The Brief

The client wanted to create an inside/outside space for entertainment, with adjustable mood lighting.

What They Did

  • Integrated the indoor and outdoor lighting concepts
  • Used LEDs throughout, in different forms
  • Collaborated closely with the garden designer and contractors
  • Supplied a simple control gadget so the client can play with lighting effects
  • Used colour changing lighting for drama, with monochrome palettes of hard and soft landscaping materials

Layering Lights

The moment you enter John Roberts’ house, the mood is set to party, with the unique lighting concept connecting the open plan interior with a contemporary garden to provide instant impact.

Framing the space outdoors, high-level lighting skims down timber batten panels. At ground level the planted borders feature Kew LED spotlights, and Hampton floodlights to uplight the olive tree (both from John Cullen Lighting’s product range).

Low-level Oslo recessed wall washers form the illusion of a floating lower terrace floor.

To create the party feel, a panel was backlit with a linear, RGB Slinky LED strip.

The rill – that flows between the upper and lower terraces – is lit by an LED strip. Additional colour-changing LED strips appear to extend the rill close to the house. The presence of water saw the use of high IP specifications.

Dramatic Light and Shadow

The final touch, a trio of large vessels uplit by baffled (i.e. no glare) Siena LED lamps, casts a dramatic play of light and shadow.

The Electrics

Lucy Martin (design director for John Cullen Lighting) worked closely with both the garden designer and the landscape contractor’s electrician to ensure cabling was well hidden. The success of this clean-lined project is down to the precision taken over where to locate and how to fix the drivers, cables, transformers and luminaires.

For the client it was vital to be able to adjust the colours and mood. A simple, touch-sensitive wheel enables him to blend colours, select particular hues, pulse the light and change the tints.


Planting is largely evergreen, with only white flowers. The colour punch comes from the lighting around the garden — all visible from the open plan kitchen.

In the dead of winter, the garden really comes into its own as a backdrop to entertaining indoors.

Lighting design: John Cullen Lighting 020 7371 5400

Our Sponsors