Dreaming of warm summer evenings where the daylight lingers a little longer? Longing to sit outside, surrounded by family and friends for lazy breakfasts, extended lunches or dinner parties that play out late into the evening? It's time to create the perfect space for all family members to play, run around and to enjoy the outdoors!
Read on to be inspired to create your very own backyard retreat for a dedicated area of entertaining, relaxation and fun.
Decide what you need from your backyard
Before you begin your backyard design or makeover, it's important to first consider yourintentions for the spaces.
To start with, think about what it is you'll most likely be utilising each space for. Large gatherings and active kids demand open spaces and room to move, compared with intimate garden high teas and relaxing in the sun, where cosy, quiet spaces are the obvious inclusion.
Once you have a plan for each area, you can start preparing for your outdoor transformation.
You might need to remove any dead bushes or trees, junk, or any old paving and scraps to create a clean canvas for your new area.
This helps you to start mapping out where each space will go, and to plan how your areas will flow into one another. Will you need paths or paving stones to guide people from one area to another? Or will you have retaining walls or privacy screens creating divides?
Ideas to enhance your outdoor area
Creating a new outdoor area, or simply renovating an existing space can be overwhelming to say the least, with many things to consider..
To start, create a list of things you need in your space, this gives you your foundation. From here, you can then add in any extra wants or luxuries that'll fit within your space, as well as within your budget!
Some of your wants might include:
- A patio area or enclosed alfresco area
- A grassed area for kids or pets
- Plenty of privacy
- A vegetable garden
- A fire pit
- A pool or water feature
- Play or sport equipment
The benefits of creating zones
There are many benefits to creating different zones throughout your outdoor space.
Helps define the space and your needs
The main benefit is that you can clearly define the purpose of each space. This helps with many aspects of your planning, including knowing what furniture you'll need, if you need play equipment, fences, paths and more!
It also breaks the process of transforming your outdoor area down into smaller, more manageable segments, rather than one overwhelming task.
Important for kids
If you have kids, it's important for them to have a space where they feel completely safe to play or run around, and where they can hang out. Things like a swingset, trampoline, cubby house or a sand pit are great additions for this space as they know these are just for them to enjoy their time outdoors!
Good for pets
For any four-legged friends, keeping them safe is a very big consideration. When it comes to your backyard, there are a few things to keep in mind:
For starters, ideally they need grass to run around on or simply to have a soft area for them to sit on while soaking up some sunshine.
One of the most important considerations for pets is keeping them safe from any toxic greenery. Not all plants are safe for pets, some are toxic, while others are best not included as it might make them sick if ingested. Make sure to do your research!
It's also important to make sure you have proper fences so they can only get to certain areas within your yard, as well as keeping them inside your property at all times. Make sure to have high enough fences if you have any budding gymnasts who can jump the fence.
Helps create privacy
Another important aspect is thinking about how you'll create privacy in your backyard. Luckily, there are many ways you can do this.
Some privacy options include:
- Hedges or tree lines
- Privacy screens
- Brick or limestone brick walls
- Plant screens for climbing plants
How to create zones throughout your backyard
Use retaining wall blocks
Building vertical garden beds using Midland Brick's Gardenwall or Landscape blocks offers purposeful and stylish solutions to garden segmentation.
Install L-shaped wooden bench seats into corners against garden walls. Aim for clean lines for structural components, and then be sure to dress up the space with hard-wearing cushions.
Use breeze blocks
Breeze blocks are a unique product, with many benefits.
These blocks are a simple way you can create a barrier or privacy screen between different areas. As they are made with hollowed out sections, designed into different patterns, it makes them less of an eyesore in comparison to other plain block options.
Use Masonry blocks
A common staple for the construction industry, these blocks can also be used residentially to create a unique wall feature by laying them on edge; the large core holes provide an industrial breeze block effect.
Use natural elements
Be intentional with your planting and layer plants for dramatic effect. You can bring natural texture and intrigue to garden areas when you incorporate plants of differing heights, widths, foliage textures and colour.
Before you plant, consider what spaces you want to fill, what eye sores you'd like to block out and what style of garden you're hoping to create.
Use feature elements
There's something undeniable about a trickling water feature, or a nice pool to jump into on those warm days. Look to finish water feature backdrops with Midland Brick's Cultured Stone for modern texture and styling.
Midland Brick's pavers, with the exception of our honed products, are a great option for around the pool as they meet Australian Standards for slip resistance.
Connecting your zones
Your backyard is one complete area that's broken up into smaller sections, designed for different uses. But through all the different areas it's important to have a way you can connect them all for a cohesive space.
Here are some ways you can do this:
Create solid pathways
Connecting each zone with pathways invites intrigue and adventure through your area. You can use a variety of materials to achieve this in an affordable, functional and on style way.
For a coastal garden, try Midland Brick's textured Geo, Granite or Stonewash Ranges. If you're after the chance to be creative, rectangular pavers offer opportunities for design embellishment – Midland Brick's Flagstone, Boulevard and Pavestone are all fun options.
Use stepping stones
Stepping stones are an affordable option, which use less products as you can space them out if you prefer.
If you do choose to space out the stepping stones, you can fill the gaps with other products like gravel or mulch.
Product recommendations for stepping stones include Grandpave, Cambridge or Colonnade.
Styling your backyard
Finishing touches are what make the difference; finding the perfect shady spot and hanging a hammock for the ultimate in backyard relaxation.
Scatter small tables and pots using a variety of colours, materials, textures and size to create depth.
Outdoor wall décor options are extensive; so choose these with the rest of your decor styling in mind.
What to consider when styling your backyard
It's always important to create a safe space, but it's even more important for any kids or pets who'll also use the space.
A sturdy, good-quality table setting is a must. Be mindful of the shape, size and where it will be positioned. A lot of activity happens around the table, so be sure it's the right fit for your space and your tribe.
Another potential safety hazard is If you have a barbecue. With this, ensure it can't accidentally be switched on.
If you have the room, an outdoor lounge is a must. This could be a permanent, built-in fixture, such as a corner bench seat option, or you can choose a movable option so you can chase the sun in a backyard.
The fun part will be selecting the perfect cushions and rugs for styling. Fabric can easily fade and wear down when exposed to constant sun and the elements, so remember, hard wearing materials are important!
Another consideration is how you'll deal with the weather. Aussies love entertaining all year round, so if this is you, how will you create an outdoor area where you can stay cool and refreshed in summer, but warm and dry in winter?
One way to do this is by adding ground to ceiling window coverings and creating an outdoor enclosed room. Another way is by creating a featured wall which can reduce some of the wind or rain in winter, while keeping your area ventilated in summer.
Products to help you achieve this are breeze blocks or masonry blocks. You could add some cultured stone to add some warmth and texture.
The view from your backyard
When placing table settings, lounges and seating, keep the view in mind. No one wants to be looking at the neighbour's laundry so think carefully about furniture positioning.
Shading options also require careful consideration; think about the sun's position at all times of the day.
Transportable umbrellas offer a flexible solution to help you have shade in any area of your backyard without having to move the furniture to have sun protection.
Another important consideration is how items will age and wear if they're left out in the weather, and how the placement of furniture will impact usage or enthusiastic children.
Illuminating your backyard
The ultimate in mood creation is the addition of lighting! Plus, having a well-lit backyard means you can enjoy it at night.
The possibilities are endless and will depend on your budget. Start small with strings of fairy lights, outdoor candles, tiki torches and vintage string lights with clear globes and exposed elements. Opt for warm white globes to maximise ambience.
For permanent lighting additions, look to line pathways with LED lighting and showcase built features with the use of spotlights.
Interested in a particular product for your new outdoor entertaining area? Get in contact with our team or come into one of our showrooms and have a chat with our team!