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A Mediterranean Oasis In The Middle Of Sydney

Gardens

A great garden can completely elevate a home. But it takes a pretty special garden to transport you to a totally different hemisphere! Despite being located in the summery eastern beaches of Sydney, this dreamy garden belonging to landscape designer Anthony Wyer could easily be on a sun-scorched Greek island.

Replete with a lush, layered planting palette, pool and a sandstone cabana cave, the Boulder House garden is like being on holiday, at home! What more can we say? It’s absolute heaven.

21st June, 2021

The Boulder House by Wyer + Co. has completely changed the streetscape of the house. It consists of a front garden, private courtyard and rear garden. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The front garden contains a stately 30-year-old olive tree. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Anthony looked to the existing architecture when designing the Mediterranean feel of the garden. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The rear garden consists of a covered deck, lawn, outdoor fireplace, pool and cave-like cabana. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

A deck straight from a villa in the Greek islands! Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The view from the cabana cave looks straight back to the house and covered deck. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The outdoor fireplace is made with limestone wash and Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Anthony nad his team scoured from Victoria to Queensland to find plants in the right size and maturity. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The cabana was carved from 23 square metres of sandstone outcrop by Anthony’s team. ‘Beige Royal Quarter’ paint from Dulux. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

It can seat up to 10 people in its built-in banquette lounge and planter. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

It is 1.5 metres wide and 6.3 metres long. ‘Beige Royal Quarter’ paint from Dulux. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The cabana cave has a roof garden atop it, with rosemary and agave cascading down. ‘Beige Royal Quarter’ paint from Dulux. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The material palette is simple, consisting of terracotta, bamboo, limestone and timber with light, natural earthy tones for a modern-Mediterranean feel. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Greenery, sandstone and timber in dialogue. Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The barbecue area is clad in Eco Outdoor ‘Antico Luce’ brick. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Outdoor eating and entertaining spaces were a big part of the brief. ‘Beige Royal Quarter’ paint from Dulux. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Looking down on the lawn with a pop of bougainvillea. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Pockets of carefully cultivated lush wilderness are visible from every angle and balcony in the house. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Furniture details in the private courtyard. Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

The courtyard is a portrait of seaside bliss – it’s like a private resort pocket! Photo – Anson Smart.  Stylist – Claire Delmar.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 21st June 2021

‘Exploring ideas of how to engineer more usable space, we decided to cut-in, creating a cave-like cabana with integrated daybed and rooftop planter.’ – Anthony Wyer

Anthony Wyer of Wyer + Co. had visions of the Mediterranean when he purchased his home in Sydney’s eastern beaches in 2015. While he brought in some friends to add layers to the house (interior designer Marco Meneguzzi for the joinery and finishes; and Tamsin Johnson for textures and antiques), Anthony himself set about designing a garden inspired by the resort-style features in the architecture.

‘We love entertaining and having outdoor spaces that work year-round is really important to us,’ explains Anthony. This desire, coupled with a few disparate pockets that required cohesion, resulted in a layered, tailored design.

The front garden shrouds the streetscape with greenery, the piece de resistance being a stately, 30 year old olive tree at the entrance. A paved private courtyard sits on the first floor and enjoys twin Kentia palms and waves of boisterous pink bougainvillea for a tropical touch.

But the rear garden is where the design truly flourishes. Now containing a covered deck, outdoor fireplace, pool and lawn, 23 square metres of this space was originally taken up by sandstone outcrop. In a stroke of genius, Anthony and his team dreamt up the hero of the final design: a poolside cave!

This sheltered natural space is carved out of the existing sandstone face and lined with built-in lounges. Stretching 6.3 metres long and 1.5 metres deep, it can accommodate up to 10 people and a bounty of plants on its rooftop. Rosemary, camellias, agave, yellow brugmansia and spiky fan palms cascade down from this cavetop, dangling in front of the cave opening. Anthony and his team scoured from Victoria to Queensland to find plants that fit their requirements for size and maturity.

‘Major excavation work and engineering was required first to build the cave-like structure but also to ensure that it was strong enough to hold soil and a garden on top,’ says Anthony. The material palette is simple, consisting of terracotta, bamboo, limestone and timber with light, natural earthy tones for a modern-Mediterranean feel.

Despite the established design and lived-in feel, Anthony maintains there are still some touches to be added. ’You’re never really finished when it comes to designing your own home or garden – there’s almost always an opportunity to push the boundaries and evolve,’ he says.

See more projects from Wyer + Co. here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

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