Elegant Entertaining

Elegant Entertaining


For a cool-down on a summer’s day or a place for respite in winter, this landscape is well equipped

There’s nothing more enjoyable or quintessentially Aussie than a barbecue around the pool, and this well-appointed and truly luxurious outdoor room, which is usable all year round, is perfect for the Australian lifestyle.

When the family of this striking Melbourne property decided it was time to modernise their rear garden, they looked to Simon McCurdy Landscapes to create a functional outdoor entertaining area that can be used by each member of the family. While the existing swimming pool was to be kept, it was to be included in the upgrade as they wanted to increase the value of their property should they decide to sell it later on.

A modern outdoor room with luxury inclusions was considered the perfect way to introduce a space that can be used by everyone — and add as much value as possible. To begin with, the inclusion of an outdoor kitchen makes entertaining outdoors a breeze. The custom-built kitchen houses a stainless-steel barbecue with rotisserie, a sink and a canopy to ensure smoke and grease are quickly extracted from the space. The kitchen also has its own storage facilities so often-used items can be kept at hand and out of sight. To keep drinks nearby and allow the owners to relax rather than have to run in and out of the house when entertaining, there is a glass-fronted wine fridge.

A dining table with director’s chairs and a cushion-covered, in-built bench-style lounge provide comfortable places where friends can gather and relax. From the dining table guests can watch a favourite sporting event or movie on the large LEDED TV. While the speakers are linked to the TV, they can also be used to send the soothing — or energising — sounds of music through the outdoor room, providing a soundtrack for entertaining, unwinding or swimming in the pool.

For the warmer seasons, a ceiling fan was installed above the seating area and, to ensure the room can be used in the colder months, there is a trio of ceiling-mounted radiant strip heaters.

The outdoor room’s most eye-catching design feature is its use of complementary materials, which includes jarrah posts that link with the Scyon Matrix cladding around the fascia of the roof. The roof of the room is lined with quality pine to ensure durability while stack-stone cladding was used for the outdoor kitchen and integrated raised planter box. Each of these materials works in balance with the rendered wall behind the television.

Jarrah was again used to the left of the pavilion to create a wall to screen the pool equipment from view when entertaining. Tying in with the room’s thick posts, this wall creates a seamless aesthetic throughout the space.

To ensure the family spends the lion’s share of their time enjoying their outdoor area rather than maintaining it, a minimalist approach to planting was taken. A limited number of easy-care plants were used, including cycads, and pebble mulch was introduced to conserve water in the soil and add a contemporary element to the design.

Classicstone manmade pavers were chosen for their colour, which co-ordinates with the residence’s rendered façade. As well, the size and shape of the pavers contrast with the red-brick pool coping and give the whole area a more modern look. Custom-made paving was used on the steps and jarrah was again chosen for the decking to ensure visual harmony and ease of flow around the outdoor space.
For the ultimate in modern-day indulgence, a C-Bus automation system has been installed for the owners’ easy use of all electrical appliances, including the exhaust fan and downlights. Simple decorative finishing touches, such as the colourful cushions on the lounge, personalise the space as well as adding to its comfort level