garden designs

A Perth garden has been given a fresh new face and a renewed lease on life

Most new homes are surrounded by bare ground, presenting the garden designer with a blank canvas. The ability to start from scratch allows a multitude of possibilities that just aren’t available when tackling the makeover of an existing garden. Typically, there will be built structures in place, such as patios and pools, but not necessarily the budget to remove, relocate or extensively remodel them.

This backyard in the suburbs of Perth presented just such a challenge for garden designer Denise Staffa of Outside In. While there was the budget to update the garden and create a series of room-style outdoor entertaining areas, funds wouldn’t stretch to modernising the pool and its surrounds. And, of course, the position of the patio was already set.

“The first thing I noticed was that the existing garden seemed disconnected from the house due to the balustrading along the patio. The extensive and outdated brick paving didn’t help the appearance and the small brick steps to each level were very uninviting and created a closed-in feeling,” recalls Denise.

“The owners wanted to open up the rear garden and create usable and much more functional outdoor-room-style living areas. To achieve this, they were prepared to replace the windows in their kitchen-dining area with double doors to enable an easy flow from inside out. They were also keen for the balustrading to be replaced, further opening up the space, and for extensive decking and paving works to be undertaken.”

Ensuring ease of flow from space to space was high on the owners’ wish list but, because of the differences in level, this was something of a challenge. By using like materials — in particular the Batu decking and the Fremantle Stone paving — Denise has been able to achieve this in what appears to be an effortless fashion.

“The positioning of the paving insert into the decking did require some thought so as to create the correct balance with the decking insert into the paving in the barbecue area,” she points out. “Another consideration was the positioning of the trickle pot water feature. The aim was to make this a focal point without obstructing movement from the top deck to the lower deck and access down the side of house.”

How you style an outdoor area determines how effective the finished result will be. On the lower patio level, all it took was a couple of brightly patterned cushions, a vividly coloured pot and a wrought-iron cafe table and chairs. To create a casual outdoor-room feel on the deck adjacent to the pool, Denise used floor cushions and a coffee table dressed with a runner and candle. Framing the room and giving it a sense of definition is a duo of tall white pots planted with red cordylines.

Project details
Landscape design and construction by Outside In (Showroom/Office) 370/A Canning Highway, Como WA 6152 Phone (08) 9450 4922 Email
Website Photography by Ron Tan