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CHIC SEATING ALRESCO KITCHEN

in the swim WORDS CATHERINE McCORMACK STYLING ADAM ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY NATALIE HUNFALVAY

POOL ZONE

A brand new pool and sunny deck transformed this garden into a familyfriendly and versatile outdoor living area

OUTDOOR SHOWER


outdoor design special

love entertaining “We

the space - we do a lot of outside now” ~ vanessa, homeowner

SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL AND TIMELESS are the core

DESIGN HERO

pool zone

A well-designed pool can make for a fun-filled summer, especially if you have children. Devised by garden designers Sophie and Mick of Think Outside Gardens, this 7m x 4m version was constructed by Splish Splash Pools. It’s heated with both gas and solar energy and features an in-floor cleaning system. “Last year we were swimming in August!” says owner Vanessa.

design principles of this family-friendly garden in Sydney. The work of Mick Drower and Sophie Grieve of Think Outside Gardens, the gently sloping yard has three distinct zones – each designed with entertaining and enjoyment in mind, and each boasting clever details that will help the space grow and change with the family. Owners Vanessa and Grant hoped for a garden that would suit the family for a long time. “We wanted a pool and a grassy area – something really functional for our two little girls,” explains Vanessa. Daughters Molly, six, and Ruby, three, were significantly younger when the project commenced in October 2011, when the garden was essentially a no-go area. “It was a rolling backyard that changed levels quite a lot,” recalls Mick. “It had very little privacy and strelitzia had grown wild across the back.” Mick and Sophie removed most of the existing garden and created one major level change. Now, a lush, flat lawn leads to a decked pool and cabana, which sits at the lowest point of the garden and is accessed by spotted gum timber steps. An irrigation system was also worked into the design, making

watering the garden a thing of the past and everything very low-maintenance and user-friendly. The makeover extended to the house itself, too, with a new balcony featuring a louvered roof by Vergola – automated with a sensor to close at the first sign of wind or rain – added upstairs (see page 204). This space opens out from the living and dining rooms; “Previously, we hardly ever used the area because it was so open to the elements,” says Vanessa. “Now, we use it like it’s just another room in the house.” The creation of the new balcony upstairs – complete with an external staircase that allows direct access from the first floor to the garden – had the added benefit of creating an undercover outdoor zone downstairs. “What we wanted was somewhere we could spend quality time together as a family, and that’s exactly what it’s become,” says Vanessa. “One of my favourite things is sitting in the cabana and watching Grant play with the kids in the pool. It’s just beautiful.” Think Outside Gardens, (02) 9380 7957, thinkoutsidegardens.com.au. Sanctuary Design, sanctuarydesign.com.au.

green scene

{above left & right} Underneath the external staircase is an eye-catching patch of the shade-tolerant perennial New Zealand rock lily, which bursts into a mass of white blooms each spring. With daughters Molly and Ruby still too young to use the pool unattended, family life often revolves around the verdant lawn at the top of the garden, which is turfed in low-maintenance Sir Walter buffalo grass. >

homebeautiful.com.au {OCTOBER 2014} 201


outdoor design special

Decking

140mm x 25mm sp otted gum dec king, from $18 /m, North Sh ore Timber & Hardware .

cool cabana “It was nice to create a bit of a destination down the back of the yard,” says designer Mick of the

purpose-built cabana. Accessed via a set of stairs at the end of the garden, the cabana, deck and pool sit on a significantly lower level than the lawn – a clever solution for a sloping block. Its north-facing wall provides shade from the hot midday sun while the neighbour’s jacaranda tree adds a gorgeous blast of colour in late spring. Interior designer Melissa James had the bench seat upholstered in Mokum’s ‘Acacia Stripe’ outdoor fabric in Ginger, with a mix of cushions in other Mokum fabrics, all sourced from Sanctuary Design. The furniture is part of the ‘Pacific’ collection from Posi Design, and chimes effortlessly with a soothing feature wall painted in ‘Caravan’ by Murobond. >


outdoor design special

Tiles

‘Pearl’ gla ss mosaic ti les in Bianco A labastro, from $155 /sqm, Bisazza.

wonder walls

{above left} Made of rendered brick, the white retaining walls around the pool give the space a Mediterranean feel, and provide a casual spot to sit. “Given the proximity to the pool, it was always going to be difficult to install a lot of seating, so we built the walls at about 450mm high so they can be used for that, too,” says garden designer Mick.

leafy lining

{above right} The pool shimmers thanks to a floor of Bisazza glass mosaic tiles. At the end of the pool is a row of agave plants. “They provide architectural shape and a pop of colour without being an overpowering feature,” explains Mick.

well seated {left} The upstairs balcony

features an automated roof that can be tilted manually to capture the changing sun. The family often has breakfast or morning tea out here, making the choice of furniture key. With the help of interior designer Melissa James of Sanctuary Design, Vanessa chose a Posi Design five-piece modular ‘Pacific’ lounge and matching glass-topped coffee table in synthetic rattan. >

204 {OCTOBER 2014} homebeautiful.com.au


outdoor design special

CHIC SEATING

DESIGN HERO

pool zone

gallery

price points The biggest challenge when planning a

POOL ZONE

new pool is the budget, says Tim Van Der Horst of Eden Gardens’ landscape division. “The cost can vary significantly, with concrete being the most expensive to build, although it allows for better design options,” he says. Concrete makes models beyond the rectangle possible, including irregular curves, kidney shapes or circles.

OUTDOOR SHOWER

potent position {above} Deciding where to place your pool is one of the most critical decisions of the planning process, says landscape designer Josh Harrison of Harrison’s Landscaping. “It’s important that it’s close to the house so it gets used more often, and it should complement a garden, not dominate it,” he says. “Design the location and size to suit your lifestyle.” If possible, incorporate an element of shade into your plan – this will allow children to enjoy the pool without being exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. “It also makes the pool look more inviting,” says Josh.

Pool Party {right} Think about who you’re planning for. “There are numerous options in how you lay out your pool to cater for different activities,” says Asher McGuckin of Secret Gardens. “Shallow zones provide safe play areas for kids, as well as social seating for adults.”

PHOTOGRAPHY (OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP LEFT) NATALIE HUNFALVAY, (BOTTOM LEFT) JOHN DOWNS, (TOP RIGHT) PAUL GROOTES/FEATURES & MORE/DOWN TO EARTH, STYLING WILMA CUSTERS, (BOTTOM LEFT) MARCEL AUCAR. (THIS PAGE, TOP LEFT) JOHN DOWNS, (BOTTOM LEFT) SUE STUBBS, (BOTTOM RIGHT) DEREK SWALWELL, ARCHITECT ASHLEIGH PARKER/PARKER DESIGN.

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Planning, safety and functionality are the key ingredients to creating the perfect pool

safety first {above} Secure fencing is essential for your pool. “You need to plan and budget for this early, as it can be very expensive,” warns Tim. “Allow for a relaxation area within the fenced zone so you can hop out of the water and lay in the sun without having to go in and out of the gate.”

au naturale {above} An increasingly popular trend is the billabong-style pool, like this one by designer Phillip Johnson. “It’s about creating something that looks natural, that connects back to the beauty of nature,” Phillip says. Microfibre technology generates good bacteria that cleans the water – no chlorine necessary – and water collected from the roof is used for topping it up, so it’s sustainable, too. This type of pool also encourages biodiversity, so expect a few frogs!

colour ways {below} Integrate the look of your pool with the rest of your outdoor space. “When selecting the interior colour for your pool, consider the surrounding palette and select a complementary hue,” says Asher.

digging deep {above} Consider having a geotech report done before you start the design process, suggests Andrew Donnola of Smart Project Management. “It will determine the estimated excavation cost and any other expenses; for example, projects that hit shale or rock often cost more,” he explains. Be aware that many advertised prices include only excavation and concreting – check the contract to see what is included in the price you’ve been quoted. homebeautiful.com.au {OCTOBER 2014} 207

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