Tag Archives: Majorelle Gardens

Design Diary: A Boston Patio Inspired by Majorelle Gardens

Another oldie but goodie from the Boston Globe Magazine archives. In October 2009, I wrote “Kind of Blue,” about a Beacon Hill patio redesigned for outdoor entertaining, inspired by the homeowner’s trip to Morocco; Majorelle Gardens to be exact. This well-traveled 50-something hired Brian Feehan to transform her 10-by-17-foot outdoor space when she returned from her trip. He wondered how he would cram a 20-foot reflecting pool in there, but with a flair for the dramatic (Feehan is actually a director and choreographer), he managed to eke out a bit of paradise in the historic neighborhood.

I N S P I R A T I O N 
Jardin Majorelle   •   Marrakech


Majorelle Garden was designed by the painter Jacques Majorelle in 1924 and revived by fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, in 1980. Feehan took cues from the distinctive cobalt blue accent color, Moorish latticework, lush greenery, and fountain.

B E A C O N  H I L L  P A T I O
Designed by Brian Feehan


Feehan replaced the existed rotted wood deck with a mahogany-stained ipe deck and painted the existing lattice matte black. He added a trio of of 6-inch-wide horizontal wood strips in cobalt blue around the perimeter. The slats add color, and the homeowner can hang votives and flowerpots from them.

For additional interest and color, Feehan hung a pair of antique Chinese doors found at SoWa showroom Mohr & McPherson. The scale and shape mimic the French doors on the opposite wall, and provide a focal point when one steps onto the patio from the house.

The blue mosaic tile you see in the background is a fountain. More about that below. Look closely, there are mirrors on either side of it, which extend the feel of the space.


Feehan created a mosaic glass tile wall fountain that’s eight-feet high.  Water runs down the surface, which is covered with tiles in different sizes and thicknesses. It’s uplit, creating a glistening, otherworldly effect in the evening, and sounds lovely too. The water collects at the bottom in a cobalt-colored trough that runs the length of the brick wall.


Moroccan style tiles are affixed to the gate, adding more flavor.


The patio is accessed from the condo by French doors.
Don’t you wish she’d invite you to a cocktail party?

B E F O R E 


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Design Diary: Moroccon-Inspired Patio

Today I had planned a post on the  Traditional Home digital issue of TRADhome, which launched on Friday. However, I don’t have the photos I need since my laptop is in the shop. So I dug into the archives of my old machine. This is based on a piece I wrote for Boston Globe Magazine, “Kind of Blue.” It’s about how a tiny patio in Boston, was transformed with the help of Brian Feehan, a director and choreographer, from a blah backyard into an entertaining oasis, inspired by Majorelle Garden* in Morocco, which the homeowner had recently visited.

* Majorelle Garden was designed by the painter Jacques Majorelle in 1924 and revived by fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner, Pierre Berge, in 1980.


When Feehan first learned he was to create the hot garden splendor of Majorelle from an old brick patio in Boston, his first thought was, “Where the heck am I going to fit a 20-foot reflecting pool?”


Feehan managed to incorporate similar architectural elements, as well as a water feature. The first order of business was to paint the preppy green lattice with flat black paint, so it would recede. (They didn’t want to remove it since it hides the air conditioner condenser.)


The gorgeous cobalt blue glass mosaic tile panel is actually an 8-foot-tall fountain. Water runs down the surface in uneven rivulets (the tiles are different thicknesses), and lights shine upwards to make it glisten. Look carefully—mirror panels are installed on either side of the trellis on which the fountain is mounted.

Feehan hung three horizontal strips of wood painted a deep cobalt blue around the perimeter of the space. They add color and emphasize the length of the patio. Also, the homeowner hangs votives and flower pots from them. Antique Chinese doors echo the lacy Moroccan scrollwork found at Majorelle.

The long table is great for dinner parties, but when she’s not entertaining, the homeowner can easily remove and store the top to reveal a much smaller, round table. The ottomans serve as extra seating during parties, and side tables otherwise.

Other than the fountain, the fixes aren’t extravagant or over-involved. That just may be more inspiring than Marrakesh.

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