How to turn your outdoor space into a garden fit for a millionaire

How to turn your outdoor space into a garden fit for a millionaire

Are you disappointed with the state of your outdoor space? Here’s how you could turn even a small plot into a garden fit for a millionaire.

Every time the Holland Landscapes team is asked to create a garden fit for a millionaire, I like to use the same principals as a boat builder. Why? Because posh yachts and beautiful gardens have a lot in common – and I don’t mean the cost of them.

  • Great views
  • Privacy
  • Clever use of space
  • Stylish colour schemes
  • Quality workmanship
  • Easy to manage

Privacy and the view from your garden

Your millionaire garden needs to feel as though you really are on a yacht miles from anywhere. No nosy passers-by, no disturbances and stunning views. Believe it or not, that can be achieved even in a small urban back garden.  A clever garden designer will be able to screen your garden off from the rest of the world without making it feel oppressive. And if you don’t like the view from your patio – there are all sorts of clever tricks to change it. For example tall, fluffy trees on the boundary give the impression that you are in the countryside.

sloping garden with sweeping curved lawn leading to a tree which screens the view of the neighbours property

This fairly compact sloping garden makes use of trellis fencing and trees to screen the view to and from the neighbours’ property. The extra privacy makes the whole space feel more exclusive.

Clever use of space

What impresses me most about boat builders is that they fit a lot of features into a relatively small space without making it seem cluttered. It’s done by

  • carefully designed layouts,
  • optical illusions to make the space seem bigger/wider/longer and
  • innovative features to make use of every square centimetre of space

The first question that any landscaper or garden designer will ask – before they even submit a quote – is “how will you use your garden? Naturally, you will want to be able to relax, but will you also want to cook and eat out of doors? Store tools/bikes/bins etc? Exercise? Hang the washing out? Let the children play?

Knowing what features need to be in a garden is the first step to creating a layout that flows for you. Practical but ugly essentials – like the wheelie bin – can be hidden from view but still accessible.

You don’t have to have a rectangular patio by the French windows and the shed in one corner. It’s OK to break the mould and do something different.

garden decking in a rich red-brown colour with seating area and hot tub

This decked area is not directly beside the property, instead it makes the most of the evening sunshine. A rendered wall defines the area and offers a stylish contrast in colours.

Seating areas need to make full use of the sunshine – even on bright winters days – and you need a nice accessible path to carry your coffee tray along.

Storage for toys and tools doesn’t have to be in a shed and the children’s sand pit doesn’t need to be open 24/7.

Including a hot tub? You’ll need a way to nip in and out of the house without getting cold, hurting your feet or flashing the neighbours.


There’s something about clean lines and symmetry that screams opulence. It’s also a great way to trick the eye into thinking a space is a completely different shape to what it really is.

Many of the gardens I work on are definitely not a symmetrical shape. There might be a dog-leg shape around the garage or maybe the sides go out at an angle that is definitely not 90 degrees. That’s OK. Garden designers have a way of working around that.

With clever placement of features, your average looking garden can look like the private grounds of a magnificent mansion.

An original design for this water feature makes it into a real talking point. Note too the clever use of screening in the background which adds intimacy and intrigue.


Stylish colour schemes

Whether you are drawn to the sleek vessels you seen moored in san tropez, where modern materials abound and half naked celebrities recline on the decks. Or whether, like me, you prefer the traditional type boats with gleaming paintwork, polished wooden decks and brass fittings; one thing that the boating world has in common with garden design is that simple colour schemes work really well.

In a millionaire style garden, try to stick to the rule of 3. A maximum of 3 colours, 3 textures, 3 materials.  It’s uncluttered and it’s restful on the eye. It’s also very stylish.

There are a wealth of landscaping materials you could use to create a sense of luxury and opulence.  Polished hardwood decking is stunning, so is porcelain paving. Try to reflect the style and the materials you’ve used indoors if you can.  For example, continue the wooden floor in your living room out onto a decked area.  Having that flow between indoors and outdoors is another trick to make the garden look more luxurious and inviting.

Use plants, planters and soft furnishings to bring a pop of colour to a relatively neutral colour scheme. It doesn’t cost much to change them if you want to.

Quality workmanship

There is an infinite difference between the workmanship of trained craftspeople and the efforts of budget bodgit type characters. Attention to tiny details like the spacing and pointing between pavers can make or break a garden.  Trust me, if you have just one fence post at 85 degrees instead of 90 degrees your eye will be drawn to it every time you go outside. My pet hates are rendering that doesn’t quite get into the corners, pergolas that are not quite symmetrical and untidy edges to paths steps and patios. I worry myself silly about amateur attempts to wire in garden lighting and oh my goodness – ponds that are not level so you can see the lining sticking up above the water line.

If you want the sort of polished, high quality finish, worthy of a millionnaire make sure you engage someone who can achieve it for you. It may cost a little more but it will also pay dividends in the value it adds to your property.

small courtyard garden with light grey paving, a small irong table and chairs

Even a tiny garden can look a million dollars if it is designed and built with love and care.
The simple colour scheme in this courtyard combined with high quality workmanship creates an air of timeless elegance.

Easy to manage

It’s vital that you think about the  maintenance element of your garden at the design stage. Choose plants and materials that you know you can care for. And take advice from your landscaper – he or she has a wealth of experience and knows lots of ways to minimise the ongoing maintenance in your garden.  Things like using a lawn edging at just the right height so that you can trim edges as you mow the grass. Or choosing frost hardy plants that don’t need wrapping up for winter.

Can you have a garden fit for a millionaire?

Absolutely, yes you can.  All it takes is clever garden design, sensible choice of plants and materials and an accomplished team of installers. Why not get in touch to find out what could be achieved in your outdoor space?

Contact Holland Landscapes

Talk to a garden designer


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