the resort

Whilst KWD specialises in creating beautiful interiors, landscaping design is increasingly becoming a significant part of the completed project. We place a lot of importance on the exterior of the home, from the front gates to the landscape design.

“The landscaping of the property is so important,” says Kate Walker. “I feel really strongly about bringing the outside in, and I always recommend that our clients leave money in their budget for their landscaping design. For me, the house starts at the front fence, not at the front door, and people get a feeling, even from the nature strip, about what they are going to experience when they come into your home. The outdoors is an extension of the indoors.”

The final chapter in the story of Biscayne is all about the resort-style design of the exterior that brought the whole home to life. When Kate first started to visualise the concept for transforming Biscayne, she knew that the landscape design was crucial for cementing what she had envisioned.

I knew as soon as I bought this site that the garden was going to be an enormous part of the success of the renovation. I needed to focus a lot of attention on the landscape design and I couldn’t think of anyone better to work with than Heath Blair from Plume Studio. His first concept is the concept we delivered. I’ll never forget the day he showed me the fly through. I felt transported,” explains Kate.

Says Heath,“Good landscaping creates a connectivity between indoor and outdoor and activates the whole site. Every part of a landscaped space creates a context that speaks to the occupants of the property, be it a family or an individual, and also provides an immediate visual identity.

Heath brought together a team of professionals to bring to life his incredible vision, including Michael Callinan of Vogue Grange. Michael and his team turned Heath’s landscape architectural vision into a reality. “We were delighted when Heath reached out to us and invited us to put in a tender and meet with Kate,” explains Michael. “Being awarded the opportunity to work with Heath and Kate was an exciting prospect. Biscayne is such a stunning property in an amazing location. The landscape construction process took around six months or so from when we first installed the palm trees, and the landscape story will continue to grow as the plants mature.” say Michael.

When we discuss the landscaping with our clients we advise them to invest in good plant stock. Advanced plants are ideal to make an immediate impact, but if these don’t fit in with the budget, good quality plant stock will ensure you achieve a healthy, vibrant and sustainable garden. We always recommend Luke Williams and The Nursery Co for landscaping plants and indoor plants too. The Nursery Co and The Advanced Tree Company supplied the plants for Biscayne, Court Construct did a fabulous job on the tennis court refurbishment, In 2 Bricklaying created the sublime outdoor fireplace, and Matty Rockedge did such an incredible job on all the the stonework under the watchful eye of Mikey from Montique Construction. It certainly took a village!

The swimming pool is the heart of the outdoor space at Biscayne. A swimming pool adds to the soul of a property, providing a water feature within your own landscape that can light up at night and add atmosphere to the whole property. And in cooler climates like Melbourne, where we can only really use a pool for a few months a year, a pool needs to enhance the architectural profile of a home as well as being a source of leisure and pleasure. Heath recommended Glenn from Laguna Pools for the design and installation of the pool, and the result is perfection.

Says Glenn, “Working with Kate and her team on Biscayne exemplifies the principle of working with the client through the design process. It really is the crucial first step. Kate engaged Heath Blair from Plume Studio for the landscape design, and he had a really cool brief to work with. He designed how he wanted the whole outside area to look and then we got involved to determine the ideal pool design in terms of functionality requirements and what would tick the boxes for the user experience. The pool design has a real sense of fun about it that perfectly reflects Kate’s Biscayne style. The tiling choice was really important for achieving the right aesthetic and the selected colour is so perfect. It’s a really subtle, light turquoise blue with a bit of white through it that adds some variance. ”

Explains Kate Walker, “We knew we needed the just the right shade of aquamarine for the pool tile – one of my absolute favourite colours – and we searched high and low for the perfect colour. We finally found the exact shade at Klay Tiles – they have such an amazing array of tiles to choose from and helped us to find the perfect shade, which is now known as ‘Biscayne Blue’. I am fastidious about execution when it comes to the tile laying and Laguna Pools’ work is second to none. I couldn’t be happier with the whole process, from concept to design to installation.”

Designing your outdoor space is about carefully considered landscaping and space planning. And having the perfect outdoor furniture adds so much pleasure both visually and for comfort and practicality. We love working with the team at Classic with a Twist. Their range is not only beautiful with so much variety, it is also such high quality that it lasts for years.

Says Classic With a Twist owner Mandy de Steiger, “We love working with Kate and the KWD team. Kate has such a creative eye and she’s not afraid of colour. We met with her to talk about her new property, Biscayne, and had a lot of fun selecting the perfect outdoor furniture for her. She has chosen some beautiful, stylish and great fun pieces from Tectona and some stunning pieces from Fermob as well.”

It took the ultimate dream team to turn the Biscayne backyard into the resort style oasis that it is today, and to create the ultimate house of fun. The amazing renders by Reality 3D allowed us to visualise the entire space, and ensured that every decision we made was the right one. From the magnificent swimming pool with stunning pool tiles, to the deluxe tennis court, to the magnificent terrace and outdoor fireplace, to the gardens which meander around the property, outside is where Biscayne really comes to life.

Explains Kate, “A successful collaboration takes efficiency, effectiveness, creativity, tenacity and talent, but most importantly, trust. No project is done by one person in isolation. There is always a team behind the end result. And when the builder and the designer trust each other implicitly, the results speak for themselves. Exceeding expectations is always our goal at KWD – nailing the brief, spending money where it’s important and saving money where we can, and delivering a project on time and on budget. Creating Biscayne was no exception, and I couldn’t be more happy with what we achieved as a team.”

Why is a landscape design so important?

It’s so important to consider your renovation or new build holistically. A truly successful design intimately interconnects the interior and exterior. The experience needs to start from the moment you set eyes on your property from the street, as you walk up the pathway, along the driveway or through the gates to your own private sanctuary. Consider how you will enjoy every part of your home from dawn to dusk and into the night, and throughout the changing of the seasons. Having the right landscaping design to complement the architectural essence and the interior aesthetic of your home will help bring the whole vision to life.

What should I look for with outdoor furniture?

In terms of outdoor living trends, Mandy from Classic With a Twist says, “There’s a real trend toward colour. With outdoor tables we have found that customers typically buy white, black, anthracite, cactus and rosemary. They are the five most popular shades. And then they will bring in pops of colour in other ways – side tables, occasional chairs, table mats, balad lamps and trays which all add a different element to an outdoor setting and create character. The key to a successful outdoor area is ambience. You want to create a space that draws you outside.

What types of swimming pools are on trend?

Explains Glenn of Laguna Pools, “There is definitely a movement towards curves, and creativity in terms of tile varieties. There was a period five to ten years ago when glass mosaic tiles were the only way to get an innovative or premium look. This seemed to spur the ceramic tile manufacturers into action because the variety of tiles available now and the range of colours on offer provide a wide number of options. The typical resort blue pool is a bit passe now, there are lots of greys, blacks and charcoals on trend – and now with Kate Walker and KWD, we have Biscayne Blue.”

Images: Armelle Habib / Photo shoot styling: Greenhouse Interiors

A heartfelt thank you to our valued supply partners and trades who helped me bring the vision of Biscayne to life:

Rod Hannah
Lynch’s Window
The Montauk Lighting
The English Tapware
Domino Architectural
The Nursery
Gladstones Granite &
RMS Natural Stone
Morgan’s Painters and
Classic with a
The Lens
Edward Pope (artist)
Red Hill Country
CSR (Gyprock)
Whelan Airconditioning
Gregory Croxford /


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