Clean lines and clever design create a resort-style outdoor entertaining paradise
One of the most comm on design briefs received by landscape designers is for a space to entertain friends and family, but when the garden has a steep slope, this can prove a little tricky. Faced with the dilemma of a steep site, Dean Herald of Rolling Stone Landscapes decided to set the level for the backyard so it could be easily accessed from both the first and second terraces of the residence. This helped create a wet-edge spillover wall to the pool and even presented an opportunity to construct an integrated sauna, which can be accessed from the lower level of the house.
A blue Bisazza-tiled pool forms an elegant feature located on the western side of the backyard and includes a tiled wet-edge spillover that creates a soothing outlook for the billiard room on the lower level. A glass spa is cleverly positioned to catch glimpses of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is close enough to the main pavilion to ensure people in the spa are connected to those cooking or enjoying the lounge.
The main pavilion was designed with entertaining in mind. An outdoor kitchen, including a teppanyaki-style barbecue, pizza oven, sink and custom-made fridge means there is no need for the host to constantly move back and forth between the house and the backyard.
A unique, cantilevered dining table was incorporated into the kitchen bench. It extends out towards the Buffalo lawn and ensures the connection between the cook and guests is maintained at the highest level. A wood-burning fireplace is also included within the pavilion, which helps make the space more accommodating during the cooler months.
Colours and materials chosen for this project were based on the finishes and architecture of the residence. Large-format travertine paving and coping were selected for travertine’s hard-wearing, low-maintenance property — and because it complements the fresh blue of the tiles used on the interior surface of the pool. The pavilion was built using rendered masonry walls and hardwood timber posts and also includes Kerlite tiling (a vitrified porcelain cladding) to the chimney.
The flat roof was built using Surfmist Colorbond, with cedar panelling used to line the ceiling. The result is a clean, minimalist feel, with the cedar adding a touch of warmth.
The structures are complemented by an array of foliage plants such as Agave attenuata, Ctenanthe ‘Grey Star’, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana and Liriope muscari. Privacy from neighbouring properties has been achieved by planting Acmena smithii ‘Sublime’, which is under-planted with Alternanthera dentata. The mix of colours and textures helps soften the spaces and creates an interesting backdrop to the feature areas of the backyard.
It is at night, however, that the backyard really shines. Carefully positioned pool lights illuminate the large rectangular body of water, transforming it into a deep-blue masterpiece, and the glass-sided spa turns into a shimmering cube of aerated water. Subtle garden lights highlight all the feature plants and create a wonderful ambience through the dance of shadows.
To finish off the garden, Dean incorporated an entertainment system, which includes an LCD TV, Foxtel and a surround-sound audio system that can be heard anywhere in the backyard. Now the family can relax and enjoy a complete resort-style outdoor living experience.
Landscape design and construction by Rolling Stone Landscapes PO Box 3341, Dural NSW 2158 Phone (02) 9651 5002 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Website www.rollingstonelandscapes.com Photography by Danny Kildare