Good lighting and seating are essential for outdoor entertaining but it’s also important to look at the foundations of the backyard to ensure the space is used to its full potential.
“Upgrading the backyard doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It's simply a matter of thinking about how you want to use your property, then incorporating beauty and utility into your design. A good place to start is mapping out the area and building from the base up,” says landscape expert and Adbri Masonry ambassador Jason Hodges.
“Don’t stress if your backyard isn’t relaxation ready, you don’t need to undertake a full renovation to get the most out of your space. Once you’ve tried my three best bets, you can sit back and watch the compliments flow.”
1. It’s all about the base
A paved base is the perfect foundation for your outdoor furniture and barbeque, which can also help bring together an indoor and outdoor area such as a pergola. DIY paving is one of the best things you can do to enhance your backyard space and it will also become the main focal point of your entertaining area.
Things to consider include what colour, texture and size paver to choose from depending on the look you want to achieve.
2. Go vertical to create new space
If you don’t have lots of square footage in your backyard, you can always build up. Create something out of nothing by framing your entertaining area with a freestanding, double-sided wall using blocks. This DIY project will define your backyard, while doubling as informal bench seating for unexpected guests.
The beauty of using blocks is that there is no need to excavate to build on an existing base. However, when building directly atop an existing paved or concrete surface, ensure the area is flat. You do not need to glue blocks to the existing surface, the weight of the blocks will hold the wall in place, though if you want extra support, you can use a landscape grade adhesive to secure units onto the existing flat surface.
3. Take it one step at a time
In times gone by, pathways have been a forced consideration providing a stable thoroughfare to get from one side of the backyard to the other. In today’s backyards they have more purpose.
A designer stepping stone path is a great complement to any home, and there are countless options for dressing it, including pebbles and Mondo Grass. Other benefits include price and water drainage. A stepping stone path uses less material than a solid path and is a great option for those narrow areas down the side of a house. Solid paths in narrow areas may encourage water to run up the side of your house causing rot and damage.