From the gold mosaic tiles to the impressive statuary, this Thai-style garden speaks of luxury
Story: Karen Booth
Photos: Patrick Redmond
Thai in flavour, this Melbourne garden captures the essence of resort-style living. In keeping with its Asian ethos, water is an integral component of the design, from the pool to the trio of water features. One, a water wall, is positioned so it can be seen from the main glass doors leading from the rear of the residence. Another, a koi-stocked pond on which a Buddha statue appears to float, is positioned near the outdoor entertaining area. The third takes the form a large flat bowl that gently nudges water into the raised spa.
Similarly, Buddha statues, in a variety of poses, are a recurring motif, imbuing every corner of the outdoor space with a wonderful sense of serenity. The most spectacular is the 4.5-metre-long, three-ton reclining Buddha that rests on a bed of gold atop the rear pool wall. The statue, which has swim-outs on either side, was placed on the central axis line running from the main living room of the house. It had to be craned into position, as did the 2.5-ton Buddha, which sits crossed-legged at the head of the spa. This, too, sits on a central axis point, this time leading to the Thai hut. The overall effect is one of harmony and balance.
Evoking memories of visits past to Thai temples, the reclining Buddha’s bed and the water wall are clad in 24-carat gold mosaic tiles. Real gold mosaics also provide a glistening accent amid the pearl-white surrounds of the spa.
When sitting in the spa, your eye glides down the length of the swimming pool and into the Thai hut where you can enjoy your favourite movie or watch a major sports match on a large plasma screen mounted on a bamboo wall panel.
The hut, its entrance flanked by standing stone statues, is something special. Constructed from recycled iron bark timber sourced from an old sheep station on the Brisbane River, it has an authentic Thai-style timber-shingled pitched roof that perfectly matches the wharf-style decking around the pool and spa. The underside of the roof has been plaster-lined to accommodate downlights.
Boasting a large outdoor kitchen-style barbecue and glass-fronted fridge tucked under a granite benchtop, the hut is ideal for entertaining, but it’s also a place where you can relax while watching a movie or listening to music.
The furniture selected for the garden helps to enhance the Asian ambience. This includes the lounge suite in the hut, the two daybed “pods” near the spa and the gold slumped glass dining table and designer chairs that sit proudly on the pearl-white exfoliated granite paving and command a view of the floating Buddha pond.
In terms of technology, the swimming pool is state-of-the-art, offering solar heating, gas heating, in-floor cleaning and the latest in LED pool lighting. And after a dip in its refreshing waters, swimmers can avail themselves of the outdoor shower — complete with large-sized shower rose and hot and cold water — located to one side of the hut.
To ensure everyone can enjoy the full outdoor living experience, there is extensive lighting throughout the garden and outdoor speakers that pipe music (or the television) to every corner.