Expansive outdoor living space with stonework, timber decks and fire pit

Outdoor living space and new open-plan living area double size of home. Swimming pool, fire pit and separate alfresco dining and barbecue spaces all feature

Story by: Charles Moxham
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This major renovation and extension by architectural designer Steve Gliosca doubles the size of the home. New gables echo existing roof forms.
An extensive new outdoor living area transforms the front of this 1950s home.

Outdoor living spaces and a connection to nature go hand in hand. However, whether the emphasis is on poolside chic, entertaining under the stars, or achieving a tropical paradise, each is likely to offer a space that's low maintenance and a fun, relaxing place to be.

It's a time-honoured story on both sides of the Tasman a 1950s home in a beautiful spot but with a design that closes out the views. More a new build than a renovation, this project by architectural designer Steve Gliosca, with soft landscaping by Monica Palmer of Tim Davies Landscaping, addresses such an issue.

On a site facing a park with a river beyond, the original brick house had small windows and did not make the most of the outlook.

"For the makeover, the owners asked for a tropical, spa-like ambience, with a large living-dining-kitchen and entertaining area to the front, and bedrooms set to the rear," says Gliosca. "They wanted the main front room to open out to a outdoor entertaining space with a fire pit and pool area."

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Contemporary home renovation with gabled roof forms

Other elements include a three-car garage at the rear and a porte-cochére at the side, paved in travertine, for a hotel-style welcome.

"We stripped the interiors right back and reconfigured all the rooms," says the designer. "The original part of the home is to the left the stone-lined entryway, and the new open-plan living spaces are to the right."

Taking his cue from the existing structure, Gliosca introduced two new gabled roof forms at the front of the house. These correspond to the outdoor areas they shelter an alfresco living area on one side and a dining and barbecue area on the other. There is also a fire pit a step down from the main deck, and from here another step leads down to the new swimming pool.

The central support column of the roof extension is clad in the same stone as the entry. This column demarcates the two open-air zones and conceals down spouting. The underside of the roof is finished in stained timber, adding to the emphasis on natural materials. In addition, the barbecue is set in a stone plinth.

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New gabled canopies over this new outdoor living space echo existing roof forms.

To further the organic appeal, a palisade fence with irregular picket heights separates the drive from the deck, pool and lawn area. A similar fence separates the yard from the street.

"The pickets are deep and the gaps between them narrow, which helps shield the property from the passing gaze of those walking by."

Monica Palmer says the lush plantings were inspired by the owners' visits to Singapore.

"They wanted to have a tropical feel at home, too. The trick was finding plants with the right look that would thrive in a temperate climate."

Sep 18, 2014

Credit list

Soft landscaping
Outdoor furniture
Lounge furniture; Kettal Bitta range; dining table, Kettal Vieques dining table with Bitta Chairs; coffee table, Kettal Vieques; Tribù bar chairs; Bitta day bed, all from Mobilia
Decking
Fijian mahogany from Austim
Lighting
Hunza Spike lights; Novalux Noor exterior wall lights; Faze downlights; all by Radiant Lighting
Planting
Tim Davies Landscaping
Pool
Concrete by Quality Dolphin Pools
Courtyard and paving
Alfresco blue vein travertine by Mataka; washed aggregate from Holcim
Fencing
Custom timber, designed and installed by Urbane Projects
Barbecue
Custom, designed by Urbane Projects, supplied and installed by Infresco
Special features
Fire pit by
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