Category Archives: Pool Designs and Landscaping

Jazzing up an ugly fence or wall


The last thing you want to be focussing on when you are enjoying time-out in the garden is a boring blank wall or fence in your backyard.  Sunshine Coast backyards are an integral part of coastal living and entertaining, so the outlook needs to be lush and inviting.

However, as fences are a necessity we have come up with a few ideas on how to turn a fence or blank wall from an eye-sore into an interesting feature or focal point in your landscape design. Thankfully there are plenty of options available from the budget conscious right through to the upmarket architecturally designed.



Probably the easiest option for the DIY project is to add some plants.  There are a couple of different possibilities here.

The best way to disguise an ugly wall with plants is to use them as a hedge. An added advantage of this solution is that the hedge makes a great backdrop for future planting.

 In our coastal environment we have found that Lilly Pillies and Murrayas work excellently as hedging plants.There are a lot of Lilly Pillies to choose from but we have found that the varieties Cascades and Australe work the best.



  Another great option would be the use of pots with or without plants in them. They can be strategically placed along the fence or wall and do a great job of providing interest.




If you are limited with space in your backyard how about the ‘on trend’ option of including a green wall to your fence or wall.

 A simple and cheap option to jazz up a fence is to add a few small pots to your wall and grow something hardy like succulents in them. 

If you want to go the whole hog and do an entire green wall, there are many DIY kits on the market that you can assemble yourself.



photo 2


IF you are looking for something that will add a bit of an architectural flair, why not try an espalier vine or other plant. This is a great option if you are limited on garden space. It is cost effective and vines are fast growing and give great coverage rapidly.

There are many different espalier designs and types of plant, including citrus and camellias that will suit your particular style of home. A criss-cross style can be really effective; or for a more contemporary style try a simple strand of wire placed vertically that allows the vine to travel upwards. At Living Style Landscapes we have been experimenting with a type of climbing maidenhair fern and have achieved spectacular results. 




Decorative screens are another really simple way to funk up a fence. The choice when it comes to screens is huge, ranging from the simple DIY timber screens that you can hang yourself right through to the more complex custom –made steel screens.

For added impact try up-lighting the screens or placing coloured panels behind them to really make them pop.



There is some great metal art available now and we have some talented artists, such as Broadcroft Designs, right here on the coast. Metal art is a fantastic way of jazzing up a fence and its as easy as hanging it!

Mirrors are probably something that you wouldn’t normally consider for your garden but when space is limited, mirrors can have an amazing effect by reflecting the landscape thus making the area appear much larger than it is.




Why not incorporate a day bed into your design. This will not only break up your ugly wall but also have the added bonus ofproviding a lovely little spot to chill out in your yard.                                                                      





As shown there are many options available but don’t think you are limited to just using one of these, a combination of a few works a treat too. The photo above is of a boring pool wall that needed a serious overhaul. At Living Style Landscapes we decided to combine a few different elements of the suggestions above, incorporating a green wall, daybed, stone, trees and screens to soften the wall. The resulting outcome  (see below) not only provided an excellent solution for our client but it also went on to become an award winning project.


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




Tropical Landscaping on the Sunshine Coast

Living in the Sub-tropics provides the perfect environment to create a stunning Tropical inspired garden on the Sunshine Coast.

With our temperate weather and summer rains our climate is suitable for introducing a wide variety of tropical style planting into our outdoor spaces. This allows us to create a very lush and colourful surrounding. Varieties of plants can include bromeliads, Crotons, Heliconias, bamboos, gingers and palms.

Another fabulous way of enhancing your area to take on that tropical lush look and sound of a rainforest is to include water features. This could be a running waterfall or a pot filled with water and plants. This will create more of an eco-system for your garden and encourage animals and insects such as frogs.

Tropical Designs Sunshine Coast


‘Landscaping around pools’ can be complemented very well when using a tropical influence. Living Style Landscaping has been involved with many Tropical Designs around pools and other outdoor areas…….  creating some very peaceful and lush surrounds for there owners to love and enjoy the feel of a tropical hideaway.

For THE most amazing Tropical Garden that you can visit in Brisbane check out Denis Hundscheidts website for open garden details.

Sunshine Coast Pool Landscapers

It’s leading up to the busiest time of the year for Living Style Sunshine Coast Landscape Design especially for swimming pool landscaping.  It’s around this time that our thoughts turn to our ‘outdoor living spaces’ and what we  need achieve for the summer months to come.
Obviously, living on the Sunshine Coast we love the sun and the warmth and what better way to enjoy our beautiful summer weather than being in and around a lovely pool!

Click here to see more Pool Design and Landscaping Photos

Sunshine Coast Pool Landscape designs

Living Style Landscape Design on the Sunshine Coast has over 16 years experience in pool landscaping working closely with some of the Sunshine Coasts leading pool building companies. With so many elements to consider with a pool- tiling, decks, glass fencing, pavilions, water features etc, pool landscaping is very enjoyable for us and rewarding. There’s nothing better than stepping back when it’s all done and taking in what has been created.
Looking forward to a hot summer on the Sunshine Coast kicking back in a pool after what seems to have been a long cold winter!