Overhead view of northern beaches garden with grass, pavers, pool and outdoor relaxation area

This Northern Beaches Garden has the perfect East Coast vibe


The new pool area is the star of the show in this stylish but laid-back family sanctuary in Sydney’s Northern Beaches

With its East Coast vibe, fresh colour palette and enticing pool, this Northern Beaches garden fits hand-in-glove with the contemporary house and its corner-block locale on Sydney’s coastline. Created for a young family, the garden does exactly what the best designed gardens do: it takes into account the family’s lifestyle, the home’s architectural style, the topography and the climate.

“The brief was to integrate a pool into the yard, create spaces for relaxed outdoor living and introduce a level lawn space,” explains Riley Field, Senior Landscape Architect, Lone Pine Landscapes. “The look was to be sympathetic to the style of the architecture while hard and softscaping palettes needed to reflect the clients’ love of the East Coast. The result is a style I’d call coastal chic — the mix of materials is sophisticated; the planting lush, waxy and dark green.”

The design and placement of the pool was critical to the look and functionality of the reinvented front garden. “The strategic positioning of the pool gave us the ability to consolidate a number of smaller, unusable level areas. This meant that the transition from the alfresco area through to the lawn and pool was on a flat plane,” says Riley. “Also, because the house is located on a corner block, the pool alignment helped create structure in the front garden and define the entry to the house.”

As much thought went into the design of the pool and its surrounds as its location. Explains Riley, “We made the most of a topographic change by incorporating a wet edge clad in handmade ceramic tile. This added depth to the pool and emphasised clear views through to the valley beyond. Also, a daybed was framed over a void space to an internal area below. The detail of the ‘floating’ timber was a play on the pool’s drop edge which appears to be floating above the waterline tile.”

Blackbutt timber was used for the daybed and side screening, which provides privacy as well as acting as a balustrade and part of the pool fencing. The remainder of the pool fencing is frameless glass. The timber is complemented by Arena stone from Barefoot Living. “This is a durable variegated pool paver which subtly contrasts the white walls of the house,” says Riley. “The same stone was used for the pool’s drop edge and the steppers.”

Waterhousia floribunda ‘Amaroo’ was used as a screening plant along the boundary. “The weeping foliage creates a lush backdrop which helps create a sub-coastal/sub-tropical feel,” says Riley. “Alpinia nutans and other ginger varieties were used as understorey plantings to enhance the sub-tropical ambience, Dichondra repens was used for embankment stabilisation, and potted succulents as subtle design accents. We also retained a mature frangipani we found on site.”

The outcome is an engaging Northern Beaches garden that is ideal for laid-back coastal living.

For more information

Lone Pine Landscapes

This project is an entrant in the Outdoor Design 2022 NSW Landscaper of the Year Awards, celebrating residential design innovation and construction excellence. All entrants were featured in Outdoor Design Issue 42, with winners to be announced in Outdoor Design Issue 43.