Many people go to great lengths to imbue their homes with their own personal style. Endless hours are spent deciding on colour schemes, choosing roller blinds and picking the perfect objets d’art to set off a particular room. And this passion need not stay within the four walls of the home. Designing a perfect backyard is just as detailed a process and one that is no less rewarding. Our guide looks at a few key principles and ideas to consider, to help you create the perfect outdoor living space.
Balance function and appearance
It is very easy to get carried a way with a particular design vision or to think only of the practical elements of your backyard, such as a swimming pool or a nice lawn for the kids to play on. A truly successful backyard is one that is a joy to look at, but one that is welcoming, inviting and functional too. Balancing function and appearance, so that neither one takes over from the other is what will make your outdoor space a real pleasure to live in. To create such a space, you need to keep both of these principals in mind all the time.
Create separate spaces
All too often backyards consist of little more than a large barren lawn perhaps surrounded by a few flower beds. As well as being aesthetically uninspiring, what usually happens is that one part of the backyard, perhaps the area closest to the house, get used for everything, while the rest of your outdoor space might very well not exist. Designing a backyard that divides this outdoor space into clearly demarcated functional spaces, with separate areas for activities such as entertaining, relaxing and children playing, will be far more interesting to the eye and will encourage you and your family to use your space better.
Instil a coherent vision
As valuable as creating separate spaces in your backyard is, it is important that your outdoor area retains a single identity, otherwise it can end up looking cluttered and confused. To achieve this you need to instil a coherent design vision throughout the different functional areas. In the same way that you might connect different rooms in your house with the same flooring or similar style furnishings, use plants, pavers and outdoor furniture to bring a sense of unity to your outdoor space.
Imagination and a creative vision is important in creating and exciting outdoor living area; so too, however, is restraint. Just as one large unmanaged space is depressing, so is an overcrowded and overdesigned backyard. Creating two or three well thought out and spacious areas will be much more successful than trying to cram in a separate section for every activity you might ever undertake in your backyard.
Include sun solutions
However you choose to design your backyard, you want to be able to use it all the time. And in a country with a climate like Australia’s, that means thinking about protection from the sun. Installing sun shades or a retractable awning will make your outdoor living space a safer and far more comfortable place to be.