1. Splashing out

One of the winning projects in last year’s Landscape Industries Association of Western Australia (LIAWA) awards, this Burns Beach backyard was designed by Mondo Landscapes and constructed by eScape Landscape Architecture.

Highlights include floating travertine steps that provide access to an alfresco pavilion and spa, water features, rendered brick work, bronze mosaic tiles, laser-cut leaf-shape wall art, and feature lighting.

We love: Despite its resort-style look this garden is above all dog-friendly, with additional gates added to allow the homeowners’ dogs to be part of the action but also to be fenced off when necessary.

2. Cottage industry


This early-1900s weatherboard worker’s cottage in Shenton Park was profiled in Habitat’s renovation special in March.

The reno involved restoring the facade and four original front rooms, and replacing the back end of the house with a two-storey wing.

The styling throughout the home is flawless, from the lime-green front door to the subway tiles in the kitchen and bathroom to the lime-washed Tasmanian oak floorboards.

We love: Wallpaper forms the backdrop for the study nook nestled under the staircase.

3. Courting greatness

This South Fremantle courtyard showcases the power of great landscape design in creating a stunning garden when space is limited.

Designed by Acanthus Green, it features a decked seating area with Mamagreen furniture from InWHITE in Osborne Park, with raised planters providing handy additional seating.

An open timber pergola offers a sense of protection without being a solid roof, while recycled bricks were incorporated throughout the garden in a nod to the existing boundary walls, also built from recycled brick.

We love: Boston ivy climbs the walls while Chinese star jasmine adds summer fragrance. Other plantings include olive trees, native violet, Meyer lemon and Tahitian citrus trees.

4. Just swell

Despite being part of a triplex with common walls and a shared roof, this Cottesloe renovation is a showcase of just what is possible with a strata lot.

Designed by Karl Spargo Building Design and built by Swell Homes, the home is now a sleek, contemporary abode, with homeowner Liz Prater’s interior designer’s eye bringing several unique touches to the project.

These include the front door, kitchen panelling and lounge room and bathroom cabinets, which are all made from limed and smoked oak floorboards.

We love: The home’s alfresco area houses a built-in kitchen with Silestone benchtops, a wall-mounted fireplace set in a James Hardie fibre-cement cladding surround, and painted pine-slatting bench seats designed by Ms Prater and constructed by a carpenter.

5. Recipe for success


A Bianco Carrara marble island bench, mosaic splashback and pops of vivid yellow make for a quirky, sophisticated kitchen in this Klopper & Davis Architects-designed home in Northbridge.

The yellow bulkhead and finger-pull details are complemented by a pair of vintage yellow pendant lights, while open shelving on the outer side of the island provides handy storage while doubling as a design feature.

We love: A draining board was routed into the marble alongside the Afa Flow double under-counter sink from Reece.

6. View from the top

This brief for this wrightfeldhusen-designed home overlooking the river in East Fremantle was to create the feeling of walking out onto a jetty. It features a central “spine” that leads to panoramic views of the Swan from the main living areas.

The sophisticated palette of materials includes custom-made plasma-cut rusted steel screens, honed concrete bricks, black American walnut flooring, exposed steel beams and marmorino polished-concrete walls.

We love: A two-storey marble fireplace is a stunning feature in the main living area, as is the space’s equally stunning warehouse-style decorative-timber ceiling.

7. Best of the best


This breathtaking Bedfordale property was named the best home in WA at the Housing Industry Association’s 2014 WA Housing Awards, as well as taking out two Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards.

Designed by architect Suzanne Hunt and built by Gransden Construction, the home has been influenced by Japanese design principles as well as the homeowners’ passion for sustainability.

The stone and timber home comprises a series of north-facing pavilions centred around a main pavilion which houses the kitchen, living areas, main suite and a guest bedroom.

The additional buildings house another guest room and kitchen, a gym, and a 20m indoor lap pool set beneath a galaxy of twinkling stars. Together, the pavilions make up just under 1000sqm.

Just as remarkable is the landscape that surrounds the home: 20ha of Japanese-style gardens which can be enjoyed from virtually every room of the house.

We love: The owners wanted to avoid the use of traditional walls, so there are no walls in the main pavilion. Instead the ceiling patterns change throughout to define the different spaces.

8. Outdoor oasis

A mosaic wall feature, Western red cedar cabinetry and Caesarstone benchtops make for a seriously sexy look in this Mariginiup alfresco.

Designed by outdoor kitchen specialists Ferguson Corporation, the 7m kitchen boasts custom-made appliances including a 1800mm-wide barbecue, complete with two teppanyaki hotplates and a char grill, gas pizza oven, canopy range hood and a fridge with a remotely located motor on the rear wall to remove any fridge noise from the alfresco area.

We love: Mosaic splashback tiles from Tiles Expo create a beautiful and timeless focal point.

9. New life

Landscape designer Jo Taylor combined old and new influences for the redesign of this Swanbourne garden, paying tribute to the early-1900s home while incorporating assorted contemporary touches.

Plants from the original garden were used where possible, and were teamed with waterwise new plantings, creating a lovely mix of old and new — think brugmansia under-planted with anigozanthos.

We love: One of the highlights of the garden is a pond water feature filled with Cyperus papyrus and headed by a 2.5-tonne solid Donnybrook stone boulder.

10. Out of Africa



This Carine home was styled by Matt Di Costa, a former contestant on The Block who will soon be lacing up his workboots again for another season of the reality renovating series.

Mr Di Costa was brought in to transform the dated home into a modern African safari lodge-style retreat, in honour of one of the homeowner’s country of birth, Zimbabwe.

The four-level home was rezoned to maximise the liveable spaces, while a palette of dusty greys, creams and mauves, natural materials (such as timbers and polished plaster) and striking architectural features create a rustic yet modern look.

We love: To create a relaxed feel in the main bedroom, Di Costa removed the legs from the base of the bed and lowered other elements accordingly, such as the bedhead and pendant lights. 


© The West Australian

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