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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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).