Copacabana Clifftop

This beach house on New South Wales’ central coast is a wonderful example of considered design. In this home a landscape has been created that is not only functional and beautiful but that also utilizes clever and creative design solutions.

The front garden slope of this house was a major design challenge. Finding a solution to practically get cars up and down the steep drive was critical in creating a functional space. Traditionally steep slopes are terraced and leveled, however Michael Cooke wanted to keep the slope and the natural lay of the land to create a garden that was organic and natural. He wanted a creative solution that allowed for easy vehicle access while simultaneously complementing the surrounding natural landscape.

Working with porphyry filetti natural stone the driveway and car park area became the central feature of the garden and the base from which the rest of the design concept flowed. The natural texture and grip of porphyry filetti made it the perfect material for the steep driveway surface and the irregular shape and natural colour variations in the stone perfectly attune to the organic beach style of the house and garden.

Branching off from the driveway, this natural design aesthetic permeates all aspects of the garden. There are no sharp lines or angles in the rest of the landscape. The garden beds move with the contours of the landscape itself, and the natural planting is textural, varied in colour and striking. Another stunning feature of this garden is the off-form concrete stairs leading up to the home’s front entrance. A bespoke design, these stairs encompass the natural shapes and rugged feel of the garden design, and by paring this shape and form with the contemporary material of off-form concrete adds another design dimension to this landscape.

The organic garden style continues through to the waterside of the property. Native pines have deliberately been left to help frame the view and create a sense of perspective when looking out to the vast ocean. The wire and post fences are a subtle cue to the textures of the front garden, and the simple native planting again a reminder that this home and garden are well settled into the landscape.

The harmony between design and landscape continues as you move inside the home.

Jericho natural limestone tiles have been used on the lower floor and throughout the bathrooms to really ground the home into its surrounds. And throughout the home the simple, pared back design aesthetic continues, creating a space that feels wonderfully relaxed.

This property presents a constant connection between house and landscape. Through the use of raw natural materials, simple pared back design and simplicity this home and garden embodies everything that is great about good design.