Crouching tiger, hidden pool box

When you think of your dream pool and backyard, unattractive items like pool maintenance equipment probably don’t enter the picture. This pool and backyard landscaping project in Swanbourne integrates modern landscape architectural design with clever storage solutions to enhance the way our clients live outdoors.

Align Landscape Architecture (ALA) was engaged to develop a garden design that brought the existing pool into the limelight, while beautifying the surrounding area so that the owners could get the maximum use out of their large outdoor space.

While the idea of pool maintenance storage might not be an exciting aspect of the design process, the initial planning period is the best time to consider important storage needs.

Fortunately, ALA was able to provide our clients with maintenance equipment storage ideas that became fun and exciting elements of the overall design:

Raised pool deck & architectural steel structure

The client’s brief outlined a request to include a concealed rear shed in the north-western corner of the property. The shed was at a lower level to the pool, which presented ALA’s designers with a particular challenge. 

Our solution was to build a raised timber deck level with the pool and to screen (hide) the shed with a vertical steel structure that would provide the canopy for a relaxed poolside seating/entertaining area. The strong architectural presence of the vertical slats will be softened in time as plants are encouraged to grow up and over it, creating a lush poolside oasis.

Rather than introduce additional hardscaping to provide the shade necessary to enjoy summers under the hot Perth sun, we incorporated a mature magnolia tree (Magnolia grandiflora ‘St Mary’) by raising the level of the soil with a concealed planter beneath the deck.

Hidden pool blanket box

Also hidden beneath the deck is a fun, custom pool blanket box. Great care was given to ensuring that the distance between the box and the pool edge matched perfectly, allowing for the timber boards to run seamlessly along the full length of the deck and – most importantly – a space where the lid could be lifted. Ta da!

For more pool and backyard ideas, feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help you figure out how to turn your backyard space into an area you’ll love and enjoy for years to come.

Meet the Director – Jon Donisi

Meet ALA’s Director and Lead Landscape Architect, Jon Donisi. Jon shares his journey in the Landscape Architecture industry, what inspires him and why he chose