case studies

Valley View


Entertaining poolside fun in the summer and a secret firepit above the creek for winter warmth

The Brief

The challenge presented by this project was all about taking the disparate elements of a large and underused property and bringing them together in a cohesive whole.

This family of 4 had recently moved onto their idyllic acreage in the Matcham Valley on the Central Coast. The house was positioned on a slope affording country views across green pasture to magnificent eucalypts, bush-clad hills and a winding creek at the bottom of the valley.

Remnants of a past garden remained, but the property was in need of an upgrade and a new design was required which was more appropriate to a young family.

The first request was for a firepit placed away from the house, built in a location to provide a place to sit and admire the towering gums above the creek. The second priority was to link the house to the existing pool with a terrace and new garden to provide space for entertaining and family gatherings. This area also needed a new roof to provide all weather shelter and an outdoor kitchen for BBQ cooking. A food garden was a must so that fruit trees and vegetables could be grown and accessed easily from the kitchen. Finally, 3 additional garden areas required new shaping, new plantings and some drainage diversions to cope with surface run-off from the slope above.

The Solution

A firepit precinct was established to create a sense of place and anchor the firepit in the vast open space of the paddock, linked to, but safely away from the towering Blackbutts and falling branches. The circular precinct was nestled into the hill and enveloped by its own garden containing trees, boulders and low plantings.

The new terrace was designed with luscious curved edges to counter the straight lines of the house and swimming pool. Natural sandstone provided a stunning plane to sit and admire the sunsets with water bowls and a terrace-hugging garden to soften the perimeter. Two operable rooves were installed for all weather shelter and a simple BBQ kitchen installed.

The food garden was designed with a Mediterranean flavour incorporating Corten steel planters and a permeable crushed granite surface. Long sandstone steps were dug into the existing turf to provide a path between the terrace and garden.

Client Feedback

When we were looking to do a major upgrade of our gardens at Matcham Costata kept coming up. We had several meetings on site and both my wife and I were just amazed at how professional you were. You both totally got the brief and produced site plans and costings on each stage of the project so we could clearly understand what the site/ cashflow would look like at the end of the project. 

The value add to our property has been amazing, our friends just rave about the gardens and fire pit area that you designed.  The attention to detail with you both on site sometimes several times per day to ensure your trades followed your brief exactly. 

A major job completed on time on budget with no disputes and fantastic aftersales backup now over 1 year down the track. Colin regularly talks with our gardening people to ensure that his masterpiece is being maintained in the way that will keep the gardens looking amazing for years to come. I would have no hesitation recommending Colin and his team to anyone that wanted the great outcome we received working with Costata Landscape Design.

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