5 tips to get going on outdoor design!

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Just like when you’re designing an indoor space, creating a functional and relaxing outdoor space requires careful planning. You need to consider a number of factors that will greatly impact the final result: architectural style, traffic flow, colour harmony, space requirements and comfort. In addition, planning your outdoor space has special challenges such as creating shelter from sun and wind and providing some much-needed privacy.

If you have just finished your interior design project and want to continue with your outdoor design project, here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Functional Fencing within your Budget

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When it comes to fencing, one of the most important things to consider is which material and style is right for your project and within your budget. Firstly, check with your town or city council, as each council across Australia will have different regulations for fencing height and slat spacing.

Then onto material – while timber is cheapest upfront, you must also take into account the long-term costs. Timber will require annual treatments and maintenance, and it will also need to be replaced much sooner than a metal fence. Steel and aluminium fencing on the other hand are more expensive upfront, but do not incur ongoing maintenance costs and they have a much longer lifespan. Aluminium is often the best compromise for home fencing. Aluminium is cheaper and more lightweight than steel, it is rust-proof and considerably more durable than timber.

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2. Choose Landscape Architecture That Fulfils Your Needs

landscape architecture

Before you go ahead with your landscaping project, make a list of needs and wants. Do you want to grow vegetables? Do your kids need a play space? Do you have pets? Do you prefer a patio or a porch?

The easiest way to get started with garden landscaping is doing some rough sketches of the yard. Think of where you want to place things, and try to make the most out of the space you have available. If you are tighter on a budget but would still like to grow plants, consider native ones. They are already adapted to local soils and climatic conditions, and need just a little water beyond normal rainfall. Another strategy would be grouping plants based on their water needs to reduce water use and to protect them from both overwatering and underwatering.

3. Grow Beautiful Hanging Baskets

hanging baskets

Hanging baskets add visual appeal to any outdoor space, giving you the opportunity to decorate your garden with flowers and plants of your liking. If your goal is a low-maintenance basket, choose drought-tolerant plants such as sedum, echeveria, chicks and hens. If, on the other hand, you want colourful hanging baskets instead, you can always go for the old-fashioned geraniums paired with blue lobelia, ivy and a top hat of dracaena.

Always make sure to hang plants with bright foliage in shady spots to add colour. Purple leaves are certainly beautiful, but they tend to fade away much faster since they are darker. Golden are chartreuse foliage will add excitement and make any shady spot look lively.

4. Install a Driveway Gate

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Nothing says “Welcome home” better than a driveway gate. It protects your privacy, secures you and your family from curious eyes, and adds visual appeal to the whole property. It’s important to choose your driveway gate carefully based on how level the site is surrounding the gate area. In most cases, a gate that swings from the incoming traffic and into the property is the best. However, if the driveway slopes up too steeply, you will want a gate that swings away from the property or slides to the side behind the retaining wall or fence.

Steel and aluminium gates are usually the best choice since they’re low-maintenance and, much like the fencing, don’t warp or rot like timber would.

Ornate tubular steel and aluminium fencing gives a grand and luxurious aesthetic to the home, while the geometric shapes of slat fencing gives a more contemporary look.

5. Add Shutters to the Windows

shutters

Window shutters are a great enhancement for your outdoor space. In addition to making the space look a lot more pleasant, window shutters also provide an excellent support for floral decorations. You can ornate them with geranium, pansies, and any other flower you like. For a magnificent result, try pairing contrasting textures and colours.

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About Author

Ricky Hee is Managing Director of Fencemakers, a leading provider of quality aluminium and steel gates and fencing in Perth, Western Australia. View the Fencemakers range at http://www.fencemakers.com

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