It’s fun in the sun and water at this Albert Park pad

It’s fun in the sun and water at this Albert Park pad

For many people, summer means unwinding and entertaining in the backyard.

It’s when the barbecue gets a workout, dining is alfresco, and downtime is enriched by sensory experiences.

And for the family lucky enough to have this pool, pictured, it also means fun in the sun and water.

Albert Park couple Carla and Kent Ramchand, and children Chloe, 10, and Hugo, 5, have a pool that can be enjoyed from outside and even inside — as it’s right up against their living room, divided by an acrylic panel.

Ms Ramchand said the family really loved the “aquarium effect”.

“We spend a lot of our time as a family in this back living area, so having that visual aspect of the pool was important,” she said. “And being able to see the kids when they are playing in the water while I am in the lounge is great. The pool is also now a beautiful water feature we can enjoy at night when inside.”

Backyard blitz

The narrowness of the W5m x L12m rear courtyard initially posed some challenges to putting in a pool.

Senior landscape architect James Lascelles, from Out From The Blue, which was behind the project, said the site was dominated by an old garage.

The garden was redesigned to include an elevated W1.8m x L6m pool off the main living area, while allowing plenty of room for other features including an outdoor cooking station and storage.

A versatile covered space was formed by removing the walls to the front and rear of the garage. This created a more spacious feel and provided an area that could be used for outdoor dining, sheltered play or off-street parking.

For a sense of connection, the landscape design has been perfectly matched to the style of the house.

Partly extending some elements from outside into the interior, such as timber, tiling and honed-concrete edging, has blurred the boundaries between indoors and out.

And horizontal timber battens along the boundary wall next to the pool visually lengthen the space.

Room with a view

Mr Lascelles said the owners were encouraged to install the floor-to-ceiling acrylic panel along the rear wall of the home so the pool could sit flush against the living room.

“This means you not only get to enjoy views of the garden and the pool while inside, but also enjoy an underwater perspective,” he said.

He described the process of putting in the panel as “a challenge”.

“It involved the back of the house being removed, and a large acrylic panel had to be craned into place. But it was definitely worth it.”

Four materials — tiles, concrete, timber and glass — were chosen to achieve the overall effect of the outdoor area, along with one strong colour (a brilliant blue) complemented by muted tones.

“That’s the maximum you’d want for any design,” Mr Lascelles said. “If you start throwing any more at it, things start to become busy and the space loses its simplicity and harmony.”

One of Mr Lascelles’ favourite design features is the blue mosaic tiles, which, he said, enlivened the space and made the pool an eye-catching focal point.

The tiles have also been used on the inner side of the barbecue structure, which has a wall-mounted bench seat for people to sit, chat and watch the kids in the pool and spa.

Ms Ramchand said the couple wasn’t originally keen on including a spa, as they wanted to have a longer pool.

“But I am so glad we did get it because we’re in the spa practically every day, even in winter,” she said. “It has definitely extended the use of our pool.”

Top tips for pools

Here is Mr Lascelles’ advice for those considering putting in a pool:

• Think carefully about the type of vegetation you have around the perimeter of the pool. Avoid having trees that drop leaves in the water or berries that will stain paving and decking.

• Introduce sound and movement with a waterfall feature, bubbler or water spout.

• If space permits, locate sun lounges on a deck or paving enclosed within the pool area rather than outside the pool fence.

• Check pool fencing is not positioned too close to the pool’s edge, or you’ll feel hemmed in when you’re in the water.

• Factor in somewhere to store pool equipment. Ensure it doesn’t negatively affect the aesthetic of the pool. Allow about 3sq m for storage.

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