Abbotsford is undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s most famous inner-city suburbs. Renowned for its cool vibe, hottest bars and restaurants, insane graffiti… and tiny residential courtyards. Homeowners love the area because it’s close proximity to the city, parks and markets. But the smartest owners recognise the potential of their entire land and even though the space is small, when properly utilised, a rear courtyard can become an extension of the house and provide an entirely new area perfect for entertainment and relaxation.

Our client wanted to have an outdoor entertainment area including a built-in BBQ and fridge, create an area for storage and mask the house utilities, whilst still reflecting the vibrant and artistic nature of the neighbourhood. The synthetic turf provides a low maintenance and kid friendly play area for the young family, but the tumbled travertine paved area is large enough for outdoor furniture too. Every item takes into account the need to maximise space. The custom-built bench seat with steel frame and hinged lids has been clad in Merbau and doubles as outdoor furniture and a precious storage box. Two tall timber clad cupboards stand on either side of the yard. One hides the house utilities, the other is a shed with shelving for the bins and various other outdoor equipment. The BBQ and fridge are in-built with beautiful Alpine drystone cladding and travertine benchtops. Even the raised garden beds have capping which can be used as seating. Extraordinary graffiti by @KILProductions spans the entire of one wall. Its vibrant colours bring the entire courtyard to life! At night, strategically placed downlights sit in the branches of the tree over the BBQ area, and two spike lights sit in the garden bed highlighting the tree itself.

The colourful spirals within the paint are reflected in a backlit feature screen on the adjacent wall. Star jasmine is planted in the garden beds below the feature screen, ready to creep its way along the steel cables fastened to the Merbau timber clad wall. The final product is one of vibrancy, flare, and fun! It’s designed for a young family who love their community and everything it stands for. And it will serve that purpose for many years of outdoor entertainment to come!

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