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Brighten up a courtyard wall

To make the most out of them consult an HIA garden designer who will be happy to offer advice.

In the meantime here are some ideas for brightening up a bland courtyard wall. 

  • Paint it a different colour to lift or calm the room, perhaps a subtle shade of green or grey or something more vibrant to turn it into a feature.
  • If you are handy with a paintbrush, and have an artistic bent, why not try for a trompe l’oeil, a painted scene which deceives the eye and makes it look like an extension to your garden. Alternatively, you could employ a professional muralist who will work to your ideas, suggest different angles and produce a startling effect which is also a work of art, but I have seen some excellent work done by talented amateurs.
  • Install an ornamental trellis which will soften the blank wall and can also give the illusion of more space. Another trick, suggested by the gardening expert on a London newspaper, is to have a toughened glass mirror set in a door frame or trellis arch.
  • Just as large mirrors in small rooms give an illusion of extra space, this will create the impression of a door through to another garden. The mirror will also reflect more light into the courtyard.


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