The heat is on!


5 ideas to enhance the enjoyment of your home’s outdoor area

Connect the Living Space to the Garden with Glass Bi-fold /Stacking Doors

One of the most effective ways of enhancing your enjoyment of the garden area is to connect the main living area by installing glazed stacking doors.

This allows for casual living to spread out to the garden area and for ease of visual and aural supervision of the kids playing outside.

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If you are lucky enough to have a garden the most important item to enhance your enjoyment is to have shade to relax under. Pergolas can be attached to the house or free standing in the garden. Have shade allows you to create an outdoor room with either a passive lounging space, dining area or an outdoor kitchen.

A wonderful design alternative is the Vergola which has operable blades that can create an all weather space. They are more expensive than a traditional wooden pergola however the flexibility they create is well worth the investment if you enjoy entertaining or have a young family that would benefit from having access to all year round outdoor play space.


Outdoor Kitchen

Cooking outdoors has come a long way since dad used to throw a metal plate on a few bricks and douse the firewood with petrol from the mower.

Outdoor kitchens are now incredibly sophisticated and offer options such as gas/ electric grilles, bar fridges, wine chillers, pizza ovens, teppanyaki grilles and sinks to wash up.

They allow for the cook to be at the center of the gathering rather than being back in the kitchen and to allow for storage, cooking and cleaning to all happen in the one location.

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Plunge Pools

With the growing energy and water bills and more compact urban living there has been a surge in interest in installing plunge pools. They allow for a sanctuary to cool down on supper hot days without having to battle traffic and parking which goes with the trip to the beach.

Alternative sanitation treatment solutions are salt chlorination, mineral or fresh water Saltwater is better for your skin with low levels of chemicals and the benefit of low maintenance and ongoing costs.

Freshwater are easy to maintain, low running costs and the freshwater prolongs the life of all the equipment and finishes.

Mineral pools are less salty than traditional pools and are increasing in popularity due to the lower salinity.

The is even the option to use a concrete water tank as a small budget pool with style.



Vegi Garden

Starting you own vegi garden has the benefit of having a ready supply of super fresh vegies and the mind body benefits of working in the garden

The move to establishing a home vegie garden is huge, from simple herb gardens to growing fresh greens, tomatoes and vine produce.

Raised garden beds make accessibility easy and are a great device to define ‘outdoor rooms’ in your garden.

Also growing in popularity, particularly in the inner city suburbs are keeping chickens and even beekeeping.

Vertical Garden Wall

Got an ugly boundary wall? A great camouflage is the Vertical Garden.

There are a number of proprietary systems on the market now that make creating a vertical garden easy and instant.

A green wall can assist in cooling the garden area as it reduces the radiant heat from a bare masonry wall and of course contributes to improving the air quality intermediate area.

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All images sourced from Pinterest. Please advise if you wish credit for your image to be noted.

Bar Design- finding a port in a storm

Gowings Bar display

On a cold wet rainy Friday night we were out bar hopping in the CBD and came across a wonderful bolthole in the storm, that being the fab Gowings Bar and Grill.

But what makes a bar special and so special that its worth writing about? Well a few descriptors come to mind: originality, individual character, the right lighting, styling with objects of interest that inspire conversations, eclecticism and on a more practical level comfortable furniture and a space where patrons can talk quietly.

Gowings Bar and Grill has nailed all of the above. The space planning works well with the dining and bar space spread over two levels, and having the option of taking your drinks to the foyer if you want to have a quiet tipple. The materials palette is a mix of retro and contemporary materials that speak to both the original fabric of the Gowings Building and the new function of the space.

The design and detailing give this bar a vibe like no other in Sydney, it feels as if we have fallen down the rabbit hole and landed in Berlin during the interwar years of the Weinmar Republic although firmly rooted in today. Steel framing, steel wire glass, and the art installation by Swedish artist Michael Johannsen which incorporates recycled suitcases, doors, mirrors, drawers, books and machinery all combine to give this space a warmth, complexity and style that truly invites the patrons back.

If you haven't as yet ventured up to Level 1 of the Gowings Building I sincerely recommend popping up there for a toot or two.


Architects Nic Graham + Associates (bar and grill)  |  Indyk Architects (hotel)

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Gowings Bar styling
Gowings Bar glass screen
Gowings Foyer installation
Gowings Bar quite corner
Bon ami