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Get the al fresco look of the Three Birds Dream Home

With summer on its way, it’s time to head outside. Take some tips from the stunning al fresco spaces created for The Three Birds Dream Home built by Rawson Homes and entertain in style. 

Like many Knockdown Rebuilds, The Three Birds Dream Home had an established garden, but the alfresco and pool area needed a little refresh to complement the new house.  

The Three Birds Renovations’ Lana Taylor says a well-considered landscaping design needs to be part of any holistic home exterior. 

“You can’t forget landscaping,” she says. “Landscaping makes all the difference.” 

Before you start landscaping 

There are often local regulations regarding landscaping, especially regarding aspects such as set-backs and fencing, so it’s a good idea to read the fine print of your approved development application or check with your local council before you create your design.  

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Established suburbs often make landscaping completion a condition of council approval, so the new build fits into the streetscape nicely. A new estate might have a different set of criteria. 

It’s important to know that most councils also have regulations regarding the preservation of existing trees, so you’ll need to include your landscaping plans when submitting your house plans for council approval, especially if they involve removal of large trees. 

Gas-strut window 

The key to a great al fresco area is to provide a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, which is why the Three Birds have opted for a gas-strut window on many of their projects, including Lana’s forever home (House 6).  

Ideal for open-plan kitchens that adjoin an outdoor kitchen or dining space, a gas-strut window allows the window to be fully open for serving or conversation, and when closed has the appearance of a fixed window for uninterrupted views of the backyard.  

“It wouldn’t be a Three Birds home without a gas-strut window and a little servery outside here,” says Lana. “This is a space we’re really excited about.” 

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Designing your front yard 

As with many Knockdown Rebuilds, the Three Birds Dream Home needed to consider council guidelines in terms of setbacks and the house needed to include a generous front yard to be in keeping with the neighbourhood.  

Bonnie from The Three Birds team saw this as a great opportunity to establish a second outdoor entertaining space by enclosing the yard with a fence and establishing a firepit in front of the house. 

“There’s enough space to have an entertaining space out front and out back, so you’ve got different zones,” she explains. “If you fence it you are creating your own little world inside your fence.” 

Designed to suit all seasons, the front yard includes a firepit for winter, which can turn into a coffee table for summer, and references the curves throughout the interior of the house in the rendered brick bench. 

Planting included palm trees (a favourite of the Three Birds) to provide a contrast to the crisp white colour of the house exterior. 

 
“The house is white, so I wanted to add some greenery in terms of textures and colours,” explains Bonnie. 

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Designing your backyard and pool area 

Before the home was knocked down, the original design had existing features in the backyard that the family wanted to retain, including a pool.  

As experienced builders, the Rawson team used their expertise to protect the pool during demolition and construction, before a refreshed lounge area and pool surround was created to match the aesthetic of the new home. 

The key element of the backyard design was a curved wall, framing the area and echoing the curves of the adjoining kitchen. The existing pergola was adapted to better suit the style of the house and comply with modern pool regulations. A secluded seating area was designed under the pergola, allowing the parents uninterrupted views of the pool for safety reasons. 

A separate utility shed provides practical storage, while being hidden by a curved rendered wall, which includes a niche that can store cold drinks for easy summer entertaining. 

 
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