outdoor living modern design

Taking it outside: Beachside living


 Inspired by beachside living, these garden spaces make the most of the Perth weather

outdoor living modern design

outdoor room modern design

outdoor landscaping



modern pool design

Working hand-in-hand with the owners, Denise Staffa of Outside In has designed a series of outdoor spaces which have a beachy, contemporary resort-style ambience that perfectly complements Perth’s sunny climate and the family’s love of being outdoors. “Achieving a good flow from inside to out was an absolute must, especially around the swimming pool and entertaining area due to the limited space,” says Denise.

“The selection of materials and colours played an important role in this. For example, the owners were so enamoured of the travertine I suggested we use for the rear garden, they decided to take it right through to the inside of the home, making indoor and outside spaces seem as one.”

The continuity of materials and colours complements the relaxed, easy-flowing design while the use of pale hues makes the outdoor spaces seem more open. In the outdoor dining pavilion, the colour of the walls and outdoor kitchen cabinets matches the colour used for the inside of the home. This means that when the bifold doors on both living areas are pulled back, the transition is seamless.

Travertine makes another appearance as the backdrop for the poolside water wall. This water feature breaks up the broad expanse of the travertine-tile-clad boundary wall and its textured surface is a nice contrast against the smooth finish of the large-format wall tiles. In addition, the water wall has been placed directly opposite the window of the interior kitchen so it can be enjoyed from inside the home.

The stonework also offsets the grey composite decking used for the poolside lounge area. Composite decking was chosen because it doesn’t need re-staining as timber decking does and it doesn’t splinter, rot or warp. For a beachside look, the area is furnished with a white synthetic weave outdoor lounge suite with fresh blue cushions and a matching pair of sunloungers. This area is protected from the sun via a large umbrella. An identical umbrella extends over the pool, ensuring swimmers and dippers can keep their cool during the heat of summer.

In the front garden, split-level design features precision-built retaining walls and steps. On the upper level and adjacent to the interior living room of the home is an undercover outdoor lounge area which was paved in travertine, referencing the flooring used in the rear garden and outdoor pavilion. Honed washed-aggregate paving was used on the lower level of the front garden and around the home’s main entrance.

Honed washed aggregate was also used for edging around the lawn, which is actually artificial turf, chosen for its evergreen look and nil maintenance requirements. Sitting on the lawn to one side of the patio is a two-tier, white bowl-style water feature which adds life to a lost corner of the front garden.

While Denise employed a few simple focal points to create impact in the front garden, the approach to the planting was more liberal. Plants you would expect to find in a tropical resort were chosen to define areas and give the front garden an urban oasis effect. This holiday haven look is enhanced by the use of LED uplighting which transforms the garden at night.

LED lighting was also installed in the rear garden and pool area. This includes strip lighting, which draws focus to the poolside water feature and a floating pool ball which adds a festive touch. These all work in tandem with the pool lighting to entice guests outside after nightfall.


WORDS: Karen Booth PHOTOS: Ron Tan

Originally from Backyard & Garden Design Ideas magazine issue 12.1