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This townhouse landscape design creates outdoor spaces that extend the home's interior and are useable for most of the year

Designed by Luke Robertson, Epic Landscape Design

From the landscape designer:

The brief

After downsizing from a large property, the owners purchased a new townhouse which had some landscaping completed by the builder – however this landscaping didn’t set their world on fire. 

We were asked to undertake a design for the complete property which would create a space that would mimic the interior and create useable outdoor spaces for most of the year. 

The design was to include decking, built-in seating, and utilise the existing paving; a gas fireplace and infrared heaters, louver roof, and outdoor kitchen; a spa pool and multi-zone entertaining – while also improving visibility and pedestrian foot traffic flow to the front door and man cave.

While this list of wants was extensive, the size of the property created a fantastic design challenge to fit it all in and create a space that was inviting. 

We also needed to try and soften the architecture of the property as it was a two-storey townhouse on a small site.

The outcome

The front entrance and driveway were opened up to create better flows to the front door. 

We had to work with the existing driveway which we had a decorative cut and grout pattern put into, that mimicked large timber fins on the exterior of the house. 

Portions of the existing driveway were removed so a feature garden could be created opposite the front door and lounge windows. 

This feature garden was planted with a large bamboo which provides fantastic vertical form softening the height of the house and providing sound and movement to the entrance area. This bamboo was also mirrored through to the main outdoor entertaining space.


Stepping stones were added to link the driveway through to the entertaining space where we removed half of the existing paving and replaced it with hardwood decking. 

The decking provides fantastic definition to the two outdoor rooms plus brings warmth to the area. 

Over the deck, an automatic louver roof was installed together with two infrared heaters, a custom designed gas fire and inbuilt seat. 

The addition of the louver roof to this space and its proximity to the house meant that this area is now an extension to the living room and can be used just about all year.

The deck steps down to granite paving which forms the cooking and dining space. 

The pavers were reused from the original landscape and linked to the outdoor kitchen, which was custom designed to incorporate seating, a dining bench, fridge and inbuilt BBQ. 

The end of the table is supported by steel fins which replicate the large timber fins used on the exterior of the house. 

This idea is also carried through to the seat and the divider to the spa space. 

The outdoor areas feature custom designed Corten steel planters which provide fantastic colour contrast to the rest of the property and add another dimension to the planting.

The spa area is situated beside the outdoor kitchen but is separated with feature bamboo planting and the addition of 2.5m high steel fins which also act as towel or robe holders for occupants of the spa space.

The planting on this landscape is minimal due to the client’s request – but what is there provides exceptional lush greens, fragrance, texture and seasonal interest, as well as adding vertical elements to soften the house construction.

Credit list

Landscape designer
Landscape contractor
Ross Marriot, JRM Consulting (formerly Artworks Landscape)
Paving/pool surround
Existing paving was reused – laid on a jack system and laid on site concrete – work completed by contractor
Barbecue
Beefeater – Signature Proline 6 hood bbq, from Harvey Norman
Decking
Brazilian Teak, from One Stop Deck Shop
Outdoor furniture
Supplied by owner
Spa, outdoor heating
4 Seasons
House architect
SWB Design
Fencing
Existing when design was undertaken
Outdoor gas fireplace
Escea EF5000, from 4 Seasons
Irrigation system
Ross Marriot, JRM Consulting (formerly Artworks Landscape)
Louvre roof
Existing
BBQ station, inbuilt seating
Designed by Epic Landscape design - construction JRM Consulting
Planting
Designed by Epic Landscape Design; supplied by Riverside horticulture; planted by Ross Marriot, JRM Consulting

Designed by: Epic Landscape Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Rachel von Nordeck

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