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Tuesday, 22 March 2016 23:13

Fun In The Sun

During the summer months, there is nothing better than getting outside and soaking up the sunshine. The warm weather also provides the perfect opportunity for thinking about what you can do to make your garden area something truly special. Emily Williamson explores the ways you can design a great outdoor space for the Western Australia summer.

In Australia, we really are a lucky country. Our summer months are hard to beat and many of us don’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of it. Creating an outdoor area to entertain, relax, and enjoy, is one of the best things you can do to make the most of the sunshine. Here, Paul Vines from Ferguson Alfresco Lifestyle provides a variety of options to help make your outdoor space a soothing paradise.


Before designing and constructing your new outdoor area, Vines says there are five important factors that need to be given consideration.

“It is important to think about frequency of use, size of gatherings, cooking preferences, such as grilling or wok cooking, and proximity to the main kitchen, as this can determine what inclusions should be made, and of course, budget.”

To create a space that can be used year-round, Vines suggests paying special attention to how you will shelter the area and protect it from the elements.

“The shelter will be determined by the home’s orientation. Keep in mind when adding blinds and shutters that this can alter the gas regulations and this is why it is important to consult an alfresco kitchen expert prior to finalising your choices. Cooling and heating will also ensure guests are more comfortable year- round. A good barbecue that offers versatility, such as the Ferguson F64W, will allow you to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner off the same appliance.”

To make your new outdoor area suit your individual home and lifestyle, Vines says there are a multitude of options.

“Door finishes, benchtops and splashbacks are where individual taste will come into the decision- making process, and because Ferguson Alfresco Lifestyle custom-builds all its cabinetry, there is really no limitation to what can be adapted and provided to suit the clients’ needs. Families can even opt for a kitchen with a bench seat, which allows for storage underneath. This can be great for items such as kids’ toys or outdoor cushions.”

According to Vines, one of the best things you can do to ensure your new outdoor area is the right fit for you is to ensure it matches the existing home and surrounds.

“The outdoor area is really best designed to suit the existing house and the surrounding landscape. The location of your outdoor area should become the link between indoors and the outdoors. This will allow it to be appreciated year-round and provide a space that can be enjoyed during any occasion.”

To assist with making the new outdoor area a focal point of your property, there are a few things that Vines suggests.

“If the intention is to make this area the focal point, it is worth investing in quality finishes. An outdoor kitchen that is self-sufficient, along with dining and lounge seating, will attract guests to the area. The finishing touches like greenery and accessories will make the area feel warm and inviting. A stone bench with waterfall ends can also add a ‘wow’ factor.”

In addition to this, you could also opt for feature lighting around cabinetry to add ambience at night and ensure the materials you use are durable, yet aesthetically appealing.


While designing an outdoor space to be pleasing to the eye is very important, it should not be the only thing you pay attention to. Vines highlights a few functional considerations to help make your space beautiful and practical.

“When choosing between natural gas and LPG for your barbecue, note that each option has benefits and drawbacks, so do your research. If you have an outdoor kitchen, this can have a direct impact on what is required to comply with gas regulations, and with the current trend of enclosing alfresco areas, it has created a change in what is required to comply with these laws. Ferguson Alfresco Lifestyle’s barbecues are unique, as they are all made to comply with these regulations, which provides peace of mind for clients. The location of services such as gas, water, and waste also needs to be considered when adding an alfresco kitchen.”

“Bench space is another vital element, particularly between appliances, and low- maintenance finishes on cabinetry is important. After all, we should spend more time entertaining as opposed to maintaining.”

Planning your outdoor area can be daunting and expensive when done incorrectly. Vines provides some very useful advice for anyone about to embark on the renovation journey.

“While the upfront cost of dealing with specialists can be greater, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. Spend the time making informed decisions. It is your money and it is important you make a decision that sits comfortably with you.”


Whether you design them to match your home, or give them a unique flair, outdoor rooms and cabanas are the perfect addition to your outdoor area. To assist with greater flexibility of the space, include sliding doors or concertinaed doors. This traps warmth in the colder months and enables

the space to be ‘closed in’, allowing a cabana to be used not only in the winter months, but also in conjunction with a pool in summer as it can be opened up as an outdoor room.

Outdoor rooms or cabanas can merge indoor and outdoor spaces, and integrate gardens and swimming pools. To add greater convenience to the structure you can also include full bathroom and kitchen facilities, as well as lounges and tables and chairs for entertaining.


During the summer months, swimming pools offer the perfect mix of relaxation and family fun. Nothing beats lazing by the poolside and jumping in to cool off on a sweltering day. While the popularity of pools continues to grow, however, their size continues to diminish.

Whether it is because more of us are living in higher-density environments or experiencing tougher authority development controls, private exterior spaces are becoming smaller. Despite this, people still expect their outdoor area to not only act as a living space, but also incorporate a swimming pool.

To feed this demand, plunge pools have been gaining in popularity because they can often double as a water feature. This style of pool is typically small in size, around 6m x 4m, and can act as the focal point of a courtyard or small garden. For entertaining purposes, pool benches are often placed within the pool around several sides to create sun ledges, swim-outs and benches. Swim jets can also be incorporated for exercise.


A beautiful garden is one of the most important features of your outdoor area. It can be designed to suit your lifestyle as well as your pool area, cabana or outdoor room. When planning your garden, however, it is important to consider not only its visual appeal, but its functionality. This includes deciding where you will store the gardening equipment, where the irrigation lines will be installed, and where the drains will be positioned to capture that summer thunderstorm.


Current trends according to Vines include re-orientating the barbecue so cooking can be done while facing guests, and maximising the space available.

“As with internal kitchens, maximising cabinet space with the use of components, such as pull- out bins and racks, can assist with the everyday function of your space.”


Wednesday, 16 March 2016 01:47

Contempo Fusion



For this project, Contempo Fusion revamped a young family’s dated outdoor area by integrating a range of modern, high-quality appliances and fixtures. The original alfresco had been fitted with an unsafe barbecue and low-quality cabinetry, which was unsuitable for an outdoor setting, as well as finishes that clashed with the rest of the home.

Contempo Fusion swapped the barbecue for an electric Teppanyaki hotplate, changed the cabinetry from internal- grade chipboard to marine-grade plywood, and applied a stylish teakwood veneer finish. The alfresco is partially enclosed, so the company also installed a ducted rangehood to reduce the prevalence of gas fumes and smoke.

Designed by Wayne Pavy, the new and improved alfresco is perfect for the whole family.

The second alfresco pictured here, also features a Teppanyaki that eliminates the need for a bulky rangehood. By installing an electric Teppanyaki, Contempo Fusion saved the owners approximately $5,000.

Contempo Fusion specialises in outdoor kitchens, and services metropolitan Perth and Bunbury. Completing approximately 50 projects per year, no job is too big or too small for the Contempo Fusion team.

The company also offers services in roof carpentry and decking, and stocks a range of high-quality outdoor products, including stainless steel, high-gloss polyurethane, solid teakwood cabinetry, and electric barbecues.

Darren Holt started Contempo Fusion more than 15 years ago and has worked hard to create the successful company that is known and loved across Perth today. To experience the Contempo Fusion difference fist-hand, contact either Holt or Pavy today.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016 01:36

Hills Building Solutions



Hills Building Solutions is a boutique building company based in the Perth Hills. While the company is only young, its owner and operator, Michael Neal, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry.

Neal has worked in the industry for more than 15 years and always uses the best products and materials to ensure each project is completed to the highest possible standards.

Specialising in design and construction, the company has its own in-house structural engineer and draftsman who have been working in collaboration with Neal for more than a decade.

Focusing on high-end projects, the team at Hills Building Solutions has impeccable attention to detail and works hard to make sure its clients’ needs are met. Hills Building Solutions offers a range of services, including the construction of alfresco areas, decking, timber house frames, extensions and home renovations.

Completing each project from start to finish, the company has strong relationships with trade suppliers and previous clients, and is renowned for its excellent commitment to service.

Neal has a very hands-on approach and works alongside his contractors on every job to maintain the company’s quality-control levels. Repeat business and referrals are the backbone of Hills Building Solutions, so Neal always makes sure all work is carried out safely, cleanly and on time.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 01:28

Creative Masonry and Stone



Creative Masonry and Stone works with a range of unique and high-quality landscaping products that are locally- sourced and Australian-made. Focusing primarily on brick, blocks and stone, the company also stocks a selection of curved and radial products from LIME MAGIC.

With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Creative Masonry and Stone only uses the finest masonry products, accessories and techniques to ensure each project is completed to the company’s exacting standards.

Creative Masonry and Stone is constantly researching and developing new and innovative ways to utilise stone, steel and timber products.

The company uses a combination of traditional and contemporary walling, cladding and paving techniques to achieve the best results. The team specialises in Donnybrook Freestone, which is famous in Western Australia for civic and special commercial works and is renowned for its strength and beautiful appearance.

The family-owned and -operated business was founded by Phil Walker, who is the creative designer behind the company’s products and work. Walker is supported by a team of knowledgeable masons and tradespeople, as well as his brother and son, who all share his commitment to service and enthusiasm.

Some of Creative Masonry and Stone’s products include retaining wall systems, radius limestone blocks and arch- work, cladding and accessories, as well as arbours, piers and concrete. The company also stocks curved walling in LIMESTONE MAGIC and circle work in LIME MAGIC, along with a broad selection of other high-quality items.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:41

Avalon Landscapes



Combining skilled design with careful attention to detail and quality materials, this project illustrates why Avalon Landscapes has a reputation for spectacular workmanship and a high-level of customer satisfaction. The clients wanted to make the most of their irregular shaped block, so to achieve this, Avalon Landscapes created a stunning design that draws the eyes effortlessly throughout the outdoor space.

Designed by Greg Mitchell of Avalon Landscapes, the featured project is a contemporary family friendly space with design elements that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also multi-functional and practical. The choice of materials, including composite poolside decking, Fremantle stone travertine, as well as exposed aggregate concrete, complements the existing interior, while the brick and rendered retaining walls were coated to match home’s stunning fac?ade.

Artificial TigerTurf was used to accommodate a low-maintenance yard. To promote water conservation, Avalon Landscapes incorporated a reticulation system for effective watering. Complementing the landscaping elements, the plant varieties include repurposed advanced frangipani, golden cane, citrus and dianella, which will all thrive in the area.

Adjacent to the pool, the alfresco is an attractive feature that is fully-equipped with modern conveniences. The stylish space blends a number of materials, including Lazercut screens, integrated bench seating and planter boxes, which give elevation to the garden and create an area that is guaranteed to maintain its quality and style for years to come.

Founded more than 25 years ago, Avalon Landscapes has more than 50 years of combined experience in the industry, and prides itself on providing high-quality landscaping solutions for a range of residential and commercial projects. With specialised knowledge of the pool industry, the company is a one-stop-shop for beautiful poolside landscapes. Specialising in landscape construction and paving, retaining and feature walls, reticulation and natural lawn, as well artificial turf, water features and pool fencing, no project is too big or too small for Avalon Landscapes.

Servicing northern and central Perth, the company completes approximately 100 projects per year. From initial meetings to site inspection, design and construction – the process is seamless and results in a superb outdoor space and garden that sits in harmony with your home. Avalon Landscapes provides a professional approach and exceptional customer service on every project, giving clients the personal attention they deserve. This, combined with a competitive pricing strategy, creates a winning combination that has led tothe company’s long list of referrals and excellent portfolio of work.


Thursday, 10 March 2016 23:11

The Concrete Pool Company


This incredible outdoor area now has an exquisite pool to match, thanks to the team at The Concrete Pool Company. With its two-toned aggregate pool paving, beautiful interior, and striking water feature, this pool won’t go unnoticed.

The clients wanted a pool that was family friendly and large enough for entertaining. To provide this, the team installed a shallow play area for the kids, as well as a deep end and swim-up bar for the adults. The 11.5m x 4m pool also features fully-frameless glass and stepping stones to cross from one side to the other with ease.

Designed by the clients, who had a vision of what they wanted, the pool was developed with the help of The Concrete Pool Company. As a result, the pool capitalised on the large property and the colours and materials used integrated well from the home.

The Concrete Pool Company specialises in building high-quality, luxurious and unique pool designs. The company services clients from Two Rock to Coogee and builds ten to 15 pools each year. By focusing on this number of projects, the team is able to provide its clients with excellent service and high-quality pools.

The Concrete Pool Company is a small family-owned business that offers pool design and construction services. Ryan has extensive experience in structural engineering and earned his qualification from the Australian institute of design. Helen also assists with the pool design process, as well as product selection.

Since it was established in 2013, the husband-and-wife team has played a very hands-on role, with Ryan project managing every job from start to finish. The duo has more than 15 years of experience in the construction, renovation and design industry, so you can rest assured knowing your new project will be in good hands with The Concrete Pool Company.


Thursday, 10 March 2016 02:55

eScape Landscape Architecture



This striking pool area is the perfect combination of elegance and contemporary style. seamlessly integrating with its surrounds, the pool achieves each one of the homeowners’ requirements of style, alfresco-living and quality.

The clients needed a pool that would be low maintenance, cleverly designed to fit into a small space, child-friendly for easy supervision, and perfect for easy entertaining. it needed to provide year-round use without heating, and showcase beautiful aesthetic features.

To achieve this, the team at escape landscape Architecture included a fully-automated pool cleaning and chemical dose management system and a glass-mosaic tiled shallow swimming area in front of the living room windows, and also incorporated stepped plinths and stone waterwalls.

The project was designed and constructed completely by escape landscape Architecture, which allowed the clients a stress-free approach to their renovation.

Escape landscape Architecture is a locally-owned company that specialises in custom-built concrete pools, as well as a complete design and construction of the outdoor area. it services the Perth metro area and the hills, and builds a limited number of custom pools each year to provide unwavering service to every client. The company’s managing director nic Crowe and the team work hard to ensure all work is completed to the highest standards of quality and construction.

From the initial consultation and design development through to 3d modelling, obtaining council permits, and finally construction, escape landscape Architecture will go above and beyond to create a practical and aesthetically- appealing outdoor space.
escape landscape Architecture has been the proud recipient of numerous industry awards and is dedicated to creating spaces that enhance the natural environment.


Thursday, 10 March 2016 02:55

eScape Landscape Architecture



This exclusive project custom-designed and built by eScape Landscape Architecture combines diverse materials and depths to create a stunning aesthetic. The outdoor space of the newly-renovated home delivers the epitome of suburban resort-style living, and has been designed to accommodate a large multi-generational family. It allows ample room for children to play and a private retreat for visiting friends and relatives.

Showcasing brilliant design and inspiring workmanship, the exquisite property situated in Woodlands, boasts an impressive variety of modern outdoor features including a concrete swimming pool and spa, custom-designed and fabricated shade structures, tiled pool blanket storage boxes, an entertainment area with day beds, and LED stainless steel uplighting and LED underdeck strip lights, which brings the area to life at night.

The pool is highly functional, with energy- and water-saving qualities, including the utilisation of a solar heating system that allows the pool to be heated at minimum expense and with little environmental impact. Each section of the outdoor area flows seamlessly into the next. This was achieved through the material selection and the clever positioning of the various design elements

New boundary retaining walls aid in levelling out the home’s front yard space, and create a turfed play area for the children, shaded by existing jarrah trees, with an adjoining vegetable garden. The mature trees were retained and protected during the house renovation, all of which provide a sense of place and scale for the new home.

The combination of sawn bluestone, granite cobbles, honed travertine and weathered grey composite decking gives the home a classic yet contemporary feel.

eScape Landscape Architecture is a locally-owned and -operated company that specialises in the design and construction of superior external living spaces to suit its clients’ needs. Managing director and landscape architect Nic Crowe leads a talented and diverse design and construction team who strive to complete all works to a highly professional finish.

eScape Landscape Architecture has received numerous professional awards within the Western Australian landscape arena and is committed to creating high-quality outdoor living spaces that enhance the natural environment.


Thursday, 10 March 2016 01:38

Jubilee Tiles



Supplying high-quality crystal and glass mosaic tiles to customers across Western australia, Jubilee tiles has more than 25 years of experience in the tiling industry. the company’s comprehensive and affordable product range meets australian safety and quality standards, and can be purchased from Jubilee tiles’ Subiaco or Wangara display centres.

In general in Western Australia, swimming pool tiles are used as a decorative feature around a pool’s edging. this is because beautiful and long-lasting tiles are usually very expensive.

To make tiles more affordable, Jubilee tiles is introducing a new range of competitively-priced crystal and glass mosaic tiles that make tiling an entire pool practical, as well as affordable.

The Prime Pool Surface Finish has wielded phenomenal results for suppliers across Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland, and Jubilee tiles wants to be the first to introduce it to Western australia.

Colourful, practical, and waterproof, Jubilee tiles’ products are also hard-wearing, waterproof, frost proof and colourfast. Suitable for renovations and new-builds, the company’s products are also perfect for use in bathrooms, wet areas, outdoor water features and artistry work, and splashbacks.

Most of Jubilee tiles’ products are available straight away, however, if the company is out of stock, wait times are minimal.
Jubilee tiles is a proud member of the Swimming Pool and Spa association (SPaSa), and the company’s knowledgeable and friendly staff is always available to help guide clients through the tile selection process.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015 22:25

Bay Pools and Spas



The clients’ brief for this project was simple - to achieve a 360-degree view of the outdoor space from every area of the home. The clients’ sought the help of Bay Pools and Spas’ award winning designers to seamlessly integrate the swimming pool area with the home’s living spaces.

By carefully engineering the surrounding walls, the team at Bay Pools and Spas were able to build the pool within a compact area. Measuring 6.8m x 4.5m the pool boasts clean and contemporary lines that would add value to the home.

Granite paving enhanced by Fremantle stackstone was used to create a timeless water feature that adds a peaceful ambience to the modern residence. Internal and external lighting was also used to complement the pool’s design creating reflections of the water throughout the outdoor and indoor living areas.

For this pool, the clients’ brief included a 15m x 4.5m pool for the whole family to enjoy. It was important for the clients to use the pool for exercise and relaxing on lazy afternoons. Minimal maintenance was also a key factor to accommodate the client’s busy lifestyles.

Acting as the home’s focal point, the swimming pool incorporates a unique concave wall that houses fibre optic water blades, complemented by multi-coloured lighting in the body of the pool.

The pool’s lighting can be activated remotely and manages the fibre optic water blades, the main pool lights and the pump system. Maintenance was minimised with the incorporation of an Astral EQ Artificial Intelligent System, which combines with a P320 energy-saving pump that creates a low-cost, economical system

Family-owned and-operated since 1989, Bay Pools and Spas is a Western Australian company, with its work consistently recognised by the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA). Specialising in the design and construction of brick constructed and vinyl-lined swimming pools and spas, the team at Bay Pools and Spas prides itself on maintaining excellent industry standards.

All Bay Pools and Spas pools are made of the finest aquaguard gel coats and vinyl ester resins, which make them extremely durable. Using a three-layered system consisting of layers of structured fibreglass and vinyl ester resin, the pools are impervious to water and are guaranteed to have surface protection.

The fully-qualified staff at Bay Pools and Spas understands that choosing to build a pool or spa is a big decision, that’s why the team will work with you to create a backyard oasis that’s uniquely yours.




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