The total package: outdoor design


This outdoor space by A Total Concept is perfect for relaxing, entertaining, or having family fun

A Total Concept Landscape Architects has taken a small Sydney garden and created an outdoor retreat that incorporates everything a family could want for socialising and entertaining at home. “Our goal was to create a total concept: a contemporary, tropical resort landscape with a villa-style courtyard garden and a swimming pool,” explains landscape architect, John Storch.

“The rear of the property had no outlook and little privacy, so we ensconced the entire area with perimeter plantings of tropical species. This has given the courtyard the privacy it needed while providing a stunning outlook, day and night, from the kitchen and living areas.”

The social hub of the outdoor space is a covered entertaining area, complete with barbecue. This roofed structure features a painted, tongue-in-groove timber ceiling, rendered masonry columns, plus a generous timber daybed and table.

The design of the entertaining area is characterised by simple clean lines and the space is accessed via full-width sliding timber doors that ensure total integration of the home with the garden. “As the owners have young children, the outdoor room provides the perfect shaded entertaining area where they can relax with friends yet still watch the children as they play in the adjacent pool,” adds John.

The pool, which was also designed by A Total Concept Landscape Architects, is clad in shimmering, vibrant blue tiles and acts as an elegant contrast to the blond sandstone poolside paving. The pool steps and underwater bench double as informal seats within the pool and with heated spa jets incorporated into the backrest, this is the perfect place for parents to chat.

“The aspect of the property ensures sun most of the day and provided shelter from winds. This allowed us to introduce the contemporary tropical gardens which contain a limited palette of slender weaver’s bamboo, hibiscus, red and bronze cordylines, murraya, lilly pilly, gardenias, Philodendron ‘Xanadu’ and purple splash to flourish,” says John.

“At night,” he continues, “the space is well lit with halogen ceiling lighting for functional purposes and energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the garden areas and swimming pool to create mood effects, such as washes of light and dancing shadows.”

Thanks to A Total Concept’s thoughtful design and expert project management, the home, outdoor room, pool, and paved entertaining areas blend seamlessly, creating a stunning space with a holiday-at-home ambience.


Project design and management by A Total Concept Landscape Architects 65 West Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

Phone (02) 9957 5122

Mobile 0407 245 201



Originally from Outdoor Design and Living magazine, Volume 26

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