Out­door ar­eas add value

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - REAL ESTATE -

A SHIFT to­wards mul­ti­func­tional out­door spa­ces means it’s in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to spend time prop­erly plan­ning your out­door area.

VERDE De­sign Group di­rec­tor Chris Ma­honey said his role in out­door de­sign was now more im­por­tant than ever.

“We’re see­ing a shift to­wards mul­ti­func­tional out­door spa­ces, as home­own­ers look to max­imise their out­door spa­ces for en­ter­tain­ing pur­poses while cap­i­tal­is­ing on their in­vest­ment by in­creas­ing prop­erty val­ues,” Mr Ma­honey said.

“There is a per­cep­tion that spend­ing on land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture is not nec­es­sary, but if bud­geted for ac­cord­ingly, in­vest­ment in pro­fes­sional out­door de­sign can add a huge amount of value to your home.”

Mr Ma­honey of­fers five key out­door trends that should be on your home-im­prove­ment list to add value to your home:

Wa­ter-savvy plants from the past

WA­TER con­scious plants have been seen in res­i­den­tial de­sign for some time, which pre­dom­i­nantly stemmed from the drought. How­ever, in 2017 we’re see­ing a shift to­wards wa­ter savvy plants that are rich in colour and tex­ture such as Cras­sula species, Caris­sas and Senecio - think of the types of plants you found in your grandma’s gar­den. They are low main­te­nance and gen­tle on the en­vi­ron­ment, re­duc­ing the worry of them dy­ing and hav­ing to re­place them.

No-mow lawns

IF YOU’RE lucky enough to have a bit of a yard to mow, you prob­a­bly also dread the up­keep. No-mow lawns are in­creas­ingly on the rise and pro­vide the an­swer to your gar­den prob­lems - sav­ing you time while also sav­ing wa­ter, yet still al­low­ing you to en­joy nat­u­ral greenery un­like ar­ti­fi­cial va­ri­eties. Look to slow-grow op­tions like Zoysia, which need mow­ing rarely, if ever.

Blur the lines be­tween in­doors and out­doors

OUR out­door ar­eas are of­ten the place where we choose to en­ter­tain. In­vest in a fan­tas­tic out­door kitchen, pizza oven or bar­be­cue and some com­fort­able and qual­ity built-in seat­ing to match. Con­sider how your in­door ar­eas can seam­lessly in­te­grate with your out­door en­ter­tain­ing space and in­ject more greenery to your in­door spa­ces to blur the lines be­tween “in­door” and “out­door”. Choose a trendy in­door va­ri­ety that en­joys fil­tered light and po­si­tion them ap­pro­pri­ately.

Space-sav­ing fur­ni­ture and gar­dens

IF out­door space is an is­sue, make the most of this lim­i­ta­tion with multi-use fur­ni­ture, such as built-in seat­ing that lifts up to dou­ble as a stor­age de­vice for gar­den equip­ment or tools. In ad­di­tion, ver­ti­cal veg­etable gar­dens or planters can max­imise floor space while dou­bling as plant-able pri­vacy screen from nearby neigh­bours. My favourite low-main­te­nance ver­ti­cal gar­den va­ri­eties for out­door ar­eas in­clude Philo­den­dron species, Peper­o­mia and Bromeli­ads for spot colour.

Year-round warmth

WHEN plan­ning your out­door area, con­sider how to bring warmth to the space to en­sure you can en­joy it all year round. In­cor­po­rate invit­ing, com­fort­able seat­ing op­tions with the use of tim­ber, and avoid cold ma­te­ri­als such as steel and con­crete that can be too harsh in win­ter. In­tro­duce an­other layer to your fur­nish­ing through the use of soft out­door cush­ions to add warmth, while an out­door heater or fire pit can be worth the ad­di­tional spend in cooler cli­mates.

PHOTO: BEATA BECLA

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