Equipped with a blank slate at the rear of their residence, Australian architects Dominic and Marie Bagnato chose to make an outdoor wonderland for their family. Having a playful and entertaining area was significant with two children in your home, but they wanted a calm spot adults could enjoy, too. Dividing up the area by activity, using plants that are appealing to all five senses and getting creative with storage and seating solutions created a lavish space that retains both kids and grown-ups in mind.
Patio at a Glance
Who lives here: Dominic and Marie Bagnato and their two children
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Size: 580 square feet
The living room opens out to the Bagnatos’ 22-foot-wide patio. Together with the children in your mind, they divide the area with a paved area for riding bicycles along with a small grassy spot for playing.
They constructed 9-foot-high fences on each side of the patio for more privacy. “We didn’t want the fences to be all the same, so we created themes,” says Dominic. The fence on the right is lined with a horizontal pattern of Merbau timber from Southeast Asia.
The opposite wall is coated with layers of cement planks cut at a random pattern. Dominic completed himself. The paint includes iron fiber that reacts to an acid coat; it’s applied in layers. Only after he finished painting, a rainstorm hit, providing the remedy extra wear.
The Bagnatos incorporated plants that smell, taste, look or texture interesting for their children to encounter. Four kinds of fruit trees, pots full of planters and blossoms with succulents pleasure the senses.
“We sought to make a series of outdoor spaces for our family to enjoy, like you would plan the interior of your house,” Dominic says.
Low planter-box walls at several heights make more seating for kids and adults — pleasant to have around the dining room. A complete barbecue cooktop is hidden on a stage behind the stacked stone wall. Here the adults can cook dinner and watch over the kids. A garage with direct access to a rear road sits just behind the grill. Five 9-foot-tall pine posts help differentiate the garage area from the entertaining zone.
The patio extends down the side of the house, finishing at a red lime-wash-painted wall. The characteristic wall highlights a DIY garden ornament that’s visible from inside the house. Wall lighting makes the garden texture magical at night.
Above the patio an extra room in addition to the garage functions as an office and press room. It has a crystal clear view of the house out of its Juliette balcony. On top of that, it’s accessed from the ground by a pull-down ladder, giving it a playful feel.
Have you generated an wonderful outdoor room? We would really like to find a photograph below!