As the backyard is transformed into an exotic vacation spot, particularly here in sunny Western Australia, homeowners are stepping out of their boundaries to spice things up a little when it comes to outdoor living. As a renovation project, artistically designed landscapes are adding significant value to not only the property, but our lives as well. Homeowners are getting creative, a space to entertain and relax is becoming a priority and the outdoors is now a substantial extension of the home.
More homeowners are investing their time and money into outdoor living with a strong desire to enhance the atmosphere they already have. According to a recent survey, homeowners seek attractive, low-maintenance designs that are tough enough to withstand the extreme weather of the WA climate. We check out some of the hottest outdoor living designs to incorporate for 2014 and what design elements are important for people this year.
1. Fencing: Security and Privacy
Of course the first thing we’re going to mention is the stats on fencing! And it seem like homeowners see as clearly as we do how important fencing is for creating the right look for your outdoor living area, with 88.5% saying fencing is a priority for their outdoor renovation this year, according to the above mentioned research. Whether you want to construct your own retreat, the perfect entertaining space, or an area where you and your family can feel safe in – a level of privacy is essential.
To achieve a tasteful and modern look for your yard, aluminium slat fencing is booming in popularity for homes. This look is considered a contemporary choice for many homeowners and offers a durable and low-maintenance fencing design. Aluminium slat fencing is finished in a high-quality exterior to eliminate future painting or staining. These finishes are available in a variety of different shades and can be customised to reflect your lifestyle developments and architecture design.
For those that are after a more organic, natural look without compromising the level of privacy, Smartwood fencing is ideal for its traditional style. It offers homeowners a timeless appeal without the hassle of maintenance, rotting, wood warping or repainting and enhances the aesthetics of your yard or garden area with its warm tones.
Outdoor lighting is in huge demand for 2014, with 98.3% of consumers rating it as a popular outdoor living feature in the above mentioned research. Lighting plays a major role in setting the mood – whether it be for a romantic al fresco dinner or a cosy get-together with friends.
Use lighting to enhance the space or create focal points. Creative landscape designs go hand-in-hand with the right illumination to accent features like a water fountain or a creative topiary shrub. For a more dramatic feel, point lighting in an upwards direction, while lights that point downwards will create a cosier and softer luminosity.
3. Outdoor Kitchens
With Perth homeowners wanting to channel their inner Masterchef, outdoor kitchens have become bigger and better than ever. They’re expanding out of the comfort zones to try new recipes and fire up the grill, whether it’s for entertaining guests or feeding the family on a summer evening.
Rated at a high 94.3% for popularity, people feel it’s more of an essential than ever to cater for alfresco dining. Grills are in high demand and are now considered an investment, alongside seating and dining areas for entertaining at 97.7%.
4. Fire and Water
There’s something pretty soothing about incorporating natural elements like fire and water into your outdoor living. Rolling in at a high 95.4%, fire pits and fireplaces are rated by consumers as one of the top three essential outdoor living features.
Fire pits, fireplaces and fire pit tables are a practical and enticing feature for any outdoor area. Most people find themselves venturing away from outdoor living as the cooler months roll in, but with a fire pit this issue is solved and gives you a space you can use all year round. If your outdoor area is small, portable fire pit tables can be a perfect solution and don’t take up too much room.
As far as water features go, decorative elements like ornamental pools, waterfalls or bubblers are at 86.1% for popularity. If you want to take the level of relaxation and tranquillity one step further though, the luxurious features of outdoor saunas and hot tubs cannot be denied.
5. Decked Out
For outdoor structures, decks and patios have been rated the most popular at 97.7%. Decks, porches and patios are now considered an extension of a home’s living space with homeowners looking to maximise function, cosiness and their own personal touch.
To ensure your deck is long-lasting, waterproofing is a priority. With various wood stains and the natural warm tones they offer, constructing a deck is a fantastic way to give your outdoor area a dynamic ambience. Adding a deck to your home will also give you extra room for outdoor cooking, patio furniture and entertaining.
6. Sustainable Elements and Garden Landscaping
Along with outdoor entertaining, eco-friendly design elements are in high demand. Homeowners are seeking sustainable features and water-efficient landscaping to keep water charges down, with popularity booming for native plants around the home. Compost bins have become a hot trend and more homeowners are using recycled materials in their landscaping projects, solar-powered lights and permeable paving.
by Ricky Hee