Expanding the Fun in a Narrow Space: Armadale by OFTB

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The space here is compact, long, and narrow — hardly a setup that might at first appear to be conducive to a spacious entertaining “feel.” But when OFTB Landscape Architecture of Melbourne stepped in, that perception changed. These designers — whose name literally stands for “out from the blue” — went to work on a plunge pool (including a water wall), a timber pool deck, a custom curved-glass frameless pool fence, and abundant “green” to create an entertaining space as inviting as a yard twice its size. The beauty of natural materials — porcelain tile, granite walls, spotted gum, and hardwood — enhances the outdoor living area, creating a harmonic blend of indoors and outdoors beneath a narrow cantilever and indirect pot lighting.

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Now, behind a high “privet hedge” (actually formed by a line of trees) that provides a lush green backdrop are a streamlined indoor kitchen and dining area mere steps from the plunge pool; the new outdoor space also includes a built-in stainless steel barbecue for cooking and serving outdoors in splendid weather. By day, the white mosaic tile pool and cozy layout is warmed by the sun; by night, dramatic up-lighting makes this narrow yard an oasis in the midst of garden beds and flanked by comfy lounge chairs. Tucked beside the outdoor “kitchen” are a handy al fresco dining table and chairs and a spacious limestone patio; wood grain and white unify the elements of both garden and home. Compact, but far from cramped — a striking result of genius that’s “out from the blue.”

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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).

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