Two super stylish gardens

31 Dec 2015

Gary and Phil’s sensational sizzling garden 

Indoor/outdoor flow – it’s the catch-cry of every real estate advert and something we’re all told we should strive for.

One Auckland architect and his partner took the idea to extremes – installing huge sliding doors that open up the wall at the back of their renovated villa, and creating a kitchen that literally crosses from inside to out with the help of a bold slice of sizzling Resene Clockwork Orange, used as one 10m-long continuous splashback.

The villa renovation was a labour of love for Garry Cullen of Ardmore Architects, customised to suit the needs of himself and partner Phil Stickney… as well as their cats, art and collection of classic cars.

An integral part of the renovation was the garden; one of the must-have items here was a good entertaining space, while another was a swimming pool.

An external screen wall protects the outdoor terrace from the cold south-westerly winds and creates a sun-trap. The Resene Clockwork Orange wall creates a colourful connection between inside and out, and helps to visually extenuate the length of the kitchen. As a quiet counterpoint, the house’s weatherboards are painted in Resene Sea Fog and the trims and pergola are Resene White.

The twin terrazzo island benches – one in, one out - are made of concrete inset with stones, then polished. The heavy outdoor bench took 10 men to lift into place.

The garden is split into three distinct zones: the wide terrace and barbecue area, the pool and a lawn.

The pool is at a slightly lower level to the rest of the garden, which follows the natural typography of the section but this also gives extra privacy in a suburb where neighbouring houses are fairly close.

The need for privacy also influenced Phil and Garry’s choice of planting style. Subtropical plants grow more quickly, and the vertical nature of palms means that while they grow up, they don’t take up much width.

The rear fence was stained in Resene Woodsman Crowshead which, says Garry, “is a great colour to offset the foliage and to create the illusion of more space. It works as a ‘shadow’ to make the planted area appear deeper.”

Michelle waves goodbye to boring

This garden has been transformed from an outdated space to one with a strikingly original design that uses wave-like batten screens floating over its high walls and fences.

On  an  extremely  steep  site with poor pedestrian access, this Sydney garden used to sport a high purple and peppermint green fence, opposite the blank two-storey wall of the house. There was little outdoor storage, shelter or adequate seating around the swimming pool.

Under the umbrella of the design practice Designing Women, interior designer Michelle Burton had already worked her magic inside the house but knew that the exterior would need further design collaboration. She bought in garden designers Antscapes, who came up with the striking concept, while Michelle created the palette of Resene colour.

The transformation began by replacing the decking around the pool with grass and resurfacing the pool. The brief for ‘something different’ was the design challenge. Faced with the two tall blank canvasses of the fence and wall, Antscapes developed the screens, which twist across the wall and fence which were repainted in a specially mixed Resene Quarter Dune. One of the screens is left in natural blackbutt, while the other is painted in Resene Triple Dune – a colour which echoes the tone of the new bluestone edging around the pool. Plants cascade through the screens supported by hidden irrigation and drainage.

Says Port Macquarie-based Michelle: “The simple colour palette of various strengths of Resene Triple Dune was ideal to highlight the intertwining batten screens, especially the curves of the blackbutt timber. The scheme also contrasts but doesn’t fight with the house’s architectural detailing.“

The design focus then shifted to the pergola, which had to fit into the awkward angular shape at the rear of the house but also link the house with the pool. Under the raked roof and ceiling (painted in Resene Quarter Caraway) a timber walkway with frameless glass    balustrade    became the solution. Tucked into its corner, a deep ‘floating’ daybed is piled with cushions.

The colour selection wasn’t all about earthy colours. Michelle added an intense burst of Resene Vibe, a cheeky pink/red, at the front of the house to counter the lack of light from thick palms and define the entry.

To see more of Michelle’s design portfolio visit www.smbinteriordesign.com.au.

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

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Gary and Phil's sizzling garden: the rear garden has been divided into three distinct zones – the wide terrace, the pool and the lawn. The house weatherboards are finished in Resene Sea Fog with trims in Resene White.

pictures Sally Tagg

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It’s an entertainer’s dream – an outdoor table, a raised bench and the integrated barbecue set against the Resene Clockwork Orange splashback. 

pictures Sally Tagg

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Staggered platforms create steps down to the pool area. 

pictures Sally Tagg

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The striking Resene Clockwork Orange splashback helps visually unite the inside and outdoor kitchens. The pergola is finished in Resene White and is designed to eventually be fitted with a shade sail or louvred roof. 

pictures Sally Tagg

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Subtropical plants were chosen for their fast-growing lush nature, and include bangalow and kentia palms as well as canna lilies, bromeliads and the groundcover Philodendron xanadu. 

pictures Sally Tagg

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Michelle's wondrous garden: Intertwining batten screens wriggle along the fence. One is left plain timber while the other is Resene Triple Dune against a fence of Resene Quarter Dune.

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The screen feature continues on the wall of the house opposite, which is also painted in Resene Quarter Dune. 

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A timber walkway and ‘floating’ day bed transform an awkward corner of the garden, next to the house.

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The front entry is defined in a cheeky pink/red of Resene Vibe. 

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Resene Clockwork Orange

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Resene Quarter Caraway

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Resene Triple Dune

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Resene Clockwork Orange

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Resene Quarter Caraway

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Resene Triple Dune

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