Create your perfect backyard sanctuary

As Australians, it’s our birth right to spend summer weekends in our backyards, whether we’re hosting barbies, relaxing on the deck with a few frothies or engaging in a family-friendly battle of water balloon fights. 

Over at Homes To LoveJames Hardie gives some pointers on how to create your perfect outdoor space.

Like any home reno, think of your backyard as another room - it requires careful planning and forethought, not like that time my mum dug a hole in the middle of the backyard, lined it with rocks and called it a pond (she never ended up filling it with water).

Plan your layoutoutdoor-space-3.jpgImage via Three Birds Renovations 

Think about what you’ll be using your space for. Will you be hosting dozens of friends and family every weekend or do you want to create a spot in the sun for you to pull up a chair and read book? Will you be cooking outside and will a barbecue suffice or do you wanna go a full outdoor kitchen? Most importantly, how big does the beer fridge need to be? 

If you’ve got a large space, think about dividing it into zones: a spot to cook, a spot to eat, a spot to chill and the perfect position for your totem tennis. Incorporate a focal point to draw guests to the backyard: think a vertical garden, a fire pit, a dining space or a water feature. 

Choose the right deckingoutdoor-space-1.jpgImage via Three Birds Renovation

Decking’s come a long way in the last few decades with contemporary materials now more aesthetically pleasing, durable and moisture- and termite-resistant. HardieDeck, constructed from premium fibre cement, is all the above, plus splinter-free, won’t warp, is non-combustible and uses concealed screws. In the long run, the right decking will save you heaps of cashola on maintenance and replacement 

Plan your lightingoutdoor-space-2.jpgImage via Pinterest

In any living space, indoor or out, lighting creates mood and atmosphere. Outside, use solar lights throughout your garden to create some outdoor atmosphere. If you’ve installed a water feature, use lighting to create a focal point.

If you’re dining outside, think about the lighting you’ll need around the table - steer away from the harsh glare of spotlights and go for something softer, yet bright enough for your guests to see their food and direct said food towards their mouths rather than their faces/laps.

Fairy lights and lanterns are a pretty addition to the backyard, just make sure you have enough power points around the yard. We strung fairy lights up in our garden once, using extension leads and power boards running from inside. We didn’t burn the house down, but we did a good job trying.

If you wanna go full Bachelor Mansion, go for candles and tea lights for a nice romantic feel, hopefully not with hundreds of cast and crew around you. 

Plantlifeoutdoor-space-4.pngImage via Pinterest

Maintaining your garden adds a great vibe to your home and importantly, you need to create a space that people want to be in. 

Consider the conditions of your garden. Is there heaps of light or is there more shade? Choose plants that suit the environmental factors like cacti for warm, sunny spots or ferns for shade.

If you're using potted plants, keep your styling simple, not cluttered or chaotic. Cluster potted plants of different sizes and shapes together, and use pots in the same palette as your interior to tie the indoors and outdoors together.