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  • Writer's pictureLuxury Pools & Outdoor

Playing to the lay of the land, paves the way to backyard cool.

When faced with rock and sloping on a site we can either play with the lay of the land or break new ground. Both are fun paths to take and provoke innovative design. For our Umina property we raised the pool off the ground to create levels and dimension in this suburban backyard.


An outdoor space in a suburban setting that’s easy like a Sunday morning.

The goal for our client Megan was to not to design ‘just a pool’ like the three quotes that came before her, but to make a unique outdoor living space that talked with the rest of her home. Living on her own and retired she wanted a low-maintenance space that gave her the freedom to travel without worrying about the upkeep, but she also wanted a place for the grandkids to play.

We knew that this space needed to ooze effortless chic, whilst being effortlessly maintained by our client into the future.


A suburban landscape with a sense of beachside calm.

One of the major design challenges at Megan's place included the fact that the entire property was built onto a rock shelf. With elements like this we must always be mindful, as this is where costs for the client can blow out due to the excavation constraints. We also had a topography challenge where the yard started high at one end and low at the other, and even though it wasn't a huge slope, it was still a fall.

This got us thinking about creative ways to embrace the rock and use the fall of the suburban landscape to our advantage.


Crystal clear communication from start to finish is non-negotiable.

In all our projects we must have clear communication with the council from the start. For this site we began with a land registration search, along with planning certificate, services plan, water management certificate of compliance and a site survey report from qualified surveyors.

What we can and can’t do often paves the way to the feasibility.


Creativity and thoughtfulness are at the very heart of our designs.

Considering the challenge of the rocky topography we decided to play on the feature of the slope. We'd previously produced a build at Pearl Beach with an out-of-ground pool and walkable wall and the finished product was beautiful. We wanted to apply a similar approach to this design because it allowed us to make a showpiece of the pool and not just dig into the ground. In the end we created decking to the raised portion at the back. Instead of using rear return retaining walls like other designers would have potentially suggested, the pool became the retaining wall itself.

By playing with the design and raising the pool, this allowed us to level out the lower section of the yard and insert a garden and some stonework. The plan allowed us to easily overcome the rock and mitigate issues that could have occurred during excavation. Creativity and thoughtfulness are at the very heart of our designs.


Playing on an angular mixture of travertine, spotted gum, pebbles and Vidrepur mosaics the outdoor space is picture perfect.

For construction reasons, we designed the pool to be slightly raised at about 400 out of the ground. This acts as a feature because we can create a 200 non walkable wall that works with the gentle slope and will look aesthetically appealing. We then take the waterline tile up and over and render the outside wall.

By raising of the pool, we were able to separate the fall between the upper and the lower section of the space. It’s a win/win as there is no negative space and it visually looks incredible.

For a shimmering effect in the pool we used Vidrepur Fusion White Mosaics from Central Coast Tile and Stone Warehouse and to connect the pool to spaces, we used varying styles of white and grey travertine for the coping and the walkways. We installed the ‘Naked Pool’ pool cleaning system from Pool Ranger. Pool lighting by Aqua Quip and streamline Skimmer Lid Kit from Europe Imports that all adds to the low maintenance brief we received from our client.


Sandstone edging, pebbles, glass and modular wall fencing plus hardwood sleepers create a mixture of textures that play in the space perfectly.

Pandanas palms in oversized concrete pots mixed with planted Cypress for privacy soften the visual. Sandstone edging, grasses, pebbles, glass and modular fencing and hardwood sleepers create a mixture of varying textures that provide us with the soft/hard balance of any thoughtfully designed space.

We designed a low maintenance garden that enhanced the outdoor living but allowed Megan to visit family or head overseas without the overwhelming thought of managing it all when she got back.

We believe that; ‘It’s easy for companies to get lost in creating spaces that may fill a hole in their design portfolio, but ignore what works for the client. We don’t play that way. We listen to our client. Then we deliver on that!’


The simplicity and the effortlessness of this outdoor space is where it truly shines.

We always follow our client’s process from start to finish. For this project we didn’t just achieve the final certification. We also obtained DA approval for an extension our client’s outside balcony that would enhance her views of Brisbane Water. Even though it wasn’t activated during this phase of the build, we implemented the post structure footings so that if she sold it later or changed her mind the process would be simple for her.

So, it was never just about the pool, it's about the pool, the outdoor and how the house interacts with the outdoor space. The simplicity and the effortlessness of this outdoor space is where it truly shines.


Live an Outdoor Life Inspired.

Start your journey today: -

Design / Build / Approval - Central Coast NSW Call: 02 4304 1638



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