Your Home: Design ideas for improving big backyards

If the façade of your home needs work, consider taking the focus away from the home by having a path off the house leading to a feature courtyard.
If the façade of your home needs work, consider taking the focus away from the home by having a path off the house leading to a feature courtyard.

With land sizes shrinking across the country, much of garden design advice now focuses on small spaces.

But many of us still have big backyards and landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador Jason Hodges says there are plenty of ways to make the most of the space.

Set the scene:  If the facade of your home needs work and looks dated, consider taking the focus away from the home by having a path off the house leading to a feature courtyard in the centre of the space.

Pavers are a great choice for landscaping stepping stone paths and the entertaining pavement.

“While I love stepping stones separated by pebbles or turf for paths, the foundation pavement should be a solid area which can house your dining and relaxing furniture as well as any shading or barbeque equipment,” Jason says.

Build a children’s retreat: A large backyard provides an opportunity to create an outdoor place where kids can play safely.

Section off a corner and create the ultimate children’s playground. 

“Try building a cubby house or teepee that can be used in summer as a shaded play area or as a mini campsite in winter,” Jason says.

“I also love the idea of placing pavers in a hopscotch pattern and letting grass grow in between. The pavers will act as a pathway for your garden, as well as a fun activity for your children.”

Incorporate a dining area with built-in seating to help give the area structure and make use of available space. Photos: Adbri Masonry

Incorporate a dining area with built-in seating to help give the area structure and make use of available space. Photos: Adbri Masonry

Entertain: Incorporate a dining area with built-in seating to help give the area structure and make use of available space. You can achieve this using Adbri Masonry’s Versawall blocks, which create vertical retaining and garden walls while doubling as bench seating.

“Alfresco areas tend to feature on the front cover shots of real estate listings and signboards – this is because they’re an asset that adds value to a home and where buyers picture themselves enjoying the home with family,” he said.

“In larger backyards, these entertaining areas can be multi-functional with cooking equipment, dining settings as well as breakout garden beds or bench seating around a feature fire pit.”

Change levels with a sunken patio: Level changes immediately increase the aesthetic appeal and intricacy of a space. Introduce steps and garden walls, terraced retaining walls or sunken entertaining areas.​

“The great thing about a sunken patio is that it adds a level change to your yard. While I don’t recommend excavating specifically to create step changes, if you have a large backyard that slopes away at any point, consider this a perfect spot for a sunken patio,” Jason said.