Night vision

With its sleek, contemporary design and dynamic feature lighting, this poolscape is just as appealing by night as it is by day
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View of sleek poolscape with textured stone wall, upholstered bench seating and wall illuminated with colourful LED lighting that can be programmed.

Landscape design is all about transformation and making the best use of available land. But it's not always straightforward, especially when you have a site that slopes steeply away from the house.

Designer Mark Read of Natural Habitats was faced with such a challenge for this pool project.

"The rear yard of the house was a slippery slope that was virtually unusable," he says. "This created an engineering challenge for the pool construction, which was compounded by poor access."

But Read says there was a plus side the native bush made an ideal backdrop for a pool and outdoor living area.


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View of sleek poolscape with textured stone wall, upholstered bench seating and wall illuminated with colourful LED lighting that can be programmed.

"We wanted to accentuate the native plants and trees, but the design also needed to work with the very contemporary architecture of the near-new house, which features varying shades of grey."

Sandstone pavers were chosen to visually warm the area and enhance the sense of a subtropical landscape. The resort-style theme is reinforced by custom-designed, upholstered seating and a dramatic illuminated wall.

"The wall behind the long bench seat features textured stone panels that have a woven look," says Read. "We introduced a similar stone wall to the outdoor seating area off the main living area on the upper level. These textural features help relieve the large expanse of grey on the walls."

The lower wall features programmable LED lighting in a range of colours.

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View of sleek poolscape with textured stone wall, upholstered bench seating and wall illuminated with colourful LED lighting that can be programmed.

"The entire landscape takes on a different look by night," says the designer. "Spotlights on the trees and bush create a spectacular pool backdrop. This is enhanced by the cantilevered pool design. Instead of an infinity edge, which would have required complex engineering, the pool has a narrow tiled edge similar to a weir."

A French Grey interior gives the pool an aqua colour that is well suited to the resort look. Subtropical planting also helps create a sense of retreat. A variety of palms and native plants were introduced around the perimeter of the landscape. These help to visually soften the built-up elements and provide a link to the bush beyond.

To create an easy transition between the upper and lower terraces, Natural Habitats modified the existing wood stairs. These were designed to allow a good view of the pool.

Aug 10, 2010
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