With apartment blocks dominating the city skyline and homeowners preferring larger dwellings, the size of Australian backyards continues to be compromised. Between 2002 and 2012, the average block size in Australian capital cities shrunk by about 20 per cent. In the same period, the size of the house increased by nine per cent resulting in the back yard losing almost a third of its size as homeowners looked to put the largest possible footprint on shrinking lots. More than forty per cent of all new homes are multi-unit dwellings so striking the balance between making the most of smaller outdoor spaces and enjoying our amazing year round climate has never been more important.
“Australians love the outdoors but are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve the right balance between indoor-outdoor living,” explained landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, Jason Hodges. “No matter what size your backyard is, it’s possible to create your very own urban oasis to enjoy after a hectic day in the office and to entertain family and friends. My top tip is to take time in planning and aim to create a functional outdoor sanctuary that makes the most of your outdoor space and is the perfect getaway from the everyday.”
Here, Jason Hodges offers some tips on making the most of small outdoor spaces.
1) Go vertical!
Save space in the backyard by adding a funky and functional vertical garden to an unused wall. Layering by colour and texture will add visual interest and make the space look even bigger.
2) Built-in seating
A built in seating or dining area helps give the area structure and maximises the usability of all the available space. You can achieve this via walls that double as seats or seats that double as storage under the benches.
A good clean up and declutter of the backyard can give it a new lease of life. Prune or reorganise plants and get rid of anything that’s out of place. Take a look at your outdoor furniture and make sure it is in scale to the rest of the yard. Keep it simple – a clean and simple backyard will give the illusion of more space.
4) Choose the right pavers
Large format pavers work best in smaller spaces as they give the impression of space. Avoid intricate patterns and choose a neutral colour for greater impact.
5) Create zones
Zones in the backyard can create areas for eating, cooking, lounging or whatever is required. Define these zones using fencing, plants or materials such as pavers, grass or gravel to help each area stand on its own. A zoned garden will appear bigger and each area will have its own purpose.
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