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.