Outside Design

Now that winter is drawing in in the northern hemisphere, it’s a good time to re-asses those outside spaces while they’re not being used. I treat them in very much the same way as I treat interiors. It’s about shapes, colour, texture, lighting and practicality.

Most important is the background structure. Wherever you are in the world it’s important to look at background materials that will work in terms of maintenance and with safety and practicality in mind.

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A recent Harbour side project in Sydney were a case in point. Shiny white ceramic tiles everywhere. Not only did they look flat and cheap but they were lethal when wet. Not handy next to a swimming pool, nor in Sydney. The walls were a dull trellis with dead and dying plants clinging on. Fabulous to get in and clear it all out.

I chose a beautiful Egyptian Limestone as the background material. It was soft in the bright sunshine and gave a fabulous quality/chic look. It is also slightly textured so there was a grip in the wet.

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Because it’s a natural material it needs to be sealed professionally and maintained but the client was more than thrilled with having a program in place. This soft creamy backdrop was then perfect for lush planting and fabulous planters- some were massive bronze, some marble and some zinc. The odd marble statue and marble fountain used as a planter gave the space more visual interest.

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The black tiles in the pool were replaced with gorgeous handmade Italian glass mosaic and I created a water wall feature to give the clients more privacy. Frames were painted to match the limestone and using the biggest mobile crane in Australia I fitted my bespoke solid marble top table. The legs are from carved pillars from the Swat Valley- lovely carved pieces we used throughout the property.

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Not only does it look good during the day, but at night too.

Lighting Design by Claire Rendall

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