Cabanas can be a great place to escape the hot sun whilst still enjoying the outdoors. They can also be the ideal structure to get creative with and give your garden an architectural element. But how do you make sure your cabana is a beautiful addition to your landscape design rather than eyesore?
The location of your structure is paramount, and it’s all relative to the size of the garden. You don’t want it too close to your house as it can block light to the home and impose itself to a point where you feel dominated by its presence. If you have a large block, a good idea is having your cabana at the bottom of the garden as this can be a great excuse to travel through the garden enjoying the greenery.
It’s important you keep up to date with all your council’s regulations including pool-fencing rules. Many people would like a cabana within their pool area to sit and enjoy the water, but in NSW for example, it’s no longer legal to have a shelter with cooking facilities (including a BBQ) within the pool fenced area. These rules and regulations tend to change from council to council or more accurately from pool certifier to pool certifier, but either way, it’s best to check with your council before going to the expense of designing and drafting plans for a shelter.
When designing a cabana for your garden, there are two ways you can go about it. The first and more sympathetic way, is to design a structure that is in keeping with the rest of the garden style. The other way is to have something that stands out and juxtaposes with the surroundings. The proportions of the cabana are also important to the feel of the garden; think about width, depth and height of the roof line to make the structure comfortable to be in as well as fitting in its surroundings in an aesthetically pleasing way.
The walls of the cabana are one of the most important finishes to consider when designing the space, as these are what you look at and what set the tone for the space. Personally, I think using natural products is a surefire way to ensure the design remains timeless. This would include things like timber boards with a beautiful exposed grain and sandstone blocks with their character filled banding. Things to steer clear of that will quickly date are artificial stack-stone tiles, composite timbers and brightly coloured plastics.
The floor must complement the walls to give a cohesive feel to the space and again natural products like stone give the best results.
The roof is the element that makes the cabana an undercover area. Again, this will have to suit the style of the cabana and a great trick to make it feel in keeping with your house is to mirror the roofline of the property. A bit of forward thinking when designing the roof of the structure will allow you to add in lights, fans and overhead heating. Having sections of the roof open will add a feeling of space and openness and if the roof itself can be seen from above having a living green roof is a great way to add in greenery.
Plants are an element of the cabana that should never be overlooked. Surrounding the structure is a good starting point, vertical gardens or climbers can introduce greenery to the walls and planter boxes or pots will bring it in at ground level. As tempting as it may be to try to gain maximum floor space by deleting plants from the design remember it will actually look bigger if you soften the edges and surround the space with plants.
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