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Large home and swimming pool

8 expert tips for designing a swimming pool to enhance your home & lifestyle

If you find yourself getting to the end of each summer thinking ‘next year I’m definitely getting a swimming pool’, then now’s the perfect time to start planning what you really want from a pool.
The right swimming pool design will work for your family situation increasing opportunities for the kids to play and reducing time driving to the pool or beach. It should also work for your property …

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Rural planting using bright colours

How to Choose the Right Landscape Gardener to Implement Your Garden Design

Our job as landscape designers and landscape architects is to design a garden that meets your needs, enhances your lifestyle and the architecture of your home. We also need to choose plants that will flourish in the environment we have created. Choosing the right landscape gardener to bring this to life can make or break your creative garden project.

What makes a great landscape gardener?

The final design creation only works if …

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Landscape Design Process

The Shafer Landscape Design Process – from start to finish

As a client the most important thing to remember when hiring a landscape designer is to know that this is your garden and it is your chance to express who you are, from start to finish.  By using our “Shafer Design Landscape Design Process”, we will ensure you are proud of your garden for years to come.


What is your landscaping brief?

Thinking about what you want, and bringing your brief to …

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paved swimming pool with planting

NZ Swimming Pool Fencing and Rules

How to avoid ruining your beautiful new swimming pool with an ugly fence design!

You have a beautiful pool in mind, you’ve gathered together all your inspiration pictures, however if you do not take the right steps during your design process the reality is the swimming pool fencing can ruin it. Whilst your design is being developed you must take into account how the fencing will work with your swimming …

Seamless connection achieved with the view by using a weir as pool fencing

NZ Swimming Pool Fencing Solutions

Swimming pool fencing can make or break a swimming pool design.  If it is handled well, the finished result will not detract from your view of the pool or your outdoor living. Below are a few ideas, and tips for a stylish swimming pool fencing solution.

Basic Pool Fencing rules

The basic swimming pool fencing rules require a 1200mm minimum height barrier around the pool enclosure.  There …

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Loggia entertainment area with a resort style pool with unobtrusive pool fencing and native planting

Swimming Pool Design – Secrets on How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

It’s hot!! Perhaps you have just had your summer holidays and are back at home and you’ve decided you want to cool off in your own home……. you want a swimming pool!! ….. But where do you start? 

Start with some really good quality design advice. A pool is a high value item and, as with all investments, it is always advisable to get some quality advice – hire a swimming pool designer.   

Every square metre of land in most suburban …

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Outdoor space with hedges and outdoor furniture

Garden Design for Living

The Garden as a “Room”
Consider your garden spaces

Comparing the garden to a room or series of rooms in a house puts us immediately into familiar territory. We have all, at some point in our lives, either designed or redecorated rooms or entire houses. Garden design can work along the same principles.

Consider, for example, the division of space in a house. We take it for granted that living areas for dining …

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Layered planting to create interest and depth to your garden

In Search of Stylish Landscape Design by Robin Shafer

Garden Style

Great landscape design is mix of inspired layout and refined and considered garden styling.

Have you ever wondered what makes you notice a garden and enjoy the space? When you feel a sense of “rightness” or coherency; you understand the story it tells.  This is achieved through an intelligent and consistent styling that makes us subconsciously take notice and feel a garden.

What is Garden Style?

A garden design has two …

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Stunning swimming pool and sunny entertaining area

How Can You Make the Most of Outdoor Space?

Planning an exterior space can feel daunting because with no natural physical divisions in place it can be difficult to envisage where one area might stop and another one start. But Shafer Design’s Robin Shafer says it’s no different than planning an interior space – something which New Zealanders are very comfortable with.

Please click here to read the full article.

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Private deck area with sunken spa and entertaining space

Style Tips for a Low Maintenance Garden

If your garden was a joy to look at, fun to lounge in, and easy care would it enrich your life? A peaceful retreat from the “busyness “of living can bring peace and serenity to our lives.

When we have time to stop and reflect we become the people we want to be …. Not the cranky, stressy beings that we become when there’s not enough fun.

Managing our time these …

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