Located in the beachside Perth suburb of Hillarys, this Australian exterior addition stands out for its stunning, contemporary design replete with accent lighting and amenities usually reserved for indoor spaces. Designed by local outdoor experts Ritz Exterior Design (RED), this social space integrates seamlessly into the home it borders, with various stages of roofing to reveal the open sky in steps branching outward from the patio’s entrance. Filling a yard that once went almost unused because of proximity to beaches, this structured patio enlivens the homeowners’ property and extends their leisure time beyond the interior walls of the house. The terrace is more than just typical outdoor space, featuring a full kitchen and dining area as well as an outdoor living area. Combined with the more traditional backyard mainstays of the pool and fireplace, the spaces under the wood-block porch structure house a unique, elegant space filled to the brim with activity.
The design of this terraced addition was no typical job for RED: the company itself has called it their “most challenging project ever”. The company had to face the privacy challenges of a number of tall neighboring homes, and the additional concern of strong ocean winds creating discomfort in the space. For both problems, a single solution was found in the form of a silver parapet barrier wall erected around the property and connected at strategic points to the terrace structure to create design continuity. With privacy secured, other solutions had to be devised for directing light, leading to a number of innovations present within the structure. The end result is a beautifully complex and mature design, expanding its owners’ lives while keeping their seclusion and comfort intact.
The terrace addition is not contained within the wooden structure alone; it includes a new design theme for the room bordering on the backyard and a refinished pool space. Lit wood tones are used as a natural contrast to the grays present on the home’s facade, bringing warm colors reminiscent of interior space to the outdoors.
With the exception of weather-resistant cloth choices for furniture, the space under the terraces feels just like any other room, creating a living and eating area that is much more open than a traditional open-concept interior space.
The new, contemporary exterior walls of the property are integrated with wooden adornments into the terrace structure, providing much-needed respite from prying eyes while not betraying the open concept of the yard.
Floors and ceilings are varied throughout the porch structure, instilling a sense of separate purposes for different areas without the need for cumbersome and space-killing walls. Areas with essential electrical equipment, like the kitchen, are protected by a fully finished ceiling, while other areas have adjustable vent shades or no ceiling at all. Areas that represent “rooms”, such as the dining area, have flooring to match the same type of area indoors.
A couple of steps lead up from the exit of the home to the dining room, making outdoor eating a true occasion. Strategic lighting brightens up the wooden furniture and floors without overwhelming the eyes, and the dining area is dedicated solely to a table and chairs, keeping the experience soothingly simple even among a complex show of exterior-design technology.
An artistic centerpiece of the terraces, this fireplace is set on top of one end of a water feature that leads to the edge of the home’s property, providing both visual and safety value. Elegant wooden bench seating is in place both around the fire and behind the dining room, with the ability to host both small and large groups without the need to adapt the space to the occasion.
The corner room of the home has been transformed as a transition space between the design themes of the inside and outside. Its enumerated use is as a theater room (with a ceiling-retractable 170-inch projector screen), but its design value is in mixing the open concepts of the outdoor addition and the intimacy of the inner rooms of the house.
Ritz Exterior Design