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Daybeds in Garden Design

A Daybed is a fabulous addition to any Outdoor Living Space….who doesn’t want to laze around, maybe have a little snooze or read a book and really take the time to enjoy what nature has to offer. Daybeds can really make a backyard look and feel like a resort and provide a stylish and relaxing space to enjoy.

Daybeds are not only an enjoyable and an aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden design but they can also have a practical use for around your home.  A good example of  this is our deck area……it is often cluttered with kids toys, gardening tools and exercise equipment to name a few! A very practical solution to this dilemma is to have a simple closed in seat with a lift up lid which allows easy access to place any unused items out of sight. These particular seats can be made out of timber which can incorporate a gas strut lid but an easier option is to purchase a readymade one which you can pick up at your local hardware store.

Following on with some more practical uses for the Daybed– One which we often use in our designs  is incorporating a Daybed into the pool area to cover an unsightly pool pump and of course hiding the pool toys away is another bonus!

One of my favourite types of Daybeds would have to be the Asian or balinese styles. They are  generally made out of teak timber and have a very classic look. Introducing some soft furnishings to these Daybeds  by ways of cushions and throw rugs is a great way to jazz up the design and make it more inviting.

Custom made Daybeds

Another great option is to custom make a Daybed to suit a particular area in your Landscape design. I have already mentioned Daybeds around a pool area which would have to be the most common types that we construct for our clients. If you are short on space using a floating style Daybed is a unique way to add an extra seat to your Outdoor Living area without needing too much space to do so. They can also be built into an Outdoor Kitchen or BBQ area creating more seating for when you are entertaining. Or by situating a Daybed in your garden in such a way that it captures the views can be a really great way to  allure you to your Outside Living space.

Photos of some of our Projects or click here for more ideas


With the right design approach a Daybed can add a relaxing oasis for you and your friends to enjoy in your very own backyard.




Water Features

Are you thinking about adding a feature to your garden? Why not think about creating a Water Feature in your outdoor design, it can add a captivating statement.

I personally love the sound of a running waterfall it is such a peaceful thing to listen to and it kind of takes you away to another place! It’s also a great way to filter unwanted noise such as a busy highway near your home or neighbours.

I was lucky enough to recently have a Water Feature installed on our deck outside our kitchen area. It’s still a work in progress but we now have the water flowing and I love it more than I thought I would.  It really does bring a sense of calm and tranquillity to this area and it’s a bonus that I can listen to it while I’m preparing dinner.


It’s also proved to be very popular with the wildlife. We have attracted some beautiful little frogs and the native bees are really enjoying the flowers from the water lily’s.

 Water Feature ideas

Obviously there are many different directions in which you can go with Water Features. If you are lucky enough to have acreage there are endless options available to you. Starting with large water courses running down a hillside, Dams with water running into them or for smaller properties scaling down to a simple bowl or statue. By adding rocks, boulders  and plants to your Water Feature will help bring it to life and create an environment just like that found in nature.

To give you some ideas on what you can create in your backyard, check out some of these Water Features that we have created.

You may also like to a look at this website for some easy to install Water features situated on the Sunshine Coast.

Resort Style Living in your home Garden

photo 2


We recently visited a 5 star resort on the Gold Coast and were surprised to see that they used the same stone tiles that we use on many of our Landscaping projects. It made us think how over the years materials have certainly become more readily available to the average person allowing us to achieve that 5 star resort feel in our own homes.

We have many clients who have been to Bali or  other exotic destinations, they bring back photos with them in the hope that we might be able to recreate that look. In the past this was always a difficult timely exercise with many hours of research into where we may be able to obtain specific materials. Things are definitely easier now with generally only one phone call or a quick search on the internet needed to source our products.

Recently we had a client wanting to create a very large Koi Fish pond. He was a seasoned traveller, being a captain of a boat so he had many photos from resorts around the world of how he wanted his fish pond to look. It was great to be able to create something that had been made in another part of the world and have a similar result. Check it out here.

We also had a client who had recently visited Bali and had taken a lovely photo of a water feature with a Balinese statue in it. It was their dream to have this feature at their front door so that every time they entered the home they were reminded of their travels. Take a look.

Tips for Resort Style Living

Here are a few ideas to help you create Resort Style Living in your home.

  •  Water FeatureWhen I think about all the resorts I have visited over the years they nearly all have a water feature of some sort. Especially as you enter a foyer.
  • Stone Stone Tiling and cladding is definitely a material which is used a lot around resorts.
  • Plants Generally tropical style planting is used and also mass planting of particular species.
  • Gazebos– Consider putting in some type of small pavilion for a chill out area!
  • Lighting With LED lights and high quality fittings lighting is becoming cheaper and easier to install. Lighting definitely brings gardens to life at night time and nothing gives you that 5 star feel like Garden Lighting


It’s a nice way to model your outdoor design from the likes of a fancy 5 star resort…..we may never feel the need to holiday again!




Firepits on the Sunshine coast

It’s certainly starting to cool down here on the Sunshine Coast! One weekend we’re swimming up at Inskip Point the next I have the heater on CRAZY!!

So at this time of year we need to think about what we can do to help us continue our “Outdoor Lifestyle” in these cooler months.

Firepits of course! What better way to enjoy these winter nights than to pull up a pew around a cosy fire. I know that this is certainly a favourite thing to do in our household. The kids love wandering down into the bush to find fire wood and of course a special stick for toasted marshys!

Firepits are also fast becoming quite a popular choice in Landscape design. We are certainly getting more inquiries now into Firepits than we ever have. They make a unique focal point for a design, especially in a small court yard or sectioned of area in your garden.

Types of Firepits

When deciding on which type of Firepit you would like to go with there are a couple of things that you need to take into consideration. I guess the main question to ask yourself is do you want a pit that can be mobile or one that is set in place- this will narrow down your choice. The next question is do you want a pit that uses wood/hot coals or Ethanol.

A popular choice at the moment is the Cast Iron Fire Bowl. Check out this one on Grand Designs I really love the shape of this pit and I’m hoping to add it to our backyard…. hint hint!! This type of design would be a great choice if you decide you want to move it in the future. It’s also possible to insert an ethanol burner  or if you like the idea of making your own fire you can do this also.

A couple of benefits of Ethanol Burners that there is no smell or smoke and also no need to clean out any ashes! So this type of flame is definitely the way to go if you have a small balcony area such as in a unit or are restricted to not being able to obtain timber or store it.

The other choice with Firepits is to have a built in option,  these are generally  made from concrete, bricks or stone. I do like the cosy look of stone and they really do suit particular designs more so than the metal bowls.  Take a look at these great ideas on Houzz.

These are a couple that we have made.

Also take a look at this website from Entanglements they have some fantastic unique ideas for warming us up on the Outside!

Fins us on       

Greenwalls on the Sunshine Coast

A Greenwall  or vertical garden consists  of vegetation grown on a vertical support system either freestanding or attached to an existing building/wall.

Greenwalls are the ‘IN THING’ with Garden designs at the moment but not necessarily restricted to just the outside! They are becoming very popular additions to office’s or even lounge rooms. You may have seen the recent episode of ‘The Block’ where Josh and Jenna used a vertical garden in their kitchen/dinning area. It made a HUGE impact to their design. This is proving a popular choice for people to create a living, evolving work of art within their homes.

Probably the most fantastic thing about a Greenwall is that it uses minimal floor space. Therefore Greenwalls make an excellent addition to apartment Balconies or small house blocks where space is limited.

Its safe to say that Greenwalls look fantastic and really add a visual WOW factor to any garden design.  They are a great way to add interest to a dull or tired looking wall maybe on a patio or deck area. Even great for breaking up a long boring fence creating interest points.

Another very handy usage for  a Greenwall is to use it for growing Herbs or veges. Check out these images for some cool ideas. In my home I have a small vertical garden situated outside my kitchen window on our deck. It’s so fabulously handy making it much easier to pop out and pick some fresh herbs to chuck in my cooking or breakfast shakes in the morning, rather then walking down to the vege patch!

Take a look at some of our projects

There are many different vertical wall systems that you can choose from many of them having a DIY option. One system that we have used comes in a flat pack form which is very easy to assemble (even the kids helped!) and attach to a wall. Check out the Gro-Wall system  you will see some great photos of Greenwalls and directions on how to assemble. Or get creative and make your own! I love the idea of creating a vertical herb garden with a simple pallet.

Greenwalls on the Sunshine Coast

We have played around with a few different varieties of plants for our vertical wall systems and have found a few that seem to work really well with our climate here on the Sunshine Coast. These include, Xanadu philodendron, varieties of bromeliads, ferns (shade only) spathiphyllums, agaves, liriope, rhoeo,  birds nest fern, anthurium

The key to creating a successful Greenwall is to Choose the right plants for the environment and also an irrigation system is most beneficial.

Feel free to contact Living Style Landscapes for a quote if you prefer not to DIY



Happy Client!



“Just wanting to say a big thank-you to Leigh and all the staff from Living Style Landscapes for everything you have done for us.

Our pool area looks amazing and we love it – thank-you especially Leigh for putting in all the hard work!

It has exceeded our expectations by soo much and can’t believe how beautiful you made it for us.”

Thanks again




Creating a Child Friendly Garden

With ever shrinking backyards, busier lifestyles and the push with technology taking over our lives , the basic joy of playing outside is being challanged. Children love to explore and what better place to do this than in the safe environment of their own backyard.  There are loads of simple ways that you can create interest and excite the imagination of your little ones.

When it comes to play, kids are pretty simple. The need for extravagant climbing equipment or large Cubby’s really isn’t necessary.  We find the kids roam freely through the garden more than they play in their Cubby (much to the disappointment of Mum and Dad who spent hours making it!!)  The simple things like jumping over boulders, walking through a secret path in the garden and a favorite with my girls is picking flowers and herbs to make a special pretend dinner.

Being Landscapers it is important for us to show our children how nature works. So we often involve the kids in our gardening by giving them a special shovel of their own so that they can plant  little seeds or seedlings and watch them grow.  This is especially exciting for the kids when we plant our vege patch.  It entices children to try new veges,  our beans regularly don’t make it to the dinner table! If you are a little tight for space in your backyard why not try a vertical herb garden or potted veges which you can easily place on a deck area.  Kids are fascinated by the cycle of a plants life and the look on their face as the first shoot appears is just beautiful.

Another simple thing that you can do is add some fish to your garden. An easy way to do this is by simply placing a large pot or bowl in your yard, adding some plants for shade and protection and whack in some fish. My kids LOVE saying hello to their fish every afternoon when they get home from school. It’s such a great way to encourage them to venture outside and enjoy some quality time in the garden. They make sure that they can find each fish which they have uniquely named Vegemite, Sunshine, Bibble and Patch. They like to let me know exactly what the fish are up to , where they are hiding and what they are eating.

Kids Cubby Houses

As I mentioned earlier we do have a kids play Cubby in our backyard. In this area we have incorporated a slide, trampoline, sandpit, chalk board and balance beam which has created hours of entertainment and is a favourite with the girls friends when we have a Birthday party. It is an area that we wanted to blend in well with the tropical surrounds. We did this by using thatching for the roofing,  painting the Cubby  a rusty orange, planting out around the Cubby and digging the trampoline into the garden.

Take a look at the following photos of creative ideas for your Child friendly garden.


Outdoor Screens Sunshine Coast

One question we do get asked regularly as Landscapers is “how and what can we use as a screen in our garden”?  It may be  the need to screen off neighbors or an unpleasant  part of your garden, or simple to form a private area in your yard.  Screens are an essential need in almost every garden design.

Probably the main reasons for clients requesting screens is  the practical function of creating a space for privacy and seclusion within their  property.  However there is now a large trend towards using screens to create features within your garden or to accent your home.

Types of Outdoor Screens

There are so many forms of screens from laser cut metal, powder coated aluminum, slatted timber, rendered blue board and also living green walls. There is a screen to suit every situation, budget and lifestyle.

Check out some of the different options available in the following photos.

A great sunshine coast company we have been working closely with is Sanctum Screens. We have been able to design and install custom screens to numerous projects over the last 6 months. We invite you to take a look at Sanctum Screens website.  They have multiple designs and sizes to choose from which are made with 100% durable Australian plantation hardwood. They also have a selection of DIY  options available or they can custom make unique screens to suit any type of garden design.

For more ideas on Outdoor Screens  please click here  and feel free to contact Living Style Landscapes for further information.

Beach House Landscape renovation

Category Winner NEW (2)

Every now and again a job pops up that we get VERY excited about…..this job was one of those!

Situated in the much sought after area of Warana on the Sunshine coast, this property has a position to die for. The house backs onto the sand dunes of Kawana Beach, with only a short stroll down to the water.

Landscape Renovation Sunshine Coast

The owner wanted to totally renovate his backyard so he employed the design expertise of ‘Element Design Landscape Architecture’ who worked closely with Leigh Barrett Living Style Landscapes to come up with an exciting plan.

The design involved renovating the existing pool and outdoor area to create an open entertaining space on both levels.

Adding decks to the gazebo and behind the pool gave more room to laze around . Feature walls added a point of interest at the end of the pool and also allowed for an outdoor shower to be erected behind it, great for a quick wash off after the beach. The upstairs deck was extended giving again another large under covered space to relax in cumfy lounges. The addition of an outdoor kitchen with stone bench tops  containing BBQ, Sink, fridge, dishwasher and even a T.V topped of the design.

This is now the ultimate outdoor entertainment zone bringing a somewhat tired unusable area up to a high standard of design and practicality.

Check out these photos,

For more photos on this project click here 

A fantastic space has been created in which to relax, entertain, swim and enjoy!

“Thanks Leigh and all your crew great, good …. perfect result couldn’t be happier, BBQ at my place next time I’m back in Aus !! ”     Mathew




Queensland Homes and Outdoor living Magazine 2012



Check out our spread in the latest edition of QLD Homes, Outdoor living Magazine.

Click here to see the Article

This Montville property had plenty of scope for landscapers to work their magic. and what a job they have done on this two acre parcel of land. When leigh Barrett from living style landscapes first met with clients ian jones and jen polley at their stunning home it was obvious that there had to be a real connection between the house and the pristine natural surroundings. the sprawling pavilion style home is nestled on the banks of the obi obi creek with the hills of Montville providing a magnificent backdrop. Over a cup of tea with the owners, a plan was devised incorporating pathways connecting the pavilions, edible garden areas, an outdoor shower to rinse off after a dip in the creek and a water feature at the entrance to the main pavilion. the first steps had been taken. The outcome was a subtle and graceful plan that would allow the residence and environment to become one. the idea was to have a flowing pathway down the slope from the top of the property to the main pavilion below.

this was achieved with a meandering trail of gympie sandstone steppers interspersed with Zoysia, or no Mow grass, joining all five pavilions. remarkably there is only one step in the entire path, allowing a leisurely stroll down the steep slope. Mindful of the desired subtle end result, all landscaping materials used have been carefully chosen to complement the house and integrate with the environment. the gympie sandstone is similar to the stone used on the feature walls on the outside of the home, while other elements such as aluminium edging, simple plantings and the beautiful soft grey of the olive trees all contribute to the air of elegant simplicity.entry to the main pavilion, which comprises kitchen and dining areas, is over a bridge that spans a reflection pond complete with goldfish. the view from here is breathtaking, looking through the pavilion and a wall of glass to the forest and creek below. the beautiful kitchen garden is conveniently located near the back door and includes citrus trees, grapevines, olive trees and an extensive herb garden, making it easy to pop outside to pick fresh produce whilst cooking. to allow the views to take centre stage, simple, expansive lawns of sir Walter sweep down to the bushland and creek below. steps made from recycled timber lead up from the creek to an outdoor shower located outside the main pavilion allowing for a quick rinse-off before entering the home. a stunning outcome was achieved with a harmonious landscape that now complements both ian and jen’s home and lifestyle. living style landscapes is a sunshine coast based business that has been creating quality projects for the past 15 years. leigh Barrett heads living style landscapes’ young, active and experienced team, who offer an efficient and reliable service. they have a proven record of excellent communication,
reporting and management skills and getting projects completed on time and
within budget.
Living Style Landscapes, Sunshine coast
M 0412 742 666 p 07 5478 8786