Case Study


April 4, 2024

Balmain Project – Deep Dive

Landscape designing a home with a history is always rewarding. We were engaged by our clients to design a pool and garden which would honour the timelessness of the home.

The home is one of the largest free-standing residences in Balmain which includes a sizeable yard given the area.

Designing a new pool that compliments a heritage home requires one to maintain a healthy respect for the history of the home, but also staying true to your own design principles.

The home is owned by a young family so it was important that we maintain a sizable lawn area for the kids. Having said that, we also wanted to avoid a pool that was too small in size for the scale of the home.  We wanted the landscape design to be a simple layout yet bring interest via a carefully selected material palette.

Access to the pool location was excellent which made the excavation process quick and painless. The pool is 7m x 4m internally and features three full-width steps taking you into the water.

The interior of the pool is fully tiled in black tiles, while the coping and concourse are tiled in large format Bluestone. The feature wall is clad with a stone reminiscent of the many sandstone house foundations found in the area.  Our aim was to use heritage materials styled in a modern form; essentially marrying the two together.

A decking concourse was used down one side of the pool to tie the pool back to the home.  The existing decking boards around the home (which we wanted to be the same as the new pool deck) is aged Merbau which is known to leech and “bleed” tannins.  This meant we had to leave the new Merbau decking boards in the sun to “bleed out” for weeks before we could safely install them next to the pool.

The frameless glassing features matt black hardware to compliment the black pool interior and the many black elements of the existing home. We designed the location of the pool fence to run between the existing roof posts; making a more natural transition from the home to the pool. A custom made copper outdoor shower was designed for a post-swim rinse off.

Four large Robinia Mop Tops were installed behind the stone feature wall to not only create interest but to reduce the scale of the neighbouring property. A mature Crepe Myrtle was planted adjacent to the pool. The existing gardens included some stunning roses which we simply couldn’t bring ourselves to exclude from our landscape design!  All the garden beds were planted with hardy textural plants such as:

  • Sanseveria
  • Teucrium
  • Kalanchoe ‘Copper Spoons’
  • Strobilanthes gossypinus
  • Raphiolepsis ‘Oriental Pearl
  • Blue Chalk Sticks
  • Native Violets

Our entire team is extremely proud of this pool and landscape design project and we’ve enjoyed watching it grow into a beautiful garden.

You can view a full suite of images HERE.

Resources & Credits

Plants supplied by Exotic Nurseries
Pots supplied by The Balcony Garden and Slugg
Stone and tiles supplied by Artisan Stone
Photography by Hannah Blackmore