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Bringing natural landscape into the home

Boasting a picturesque coastline, rocky outcrops and warm climate, homebuilders are incorporating the elements of Western Australia into their home designs.

Coast Homes Building and Design Consultant Fab Marion said balconies, views, native plants, local building materials, swimming pools, outdoor entertaining areas and the year-round sun were being factored into house designs.

“The majority of home layout and inspiration descriptions I receive describe the client’s desire to maximise the WA environment and lifestyle,” he said.

“This includes natural light, bright areas, a seamless connection to the outdoors and panoramic views of the yard, garden and pool from inside the house.”

To make the most of the seasons, Mr Marion said it was important to have outdoor and indoor areas facing north where possible to maximise the winter sun and to stay protected from the harsh summer sun.

“This helps create a solar passive and comfortable home throughout the year, along with ventilation openings and windows to allow the sea breeze from the south-west,” he said, adding that clients placed a great deal of importance on glazed windows and glass doors.

“We carefully consider the positioning of these to allow for views, light and ventilation, while attention is also given towards protection from the hot summer sun by the use of modern feature awnings and eaves.

“A common design we incorporate is the placement of living areas on the upper level with expansive glazing to take in the breathtaking views.

“Raking or vaulted ceilings with the high end pointing north allows an internal design feature that creates an abundance of light volume all year-round, with the added benefit of warmth in the cooler winter months.”

Summit Homes New Homes Design Manager Peter Wilkinson said the love affair with the state’s climate saw families spending more time than ever outdoors.

“The outdoor area has become a functional space within the home,” he said. “Homebuyers are after an integrated space with a hotplate and outdoor kitchen built into the alfresco area, as opposed to a standalone barbecue.

“People are also enclosing their alfresco area in the winter months with outdoor blinds to make it liveable throughout the year.

“As a result of our lifestyle, many of our designs include entertainment areas that make the most of versatile spaces, with excellent links from the indoors to outdoors.”

Mr Marion said about two in three clients would seek a pool to cool down in summer and as a visual interest from inside the house and from the alfresco areas.

“The pool should be north-facing to maximise its use year-round,” he said.

“It is also important for it to be well connected to the outdoor living areas, so that there is an ease of flow to the pool without it feeling separated from where the action is.”

Mr Marion said he had noticed an increase in requests to incorporate a native, coastal landscaping theme into home designs – one in particular being the eucalyptus pleurocarpa, also known as tallerack.

“It seems the desire to bring elements of our natural landscape into the family home in free-form structures creates a warm and relaxing vibe,” he said.

“Kimberley stone and Donnybrook stone enhance the aesthetic of the home either indoors, outdoors or both. It creates a level of sophistication and adds texture to the home.

“We have used Kimberley stone on a front facade, which also flows through to a feature wall inside a home at Burns Beach.

“We also used Donnybrook stone to create a free-form stepping garden bed to one of our custom homes in Trigg.”


Coast Homes, 6241 6766, www.coasthomeswa.com.au

Summit Homes, 9317 0141, www.summithomes.com.au

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