Designed with outdoor living in mind, this Sydney garden is a place to relax, entertain and enjoy views of the city
Having renovated their home, the owners realised the garden now seemed disconnected from the house. As the property had stunning Sydney city views and an existing swimming pool — both of which were underutilised — this formed the platform for the new lifestyle-enhancing design.
“Our clients wanted the garden to seamlessly blend with the house. They also asked us to create areas that facilitated comfortable entertaining and resort-style relaxation,” says Phil Antcliff, co-director of Fifth Season Landscapes. “This included activating the lower garden area that was relatively unused and updating the poolside spaces to incorporate seating and lounge areas for all-day use. Both spots were relatively disjointed, so having ease of access between each was also key.”
The design team, led by design manager Levi Carter, developed the initial concept and then worked closely with the clients to fine-tune each aspect. The Fifth Season Landscapes’ construction team, led by co-director Jack Hayes, was responsible for the build. “One of the crucial parts of a great build is the collaboration with the design team. At Fifth Season Landscapes we build our own designs, which allows continued discussion throughout each project and ensures the delivery of the build is as the design intended,” says Phil.
This design is a fusion of contemporary and traditional themes. Explains Phil, “The modern renovation of the house needed to be reflected in the garden concept, and the custom architectural screens within the pool area and the off-form concrete barbecue bar and bench within the lower garden create this connection.” The more traditional elements are the rock-faced sandstone walling and blackbutt hardwood decking, which, along with the planting palette, work in harmony with the local environment.
This is a garden replete with remarkable features. “The terraced lounging deck situated beneath the poolside pavilion is always in high demand with all members of the family. It’s mainly used for hanging out with friends on a sunny day or just kicking back to read a book on a Sunday afternoon with the city skyline as your backdrop,” says Phil.
“A built-in barbecue is always a winner with the blokes and this one has a huge bench with bar stools. Another great place to relax is the humble ‘floating’ bench seat situated at the eastern edge of the garden. Here you can sit back and relax with a coffee, lapping up the morning sun and a great view of the entire space,” he continues.
“What we have done is provide spaces for all times of the day and a variety of different activities, with custom elements within each that have been tailored to the clients’ needs. Functionality is a must in any design, but it’s the beautiful craftsmanship and combination of these design elements that really makes this project a special one.”
For the paving, Fifth Season Landscapes chose Chalford limestone. The large-format tiles create a sense of scale, forge a seamless connection between upper and lower garden areas, and form the perfect backdrop to the furniture, such as the custom swinging chair, designed and built by Fifth Season Landscapes, and the various design features, such as the pool pavilion.
“The aim for the pavilion,” explains Phil, “was to create multiple lounging spaces, both sunny and shaded, while maintaining comfortable access around the pool itself, and also between the pool, house and garden. Ultimately, this is a garden designed with outdoor living in mind. Each area has a specific purpose and the flow between the spaces has been carefully crafted. The result is a seamless journey around the garden to suit the homeowners’ lifestyle.”
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