Our challenge was redesigning the backyard of a sporty, outdoor and very social family, which also includes a number of dogs, utilising the tight space available to cater for many requirements and providing more storage for the whole families collection of ‘toys’.
Of paramount importance was the provision of an outdoor dining space for use day and night and a fire pit inspired by a recent trip to Africa.
The project began by excavating the existing garage, backyard and driveway. The garage interior was gutted with a new floor laid and a mezzanine level and shelving installed to provide the extra storage required, allowing us more space to play with in the backyard. For added practicality, the driveway was replaced and a turntable installed so that cars could be driven in and out with ease.
The backyard was turned into a beautiful contemporary space for entertaining, with retractable awnings allowing for wining and dining in shade during the day and open sky at night, with soft lighting included to enhance the mood.
The entertainment space itself was a newly installed sandstone terrace, with tallowwood bench seating facing a new planterbox.
The remaining space was turned into a lawn area, with a pond included to add to the tranquillity and a fire pit in-built to ensure the entertaining could continue throughout the winter months, and that the teenage children had their own exciting area to entertain their friends.
The whole area was surrounded with a selection of contemporary plants, including Japanese Box, Crepe Myrtle, Chinese Star Jasmine and Sweet Viburnum, punctuated with granite pavers and nepean river pebbles.
The end result was a perfectly adaptable contemporary space with timeless appeal for all family members – even a space at the side of the house for four-legged family members.
Photography by Bruce Usher