My brief was to design and build a contemporary landscape that was not only practical enough for the client's children to enjoy, but also refined enough for sophisticated parties and gatherings," says managing director and lead designer at TerraVerde, Nehme Moujaess. "With the help of the owners - who were directly involved and helped select the materials and foliage we used throughout in the project - I managed to bring their vision to life."
The vibrant 875 square metre outdoor space on Palm Jumeirah boasts a magnificent view of the beach and the whole landscaping project took three to four months to complete.
"Remodelled from an existing unkempt garden, while redesigning, it was important to ensure that the villa and outdoor landscape complemented each other without retracting from the serene view of the sea, which the owners described in the brief as an amazing water feature they did not want to disturb," Nehme explains.
"By dividing the colourful garden into sections, including a seated area for entertaining, a grassy area for the client's young children to play on and decking around the pool for sunbathing, we managed to ensure the space was not only beautiful, but functional too."
To add character to the front garden, Nehme placed custom-designed planters and a pedestal and fire pot at the entrance. "The client wanted dense foliage and colourful plants that could survive right next to the beach in the harsh summer climate, so we installed Washingtonias, Cycas and Phoenix Robellinii in this area."
Moving towards the back, visitors are greeted by an extended raised terrace, outdoor barbecue and bar. "We added a pergola to the terrace and cladded the existing columns in wood so the clients had a shaded entertaining area. We also sunk the bar and barbecue area to maximise the views of the beach," Nehme says.
One of the dominating visual focal points is the large swimming pool, which came with the original villa, but even this did not escape a dramatic overhaul. "We had to refurbish the entire thing," Nehme says. "We replaced all the mosaic tiles, removed the plastic overflow grill and installed travertine. We also added a swim-up bar made of a slab of travertine and stools from which to enjoy the view."
Speaking about the materials used to refurbish the landscape, Nehme says travertine was a major component. "We used polished noce travertine on the terrace, bar and barbecue as well as on the top step of the entrance. Honed beige travertine was used in the walkways, accented with granite cobbles," he says. "The planters at the front are clad with travertine mosaic and the copping is beige travertine as well. The barbecue features glass and travertine mosaic and a marble top. Correct deck, a composite wood decking, was used around the pool and pebbles were placed throughout the space to highlight the plants," he adds.
Nehme says his clients "are ecstatic with the end result. So much so, they requested we design a gym while landscaping so they now enjoy the view while working out."