When it comes to planning an outdoor area as a part of your landscaping masterpiece, the goal is to create a distinct yet unified outdoor area that is charming and eye-catching, but at the same time doesn’t detract from your home.
The best way to create the perfect outdoor area is to start with a floor plan that maps out your outdoor space into zones such as public and private areas, dining space, seating arrangements, pathways, pool surrounds and garden.
Think of the design process you went through for the interior of your home — for example, the size and shape of each section, the location, functionality, and ease of access.
Ask yourself this question, how will this section be used? — what do you envision yourself or guests doing there?
Will it be an all-inclusive entertainment area complete with outdoor kitchen and dining table for friends and family, or, is the goal to simply create a low-maintenance area where you can kick back in a hammock or couch with a coffee and a book.
Whether you’re working with a small townhouse courtyard or a large yard in a suburban home, here’s what you’ll need to consider when planning and designing your outdoor area into zones.
Living and dining areas — Are you planning to feast outside?
If you plan on dining and entertaining in this zone, you’ll need to consider seating and eating arrangements, weatherproofing, lighting, furniture and partitioning, water and gas access if you are planning on installing an outdoor kitchen and outdoor bbq.
It’s important to remember that your outdoor entertainment area will be subjected to all four seasons in Australia, so it will need to be able to withstand rain, hail and shine.
If you plan for an outdoor kitchen, here are some questions you’ll need to ask yourself:
- What are you cooking?
- Who are you cooking for?
- When will you be using your outdoor kitchen?
- What is your budget?
Being comfortable outdoors is heavily dependent on providing sufficient shade and ventilation during summer whilst keeping you warm and toasty during winter.
For smaller areas, you may be able to get away with just a shade cloth or pergola, coupled with a compact dining table and moveable chairs, which can be used during the warmer months.
For larger areas with an outdoor kitchen, you can opt for fire pits, covered alfresco/patio area, outdoor blinds for weatherproofing, soft comfy chairs and couches, and a dining table.
If you have chosen to include technology in your entertainment area, wireless internet and stereo speakers are easy and require less maintenance than hard-wired systems.
Consider the placement of your area and ease of access to food prep areas — an indoor/outdoor connection such as the kitchen window will give you access to running water, refrigeration and food preparation.
Illuminate your zones
The lighting you choose will be an important factor for when it comes to setting the tone and mood of your outdoor area. From creating an intimate dinner setting to lighting a pathway to the pool for a night swim, lighting can help illuminate different zones of your outdoor area. Here are some lights to consider for various sections:
- Feature lights for general illumination
- Motion sensor lights for added security
- Solar-powered lights placed in the garden or near pathways
- Hanging lights
- Wall lights
- Step lights on steps for safety
- Poles for lighting larger areas
- In-build deck lighting
You will then need to consider the placement of switches, energy-efficient bulbs, light timers, and wiring.
Designated play areas are perfect for inspiring imagination, keeping the kids entertained and burning off any extra energy they have. This also means a better night’s sleep for the parents. The play area can be zoned off with fencing, this not only makes it easier to supervise the kids, it also prevents them from wandering off out of sight.
Garden walls/vertical gardens are great for zoning while providing fun learning experiences for the children, as they grow and tend to their vegetable patch.
Cubby houses, inflatable pools or easily transportable toys are a crowd favourite and help define a play zone, giving the kids their own space.
For a seamless connection to other zones, you can consider elements of garden steppers or decorative concrete pathways.
Storage and service areas
Classed as a private zone, this can include areas where you store your bins, gardening equipment and landscaping materials, and is usually kept out of sight. If the garage isn’t an option, an outdoor garden shed offers protection from the elements and protection from thieves.
There is more to zoning than fences and outdoor blinds.
A space does not need to be defined by cordoning off an area with a fence. It can be as simple as placing a few alluring garden steppers that take your guests on a journey through your landscape, or using limestone block walls to elevate your garden bed.
Additional piece of advice: pick the same material and colour throughout your backyard and front yard so colours and textures tie in nicely.
There are plenty of landscaping elements to get creative with and Integrity Concreting Perth are here to help bring your vision to life.
Specialising in decorative concrete, we have done the hard yards for you by helping you design and install the perfect outdoor area floor.
- Liquid limestone: extremely low maintenance, slip-resistant and stylish in design.
- Exposed aggregate: create a beautiful and colourful aggregate pattern of your liking to transform your entire landscape.
- Honed aggregate: for practicality, comfortability and visual aesthetic, honed aggregate provides you with a soft to touch surface that’s cool in summer and easy to clean.
We also provide a whole range of services including limestone walls, flower beds, synthetic turf, soak wells, driveways and more. Contact Integrity Concreting for some helpful advice on how to transform your landscape into a standout feature.