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Deck out the backyard | The West Australian

The Australian passion for the outdoors is undeniable – best represented by our ever-growing love affair with the backyard.

They might have once been barren voids of grass featuring the odd flower bed, Hills Hoist clothesline and maybe a shed, but Shelford Quality Homes Senior Interior and Architectural Designer Rui Rosa said the modern backyard had grown to become an essential hub of entertainment – one that required just as much consideration as the rest of the home.

Plus, the odd heatwave notwithstanding, the relatively mild and comfortable climate here in Western Australia means we are fortunate to be able to spend a lot more time enjoying the space.

Mr Rosa outlined a few of the backyard trends expected to continue to grow in 2021, beginning with the desire to bring the indoors out.

“Modern trends involve the incorporation of enclosed outdoor entertaining spaces that flow through from the inside and play host to the perfect areas for comfort and relaxed living, as well as socialising and events,” he said.

“Decking out these areas with luxury pieces like a built-in pizza oven, a fire pit, an outdoor bar or having an outdoor kitchen space with cabinetry and fixtures is quickly becoming popular for the modern urban home.”

Low-maintenance living is also highly sought-after by the contemporary homeowner.

“Our fast-paced lives don’t allow us to have the time to spend manicuring our lawns to perfection,” Mr Rosa said. “But, having a decorated backyard doesn’t mean it has to be high maintenance. It’s just a matter of choosing the right options.

“There has been a huge rise in the demand for landscaping that requires little-to-no maintenance, but still exudes style and the wow-factor that impresses everyone.”

Grassless backyards hardscaped with a variety of textures and patterns, artificial lawns and hardy native plants, perennials or succulents are all popular low-maintenance yard inclusions.

It would be remiss to forget the four-legged members of the family, and Mr Rosa believed it was important to provide a backyard space where pets could run free.

“Try enclosed areas within your boundaries that match your chosen landscaping style, and keep your furry friends off your outdoor furniture or keep them separate from your plants so they don’t get destroyed,” he said.

Mr Rosa recommended avoiding easily scattered pathways such as gravel or mulch, and instead opt for surfaces that were gentle on the paws such as smooth pavers that were light in colour and reflected heat.

Other pet-friendly backyard innovations include unique water-drinking stations which double as water features, or raised box planters and vertical gardens to keep plants out of reach.

Finally, Mr Rosa said a growing desire from environmentally conscious consumers was resulting in eco-friendly backyard spaces.

“An easy way for you to live more sustainably and more healthily is to create an ecological haven in your backyard that will produce fresh, organic and tasty food,” he said.

“You can start with a vertical garden on an empty wall to grow your own herbs and spices, or a lavish veggie patch that can produce an abundance of your kitchen staples.”

CONTACT Shelford Quality Homes, 9599 1500, www.shelford.com.au

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