Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:10

Fun In The Sun

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Fun In The Sun

During the summer months, there is nothing better than getting outside and soaking up the sunshine. It is also the perfect time to start thinking about what you can do to make your garden area something truly special. Emily Williamson speaks with John Storch from A Total Concept Landscape Architects about how you can design a great outdoor space for the Sydney summer.

In Australia, we really are a lucky country. Our summer is hard to beat and many of us don’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of it. Creating an outdoor area to entertain, relax, and enjoy, is one of the best things you can do to make the most of the sunshine. Here, John Storch provides a variety of options to help make your outdoor space a soothing paradise.

OUTDOOR ROOMS AND CABANAS

Whether you design them to match your home, or give them a unique flair, outdoor rooms and cabanas are the perfect addition to your outdoor area. To assist with greater flexibility of the space, however, Storch recommends including sliding doors or concertinaed doors. This traps warmth in the colder months and allows the space to be ‘closed in’.

“This flexibility allows a cabana to be used not only in the winter months, but also in conjunction with a pool in summer by opening it up as an outdoor room.”

Outdoor rooms or cabanas can merge indoor and outdoor spaces, and integrate gardens and swimming pools. To add greater convenience to the structure you can also include full bathroom and kitchen facilities, as well as lounges, tables and chairs for entertaining.

SWIMMING POOLS

During the summer months, swimming pools offer the perfect mix of relaxation and family fun. Nothing beats lazing by the poolside and jumping in to cool off on a sweltering day. According to Storch, while the popularity of pools continues to grow, their size continues to diminish.

“Whether it be that more people are living in higher density environments or tougher authority development controls, private exterior spaces are becoming smaller and people are expecting outdoor areas to not only act as living spaces, but they must incorporate a swimming pool – so swimming pools are becoming smaller.”

Storch says plunge pools have been gaining in popularity because they can often double as a water feature. This style of pool is typically small in size, around 6m x 4m, and can act as the focal point of a courtyard or small garden. For entertaining purposes, benches are often placed within the pool around several sides to create a seating area.

“I’ve found plunge pools are more about family fun and entertaining friends than exercise, but they can incorporate swim jets that allow a swimmer to remain in place while exercising.”

Storch says larger, more traditional pools are still very popular; however, pools susceptible to wet ledges are being revised to ensure greater safety.

Increasingly, pools, outdoor rooms and cabanas are now being designed in conjunction to ensure continuity in the outdoor area.

GARDENS

A beautiful garden is one of the most important features of your outdoor area. It can be designed to suit your lifestyle as well as your pool area, cabana or outdoor room. When planning your garden, Storch says it is important to consider not only its visual appeal, but its functionality.

“It is important to consider the necessary ‘no fun’ (functional) requirements. Do you need to store the bin, brooms and gardening tools? What will be the locations for light switches, the hose-cock and irrigation lines? And where will the drains be positioned to capture that summer thunderstorm?”

According to Storch, a garden should be more than just a beautiful thing to look at; it should soothe you and have a calming effect.

“Ask yourself, how will the space be used for relaxation? You may wish to incorporate a barbecue, a space heater, a sound system or a hammock with soft furnishings slung between two trees. Surround yourself with pockets of colourful garden, green lawn, a pool, pond or cabana, to create your own private resort.”

TRENDS

Storch says, there has been a large increase over the years in the number of homeowners wanting to maximise the use of their property, by creating an indoor and outdoor living space that flows seamlessly from one area to the other.

“The trend for designing and building outdoor rooms stems from our craving for an outdoor lifestyle – to spend less time indoors and more time enjoying the fresh air. By making every piece of land suitable for the climate, a home can become not only a personal summer oasis – but an escape from the hectic pace of work-life all year round.”

 

Read 21539 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:14