Indoor-outdoor living

Indoor-outdoor living


garden designs

A luxury landscape and home designed to make indoor-outdoor living a breeze

By Karen Booth

Photography Danny Kildare

Today’s busy families are opting for the type of living environment where lines are blurred between living areas. No longer are spaces separated by walls — the modern family wants everything combined into one sophisticated and multifunctional open-plan space.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the trend towards indoor-outdoor home and garden renovations. Such was the case with this luxurious landscape, constructed by Rolling Stone Landscapes and designed by the company’s managing director, Dean Herald.

The indoor-outdoor link in this landscape is seamless. When the bi-fold doors on two sides of the kitchen are completely folded back, you could be forgiven for not noticing immediately when you step from one area to the next. Ensuring an easy transition between spaces, the close proximity of the kitchen to the outdoor dining area and barbecue make it the perfect setting for entertaining.

Dean’s brief from the owners was for a family-oriented space where every member of the family could be doing something different, but feel as though they were in the same space. And, because the owners have children, it was very important that the entertaining area have a clear line of sight to the swimming pool.

The elegant pool and integrated spa are features in their own right. “The spill-over wet edge of the pool draws the eye to the edge and then on to the large lawn area surrounded by landscaped gardens,” explains Dean. “This gives the feeling of space yet at the same time being connected with nature.”

The waterfall built into the pool gives an opulent, resort-style look to the poolscape while dressing up a retaining wall and adding the sound of cascading water as a backdrop when entertaining.

While there are distinct zones within the landscape — dining, lounge, kitchen and pool — they have been linked together by using the same materials and complementary textures, giving a greater sense of space. This is most obvious in the paving (Cobb & Co from Eco Outdoor) used as the flooring and the stone used on the exterior walls of the home and the support columns of the covered outdoor dining area. Coordinating the hard landscaping materials is an easy way to visually link separate areas and create a sense of overall cohesion.

Designed with entertaining in mind, the outdoor areas surrounding this Sydney home couldn’t be more inviting. To make cooking and eating alfresco a dream experience, there is a fully equipped undercover outdoor kitchen with a spacious dining area just a few steps away. This is complemented by an outdoor lounge area. Furnished with comfortable outdoor seating and a coffee table, this zone is oriented towards a cosy fire which has been built in to the exterior wall of the home.

The surrounding landscaped area is large, open and, most importantly for the busy homeowners, low-maintenance. The plants were chosen for their colour, architectural effect and texture. An assortment of green foliage plants was used, complemented by splashes of red and purple including spear lily (Doryanthes palmeri), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) and purple NZ flax (Phormium tenax ‘Purpureum’). The architectural effect has been generated by plantings of leafless bird of paradise (Strelitzia juncea) and Japanese sago palm (Cycas revoluta) thanks to their interesting forms. A glossy aesthetic was given by plants such as Gardenia augusta ‘Florida’ and orange jessamine (Murraya paniculata).

This project represents the very best of indoor-outdoor living, with home, pool and landscape designed in tandem to ensure that every opportunity has been maximised, giving the owners a lifestyle of which most of us can only dream.