Top trends in outdoor living design
Updated: Nov 7
Create a stylish oasis which will stand the test of time, impress the neighbours and add significant value to your home. Great outdoor living spaces deserve just as much thought as interior design , especially as we’re now spending more time at home. If you’re building new or undertaking an Auckland villa renovation, here’s six transformative outdoor living ideas, from the experienced team at Warren Adolph Homes.
1. Make the wish list
When planning your home’s new outdoor area, decide on your priorities, and what should stay or go from the current space.
Depending on your life stage, a shady play zone for the kids with a trampoline, tree house and bullet-proof plants might be important. Or for the keen gardener, an area with raised planters and fruit trees. If you’re into entertaining, an outdoor kitchen with an all-weather deck might be top priority.
Consider too any functional needs like new fencing, storage, irrigation or the best spot for a washing line in proximity to the laundry. Think about how to water a new garden sustainably. Given the recent water shortage in Auckland, many new homes are installing slimline water tanks which can be discretely installed down a fence line.
Reflect on your needs through different life stages. While a pool might not be a current priority for a young family, it might be worth penciling in, so the ideal spot is reserved for later development. Observe how the afternoon sun tracks across the proposed area, as the best place for a pool is the sunniest spot in the yard. Make sure it’s away from deciduous trees as scooping out fallen leaves from a pool is a chore best avoided!
2. Extend the Indoors Out
From new decking to a fully covered outdoor room, there are many ways to create the best outdoor living spaces, besides installing a pool.
A raised deck is a natural extension of your indoor living room and is typically made of wood or cut concrete, accessed through wide glass sliders or French doors. Decks can flow into a legally-fenced swimming pool or accommodate a covered hot tub. Consider the optimal deck size, its connection to the garden and whether you want built-in seating for small or large gatherings. Or where loose furniture or outdoor heating could be placed.
Installing a full louvre roof extension is a great way to add a touch of class to your home, a sense of connection to the outdoors and all-weather shelter. Ideally, the design of your roof extension will also include power and lighting for multi-use activities such as cooking, dining, music, even movie watching.
An entertainment system can take your outdoor living space next level. Enjoy a movie night on the deck with a large flat screen ready to stream! A carefully planned, evenly distributed soundscape will make all the difference in maximizing sound quality and enjoyment. Work with a professional designer to determine the best spots to position outdoor speakers for sound amplification.
3. The landscaping theme
What’s the look you want to achieve? Tropical resort or traditional cottage garden, shady native ferns or no-maintenance turf? Also consider how much time you wish to spend gardening in your spare time.
To create the ultimate backyard, consider form and texture as well as colour when selecting plants and materials. How you combine shapes and textures in your landscaping plan is also critical. The two main elements are hardscape and softscape materials. Hardscape are the hard elements in your yard like concrete, raised garden beds, terraced steps, pavers or pebbles. Softscape features are the soft, growing elements like flowers, shrubs, creepers, trees and succulents. Ideally, a well-designed landscape plan balances these two elements beautifully.
4. A custom outdoor kitchen
Alfresco dining and a New Zealand summer go hand in hand. You don’t need to skip on amenities when cooking in the backyard. A chef-inspired outdoor kitchen will bring a whole new level of luxury to your outdoor living. Consider an undercover built-in BBQ with extraction fan, a woodfire pizza oven, plumbed sink, refrigerator, and plenty of counter space for meal prep. The options are only as limited as your budget!
5. Outdoor heating
From infrared heaters to standing gas heaters or a fire pit, stay warm on those cool Auckland autumn nights by adding outdoor heating. Infrared heaters operate silently, emit no greenhouse gases and don’t require ventilation. This investment will add a cosy feel and pleasantly extend your outdoor dining season.
6. Call in the experts
At Warren Adolph Homes, we recommend clients ask for a seamless design vision from their architect, for outdoor and indoor living areas. Any outdoor leisure space needs to reflect your lifestyle and connect to the master plan for a new house.
Once you've got your wish list together, consider engaging a professional Auckland landscaper, whether building new or renovating. They will take your wish list or architect’s vision and develop a detailed hardscape plan for decking, paving and fencing which certified builders Warren Adolph Homes can then execute with ease. Leaving you (or your landscaper) with the fun part of planting your new garden. This collaborative approach will ensure your dreamy backyard becomes a relaxing reality with the minimum of stress.
Check out some of our stunning outdoor living projects here and contact Warren or Andrew for a no-obligation chat about your ideas. They’ll discuss the latest outdoor living trends, suggest a few approaches and put you on the right track.