Written on August 10, 2012 at 8:30 am , by Style Spotter Editor
If you’re searching for advice on creating the perfect backyard getaway, Rebecca Cole is the go-to-gal. As an interior and exterior designer for over 20 years, Cole has worked with big-name clients like Bono and Oprah and been featured on the Today Show, The View, and many more TV shows. Rebecca recently shared some of her expert garden design tips –check them out below!
Day job: Exterior and interior designer and media personality; owner, Rebecca Cole Grows
How would you describe your personal style? Industrial modern eclectic: a nod to the future with a wink to the past.
Style means: Natural simplicity. Even surprisingly simple. I like to be surprised in design–that feeling of, “Oh, I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Style advice: Avoid the “confetti garden”: don’t buy just one of everything. If you like lavender, you need twelve lavender plants, not one.
What makes her tick: Smart funny people who make me laugh.
Can’t live without: My rescue dog, Rambo.
What inspires you most? Nature. Overly done gardens and landscapes are humorous to me–surely nature does it best.
If you could only shop in one store (besides your own), what would it be? Flora Grubb, San Francisco.
Favorite recent find: A big cement toadstool, old and ridiculously heavy, with chippy paint: It’s now in my shower as a stool.
Best way to spend $100: Fine cheese and bread and two bottles of rosé on a rooftop with friends.
Every garden should have: A hose.
Life wouldn’t be as much fun without: My dog.
I’m happiest when: Relaxing on my dock on a lake in New Hampshire.
Pet peeve: Know-it-alls. And I’m one of them!
Rule that should be broken: Those directions about how close you should plant things. I say, always overstuff your garden. You can easily pull it out later.
Favorite escape: A lake in New Hampshire.
Design Tips from Rebecca:
Limit the colors. “I prefer a tight color palette,” Rebecca says. “Furniture, cushions, flowers–they should all go beautifully together. It makes the space feel larger.”
With furniture, think big. “A space looks bigger if you put in a big piece of furniture,” Rebecca advises. “Choose bigger furniture than you think possible–big, gorgeous, comfortable furniture.”
Build structure using trees in containers. “Maples, birch, and pine form the structure here and create the ‘room,’” Rebecca says. “Trees can delineate the ‘lounge’ area or suggest a reading nook.”
Get more garden design advice from Rebecca Cole in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens on sale 8/21!
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