With the right touches, an outdoor living space will add a new aspect to your home and can make it even better.
It's a view advocated by Brendale-based landscapers Brizscapes' Malcolm Van de Graaff.
“These days it’s an extension of our interior home, we’re spending more time outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine and the climate we have is perfect for it,” Malcolm says.
“Done correctly, an outdoor living space can make the house cooler using green grass and lush gardens. They also add value to a house.”
One of his recent ventures has been changing the backyard of Anthony Clouting and Louise Foster from one with grass and a garden shed to a spot that family and friends will relax in.
“We wanted something that we could use, not just something that looked nice,” Louise says. “It’s pretty much doubled the living and entertaining area of the house. We couldn’t be happier with it. I think it’s the perfect garden for this house and our lifestyle.”
Malcolm added bench seats, raised garden beds, paving, a portable fireplace, screens, gardens and a low-maintenance lawn with Sir Grange turf — a grass tolerant to shade and drought.
He's also installed a smart watering system from Skydrop which senses when it's rained and when the garden needs water. This is a feature that Anthony loves, as well as the fire pit area.
Getting a portable fire pit ensures that if it's no longer in use it can be moved out of the way in summer or stored.
At the moment, the couple uses the fire pit regularly and they use the outdoor space most nights. “It’s beautiful sitting out here with the dogs,” Anthony says.
Malcolm has been in the industry for around 20 years and says that the turf species have changed during that period along with the variety of pavers and the range of technology on offer.
He says secret to achieving the result you are aiming for when designing an outdoor space is to have a good picture of how you want to use the area and how much you can invest.
TIPS TO CREATE YOUR OWN OASIS
Plan: Have a clear idea of how you will use the space and what you want to achieve
Budget: Know exactly how much you can spend and stick to it
Advice: Seek advice from an expert who can help you achieve the look you’re after
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