top of page

How To Design A Backyard Made For Entertaining (& The Ultimate Lockdown Retreat!)

Open Homes Australia and Dave Franklin walk us through the project coined 'The Entertainers Dream' in Black Rock, Melbourne.

Dave Franklin and the team at Franklin Group have done it again with the recent design and construction of a beautiful outdoor space that serves not only as the perfect spot to host a gathering but the ultimate inner city escape. Despite a modest front entrance, the stunning landscape turns into an enormous yard with layered spaces designed for everything from entertaining, keeping the kids occupied and even sneaking in a round or two of tennis!

This brimming outdoor space was the ultimate haven for the Melbourne family during COVID-19 lockdown, and trust us "you wouldn't mind being locked down in this house".

In this blog, we'll explain the key design features that gave Balcombe Road, Black Rock its infamous title as 'The Entertainers' Dream'.

Activity Centre.

We'll begin at the full-size tennis court, which is fitted with a net on wheels to allow the owners to transform the court into a multi-purpose activity centre. By simply moving the net, this court can facilitate basketball, netball, soccer or host a great party with a long list of guests.

Pair this with the perfect front-row courtside seating, surrounded with layered lush coastal plants such as the amazing tractor seat plant, and you can enjoy watching the sports antics with a glass of wine in hand.

Outdoor Fireplace.

A necessity within the brief of this project was to create a space that would offer the ultimate place to sit back and relax. At the top of the floating steps, this entertaining space is complete with a luxurious outdoor fireplace with enough seating space to host gatherings with family or friends (or both!).

We wanted to create a cosy and visually pleasing effect from the moment you walk into this space, or in other words, a true "wow factor". We achieved this by stacking firewood on either side of the fireplace and are extremely satisfied with the final result. Plus, this design element means that there's always plenty of wood on hand to make that warm and cosy fire.

In-ground Trampoline.

No activity centre is complete without an in-ground trampoline. It's the perfect way to entertain the kids (and the adults, we know you're excited). Perched at the top of the landscape, the in-ground trampoline overlooks the grand tennis court and anyone working on their trick shots.


The pool previously came with the house and before our team got their hands on it, reminded us a little of a horror movie! It was a large deep pool with no ledge, character or functionality. Working through the design brief, we modified the pool to include ledges, steps and a beach at one end that was perfect for the family to play and relax on. We finished it off with the ultimate accessory every youngster dreams of, a diving board!

To tie in with the aesthetic of the entire landscape, we followed the theme of lighter paving around the pool and one of our favourites, glass screen fencing. We chose to keep the landscaping around the pool minimal, allowing it to be the hero of the space.

BBQ & Entertaining Area.

We are over the moon with how each of the zones in this landscape came together, but our favourite spot is this one! This spacious area is an entertainer's dream, fitted with a BBQ, beer fridge and our prize jewel, the pizza oven.

Check out the full landscape tour now with Open Homes Australia!

If it’s time to renovate your home into your dream home or simply increase its value, contact Franklin Landscape & Design today.


Phone: (03) 9598 1094

Don’t forget to check out some of our other projects by following us on Facebook and Instagram at @franklin_ld and @franklin_fpa.


bottom of page