The Even Greater Outdoors

The winter chill may well be upon us but take a moment to turn your mind to thoughts of a long hot summer spent in the backyard oasis of your dreams…

If you’ve found yourself spending a lot of time looking out at your backyard knowing an upgrade would be fantastic – but having no idea where to start don’t worry!  We’ve compiled some simple tips to help inspire you and get you started on creating the backyard of your dreams, ready for the long hot summer!

It all starts with a list

First up its best practice to think about your needs and wants.  For example, do you need a play area for the kids?  Do you want to grow vegetables? Do you need a space for pets?  Would you want your family and friends to gather on the deck? Do some very rough sketches of the area with thoughts or ideas of where you’d ideally want to place things in your backyard.

Landscaping next

Landscaping is a key aspect for turning your backyard into the most exciting and welcoming destination for friends and family this summer.  A good landscaping plan sets the tone for the shape, the feeling and overall design of your backyard area.  Having a landscape designer that can listen to your ideas and thoughts, then confidently suggest products like pavers or decking through to planting weather suited shrubs and flowers is invaluable.

Entertainers Dream

Entertaining family and friends in the backyard is a kiwi way of life so think about upgrading your old two-wheeled BBQ and dated furniture to a built-in BBQ and entertaining area with all the amenities.  To make the area useable all year round, look at weather protection from all the elements in the form of screens and maybe even consider installing a flat screen TV to play movies or Crusaders games during the season!

A Focal Point

Every great backyard design is built around a focal point. Whether it’s a fire pit construction, swimming pool, or even the backyard entertainment area. These are the areas that people will naturally want to congregate and enjoy being outdoors.

Indoor Outdoor Flow

One of the most important aspects for a kiwi home is its indoor/outdoor flow.  Sometimes all the aspects are there, but the layout needs tweaking. This might involve installing bi-fold doors or French windows to allow easier access; or simply creating a more useable deck area.  Although ‘knocking out a wall’ is a favourite kiwi DIY project; make sure you first get good advice on what’s structurally feasible to make sure what was initially a simple project doesn’t turn into a costly exercise!

For more great backyard ideas, come and talk to the home renovation and landscape design experts at the Canterbury Home Show, 13th – 15th October at the Horncastle Arena, for loads of tips and inspiration for your backyard overhaul.  See www.canterburyhomeshow.co.nz for ticket details.