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A great outdoors

By Rebecca Zhang

With land lots reducing in size, many homeowners are feeling the squeeze to maximise their living space. A clever way of doing this is to extend outdoors and transform your yard, garden or patio into a “room” that can be enjoyed all year round. As summer approaches here’s our how-to for creating a beautiful outdoor space.


Give extra dimension and character to your space by contrasting colour and textures. Use your imagination to find the best way to highlight a particular feature or area, such as a pool or herb wall.

Smart small-spaces

Getting clever with smaller outdoor spaces can make the world of difference to a lot of inner city properties. Mobile features such as layered plants, potted fruit trees and bench furniture with hidden storage means all available space can be used.

Plunge pool

Even for those where space isn’t an issue, plunge pools are an increasingly popular choice due to their ease of maintenance and reduced installation and running costs.

Multifunction furniture

Turn your retaining wall into both a bench seat and a veggie patch. Building furniture into the actual physical area increases its versatility and maximises space. It could also be more cost effective and will provide a creative talking point when you’re entertaining.


Lighting doesn’t just add another aesthetic to outdoor spaces, it also allows you to use it both day and night. Soft mood lighting, created by small discreet LED or solar lights hidden under or above ground are gaining popularity, particularly for spotlighting features such as sculptures and furniture. Self-sustaining solar lights are also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Find a focus

Balance lines of contrast with clean, simple focal points. Stone vases, sculptures and water features are all easy ways to declutter busy outdoor spaces.

Build a fire

Fire pits are a great gathering point in the yard and can be used year round. Built from concrete blocks they stack together without mortar or glue so there are no issues with fumes. Concrete blocks are available in a variety of colours, notably charcoal which will reduce visible soot marks.

Feed yourself

Home grown, chemical free and freshly picked from the garden always tastes best. Create a herb wall, dig a veggie patch or install some planter boxes and share the fruits of your labour at your next BBQ.

Keen to get your outdoor space summer-ready? It’s crucial to know exactly what budget you’re playing with before you finalise your plans.

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