Emma Sleep

10 contained, cosy and private gardens

Gardens make houses feel like home ā€” and no matter what size space you have, it is possible to create your own outdoor oasis. We’ve round up our favourite contained, cosy and private gardens we’d love to call home! Hopefully you pick up some design and decorating ideas to create a space where you can enjoy sunny days and lounging outside.

Related article: Top 20 plants for your courtyard: Plants that love living in pots
Related article: 5 tips to create a stylish and functional outdoor space

1. U-shaped garden

This clever courtyard maximises space and offers loads of flexibility by using a u-shaped configuration ā€” line of pot plants along the right, raised garden bed at the back and a bench seat that turns into a raised shelf for pot plants along the left.

That bench seat turns plant shelf is a favourite. Image via Decocrush

2. Split level perfection

We cannot fault anything in this space! Seriously, whoever designed it is a genius!!

The mix of timber and concrete balance each other beautifully while the split levels make best use of the space. We can just picture scattered cushions on the concrete bench around the fire pit or an elegant dinner under the stars on the top deck. Looooooove!

Split level outdoor area
The mix of materials in this space is such a winning combo. Image via Dlccorp

3. Timber panel pergola

If changing flooring materials isn’t an option in your outdoor space, creating a cosy pergola could be another way to define zones.

This timber slat wall and roof creates a stylish cocoon around the seating area. String up some festoon lighting and we’d be sold!

Timber slat pergola
Pergolas look fabulous and offer much-needed shade. Image via Alle Ideen

4. Outdoor lounge room

The most masculine space in this collection, the hard lines might not be for everyone but the idea of an outdoor fireplace sure is! Right?!!

Also happens to be another great example of how to do split levels to zone outdoor spaces.

Terraced garden
If space allows, creating defined zones is always a winning design look. Image via Amazon

5. Minimal terrace

Proving that more isn’t always more, this inner-city terrace oozes contemporary Australian chic.

Lush planting is contained to planter boxes while the outdoor rug ties the space together.

Sleek and elegant outdoor area
Adding plants in pots is a great option for renters or those living in apartments. Image via Dream Book Design

6. Carved out courtyard

Sloping backyards can leave us questioning our options. This family carved out an entertaining space that’s retained with stone and timber slat walls.

Private outdoor area
Contained, cosy and private gardens can blend into the landscape. Image via Design Line Builds

7. Modern water feature

You don’t need outdoor seating when your living room opens entirely to your outdoor space! Holey moley this house is incredible!

The rusted metal water feature surrounded by tropical plants is also pretty spesh.

Contained, cosy and private garden
Minimalist maintenance required when you use a base of rocks and hardy plants. Image via Decocrush

8. Green wall

Is that green wall made from pot plants in between rio? Would love to know how they achieved this look that packs major stylish punch in a tiny space.

Vertical garden wall
Vertical gardens create big impact for minimal spend and take advantage of limited space. Image via Megan Morton

9. Plants, plants and more plants

Earlier we showed you that less can be more but here’s an example of when more really is more!

Talk about a lush outdoor space! One of the reasons this space really appeals to us is the use of ‘mass planting’ ie not using a thousand different types of plants but repeating the same plant over an area.

Lush green courtyard
Contained, cosy and private gardens can still be an urban jungle. Image via Busy Being Famous

10. Relaxed lounge

If you prefer a more relaxed vibe, this last courtyard might be just for you!

Furniture made from reclaimed timber, strings of festoon lights and candles in lanterns is what gives this space an understated cool and welcoming feel.

Outdoor seating
Image via Gardening for Life

What’s your favourite outdoor space? Or do you have other ideas to create a contained, cosy and private garden? Share them in the comments below!

Check out more garden and plant inspiration

This article was first published in August 2018

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

Iā€™m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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    1. Mmm..this makes me nostalgic for lazy warm sunny days. I like 1 and 5 the best but the decking in 4 is nicely done too šŸ™‚ We are on the verge of landscaping our current house – I almost wish there was less space like some of these lovely pocket gardens so it wasn’t so daunting!

      • Hi Jane, ohhh do tell us how the renos are going? Still can’t believe you’re renovating a house and building a house at the same time! You’re either super brave or crazy, ha ha.

        A large garden can be just as tricky as a small pocket – you’ve inspired another blog post idea šŸ˜‰

        Hope you’re well xx

        • They are going great Gina! This week they bricked up the front and started cladding the back. Roof on in the next week then it’s stage 2 internal demo (aka no kitchen)! Maybe it is a tiny bit crazy but between the two there’s always something going on ?

          I look forward to the future garden post!

          • Hooray, so happy to hear things are going so well! Especially considering all the wet weather we’ve had. If you keep up like this, you’ll be finished in no time šŸ˜‰


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