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Get the Look

Report: Miranda Tay
Pictures: Dean Bradley

Decorating poolside requires skill – and a little daring.

Any designer knows that adding an unexpected twist to a creative scheme is a calculated risk. If it works, the effect can be magical. If it doesn’t, well, there’s a lot of explaining to do to the client.

Landscape architect and interior designer Dan Gayfer always knew he wanted to give an edge to an outdoor entertainment area commissioned for an Edwardian-style house in Brighton. For years, he had nurtured the idea of applying a typically indoor material to an exterior landscape. “I always wanted to try wallpaper in the outdoor context,” he says.

Luckily for Gayfer, his clients – a professional couple with two young children – were as willing to experiment. They needed to maximise the use of the south-facing back garden to incorporate a plunge pool, a shaded lounge space, a dining zone, and a lawn.

From the start, Gayfer wanted a balanced interplay of scale and proportion, colour and light, shape and innovative material. His multi-disciplinary training led him to mix elements in a design solution that wrapped the outdoor area around the living room protrusion, with “compartmentalised” functional zones. Each exterior space can be accessed either visually or physically from the interior. To the east, where it can be viewed from the living room, the 4x3-metre plunge pool is kept safely behind a glass fence, as is the adjoining loggia, an enclosed lounging area with one side open to the pool. The south of the living room opens up to the lawn, and the west to the dining pavilion.

Gayfer’s vision for the loggia was to develop a “cool room” with a whitewashed plywood ceiling with sloping eaves and a side wall of white render against which an oversized 3000mm x 900mm daybed – upholstered in heavy-duty outdoor fabric – would sit. Narrow strips of spotted-gum timber decking lead to bluestone tiles bordering the pool on each side, and ending in a red cedar fence. A Tait table setting in bright yellow adds a pop of colour.

But it is the back wall of wallpaper that makes the most stunning design statement. Cole & Son’s hand printed honeycomb grid of blue-greens and metallic silver, sealed in Porters “Clearcote”, is a perfect geometric and colour match to the hexagonal mint green mosaic tiles that wrap around the water poolside feature and garden bed. As soon as he saw it, says Gayfer, “it was pretty much a no-brainer. (The mix) creates a really interesting relationship between the walls. The mood is relaxing with a bit of unexpectedness and playfulness”.



Design: www.dgfd.com.au
Builder: www.livingcreations.com.au
Pool: www.enkipools.com
Lighting: www.gan.com.au



  • Herald-Sun Home Magazine January 2016
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 17
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 15
  • Winner 2013 SPASA award for excellence
  • Herald-Sun Home Magazine March 2014
  • The Age - HomeStyle Feb 2014
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 14 Bisazza
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 14
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 12
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 11
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 10
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 9
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 6
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 4
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 3
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 02
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 01
  • Melbourne Home + Design Living - Chelsea 2010
  • Backyard & Garden Design Ideas - Issue 9