Landscape architects Luke Porter and Heidi Stewart from Canopy look at creating outdoor rooms for entertaining and relaxing
From Wild Tomato - Nelson & Marlborough's Lifestyle Magazine
Spring is here and summer is almost upon us. We all know the benefits in living in one of the best climates in the country. Warm sunny winters and seemingly endless summer nights add to a region that already boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in New Zealand.
The trick to getting the most out of this special climate is fully using the opportunities within your property. Creating an outdoor room encourages people out of the house and into the environment we all love to enjoy. In a similar way that an architect carefully plans the rooms within a house, landscape architects plan gardens to include outdoor rooms that respond to opportunities for privacy, views, sunshine or sunsets. A simple collection of important features such as seating and shelter, lush plants bursting from feature pots, sophisticated outdoor spaces with a fireplace or outdoor kitchen, ensure there is always a good reason to get into your backyard. Outdoor rooms cater for every occasion, from simple family dinners to the odd party with friends, or a quiet reflective space to enjoy a good read.
A holistic approach to designing every part within your property also makes full use of what is typically our largest financial asset. Clever landscape design allows the use of your outdoor area for relaxation and entertaining while increasing financial returns on your property. We have collected a few of our favourite items to inspire you to start planning your new spring outdoor room.
Outdoor rooms function like a lounge in your own backyard, with features such as pergolas and awnings for shelter and shade, fireplaces for warmth; and barbeques and kitchens allowing you to entertain in comfort and style. The following have been handpicked to show some of our favourite products being used in landscape designs in the Nelson and Marlborough regions. With spaces like these you will find more and more reasons to spend time outside.
Outdoor fires create warmth and cosiness that extend the time you will want to spend outdoors. These fires are a real drawcard on cooler nights, extending the use of your outdoor room to all seasons and creating a focal point for outdoor living.
If you are keen on entertaining in your outdoor room, you will want to include an outdoor kitchen. These let the chefs enjoy the sunshine and the party atmosphere while preparing food. Outdoor kitchens can include stoves, barbecues and fridges to make entertaining fun and easy.
The right furniture can make a huge difference to the mood of an outdoor room, creating comfort and style that make a space all the more enjoyable. Quality outdoor furniture is stylish and comfortable while also being made of durable materials that can withstand the elements.
Finishing touches such as lighting, outdoor rugs and cushions pull an outdoor room together. These furnishings are not only fun to mix and match but also add flair to an outdoor room to take it from an enjoyable space to the highly coveted envy of your neighbours. Use lush planting to create a beautiful green oasis in your own backyard. Pots are used to frame or draw the eye, with groupings used to spectacular effect. Group a variety of sizes and shapes that share the same colour or design; or use large pots to celebrate plants with striking foliage or to frame a sculpture or water feature. Pots and groups of planting will strengthen the connection to the outdoors. The right plant palette can create a green oasis that you will want to spend all your spare time enjoying.