down lights, you can customize your lighting to create the desired shades and angles of light to illuminate your garden on even the darkest of nights.
During summer, the outdoor lighting will act as accents to highlight your garden so you can enjoy the views from indoor and in Winter, you will be able to entertain outside, enjoying the features and actually use the garden space effectively.
Incorporate Unique Outdoor Furniture & Sculptures
While the design and procurement of unique, custom made furniture are extremely popular in stylish luxury villas, it’s less common in outdoor and garden spaces.
Professional designers and carpenters can create one of a kind, bespoke garden furniture to help you cultivate an engaging environment for entertaining.
Custom furniture on your patio will add a ‘wow’ factor to your garden, and serve as a talking point for the friends and family you entertain in your new outdoor space.
Don’t Forget the Water Features and Living Walls
If you are short on space, you can still enjoy a lush green garden. Consider transforming your exterior villa wall into a lush living wall.
Complete with plants and water features, living walls add an element of natural elegance to your outdoor space, even when square footage is limited.
There are few things in life as soothing and naturally relaxing as the sight and sound of water. Outdoor gardens provide the perfect opportunity to add water features and waterfalls to your backyard.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when creating an outdoor garden space. When in doubt, turn to the design professionals at Milestone.
Our team will help you transform your backyard into the oasis of your dreams. If you’ve created a beautiful garden, we’d love to see it.
Need a little inspiration, please check our latest design in the Milestone portfolio or visit our Show villa in Jumeira Park.
Interior design comes naturally to some people.
For others, it takes an education and the help of a professional interior designer to be able to create beautiful spaces.
Whether you know what you want but are too busy to bring that vision to life, or you have no idea where to start, a professional interior designer will help you create your dream space.
Whether you are looking to decorate a single room or an entire house or office space, there are a few interior design tips you must know to help you conquer your next big design project:
Personalize Your Interior Design:
Your home or office is a reflection of your lifestyle and personality. In many ways, it’s an extension of yourself.
And like your own memories and experiences, decorating your villa takes thought and consideration.
From the door knobs and the wall art to unique sculptures and custom designed furniture, each aspect of your interior design scheme has the potential to tell your story.
Whether your taste is quirky, eclectic, traditional, modern, or minimalistic, surrounding yourself with things that inspire you will prove to be rejuvenating for your home and your spirit.
Create More Space:
Many people think they simply don’t have enough space to create a lovely, expansive interior.
Luckily, there are a few simple tricks that maximize every square foot of your villa or office:
1. Soft wall colors and comfortable furniture are simple solutions to create the illusion of expansive space for smaller rooms.
2. When you’re short on square footage, consider using floor length curtains. Even on small windows the right curtains will lend the the illusion of height.
3. Decorative wall mirrors not only make your room look and feel more expensive, but they also improve your natural lighting when placed opposite a window.
Make a Statement:
When it comes to creating a unique aesthetic, you simply can’t go wrong with a statement piece.
A well placed statement piece not only makes a big impact on your home, but it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests.
From patterned walls and living walls, to a piece of custom made furniture or a unique a work of art, there are plenty of options to consider to make statement in your space.
Function is Key:
When it comes to interior design, making your space comfortable and cozy is a must! Your space should be inviting and functional.
When it comes to interior design, function and comfort go hand in hand. Combining form with function is the key to keeping a villa organized and aesthetically pleasing.
You can even get creative! Decorative baskets, beds with hidden storage spaces, custom built bookcases and unique hanging racks are perfect examples of finding the blend between function and personality.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun:
Decorating the interior of your villa or office space is a fun and exciting time.
Above all else, remember to have fun! Embrace the design process and work with your design team to bring your vision to life.
Whether you are deciding your color palette, selecting the perfect curtains or simply determining where you should place your furniture, this is a great opportunity for your family to come together to create something that you all share and love for years to come.
The professional interior design team at Milestone is looking forward to helping you bring your interior design vision to life. If you can dream it, we can help you create it!
Need a little inspiration? Check out our latest designs at the Milestone portfolio or visit our Show Villa in Jumeira Park.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Have you been considering adding an indoor water feature to your home or office? There are so many reasons for adding a water feature to your interior design scheme, to include health benefits and general aesthetics. Here are a eight reasons to elevate your interior design with a unique water feature.
1. Sit Back and Relax:
Human beings have always been drawn to the natural healing power and calming effects of water. Indoor water features, such as fountains, provide the soothing sounds of flowing water.
The sounds of water have been reported to help people relax and can decrease stress in both personal and professional spaces.
2. Create an Interesting Focal Point:
An indoor water fountain or living wall will create a strong focal point to any room in your villa or office space. Water features can be incorporated for decorative purposes and are pleasing to anyone who sees them.
Regardless of how much space you have, a custom water feature will create an impressive focal point for your family, friends and clients.
3. Pleasant Background Noise:
An indoor water feature, such as a fountain of water wall, can be customized to be loud enough to drown out unpleasant background noise. However, the noise quality of water is never disruptive or disturbing.
The soothing sounds of water are often used to mask the unpleasant sounds of traffic or other minor annoying sounds.
4. Increase Negative Ions:
Indoor water features emit negative ions. These negative ions are the same ions found naturally around waterfalls and mountains. Research has shown that negative ions are released into the air as water evaporates from your water feature.
These negative ions cleanse the air you breathe. This clean air helps you focus and think more clearly. Improved air quality also helps the body reduce stress and fatigue.
5. Custom Made to Fit Your Space:
Whether you have a large space or are short on square footage, a custom designed water feature offers the perfect accent to elevate your interior design.
From small water fountains and waterfalls to large water walls, a professional interior designer can create the perfect water feature for you villa or office.
6. Add Life:
Water features provide the perfect foundation to incorporating plant life into your home or office. Whether you want to add a few plants around your water fountain, or want to design a full sized living wall with ornate waterfall, the only limitation is your imagination!
7. Visual Stimulation:
Not only does water produce a soothing and relaxing sound, it also produces a soothing visual stimulation. An indoor waterfall or fountain will transform your room or space into a tranquil oasis.
There are few things in life more beautiful to watch than water flowing down a natural slab of glass or stone. The attractive and peaceful appearance of an indoor waterfall or water feature will add natural beauty to your space.
There are many benefits to incorporating an element of water into your home or office. Among these benefits are the enjoyable and relaxing sound of trickling water, the attractive and peaceful appearance of a natural water and several health benefits directly related to indoor water features.
If you want to enjoy the peaceful, tranquil, beauty of an interior water feature, contact the design professionals at Milestone today. We’ll help you enhance your quality of life and visual aesthetics with the addition of a beautiful, custom designed indoor water fountain, water fall, or water wall. If you can dream it, the professionals at Milestone can design it!
When it comes time to renovate your villa, there are many benefits. Expanding your home provides an opportunity to express your individuality and style through your home, while simultaneously providing the space you need to live your life to the fullest!
With a plan, a vision and an understanding of the benefits for upgrading your villa, you are guaranteed to accomplish your desired villa renovation. Not only will your home look and feel fantastic, but you’ll enjoy additional benefits too!
Increase square footage
Who says your home has to stay the same size? As life moves forward your family may grow and there may come a time when you simply need more space!
A properly planned villa extension can add valuable square footage for an extra bedroom, larger kitchen or additional bathroom. Even if you have an empty nest, you may need a little more space to entertain family and friends in style.
An extension allows you to build the exact space you need to take you living space to the next level.
Save time and money
Rather than incurring the costs associated with moving into a new home, such as placing a large deposit and paying movers to relocate, consider setting that money aside to expand your home with a villa extension.
A villa extension will save you time and money in the long run. When executed properly, your villa extension will meet your budgetary needs while turning your vision for your home a reality!
Not to mention, a villa extension allows you to save the time associated with trying to sell your villa, house hunting, and the actual move itself.
Create the exact space you want
Rather than starting over in a new home, you can personalize your existing home with a villa extension. Have you always wanted a large kitchen with a walk out porch? What about a master suite with a spa bathroom and a walk in closet?
A villa extension provides the opportunity to create the exact space you want! Even if you aren’t seeking a full scale remodel or extension, our design experts can work with your existing space to transform it into exactly what you want.
We are experts in reconstructing walls and spaces to create your dream home! If you can dream it, the designers at Milestone can build it.
Home extensions provide the perfect opportunity to create the amount of space you need, allowing you to use your space exactly they way you want to.
Increase your villa value
Essentially, when you increase the square footage of your home, the value of your home will increase too.
Not only will a villa extension save you money in the short term (compared to a costly move), but home extensions provide an instant opportunity to increase the value of your home.
For example, if you design and construct a room that truly enhances the home’s overall design, it’s guaranteed to raise the market value of your home.
Choose a qualified expert
Many villa owners are overwhelmed by the choices and decisions in the early planning stages of their villa extension or retail fit-out project. It’s vital to hire a professional, licensed, and properly insured contractor from the very beginning of your project.
The experts at Milestone can assist you in determining how to create a custom floor plan for your home or office. We’re also experts at navigating those frustrating Dubai municipality and developer approvals required for your project.
Our designers and contractors take pride in helping you transform your villa with an extension that’s sure to create the home of your dreams.
Whether you desire an extra bedroom or a new space to entertain family and friends, you will not regret building onto your home.
Contact us today to get the ball rolling! Need a little more information? Take a look at a few of our recent villa extension projects.
Are you thinking about renovating your villa? Consider starting from the ground up and replace that old, outdated flooring! With all of the flooring options there’s a great deal to consider and it can feel overwhelming.
Not to worry. The experts at Milestone are here to help! We’ve compiled this helpful guide to help you consider the costs, benefits, and the disadvantages of each type of flooring before you commit.
A bit more expensive than other flooring options, marble flooring injects an instant refined beauty to any space while creating a rich look that is sure to impress.
For those individuals looking to add artistic design to their home, marble tiles can be arranged and prepared in creative ways to add an additional element to your home.
Additionally, marble possesses a unique veining with a wide range color options that truly make a standout, luxurious statement in any room.
Advantages of Marble Flooring
• Luxurious visual statement: Marble flooring instantly creates a stunning, attention-grabbing statement in any entryway or room.
• Create an artistic statement: Marble flooring is ideal for designer flooring with inlays, and it can be arranged in a manner that creates a creative work of art in your flooring pattern.
• Durable and strong: Marble is not only long lasting and durable, but it’s also water resistant and bacteria resistant.
• at a budget friendly price point.
Versatile and elegant, porcelain flooring tiles are an innovative product gaining popularity amongst villa owners and interior designers alike.
Fired at higher temperatures than conventional ceramic tile and constructed from super-fine porcelain clay, porcelain tiles are durable and made for demanding purposes for both interior and exterior spaces.
Benefits of porcelain flooring
• Variety: Porcelain flooring offers a wide variety in color and tile type, to include glazed and unglazed, high-gloss and refined, or textured to lend the illusion of stone.
• Sturdy, resilient and versatile: Porcelain flooring is resilient and resistant to wear and tear, and it can be applied both indoors and outdoors.
• Low maintenance: Porcelain flooring is resistant to staining and does not require any sealing for water resistance.
• Durable: Porcelain flooring is fired at much higher temperatures than standard ceramic tiles which allow them to last a lifetime, even in the highest traffic areas of your home or office.
Modern manufacturing techniques allow ceramic producers to produce materials that can be printed in a variety of ways providing you home with numerous design options.
There are few things in a home or office more inviting than beautiful, natural wood flooring. Whether you are creating a traditional or contemporary space, wood flooring is sure to take your space to the next level.
Benefits of wood flooring:
• Straightforward installation: Wood floors are milled to guarantee a durable and uniform fit in any room or space.
• High-quality appeal:: Wood flooring instantly provides a beautiful, high-end aesthetic with the warmth, charm, and beauty of rustic natural wood.
• Strength and durability: Wood flooring is strong, and made to withstand heavy foot traffic areas and active workspaces.
• Variety: Wood flooring comes in a wide variety, ranging in color, stain and specific wood types (i.e. oak, bamboo, etc.).
• Ageless quality: Wood ages gracefully and looks better with age. The more you use your hardwood floor, the better it will look!
Looking to keep it natural? Cork flooring provides an aesthetically appealing flooring option that looks as good as it feels! Available in tiles and planks in many styles, colors, and sizes, cork flooring is a unique flooring option that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Benefits of cork flooring
• Durable: Cork flooring resists cracking and abrasions and is impermeable to gas and liquid. When properly maintained, cork flooring can last 40 years or more.
• Healthy: Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and termites. Cork is also anti-microbial and does not shed microfibers or off-gas to negatively impact indoor air quality.
• Comfortable: A cork floor “gives” when compressed, providing a comfortable cushion that looks as good as it feels.
• Quiet: Cork is a natural thermal and acoustic insulator. Rooms with cork flooring are naturally quiet and warm.
• Aesthetically versatile: Cork flooring is available in tiles and planks in many styles, colors, and sizes. You can use cork planks to create an almost seamless-looking floor or create a nontraditional effect by alternating tile colors.
When it comes to your home or office, your flooring provides the first impression and foundation for your entire design. Why not start off on the right foot?
Contact the experts at Milestone to learn more about how we can help you renovate your space from the ground up with custom flooring solutions.
What better way to elevate your interior design than with an exceptional piece of custom designed furniture that speaks to the heart of your personal tastes? At Milestone, we believe in thoughtful design, extraordinary craftsmanship, and innovation.
Our custom made furniture is sketched by our talented designers and handcrafted by skilled artisans in our onsite joinery.
The result a one of a kind, quality crafted custom piece that will stand the test of time. So what are some of the benefits of owning custom made furniture?
1. A Time Honored Tradition
Not so long ago, furniture pieces were built by hand instead of mass produced on a manufacturing line. Craftsmen earned a living making tables, chairs, cabinets, dressers, vanities, bookshelves and headboards to order.
In the current climate of mass production, there’s an element of pride in custom built items that you simply can’t purchase on a shelf.
With the creation of every chair, table, bench, and stool, woodworkers strive to build custom furniture that will last for generations. When you purchase a custom made piece of furniture, you are supporting the time honored traditions of woodworking and joinery.
2. Tailored to You
When you work together with an artisan to create a one of a kind item, you can bypass the middlemen and their styles.
With a custom crafted piece of furniture, you can embrace your creative vision and share it with a skilled professional to bring your personal taste to life.
Whatever your tastes or requirements are, an artisan can work with you to create tailored, unique pieces. They will design and craft your piece to your exact specifications and dimensions.
3. Focus on quality
Making a one-off piece of furniture involves a level of care and focus unparalleled by mass-produced items. Our carpenters and artisans never produce flat-packed furniture to reduce costs reduce costs (and qualities).
Instead, skilled woodworkers treat each custom made piece like the work of art that it is. They take pride in their work, as it is a direct reflection of their craft.
4. Build an Emotional Connection
Commissioning a custom crafted piece of furniture introduces sentimentality and meaning into your interior design. Your one-off piece of furniture allows you to connect with an artisan and learn about their craft.
Working with an artisan grants you the opportunity to select and appreciate the materials and production methods used to bring your vision to life.
It’s an investment in a timeless piece and story that can be enjoyed and passed down for generations.
5. Custom Furniture Collections
Transform your design style with functional, beautiful furniture pieces to create an inviting living space. Dive into cozy custom upholstered sofas, chaise lounges, and side chairs.
Complete the look with a unique accent table, console and end tables. Impress dinner guests with formal dining room furniture or cook up a striking “stay-a-while” mood with a casual kitchen table and chair set.
From the classic style and modern furniture designs to luxurious and Italian furniture styles, our custom furniture collections update villas and office spaces with the latest design styles and trends.
Have something particular in mind? Our carpenters and artisans will custom build your piece of furniture to your exact specifications and personal style. Contact us today to learn more!
Whether you desire modern furniture, classic furniture, luxury furniture, Italian furniture or custom made furniture, the interior design professionals and joinery experts at Elite Fit Out are ready to turn your vision into a reality.
Contact us today to start furnishing your home or office in unique style. We look forward to working with you.
From outdated flooring and fixtures to funky colored tile, most homeowners know the first place a villa starts to show dating or wear and tear is in the bathroom.
So it’s no surprise that when it comes to home improvement projects, one of the first rooms people look to remodel is the bathroom.
We’ve put together a list of the top benefits associated with transforming that outdated bathroom into the luxurious home spa you’ve been dreaming of!
Add more space
Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough room in your bathroom to truly enjoy it? Remodeling your bathroom provides ample opportunity to make the most of your space.
Whether you are looking to expand square footage or add flexible storage options, the bathroom is a perfect place to start! A properly planned bathroom design will ensure you have plenty of space to relax and unwind after a long day.
You can start simple and maximize space with properly-designed layouts using fixtures that fit better within your space or add space to your bathroom with a major remodel.
Whether it’s swapping out your oversized vanity for a more streamlined one or adding creative storage solutions, a bathroom remodel will help you create a bathroom that will work best for your needs.
Correct and update features
Whether it’s a sink that perpetually leaks or you’re tired of those cracked tiles, a bathroom renovation grants homeowners the opportunity to fix any unsafe or outdated features in their bathrooms.
Even the smallest upgrade can make a difference. Consider replacing outdated handles, faucets, and lighting fixtures for an instant improvement.
If you plan on staying in your home, updating bathroom features can improve the look and feel of your entire villa. In fact, a bathroom makeover might be exactly what you need to reconceptualize your entire living space!
Energy efficient bathrooms
The world is going green, and it’s time to stop wasting your valuable energy fixing leaks and using a plunger!! Energy efficient homes save billions in costs associated with energy and water.
By improving your bathrooms efficiency, you’ll improve your efficiency. Replace leaky faucets and water-wasting toilets with new, sleek, efficient plumbing solutions.
Trade out traditional light bulbs for energy efficient LED bulbs. With just a few cost effective solutions the savings will start pouring in!
Create a more luxurious and modern bathroom
While updating fixtures is a great place to start, a fullscale bathroom remodel will transform your bathroom into a luxurious, relaxing, modern home spa!
Would you like to watch your favorite television program while relaxing in a Jacuzzi tub surrounded by bubbles and soothing jets?
Or perhaps you’d enjoy a warm toilet seat during a cool evening? When it comes to sinks, toilets, showers, spa tubs, bathroom cabinets, and custom lighting, the possibilities are only limited by your vision!
When remodeling your bathroom, you can inject some of the luxuries of our modern age, making this area of your home more attractive, functional and enjoyable.
Increase the value of your home
Remodeling your bathroom can instantly increase the value of your home. By replacing outdated features with stylish and energy efficient toilets, spa bathtubs, glass showers, and sinks, you can enhance the aesthetics of your bathroom while simultaneously increasing the value of your home.
If you plan to stay in your villa for awhile, you’ll recoup the costs as you experience the relaxation and luxury of your newly remodeled bathroom.
If you intend to sell your home, not only will you recover the costs by adding value to your home, but a recently remodeled bathroom is sure to entice your buyer!
When it comes to the bathroom, even the tiniest upgrade can create a major impact. Not only can your bathroom become a place of relaxation and retreat, but a properly planned bathroom renovation will ensure all your fixtures and plumbing are working properly and efficiently.
So if you’re looking to improve the function of your bathroom while simultaneously increasing your property value, start with the bathroom!
Contact the bathroom design experts at Milestone to get started today!
Instantly elevate your interior from drab to fab with a fresh coat of paint! Why do we find one space appealing and others unsettling or mundane? Why are we attracted to one color over another?
Whether architectural or in products, color accounts for 60% of our response to an object or a place.
Here are a few tips for painting your interior to create a warm and welcoming space everyone is sure to enjoy.
Wherever we go, we respond to color. It impacts our mood and whether or not we feel at ease in space. Often called “color psychology,” the effects of color range from subtle to significant and are also psychological and physical.
Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.
Start Small & Think About Your Mood
If you’re not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a small space, such as a bathroom, small hall or with an accent wall. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with your interior painting process, think of it as an adventure.
To get started, consider selecting a color inspired from your favorite artwork, a rug, dishes, or furniture piece to feature as an accent color or main color.When choosing your color, think about the mood you wish to create for the room.
Do you want your bedroom to feel soothing and restful or intimate and dramatic?Soft, pastel colors and cool neutrals create a relaxing atmosphere while powerful colors create a bold and dramatic impact.
Be careful not to over stimulate your space with intense bright colors, as some bold colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Have you ever wondered why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips? Light changes the way a color presents itself. Natural daylight reveals color in its truest form.
Incandescent lighting is best for yellows and warm tones and fluorescent lighting emits a sharp blue tone.Ultimately, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on walls next to large windows.
However, these bright colors may prove effective when used as an accent wall highlighted with indirect light. When choosing your paint color, it’s always best to consider the lighting of your room.
Learn the Color Terms
When painting your interior, it helps to understand the terminology used to describe a color.
• Hue is what we call a color. For example, blue is the hue; yellow is the hue.
• The value of the hue is how dark or light the color is.
• Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. For example, as we go from pink to red, the red hue becomes more dominant.
• Intensity is the brilliance of the color. Pure colors such as red, blue and yellow are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green or pinkish-red. An intense stronger color usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want to create a more dynamic space, consider including more intense colors. If you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than light pastel or off-white.
Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room.However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors could create a glowing effect when added to the same room.
Play with Different Finishes
A single color used on trims and walls takes on new significance when applied in various finishes. For example, trim and wall colors can remain the same hue but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semi-gloss on the trim.
The color will appear slightly altered on each surface. This is a perfect way to create a cohesive look in rooms with multiple doors and windows.
Test Your Color Choice
Whether you are painting an entire room or an accent wall, increase your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don’t be afraid to move beyond your comfort zone.
Consider strong, lively colors or soft, intense neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors.
You can also add a dramatic impact with a strong color on the ceiling. A painted ceiling can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
A few quick changes with paint can transform your space, revitalizing your environment and elevating your mood. What colors do you prefer in your living room or dining room?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.Not sure where to start? Contact the interior designers at Milestone for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!
Aside from considering the aesthetics and safety of a space, one must also consider adding eco-friendly accents to their interior design scheme.
Decorating a villa while considering the environment and the health and wellness of the people enjoying your space is called sustainable designing. It’s easier that you think. With a few simple changes you can transform your space.
The expert interior designers at Milestone have compiled a few tips to get you headed down the path to sustainable interior design.
Place Plants as Decorations
Placing plants in your home or office instantly adds the soothing element of the great outdoors. Additionally, plants help filter air and aid in removing harmful elements in the room.
Peace lilies, Sensevaria, areca palms, Ficus, Boston fern, bamboo palms or gerbera daisies are particularly helpful for purifying the air. Consider adding a vertical living wall or a water wall with plants.
Be sure to choose flowers and plants that fit with your home. Indoor custom water features also add the soothing sights and sounds of water, adding to the soothing ambiance of your home.
Let the Sunlight In
Letting in the sunlight and maximizing the daylight is another way to instantly create an eco-friendly interior. There are many simple ways to add more light to your home. Start by pulling back the curtains and shades during the day.
You can even get creative by adding glass prisms to add a whimsical element that catches the light. Avoid placing thick dark furniture near the window.
Incorporating light colors in your interior design scheme and white trim around your windows also enhances the natural light in your space.
If you are looking to increase the natural light in a more permanent manner, consider converting solid exterior doors to doors with windows. Adding energy efficient windows to south walls also creates more natural light in your room.
You can also add tubular skylights to your ceilings. Unlike traditional skylights, which can be expensive, tubular skylights are budget friendly and are air-tight (to avoid drainage issues).
Natural sunlight will make your residence feel healthier, safer and more comfortable. From an interior design standpoint, the lighter and brighter the room is, the more comfortable it is!
Use Organic and Natural Materials
If you are really aiming to achieve an interior that is good for the environment, you have to do away with plastic, particleboard and chromed metal. Decorating with natural materials is a great way to achieve an eco-friendly home.
Replacing manmade materials such as plastic, particleboards and chromed metal with rustic woods, stone, burlap, and cotton instantly create the cozy feeling of the natural environment.
Adding furniture crafted from wood or with wood accents also creates a functional and sustainable decorative accent for your space.
You can even repurpose old wood items, transforming them into a new bench or storage option. Consider trading out your mattresses, pillows, carpets and beddings for wool options.
Wool is not only durable and comfortable, but it also deters dust mites. Dust mites cause allergies and are not good for your health. These natural materials are better for the environment and they look fantastic!
Use Wood or Stone Flooring
Aside from decorating your walls with eco-friendly materials, you can also transform your floors. Consider switching out rugs with stone, marble or hardwood flooring like marble.
Apart from creating an eco-friendly ambiance, it can also add more appeal to your villa’s interior.
Having an eco-friendly interior is ideal for creating a cozy environment while simultaneously protecting the environment and your personal health.
Start with a few of the above simple tips, and you’ll be on your way to experiencing the joys of an eco-friendly and sustainable home.
Installing a pergola is one of the best ways to enhance your landscape design and maximize your functional outdoor space. Your pergola provides a versatile option to elevate your landscape design, creating a separate space to enjoy with family and friends.
You can use your pergola as an outdoor dining area, living area, or as a space to seek shade on hot days. The possibilities for this outdoor space is limitless. Aside from looking fantastic, providing shade, and creating a distinct space pergolas add value to your home.
Adding a pergola to your villa can increase its value as it is one of the biggest landscape structures that requires developer and Dubai Municipality approvals. As an affordable design option, the benefits are enormous.
Benefits of Landscaping with Pergolas
• Pergolas provide a cool, shady area where you can enjoy a warm day outside without the worry of becoming overexposed to the sun.
• A pergola adds definition to your backyard, creating a space within your backyard with a distinct purpose.
• Pergola’s add an attractive addition to any backyard. You can make them even more appealing by adding decorative accessories like hanging pots, lights, curtains, accent pillow and much more.
• Pergolas allow you to create an outdoor living space that you love by adding elements that suit your personal tastes and style.
• Pergolas create add an element of privacy to your backyard.
• And more!
Wooden Pergolas: Wood is ideal for building pergolas as it blends beautifully with the natural setting of your backyard. While wood does require regular maintenance to protect it from the elements and to keep it from rotting, the end result it stunning and durable.
At Milestone, our carpenters and artisans cut and treat all wood onsite at our joinery and mill. This ensures a one of a kind look that is sure to take your backyard to the next level of functional beauty.
Aluminum Pergolas: An aluminum pergola is often less expensive than wood. Lightweight and easy to maintain, aluminum pergolas are designed to withstand all of the elements in nature.
Aluminum pergolas are waterproof, never rust, and are insect repellant. Additionally, aluminum pergolas can be painted to look like wood. So if you are looking to add a pergola on a tight budget, aluminum may be the choice for you!
Composite wooden Pergolas: Sturdy and secure, another alternative for pergola construction is Composite wood. Advantages of Composite wood are:
• Combining the warmth of wood with the strength of polymer
• Composite products are 100% recyclable and manufactured with reclaimed wood fibers
• Virtual maintenance free
• Resistant against UV
• No rotting
• No splintering
• 10- 20 years limited warranty
Though there are certain restrictions and limitations in design than Solid wood, it is a great option too.
Thatched Roof Pergolas: Thatched roof pergolas can bring in a very rustic, country feel to any landscape. Weather it is a Mediterranean, South African, Asian or industrial modern theme, it is a beautiful water proof structure.
Cape Reed has introduced a rustic Chic look to properties around the globe. Ref http://capereed.com/
Accenting Your Pergola
Once you have decided on the material and design style of your pergola (i.e. a standalone or built on the side of another structure), you can begin to blend it into your landscape.
You can personalize this hardscape with decorative accessories like hanging plants, curtains, lights, water features, accent pillows and much more.
Pergolas provide an affordable and low maintenance option to create an outdoor living space that you will transform your backyard.
Consider adding elements that suit your personal style and function to create an outdoor space where you will entertain friends and family for years to come. Regardless of how you use it, you will surely love your new pergola!
At Milestone, we design and build stunning pergolas that are guaranteed to transform your backyards and we’d love to do the same for you! Take a look at some of our recent pergola designs.
When executed correctly, landscaping projects look fantastic and add value to your villa. With all of the design variables, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, especially when the new villa you are moving into is only a sanded property with just many manholes in Dubai.
Don’t get frustrated! All you need is a little support and guidance from a landscape design professional.
Whether you’re considering residential landscaping or commercial landscaping, there are a few tricks of the trade to guide you on the path to landscape design success.
The professional landscape designers at Milestone have put together ten tips to help you design and create a stunning, functional landscape design.
1. Plan the whole garden flow from entrance to the backyard
Always remember to include your front yard landscape with your backyard landscape design plan. Depending on what you add to your space, landscaping along the front of your house can increase your villa value between 4% and 10% .
Many people prefer to start with the front of their home, as tackling this smaller area provides the confidence to move on to the backyard.
2. Pay Attention to the Basics of Sun and Soil
Before planting, take time to have your soil assessed. This allows you to choose plants that can work well in your type of soil. It’s also essential that you take into account the amount of sun your plants are likely to receive.
If they don’t receive enough sunlight, your plants may not survive. On the other hand, if they receive too much sunlight they’ll dry out and die. You want to plant in areas with optimal sunlight which will help your plants thrive.
3. Plant Native & Local Plants
It’s always wise to plant plants that are local to your area. This helps to ensure they will thrive in your climate. Additionally, native plants will require less nurturing and will help to keep your watering costs down.
4. Purchase High Quality Plants and Outdoor Furnishing
The great outdoors is rough on natural and man-made materials alike. It’s important to invest in high-quality furniture pieces and materials to create your outdoor oasis.
If you opt for cheaply made materials, you’ll end up buying replacement items every season and spending far more money in the long run.
5. Don’t Forget the Hardscaping Materials
If you’re looking to maximize function in your backyard landscape design, consider investing in quality hardscaping.
Patios, walkways, living walls, outdoor firewalls, pergolas, and outdoor kitchens require little upkeep, and they create additional areas within your outdoor space.
6. Don’t Forget the Landscape Lighting
When it comes to landscape lighting, remember a little lighting goes a long way, but it’s vital for both safety and aesthetics. The trees, plants, and architecture in your backyard retreat create a stunning visual during the day.
However, once the sun sets, your lovely landscape design disappears into the darkness unless you use outdoor lighting.
With proper lighting, you can light up just about anything, to include paths, trees, buildings, sculptures, pergolas pools, ponds, and driveways. Learn more about Landscape Lighting Terms.
7. Add Plants of Varying Scale
The best way to achieve a visually pleasing balanced landscape design is to include plants of many different sizes, shapes and height. Layering trees, shrubs and small flowers to provides your landscape design a variety in height and depth.
Use your plants to enhance your hardscaped areas too, such as your gazebo or pergola.
8. Limit Straight Lines
When overused, straight lines can come across as uninviting, and they are more difficult to maintain. Incorporating curves will make your landscape design appear more welcoming and friendly.
However, be sure to include efficient walking paths. Otherwise, guests are likely to take cut across your grass and garden space.
9. Plan Your Seasonal Care and Maintenance
Once you have your landscape design in place, and you’re sitting back and relaxing in your new outdoor oasis, be sure to keep it maintained. The last thing you want is to be rushing at the end of the season to prepare for the next season.
Preparing at least one season in advance will help you minimize damage in the harsher months, allowing your plants to bounce back more quickly in the optimal seasons.
10. When in Doubt Hire a Professional
When in doubt, hire a landscape design professional. The design professionals at Milestone have the experience, creative eye and knowledge to turn your backyard into the oasis you’ve been dreaming of.
From gardens, pools and pergolas to outdoor kitchens and living spaces, we will maximize your space to fit your lifestyle and your budget.
Landscaping in Dubai can be challenging if you reside in the city limits. Luckily you have options! Rooftop gardens aren’t a new concept.
City residents have been transforming the sky-high city landscape by tucking plants and flowers away on fire escapes and roofs for generations.
With even the smallest of rooftop spaces, you can plant a garden and create an outdoor living space where you can bask in the sun and enjoy the rooftop views. Rooftop gardens of all sizes are growing in popularity in both commercial and residential sites.
Whether you already have a rooftop garden or in the early stages of planning one, we’ve compiled a few design ideas and tips to help you create one of most beautiful rooftop garden designs on the block.
1. Plan an open design.
When you plan an open design, even the smallest of rooftops appear spacious. Consider incorporating transparent glass instead of a wall to maintain the view. You can add hedges instead of fences to create separate areas.
Worried about privacy? Adding curtains around your seating area allows you to shield your space whenever you want a little more seclusion.
2. Plant tall trees and plants.
If you have a spacious rooftop, want to mask a poor view, or you want to create the illusion of a traditional garden, using tall vegetation around the walls will maximize greenery while simultaneously separating your space from the rest of the city.
The combination of tall grasses and bamboo is an excellent low maintenance option to create a private rooftop garden. Grow trees, shrubs, foliage plant, flowering plants and annuals for a burst of color.
You can even grow edibles to take your culinary arts to the next level. Mixing in shrubs and small potted trees will add to the lush look of your rooftop terrace.
3. Incorporate raised garden beds.
If your roof provides enough space, consider creating raised beds adjacent to the walls for planting flowers, vegetables, and/or herbs. Depending on your design scheme, you can add metal or wooden raised flower beds.
If you decide to add raised beds, be sure to incorporate a waterproofing membrane and add a thick root barrier to prevent root damage to the roof. When it comes time to decide which plants to add to your rooftop terrace, keep it diverse.
Add a combination of large plants, small trees, ground covers, annuals, and shrubs. You can even get creative with colorful pots and plant stands.
4. Add comfortable and practical furniture.
When it comes to planning your rooftop garden, every inch of space counts. It’s important to decide the type of furniture you want to incorporate into your design scheme.
Start by determining how you want to use your rooftop garden? Do you want to create an outdoor living space to relax and lounge or do you plan on dining al fresco under the stars?
Once you determine how you will use your rooftop space, you can select furniture that fits the style, theme, and purpose of your garden. If you are tight on space, keep it simple with a small bistro table or a few comfy chairs with decorative end tables.
5. Create a mood.
You’ll be spending a lot of time on your new rooftop garden. Incorporating a custom water feature, water wall, or water fountain will add the soothing sights and sounds of water to your space.
Lighting is also a great way to enhance your rooftop ambiance. Not only will lighting create a mood, but it also keeps your space safe for visitors when night falls. Lighting your roof will also make it look larger at dusk.
6. Top to bottom.
When you transform your rooftop into an outdoor living space be sure to design from the ground up. Make use of your vertical space to create the illusion of more space to your rooftop garden.
Hang planters on the walls, add railing planters, and grow plant foliage that climbs. And don’t forget the flooring! Choose a flooring type that fits your budget, suits the climate you live in, and accommodates the theme of the rooftop garden.
Depending on your budget and design scheme, you can add artificial grass, pebbles or outdoor rugs to enhance your new rooftop space from the ground up.
7. Shade structure:
Sometimes a pergola, sail shade or an aluminum canopy may help to create shade and a nice elevation. An elevation is one way to get lights and fan too into your terrace and makes it feel defined and cosy.
When it comes time to design your rooftop garden stay true to your personal tastes. Your rooftop terrace is an extension of your interior space. With a well planned urban rooftop garden, anything is possible.
Are you considering adding a rooftop garden or rooftop living space to your home? Contact the design experts at Milestone; we’d love to help!
As a premier interior design company in Dubai we know the ins and out of all the things in interior design. Many things come instinctively to certain people, such as painting, sculpting, or composing music.
For the design team at Milestone, our talents lie in transforming your home interior to your dream space. While many people know what they want from their home, they simply have difficulty realizing their vision.
The daunting responsibility of pulling together a space can become overwhelming. Whether you are designing a single room, renovating an entire villa, or want to give your office a facelift, here are a few tips we’ve learned about interior design to help you conquer your design dreams.
Personalize your space
Your room, home or office can exhibit who you are. If someone were to wander into your villa, they should instantly know that it’s yours.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by including accessories and decor that resonates with your personal hobbies, interests, and travel experiences. Try to include pieces that commemorate your individual style and unique tastes.
Take it one step at a time. Try thinking of your space as an outfit you’re going to wear (you’d be surprised to realize personal styling is very similar decorating a room). Start by taking a look in your closet. What colors stand out?
Do you prefer modern or traditional styles? Are you drawn to lacy ruffles or clean cut, tailored lined? Use your taste in clothing as a style guide for your office or villa. It’s a great first step towards ensuring your space is authentic to your style.
I was in Mumbai for the Kala Ghoda festival in February of 2015. I bought original prints of artist Paul Fernandes who had brought Mumbai to life in a beautiful caricature format.
It was so nice to see all those spaces in which i was brought up and visited often. Strong memories were attached to those spaces. We made a whole gallery of the same in our bar in the living room and called it Mumbai Meri Jaan!
Anyone who lives in Mumbai and has visited often, stands by this gallery each time they visit our home and cherishes those memories!
Don’t forget comfort
Have you ever purchased an item of furniture because it looked fantastic, only to get home and discover that it’s very uncomfortable, or worse yet: it’s useless?
When you think of “home sweet home,” the first words that spring to mind are comfortable and cozy. Making your villa comfy and cozy is a must! Your space should be inviting and comfortable.
I love sitting on these comfortable rocking chairs in my library!
Work with your surroundings
Before tackling an interior design project, it’s essential to know your design constraints and restrictions. For example, can you fit a full sized sofa in your home office? Become familiar with the scope and scale of the room or rooms you are decorating.
Consider your environment and respond to it. Whether you’re in the secluded countryside or the bustling city, it’s wise to take a hint from your environment.
Environmental awareness will help you narrow down your decisions based on the details of your location and space.
Less is always more
When it comes to interior design, less is always more. When in doubt, keep it simple. You don’t want to overcrowd your room. If you limit the items you incorporate in each room; the area will appear to be larger and cleaner.
Just remember, you can always add more if you need to! We hope you find the Milestone design team’s interior design tips helpful.
The next time you find yourself face-to-face with an interior design project, don’t hesitate to contact Dubai’s interior design experts. We are always thrilled to help you bring your vision to life!
If you have any additional suggestions, please share them in the comments below!
Landscaping in Dubai with color doesn’t have to be difficult, and it certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Color comes from a variety of sources and can easily transform your landscape design.
By incorporating colorful accent furniture, garden art, sculptures, pots, tiles, paint and colorful plants and flowers, you can make a huge impact on the ambiance of your outdoor sanctuary.
Here are a few simple ways to you add refreshing tones and colors to your outdoor landscape and garden.
1. Choose colorful outdoor furniture.
Tables and sitting areas often create focal points in your landscape design, which makes them the perfect place to inject color. If you have a large budget, consider adding colorful tables, chairs, and end tables to your outdoor entertainment area.
For those operating on a tight budget, try trading out those old tan and brown cushions for attention-grabbing bold colors or add colorful pillows to your existing seat cushions.
Don’t miss the chance to add intrigue from the ground up by placing in a rug with a pleasing design in shades that will enhance your outdoor dining or entertainment areas.
2. Add colorful pots and plant stands.
One of the simplest ways to conceive a more colorful garden design is to include vibrant and intriguing pots and plant stands. Adding shades of blue, orange, purple, yellow, electric pink or even red will transform your backyard into a vibrant wonderland.
This is also the perfect opportunity to create a stunning variation in color. Pairing colorful containers with plants cherished for their colorful foliage, such as hostas and succulents, is an straightforward way to create vibrant visual interest in your landscape design.
3. Incorporate colorful outdoor decor and decorative tiles.
When it comes to outdoor decor, the sky’s the limit! Whether you want to add colorful stepping stones, intriguing mosaic art, or eye-catching pottery and water features.
Outdoor garden decor can withstand the extremes of the outdoor weather while simultaneously adding interest to your landscape design.
Tile comes in many different designs and colors, making it the ideal material to add color to outdoor structures such as stairs, outdoor kitchen countertops, and water features.
If you are feeling extra creative, you can even use tile to create a colorful garden mural.
4. Paint a wall an attention-grabbing color.
You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with a few hours and a can of paint. Painting an exterior wall or garden instantly creates a colorful, dramatic contrast.
When choosing your paint color, choose a shade that complements the surrounding area, including plants and outdoor furniture. The best part? You can change it whenever you want to!
5. Plants, plants and more plants!
Flowering plants provide a natural pop of color to your outdoors. Consider adding flowering plants such as Petunia, Chrysanthemums and Marigolds.
These colorful flowering plants not only add a kaleidoscopic splash of color to your outdoor garden but they also attract pollinators! You can also look beyond flowers to plants and shrubs with energetic foliage.
Many plants produce color all year with their foliage adding dramatic interest long after their flowers have wilted. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to add color to your landscape design is to include flowering plants in containers.
These miniature gardens not only enhance their surroundings, but they can also be changed out seasonally and moved to whatever area suits you at the moment.
Hanging flower baskets intensify color at higher levels and provide a great opportunity to frame a specific view from a window.
Adding color to your landscape is an easy way to reinvent and reinvigorate your outdoor space. If you are limited on time contact the landscape design experts at Milestone, and together we will liven up your landscape design!
Summer is on our doorsteps and it’s officially the time of year to spruce up your home interior design.
From seasonal cleaning and decluttering to refurbishing your décor and refreshing your villa, here are a few quick and easy tricks of the trade to lend your villa a new “springtime” feel to chase away the winter blues.
Add some pastel color
Summer heat in Dubai is sizzling hot! The good news is that winter is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to freshen up your interior design for all of those up coming celebrations and gatherings with family and friends.
It’s time to give your walls a coat of refreshing, light, bright paint. This season gray is topping the interior décor color list.
If you’re looking to incorporate this shade into your house interior be sure to select a light gray with a slight springy tint, such as lilac or light blue. Or you could ditch the gray and opt for an all-out springy color with some vibrant pastels.
Think yellow, lilac, greens, and blues. These colors provide a great alternative to gray and simultaneously help make small spaces feel larger. Another bold option is Pantone’s color of the year, ‘Greenery.’ This vibrant yellow-green looks amazing!
Keep it bright, light, and airy
Spring may have just left, but chances are you’re already dreaming of your next family holiday. Why wait? White cotton sheets will instantly lighten up your master bedroom suite while simultaneously adding a splash of chic boutique resort style.
Consider adding some flowing white drapes to your living room, a crisp white tablecloth to your dining table accented with fresh flowers, or vibrant throw pillows to add some color to your sofa.
Bring the outdoors inside
Whether you’re staging your villa for a viewing or simply wish to inject a pop of color to your interior, fresh cut flowers are sure to do the trick! Adding a few vases of colorful flowers to a couple of rooms is sure to liven up your space.
You can even get creative, adding decorative accents of fresh fruit, such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Fresh-cut flowers and fresh fruit add a pop of spring color to your design scheme and a subtle fresh, fragrant aroma. Add indoor plants to bring the outdoors in.
Have fun with your furniture
Adding bright, colorful cushions to your furniture will immediately add new life to your space. Injecting light green, light blue, yellow and pink cushions create an energetic and fun feeling which is positively refreshing!
What about rearranging your furniture? You’d be surprised at what a huge difference a simple reshuffle of your current sofa and chairs will make. Consider switching around your couch or moving your bed to a different location in the room.
Doing so will dramatically change the look and feel of any room. It also grants your old furniture a new lease of life!
Accessorize your walls
Make use of your wall space by adding a mirror. Not only does it add new intrigue to your space, but it can also lend the illusion of expansive space to an otherwise small room.
Nature inspired designs are perfect for creating a spring feeling; they’re stylish, minimalist and look fantastic on any wall. Add a vertical garden on your wall and it will come to life.
Allow natural light to come in
Creating a light and airy atmosphere brings life to any interior. The summer heat in Dubai is blazing and we are all forced to sit inside with the windows closed tight in our comfortable air-conditioned spaces.
Some offices and homes lack natural light. If you have curtains, this is the perfect opportunity to take them down and have them dry cleaned and pressed for the coming winter.
On the other hand, switching out your traditional curtains for colorful sheer ones can instantly liven up a room. They allow natural light to enter the room and create the feeling of more open space.
Nude and pastel colors are perfect for brightening up your interiors. You can mix and match them to correspond with the color of your colorful cushions. Bright colored walls too add a charm to your interiors and work wonder for your state of mind!
While there is no “A” perfect time to liven up your space, summer is the perfect time to start! Adding light, airy and subtle accents won’t break the bank and these little changes are easily switched out when winter rolls around!
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!
For those who live villas with small backyards or have terrace gardens in penthouses, creating an outdoor space where you can relax and entertain can be a challenge.
Designers in Dubai have been helping homeowners get high return on their investment when it comes to their compact homes. This often means transforming tight, narrow or awkwardly shaped backyards into functional, comfortable extensions of the home.
No matter the size of your outdoor space, these methods can work for anyone trying to turn their terraces or garden into an outdoor retreat to enjoy. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your small outdoor space.
If you own your villa and have a bit more room in your budget, you should consider adding some custom built-in options. A built-in bench made from either concrete or wood is an ideal solution for a tight spot, as you build it to fit in your space perfectly.
Combining a built-in bench with a table can create the perfect outdoor dining spot and doubles as a fun gathering space to entertain family and friends. Outdoor ready made furniture has standard sizes and cannot fit in compact spaces and width is too big too.
Another savvy design to maximize your tiny outdoor space is with hidden storage. This option is perfect for those who want to store their outdoor pillows, throws or entertaining necessities while keeping them readily available for their next gathering.
Even if you live in a hotter climate, it’s a good idea to keep your outdoor decorative items away when you’re not using them. Whether you opt for a storage bench, storage ottoman or side table, you can’t go wrong with storage that doubles as seating.
Double Duty Furniture
Whether you are decorating an indoor or outdoor area with limited space, double-duty furniture provides an ideal solution to maximize your space. While a storage bench works, you can think outside the box when it comes to decorating your space.
Consider using a small coffee table for extra seating, adding a stool that doubles as a side table, or incorporating larger weatherproof throw pillows that also works as floor cushions. Double up for double fun!
There are some pretty extreme opinions on both sides for artificial plants and grass options. And while the real deal is always better, when added to your space properly, artificial grass works superbly.
Artificial grass is a great option for an urban patio or balcony to inject the feeling of an actual, organic lawn. The trick is to make it look real. Start by making sure you’re putting the grass down across an entire defined area.
Be sure to eliminate any harsh edges that would immediately indicate that your grass is not real.
Tiny Gardens & Vertical Gardens
Even when you’re working with a small amount of space, you can still create a gorgeous, vibrant outdoor garden. For a balcony, it’s easiest to stick to a container garden.
With this type of garden, you will grow all of your plants and flowers in unique containers, pots or creative jars. Container gardens grant you flexibility, allowing you to move things around to change your space.
Plants, flowers, and vegetables can all be grown in small-space gardens. Lacking room for a traditional garden? Think! Vertical gardens inject an eye-catching greenery element to city spaces without hogging all of your precious square footage.
For those of us with a small patio, balcony, or tiny backyard, our outdoor design options always feel a bit more limited. However, with a bit of creativity, you can produce an amazing outdoor oasis regardless how small your space is.
Just because your home isn’t large and expansive, doesn’t mean you can’t host family and friends in style.
Whether you’re creating a cozy apartment or designing a separate sitting area within a larger room, you can make the most of your space with the right seating arrangements.
Follow these genius tips for extra seating that enhances your decor without engulfing your space.
Add a Bench
Turn than cozy little corner into the perfect seating area with a dual purpose bench booth. Not only will it provide extra seating, it also provides ample hidden storage to declutter your space.
Hiding your clutter goes a long way in maximizing your current space.
Don’t let that space under a window-filled wall go to waste! You can add a built-in bench filled with billowy pillows to create a fun and functional seating option.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of a creating a built in, simply push a stand alone bench up against the wall space under the window. Just be sure it fits snuggly.
Nesting stools and benches are a cozy way to add bonus seating to your already-full living room and family room. You can pull them out when you are entertaining guests and push them away when they leave.
Nesting stools are an affordable seating option that can be tucked away when you don’t need it. As a bonus, these stools can double as end tables in a pinch!
Use All of Your Corners
When you have limited space in your home or office, make the most of every square foot, even those awkward corners. Consider adding a hanging seat to a boring corner.
It effortlessly turns an unused area into a reading nook with a unique seat. Looking for something a little more practical for everyday use? Add a small armchair or side chair to that empty corner. It’s a decorative accent that also provides additional seating.
Make the Most of Your Options
Get the most out of your stools! The same stool you use to reach the top shelf in the pantry can be used as an extra seat at your next dinner party. Since they are short, you can tuck them away under the table and out of sight after the party is over.
Be sure to keep extra seating nearby. Keep in mind that the extra seating for your party doesn’t have to come from the same room you’re entertaining in.
Simply pull that extra bench or stool out from your bedroom or home office when guests arrive and put it back when they leave.
Choose furniture that can perform double duty, such as an ottoman. A tray quickly takes an oversize ottoman from a casual place to prop your feet to one fit for formal entertaining. In a tight living room, a round ottoman can also ease the pain of inevitable knee bumps.
You can even ditch the couch and add a few arm chairs around the ottomon for a chic and lounging area to kick back and relax.
Choose Small Scale Furniture
There is more to living room furniture than full-size sofas and bulky armchairs. Antique shops are a great place to look for small-scale furniture because prior to the last half of the century, the average room size was typically very small.
Look for small settees, love seats and chairs that can work for your space.
Ditch the Sofa
Consider downsizing the large sofa. In some spaces a full-size sofa simply won’t work. Try adding a slimmed-down love seat or a petite sofa instead. Choose one with clean lines and exposed legs for the unique and artsy look.
What about a backless sofa? A backless sofa is a very chic alternative to a traditional sofa and can be used from both sides (an attractive bonus feature when seating options are limited).
If you decide to use it in a larger room down the road, it can act as a divider between two separate seating areas.
You can make the most of your small space by using the right furniture and seating options in the right places. In fact, adding the right piece of functional furniture can even make your room feel larger!
Are you struggling with how to decorate a small space? We can help! Contact the Milestone Design team to learn more about how we can transform your small space into your dream space!
The trees, plants, and architecture surrounding your home or business creates a beautiful scene during the day. However, once night falls, your lovely landscape design disappears into the darkness unless you use outdoor lighting.
With proper lighting, you can light up just about anything, to include paths, trees, buildings, sculptures, pergolas pools, ponds, and driveways. There are so many options. So where do you begin?
There are many terms for landscape lighting, and some of them overlap and can become confusing. Not to worry, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to break down the essential terms of landscape lighting.
Uplighting is the term for when you place a light a few feet away from the base of an object to highlight the object from below. You can adjust the distance between the object and the light to create different looks.
Silhouetting and shadowing are two types of uplighting. With each technique, landscape designers place a light behind a large plant or an object and point the light toward a nearby wall to create a visually appealing shadow or silhouette.
Uplighting is a great way to highlight elements in your landscape, such as a work of art, flag, water fixture or large flowering plants.
Down lighting is the term for landscape lighting that directs light down, lighting only the intended area. Down lighting accents landscape planting beds, water features walls, statues and seating areas from above.
Down lights can be fixed to walls, placed under steps, or placed under eaves in a manner that keeps them out of sight during the day. When night falls, their light defines an area with a surrounding glow that draws in guests.
Moon lighting is a form of down lighting where you can attach multiple lights above, such as in a tree, to create the effect of moonlight.
Concealed Led light in steps is a downlight.
At its most basic, path and step lighting exists to keep the walker safe. When creating your landscape lighting scheme, you want to make sure all obstacles and turns are well illuminated.
Your walkways and paths can be highlighted not only to light the way for safety reasons, but also to create a feeling of elegance. Think of your path as a royal walkway or an entrance to an exotic palace.
You can create any ambiance you want with your path lighting. A carefully lit path can provide a sense of romance or adventure. It should make the viewer want to go and see where the path leads.
You could use ground lights or bollard lights in a pathway. Large areas use tall pole lights.
Fascade lighting highlights the fascade of a building. It can be warm white or RGB light. The output and beams depends on the height of the wall you want to highlight. It can be uplight, downlight or up and down wall light.
The surfaces, colors, and shapes in the natural environment of the human eye function differently depending on the type of lighting.
In addition to creating an aesthetic effect, lighting your garden, pathway, stairs, pool, or access road will lead to greater safety movement. Landscape lighting scheme should be used to emphasize beautiful details in the yard, and to hide the flaws.
You’ve pulled out all the stops to turn your villa and backyard into a visually inspiring retreat. So why let that hard work disappear at nightfall? Now you can roll back the darkness and put it all on display with the flick of a switch.
When planned and executed correctly, landscape lighting makes the best of what you’ve created by highlighting your villa’s architectural features and drawing attention to your gorgeous plants, trees, water features, sculptures and other landscape treasures.
There are many exciting options and ideas for elevating your landscape design with outdoor lighting.
If you find it all a bit overpowering, a professional landscape lighting team from Milestone will create ways to enhance your space through particular lighting effects that are tailored to your personal landscape and tastes.
Whether you’re remodeling your entire villa or looking to redecorate a single room, selecting an interior designer in Dubai can be a difficult task. As a client and the beneficiary of the final product, you want everything to be perfect and to meet your vision.
After all, this is your home, and you want to enjoy this space for a very long time. Mistakes are not only time-consuming, but costly too.
That being said, hiring the right interior designer is an exciting time, as it is the first step towards making your team a reality! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hiring a professional interior design team for your upcoming home project.
Know your style and vision
Before you even begin interviewing interior designers, you need to know what direction you want to take with your home. Are you looking to remodel your entire villa or just a single room, such as the kitchen or a bathroom?
Are you looking to remodel or do you want to redecorate and revitalize a current room or home office? If you are a little fuzzy on the details, we suggest taking some time to view websites like Milestone’s for ideas- landscapingdubai.com
It’s important to have a vision for your project and to know your personal style so you can hire the right person for the job. Many designers have their signature style.
However, the best interior designers can adapt to your personal preferences. The right designer wants to bring your vision to life.
Determine your expectations of an interior designer
There’s no right way to partner with an interior designer. In fact, the expectations of your collaboration with an interior designer set the parameters of your home design project.
Before you start interviewing potential candidates for your next home project consider the following questions:
• Do you want to be included with every little design decision, or do prefer simply being involved in the big picture?
• Do you want your interior designer to show you every option available or do you prefer they offer you a narrowed-down selection tailored to your budget?
• Are you looking for complete guidance, or do you have an eye for interior design and just require help with planning and resources?
• In answering the above questions about your expectations, you will create a solid foundation and clear expectations for a successful working relationship with your interior designer.
Image from www.emaze.com
Review the interior designer’s portfolio
The proof is in the results! An interior design portfolio is a showcase of what they have achieved on past projects and is a testament to their ability to turn your vision into a reality.
Although a designer should be able to accommodate your tastes and interior design ideas, many designers do a signature style or different approaches that may not align well with your own.
When reviewing an interior designer’s portfolio, look for an overriding style to see if their recent projects echo what you want to achieve with your villa design project.
If you enjoy patterns and innovative color mash-ups, an interior designer who’s known for neutral palettes may not be a perfect match.
Always ask for references from an interior designer
Another way to ensure your villa design goes off without a hitch is to conduct brief interviews with their past clients. This is also a perfect opportunity to learn about their process from a budgetary standpoint.
• When speaking to an interior designer’s references, consider asking the following questions:
• Did your project stay within budget?
• Would you hire the designer again in the future?
• Most importantly: did they have an enjoyable experience working with their interior designer? Remodeling or redecorating your home is a fun and exciting time. You want to make sure you hire someone you will enjoy working with.
Image from www.emaze.com
Meet with the designer and ask questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to just a few designers, it’s important to meet face to face. Most designers will not charge you for this initial meeting. For these sessions but it would be good to ask about that over the phone just in case.
Use this initial consultation to get to know your potential designer, ask for referrals, inquire about their experience, qualifications and the services the designer will provide.
This is also the time to establish your project budget, the scope of the project, and the duration of the project. Try to think about the specifics of your project and write everything down on paper, so you can review all of the information later if you need to.
When you hire the right interior designer, turning your home design dreams into a reality is an exciting, and enjoyable process.
If you follow these simple tips, you’re sure to hire an interior designer who’s interested in your vision, your budget, your timeline, and your happiness with the final product.
A home is a home when it brings out your personality, nurtures you, is organized for your needs, is convenient and cozy. It’s not a hotel but all the convenience of a hotel is present.
When it comes to home improvement, landscape lighting is often overlooked. However, landscape lighting is one of the least-obstructive design projects you can undertake.
You can update your lighting and not have to move out or sacrifice any living space, and you won’t have to be constantly cleaning up construction debris. Updating your landscape lighting conveniently takes place outdoors.
So where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you on your path to landscape illumination.
Define the Purpose for Landscape Lighting
Before you invest in any landscape lighting, you need to determine the purpose of your landscape lighting. Are you looking to create a soft, romantic mood for outdoor entertainment and dining?
Perhaps you have a bench or a shadowy garden corner you wish to light for security reasons? Are you looking to create landscape boundaries by adding lighting around the path leading through your garden?
Perhaps you want to highlight some features of your backyard, such as a pond or waterfall? Regardless of the reason, determining what you want from your landscape lighting is the first step to illuminating your backyard.
Create a sketch of your yard
Once you’ve defined your reasons for adding landscape lighting you need to create a design plan. We suggest making a sketch of your yard.
Be sure to include existing lights, buildings, benches, shrubs, trees, pathways, as well as the vegetation and decorations you wish to highlight in your garden.
It’s important to create a detailed sketch, as every aspect of your landscape will reflect or absorb light.
Determining where to place your landscape lighting
This is the fun part! Once you’ve created a sketch of your space, match the lighting to specific areas in your backyard. You can illuminate a bench with a pole-type lamp placed behind it or concealed led strip light below the bench .
You can create a soft mood by hiding landscape lighting under shrubs or small bushes. A path can be illuminated by adding a series of pathway lights along its border.
A water fountain can be intensified with a spotlight, and a pond can have soft lighting around its perimeter. The possibilities are endless!
Safety, security, and ambiance
When it comes to landscape lighting, think in terms of safety, security and aesthetic appeal.
Safety: Grab a flashlight and walk your backyard at night. Where are you likely to trip and fall? Where are you most likely to walk off the path into the darkness? Also look to see if paths and walkways are clearly defined.
Think in terms of getting from point A to point B without falling down. After you determine where you require lighting for the sole purpose of safety, tweak your lighting scheme to assure that visitors can safely and easily navigate in the darkness of night.
Highlight pathways and steps. Consider street lighting that is present too.
Security: Take a look at your yard and consider where you’d like to eliminate dark corners. Look for places where someone could hide or the spot where the animals could hop the fence.
The amount of lighting you need for security depends on your level of comfort and your situation. When properly placed, security lighting can be minimal and does not create a distraction in your backyard.
Ambiance: Your landscape lighting will create the mood and feel of your backyard. Assess the intriguing areas in your landscape that you want to target, such as a beautiful tree, a rough stone wall, a water feature, or a statue.
Now think about the impact you want to create. Do you want to draw out the architectural structure of a tree? Project plant shadows on the ground or a wall? Highlight the luxurious texture of a stone wall?
The right lighting will create the mood and create focal points in your backyard.
Landscape lighting is a great way to update your yard. Not only is it affordable, but lighting can be installed quickly compared to other projects. You can illuminate your path or light up your tree in less than a day.
Full-scale professional installations range from a few days to a few weeks (depending on the scope and scale of your project). So if you’re looking to create an instant impact in your backyard, landscape lighting is a great place to start.
Are you looking to upgrade your landscape lighting? The experts at Milestone would love to help you design your landscape lighting scheme!
Your villa is your sanctuary, yet adding greenery to the interior of your home has become an afterthought for most homeowners.
The more negative experiences homeowners have with plants, the more likely they will avoid incorporating live plants into their décor all together. However, plants are the perfect design element to take your space to the next level!
Plants add life
Biophilia is the scientific theory that there is an instinctive bond between humans and other living things, including plants and animals. The right plant will depend on your availability to provide care, specific light conditions, and available space.
However, even a tiny villa has room for a small plant life.
Plants can balance out your design
The right plant in the wrong place can throw off the look and feel of an entire room. When using plants to enhance your design, it’s important to use the right plant in the right place. Certain plants may be too small in a larger space.
Others may be too large with too much volume and overwhelm nearby design elements. When choosing a larger houseplant, acknowledge volume, overall height, and width. For example, a full tree placed in front of a window may block the natural light.
When you consider height, width, and volume you’ll select a plant that fills your space perfectly. Proportion isn’t always about items the same size; it’s more about balancing weight.
Plants help soften architectural elements
Natural materials provide textures and forms that are challenging to recreate. When it comes to quality, there is no substitute for the real thing.
For example, incorporating a structured planting of reeds will play an essential role in softening a stone wall or wood columns.
Wherever the location, the soft and soothing qualities of plants keeps hard surfaces from overwhelming your space and making it feel cold.
Plants can also be used to soften angular lines. You can use plants to soften the hard edges of flat surfaced pieces of furniture such as the end of side boards, bench seats, and entertainment centers.
Plants provide a natural softness which adds warmth by finishing off angular edges. Consider adding plants to bathrooms, which can be otherwise cold, hard-surfaced spaces.
Plants add color
When we think of decorating with plants, our mind automatically shifts to greenery. And while green is one of the “it” colors of 2017 interior design, you can use plants to inject a subtle pop of color to your space.
This can range from incorporating blossoming plant with bright buds of red, yellow and orange to creating eye-catching vertical living walls with subtle hints of purple blended into the greenery.
Color influences your mood. The colors you select for your furniture, walls, and decorative art all influence your frame of mind. The same can be said for plants.
Warm blues and greens are relaxing and tranquil, while vibrant colors, like red, orange and yellow are stimulating and lifting.
Incorporate plants with soothing colors in your bedroom and bathroom, and add touches of bright colors to the living room and areas where you spend the majority of your waking hours.
When it comes to decorating with plants, the possibilities are only as limited as the mind of the designer! Live plants are great decorative home accents, and when used properly, they can even become key design elements on their own.
So the next time you see an unused corner, empty wall, or lonely shelf in your villa, consider bringing it to life with a decorative plant.
Installing a pergola this year is one of the best ways to beat the heat that comes with the season! In fact, building a pergola is one of the most rewarding decisions you can make for you backyard sanctuary.
Pergola installation on your property can create shade, increase the quality of time you spend relaxing and entertaining outdoors, as well as add value to your property. Here are the top five benefits to adding a pergola to your backyard.
Beat the heat with a pergola
Building a pergola on your property produces one of the most exciting options to enjoy outdoor living, creating a nice elevation that matches your property architecture.
Pergolas provide a shaded area where you can enjoy a warm day without having to worry about becoming overexposed to damaging UV rays. You can add a natural roof made of climbing flowers, instantly creating a natural space where you can relax.
A professional designer can even create a pergola with an optional canopy that you can open and close as needed based on the weather conditions. When it comes to the design, the options are limitless!
Waterproof, sun shade roof pergolas, pergolas with aluminum with waterproof and sunshade roof options, retractable fabric canopy combined with wood or Aluminum, metal design pergolas etc
Pergolas create a distinct space in your backyard
If you want a definite purpose in your outdoor area, a pergola is the perfect solution! A pergola adds definition to your backyard, creating a space within your backyard with a distinct purpose.
With comfortable seating, tables, and a fireplace, your pergola can be used as an outdoor entertainment area. You can also add a dining room table to create the perfect place to dine under the stars.
A properly planned pergola will help create space where you can gather with loved ones to wine and dine in the great outdoors.
Pergolas are versatile aesthetic design elements
A pergola adds beauty to your property taking your backyard to the next level! Apart from providing shade, a pergola can be formed in a way that it provides esthetic value to the entire property.
One of the best aspects about a pergola lies in it’s versatility.
It can be applied as a lead into other structures, such as a verandah or gazebo, you could use your pergola to lead to a solitary gazebo from your back door, creating an inspiring outdoor living area, or they work on their own.
No matter how you decide to incorporate your pergola into your backyard, remember that this versatile structure does not have to be on its own. In fact, it often works best when combined with other backyard designs!
Create outdoor privacy
If you are looking to add an element of privacy to your backyard, a pergola provides the perfect opportunity. A pergola allows for privacy.
Although it may be an open space, you can create privacy by adding drapes, latticework, screens, or even climbing plants to any side of the pergola. Pergolas provide the perfect place for a quick meeting or an urgent discussion with clients and friends.
Pergolas add beauty
Pergola’s add an attractive addition to any backyard. You can make them even more appealing by adding decorative accessories like hanging pots, lights, curtains, accent pillow and much more.
Pergolas allow you to create an outdoor living space that you love by adding elements that suit your personal tastes and style.
This gorgeous outdoor structure will transform your outdoor area and create a living space where you can entertain friends and family for years to come. No matter what you use it for, you can be sure that you will love owning a pergola!
Aside from looking fantastic, providing shade, and creating a distinct space pergolas add value to your home. Adding a pergola to your villa can increase its value by up to 20%! As an affordable design option, the benefits are enormous.
Pergolas add beauty and intrigue to your outdoor area, which improves the value of your home. At Milestone, we design and build stunning pergolas that are guaranteed to transform your backyards and we’d love to do the same for you!
Take a look at some of our recent pergola designs.
Are you tired of having your backyard lack that “wow” factor? Is your backyard not so useful and it is hard for you to entertain unless you get a catering company and hired furniture?
Whether you are looking to upgrade your current backyard design, want to improve a few areas, or want a complete backyard overhaul, landscape design can seem overwhelming at first. Experts at Milestone make these empty spaces useful.
Follow these simple tips and we will have you on your way to creating your dream backyard in no time!
So where should you start?
Even if you have existing landscaping to work with, it really helps to divide your space into functional zones. In order to break the project down for space planning, divide your yard into four distinct areas.
- Softscape – vertical greenery and plants that you enjoy along the boundary lines and create privacy , edible herb and vegetable garden and Artificial grass or fresh grass to join useful entertainment areas and fill empty spaces.
- Relaxing areas – an area to relax and unwind
- Outdoor dining – a space to eat and cook
- Entertainment area– a place where your family and friends can gather to relax and play.
Every backyard needs plants and greenery to add life to your space.
Whether you want to use your garden for planting colorful flowering plants, hide mundane boundary walls with planting, add plants and trees to create privacy from neighbors, grow edible herbs to heighten your culinary exploits or simply want to enjoy the beauty of lush greenery, every backyard would benefit for an area dedicated to growing plants.
Not only does it create an environment of harmony, serenity and calmness but gardens add a classic touch of beauty to any backyard. It is so meditative to walk through your garden, enjoying the lovely sight of nature as it grows and flourishes.
You can even enhance your softscape with a pond, water feature or fish ponds to add the soothing and intriguing element of water to the area. Softscape creates a very kinesthetic feel to the garden adding natural fragrance and a visual treat.
Relaxing areas – an area to relax and unwind
We all need a place to relax and unwind after a long day, and sometimes we want to do that outdoors.
Adding a backyard zone completely dedicated to relaxing will not only help you unwind, but it also creates a comfortable space to gather with your family and friends.
Start by choosing an area in your yard that is easy to access, nice to relax in and large enough. We suggest adding a pergola or a gazebo to create a distinct space, nice architectural elevation that can add lights, music and fan.
Add comfortable seating, with plush decorative pillows and tables for beverages and other items you may need. You can even take it up a notch by adding a fireline, fire pit or outdoor entertainment center!
Perhaps you want to create a zen garden, to reflect and meditate. Regardless of how you want to use this space, the idea is to create a place you want to visit in the backyard that provides all of the comforts of indoor living.
Outdoor dining – a space to eat and cook
There are few things more enjoyable in life than enjoying a great meal outdoors with our loved ones. Depending on the amount of space you are working with, this zone can range from a simple dining area to an impressive outdoor kitchen!
We suggest incorporating this area close to your home kitchen as it will eliminate the time and distance associated with carrying various items to your outdoor dining area.
Pergolas and gazebos provide a great option to create a dedicated and secluded space for outdoor dining. You can even create privacy by adding shade curtains or plants, such as climbing greenery or large hanging plants.
For those who love to cook outdoor, you can make an elaborate outdoor kitchen with sink, Pizza Oven, grill, cooking gas, bar etc.
Above all else, you want to create a backyard that your family will enjoy! This will vary from home to home but may include adding a firepit for gazing at the stars, a pool and jacuzzi for beating the summer heat, or a custom play area for young children.
When creating this area in your backyard be sure to consider what your family will be using it for.
Regardless of the size of your backyard, the experts at Milestone can design and build your dream backyard. Stick to these zones and you’re sure to become the envy of the neighborhood for outdoor entertaining!
Interior landscape design is continually developing and evolving. Trends are always on the move, and it’s important to be up to date on the latest and greatest designs. 2017 is all about injecting life into your interior space.
Come on, let’s bring the outdoors in! Here are a few ideas that are sure to elevate your home.
Go Vertical: Add a Living Wall
Living walls are popular right now. Not only do they look amazing, but living walls also add an environmentally friendly element to your home that promotes clean air.
A living wall can range in size from filling a multi story space to a small framed piece that elevates your wall decor. Additionally, the vertical living walls rich foliage doubles as a beautiful work of art.
They grow and evolve, creating an invariably changing and eye-catching design accents and elevated wall appeal. With the right planning and plant life, living walls can easily be installed and maintained.
Colorful plants, succulents, and trailing vines, like the pothos plant, are great choices for green walls. You can even get creative and add a custom water feature to your living wall. The possibilities are endless!
Outdoor rooms are the perfect compromise for anyone who wants to spend more time outside compromising on all of the comforts of home.
Outdoor rooms allow for comfortable and stylish spaces inside the home while promoting the appeal of the great outdoors. Even office complexes and businesses can invest in outdoor rooms to provide a fresh and inviting take on the traditional break room.
The basic concept is to create the feel of being outside in an indoor environment by filling spaces with floor-to-ceiling plants and lush greenery.
Start by adding tall plants, such as bamboo, palms, or ornamental grasses to partition spaces for outdoor rooms. Next, add comfortable seating and plenty of lush greenery.
You can even add a custom water features to add the soothing and calming element of water to your outdoor room. Take it to the next level with custom sunlamps and the sounds of nature and you won’t even remember you’re inside!
The combination of lush plant life and relaxing water elements will create an inviting outdoor ambiance for everyone to enjoy without ever leaving the comforts of home.
The “Locavore movement,” is an eco-friendly trend that challenges people to buy food grown and sourced locally. Taking this movement a step further, many people prefer to grow some of their food in their home.
Homeowners and restaurant owners can enjoy ornamental edibles that are both pleasing to the eye and delicious in their culinary dishes.
From sage, rosemary, thyme, basil and colorful peppers to kale, cabbage, edible flowers, and salad greens, ornamental edibles are no longer just for the backyard garden.
By adding edible plants to windowsills, or even in vertical gardens, you can add fun living elements to your interior decor that simultaneously elevate your home dining experience!
Indoor water features
Incorporating moving water to your interior design creates an instantly dramatic influence. Adding a large water wall is sure to create a lasting impression.
Working with a smaller space? Consider adding a relaxing fountain that adds the sound of a babbling brook or stream to your home.
Waterfalls and water features also change the temperature and humidity of the nearby air, creating a tactile experience. You can never go wrong with adding a soothing water feature!
We all want to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors all year round. Stick to the above design tips and you can experience the wonders of nature within the comforts of your home all year long!
Images courtesy of Pinterest.
Homeowners are shifting towards smart landscape solutions, which means we’re finding innovative and creative ways to adapt to environmental elements, making continued advances in technology and taking outdoor living to the next level !
At the same time, 2017 returns to simple plantings, and although innovation in landscaping continues to accelerate, savoring the effortless beauty of the great outdoors remains a top priority.
Smart technology, thoughtful, yet simplistic design, and sustainability are the keywords when it comes to landscapes design in 2017.
Greenery isn’t just Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year for interior design. True greenery is the theme of landscape design for 2017.
Combining green plant life in a variety of textures and shades, ranging from formal hedges of green velvet boxwood to a border of green lilyturf creates a statement as bold and impactful as a backyard filled with a rainbow of colorful flowers and plants.
Hygge is a Danish concept that centers on building an ambiance of coziness, centered on embracing the simple pleasures of life. Hygge is making a powerful impact on landscape design this year.
Start by decorating with light, arranging your outdoor seating for intimate conversations, planting fragrant flowers, and adding soothing water features to promote mindfulness.
These few simple tricks are easy ways to integrate hygge into landscapes, while simultaneously creating a comfortable and fulfilling outdoor space.
Outdoor kitchens are sure to add a sizzle to your backyard space! We’re not talking about your typical charcoal grill. Outdoor kitchens are taking it up a notch by creating state of the art living spaces for cooking, dining and entertain in your backyard.
Outdoor kitchens now include smart home technology, such as built-in consoles on refrigerator doors, mobile app-controlled LED lighting, and ovens integrated with Wi-Fi.
Now you really can have all of the comforts of home even when you are outside!
When it comes to outdoor kitchens, dining al fresco is only part of the fun. The dinner party really starts to sizzle when you serve the entire experience in the great outdoors!
Are you looking to create an outdoor kitchen for the amazing outdoor living? Here are a few more Tips for Designing an Outdoor Kitchen that Really Cooks!
Creating smart lawns
Landscape professionals have made innovative advancements in developing cultivated grass varieties, called cultivars, that are known as a hybrid form of “smart grass.”
Smart grass can better withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn, making them especially desirable in drought-prone areas.
2017 is the year of eco-friendly, sustainable, and environmentally conscious landscape design. There is an increased focus on the importance of pollinators and their importance to our ecosystem.
This heightened awareness has inspired homeowners to develop gardens that specifically attract vital honeybees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
If you would like to create more pollinators in your backyard start by adding native plantings that are abundant, year-round nectar sources throughout in your yard.
Not only do they help promote gorgeous growth but they bring your garden to live with the buzzing and fluttering elements of mother nature.
Some landscape design trends come and go.
However, with the growing focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable living, our backyard landscape design provides the perfect opportunity to give back to the world while creating an outdoor sanctuary to enjoy with our family and friends for years to come.
Whether your backyard is a small plot of land, a terrace in a penthouse or a large space with plenty of trees and added features, you want it to improve the beauty and character of your villa.
Whatever the size of your yard, you can create an outdoor atmosphere that echoes your life and meets your landscaping budget. Take a look at top landscape design trends of 2017 that may be perfect for your Dubai home.
Images courtesy of Pinterest.
Low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants and minimal turfgrass have become the standard in sustainable landscape design. Homeowners now embrace sustainable design as a major part of their landscape plan.
Not only is this style of landscape design economical, but such designs are also environmentally conscious. Eco-friendly gardens attract friendly bugs, such as ladybugs and butterflies, all of which help your garden thrive.
Blended backyard gardens that incorporate edibles plants as ornamental decorative accents perform double duty, giving gardeners a bountiful harvest of fruit, vegetables and herbs and a sustainable, colorful alternative to turfgrass.
Edible gardens can be planted directly in the soil or a raised garden bed. You can even get creative and plant a garden in your old bathtub, or other repurposed piece to add a charming impact to your backyard.
When choosing a garden location, it’s important to consider:
- A location that’s protected from the wind.
- An area that receives plenty of sun and light.
- An area with rich, fertile soil and not dry clay or sandy soil.
- An area with sufficient water and drainage.
Waterfalls, ponds, and custom water features add a calming and soothing element to your backyard. Outdoor waterfalls provide an alluring outdoor accent that radiates the tranquil sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard sanctuary.
Waterfalls can be constructed in all shapes and sizes, so you can place them almost anywhere you like. Existing water features such as pools and ponds can be enhanced with a decorative waterfall feature.
Looking for more ideas on How to Enhance Your Landscape with Water Features?
Firepits and Fire Walls
There’s no better way to enjoy a clear, starry night than to build a backyard fire and bask in its glorious warmth with friends and family. With plenty of options to choose from, ranging from traditional fire pits to firewalls, always start by picking the perfect placement for your fire feature in a safe outdoor area. When properly installed, firewalls add a safe ambiance to a cool evening, providing the perfect place to relax and stare at the wonders of a crackling burning fire.
Indoor Ventures Outside
Outdoor living areas are all the rage in 2017! They provide all of the comforts of home with the added benefit of fresh air and the great outdoors.
Thanks to new durable outdoor fabrics made from acrylic fibers, which are fade-resistant and waterproof, homeowners can create permanent living spaces outdoors with luxurious fabrics and furniture.
You can create a separate space on a patio or build a pergola to create a truly unique outdoor entertaining area. In addition to creating a separate space, pergolas also add an element of shade to your outdoor living area.
Adding pillows, rugs and other decorative decor work to create a relaxing ambiance to entertain outdoors with of all the comforts of indoor living.
If you have enough space, you should consider adding an outdoor kitchen to create a fully functional outdoor space that will make for years of memories to come.
Simplicity and Structure
In keeping with the age-old design statement “less is more,” 2017 is leaning towards simple styling and structure. Simplistic, rich, greenery will create a pleasant, relaxing outdoor atmosphere in your yard.
Consider landscaping with trees, shrubs, flowers and plants in a variety of sizes, shapes, textures and colors. This allows you to create a yard with simple, yet stunning, visual appeal that you’re sure to enjoy!
When it comes to designing your backyard landscape, be sure to create a space that meets your needs. When in doubt, reach out to the design experts at Milestone.
We are always happy to answer any of your questions. What will you be adding to your backyard this year?
If 2016 was a little unpredictable for interior design trends, 2017 is looking to be a boundary-pushing year for interiors. From tech savvy additions to jaw-dropping colors, we’ve compiled a list of trends to be on the lookout for in 2017!
Nature’s palette and jewel tones
Soothing shades of green, purple, and taupe have topped almost every major paint brand’s color forecast for 2017.
Following the quickly growing health and wellness industry, these soft, calming tones are backed by themes of sustainability, simple living, and spirituality.
Also, prepare to bid farewell to boring neutral tones. The new look for walls will be pure drama. Deep jewel tones, like emerald green or amethyst, and pastel colors found in nature are very in this season.
Praised it for its “vitality of nature and new beginnings” green has been named the color of the 2017.
The more submerged we become in modern life, the greater our innate craving to immerse ourselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. It’s only natural that green has made a massive comeback.
The palette of 2017 draws inspiration straight from the landscapes of nature, from a botanical yellow and green to terracotta, apricot, and warm stone gray the colors of the year are all inspired by the soothing and bold colors in nature.
Matte appliances and decor
The new look for the home is bold, yet subtle without being in-your-face. An appliance or decorative accent with a matte finish works to strip away all other distractions caused by surface sheen, forcing the form of the decorative piece or object to speak for itself.
Matte can also add an unexpected finish for objects that are traditionally lustrous or glossy. This suggestive accent helps to inject a wonderful layer to your design, adding depth and composition to counterpoint other finishes.
A “cerused” finish refers to the technique that brings out the unique grain of the wood. This trend which has been popular in the luxury market for quite some time.
However, this year it’s finally trickling down to the mainstream interior design with a universal appeal. This year you’ll see it on cabinets, but also in bigger pieces like tables, chairs, and storage furniture.
Nailhead accents have been a classic staple for upholstered pieces, but in 2017 it’s being used in whole new ways.
We are seeing this trend go far beyond the usual upholstery, with riveted accents being applied to storage chests, credenzas, headboards and even the base plates of lighting fixtures.
Some designers even use nail heads to create dazzling patterns on the piece of furniture. This decorative accent lends an old world charm to any space.
All aspects of our daily life are increasingly becoming attached to the Internet of Things. As our lives continue to revolve more around our devices, so will our homes.
2017 will introduce more creative ways of incorporating charging docks and areas specifically devoted to integrating smart devices into the design of a space.
We are also starting to see savvy and sleek Bluetooth-enabled home appliances that allow users to customize every aspect of their morning routine.
From the strength of their coffee to the tone of their toast, everything can be controlled through a simple smartphone app. We don’t expect this trend to end anytime shortly, and anticipate continuing to see connectivity integrate into our interiors in 2017 and beyond.
As the year unfolds, be sure to check back for more up and coming design trends for 2017. Are you interested in updating your interior design? The Milestone design team is on standby ready to help you create your dream interior!
What trend are you looking forward to? We look forward to your comments below!
Images courtesy of Pinterest
Do you have old things lying in storage that you simply can’t bare to part with? Items from travel, old pieces of furniture and sentimental keepsakes, all tucked away until we find a place to showcase them again.
Well if you’re looking for a little motivation or a fun side project, here are a few creative ways to repurpose and upcycle some of your favorite treasures.
Upcycle an old dresser into a stunning bench
Whether you have an old dresser in storage, need to upgrade your current dresser, or you recently found an excellent piece at the antique store, repurposing an old dresser into a bench is the perfect way to enhance your seating arrangement.
Start by removing the top of the dresser and the top drawers. What’s left? A bench! Next, add some plywood for extra seat support, a few stylish and comfortable cushions, and voilà, you’ve created extra seating for your entryway, front porch, or mud room.
The remaining drawer on the bottom functions as a bonus storage area.
Unique display shelf
When you think an object has no purpose, think again. You’d be surprised how many items can be repurposed into one-of-a-kind shelving units which are perfect for showcasing your favorite sculptures and pictures.
For example, you can add a bright coat of paint to an old stepladder to create an interesting display shelf that’s an instant eye-pleaser.
Adding a weathered finish will pair nicely with crisp white frames on the adjacent wall, lending the room a classic cottage look. Additionally, an old ladder placed on a wall also create an intriguing bookshelf.
Salvaged home office
A chic home office doesn’t always need to have to brand new items. You can create a functional and rustic desk with just a few items and a little love and attention.
Use sawhorses for the legs of the desk, place an old ladder across for sturdy framework, and top it off with a wood pallet to create a spacious workstation that is sure to create a stunning focal point with very little investment.
To complete the look, consider using an old garage storage unit with wood pallets as a back support to create industrial-style shelving for additional storage space. Fill the shelves with vintage-inspired objects, and you’ve created the ultimate chic home office.
Cabinet door mantle décor
After a remodel, we are often left with extra material. Instead of tossing the extra items in the trash consider the possibilities. After a kitchen remodel, take that leftover cabinet door and place it above on the fireplace mantel as decor.
Paint the door to match the room’s color scheme and lean it against the mantel lending this item an entirely new purpose. Finish off the look with an antique decorative plate and candles, and you’ve created a stylish and unique decorative mantel.
Bright bold focal point
Sometimes the only thing a piece of furniture needs is a fresh coat of paint to breathe new life into a space. Add a fresh coat of paint in a bold color to an old end table or coffee table to create an eye-catching focal point.
A bold color creates a fun focal point to liven up any room in your home or office.
What to do with that old bathtub
Unlike upcycling, repurposing means that the original object is not modified, or very minimal modifications (i.e. re-painted). This provides a great opportunity to turn your whimsical creativity into thrifty pragmatism!
For example, you can make an intriguing and functional herb garden out of an old bath tub. Simply clad it with wood to turn the basin into a planter box, fill it with soil and plant your favorite herbs.
Not only will this create a unique enhancement for your backyard but you’ll also reap the additional benefits of fresh herbs for next meal!
From tired to stylish, anything can be revitalized with a little love. If you have a little time and a some creativity you can turn your old items into treasures.
If you don’t have the time but you want to create the look, contact the designers at Milestone and we can do the work for you!
Photos courtesy of Pinterest.
Your landscape often sets the stage for your home’s interior, so why not make the most of it? One way to strengthen your landscape and enhance your curb appeal is to add imaginative and unique water features.
From fountains and ponds to waterfalls and custom water features, these soothing additions are a popular and affordable way to enhance your landscape.
A pond is a flat low body of water which provides a fully customizable addition to enhance both large and small landscape designs. Not only do they add an essence of tranquility, but they can create an impressive focal point to your overall outdoor design.
Best of all, ponds provide a versatile addition you can blend into your existing landscape design. Ponds can be natural looking or made from concrete with multiple levels, allowing the water to flow from one level to the other in different size water basins.
If you desire to add more life into your ponds, you can create a koi pond for a more lively and invigorating outdoor water element.
For those looking to become one with nature, remember that birds, frogs, and insects prefer to frequent a garden when there is always a source of water available.
To encourage more wildlife, make sure you have plenty of indigenous trees and plant life in the area. Lilypads provide another great option for adding visual appeal to your backyard pond.
Outdoor waterfalls provide an alluring outdoor accent that exudes the tranquil sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard sanctuary. Waterfalls can be constructed in all shapes and sizes, so you can place them almost anywhere you like.
Existing water features such as pools and ponds can be enhanced with a decorative waterfall feature. You can also choose to install a pondless waterfall, where the water cascades down something, such as rocks or a stone wall and onto a bed of ornamental gravel.
The gravel or rocks typically cover a retaining basin to catch the water and a pump that will send it back up to the top of the waterfall.
Water walls are a flat wall of water that combines the soothing sound of water with the visual aesthetic of a waterfall. Pondless waterfalls are great options for those individuals lacking the space or desire for a pond, yet love the look and soothing sound of a waterfall.
Water and fire features
The combination of water and fire is very intriguing. We can create customized features using both these elements to create the illusion of fire emerging out of the water.
When these powerful features are combined in pools, they exude a very warm ambiance that is simultaneously visually compelling and soothing.
Another added benefit to these custom features is that the fire can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone feature by adding an Ethanol liquid burner or with a gas connection.
We recommend using a gas connection.This allows the feature to be easily operated with a single switch or remote.
Custom water features
Looking for something that speaks to the very heart and soul of your landscape design? Custom water features provide the perfect opportunity to enhance your backyard.
Creative water features offer meaningful yet subtle methods to enhance an otherwise ordinary backyard.
For your outdoor space, we can create an endless array of options to choose from, such as dazzling rock water pools with built-in fountains designed to reflect the greenery in your garden, to more contemporary looking water features that include sheet fountains, planter waterfalls, swimming pool lagoons, copper fire bowls and more.
Depending on size, form, and shape required, we can build any type of water feature you can visualize! Your custom water feature may include multiple functions like a water wall, bubblers, and spouts.
When it comes to creative design, the possibilities are endless.
A delightful pond or a stunning waterfall can be the crowning element for your landscape.
Not only will these water features serve as an attractive addition and enhance the architecture of your home, but they also create an aesthetic value that will increase the value of your property and your mood!
Having a strong connections between your indoor and outdoor design schemes can make your home feel more expansive, fill your space with light, and can encourage flow between indoor and outdoor rooms.
In fact, there are few design changes that have such a great and immediate impact on the way you experience everyday life in your home and backyard.
Whether you are planning on remodeling your home or simply want to get inspired, here are a few ideas to start you on the path to bridging the gap between the indoors and out.
Create seamless flow
An ample-size pivoting glass door creates an impressive entry on its own, but when you pair it with a back wall of glass doors, the light flows creating the illusion of endless space.
Using the same flooring material indoors and out also creates an uninterrupted flow from the front to the back of your home.
You can even get creative, adding an around the corner window. When you get rid of the corner, it makes you feel as if you are part of the view. We guarantee that this spot will become the highlight of your home! Corner windows are not just for grand villas.
They also provide an amazing opportunity to bring the outdoors in so you can enjoy the view of your stunning backyard all day long! If you have a spectacular view from anywhere in your home, that’s where to put your corner window.
Shelter an outdoor space
Outdoor rooms in the backyard provide a wonderful opportunity to create a secluded space in the calming atmosphere of your backyard or garden area.
Having a covered space next to the house, such as a pergola, gazebo or other custom built shade structures allows you to enjoy your backyard from the comforts of your shaded retreat.
Be sure to add comfortable seating and don’t be afraid to get creative. Consider adding a fireplace or custom water feature to enhance your landscape aesthetic.
Give your desk a view
Frequently we all bring our work home with us. If you spend time working from a home office your deserve a fabulous open view. Start by positioning your desk in a room with an inspiring view.
Make sure the windows face your desk, and if possible they run right up to the ceiling for maximum views and light. This small change will help create a productive space you will enjoy working from.
Design a family room with doors
What better way to create a seamless transition than with a constant view of the great outdoors? A walk-out ground-floor family room can be enhanced with pocket doors or sliding glass doors.
The immediate connection with the outdoors will help lure your family and friends outside to enjoy your backyard retreat.
Lose the door
Why not completely lose the wall? Opening up an entire side of your home with floor-to-ceiling glass doors is a dramatic change that could revolutionize your space. Accordion and bi-fold glass doors can be completely pulled away to blend indoors and out.
This feature is especially suited to modern homes and mid century ranches warmer climates, but it could work well for other home styles as well.
Echo your home’s shape in outdoor areas
One of the key components to creating a seamless transition from the indoors to the out is to remain true to the design of your home.
A wraparound patio that mirrors the shape of your villa, especially when paired with intriguing glass doors and generous windows, makes your indoor and outdoor spaces feel more interconnected.
Creating strong connections between your indoor and outdoor design schemes will expand your space with light and will encourage flow between indoor and outdoor rooms.
Follow the above tips for a few changes that are sure to elevate your home, your lifestyle, and your daily demeanor!
There are loads of ways to “open up” your living space by tricking the eye into believing that your home is much, much larger than it actually is.
Creating expansive space doesn’t always require tearing down a wall or a major renovation (although we can do that too)! Here are a few tips to create the illusion of expansive space in your home or office.
Choose monochromatic colors
Monochromatic color schemes are known for their peaceful ambiance, as they allow the eye to move easily around the room without the abrupt interruption of other colors.
When selecting your colors, be sure to use different color values, as they will add depth and interest to your space.
Go with glass
If you are looking to add space to a small bathroom, considering adding a glass shower door over a shower curtain. A shower curtain creates a visual barrier instead of letting your eyes take in every inch of space that exists.
Similarly, you can replace wooden doors with french doors, or any of your doors with interior glass panels. In using clear glass, you will create the illusion of space by maximizing every inch of square footage.
Wall mirrors come in all shapes and sizes. Use full-height mirrors wherever possible to create the illusion of higher ceilings. Full-length mirrors that run from floor to ceiling reflect the light, making a small room feel more open.
Mirrors and mirrored glass are an instant way to create the illusion of expansive space. Hanging wall mirrors not only lend the illusion of expansive space but they also add a pleasing accent to your wall decor.
You can even get creative! Adding a strip of mirror to a section of wall in your small kitchen will instantly make the room feel twice as large. You could also add mirrored accents to your kitchen island, cabinets or backsplash.
Choose the right furniture and declutter
Choosing the right furniture is the key to maximizing your space. Avoid heavy, solid furniture or skirted sofas. Instead, choose pieces on raised legs, or made of clear materials, that have less visual weight.
Choose smaller pieces that are versatile and multifunctional, like a sideboard that also doubles as an entertainment center. When in doubt, less is more. The less furniture you have, the larger the room will look.
Also take a good look around. Clutter and excess items really make a space feel small and cramped. Keep essential pieces that make a statement, create a focal point, or have a deep sentimental value, but get rid of the rest!
Pay close attention to rooms that have a low ceiling. Each item in the room will add to that feeling of being boxed in. There are plenty of inventive storage options to help keep you room tidy. If you can’t find what you’re looking for we can probably make it for you.
Unify your flooring
Continuous solid flooring makes your rooms look expansive and feel more spacious than they actually are. Don’t divide up your room by installing linoleum in the kitchen and hardwood in the living room. This creates two small spaces.
Using the same material throughout both rooms will help your design scheme flow from area to the next. If you are looking to make each room unique, try adding a striped rug and position it vertically through the room to make it feel longer.
Lower your lighting
Where are you placing your lights? When working with a small design space, you should avoid ceiling lights whenever possible. Instead place your lighting at floor, table and eye level to help limit shadows.
This includes hanging any pendant lamps as low as possible. You can also add vertical wall sconces to enhance your wall space.
Not only do the vertical elements of the lights help to create the look and feeling of a higher wall, but the light cast up and down from sconces helps to devise height by tricking the eyes.
Add dramatic art
Hang dramatic works of art and art pieces to make a room feel more expansive. Choose art pieces that are large and bold. In a small room, an oversized piece of dramatic art can actually give the feeling of more space.
Consider adding a large painting or another big piece of art. Not only does it open the room but it also creates a stunning focal point.
If you’re looking to lend the illusion of more space start with these simple tips. If you’re looking for a more dramatic home renovation, reach out to the design experts at Milestone and we’d be happy to discuss your home makeover!
Photos courtesy of Pinterest.
We all want a magnificent home that stands out amongst the rest. However, we also want a villa that blends with its natural environment and neighborhood.
Designing the exterior of a home can be a complex process of color choices, materials, and balancing shape and lines. It’s an overwhelming and exciting experience for designers and homeowners alike.
So, we’ve put together a few basic exterior design principles that will help make your home a haven with a visually appealing exterior.
Balancing Shape with Symmetry
As will all types of design, balance and symmetry play an essential role in achieving a well-designed exterior. Every home requires some semblance of balance and symmetry to create an aesthetically pleasing design.
It may be the eye-catching allure of a symmetrical contemporary home, where the windows are large or a smaller front door with smaller windows.
It could be a home where the balance is achieved through roof lines and outdoor pergola elevations to balance the heights.
Regardless of your home style, there are a variety of ways to accomplish an exterior that is proportional to your home – some through obvious symmetry, while others are a bit more subtle.
Either way, a properly designed home has an exterior that is proportional and balanced.
Form Follows Function
Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor, invented the phrase, “form follows function”. Essentially, this means that the purpose of the building should be the foundation of the design.
When designing your exterior consider the following: What is the purpose of your villa? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider your family needs and then decide what is required in your home (or yard) to accommodate those needs.
Ultimately, The exterior of your home will mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen.
Materials and Textures
With the surplus of options, it can become overwhelming deciding what materials you should use on your home exterior. Between wood, marble or flamed granite, aluminum, steel, Porcelain, paint , and natural concrete finish – how do we make our final decision?
It’s always best to balance durability with aesthetics. Naturally, you want the exterior of your villa to reflect your personal style. For example, if you prefer a rustic look you may want tumbled crazy cut stone stone and wooden bark.
If you are a modern minimalist, you may prefer the lines of sleek steel or simple wood panels. At the end of the day, stick with the theme of your home and what blends best with the natural environment.
Landscaping is Essential
Landscaping your home requires far more than simply planting a tree in your backyard. When designed the right way, your yard will become an extension of your home and personal tastes.
From gazebos and pergolas to living walls and custom water features, your yard should be a peaceful retreat for you and your family.
Don’t let your yard fade into the darkness when the sun sets. Proper lighting is essential for home safety and nighttime appeal. Choose lights that mimic the style of your home.
For example, traditional villas look fantastic with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entrance, or flanking the garage. Modern homes look amazing with angular steel lights.
Not only will these custom lighting fixtures look beautiful, but they will also keep you yard lit and functional into the wee hours of the night! Looking for a few more landscape ideas? Check out our 10 Tips to Enhance your Landscape Design.
Create an Outdoor Entertainment Area
Spending time outside with our family and friends dining and entertaining is a fun and memorable experience. Yet, dining al fresco is only part of the fun!
Outdoor kitchens and living areas are an amazing way to add value to your home and quality to your life. An outdoor kitchen or living area allows you to cook, eat and entertain comfortably in your backyard.
Between pergolas, gazebos, waterfalls, and fire pits, there are many amazing options to incorporate into your outdoor living space that will make it an essential part of your daily life.
While the design of your home exterior can be a complicated process that is full of decisions and choices, a well-designed home can be achieved with patience and a little help!
During the design process, we suggest that you follow the above mentioned tips and when in doubt consult a professional. The Milestone Design Team is always ready to help you achieve the home of your dreams!
Whether you’re decorating a small office, modest villa, or a petite room in your home, the dimensions don’t have to limit your design possibilities.
With a little creativity and strategic planning, it’s possible to transform your small space into the room, villa, or office of your dreams. In fact, there are plenty of easy design-proven solutions that will make your space look stylish, open, and just plain bigger.
Photos from Pinterest
Paint and Accent Wall
A cool and calm color scheme will leave your space feeling bigger and brighter. Leave your walls white, ivory, sand or beige to lend the illusion of expansive space. Dark paint colors often make a room seem smaller.
Opt for lighter shades to instantly create a breezy, spacious feel. Another trick is to use multiple but similar colors, such as white and beige or pale pink and mauve.
If you are into colour, go bold and bright or even dark and cozy but only on an accent wall. You can even use the same color on the trim to add a little extra height to your space. You’d be amazed what an inch or two can do!
Incorporate Floor Length Mirrors
Adding a large floor length mirror is the easiest way to open up a room, making it appear double its size. Mirrors reflect both artificial and natural light making the room seem lighter and brighter.
Smaller mirrors are also nice for decoration but larger floor length mirrors are the way to go when you want to open up your space and provide the appearance of depth. You can even double up, placing two mirrors side-by-side.
Photos from Pinterest
Limit Bold Accents
When it comes to bold accents, less is more! Limit any big, bold prints to decorative accessories, such as blankets, throw pillow or fabric choices for smaller pieces of furniture, such as a stool or ottoman. Larger commanding pieces like your sofa should be solid and light..
Let There Be Light!
Dimly lit rooms have a tendency to disappear. To avoid this, add table lamps, floor lamps or wall sconces in the corners of the room. Placing these accents at the corners not only maximizes your floor plan but also brightens your space.
Photos from Pinterest
Floor to Ceiling Curtains
Make your ceiling appear taller by adding floor to ceiling curtains. When selecting drapes, be sure that they are the same color as the walls within the room. Sticking to the same color scheme will help the curtains to blend in, creating a streamlined effect.
If privacy isn’t a concern, consider leaving your windows bare. Not only does this produce an unobstructed view, it also makes the room feel bigger by incorporating the extension of the outdoors.
Invest in Hybrid Pieces
When you find furniture that performs double duty, you’ll need less of it! Think storage ottomans that also function as seating, trunks that moonlight as coffee tables, or dining tables that drop their leaves to become smaller breakfast tables.
Ultimately, the less furniture you have, the more space you have.
Photos from Pinterest
Clutter Free is the Way to Be
Let your furniture breath. Resist the temptation to push pieces together, as this can create a counter-effect, making a room feel crowded. Instead, allow plenty of space between furniture, and try “floating” larger pieces in the middle of the room.
While you may not be able to add square footage to your office, villa or small room, you can use a little creativity to make your space feel much larger. Stick to these tricks, and you’ll be on your way to creating a comfortable design scheme with endless space!
We’ve talked about ways to improve your exterior and backyard with amazing design ideas, sizzling outdoor kitchens, gorgeous pools, and lush gardens, so we thought it would be fun to show you a few awe-inspiring designs that surely turned a few heads!
There are thousands of impressive and unique designs and styles to add to your collection of garden landscaping ideas, but we’ve listed ten here. Have a look!
A beautiful garden design will transform your backyard into a little heaven. Designing a space where you can relax, surrounded by the peace and tranquility of nature will do wonders for your mind, body, and soul.
This garden studio is mesmerizing and offers a beautiful place to unwind and relax. What we love: The pergola inspired shed creates a space to sit and dine and the lush green Murraya Jasmine spreads a lovely fragrance.
Who wouldn’t want to sit back and unwind here?
Maximizing the Space
Your backyard doesn’t have to be huge to turn it into a space that you will absolutely love.
This backyard is short on space, but the designer maximized every square foot by incorporating Stone clad retaining walls, patio furniture for outdoor eating, and cantilevered pergola to cover the outdoor kitchen area.
What we love: this sleek pergola not only creates a separate space but also offers relief from the sun and heat during those warm summer months whilst you cook.
The Asian Pergola
What’s not to love about an Asian-inspired backyard? From the tiered roof to the Zen inspired greenery, every detail of this stunning design is a sum of the larger design scheme.
What we love: the outdoor seating, sun loungers are embedded within beautiful greenery and carefully collected outdoor sculptures and a pool set within spacious, clutter free garden gives the area a vibrant feel.
This backyard design has a lot to love! The massive pool resembles a sparkling lagoon, with a jacuzzi and water feature. Not only is this area peaceful and relaxing but it also adds value to the home.
What we love: the decorative stone wall stretches past the stone pool deck to hide the pool pump room and shower and tropical Balinese feel brought by the Palm trees.
The Terraced Garden
This stunning home full of windows offers a beautiful view of the garden and pool, while the raised steps adds the culminating touch through the lighting.
This thought-provoking design once again proves that you can do a lot with a space with careful choice of levels. What we love: the steps and pool deck, flanked by the outdoor bar and Barbeque area, giving it a simple open modern feel.
The Remote Hideaway
If you’re looking for seclusion, off the beaten path, this is the yard for you. The resort like feel, meandering grass, different levels, multiple seating spaces create a feeling of being far away from the busy world.
What we love: as the sun sets, curl up on the gazebo cushions and sip a drink, chat with friends and enjoy the serenity of the calming space around you.
From what we’ve seen so far, the most impressive backyards have dedicated spaces for each area. The yard below has a fire line incorporated within the bar counter encircled by chairs to entertain and relax with family and friends.
Further, back is the outdoor dining area and water feature. What we love: the unique foliage and architectural designs add just the right amount of character to this amazing back yard!
The Outdoor reading corner – Inspiration
I would love to have a corner like this! Everyone needs is a cave retreat when you want quiet time outside to write your vision, dreams or simply to think.
What we love: the beautiful wall tiling pattern, neutral colors beautifully combined, natural bamboo surrounding the little area.
Cool Children Play Areas
This cool children play tent creates a cozy corner for them to relax and play. It’s a little tent, very cost effective and cute. What we love: A special corner for children in any shaded area.
Photos from Kidsofmania.com and Pinterest
Garden Dining Area
Modern and spacious, a 3 m long table sits in the center of a waterproof pergola. What we love: Solid wood shade structures, bar and a warm feel to this garden. Totally clutter free! Stunning!
From lush gardens to manicured yards, there is inspiration to be discovered in a variety of backyards. If you’re looking for a little help to turn your backyard into a relaxing getaway, the designers at Milestone are always ready to help.
Already have an amazing backyard? We’d love for you to share it!
Editorial Note: some images were picked up from the net as inspirations from Pinterest and Houzz.com
Every year, as summer slowly fades into fall, professionals from the interior design world start talking about their expectations and predictions for the upcoming year. It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the new year.
Yet here we are, rounding out the year and trend forecasters and designers are already thinking well into 2017! The new is year is full of exciting design trends that are sure to shake things up. Here are a few of the top interior design trends for 2017.
Rescued, Distressed and Shabby Chic Looks
What’s old is new again as vintage pieces and antiques make a huge comeback. If it looks slightly loved, worn, rustic or shabby, it will be in style next year. Shabby chic is still a favorite for home decor in 2017.
Design experts suggest this trend reflects our inner desire to create a more relaxed space. Reminiscent of days gone by, whether it’s the real deal or an antique replica, these intriguing artifacts and accents will add character, texture, and warmth to almost any design scheme.
Be sure to keep these pieces as close to their original state as possible without completely repainting or refurbishing beyond recognition. Their vintage appeal and “slightly loved” look is what lends this trend its recurring charm!
Photos from Pinterest
You heard it hear first – cork is making a comeback! Last year cork chalkboard walls were all the rage and this year it’s all about walls covered with cork. It might seem odd at first, but when you think about it, cork is the ideal material for accent walls.
You can pin photos and artwork directly to the wall, and it’s perfect in offices for pinning notes and papers. Not only is cork a stylish decorative material it instantly adds warmth and texture to your space.
As an added bonus, cork is ideal for absorbing noise in large, open floor plan homes. You can even get creative in your home office, adding a cork accent wall that doubles as a vision board! Cork finish wallpapers look very stylish too.
Photos from Pinterest
Artificial leather bed heads are where it’s at in 2017. Traditionally found in hotels or period mansions, statement bead heads are making their way into mainstream interior design and it’s about time!
This year consider accenting your bed frame with a luxurious faux leather bedhead. Detailed backboards, lavish velvets, and stunning shapes will effortlessly transition into your existing décor scheme.
Photos from Pinterest
Technology is shaping more and more of our lives and every once in a while we need to unplug and unwind! It’s only natural that design trends would start to shift offline.
Reading nooks, minuscule office spaces and places to escape accented with relaxed furniture will be one of the interiors must-haves for 2017.
This trend is perfect for those individuals operating with a tight budget because you can work with what you’ve got! Consider extending a window seat, carve out a recessed space in a wall or transform the cupboard under your stairs into a reading nook.
The possibilities are limitless!
You may be familiar with contouring makeup, and now the trend appears to be moving into our interior design. Contouring finds its inspiration in the natural lines found in nature.
Whether it’s rock formations, crevices or river beds, you can expect to see this movement mimicked prominently in the surface design of statement pieces, such as kitchen islands or tables.
You can also opt for a more subtle approach, injecting the style as a print on ceramics or other soft furnishings.
Photos from Pinterest
Jeweled Tones and Metallic Accents
As always, certain colours come and go with the passing years. 2016 year was the year of the pastels, but next year, get ready for intense tones inspired by eastern design. Amethysts, emeralds, and opals will add a luxurious splash to your interior design.
Not to mention, metallics, metals, raw-cut quartz, Lucite, and opal will add a dash of dazzling sparkle and interest to your space. This is one trend we hope sticks around for awhile!
Interesting Wall Accents
Are you are a true-blue follower of animal prints? Perhaps your mathematically inclined mind likes the indulgence of geometrical prints? Or does your romantic side simply falls head over heels in love with butterfly prints?
Well, if you can answer yes to any of these questions, 2017 is the year for you as interesting wall accents is where it’s at! Think metallic artworks, wild animal prints, bright butterfly prints, and iconic metal automobile wall accents to spruce up that simple wall.
These unique wall pieces will add an interesting and fun appeal to your space.
Photos from Pinterest
While out with the old and in with new may temporarily spruce up your space, just remember that trends come and go. What’s in today may be out tomorrow.
Remember to stay true to your personal tastes, incorporating what works with your space, and you can never go wrong!
Dining al fresco is only part of the fun. The dinner party really starts to sizzle when you serve the entire cooking experience outside!
An outdoor kitchen not only allows you to cook, eat and entertain without having to book a reservation but it also expands your living space. Not to mention, a well-designed outdoor kitchen will allow you to enjoy cooking and dining outside beyond the summer months.
Incorporating traditional kitchen elements to your outdoor kitchen is a great way to add versatility, value, and fun to your space.
Here are a few of my must-haves for creating the perfect outdoor kitchen.
Start from the ground up
Designing the floor layout and material of your outdoor kitchen is essential to building the foundation of your amazing outdoor space.
When making your selections, be aware of the different weather in our area, as well as the overall weight of the appliances you are installing.
Flooring such as polished marble or granite will be slippery and slick when wet and may not hold up to oil or food stains. The right flooring will not only complete the overall look of your outdoor kitchen but will also add durability and value to the end product.
Milestone Tip: When designing a project of this scale, remember that safety comes first. Outdoor kitchens are typically located near wet surfaces like swimming pools and spa tubs.
Be sure to choose materials that meet safety criteria, stay away from flooring that may be too slippery or rugged, and select a material that can handle food spills and grease. Ceramic tiles or porcelain outdoor tiles are the best option in this area.
Location, location, location
Where you decide to place your outdoor kitchen depends on several factors. First off, you’ll want to make sure that smoke from the grill doesn’t drift back into the home.
It’s wise to have a good idea of the general wind pattern in your yard so you can set the grill appropriately. Secondly, if you like to entertain you want to engage with your guests and won’t want to walk a long distance from the indoor kitchen to the outside.
Consider placing your grill and outdoor kitchen near the entrance to the inside kitchen.
Lastly, if you want to preserve the view you currently have from inside the house to the outside, you’ll want to design your outdoor kitchen to the side or at an angle.
This way, you don’t obstruct your view from the inside of your home. Just like an indoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen is full of hazards so place your kitchen in the right area of your backyard.
The right planning will help ensure that your outdoor kitchen is in the right location for your yard.
Milestone Tip: If you are considering completing a lot of landscaping changes to your yard, such as adding retaining walls, living walls or a swimming pool, be sure to include the outdoor kitchen as part of the overall design.
Choose your appliances wisely
Every kitchen needs a focal point and most outdoor kitchens center around the grill. Whether you choose gas or charcoal, your grill should serve as an accent to your space.
When creating an amazing outdoor kitchen be sure to include a sink and a small refrigerator. Some outdoor kitchens are fitted with other appliances to make the outdoor kitchen feel custom.
You can even add specialty appliances like a beer tap, smokers, hibachi grills and warming drawers. Be sure a licensed electrician installs your electrical connections so that your outdoor kitchen is up to code.
Pizza ovens and tandoors are becoming increasingly demanding.
When purchasing your appliances, be sure to order items that will make it through the seasons, both rain and shine. Stainless steel or ceramic appliances are very durable, require little maintenance and work in all weather conditions.
Milestone Tip: Gas powered grills are a popular feature in the outdoor kitchen. If you want a plumbed gas line for your gas grill, you’ll need to hire a licensed professional and most likely file a permit with the city.
Be sure you consult an expert for this aspect of the project.
Add a touch of ambiance
Your outdoor kitchen will provide a place to cook, eat and entertain family and friends. This area will become the center of your outdoor life and is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor weather while having the comforts of your indoor space!
Be sure you incorporate features that really make this space the center of your summer. Chairs, tables, decorative objects, specialty lighting and custom water features can complete the look while injecting your personal tastes in your decor.
When it comes to furniture, choose sturdy pieces with comfortable outdoor cushions. Select the largest table you can for the space so you have, as you’ll be spending a majority of your time here.
A water feature, such as a small fountain or pond can also lend a relaxing vibe to your outdoor kitchen. Some outdoor kitchens are being fitted with television sets, truly making the outdoor kitchen both the place to cook, eat, relax and entertain.
Milestone Tip: If you have a small backyard try not to overdo it with an extravagant full outdoor kitchen. Sometimes less can be more.
An alternative option is to build a BBQ island, which has all of the essentials from a grill to countertops and is a better fit for a smaller space and budget.
The best outdoor kitchens are just as functional as your indoor kitchen, as welcoming as your living room, and as entertaining as your family room.
An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, table, and chairs, or as elaborate as a fully outfitted kitchen complete with built-in appliances and seating.
Although a homeowner can set up a simple and straightforward outdoor kitchen, designing a grand and impressive outdoor kitchen is best left to a professional like the design pros at Milestone.
With so many different types of outdoor kitchens, designing the best kitchen for your family takes the time to plan and may require permitting from the city.
Regardless of whether you hire a pro or not, you can follow the above tips to get started on the right foot. An amazing outdoor kitchen will provide all the comforts of home in the serenity of your backyard! Bon’ Appetite!
Backyards have become a true expansion of the home. When properly landscaped and designed, your backyard will provide additional outdoor living space where you can spend time entertaining family and friends.
Pergolas are architectural garden hardscapes that became popular during the Italian Renaissance. They can be a welcome reprieve from the midday summer sun while creating a lovely visual for your space.
At its heart, the pergola is simple: crafted from sturdy boards and crossbeams, and accented with lattice and sometimes vines. With the right materials and guidance, they are a welcome addition to your garden retreat.
Play to Your Landscape’s Best Features
Where you place your pergola is almost as important as the pergola design itself! Pergolas and similar hardscapes work great placed directly in the landscape or right next to your home.
When located within the landscape, a pergola is visible from indoors, creating a beautiful scene. When deciding where to place your pergola, you should play to your landscape’s best features.
Think about where you will be spending most of your time. What area of the landscape have the greatest views? Are there any spots that need to be sheltered from the wind? What time of day do you want to sit under your pergola?
Which areas of the landscape are most pleasant at that time? How big a structure you want ? Minimum distance of 1-1.5 m is recommended from boundary lines to build a pergola.
Bring Shade to Your Backyard Retreat
One of the most charming benefits of adding a pergola to your backyard design is the shade they offer to your backyard retreat. When building your pergola, you have the option to place smaller slats on top of the main beams, oriented in the opposite direction.
These shorter slats are placed only two inches apart, offering exceptional shade cover to your outdoor space. Remember that a pergola is not designed to give you shade all day, as the sun will be moving.
So consider your lifestyle and schedule when planning where to place any outdoor structures to make sure you design the best setting/space for the time of day you’re likely to spend time there.
Curtains can be added to pergola for extra shade and sail shade fabric can bring shade too when combined with wood to create a cosy feeling.
Create Boundaries for Your Outdoor Space
You can easily create boundaries within your backyard by adding a pergola. This covering can designate space dedicated to eating and entertaining, especially when built in combination with a patio and outdoor kitchen.
Additionally, pergolas offer a covering for your outdoor furniture or outdoor dining area, amping up the functionality of your space. You can even add climbing plants, including flowering plants, ivy, and vines that will thrive with a pergola offering them support.
You can even hang beautiful planters from the slats of your pergola to showcase additional plant life.
Spa Covers & Patio Partitions
A pergola is a perfect addition for those looking to enjoy a little shade with the bonus of a nice breeze. A pergola is a great addition to for your hot tub or plunge pool.
A meranti wood pergola or aluminum pergola featuring louver panels that open for air or close for more privacy. If you don’t want to wait for the decorative vines to grow, you can add a thin shade cloth that will cut the UV by up to 65%.
Not only are these pergolas decorative and functional, but they also create the feeling of a separate area for your backyard spa.
As a home construction project, a pergola is far less intimidating than a covered patio. Whether your patio is directly outside your door or deep in your backyard, a pergola creates a separate space for entertaining and relaxing in the shade.
Pergolas and patio covers let you spend time in your landscape even on the most sweltering of summer days. They are also great for defining spaces within the landscape and creating an inviting transition between indoors and out.
Milestone Builds waterproof pergolas with wood and gypsum combination, wood covered by polycarbonate sheet, aluminum louvered pergola. Concrete structure can be combined with wooden roof to add character to the backyard.
Choose your theme to decide what kind of pergola will suit you the best.
If you are a homeowner working with Milestone to design a backyard retreat, you have countless options for customizing your space. Homeowners always have the choice to include a pergola in their backyard.
These beautiful, wooden structures offer countless benefits, including dramatically improving the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.
Your office is more than just a place to work. Your office is a humming hive of engagement and activity!
Whether your organization runs in a traditional office setting or your company operates out of a home office, this space needs to be an inviting place that you and your employees like to be in.
After all, aside from our homes, this is where we will spend a great deal of our time (and energy). Here are a few tips to keep your office looking fantastic, inviting, and productive.
Hide the Wires
Between wires, laptops, and other electronic devices wires are everywhere! Add in docking stations, paperwork, and personal items, and there are many things that can turn a room full of open desks into a very disorganized space.
Even an expensive conference table can look terrible if wires are not well concealed. Luckily manufacturers are developing solutions that are clean and simple, making it easy and affordable to hide all of those pesky wires.
When you remove the wires, you are creating a clean workspace. Less clutter will correlate with increased productivity.
Bring the Outdoors In
This past year we have witnessed a serious shift toward nature in design.
Reclaimed wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring, indoor plants and incorporating natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork are all becoming more prominent in the home and office.
You can even add plant life in the form of living walls. Vertical gardens are not only proven to increase well-being and decor with their lively aesthetics, but they also promote fresh air within the office.
Incorporating nature into your office design scheme recreates the natural, cozy feeling that nature inspires. Ultimately when we are happier we are more productive!
Gone are the days of the stiff and sterile cubicle. Instead, modern offices have shifted towards non-assigned seating. Multipurpose spaces can be utilized for everything from morning announcements and multimedia presentations to casual breakout sessions.
If you prefer to keep with the traditional desk setting, try adding an oval-shaped table or desk, which allows for a more comfortable place for small groups of employees to meet.
Designated Lounge Areas
This goes back to getting rid of those uninviting cubicles! Now that everyone enjoys the pleasure and easy access of wireless technology, modern office spaces include a designated seating area to make work more enjoyable.
Add couches, coffee tables, and benches so that employees can work while enjoying some comforts from home. You can get creative by adding bright, bold colors, accent pillows and throw rugs. It’s all about creating a vibe that promotes creativity and productivity.
Forget the Permanent Layouts
Versatility and flexibility is a growing trend in modern office design. Traditional office spaces, which were planned in advance with permanent layouts, are evolving to the needs of an ever-changing work landscape.
Try incorporating products designed to move the office layout, so they can change with your business. Modular components can be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering innumerable combinations for a dynamic and collaborative workplace.
A space with autonomy and flexibility – that’s a space that can transform a business.
When it comes time to design, decorate, or redecorate your office the ultimate goal is to create a space that people (including yourself) want to go to.
Your office is more than just a place for your employees to work, it is a direct reflection or your biggest assets – your property and your people.
If you’re interested in an office fit out, we’d love to discuss your options. Don’t be shy! Contact the Milestone design team today!
The advantages of having your own swimming pool are well known. Not only will a pool provide hours of fun creating a lifetime of memories, but the right pool will increase the value of your property.
Whether it’s in-ground or semi in ground skimmer or overflow , a stunning infinity pool, lap pool or a small plunge pool, a pool offers provides hours of amusement right in your backyard.
Here are a few tips that are sure to create a splash when designing your awe-inspiring swimming pool!
Types of Pools
The type of pool you build will be based on the size of the space and budget you are working with and what you plan on using your pool for. Will you be swimming laps or are you just looking for a place to take a dip during those hot summer months?
From infinity pools that expand your horizon, to plunge pools that save space and traditional pools alike, as you design your pool be sure to keep in mind the aesthetic and style of your home.
For those working with minimal space, a smaller plunge pool may be the ideal option. For those with more space, an endless infinity pool will not only enhance the look and feel of your yard but it also increases your property value.
You can even get creative and add a hot tub spa to your pool design! Ultimately, your pool should enhance the existing design of your space while giving you a place to relax and entertain in comforts of your yard.
Today, most people avoid the traditional rectangular design for their swimming pools. While functional, they are common and can come across as boring. When designing your pool, think outside of the box!
When you select the right shape for your pool, you will enhance the aesthetics of your space. Consider an oval, circular or even square shaped pool. Depending on the size of your pool area, you can even use a combination of shapes.
When it comes time to plan the shape of your pool ask yourself the following questions:
Who will be using the pool? Does anyone plan on swimming laps in the pool? Are you planning on entertaining with the pool? How you answer these questions will help you determine the size and shape that best suits your pool needs.
Surround the Pool with Non-slippery Surface
Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or simply looking to provide a space for your family to enjoy during the warmer months, you must be aware of safety issues and recommendations when designing your indoor pool.
We recommend paying close attention to the flooring that surrounds your pool and to choose something that is practical and comfortable for swimmers.
Slate flooring is not only water-resistant, but it’s also durable and is an ideal option for a room that leads directly to a pool area. Composite wooden deck is non slippery and not hot to land your feet on.
Another alternative is outdoor ceramic non slip tiles. . As long as the tiles and floors are not polished smooth, cement tiles provide a great look for your pool that’s functional and safe.
If you are building an indoor pool, be sure to make the pool close to an exit. In doing so, you will effortlessly connect your indoor pool to the external area, such as your outdoor kitchen or garden area.
This can be as simple as adding a French window or a door to complement the pleasure of swimming and relaxing in your pool.
Spruce up the space!
Adding customized lighting fixtures, water fountains, and decorative ceiling art can go a long way in taking your indoor pool to the next level of awe-inspiring. Adding a waterfall with some mood lighting will truly create a space that you won’t want to leave.
You can even take it one step further by painting a stunning mural on the ceiling. All of these added visuals will not only add value to your home, but they will create an indoor oasis that will get you through those cold and rainy days.
Perhaps the most important element to design your dream swimming pool space is to be brave and experiment! Think about all the fun events you will center around your pool.
Think about how creative details such waterfalls and fountains will contribute to that joyful experience.
Will you be adding other entertainment pieces to the area, such as a tennis table or television? By the time you think of all the elements you want to add to your pool area you’ll be loving your pool long before it’s built!
Designing your outdoor space can be overwhelming, but working with a landscape architect doesn’t have to be. Here are a few helpful questions to ask your potential landscape designer to ensure that they are a good fit for your project.
How long have you been specializing in landscape design?
It’s important to know the amount of experience any potential landscape designer has under their belt. Ask to see their landscape design portfolio and check out their website to review any client testimonials.
This will give you an idea of what your potential designer is capable of producing.
What can I do with this space?
Before answering this question, any reputable landscape designer will need to physically visit your yard. During the first visit to a garden, a potential designer will note where the shade and sun fall in your yard, what the soil is like, or where property MEP are located.
They may also take notes on any existing features they might incorporate into the design (such as big trees or views). This will all play a vital part in your final landscape design plan and are specialists in gaining vital information called the “ Design Brief”.
What’s your speciality?
If you have a specific vision in mind you need to know that your designer is capable of producing the aesthetic you seek.
How do you work?
Landscape architects have different ways of approaching a project. During the first visit, some designers may snap photos of the space or perhaps sketch out a rough concept or two to give their client a visual.
A more detailed conceptual drawing follows, along with a general project description to discuss with the client. Landscape designers often interview the clients as much as they are being interviewed.
This is very common, as you will working together to bring your vision to life and you want to ensure it’s a great fit on both ends.
How long will my project take?
This may seem like a simple question, but it’s an important one. The duration of your project will depend on the size and scope of the landscape design. Don’t be surprised if your contractor provides an estimated time frame upfront, rather than a fixed date.
Keep in mind that weather, suppliers or the contractor’s work schedules could alter the timeline. If you have a specific timeframe in mind be sure to let your landscape contractor know.
How much will it cost?
Whether you are operating on a fixed budget or with unlimited funds, you need to be aware of the cost of your landscape design before starting the project. Most estimates are calculated taking into account square footage and what you want to include in your design.
Do you want to include a pool or an outdoor kitchen? Additionally, water features, custom lighting and decorative paved paths may add to the overall cost of your project. Be sure to clearly express your project budget before starting your landscape design project.
There may be some wiggle room to lower the costs of the project as well. For example, when it comes to materials widely spaced concrete pavers with plants between are more cost effective than ornate solid paving.
How do you charge for your services?
Some landscape contractors charge for their services at an hourly rate, with a not-to-exceed amount, while others charge one lump sum based on the scope of work.
A less common method in the landscape profession is to charge as a percentage of construction costs. It’s important to know who you will be charged for the landscape designers services.
A design and build service is given by quoting for Design fees separately and giving the execution cost separately.
Any other third parties involved in the landscape design process?
Not all landscaping companies are full-service providers. They may contract out portions of the project to third parties. For example if you want a custom designed Pergola or Gazebo for your backyard your contractor may need to outsource that portion of your design project.
However, a full-service provider such as Milestone has an on-site carpentry warehouse to handle all custom wood design.
Knowing this beforehand will give you a better idea of who will be operating on your project and whether or not it’s your responsibility to find other necessary professionals.
What’s the process once you are hired?
Once the plan, project timeline, budgets are approved, any changes made, and the contractor is hired, work will begin on your new landscape design. Will you be in direct contact with the designer, or will your project be managed by another staff member?
Great communication is essential throughout the entire design project. It’s important that you know exactly what the process is for the scope of your project.
Do you provide landscape maintenance services?
Designing your dream landscape is only the beginning. Be sure to ask the landscape contractor if they provide lawn care and upkeep services to ensure that your newly planned oasis will stay lush for a very long time!
People turn to talented landscape designers to create their outdoor living spaces and to discover creative solutions to their landscape challenges.
However, you can’t just show up to an initial meeting with only a few books about plants and decor. Asking the right questions is the first step along the path pebbled path to your dream landscape design!
Many people ask me what it takes to create a great landscape design. First, you need to consider what you want to do with your space. How much time will you spend in your yard? What do you want to use your landscape for?
Are you simply creating a stunning visual or do you want to create a living space? Setting these variables aside, there are a few basic tips you can follow to turn your backyard into a relaxing retreat.
Invest in a great landscape plan for a low maintenance garden.
Having a proper landscape design from the start is essential to creating a landscape that works for you.
While you can opt to research personally to design your space, many individuals prefer to consult a professional, to help design a sustainable garden that will work for their life, such as the experts at Milestone.
Regardless of your design theme, be sure to include plants that last in all seasons and are perennial. The goal is to have flowering,fruiting,palm family trees and shrubs that last through the year minimizing frequent replacements.
Be sure to incorporate drought tolerant plants, automatic and water efficient irrigation systems, lawn alternatives, rock gardens for low maintenance, and mulch/stone to reduce weed growth in your design.
Ultimately, a well-designed landscape will dramatically cut your energy costs.
Create layering in your planting beds.
Plan your planting beds to have at least three rows of plants. Plant the tallest plants in the back row, medium height plants in the middle row, and reserve the front row for ground cover or shorter plants.
Be sure to incorporate some unique shrubs or bushes to add additional visual appeal of your garden beds. Remember to use the principles of repetition, both in the planting bed and elsewhere in your yard.
This will lend a bit of structure to the freedom of your overall design. Trees may be planted in between at every 4 meter distance and at least a meter away from the Villa boundary walls to avoid the growth of roots damaging the boundary footings.
Incorporate hardscape into your landscape design.
Whether you are creating pathways, patios, retaining walls or outdoor living spaces, your hardscape material should always be constructed from the same type of matching materials.
The right hardscape will tie all your landscape items together, creating a space that flows throughout the landscape design. For added interest, try incorporating walkways with stepping stones set within pebbles or with decorative ground covers.
Outdoor kitchens and living spaces.
If you plan on spending a significant amount of time in your backyard you may want to consider designing an outdoor kitchen and living space. A custom designed outdoor kitchen will instantly become the new entertainment hub for your outdoor lifestyle.
From intimate family dinners to neighborhood parties , your outdoor living space will become a household favorite. For extra appeal you can add a fire pit, fireline, pool house, Pergola, BBq and much more!
With just a few additions you can design a backyard that’s perfect for entertaining family and friends.
Invest in good soil and effective mulch.
Exceptional soil preparation and incorporating healthy organic soil and compost is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of creating and maintaining a healthy, lush looking landscape design.
Additionally, add a 2-4” thick layer of mulch over layers of weed fabric to provide a barrier to keep pesky weeds at bay. Use perlite to reduce water in soil.
Plant annuals and seasonal bulbs to supplement perennial color.
Though Perennial flowers add a beautiful pop of color to your planting beds, they only bloom o for a particular amount of time. By incorporating annual and seasonal bulbs into your landscaping plan, you will be able to enjoy a splash of color all year round!
They look fantastic and and brighten up those dreary winter months.
Add statuary, pots, birdbaths, and water features to create focal points.
Exceptional landscape designs are anchored by focal points. Using beautiful statues and potted plants in between beds not only creates architectural and visual interest but it also allows you to add personal taste to your design.
Birdbaths will attract wildlife to your ward which only enhances your outdoor space. Water features and waterfalls are visually appealing and provide soothing sounds that will help mask unwanted noises in your neighborhood.
Add a theme garden to your landscape design.
This may sound redundant but adding a themed garden to your landscape will create a space within your space.
Whether you want to create a relaxing Zen garden to find your center after a stressful day at work or a Mediterranean-inspired garden to excite your senses, this added element will lend the illusion of more space in your landscape design.
Add drama with foliage.
We all love flowers. However, you can use alternative foliage to spruce up your landscape design with a diverse variety of textures and colors.
Evergreen plants, such as ficus, may lack flowers but they have foliage that offers a myriad of different textures and colors. Not to mention, not all evergreens are green!
So replace plants that don’t flower with eye-catching alternatives, like pandanus, Cyerus, Pennissettum Rubrum, Haemaenocalis, Boganvillea, Ixora, Murraya Jasmine, Carissa, Raphis palm etc.
You can’t go wrong with a living wall!
Turn your exterior wall into a lush vertical garden! Aside from blending into your landscape design these gorgeous living walls reduce stress, enhance air quality, improve mental health, and promote sustainability.
Using different types of plants will create an artistic infusion that will certainly add to your landscape design.
When it comes time to create your landscape design be sure to add elements that speak to your personal tastes and life. A well-maintained landscape can add as much as 10 percent to your home’s value.
Use these tips to increase your home’s appeal and to create a relaxing landscape design that you will enjoy for years to come.
Just like you, every once and awhile I need to change things up. From subtle accents to innovative additions, here are a few of my favorite trends to enhance your décor while improving your demeanor!
Bring the Outdoors Inside
There’s something about being outside. Nature creates a relaxing atmosphere that helps us to forget the stress and frustrations of the day. It’s possible to decorate and arrange your home so that you bring a bit of the outdoors inside.
Start by focusing on an area where the inside meets outdoors. Whether it’s a sunroom, porch or just a room with a great view, move towards transitional spaces.
Add some billowy curtains, to filter the natural light, or natural accents throughout the space, such as wood or bamboo. When placed in the right place, window boxes draw your attention outside.
You can even get creative and plant fresh herbs for those upcoming barbeques and parties. Try adding a few flowers and plants inside your home. Bright colorful flowers will do wonders to lift your spirits and brighten your interior space.
Enhance your indoor décor with the exquisite sight and sound of water. Whether you decide to go small or large, there are hundreds of styles that range from wall fountains and waterfalls to tiny little desktop or tabletop versions.
Some incorporate special lights, natural elements (such as stones or plants), and even custom art. In addition to looking amazing, water features are an artistic expression that allows you to relax and reflect. This small detail can truly enhance your space.
Specialty Lighting Fixtures
When it comes to light, you should always choose quality over quantity. Lighting design, regardless of the space, can alter people’s moods, inspiration, productivity, and everything in between.
What better way to change your perspective than to change your lighting? Contemporary pendant lights give a room a unique sense of structure and substance, showing funky and sometimes fascinatingly strange shapes.
Not to mention that pendant lights can highlight an otherwise unusable focal point of your room. The right light can help bring life to a room by adding color and texture. Consider using them to bring in a fun accent to a mostly monochromatic room.
Lightening and fixtures are a simple addition that will showcase your personal style.
Incorporating candles in strategic ways also enhances your interior space, transforming it into a soothing, inviting, and relaxing environment.
Candles provide a great alternative that also plays with your interior ambiance, slowing down the energy and helping you feel rested. They also come in a vast variety of sizes, shapes, colors and scents.
When most people think about home accents they think about vases, throw pillows and knick-knacks. They don’t necessarily think of incorporating art into their decor. It doesn’t have to be a painting or piece that you hang on the wall.
You can get creative! The classic elegance of stone, fibreglass, statues, abstract sculptures, and other modern artworks are making a comeback in very large fashion.
However, this trend doesn’t necessarily have to be about the large and expensive items but is also about small luxury accents.
Think outside of the traditional “art box,” adding hand-crafted vessels, sculptures, and furnishings for that inspirational culminating finish evokes sophistication, luxury, and opulence.
Inject a Little Life
Humans possess an instinctive bond with other living things, including plants and animals. Plants help to create a feeling of peace, harmony and tranquility. So you don’t have a green thumb? What about an air thumb?
Often the things that don’t usually come together become an extraordinary combination. The levitating plant fuses an artistic spirit with technology, resulting in creative design.
Using innovative forces of magnetic energy, the levitating plant not only adds a little living appeal to your space, but it serves as a great conversation starter!
Research indicates that living with an abundance of oxygen producing plants may result in significant health benefits, to include a longer life span.
Cancers and many other pathogenic diseases are suppressed by oxygen, which is why hyperbaric oxygen chambers are used as powerful life-saving tools. Some plants emit oxygen at night, creating a soothing effect for asthmatic patients.
Sprouts (such as sweet peas, buckwheat, and sunflower) create an abundance of oxygen and they taste great too. The Snake Plant and Areca Palm are also lovely aesthetic accents that possess the added benefit of producing oxygen.
Looking for something a little larger? Consider designing a living interior wall. Living green walls are panels of plants, grown vertically using hydroponics, on structures that can be either free-standing or attached to walls.
Also referred to as vertical gardens, green walls, living walls or ecowalls, this lush addition to your home can incorporate flowers and even water features. The possibility are endless!
Making a few simple changes can transform your space and do wonders for your spirit. When creating your interior be sure to surround yourself with items that lift your spirits and help you relax. After all, this is your home!
I absolutely love incorporating modern and minimalist themes to enhance landscaping. Personally, it truly is my favorite choice for landscape design.
I am attracted to the simplicity of lines, linear structure, neutral color pallet, innovative materials and focus on sculptural details. All of these aspects combine with simple shapes creating an elegant and charming design that is very appealing.
Typically, the combination of grey, white, beige, brown, and black form the color pallet that serves as the foundation for modern gardens. These colors come together exceptionally, allowing other accents of colors and accessories to stand out against the background.
Grass, plants, and pebbles also provide additional colors, enhancing your minimalist design. These little accents look beautiful against the neutral base found in your landscape design flooring and exterior walls. The result is awe-inspiring!
I’ve put together a few tips to help you take your modern and minimalist landscape to the next level!
Create Clearly Defined Areas
A key trait of modern landscaping lies in creating clearly defined spaces. The geometry of modern garden is sleek, unique, and pristine. We’re not talking about a boring, and stuffy space, though. Keeping things interesting is essential!
You can create a defined space using gravel or pebble to create rectangles to break up the lawn, creating a stunning stepping stone effect.
Or you can create many distinct areas, using a pool, water features, or an abundance of simple flower beds to create fun and different areas in your backyard.
When placed properly, the right combination of gravel, tile, water and lush plants will combine to form your perfectly planned modern landscape.
Match Exterior Design with Your Architecture
Usually, a modern garden places more focus on the architecture and materials than on the plants and greenery. Landscape should always be designed keeping in mind the architecture style of your villa.
When designing your landscape, be sure to use the style and theme of your home and then incorporate those ideas into your landscape. Remember that you will often be looking from the inside of your home to the outside.
So it’s important to connect the color theme and styles so that your home effortlessly extends into your exterior landscape, creating a peaceful transition from one space to the other.
Use Linear Form and Geometric Shapes
A modern garden is typically characterized by a sleek, streamlined and sophisticated style. Modern garden designs also draw on the simplicity of minimalist Asian design practices.
Usually, a modern garden places more focus on the architecture and materials than on the plants and greenery. Geometric shapes and repeating patterns are commonly incorporated in modern outdoor spaces.
The main idea is to design a garden that has a managed and organized presentation.
Use Innovative Shade Structures
Modern designs use shade structures that are simple and functional. Whether they are concrete, white in color or shades of brown, they are always simple. Steer away from gazebos designed with thatched roofs and Mediterranean roof tiles.
These ornate structures don’t mix well with a modern theme. Instead, keep your shade structures simple and sleek.
Focus on Accessories and Outdoor Furniture
Modern gardens often rely on structural accessories to achieve their minimalist look, with plants used as accents rather than focal points to provide contrast and color.
Enhance your minimalist design with modern outdoor furniture crafted from natural elements such as wood, metal, wicker, concrete, and marble. Use weatherproof geometrically inspired cushions and pillows to further enhance your outdoor furniture.
When creating a modern design, it’s important that your accessories incorporate innovative shapes for planters, modern sculptures, vertical gardens, and sleek benches. For an added touch, be sure to include modern and easy to maintain water features.
Its contemporary linear form combined with the soothing sound of water can insert the culminating finish to your design. You can even get creative and make things on your own, adding a distinct personal touch to your modern landscape design.
Remember Less is More!
One of the most important aspects of creating a modern garden is creating a space that is clean and clutter free. Stick to the minimal use of furniture and accessories, allowing enough space to move around.
Also, be sure to remember that plants are meant to be used sparingly. When you do incorporate plants, remember that repetition and groups of plants are crucial elements to modern style.
Use plants that are simple and make a statement, like an Olive tree. Steer clear of unruly and wild plants; they simply don’t belong in this clean and sleek design.
Modern minimalism is exactly that: minimalist! This is a style that focuses more on form, color, and abstract ideas. Remember that when it comes to modern themed gardens, less is always more.
Their refined forms, pure materials and the achievement of balance distinguish the quintessential aspects of modern garden designs from all others landscape designs. I just know that you will love this style as much as I do!
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!
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!
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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!
Landscape Designer Dubai | 5 Secrets To Inexpensive Upgrades
Landscape designer Dubai: Design your exteriors with perfect planning that enhances your lifestyle
Go back to a place you love, everyday. Make it so comfortable that you feel relaxed! One important aspect of the perfect home that greatly embodies who you are is your outdoor space.
The entrance to your villa begins from your garden! Your personality and lifestyle reflects from your garden and entrance.
Feng Shui says that “You create the environment and the environment will create you”! Create a harmonious landscape so that it makes you feel peaceful, relaxed and cheers you up.
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Landscape designer Dubai: 5 secrets to consider for a perfect exterior designs
1. Landscape designer Dubai: Outdoor lighting
Lighting needs to be effective in enhancing features, creating moods by its different beams, subdued at certain places, focused at some places and indirect lighting in some area.
It is the outdoor lighting that emphasizes the theme and accentuates the features of the landscape. A garden without proper lighting will fail to produce the ambiance you need.A landscape that is well lit creates beauty, and a feeling of safety.
It is also important to note that varying the lighting techniques used will give the landscape a fresh and complete look.
2. Landscape designer Dubai: Lines of the Landscape
Another significant element is the lines of the landscape.
You may not notice these lines but these subtle cues speak volumes to the subconscious mind.
Horizontal and vertical lines serve different uses.
- Vertical lines, for example, make your space seem longer and slimmer than it really is. Tall trees and the like can be used to create these vertical lines.
- Horizontal lines on the other hand, make the space feel bigger than it actually is by pulling one’s vision along the ground. Walkways, fences and hedges create horizontal lines.
- Straight lines give a feeling of being formal and curved lines, a touch of informality. Curved lines are considered very aesthetic when presented correctly but they need more expertise, are more expensive and take up more space. There needs to be a sense of balance between the different kinds of lines and curves.
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3. Landscape designer Dubai: Outdoor structures
Outdoor structures like swimming pools, pergolas, decks, gazebos, grills, outhouses and gardens should be planned according to your lifestyle and theme. These structures should be maximized to create harmony with the outdoor space.
4. Landscape designer Dubai: Materials
In deciding the sort of materials to be used for the landscape’s flooring, you should consider the aesthetics and your lifestyle.
Below are the best suited for an active lifestyle
- Anti-slip flooring
- Easy to clean floors
- Low maintenance stones like slates
- Flamed granite
- Antique finish Travertine
Inactive lifestyles more or less go with everything and you only need to choose the right materials that coincide and accentuate the design.
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5. Landscape designer Dubai: Planting
Color theme, height, fragrance, suitability to the environment and temperature, seasonal or growing throughout the year may be some criteria to consider before planting.
The plants’ colors play a significant role in the overall color of the landscape.
One should choose the types of colors that will make the landscape more soothing and those that will help unify the color theme of the design.
White, for example, attracts the eye and should be used as little as possible, though it would make for an extremely effective focal point.
Plant heights affect the lines and vertical boundaries of the landscape. One should consider the current height and overall height that these plants will have. Well-clipped hedges and topiaries create a formal look.
Trees, on the other hand, create a natural scene and give the landscape an informal look.
Most of the time, the sound element is overlooked and neglected. But it is a very powerful element in landscape design. A garden should have a natural and soothing sound. The type that calms the nerves and relaxes the senses.
Waterfalls and other water elements should be placed with great care to create the desired effect. Strategically placed rocks and plants are good ways to control the sound from water elements.
The landscape designer should keep these in mind at the time of conception of the design.
A theme that works best with one’s lifestyle and personality should be chosen.
With these tips in mind, when going over the design with an architect, you will have the advantage of knowing what works and what won’t. This will give you better control over the final design.
And you will be able to create the kind of backyard that you have always wanted.
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1. Pool design Dubai: Create an outdoor resort at home
A well-designed swimming pool isn’t just a tank of water. It can turn your garden into an elegant outdoor oasis. With waterfalls, vanishing edges and other unique amenities, a pool can serve as a relaxing and inviting centerpiece right in your own backyard.
2. Pool design Dubai: Unwind and relax
When you get home from a long day at work or need to escape the busyness of life, take a quick dip in your pool to unwind. Spending time in the water helps your body relax and get rid of stress. You’ll also sleep better than you ever have before.
3. Pool design Dubai: Stay healthy and lose weight
Instead of driving to the gym, you can spend time exercising in your own pool. Research shows that swimming provides a better total body workout with a low risk of injury. It also helps you to lose weight faster.
4. Pool design Dubai: Increase the value of your home
Recent studies show that owning a pool increases the value of your home by as much as 15%. It also makes your property more attractive to prospective home buyers.
If it comes time to move, owning a pool may be the difference between selling your home quickly or keeping it on the market.
5. Pool design Dubai: Encourage family time
When you build a pool, you’re actually creating a fun and relaxing space for your children and family to spend time together without ever leaving the backyard!
You’ll make lasting memories as you teach your kids to swim, play with them in the pool, and barbecue by the water. Fill in your name & email ID in the box on the right to have Sejal call you for pool design Dubai
6. Pool design Dubai: Throw a party
When warm afternoons and cool summer evenings roll around, a pool is a great way to entertain. Invite your friends and neighbors over for a poolside barbecue or a dip in the water.
7. Pool design Dubai: Stay cool
Instead of hiding out indoors by the air-conditioning, you can beat the summer heat by lounging in the cool waters of your own pool.
8. Pool design Dubai: Keep an eye on your kids
With a swimming pool in your backyard, you can give your kids and their friends a place to play that is both convenient and safe. You can also rest easy knowing that your children are close by.
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9. Pool design Dubai: Long lasting fun
Building a pool is a great investment that will reap rewards for a lifetime. A vacation, a movie, or a visit to a theme park will all come to an end, but a pool will be enjoyed by your friends and family for years to come.
You too can have any of these 11 different styles of pool design Dubai. Click here
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Wall Decor | 8 Ways To Revitalize & Balance Your Space
1. Bring harmony and vitality. Use colors, accessories, design features, lighting, paintings, cladding, vertical gardens and wall paper
2. Walls, ceiling and flooring form the basis of design for any space in your house. Your house will come alive if there is harmony and balance between them.
1. Wall Decor: Colors
White or neutral shades for your ceilings are best and will allow them to be unimposing. Larger tiles in white or beige will make your space look bigger.
The choice of wooden, marble or ceramic materials for your floor should harmonize with your walls. Lighter floors and white or light walls make your space look bigger.
Darker floors and light walls give warmth. Lighter floors and darker walls make your space look smaller and imposing. Fill in your name & email ID in the box on the right to have Sejal call you for wall decor.
2. Wall Decor: Accessories
Having neutral colors on walls allows you to use any painting and accessories.
Using darker shades on walls requires matching wall accessories, curtains, sofa upholstery, carpet or rug, throw cushions so that the colored wall combines with the overall color theme.
3. Wall Decor: Design Features
You can use any of the following materials to design feature walls:
• Wood paneling
• Leather panels
• Wall laminates
• Colored wood
• Wall paper
• Stone claddings
• Fabric panels
• Paint finish
• Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) panels
• Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) panels
• Computer Numerical Control (CNC) cut MDF
Every wall having an enhancement is too much. Just a touch of design is enough to make your wall come alive. Fill in your name & email ID in the box on the right to have Sejal call you for wall decor.
4. Wall Decor: Lighting
Using essential and mood lighting on your wall in an interesting way will bring warmth to your evening.
To design the atmosphere you want you can use:
• Warm white
• Colored Light Emitting Diode (LED) strip lights
• Wall up and down lights
• Only down lights
• Spot lights to highlight paintings
• Ground lights to highlight walls upwards
5. Wall Decor: Paintings
Choosing the right size of painting for your wall is important. Paintings that match the style, color and texture of walls can enhance the walls or bring disastrous results depending on the choice you make.
Having large walls and using small paintings, that too not at eye level, can give you atrocious results. A large painting at eye level enhances the wall, focusing attention on the painting.
Eye level is considered to be around 150 cms from the floor. So individual paintings and photographs or clusters of them at this level work exceedingly well. Fill in your name & email ID in the box on the right to have Sejal call you for wall decor.
6. Wall Decor: Cladding
Stone cladding comes in a number of colors and makes the texture of your wall interesting.
Use marble, travertine and textured marble to make your wall fascinating. These materials give depth and can be maintenance free for years.
7. Wall Decor: Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens are used frequently to augment walls in restaurants, homes, offices and malls. They bring natural greenery inside the area while occupying little space. Irrigation can be installed easily.
It is also possible to use artificial vertical gardens instead of natural plants.
8. Wall Decor: Wall Paper
Wall paper is a good option. It is available in many designs, textures and styles. However for a long life it requires consistent temperatures in the Dubai climate. Your air-conditioning may need to be on whether you are using the space or not.
Wall Decor: To view interesting ways to enhance your walls view the images below
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Ponds Dubai: A well designed pond completes your villa and inspires the onlooker. 24 ideas that your Dubai villa can also have.
To view 24 different styles of ponds Dubai you too can have click on the images below:
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Garden Dubai: Soil preparation, adding Perlite, removing weeds, fertilizer tips, organic fertilizer, mowing, woodwork varnishing
Garden: It is easier to maintain your garden if you take the following steps.
1. Garden: Soil preparation
Healthy soil preparation will allow the garden to grow well. Mixing 40 % perlite, 40 % sweet soil and 20 percent peat moss or potting soil will allow the soil to be very healthy.
With the harsh ambient temperatures and salty sand, most garden maintenance companies will remove about 10 – 30 cms of soil. Sweet soil is added to get a better PH level. Shrubs need about 40 cms of sweet soil and trees require 1 m x 1 m of good soil.
2. Garden: Adding Perlite
Perlite when added to the soil
• Helps plant roots to penetrate through heavy clay
• It prevents compaction and water from collecting in places improving aeration and drainage
• Prevents your plants’ root damage
• Does not decompose and lasts for years
• Stimulates root initiation and vigorous growth
• Insulates and minimizes temperature fluctuations
• Has an almost a neutral PH level
• Holds moisture and does not become soggy
• Is free from diseases, weeds and insects compared to normal soil
3. Garden: 6 Tips to remove weeds
Weeds don’t just mar the beauty of your garden beds but they also force desirable plants to compete with the weeds for water, sunlight and nutrients.
• Adding mulch to your garden beds kills weeds and keeps new ones from popping up. Mulch prevents weed seeds from germinating.
• You don’t need poisonous chemicals to ward off weeds. Household staples, such as salt and vinegar, work just as well. In order to use salt as a weed killer, combine 1 cup of table salt with 2 cups of water, stir the mixture well and then pour it directly on weeds. Some weeds can’t tolerate the acidity of vinegar.
• Pour some white vinegar or apple-cider vinegar into a spray bottle, and then spray weed stems and leaves with the vinegar. If a weed has flowers, spray the blossoms before they go to seed. Pour more vinegar into the soil around the weeds to kill their roots. If it rains before the weeds die, then reapply the vinegar.
• Surprisingly vodka helps controls weeds by destroying the waxy coating on their leaves. The plants then dehydrate and die. Combine 1 ounce of vodka, 2 cups of water and several drops of liquid dish-washing soap in a spray bottle. In the afternoon of a sunny day, use the mixture to spray weed leaves until the solution drips off them.
• When weeds pop up in your sidewalk or driveway cracks, sprinkle them with one handful of baking soda, and sweep the baking soda into the cracks. The baking soda will destroy the roots that you can’t reach by hand or with a tool.
• Borax also kills weeds and keeps them from re-growing. Apply it in the same way as baking soda.
4. Garden: Tips to fertilize it
In Dubai, most companies use only NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash or Potassium) fertilizer.
Understanding the effects of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash or Potassium on your lawn and plants is important. This will help you to decide which type, if any, fertilizer is appropriate for your garden and landscape.
In most cases, aerating and composting are much better for your garden than using chemical fertilizers. Also note that higher NPK levels don’t necessarily mean healthier plants.
Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong. Phosphorous helps roots and flowers grow and develop. Potassium (Potash) is important for overall plant health.
Be aware that high nitrogen fertilizers will make for quick growth but weaker plants that are more susceptible to attacks by diseases and pests. Fast, showy growth is not necessarily the best thing for your plants.
5. Garden: Organic fertilizing
Bokashi is a uniquely simple way of turning your kitchen waste into an organic compost soil conditioner.
Developed in Japan, the Bokashi Compost Kit converts your organic waste into a high-grade soil conditioner. It uses microbes or Bokashi – a Japanese word meaning “fermented organic matter” to do this.
You can discard fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy and even bones right in your kitchen without the requirements of turning it like you do outdoor compost, and without creating unpleasant odors.
The kit supplied is all you need. This consist of a uniquely designed bucket, the special bran and easy to use instructions.
In Dubai you can buy these bins at:
Domestic bins, commercial bins and bran can be bought at The Change Initiative
Contact: 800 824
Location: Al Barsha 1, Sheikh Zayed Road (service road near Ibis Hotel).
Domestic bins and our 1 Kg bags of bran can be bought at The Ripe Farm Shop
Contact: 04 379 0441
Location: Street 8a, Umm Suqiem 2 (just off Al Manara).
6. Garden: How often should you mow a growing lawn?
• It’s a matter of length.
It doesn’t matter, how often you mow, as much as how long the grass is. If your lawn looks yellow and dried out after you’ve mowed it, you probably have the blade on your mower set too low.
Some people like a super-short lawn like a putting green, but doing this requires both a specific variety of grass and lots of extra care spent on fertilizing and other upkeep.
Since you’re probably not one of those people, your grass will be healthiest if you let it grow a little longer. When the lawn is looking a little yellow in patches, let it grow a little longer, then move the blade back up.
When grass is a little longer, it is also more comfortable to walk on barefoot.
• Is it beneficial to mow the lawn more often?
For a lawn to be green it must be growing. Grass pales and turns yellow over time unless it’s growing.
Second, the key factor to keeping a growing lawn healthy is mowing it according to its growth. Therefore, if it grows quickly because of fertilizer or rain then you simply need to mow it more often. The faster your grass grows the more mowing is needed.
• Most advice for a healthy lawn says to follow the “one-third rule”
If your grass is growing, you’ll be mowing. Each grass type looks best and stays healthiest at a certain height.
Use your mower to maintain that height as closely as possible to the height you want. Cutting your lawn too short can be just as damaging as letting it grow too tall.
The basic rule of mowing is to never cut more than one-third of the leaf blade. Generally, this means mowing about once a week to 10 days in the summer and probably every 15 days.
Mowing can be unhealthy for the lawn, especially if the lawn was cut too short within too short of a time period.
You want to be consistent about mowing. If the grass is too long, you should only cut off 1/3 the next mowing and then gradually reduce the height.
If you decide to mow less frequently because of the yellowing you see, you’re actually perpetuating the problem.
Grass is greenest at the top of the blade, and when you let that grow longer than it should, you cut off the healthiest part. It’s not the act of mowing that hurts it, it’s cutting too much of the blade.
Mowing the next day shouldn’t hurt at all—as long as the blade is sharp.
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7. Garden: Regular polishing of woodworks
Does your outdoor have a gazebo, pergola or other exterior wood structures? How often have you polished them? With Dubai’s harsh weather, the wood needs regular upkeep.
Protecting external woodwork is a constant challenge in hot tropical regions, especially when they are in coastal areas. Heat, ultra-violet rays and dust, all cause damage to the coating over external wood-work.
Cracks appear in brittle coating materials because of the expansion and contraction of wood during the day and night. Coating materials such as conventional spirit polish or lacquer disappear in a few months.
So regular polishing helps in maintaining your woodwork.
8. Garden: Why do we need polish, varnish or coating of woodwork?
Polish or varnish is required to
• To protect the wood against moisture. Moisture promotes the growth of micro-organisms causing bio-degradation. But that is not all; moisture even causes wood panels to loose shape resulting in difficulty in opening and closing of window panels and doors.
• For aesthetic purposes. Perfectly polished exterior wood work usually gives an impression that the wood is well maintained. However protection is the more important benefit.
• Polyurethane or Alkyd based varnishes are waterproof and able to absorb the expansion factor of wood. What is required is a coating that has elasticity equal to or greater than the expansion factor of wood. Polyurethane and Alkyd based coatings contain this property.
Polyurethane or Alkyd based varnishes have been around for many years now and the results are excellent.
Some brands also offer Ultra Violet (UV) Protection by adding a specialized chemical called the UV absorber. This absorbs the UV rays emitted by the sun preventing damage.
9. Garden: How to increase the life of varnish on external woodwork
• In order to extend the life of varnish, the woodwork must be cleaned periodically with a damp cloth to remove dust.
• The varnish heats up and melts due to intense sunlight in hot tropical regions and is absorbed by the dust present over the surface of wood work. So, dust should be removed from the external woodwork at least once a week with a wet cloth.
• Application of a fresh-up coat every year: If a fresh-up coat is applied every year, the varnish can last for years and years. No ground preparation like; scraping, staining and multiple coats are required. A fresh-up coat can be applied by only a bit of sanding on the surface to make it rough so, that the new coat gets a good grip.
Interior design: Understanding your needs, effective space, use of materials, lighting, accessorizing, flooring
Is it time for you to have new interiors? Or are you moving to a new villa?
Perhaps you are very creative, house proud, interested in living in beautiful spaces? Maybe you are passionate about design, have a clear vision and know what you want?
So you are probably looking for some suggestions, new ideas and a way in which your ideas can be executed effectively and efficiently.
What you will need to implement your ideas is skilled workers in mechanical, electrical and plumbing areas (MEP), gypsum and masonry works.
You will also need the services of a carpentry factory that can build wardrobes, beds, and customized furniture like desks, chairs, wall panels, ceilings and partitions.
1. Interior design: Understanding your needs
An ability to understand your brief and your needs is of primary importance. Suggesting how to meet those requirements within your budget will align both of you.
Your designer should also be able to help you clarify your vision, challenging some ideas which are not feasible and offering new ones.
It would also help if he or she is doing designs daily, visiting trade shows, knows different materials available and new technologies being used.
2. Interior design: Effective space planning
Your designer’s experience will allow him or her to plan spaces in a way in which every inch is well utilized, practical and functional. The result will look spacious and easy to use.
Accurate measurements, working on Auto-cad and other tools allows your designer to do precise planning thereby eliminating mistakes.
3. Interior design: Appropriate use of materials
A good interior designer will be in constant touch with suppliers bringing knowledge of new materials and technology. This allows him or her to use materials appropriately and effectively to bring out the right mood.
One material can be used in several different ways. Too many materials in the same space make it over-bearing. Also knowing the longevity of different materials will dictate usage. Making the space safe and edges rounded will minimize accidents.
Your designer’s use of colors and materials will bring harmony in your space. Colors play a significant role in the styling of a house. Each theme is different and using colors accordingly will make your space look authentic.
4. Interior design: Effective mood lighting
What you need to know about lighting:
- Lighting plays a major role to set the mood during parties and celebrations
- Red light is very relaxing whereas blue light is jarring
- Warm daylight is comforting and soft
- Light also creates shapes on walls
- Using up-lights or down-lights create different effects
- Light needs to be soft and not hurt the eye
- Too much light also makes it less romantic and agitating
- Using light effectively will accentuate the mood and save money
- Balance in lighting all areas and not leaving some very dark is also essential. More down lights is used in areas where reading or studying take place
- Living rooms and dining areas can use focus lights or up-lights
- Mood concealed lighting is used to highlight ceilings, walls and floors
5. Interior design: Accessorizing
You can use accessories to adorn walls, ceilings and flooring to produce lovely patterns. Accessories either highlight and glamorize your interiors or just ruin it.
Using small paintings on large walls or using paintings that do not match the theme can be a disaster. Large statues, abstract pieces of art at eye level will work the best.
Highlighting the ceiling will allow great lighting. Wall panels, wall décor and creating different depths will allow walls to come alive as if they were 3-D and not flat.
To highlight your walls in creative ways you can use:
- Leather or fabric wall paper
- Metal panels
- Vertical plant walls
6. Interior design: Flooring
The floor pattern you use and the flooring material will define your house. Too many patterns will make your space look cramped. And furniture will disrupt the pattern.
So avoiding busy floor patterns may be a good idea. Ceramic tiles, large pieces of marble, granite, porcelain tiles or wood all have their own pros and cons.
You also need to choose the materials that fit into your budget while augmenting your theme.
Hiring a designer instead of doing it yourself means accessing vast experience in concept and execution of concepts with a great eye for detail. More the detail, better the execution.
Swimming pool: Standard features, quotations should include, cleaning & hygiene, optimum size & high water table issues
Have you just moved to a new villa? Or are you buying an old property and wish to build a pool to entertain? Or is it mainly to exercise regularly?
Or do you want to build a pool to increase the value of your property when you sell it?
Clear objectives will help you get better value for your investment.
1. Swimming pool: Standard features
- A Skimmer pool does not have an overflow channel and a balance tank
- Overflow and Infinity pools have this to balance the inflow of extra water into the channel and then into the tank
- A pool pump room is common to both and needs to be built
- Overground pool pump rooms are easier to maintain. They have easy access and do not need an automatic submersible pump to throw out the water in case it collects for any reason
- The pool pump room may be included in the pool price or may be quoted as a separate line item
2. Swimming pool: Quotations
- All pools are quoted with their mechanicals including filters, dual pumps, chlorinator, control panels and all MEP requirements
- General pool tiles are a part of the quote unless something that is nonstandard is selected. The price of tiles may be given as per approval
- Heat and chill pump, chlorine free unit, maintenance kit, pool shower are all options, which one can select
- A pool ladder is compulsory as required by the Dubai Municipality and is quoted separately
- A safety fence is required as per the Environmental Health and Safety Rules and can be quoted separately based on the selection of materials and your budget. This fence can be made of glass, wood, metal or can be just a temporary removable fence
- Pool steps into the shallow area are always a part of the pool
- Standard pools are generally 90 cms to 1.6 meters in height. But depending upon the style of pool you choose, you could select heights from 90 cms to 2 mtrs
3. Swimming pool: How to keep it clean and healthy
- Correct dosage of chlorine keeps the pool clean
- Bi-weekly pool maintenance, cleaning, collecting of leaves that may clog the filter
- Cleaning of filter when required
- Balance tank ball valve and level may be checked
- Measure the water temperature with a thermometer when heat and chill pump is in use
- Filter timing needs to be set and maintained
4. Swimming pool: Determining the optimum pool size for your backyard
Installing a swimming pool is a great way to create your own relaxing “summer vacation” spot right in your own backyard.
However, choosing the right size pool for your needs is the most important task before the contractor starts digging. Installing a pool is a big investment, so take time to determine exactly how much space is available and how you want to use your pool before you start shopping.
- A lap pool is normally 3 x 15 meters or 3 x 20 meters if the space permits and you have the length
- A small splash pool is ideal for small villas like Garden villas in Palm Jumeirah, Springs and Meadows in Dubai. A size of 3 x 7 meters or 4 x 9 meters will work. This size allows enough room for casual swimming, games and simply cooling off on a hot day
- Kidney-shaped, figure eight and octagon are typical design styles for this size of residential pool
5. Swimming pool: What happens if the water table level is high in the vicinity?
- With high water table levels digging is more expensive. De-watering may be required even at depths of 1 meter till you get dry sand so that concrete may be applied
- In such cases you may want to consider building an infinity raised pool. This will allow easy construction
Ceiling design: Rentals, existing ceilings, MDF sheets, Mashrabiya, rooms, wooden paneling, green, kitchen & bathrooms
Ceiling design is as important as flooring and walls. All 3 are important aspects of any interior design.
In what way can ceilings enhance your overall room?
Most ceilings in the UAE come with pre-constructed villas. They have a concrete ceiling with a center or 2 light power points. Or they come with a Gypsum ceiling with a bulkhead and concealed air-conditioning ducts.
These are used for AC grills, spot lights and cornices.
Whilst building a villa, many owners enhance their ceilings with double bulkheads. These can be used to conceal LED strip lights, or tube lights depending on the mood you wish to create.
You may also add attractive cornices, lighting and dimmable spot lights. The AC grills could be different from the standard sizes.
12 ideas to enhance your ceilings:
1. Ceiling design: Rented property
If you are renting a property, leave the existing ceiling as it probably is a concrete slab. You can add a suspended wooden ceiling to enhance the look.
Colored lighting or spotlights can be added as mood lighting. You may want to hang pendants in the dining space. Adding a little wood will enhance your ceiling very nicely.
2. Ceiling design: Existing ceiling
You may already have a ceiling but it may now look mundane to you. As earlier you can add a suspended wooden ceiling without touching the existing ceiling.
Combining the floor and the ceiling will add much life to the otherwise white or off white walls. Furniture placement will also look better.
3. Ceiling design: Designed MDF sheets
Designed MDF sheets will add another medium to the design. Wooden framing, dropped ceilings and mood lighting add charm. Colorful collection of carpets laid on the floor help define the seating area.
Ceilings definitely define the area where to place furniture and so they must be installed very strategically with a proper ceiling and furniture plan. Colored lighting only adds to the mood and gives you options to enjoy a themed party.
4. Ceiling design: Mashrabiya
Adding acrylic and Mashrabiya to have concealed mood lighting is another way to enhance dining rooms for a classic look.
This is an innovative way to define the dining space and add top lights without any glare on the dining table. Your flat ceiling will have a 3D effect.
5. Ceiling design: Master bedrooms
Master bedroom ceilings could be enhanced too. It is nice to see something over the bed when you lie down. It needs to be soothing and not overpowering.
Use of a nice wallpaper could do the trick too. Framing and subtle lighting make a difference.
6. Ceiling design: Wooden paneling
A high roof and wooden paneling on the ceiling adds a warm feeling just like a wooden floor. It feels natural.
The look of a log cabin, high gazebo kind of ceiling, wooden rafters on ceiling , wooden strips all add to the rustic and modern look.
7. Ceiling design: Minimalist
Modern minimalist tray ceilings are just simple and minimal and work with simple lines, concealed lighting and give you a clean look.
8. Ceiling design: Go green
Vertical gardens and plants in the ceilings are becoming a rage. It is nice to bring in natural elements in a austere style. Funky shaped furniture and concrete on walls to get a rough stone look with wooden flooring could be a great idea.
9. Ceiling design: Blocks
Gypsum blocks can be made in the ceiling and matched with modular block furniture. Its an intriguing way to bring in Cubism.
10. Ceiling design: Children’s room
Children love colors, shapes, depths and formations. So use them.
You can add figures, flowers, natural elements and softness. Lighting plays a big role in children’s room ceilings.
11. Ceiling design: Kitchen
Kitchens normally have 60 x 60 cms ready made access panels as AC ducting passes through them and you need access. It is possible to combine wood, gypsum and other elements. Wood and white painted Gypsum makes a good combination.
12. Ceiling design: Bathrooms
Ceilings in bathrooms are the most neglected and you may not want to spend any money here.
However a little upgrade would make the bathroom very cozy. Wooden or Gypsum highlights, some paint and clever lighting, could add a lot of warmth.
Indoor plants: Selection & placing, Ficus, how to care, common problems, self watering planters
Are you fond of plants and believe that your house or office will come alive when there are plants in the space?
Your plants will give a soft, lively, natural way to touch your environment.
Sturdy plants are suggested and you should locate them in areas where they can thrive.
Deciding which plant to use, which pot to use, what will blend with the interiors, where to place them, how many pots are all questions you can ask your plant expert.
A bit of greenery makes a huge difference to a solid furniture and tiled space. All the curtains, walls, tiling, seating, storages, are big and solid and plants add a soft feminine touch, balancing the stiffness and bring in life and color.
Indoor plants: Selection and placing
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all homes are air-conditioned due to the excessive heat. Plants need 25-35 degrees Celsius to survive. High temperatures inside do not work well for indoor plants.
It would be best to place the plants near a window or where it can get a bit of sunlight and natural light. If not, you need to add artificial yellow light for it to survive.
• Areca Palm – Dypsis Lutescens, Kentia Palm, Phoenix Roebelenii, Zamioculcas are some palms that do well indoor.
• Schindapsus or Money Plant, Dracaena Massangeana, Dracaena Marginata, Pachira, Spathiphyllum, Monstera, Philodendron, Yucca Elephantitis, Croton, Coedium Petra, Daiffenbachia, Chlorophytum, Schefflera , are some commonly used plants.
Indoor plants: Ficus
Many varieties of Ficus like Starlight Ficus, Ficus Benjamina, Ficus Elastica, Ficus Microcarpa are grown here.
Most ficus trees enjoy bright indirect or filtered light with variegated varieties happily able to take medium light. Bright, direct light may result in scalding of the leaves and leaf loss.
Ficus trees also cannot tolerate low temperatures or drafts. They need to be kept in temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius. and actually prefer temperatures above 21 degrees Celsius.
Cold drafts from windows or doors will harm them, so make sure to place them somewhere where drafts will not be an issue.
Indoor plants: How to care
When growing ficus or other plants indoors, it is important to maintain a relatively high humidity around the plant. Regular misting or setting the plant on a pebble tray filled with water is a great way to increase their humidity.
But keep in mind that while they like high humidity, they do not like overly wet roots.
Therefore, when watering, always check the top of the soil first. If the top of the soil is wet, do not water as this means they have enough moisture. If the top of the soil feels dry to the touch, this indicates that they need water. Some plants need much less water.
Indoor plants: Common problems
Almost everyone who has owned a Ficus plant or other leafed plants has asked themselves at some point “Why is my tree dropping its leaves?”
A Ficus or any tree losing its leaves is the most common problem that plants have. Leaf drop is a standard reaction to stress and can be from any of the following:
• Under watering or over watering
• Low humidity
• Too little light
• Relocation or re-potting
• Change in temperature (too hot or cold)
Ficus are also prone to pests, mealy bugs, scale and spider Mites. A healthy Ficus tree will not see these problems, but a stressed Ficus tree (likely losing leaves) will surely develop a pest problem quickly.
“Sap” dripping from a Ficus houseplant, which is actually honeydew from an invading pest, is a sure sign of an infestation. Treating the plant with Neem Oil is a good way to handle any of these pest issues.
Indoor plants: Self watering planter reduces maintenance
Recently, self watering planters are becoming common as they reduce maintenance and over or under watering. Many shapes, sizes and colors are available in planters.
Self watering planters help you to avoid daily watering and the problems of over or under-watering.The large water reservoir in the bottom of the container is simply filled using the integrated water supply shaft.
The plant then takes care of itself for up to 12 weeks with exactly the right amount of water and nutrients that it needs for optimum growth.
Apart from the fact that plants need to be watered much less frequently, self watering planters ensure that your houseplants develop beautifully and this all-round care rewards you with better growth than with conventional culture systems.
And the best thing: this system also works for potted plants outdoors – on the terrace, on the balcony or in the garden.
Indoor plants: Choosing a planter
You need to choose a planter that suits your Interiors or exterior theme, color and expanse of the area besides looking at the height of the ceiling.
Choosing very small planters for large areas makes them look dwarfed and out of proportion.
Plants need to be planted on a height that one can see it at eye level just like paintings. Having plants at different heights in a cluster may also be a good idea for a corner. Neutral pots are great for any interior.
Glossy planters, Matt finish Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) planters, Terracotta or Ceramic planters, Mosaic clad or mirrored planters are some planters that are available here in Dubai.
Deciding which theme you want to choose for your garden
All New Gated Communities are made in Different styles of Architecture in Dubai. Each one chooses a villa that best suits their preference for style, space, layout, convenience and functionality.
A garden design would look wonderful when the Villa Architecture and style is considered in designing the landscape. It would bring everything together.
Spanish Style :
The Villa , a luxurious living community in Dubai land , Meadows at the Lakes , Signature Villas in Palm Jumeira, Palmera in Arabian Ranches, Al Furjan Properties offers distinct Spanish-style villas.
The Spanish Landscape uses a lot of contrast. Boldly colored glazed tiles, concrete pavers, Resin concrete or stamped concrete, rough travertine, sun baked Terra Cotta , crazy cut tiles and rough stones and pebbles match the Spanish architecture.
Vivid planting using succulents, seasonal flowers or perennial flowers like bougainvillea mingle with weathered stone and iron embellishments. Wrought iron, metal, black metal lights or copper and nickel metals bring an old world charm to the garden.
There is no ceiling reflecting the paint and one can use bold terractoa orange and brownish red colors to highlight the walls. Rough stone cladding, natural pond or meandering, curved water features would make it very authentic.
The Arabian Ranches and Hattan at the Lakes, has Vintage Arabian Styles of Villas.
Arabian style uses a lot of sand beige, peach, yellow and rustic colors. Use of a lot of pebbles, varieties of palms, cactus , Rocks, minimal vegetation and pebbles and stones represents the geographical character of the space.
Paving done with natural slates, sandtones, limestone, crazy cut tiles , beige claddings , use of natural wooden pillars would complement the design.
Pergolas , sail shades, tented materials, and using local fabric uplolstery in red and white blends would make it amazing.
The Villa, Hattan at the Lakes, Jumeira Island, Jumeira village circle and Jumeira Village triangle are constructed in Mediterranean style.
Beautiful and pragmatic, the is style is developed out of great diversity of Mediterranean history , culture and religion.
While the style developed in the Mediterranean basin, it is adaptable to many other areas — particularly those with a similar climate, known for winter rains and long, dry summers.
Originating in ancient Persia, high-walled gardens offer protection and relief from the elements. With their inward focus and protection from drying winds, walled gardens still provide sanctuary in Spain, Italy and Greece.
Shelter from the intense summer sun is central to Mediterranean gardens. Structures such as pergolas, loggias, arbors and arcades have been passed down to modern gardeners from the Romans.
Without shade, it would be very sunny and it will not be possible to use the garden for long. Shades for seating and dining areas provide usability to the garden.
3. Incorporating Water features
Because of water’s scarcity in the Mediterranean, many water elements, such as narrow dripping taps or dribbling fountains, offer only a trickle of water — just enough to prompt a feeling of relief from the heat.
Simple Italian water features or old heritage water feature from old Roman and times would be great. Italy is full of travertine figurative water features. So using those would be great too.
Using oleander, herbs, Olive trees, bougainvillea, creepers, cactus and succulents like aloe vera, yucca, jacaranda, hibiscus, Ipomeas creeper, lagerstroemia, Parkinsonia tree, Quisqualis Indica, also know as Rangoon creeper, a jasmine family plant, Lantana are some of the plants that one can use.
Bradstone, sandstone, beige and silver travertine brushed finish, concrete pavers , flamed granites, pebbles, natural finish ceramic tiles, quartzites, slates in beige and natural finishes would go well with this style.
Tuscan style of villas are built in Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Golf estates and Polo Homes. Polo homes, also offers Italian style of villa architecture.
Mediterranean and Tuscan decorating styles share many similarities, because Italy’s Tuscany region lies along the coast of the Mediterranean.
The main difference is that Tuscan style is focused solely on influences from Italy, while Mediterranean decorating incorporates elements from other cultures, including Spanish, French, Moroccan, Turkish and Grecian influences.
A closer look at each style can help you decide if either one makes a good fit for your personal decor scheme.
Textured walls in shades of cream, pale yellow or darker earthy tones of rust, burnt orange and terra-cotta mimic the aged plaster walls of Tuscan farmhouses.
Vibrant Gold , earthy greens and accents of blue, yellow and bright hint of red reflect the natural colors of the Tuscan countryside.
Terra-cotta tile, reclaimed wood add a Tuscan feel to flooring. Tuscan furniture is rustic, with natural wood finishes.
Light-colored upholstery and simple window treatments with organic fabrics in neutral colors create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
Wall art in the form of framed prints, stencils, hand-painted tiles and custom murals features the scenic Tuscan countryside along with wine-inspired motifs.
Wrought-iron candle holders, large earthenware vases, urns and colorful Italian pottery provide a finishing touch.
Emirates Hills villas are customized and have many modern villas in contemporary styles.
Modern style uses clean straight lines and is simple, elegant and minimal . It uses neutral colors and adds heritage design in a new way,
Are you really fond of cooking? Do you really love to cook outdoors, entertain friends, eat healthy grilled food, bake pizzas and enjoy the outdoor life?
Building a concrete permanent barbeque station allows one to set up tabletop Barbeque that is inbuilt.
Having a single outdoor burner, outdoor fridge, cocktail counter, sink, pizza oven for wood fired Pizza, stainless steel drawers and doors, all make having an outdoor kitchen so much fun! The cooking experience is enhanced and it makes it very convenient.
Dining area with shade structure over it, complete with outdoor lights works so well besides the barbeque area.
Build your outdoor kitchen closer to your indoor kitchen to avail easy access to getting things from inside.
Use non- slippery outdoor tiles like slates, ceramic, porcelain, to avoid having a slippery floor. Make cleaning easier by having granite tops and glass mosaic for easy cleaning on the up-stand. Stone cladding adds a great charm to the barbeque.
Having storage below made with shelves, solid wooden Miranti door, drawers will allow for keeping all things you need for barbequing in the storage.
It is possible to put a barbeque trolley also within the built up space. Have enough work space as preparation area so you can cook, prepare, serve and enjoy. It would be great to separate the barbeque and bar area.
Also one can have combined dining or separate dining. Combined dining would need high stools and separate dining allows for comfortable seats.
The smallest size of Barbeque stations is 3 m x 90 cms height x 70 cms width. L shaped, U shaped, long linear lengths, L shaped and a separate linear counter, all are possible.
Having an open Barbeque and shaded dining area is preferable.
One could use gas operated Barbeques or charcoal barbeque. You do get Barbeque grill that works with gas but have a charcoal tray to get the flavor.
Convection baking, having rotisserie, Grill tray and many accessories make the outdoor cooking a lot of fun.Enjoy !
The most expensive landscaping element per square meter, swimming pools have become works of art, with technologically advanced features such as improved pumps, fountains, jets, LED lighting, filtration systems, covers and automatic cleaning systems with Chlorine free units and heat and chill pumps.
Pool Dominates the Landscape as it is the biggest feature. There are many types of pools :
- Skimmer pool : Water level is 15 cms below ground level and it is the cheapest type of pool . It can be made beautifully and can look very simple and nice with water skimming below the edge.
- Overflow Pool : Water level is the same level as ground level. It makes a beautiful look in the landscape and is medium range price.
- Infinity Pool : The most exotic pool and expensive pool, mainly used to show water disappearing into a lake or water. It can make a beautiful water feature when showing the water falling from the higher edges and is visible from the house.
- Lap pools : Mainly used by swimming Enthusiasts to exercise regularly and swim laps. Fixing a Wave machine to build resistance is also possible.
- Splash pools and Jacuzzi : It is a Fun pool and is small and just meant for fun and not swimming as the size is small. It is just a relaxing place and could include a water feature.
Pools no longer stand separated from the rest of the landscape and can bind and become the focus of it.
We are now able to ensure that the pool is as flexible as the landscape by incorporating more than one element whether it be to provide an ability to lap, enjoy a jacuzzi, fountains, jets, kids play, shade, pool bar, wet lounge, planting, or architectural walls.
Many pools now use all three types of edge treatments utilizing them in the best way to achieve the maximum functionality as we explore how to incorporate more levels and different layouts.
Ceiling, flooring and walls define a space. Each one of them are of prime importance whilst designing your Interiors as ceiling is a big mass that is seen.
Ceiling height is very important before you think of what to do. Most Homes come with about 3 meter high ceiling and have a concrete slab or premade Gypsum ceiling to hide the AC ducting and lighting wires.
Some Villas have a tall double floor ceiling height whilst others, have the top floor and lobby space that has a tall Roof. Green Community Villas have a huge slanted roof so the top floor rooms get a slanted tall ceiling.
Here are some tips on what one could do to enhance the ceiling and what materials could one use:
Enhancing slanted ceiling with wood looks great. It will give a warm, natural look and give a cozy gazebo kind of effect. It fits in with both modern and classic interiors.
Painting the ceiling in a different color and giving some wooden edging.
Applying wallpaper in the ceiling.
Leaving the ceiling as it is and adding wooden overhangs in different textures.
Using Mashrabiya or wooden cutouts with acrylic and making an additional overhang over the existing ceiling.
Making different cubical depths with gypsum, combined with wood.
Adding overhanging shaped cut outs combined with lights.
Adding shapes colors and textures in the Children room ceiling if you desire to make themed rooms.
Enhancing Kitchen ceiling with 60×60 readymade gypsum tiles for easy access and then having Gypsum ceilings or wooden enhancements.
White ceilings are great and make the house look large. When enhancing the ceiling, be careful that if the ceiling is wooden and darker, it may make your space look smaller so keep the walls and floor lighter as a contrast.
It is possible to enhance rental homes too with nice ceilings, cost effectively, which could be removed easily.
Winter is fast approaching and it will get progressively cooler from now onwards. It’s already party time in Dubai and the UAE.
Let’s look at some of the ways we can spruce up our garden to build useful, functional spaces where one can entertain people in beautiful surroundings.
If you are renting a property for the purpose or if you have a limited budget, consider some of these ideas to make the space look good.
Tips for A Party Ready Backyard:
● A well mowed lawn and professionally pruned plants create favorable first impressions.
● Use decorative lights to light up plants, trees and shrubs and to create a nice and warm ambience.
● Wooden accessories like gazebo, pergola, fences, gates, and decking can be used to give the venue a professional look.
● You can also add potted plants, accessories, and sculptures to further enhance the look of the place. Make sure the selected plants do not trigger an allergic attack in any of your guests. Some of the common culprits are dandelion, velvet grass, and acacia.
● Make sure none of the accessories have protruding and sharp edges which can potentially be dangerous to your guests, especially kids. On the other hand, if you own the space and need to upgrade your garden to get it ready for the party season, we recommend the following measures.
● Tidy up your lawn, prune and shape plants. Adding some interesting and exotic new plants is a good idea. This can also serve as a great conversational topic at the party.
● Make sure the lawn is mowed and plants look healthy. Wildlooking lawn, wilting flowers and yellowed leaves do not really make for a great ambience at your party.
● Don’t forget to polish all the woodwork.
● Bar, barbeque and buffet tables are the most visited areas at parties. Make sure they are well stocked and professionally managed.
● Light up the venue adequately for decorative and safety purposes.
● Make sure drinking water is in plentiful supply.
● Ensure all safety precautions are in place.
● And finally indulge in some personal grooming and get ready to enjoy the party season!
Before we begin with the trending ideas for Gardens, it is important to look at the economic scenario we are faced with today. The reason is simple.
The times that we live in, greatly influence the choices that we make. And those choices define us and the homes and gardens that we live in.
The whole of Middle East region is in an economic turmoil. Oil prices are nose-diving and inflation is at an all time high. Liquidity has becoming tight. Some economists call this a silent recession.
Within this toughening scenario and forecasted reality, lifestyle still does not come to an end.
We are all going to be working hard to produce results and want to come back to a comfortable, convenient, harmonious home that nurtures and relaxes us to start the journey the next day.
We wish to spend quiet time with our family and entertain friends. Celebrations will not stop as we all love to celebrate victories and special occasions.
The writing on the wall is – Spend wisely and focus on “The total cost of ownership”.
In case of a landscaping and a gardening project, this includes estimating a five-year maintenance and upkeep cost break-up, the cost of initial installation, hidden costs, etc.
It is better to take an overall view, as opposed to the ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ approach which is a knee-jerk reaction to such an economic turbulence.
In 2016, we will see the following Landscaping & Gardening Trends:
Trend #1 – Creating Sustainable Gardens
The discerning buyer will want to know substantiated answers to ‘What will allow us to maintain the garden over a long period of time?’ They will choose drought resistant plants like Date Palm, Cycas palms, Zamia and Succulents will be used often.
Perennial bushes like Bougainvillea, Thivetia, Oleander will replace seasonal plants.
For large plots, large quantity of grass will be avoided. Designers will improvise to incorporate more hardscape, pebbles and mulch. Grass is hard to maintain and needs a lot of care.
Side pathways are narrow and have a lot of shadow generally due to both villas standing besides each other in close proximity. Grass is not a good option in such narrow shaded areas.
Paving with some pebbles and plants that can grow in shaded areas may be a great option.
Trend #2 – Low Budget Gardens:
With oil pricing going down and a silent recession setting in, liquidity will likely be low. People will think about creative ideas to lower their budgets. Use of less water saves on utility bills.
Tiling and paving will be extensively used. Using artificial grass instead of real turf, use of paving, decks and pebbles, will lead to lower costs of water.
The initial cost of such gardens may seem high but over a period of time, there will be significant savings on utility bills. Zen and minimal gardens with clean lines will keep things simple, elegant and lower budgets.
Trend #3 – Outdoor Ceramic or Porcelain tiles V/S Natural Stone:
Natural stone like Travertine, Sandstone, Limestone are porous materials and absorb salts from the ground and leave a white discharge of salty effervescence on the surface, making the stone look very weathered within a short period of time.
Sealants are needed to protect all natural stones. Very natural looking outdoor ceramic tiles are available and they will not need sealants. Each material has its pros and cons and it is important to understand that before making a decision.
Trend #4 – Modern and Minimal Gardens:
Many will move toward modern and minimal design. Symmetry, groups of plants, clean-cut hedges and simplicity in color will be the preference. Neutral colors; grey, beige, white, black, brown, will be the trend du jour.
Simplicity in design with use of a lot of wood and natural materials will make the garden harmonious. Planting large trees in critical places to highlight the garden may be a great idea.
Trend #5 – Accessorizing your garden:
Use of steel, glass, metal, abstract pots and sculptures to make a statement would be considered a great investment. A garden comes alive with such features when they are large enough to match the expanse of the architecture and the style.
Trend #6 – Investment in Lighting:
Lighting is what makes a garden come alive. Wall features, water falls, trees, plants, pathways, steps, seating, shade structures all need to be highlighted.
The overall ambiance is created by lighting. Dim, ambient, concealed but effective mood lighting will be the way forward. It will no longer be considered a cost but an investment as LED lighting largely reduces the energy consumption.
Trend #7 – Low cost of ownership:
Cost of ownership can be lowered when you can maintain the garden easily. Design will be critical to making low maintenance garden and many will invest in such design. Choosing the correct material will be the key to this.
I hope you found this article useful. Please browse through the website for more landscaping ideas.
Water fountains Dubai: Create amazing focal points for the backyard. Build a tranquil water feature and create a relaxing retreat in your own yard.
Water fountains appeal to a number of our senses – sight, sound, touch and movement.
Water fountains Dubai: Please watch this 100 second video below for examples of water features you too can have. Or jump directly to the text below.
Fill in your name & email ID in the box on the right to have Sejal call you for water fountains Dubai.
Water fountains Dubai: Rejuvenate your garden
A wonderful way to revitalize your garden is to install a water feature such as a fountain or garden pond. These additions are both soothing and aesthetically pleasing. Installing a water fountain will contribute significantly to the ambiance of your garden.
Water fountains Dubai: Tranquility
Water fountains are most often incorporated for the visual and audible tranquility they provide. It is amazing how just being near an active water fountain improves a mood and delivers a healthy positive energy.
There is nothing more soothing than relaxing on a bench in the backyard and taking in the tranquil sound of a garden fountain while reading the newspaper or just shut your eyes and “chilling out”.
Just being in a garden with an energetic water feature provides a meditative sensation, even if you’re not specifically trying to do so.
Water fountains Dubai:
Design After deciding to add a garden fountain, be sure to put some thought into choosing a style and design that will fit in well with the entire garden.
If you will be using any other ornamental items e.g. benches, chairs, bird baths, gazing balls etc. make sure that the fountain coordinates well with your entire garden style.
Does the water feature you are considering seem to be a natural component of the area or does it look completely out of place in the garden?
If you have trouble deciding if the fountain will be a good fit, you might want to get the recommendation of someone who has a better feel for style and design elements to make an informed decision.
Having a fountain in your garden is not only soothing, it also adds character to what otherwise would be a rather plain landscape.
If a quiet and relaxing getaway located merely steps from your back door seems like something you would enjoy, why not seriously consider adding a water fountain to your garden? You’ll be delighted that you did.
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