5 ways to do up your backyard or deck

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Australians love a great backyard. Our year-round weather conditions generally makes it easy to build or improve at any time. As well as being part of our culture, a good back yard, patio or deck can potentially also add thousands to your home’s value. If you’re thinking about listing your home, consider building a deck in your yard or improving your outdoor living space. 

Here are our favourite outdoor looks this season.

1. Bigger is better

Take advantage of as much yard space as you can, especially if you have plenty available. You won’t want to be crowded, especially if you’re planning on having larger parties. We absolutely love this listing from Unley, South Australia with its use of not one but two patios leading out into a  gorgeous pool and garden area.

55 Hughes St Unley
Stunning patio leading through a living area to the outdoor entertaining area and garden in this Unley home

2. Include lighting and shade

You may want to plan some kind of cover or shading for at least part of the deck to keep it usable even on the hottest summer days. This listing from Glenbrook shows a variety of entertaining delights on a big block with the clever use of retractable awnings. We all know great lighting can make all the difference – the same goes for your backyard! Add lights surrounding any outdoor areas, decks and patios as well as pathway lighting to create atmosphere and mitigate stumbling in the dark.

9 James Randall Place, Glenbrook NSW 2773
Retractable awnings are a great way to weatherproof your decking area.

3. Plan for use and space

The shape and size will largely be determined by how much room you have to build, but you’ll also want to think about what sort of gatherings you might have. How many people are you typically going to invite, and what are you going to want to do? For bigger parties, you might want separate tiers or other distinct areas, including one for outdoor cooking and one for eating. Smaller groups might want a single area, and may be more likely to want built-in benches. If you have a smaller space, try opening up the living room using sliding doors to create a sense of expansion. Some well considered greenery can bring a small outdoor space to life and create a magical vibe. 

Steel frames open this living area up to create a serene space in this Leichhardt home.

4. Think of it as a room

Especially if you’re having trouble deciding how you might best use a deck, think of it the same way you would any other part of your house. It needs to be comfortable and easy to hang out on. If you don’t have a lot of space, think about how to work in the furniture you need, like seating and tables, without overcrowding the space. Like other rooms, lighting, tiles or stones and greenery can make a world of difference. Making sure the thoroughfare between living and outdoors is seamless is also key and will make entertaining much easier too.

Beautiful lights in a garden
Fairy lights, a pizza oven and a clean lawn design makes this Barwon Heads home an entertainer’s delight.

5. Plan for maintenance

You’ll have to take care of a backyard, deck or pool the same way you do the rest of your home exterior and garden. While some decking woods can be left untreated, most will hold up better long-term with a stain, which can also be a more attractive option. More expensive woods can be easier to take care of and last longer, if you can afford it and are interested in making the investment. Pools are high maintenance but can be highly rewarding. If you’re not a green thumb by nature, learning how to tend a landscaped garden is a worthy investment. Alternatively there are plenty of services to help you out. It comes down to how much time and money you’re willing to invest in your backyard.

South yarra
A stunning pool set amongst concrete and decking in this South Yarra home.

Whether you’re thinking of selling your property or just looking to create the perfect home, improving your backyard can be a great investment.

Before you start engaging landscape designers or getting stuck into the decking yourself, it pays to have some designs ready.

We recommend saving a collection of your favourite backyards from Homely using our collections feature so you never lose track of your inspiration. 

Have you seen a listing you love with a back yard, garden or deck you love? Share it on Instagram and tag us!

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The Homely Team
The Homely Team bring you the latest in Aus property ranging from tips on buying, selling, renting, investing, building, moving house, suburb information and agent advice, all from industry experts.

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