Blending the Classic and Modern: Radnor Street by COS Design, Melbourne

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“There was an interesting challenge with this design,” according to the pros at COS Design. It seems that the home’s exterior architecture was one style — classical — while its interior had a more modern palette; the al fresco pool house also was more modern. How to mesh the styles? Simple: blend them in the garden. In the front, the garden is traditional with a touch of modern – a harmonious view from the street, while the rear courtyard reveals the “modern minimalistic design” that COS executes with such panache. Nothing’s extreme or jarring here; symmetrical rectangular stones make a path through plenty of greenery and color, from a concrete bench to pale gray stone surrounding the cooling pool and the gleaming royal-blue tiled spa. At one end of the courtyard, sleek modern lounge chairs await; at the other, a white tumbled-stone wall is lighted from below, drawing the eye to ferns and trees.

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Here and there you glimpse touches of bright primary colors. Through a window, there’s a deep blue mini-trampoline in a handy nook; in the alfresco pool area, chairs are true red in fun contrast to the clean white walls, a hue repeated in deck and wall lighting. Entertaining is easy in this expansive courtyard with additional bench seating in both wood deck and gray stone, a flat-screen television, and wet bar/cooking area with recessed lighting throughout. Amazingly, styles are clearly delineated yet work together: small dark-toned bricks flow from one patio by the main house and yard, into the paler stone around the pool…while an uplit sculpture puts a clearly modern signature on the “house” side, and rich wood decking ties the two spaces and spirits together — in an unfussy, welcoming whole.

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