Our customer and talented garden designer Clare McEnery from Parmé Garden Design has kindly shared one of her recent projects with us - An exploration in Porcelain Tiles using our Cheltenham Sand Porcelain Paving. The more contemporary patio was used to complement a traditional Cheshire brick home. Creating a beautiful outdoor living space that's perfect for entertaining while meeting the needs of the whole family.

What was the Brief for this Garden Design?

The rear garden in this lovely country village property was large with a patio, a lawn, a small existing barn that had been converted into a studio and a garage base from a demolished garage and workshop. The Cheshire property is in Greenbelt and had already had extensive renovation work on the interiors. The clients wanted to make the garden a proper entertaining space with a re-imagined patio, a ‘party barn’ with an outdoor WC, a water feature and an arctic cabin (for the winter). The couple had 2 teenage sons and a dog to accommodate.

The barn had to be fitted into a specific space which threw up lots of angles! It had to take into account an existing protected wall and fit in between the new garage (also designed by me) and the small existing barn which was very old and not in line with anything! The pitch of the barn roof also had to not be visible from the road due to planning restrictions. 

The Garden Before

How did you design the garden?

The design took the existing patio and completely opened up the width by designing very wide terraced steps and making the currently rather cramped patio (for the size of the house and the size of the garden) much more spacious and open. Paths were installed for access and to link the garden together, all softened with planting. We reused as much of the existing Cheshire sandstone as possible and created a large raised bed in advance of planting that would soften the dominating wall of the garage – I wanted to embrace it as an opportunity rather than a problem. The sandstone was used for other beds as well. An outside oak supplier was very helpful in helping me with the barn design and making sure the finished look was in keeping with the setting. The client went back and to as to whether they would have glass or not in between the arches. In the end they went without. A bar and fireplace were also set to be installed and were designed in.

The planting was again to be in keeping with the country village setting and to marry well with an already established border. I included white hydrangeas, summer perennials and 3 beautiful multi-stemmed Amelanchiers to provide height structure and year-round interest. The planting was anchored with large topiary box balls and box hedging for a year-round green structure. 3 pleached Japanese Ligustrum provided structure and dissipated the height of the garage by softening the wall. I also enhanced some of the existing planting, particularly by the Arctic Cabin. Sympathetic lighting throughout including in the water provided another dimension and extended the use of the garden into the evening and improved the view from the house. 

What Westminster Stone Porcelain Tiles did you use?

I offered different ideas for paving to the client  - all porcelain as they were keen for it to be low maintenance and to stand the test of time. They went for Cheltenham Sand because of its grey tones and mottled appearance which they felt worked well with the old Cheshire Brick, wouldn’t show the dirt and gave a classic but contemporary look to the scheme. We had bullnose finishes made for the steps to add some clean neat detail. These overhangs were underlit at night.

What was your experience of working with Westminster Stone? 

Once they had chosen the sand product they arranged to meet with Nigel and settled on Cheltenham. I think the clients’ experience with Nigel was very good. The product itself is great and looks like it will wear well. I wanted to use 9x6 but the clients went with 6x6. I would say that it looks a lot better in real life than on the website and I am glad that I have been able to use it as would use it again now I’ve seen it down. The paving has great neutral properties and looks more ‘natural’ than some shiny new porcelain tiles.

Parmé Garden Design

Clare has been designing for nearly 20 years, starting with renovating properties and finding, Clare found she could add real value with gardens as well as interiors. With a long-standing passion for plants, Clare specialised, qualified and started her own garden design business in Cheshire over 15 years ago. Contact Clare today using the website button below or follow her social accounts for all her up-to-date projects.

Clare McEnery of Parmé Garden Design has masterfully transformed a traditional Cheshire garden with a contemporary twist. The key to success? The use of Cheltenham Sand Porcelain Paving. These beautiful porcelain tiles offer a perfect blend of modern elegance and low-maintenance practicality, creating a stunning patio that complements the existing brickwork seamlessly. The wide terraced steps and open design create a spacious and inviting outdoor living area, perfect for entertaining family and friends.

Looking to create a stylish and functional outdoor space for your own home? Porcelain tiles offer a wealth of benefits, from durability to low maintenance. Shop the look below...

Shop the Look

Cheltenham Sand Classic Contemporary Porcelain Paving
Stone effect porcelain tiles and steps surrounded by raised stone beds filled with green topiary bushes and purple lavender. Garden surrounded by wooden fencing with brick posts and surrounded by trees behind.

About the Author

Sian McHugh

'Sian has been working with us at Westminster Stone for over 5 years and has developed expertise in garden design and landscaping. Her passion for nature extends to tending her own garden, teaching yoga and hiking during her free time.'