An Adventure in Contrasts: Willoughby by Secret Gardens

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With a fantastic interplay of warm and cool elements, this New South Wales residence boasts a front and back garden that form a wonderful counterpoint to each other in a tidy design by Sydney’s own Secret Gardens. Approach the main entrance of the home and you see a classic plan that complements a period home: sandstone paving, ornamental pears, lilly pillys, gardenias, buxus hedges, and a gorgeous dark stone circular water fountain. It’s an epitome of well-trimmed, tailored, and cool elegance that befits the front porch with its dignified pillars and brick-and-stucco façade. However, go into the back yard, and the space tells a totally different story! There the clients, who love to entertain, ordered a modern, colorful space that would say “welcome” to all.

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Modern and colorful is exactly what they get here: green space extends the living room through expansive glass doors in a seamless connection with the yard, where bright red benches with striped upholstery continue the warm ambience of indoors and echo the colors of the couch. Reddish-toned wood grain continues the wrap-around warmth, surrounding a lovely cantilevered shade spot with alfresco dining table and outdoor kitchen. But the drawing card here? No doubt it’s the striking pool, in the shelter of a magnificent palm and neatly tucked behind a clear glass wall that delineates the space and makes a clever room for an outdoor shower. Ready for splash parties, this oasis of water and greenery is elegantly sophisticated from the curb and great fun within, a truly special place from Secret Gardens.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).