Given Australia’s slowing property market, a record number of homeowners are planning to stay in their houses for longer, preferring to avoid property sales and instead more people are investing in home improvement projects to suit their lifestyle changes over time. With this in mind, maximising living space by creating a seamless indoor-outdoor transition and a functional Outdoor Room is a key trend for many Australians.
Recent research undertaken by Adbri Masonry indicates that 32 per cent of homeowners intend to live in their property for more than 20 years, while a further 20 per cent expected to stay between 10 and 20 years, so it should be no surprise that in that time, many may feel it’s time to reinvigorate their outdoor space.
“People overestimate the cost and effort involved in renovating the outdoors yet it is the one of the easiest home improvement projects to tackle. Historically, homeowners focussed renovations on the home interior but given the relative low cost and high value that can be gained by the creation of a new living space outside, the numbers stack up to consider an outdoor investment.One of the positives of investing in the backyard is that the outdoor room grows with us. A perfect example is renovating a bathroom, it will never again look as good as it does the day it is finished and its hard to change once its done. Compare that to an outdoor room that becomes more attractive over time as plants mature and it’s no surprise that more Aussies are looking through their windows to the beautiful blank canvas of the backyard to create new living areas that will grow as our family and lifestyle does”says Jason Hodges, award winning landscape designer and Adbri Masonry Brand Ambassador.
Improving your lifestyle through investment in the backyard space need not be daunting. The first step of refreshing your outdoor space is having a game plan that considers how your use of the area may change over time. Once you have some ideas of how the area can grow with you, it’s time to pull together a mood board of inspiration from magazines, social media or Pinterest. Jason Hodges offers the following trends that will inspire you and give you a place to start. You are then on your way to creating your perfect backyard.
Darker colours are becoming increasingly popular with design choices for pavers in backyard spaces. “Grey’s, charcoals and monochrome colours inject moody and maturity to an outdoor space which conveys the luxury and sophistication of any area,” says Jason. Apart from being bang on trend, easier to maintain because they hide stains, dark greys are also softer on your eye on than light colours that reflect the sun and this is a big benefit in Australia where we are blessed with many bright, sunny days.
There’s also good reason to extend those colours from the floor to the walls in your outdoor space, “by painting your fences black it will actually hide your fence, also your plants and flowers pop with colour, while making anything green look greener,” says Jason.
If you wanted to contrast the dark grey and charcoals, then white is the perfect choice, however it’s also worth considering pops of colour, such as lime, pink or yellow then use your accessories to jazz up the area – this is the chance to really personalise the space to suit your style. It may be flower pots, flowers, cushions on outdoor furniture or umbrellas that can pull together the colour theme of your garden.
Whilst large format slab pavers are still proving a design favourite with random, natural paving pattern designs rising in popularity. “The French-style pattern is really aesthetically pleasing, you can use two different sized pavers and mix them together to create an appealing, irregular visual that is distinctive on the eye,” says Jason. You can achieve this look by integrating Adbri’s Euro® Stone pavers in the larger 600 x 400 format with 400 x 400 pavers, creating an elegant finish.
Another related trend is moving away from smooth surfaces. Textured and treated surfaces deliver a contemporary aesthetic and interesting effect whether that be through pavers or retaining walls for flowerbeds, with the texture visually striking and adding an extra element of character.
As homeowners decide to stay in their houses for longer, it’s important to consider the fact that your needs of the area will change with time. “It’s important to plan for the future, so consider areas in your outdoor space that can be easily evolved. This doesn’t need to be complicated, but think about your family’s needs,
“For example, if you have a family home with young children, consider building a sand pit, over time and when the children get older, this could become a veggie garden that they can help maintain, and when it’s time for the teenagers needing space, transform that veggie patch into a fire pit.” Remarks Jason.
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