4.2m x 2.6m Plunge Pool
A small neglected Melville front yard of only 65 square metres has been transformed into a space that sees plenty of action.
Thanks to clever landscaping and construction by Tracey Penkethman and her team at Livingscapes and the addition of a Barrier Reef plunge pool, the owners’ lives have been transformed.
Ms Penkethman said she often uses travertine from Milano Stone for outdoor projects and this job was no exception.
“Travertine is a lovely natural product that wears well and blends in with other materials such as aggregate and timber,” she said. “It also works well with any paint or decorating colours you might want to use.”
The 4.2 x 2.6 metre fibreglass saltwater pool with four spa-jets and multi-coloured LED lighting has a below-ground blanket box whose lid matches the travertine and is almost invisible.
The Livingscapes team sprang to action once the pool and equipped were installed. Using a base of cracker dust, which is similar to the base used in road-making and prevents weeds coming up in the joints, they pave-locked the travertine. To make the space seem much bigger than it really is, they ran the travertine in strips in the longest direction.
“This is a trick that makes the eye travel through the space,” Ms Penkethman said.
Another ruse they employed to add a few virtual metres was painting the walls with a dark colour.
“This makes the wall recede, making the space seem bigger,” she explained.
With dark grey Colorbond Monument paint on the walls, the slat screening in a colour designed to mimic western red cedar provided a good strong contrasting colour. While it looks like timber, the screening is actually aluminium, has a 15-year warranty and complies with pool safety regulations.
Fully frameless glass pool fencing separated the inviting plunge pool from the rest of the garden and house without detracting from the overall appearance of the area. A self-closing hydraulic gate with stainless steel spigots ensures extra secrurity.
Then the landscaping and planting began. With stainless steel espalier wires attached to the walls, the team planted Trachelospermum jasminoides, a quick-growing highly perfumed jasmine that when in full flower provides a bee-humming screen of white and green.
Interspersed with the jasmine was marginata, a vertical-growing plant that gives architectural interest and structure in contrast to the soft-flowing creeper.
Around the rest of the house, Livingscapes laid exposed aggregate to match the travertine as well as gates and lights which shine up and down, turning ordinary features such as a wall into something interesting by night.
Society garlic and nandina gulf stream – which turns red in winter when colour is needed most – completed the list of plants used in this project.
Barrier Reef Pools managing director Brad Hilbert said that as occasionally happened when installing a pool in a front yard, there were minor glitches when they encountered sewerage, water, gas and phone lines.
But with a bit of extra care, the problems were overcome. “The inconvenience to the owners was well-worth all the advantages of having a pool,” he said.