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As restrictions continue to ease here in Melbourne, our screens are filled with scenes from overseas of brutality and bravery, as well as camaraderie and compassion, following the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

At Laguna Pools we prioritise heavily our team culture, as well as our staff’s health and wellbeing. Through multiple protocols and platforms, we strive to check in on our staff, open up platforms of dialogue and ensure a progressive work environment. This supports our staff onsite, and in our offices, to stand up and speak out against all issues including bullying, misogyny and racism. It’s time for permanent change.
There is only one race, the Human Race.

An ultra-glam 1980’s home, originally designed by renowned Australian architect Peter McIntyre, was revamped by the combined efforts of Doherty Design Studio and Ari Alexander Design Group. The result, including our transformation of a tired existing pool, is nothing short of spectacular.

The new owners of this stunning property wanted a revamped internal layout for the pool and spa. So our team set to work, customising new additions such as steps, bench seats and an improved spa configuration.

Through collaboration with Landscape designer Ben Scott, the addition of the state of art equipment, modified hydraulics, upgraded lighting and seamless integration of the pool area, were all carefully considered and executed to perfection.

This pool is a wonderful example of regeneration and is a credit to the vision of the design teams involved, and the skilled craftsmanship of Laguna Pools. The industry’s best.
View Project >> 

This month we interviewed Daniel Mazzei of Mazzei who stands out as a leader and innovator amongst Melbourne’s building community.
His experience in the industry is testimony to his commitment, insight and passion for the construction space.

How did you become a builder?
I started my commercial law degree at Monash University, however, my entrepreneurial desire to create something of my own quickly set me on another path. I was inspired by my family of builders and our proud family history in the construction industry. I changed course within six months and pursued a carpentry qualification which paved the way to developing my expertise in the building industry. 

The Better Living Group was formed in 1973 as a family business and is now the respected name behind the development of some of Melbourne’s most successful residential and commercial projects. 

I completed a four-year apprenticeship in the renovation of existing homes, fuelling my creative drive, honing my problem-solving skills and expanding my understanding of the crucial element of design in customising functional floor plans. 

This led to then running my own carpentry business, before taking on a role as a Project Site Manager in the family business looking after multi-unit developments, and finally onto large scale customised residential builds.

In 2016, I launched Mazzei. The company embraces my passion and commitment to delivering excellence, providing bespoke homes that reflect our client’s needs and lifestyle. 

What sets Mazzei apart?
We welcome our clients to the Mazzei family, ensuring we are there every step of the way, from the initial briefing to the handing over of the keys. Our approach ensures an enjoyable, seamless service experience for our clients and a streamlined building process.

Our team are personally involved and accessible through all levels of the business, demonstrating our commitment to transparency and reliability ensuring a quality home is achieved. We have an established partnership of quality suppliers and tradespeople and are partnered with Webster Architecture and Interiors (WAI) to provide our clients with inspiring and functional home architecture with construction cost certainty.

Tell us about a day in the life of a director?

  • Out the door at 7am
  • Coffee on the go and a quick scan of emails once in the office

  • Construction workflow meeting with the projects team

  • Planning/strategy meeting with the Department of Housing

  • Quick inspection for next potential site for the Royal Melbourne Hospital lottery

  • Sales strategy catch up with the sales team

  • Birthday cake with the team

  • Finance meeting to run through figures and forecasts

  • Supplier meetings to negotiate new product and pricing

  • HR meeting to discuss employee contracts and position descriptions

  • 6.30 head home for a 5 km run before dinner

What do you think is most important about client/builder relationships?
Trust is the foundation of our client relationships. People that build with us see us as their partner in making their ideas come to life. It is our job to engage with them and ask them what they like and dislike about the way they live. The result of combining our counsel and guidance with their feedback leads to the magic that is a customised Mazzei home.

What has been your greatest lesson in running Mazzei?
You are only as good as the team that surrounds you. Our people are the engine room of what we do. On any given day, our customers and stakeholders will be engaged with many different people across our business. Their positive experience is dictated by the synergy across our team. There is so much that goes into producing that chemistry and when you get it right you can create an environment that is enjoyable and successful.

What has been your greatest achievement in business?
That I am still here twenty-one years later. Whilst the business makes a difference in people’s lives by bringing their dreams to life and building beautiful things, it also has become a vehicle for charitable causes. We help kids struggling with the trauma of sexual abuse and most recently have supported the Royal Melbourne Hospital to raise money for healthcare programs. It is a wonderful balance and we are grateful that the business enables us to help when and where we can
Mazzei >>

Choosing the perfect tile for your Laguna Pool can be a difficult task and we relish the process of selecting a tile that you, and generations to come, will enjoy also. One of the most popular questions we receive relates to a white tile choice.

Will it look blue enough? How do white tiles make the water look blue? But why doesn’t water in a white bath look blue?!

Thanks to Professor Rayleigh, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904, we can forget about the myth that water is blue only because it reflects the sky. Water’s blue colour is due to an optical phenomenon known as Rayleigh Scattering, after Professor Rayleigh himself. We could bore you with a HUGE amount of physics talk here but to spare you we can summarise that essentially, the water’s surface reflects short wavelengths of light and our eyes perceive these wavelengths as ‘blue’.

This effect increases with the amount or depth of water. So our eyes perceive a deeper blue in larger bodies of water. In shallow waters (like a bath or a glass of water) not enough short wavelengths of light are reflected from the surface and so our eyes don’t perceive it as blue. Fascinating? We think so!

This recipe from renowned Israeli-English chef, restaurateur, and food writer, Yotam Ottolenghi, is simple, healthy and impressive. It works well as part of a meze-style spread of salads, or as a side dish for fish or chicken.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 as a side dish)

  • 3 limes, the zest of 2 finely grated, the third shaved into 4-5 wide strips of skin (avoiding the white pith)
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and cut into 3mm-thick slices
  • 2½ tsp caster sugar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 5cm x 3cm chunks
  • 90ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 80g soft mild rindless goats cheese, broken into roughly 2cm pieces
  • 40g roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped


    • Put the strips of lime skin in a medium bowl with the vinegar, onion, half a teaspoon of sugar and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Massage the onions for a minute, until the liquid turns pink, then leave to pickle for at least two hours: the longer you leave them, the brighter and pinker they become.
    • Heat the oven to 220C. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with three tablespoons of oil, the allspice, the remaining two teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Transfer to a large, 40cm x 30cm oven tray lined with baking paper, and make sure the sweet potato chunks are spaced apart. Roast for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown, then toss in any oil left on the tray and leave to cool.
    • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, finely chop the coriander and mix with the grated lime zest, the remaining three tablespoons of oil and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt to a bright green salsa. 
    • Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, arrange them on a platter and dot evenly with the pieces of cheese. Drain the pickled onions, discarding the lime peel, and scatter on top. Finish with a drizzle of salsa and a sprinkle of almonds.

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