Do you ever stare at your outdoor space and see potential? Maybe a pool area or a lush place to lounge? When we meet with clients, we completely understand what that feels like – because we have been there too. 

For the last few years we have had big plans for our garden, and for our home too. We looked outside and saw so much potential. Few spaces are as versatile as an outdoor area, and we know from our work with clients that few spaces enrich your lifestyle as much as a well-designed garden does. So you can imagine how excited we were to finally bring our backyard-in-waiting to life. 

Over the last 12 months, we made it all happen in a year of design and transformation (with a few moments of chaos). Transforming our Queenslander cottage and backyard at the same time was a big project to undertake with a family and a business. If you have noticed we have been a bit quiet on the blog, that’s why! 

Standing at the finish line, we can guarantee it was all worth it. The late nights saving inspiration on Pinterest, the hours spent searching for paint colours, tiles and fixtures, and the time living away from our home. It has all come together better than we imagined. 

You can plan every detail of how a home will look and function, but there are no words to describe how it felt when we moved back into a space that was created just for us. Now as spring rolls in to Brisbane, we can see our garden really starting to grow in and we are spending more time outdoors in our new backyard. 

As the garden takes shape over the coming months, we will share more of the project, but here is your first look at some of our favourite details – and the tips we want to pass on. 

The key focal point is this set of Indian doors. We have spent a lot of time in India, so this feature really resonates with us and brings back many happy memories. 


DESIGN TIP: When looking for ways to inject your personality into your space, think of places that are meaningful to you, and incorporate elements of them into the design. This could be a cottage garden you played in as a child, or a tropical resort where the bar staff have your cocktail order committed to memory. 


The other key addition is a pool! Given that we’ve got young children, this space will be an important place for our family to come together and unwind on hot summer days. Even in winter we have found the presence of water to be a calming backdrop to our daily lives. 

Around the pool, we have planted hardy succulents and cactus that will be easy for us to look after. We may have green thumbs, but we’re also short on time! Especially now that we have the upkeep of a pool, it was important for us to create a garden that was low maintenance. 


DESIGN TIP: When planning a new outdoor area, be realistic about how much time to have to commit to its upkeep. There is a massive selection of low maintenance plants that you can use to create a green oasis. 

The entertaining area brings it all together. Adding a pool to the garden did take up a large portion of the yard, but by using in-built bench seating we were able to maximise our entertaining space.  

So what’s next?

As promised, we will be showing you more from our renovation over the coming months. 

We will also be sharing monthly design and landscaping tips that you can use in your space, plus shots from the outdoor spaces we have been revamping. (Sign up for these updates below or download your free ebook Small Spaces, Big Ideas to ensure you don’t miss out!). 

But first, these are the design trends we have been working with. 

Outdoor design trends

There is so much happening in the design world right now – and a lot of the emerging ideas and styles are so well suited to Brisbane’s outdoor style of living. 

In particular, we are seeing natural materials making a big comeback in both architecture and design. Think jute rugs, natural stone, earthy mustard/terracotta/olive colour palettes and unstructured bohemian styling. That means there has never been a more exciting time to create a home where the interiors and the outdoors are all integrated. 



When you think of areas such as balconies and courtyards as outdoor rooms, it becomes so apparent how your outdoor space can become an extension of your internal living areas. By choosing to work with natural materials throughout your home, the connection between your indoor and outdoor living spaces happens intuitively. 

We are also seeing a lot more small garden areas within homes; ranging from internal courtyards to small features like this Japanese garden we loved bringing to life. 

Five things we’re loving:

  • Experimenting with jewel colour palettes 
  • The return of rattan and wicker furniture
  • Integrating terrazzo tiles into outdoor spaces
  • Collaborating on exciting design projects, including internal courtyards (we’ll be sharing these spaces as they’re completed)
  • Embracing slow living, now that we’ve settled back into our hom


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PS – Don’t forget about your free ebook, Small Spaces, Big Ideas. It’s got 45 pages of outdoor design ideas to get your inspired.