The sunken lounge area by the pool provides a cosy place to relax with family and friends
The sunken lounge area by the pool provides a cosy place to relax with family and friends

Outdoor resort style


This contemporary holiday-at-home outdoor retreat is what dreams are made of

It’s what we all dream of having … a beautifully designed, well-appointed outdoor space where we can relax in comfort with family or get some friends together for a meal and a few drinks. The owners of this property are living that dream, with not just one, but a series of seamlessly connected outdoor living spaces.

The rear garden was designed by Luke Roodenburg of Sand & Stone Landscapes, who created a holiday-at-home retreat that has the simple elegance the owners demanded, and the variety of outdoor living spaces they required.

The owners were quite specific in their design brief. They asked for a large sunken lounge area for relaxing, a space that could accommodate long sun loungers, and an all-weather area for barbecuing and dining to entertain family and friends.

Spacious, inviting and designed with the needs of the modern family firmly in mind, the pavilion at the rear of the home is the main entertaining hub. The focal point of this space is the outdoor kitchen, which features an integrated barbecue and a benchtop that provides ample preparation and serving space.

To cool things down in summer, the outdoor room has two ceiling fans and to set the mood for night-time entertaining, there are downlights. When it’s time to dine, there is a choice between the outdoor dining setting and pulling up a stool to the outdoor kitchen bench for a relaxed snack.

Two steps down from the pavilion is the comfortably furnished sunken lounge area the owners wanted. From this vantage point you have a clear view of the adjacent swimming pool, as you do from the paved sun lounger area at the end of the garden.

Sand & Stone Landscapes used silver travertine paving for all the hard floor finishes, steps and pool coping. Not only is this naturally veined stone cool underfoot, its sophisticated mid-grey colour complements the classic feel of the home. In the pavilion, the travertine paving also complements the darker-toned Atlantic stone used to finish the custom-built outdoor kitchen.

The stonework is contrasted by the warm tones of the merbau timber used for the large support beams of the pavilion and for the slatted privacy screens used at the side of the pavilion and along the back fence line. Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ was planted behind the sunken lounge area, chosen because the underside of the leaves are a rich reddish-brown, which picks up on the colouring of the timber.
As this was a fairly large backyard, Luke spread the outdoor living spaces across two levels, adding depth and interest to the design. The result is a rear-garden retreat that is simple, elegant and in keeping with the style of gardens you typically find in the home’s northern Sydney locale.

Outdoor room and garden design Sand & Stone Landscapes

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