Clean, modern lines effortlessly extend this new beach home into a gorgeous outdoor space
By Diane Norris
Cronulla is one of Sydney’s most sought-after beachside locations and many older, dilapidated homes are being levelled to make way for new, modern residences, such as this house, positioned enviably across the park from Cronulla Beach.
The owners, who have three active young children, now enjoy a large open-style home that encompasses a practical and well-equipped outdoor living space. Designed by Brandon Wallis, landscape architect and owner of Sitedesign, the area has been meticulously crafted and landscaped by Trent Roberts and his team from Scape Landscapes. “It was an amazing transformation and a fabulous project to work on,” says Trent. “We had a blank canvas to work with and were given freedom to make suggestions and add touches to the outdoor area that complemented the new home.”
According to Trent, while the landscape construction went ahead smoothly, on time and stuck to budget, there were a few minor challenges to overcome. The site is very close to the coast so the soil was sandy, and it can be very windy, with salty ocean breezes. Apart from sourcing salt-tolerant plants for the landscape, Trent says all the fittings in the outdoor pavilion, gates and the fixings and fastenings in the design had to be corrosiveresistant, so sturdy stainless-steel fixtures were used throughout.
The outdoor living space caters for the entire family as well as offering an intimate atmosphere for small gatherings. The new pool is spectacular and is the centre of attention in the back garden. The pavers around the pool, on the patio and in the outdoor entertaining area are tasteful cream-coloured Travertine. These perfectly match the off-white tones of the interior and exterior of the house and look stunning around the bright-blue pool water.
The outdoor room is the latest must-have entertainment tool and the outdoor space here is no exception, the owners ensuring they have the most up-to-date and stylish fixtures. There is a large stainless-steel barbecue with hood, and sleek unobtrusive cupboards house a fridge and provide ample space for kitchen utensils. There is even the essential plasma television housed in a secure “glove” near the roof. The space is not expansive but it is sleek, well planned, practical and uncluttered.
The pavilion also boasts a louvre roof. These are becoming increasingly popular and can be completely closed to keep out the elements, or they can be partially or fully opened to allow light or cool summer breezes in.
The backyard outdoor living space has been softly landscaped to keep the mood of the area simple, calm and “easy living”. Sir Walter Buffalo grass carpets the area and plantings include bull bay magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora), which have gorgeous glossy leaves — green on the upper side but striking bronze on the underside, catching soft beams of light from strategically placed garden lighting. The garden space is fully irrigated and the garden mulching is dark pre-composted pine bark. Trent said he deliberately chose this so as not to detract from the overall feel of the garden and pool, and not to overpower the outdoor space.
You could be forgiven for thinking the little front yard is nothing more than that, but it, too, is an outdoor focus. A wide, multi-stepped staircase provides a comfortable seating area for the owners at the end of a busy day, perhaps to sip wine and take in the spectacular ocean views. Lights embedded in each stair-tread offer soft evening illumination to this spot.
Overall, this outdoor entertaining space has become a seamless extension of the home; the ever-popular glass around the house and pool allows an uninterrupted expansion of this residence. Access is easy, views are unspoiled, and the owners are absolutely thrilled with the finished result. They are now able to spend the better part of the year in this magnificent outdoor retreat.