Landscape Design: Big Thinking for Little Spaces


An innovative and contemporary design makes the most of a small, L-shaped garden


For some, a small, unusually shaped site is a challenge. For others, such as award-winning designer Dean Herald of Rolling Stone Landscapes, it’s an opportunity to create something unique and truly special.

The brief from the owners was to turn an awkward, L-shaped garden into a functional space incorporating a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and an area for alfresco dining. But that wasn’t all. Not only did the owners want Dean to make the most of the limited space, they wanted him to make it look and feel larger than it really is. Proving lack of space is no barrier to creating modern, multi-purpose outdoor living areas, Dean has skillfully incorporated an array of luxury lifestyle features into the L-shaped space. The result is clean, uncluttered and contemporary.

Along one “leg” of the garden stretches a fully tiled swimming pool with spa. The dry-stone feature wall that serves as a backdrop to the spa incorporates a mirror insert to make the space seem larger than it is. In the evening hours, the mirror is lit to amplify its effect. To one side of the mirror is a wall-mounted outdoor shower, while hugging much of one side of the pool is a timber sundeck with a retractable awning. The warm, inviting tones of the deck contrast with the richly coloured bluestone used for the paving in the outdoor shower area as well as the rest of the garden.

The other “leg” of the garden is the outdoor cooking and dining zone. Here you will find a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, a space for lounging about with friends, a dining table that seats eight …a remarkable achievement given the limited space. Along the wall that defines the dining area, Dean specified the use of full-length mirrors. This mirrorclad wall serves to enhance the space and make it feel larger, while adding a contemporary design element.

The well-considered planting palette includes Tradescantia (also known as Rhoeo or Moses in the Cradle) to provide colour (purple and green) and form against the backdrop of the decorative mirror wall and the mirror inset in the feature wall at the foot of the pool. The effect is understated, allowing the mirrors to shine as the main feature. Elsewhere you will find Pyrus calleryana (an ornamental pear with a narrow upright form) and Syzygium australe ‘Select Form’ (a lilly pilly producing seasonal displays of small white flowers and edible crimson berries).

With this design, Dean has clearly ticked all of the boxes, delivering a totally transformed outdoor space that exceeds the owners’ expectations. Dean is noted for his innovative approach to outdoor design, which is why he has a slew of landscape design awards to his credit. These include the Chelsea Flower Show’s prestigious Gold Medal award, as well as multiple Gold awards garnered at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. To learn more about the work of Dean Herald and Rolling Stone Landscapes, follow them on Facebook.

Landscape design and construction by Rolling Stone Landscapes
PO Box 3341, Dural NSW 2158
Phone (02) 9651 5002
Mobile 0404 866 799
Photography by Danny Kildare

Article published with the permission of Universal Magazines Complete Home

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