By Jason Hodges
Australians love the outdoors but are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve the right balance between indoor-outdoor living. No matter what size your backyard is, it’s possible to create your very own urban oasis to enjoy after a hectic day in the office and to entertain family and friends. My top tip is to take time in planning and aim to create a functional outdoor sanctuary that makes the most of your outdoor space and is the perfect getaway from the everyday.
But if you have a small outdoor space, don’t fear! You can still make a beautiful retreat and here’s how:
1) Go vertical!
Save space in the backyard by adding a funky and functional vertical garden to an unused wall. Layering by colour and texture will add visual interest and make the space look even bigger.
2) Built-in seating
A built-in seating or dining area helps give the area structure and maximises the usability of all the available space. You can achieve this via walls that double as seats or seats that double as storage under the benches.
A good clean up and declutter of the backyard can give it a new lease of life. Prune or reorganise plants and get rid of anything that’s out of place. Take a look at your outdoor furniture and make sure it is in scale to the rest of the yard. Keep it simple — a clean and simple backyard will give the illusion of more space.
4) Choose the right pavers
Large format pavers work best in smaller spaces as they give the impression of space. Avoid intricate patterns and choose a neutral colour for greater impact.
5) Create zones
Zones in the backyard can create areas for eating, cooking, lounging or whatever is required. Define these zones using fencing, plants or materials such as pavers, grass or gravel to help each area stand on its own. A zoned garden will appear bigger and each area will have its own purpose.
— Jason Hodges is Australia’s well-loved celebrity landscaper, most notably seen on the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes and Gardens. Jason is also a brand ambassador for Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer Adbri Masonry.