Backyard Design Evolution



Riotous reds, detail and colour everywhere – homeowner Humaira Khan doesn’t do things by half measures. Neither does designer Lisa Aiken, owner of Terra Firma Design. Aiken has been Humaira’s facilitator in exuberant design, both indoors and out, for several years. It began when Humaira was at a home show in 2009, looking for inspiration for jazzing up a back deck.

“There was an old deck rotting in the back when we moved into this house,” Humaira recounts. “We put in a new deck and, once it was done, I wanted to soften it with flowers and plants. Lisa had a booth at the home show. Her style was perfect. She’s very accommodating, and I haven’t looked back since. I told her I wanted something exciting but fun, with lots of everything – not just one little pot. I like big scale, lots of colour, drama. I also knew I wanted lots of seating.”

Recommending red was a fast decision. “It’s an easy fix to do,” Aiken says. “Humaira loves colour, she loves red, she has character, and the terrace needed to practically scream that. She and her husband are young clients, and red suits their personality. It’s important for people to feel comfortable in their setting. It should not just be pretty; it should actually fit them. This does it very well.”

Over the years, changes in the back yard have followed an organic process. First came a playground for the children and the simple back deck. That evolved into a two-level deck. Somewhere along the way, a little pond was enlarged, filled with koi, and the surround was landscaped. And then there’s the outdoor kitchen that Humaira’s husband built…


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