The long-term benefits of outdoor living

With access to nature on our doorsteps, it’s no surprise that Australians love spending time outside and with a growing trend to enjoy outdoor living at home, now is the time to invest in your backyard escape and enjoy the long-term benefits. According to the 2017 Adbri Masonry Great Australian Backyard Survey1, there has been a 41 per cent increase on the previous year of Australian homeowners planning to invest in their backyard. No other space in your home can be so multi-functional whilst offering a variety of benefits that provide a long-term contribution to your investment and lifestyle.

The most notable display of this trend is how we are using our outdoor rooms as an extension of our interior spaces, complete with furniture, patios, comfortable seating areas, gardens and even themed spaces that further personalise the space. While the desire for seamless transition from indoors to out may seem an easy goal, there are many important factors to consider, specifically that indoor products like tiles, furniture and décor items are not designed to withstand the often harsh weather, rain and UV exposure.

Here, Jason Hodges, brand ambassador for Adbri Masonry, Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer provides some helpful tips on making the most of your outdoor space.

1. Create a space for family time
Escape the hustle of everyday life and try creating your own private oasis whilst enjoying the therapeutic advantages of being outside. Creative outdoor rooms provide time-poor parents with a fun environment for children to play safely, away from technology. If you plan it right, this new space will become the favourite area for the family to reconnect. “Your outdoor space is a blank canvas and you need to start somewhere. I suggest installing a paved courtyard that leads into a turfed area so the area can be used in all weather conditions. Look for concrete pavers that are designed for use outside, they will be slip resistant so safe when wet and can live up to the element,” says Hodges.

2. Create your own home office
According to Planet Ark research, there are significant health and environmental benefits to incorporating nature into your daily routine. 86 per cent of Australians who have a close connection to nature are significantly happier with just 10 minutes spent outside helping to improve mental health and wellbeing. With the number of people working from home on the rise, so too is the popularity of the outdoor office. Create a workspace that will allow you to be inspired, focused and help to promote a low carbon lifestyle. After a solid foundation is paved, use easy to maintain garden beds, vertical green walls, and water features to transform the yard into a relaxing.

3. Create a social hub
Homeowners are looking to make better use of their outdoor space, primarily, as a place to entertain and enjoy our incredible climate. Look to functional built-in furniture that allow you to easily construct custom, free standing creations such as informal seating, fire pits or barbeque areas. You will also need to consider how people get from the indoors out – match your outdoor space to that of your indoor style to ensure seamless transition with bi-fold doors that make a statement while maximising the potential of your outdoor space. “My top tip for maximising the enjoyment factor of the outdoor environment is to think about how often the space will be used and by how many people. I regularly see people clutter their precious outdoor space with oversized dining settings that dominate the area. I suggest furniture selection to suit how the space will be most often used,” says Hodges.

4. Create a healthy outdoor room
Make use of unused space and create an outdoor sanctuary, perfect for growing an edible landscape. Growing and preserving your own produce including herbs and vegetables can be wholesale family fun along with a number of health benefits on offer. Raised garden beds are a great way to start your growing adventure as they provide an opportunity to bring in premium and organic soils rather than digging into the ground.

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