The space here is compact, long, and narrow — hardly a setup that might at first appear to be conducive to a spacious entertaining “feel.” But when OFTB Landscape Architecture of Melbourne stepped in, that perception changed. These designers — whose name literally stands for “out from the blue” — went to work on a plunge pool (including a water wall), a timber pool deck, a custom curved-glass frameless pool fence, and abundant “green” to create an entertaining space as inviting as a yard twice its size. The beauty of natural materials — porcelain tile, granite walls, spotted gum, and hardwood — enhances the outdoor living area, creating a harmonic blend of indoors and outdoors beneath a narrow cantilever and indirect pot lighting.
Now, behind a high “privet hedge” (actually formed by a line of trees) that provides a lush green backdrop are a streamlined indoor kitchen and dining area mere steps from the plunge pool; the new outdoor space also includes a built-in stainless steel barbecue for cooking and serving outdoors in splendid weather. By day, the white mosaic tile pool and cozy layout is warmed by the sun; by night, dramatic up-lighting makes this narrow yard an oasis in the midst of garden beds and flanked by comfy lounge chairs. Tucked beside the outdoor “kitchen” are a handy al fresco dining table and chairs and a spacious limestone patio; wood grain and white unify the elements of both garden and home. Compact, but far from cramped — a striking result of genius that’s “out from the blue.”