Pool party A once bor­ing back­yard is given a fab­u­lous up­date



SE­RIAL REN­O­VA­TORS Tim and Robyn are blessed with the en­vi­able gift of be­ing able to imag­ine what could be, and then turn it into re­al­ity. Noth­ing is more ex­cit­ing for this clever cou­ple than a blank can­vas, and that’s ex­actly what they had when they bought a home on an es­tate in a Queens­land town. The back­yard, not much more than a pool and an ex­panse of tired-look­ing lawn over­looked by a road and neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, was in des­per­ate need of a re­vamp. “There was no gar­den, just a row of pen­cil pines along the back, tiny mur­rayas down the pool side and a row of aga­pan­thus out the front,” re­calls Robyn. Five years later, Tim, a builder and expert handy­man, and Robyn, a green thumb with an eye for land­scape de­sign, have pulled off an amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion.

triple threat

Tim and Robyn (pic­tured) bought three Bun­nings mir­rors for just $40 each, and Tim hung them on the out­door wall by the pool­side ta­ble. They cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing win­dow ef­fect, re­flect­ing the serene green sur­rounds.

“We love the creep­ing fig along the block walls, as it cre­ates a green bound­ary to the space that’s so calm­ing” ~ Robyn


Robyn has styled a pot­ting bench found on Gumtree with a col­lec­tion of pots and ob­jets d’art, but the show stop­per is an old iron gate from Eclec­tic Style in Noosa (left). To cre­ate the il­lu­sion of space, the cou­ple had the piece trans­formed into a mir­ror by G James Glass & Alu­minium, with the whole project cost­ing about $580. For a sim­i­lar fin­ished piece, try Le Forge.

wa­ter­ing hole

An Art Deco-style bar cart (above ) from Harolds Fin­ish­ing Touches, stocked with sum­mer es­sen­tials, is a stylish pool­side ad­di­tion and can eas­ily be brought out when there are guests and wheeled in at night’s end.


Tim crafted the Hamp­tons-style white front gate (above) from spot­ted gum and ma­rine-grade ply, and then painted it in Aqua Satin Enamel in Pop­corn from Porter’s Paints, $52.24/ litre. A black latch from Mitre 10 (for sim­i­lar try the ‘Gothic Ring’ gate latch, $31.95) and an armil­lary sphere, bought years ago, evoke a clas­sic el­e­gance, while flour­ish­ing star jas­mine on ei­ther side greets guests with its sub­lime scent.

“We added some lev­els to max­imise the use­abil­ity of the block and added gar­den ‘rooms’ to cre­ate in­ter­est and make it feel larger than it is” ~ Robyn

sit­ting pretty

In the cov­ered out­door area, an el­e­gant lounge set­ting pur­chased from Jati sev­eral years ago pro­vides com­fort­able and stylish seat­ing (op­po­site) from which to take in the stun­ning views. Brick­ing in ex­ist­ing pil­lars, and ren­der­ing and paint­ing them, adds sub­stance to the zone, while gran­ite paving in Co­conut Ice from Slate & Stone cre­ates a cool and neu­tral fin­ish un­der­foot.

van­tage point

The gar­den is filled with invit­ing spots to sit, re­lax and just en­joy a beau­ti­ful sum­mer’s day. By the pool, a hand­some French-style mir­ror from Harolds Fin­ish­ing Touches (above left) pops on a back­drop of creep­ing fig over the block wall, painted in Du­lux Weather­shield Bronze Fig. A pretty set­ting from The Teak Fac­tory has been al­lowed to weather, its sil­ver tones blend­ing beau­ti­fully with the painted wall and pale new pavers.

rus­tic charm

In­dus­trial-look doors from Eclec­tic Style in Noosa, bought on a week­end away, screen the new pool pump room, turn­ing it into a gor­geous gar­den fea­ture. A grove of sil­very olive trees lines the back wall of the pool, pro­vid­ing a shady rest­ing spot for dogs Rosie and Wally.

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