How to plan the perfect outdoor area

The perfect outdoor area by Platinum Homes

Your garden can be an extension of your home, especially when the sun is shining! Maximising the space you have with planting, decking and outdoor dining areas will make a huge difference to how your home looks and feels.


Nov 21, 2022

Trends & Design

Spoilt for space

If you’re a little overwhelmed by how get best use from your outdoor space, start by creating designated zones, and keep it simple.

Creating areas to relax as well as entertain is a good start – and if the space allows, keeping them separate is a bonus. Lawns, wooden decks, pavers, pergolas, plants and other landscaping features can be used to creatively separate different garden spaces.

For the entertainers, a large table with chairs or bench seating, means you can easily accommodate guests while you serve up brunch or a late dinner as the sun goes down – especially if your barbecue is nearby. Another option is to have more casual outdoor lounge furniture, where you and your guests can get together in greater comfort.

You may want to include a more intimate relaxing space – somewhere you can retreat to a comfy chair to read or spend time on the phone catching up with friends and family.

Keen gardeners can grow vegetables, herbs and flowers in garden beds, or in planter boxes which are easy to add (and move) and come in all shapes and sizes.

You could also plant fruit trees in your garden, picking varieties to suit the spaces you have available. A fruit tree is a beautiful addition to a garden and will also give you fruit in season A lemon, mandarin or feijoa tree will suit a small garden, while apple or peach trees need more room. A grape vine is another attractive garden addition and will provide tasty fruit.

If barbecuing is important to you then you’ll have some important decisions to make. Where will the barbecue be used, where will it be stored when it’s not being used, and do you need to create a special outdoor kitchen area to make life easier for the barbecue chef.

You may want to have a garden shed, where you can store your barbecue when it’s not in use, as well providing a home for garden tools.

An outdoor fireplace or pizza oven is also a useful and attractive garden addition for the al fresco chef.

Another consideration is where you’ll position your washing line, if you’re planning to have one. Rotary lines come in different sizes, so you can choose one to suit your space, or you may prefer a retractable line that can be attached to a fence or wall. Sun and wind are important factors to keep in mind when making your choice.

As well as planning how to make best use of the sun, don’t forget to plan some shade options. This might be a market umbrella, a retractable awning or even some well-positioned trees.

Other considerations are irrigation to keep your garden healthy and happy, and outdoor lighting so that you can make good use of balmy summer evenings.

Use a small space wisely

A small garden doesn’t mean you have to miss out on growing your own veges and herbs – you could grow herbs, tomatoes or lettuces in planter pots which also provide practical landscaping. You could also try a vertical garden wall, with built in planter boxes or hanging pots that let you maximise your space and will become a talking point with guests. Don’t forget about access to sunlight and water for plants in a vertical garden. The plant care tag with your new plant will tell you all about your new plant’s preferences.

In a small garden, choose more compact outdoor furniture that fits the space nicely and isn’t bulky to get around or shift.

Entertain the little ones

If there are little ones in the mix, you might consider a few fun areas to keep them occupied. A swing set can be set up in a more spacious garden, while sandpits come in all sizes and can keep the wee ones occupied for hours.

A garden is always a plus

Not only will your garden give you more living areas and let you grow many of your own vegetables, but it will also improve the attractiveness of your property and may also boost its value.

Whatever your needs, make your outdoor space your own and talk to your local Platinum team about designing the perfect garden for your home.

Further reading

Linda and Quentin
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