The casual feel of this contemporary outdoor space lends itself perfectly to the owner’s lifestyle as an avid entertainer
This casual yet contemporary outdoor entertaining space in a coastal suburb of Sydney has the look and feel of a Palm Springs resort. Designed by Matthew Leacy of Landart Landscapes, the outdoor retreat has it all.
“The request from the client was for a design with an amazing entertaining space and outdoor kitchen,” says Matthew. “There was also an ugly spa that needed to be hidden somewhere in the design and a stack-stone wall that was to remain but somehow be softened. Capturing and complementing the view was important, too, but the rest was basically up to me. I was really lucky to have such good clients who were also really passionate about the space.”
Large Aloe barberae trees frame the entrance to the deck and the house and are the signature pieces of this space. “They add some scale to balance out the predominantly tall house without screening the view; they also have an amazing structure and look incredible when lit,” adds Matthew. “Like the aloes, the other plants were chosen for their structural form, colour and contrasting foliage, as well as their hardiness in the coastal location. These included Dracaena draco, Pennisetum, Carex, Poa and Senecio.”
Sustainable Australian hardwood was used to construct the deck, the barbecue and the barbecue shade structure. This was complemented by raw concrete floating pads that form the transition between the deck and the pool. Across from the outdoor kitchen is a long bench that almost looks as if it is levitating. This divides the spaces without enclosing them. Another inspired element is the backrests, disguised within the daybed. These can be adjusted via remote control so you don’t need to get up to change the incline … perfect for sipping cocktails by the pool.
The Landart Landscapes construction team faced an array of challenges when creating this garden, but the trickiest was getting the huge aloes down three storeys and across a 150-metre distance from street to garden without using a crane. “We managed to wrestle and winch them all the way down. It is amazing what a strong, well-organised team can achieve when they set their minds to it,” says Matthew.
2/68 Tulloh Street, Willoughby NSW 2068
Phone (02) 9958 0462
“California Dreaming” from Outdoor Design & Living magazine 27