We moved into this house in Eltham five years ago and although we really liked the backyard area, the outdoor dining gazebo was small and outdated,” say homeowners Wendy and Damian. “After discovering all the roofing was rotten, we decided we wanted to have a larger entertaining area and make more use of the shape of the block. It’s flat where the entertaining space is, and slopes at the back. Although 700 sq m, a lot of the garden was wasted because the gazebo was octagonal in shape.
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We were also keen to have a pool for our teenage boys so they could bring their friends over and have fun. “Our 19-year-old son Alex talked us out of a pool and into a spa, suggesting it would get a lot more use and that his teenage friends love getting together in the spa. A plunge pool with a spa section was a great solution for us as we can fit lots of people in it and have it warm or cold, depending on the weather. “We have enjoyed having lots of family night spas as it is a great way to catch up on all the gossip from the kids — Alex (19), Lachlan (17) and Jesse (15). Our favourite time to be in the spa is at night in winter with the pool light on, the decorative screens backlit, the steam rising from the water and looking up to the stars. The boys have had great fun playing in the plunge pool with their mates and after they started their own basketball match we decided to put a basketball ring on the garage wall so they could shoot hoops from the water.
“We weren’t originally going to have a full-size wall on the side of the entertaining area, but on the engineer’s advice it went in. We are actually very happy with this change as it has allowed us to put a TV up there and we now have a wall for the heating and fan switches. “We researched spas at the Melbourne Pool and Spa Expo and decided that Endless Spas was the most knowledgeable when it came to in-ground spas. That is why we went with them. We looked at a lot of magazines to decide on all the features of the entertaining area and then got our draftsman to draw it up. We wanted a modern, fresh look that was also warm and we are really happy with the result. We saw a lot of travertine on our holiday in Italy and loved the texture and colour, so it was an easy decision for us to use it in our backyard. We were worried that the travertine would not match the grey colours that we had chosen, but along with the timber, they add a warm feeling to the space. “Our 4.3m-long, six-seater rectangular Endless plunge pool — the Mirage model with 18 jets and in the colour Oceanwave Blue — holds 7000 litres and is 1.22m deep, but is really low maintenance as the automatic salt chlorinator does most of the work. The automatic timers mean it filters and heats without us having to think about it. All it takes is a quick vacuum every now and then and it is ready to be used.”
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