Opulent Alfresco Dining Area
By Maya Anderson
With its tropical plants, exotic South American slate paving and gorgeous Lap pool, this Applecross home has a retreat-like garden paradise for its owners.
Owners David and Sue Stone moved into their house, designed by architect John Kestel and built by Chris Higgins Building, 18 months ago. Since then, they have taken the time to finish their pool and outdoor area to the highest standard.
Mr Stone has been ill and he said that keeping busy with numerous DIY projects was great for keeping active and mindful. He has built numerous features in the garden himself, including the panelled timber double doors that open up from the shared driveway to reveal the garden and home beyond. He also built the jarrah decking around the pool and installed the frameless glass fencing, and to encourage birds to the garden made a feeder and a birdhouse — complete with miniature aerial and satellite dish “for Foxtel”.
The Stones wanted their outdoor area to be perfect for indoor-outdoor living and entertaining. The open-plan kitchen, living and dining area features sliding doors that can be pushed aside to open the space up to the garden. By the main kitchen is the alfresco kitchen, with a servery window between them so that plates of food can be easily passed outdoors.
The alfresco kitchen features white stone bench tops and honey-coloured cedar cabinetry that ties in with the cedar ceiling of the large covered alfresco entertaining area. Mr Stone said they loved to sit underneath the alfresco area roof looking out across the pool. “When it’s raining and just pouring down we can still sit outside and the design means you still stay completely dry,” he said. “The alfresco area is like an extension of our living area. “We have had people from overseas stay with us and we had breakfast sitting out here.”
A built-in Sonos sound system enhances the area’s wonderful capacity for outdoor entertaining. Mr Kestel, worked very closely with them on finishes and features to give the garden a look that perfectly complemented the house.
The 8m lap pool was installed by Barrier Reef Pools and will be edged with mosaic tiles by Mr Stone. South American lichen slate from Eco Outdoor was used as capping around the pool and also as extensive tiling through the garden and to the outdoor shower. The warm golden, rust and grey tones throughout the pavers tie in perfectly with the colours of the home’s elevation, like the poured aggregate paving and the neutral walls, as well as its interior palette.
Wanting a lush look for their gardens, the Stones asked Aaron East of Aaron East Landscaping & Garden Design to help landscape their space, putting in a mix of new and transplanted plants, such as the frangipani tree offcut from the Royal Perth Golf Club, a frangipani from Mr Kestel’s wife, another frangipani from Mr Stone’s father and dracaenas from their old house. Mr Stone said they were very happy with Mr East’s work. “He was very knowledgeable and we really recommend him,” he said. “I would also recommend our architect John Kestel — he’s very good — and Brad Hilbert, too, from Barrier Reef Pools.