A Harbourside Sydney Home’s Tropical + Textural Garden

You know those homes where people say, ‘Every day feels like a holiday’? Well, with its lush landscaping and breezy indoor-outdoor flow, this Sydney family residence is one of them.

Nestled into the harbourside suburb of Bellevue Hill, the garden hides a pool enhanced by palm trees and limestone crazy paving underfoot — in addition to a ‘green roof’ designed for entertaining above the garage.

Using organic materials and textural plants, designers Landart have turned the architectural, all-white build into a calming and private sanctuary.

Christina Karras

The sculptural front gardens welcome you to the Bellevue Hill home.

Large kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) help filled the serene landscaping with tropical vibes.

Limestone crazy paving leads from the side of the house through to the pool.

The serene pool area looks like a private resort.

Rustic hardwood has been used overhead to soften the white exterior of the house, while also ‘bringing it down to earth’.

Established palms were craned in for the project, creating immediate scale and shape across the gardens.


The roof of the garage has been turned into a ‘green roof’ that houses the main entertaining area and garden!

The outdoor shower is nestled alongside a diverse mix of textural plants and greenery, including a frangipani tree (Plumeria) and goring silver (Helichrysum petiolare) rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) widow’s-thrill (Kalanchoe) and Philodendrons.

Plants are used in repetition throughout all of the surrounding green spaces, creating a cohesive and calming journey throughout the home.

Christina Karras
6th of June 2023
Interior Design

Bellevue Hill, NSW

At this modern Bellevue Hill home, living and entertaining doesn’t stop at the back door. Instead, these spaces spill out into the backyard, the welcoming front gardens and even the intriguing ‘green roof’.

This indoor-outdoor ethos is a key part of Sydney landscape design studio Landart, who created the property’s calming U-shaped gardens, creating a lush outlook from every window.

Landart director Matt Leacy — who co-designed the project with Tom Wright — says the garden was designed to envelop the home in greenery.

In order to soften the imposing, all-white build, they created rustic hardwood timber pergolas as an organic element that helps ‘bring the house down to earth’, alongside a collection of established plantings.

‘The timber provides a warmth that vertically connects the house to the garden whilst framing the outdoor hardstand areas,’ Matt says. ‘It provides a sense of intimacy when sitting underneath it.’

A boardwalk along the side of the house also draws guests out into the rear pool area with natural limestone crazy paving underfoot. The backyard is reminiscent of a private resort or tropical villa, with sun lounges waiting on a timber deck beside two towering kentia palm trees (Howea forsteriana) and an outdoor shower below frangipani flowers (Plumeria).

Matt says palms were intentionally used throughout the ‘controlled planting palette’, seamlessly connecting the serene gardens to the front of the home — where a sweeping curved wall and pathway is complemented by a mix of textural plants, including aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller), sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum), and goring silver (Helichrysum petiolare).

But one of the most impressive elements is that the main entertaining and garden area is built on top of the garage, as an enhanced ‘green roof’ that enjoys views of the surrounding treetops and towering palms, which were craned in especially for the project.

Matt says, there’s always a spot to retreat to — no matter the season, or time of day.

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