A New Outdoor Kitchen and Extensive Landscape Transformation in Parnell, Auckland

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This landscaping project combined luxurious features with tremendous practical improvements to create the ultimate entertainer's backyard.

Before After
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Outdoor Living at its Finest 

This Parnell house is well-situated with a sizable backyard – an excellent reason to invest in landscaping. Stephen, the owner, knew the property had great potential and reached out to local Landscaping Partner Kate Ryan for professional advice.

His main ambition was to clear out the backyard and make better use of the space available. Ideally, the transformed landscape would include an outdoor kitchen, louvre roofing, a spa pool, fireplace, a spacious lawn, and enough room to comfortably fit two cars. These upgrades would ultimately change how the backyard was used, creating an extension of the home. 

Additionally, Stephen wanted to install a high-functioning irrigation system and outdoor lighting throughout the landscape. The question that remained: how can you do it all?

During their initial discussions, Kate assured Stephen that she and her landscaping team could undertake the entire project. It was complex, but she was confident in producing a spectacular outdoor living area that reflected Stephen’s vision.

Project Cost and Timeline 

Stephen was prepared to invest in his property’s landscape, so it became his priority to create a high-end outdoor living area using top of the line materials and products. 

To establish the best landscape design for the property, Kate arranged many meetings with Stephen to explore different options, from different types of paving to plants and fireplaces. There was no set budget for this project. However, Kate made sure the project was delivered to the fixed quote that was evaluated after the design process, which came in at $95,000. 

“Kate's keen sense of style, professionalism, and creativity were instrumental in completing our project” – Stephen, the homeowner.

Kate began undertaking design and excavation just before Christmas of 2017; some minor hold-ups occurred with council consent, so the main work couldn’t be completed until May of the following year, and additional planting was completed further down the line. 

Taking Challenges in Stride 

As with any landscape renovation of this size, there were some challenges. Access to the site was down a steep and narrow driveway with restricted parking which posed a challenge getting the spa pool and 1.3-tonne concrete fireplace into the backyard. 

In solution, Kate organised a crane with innovative spider-like legs to manoeuver the heavy items into place. She also kept the neighbours in the loop throughout the entire process and happily spoke with them over phone calls to answer any questions and mitigate any worries.

Kate’s quick and careful response to navigating these challenges ultimately reinforced Stephen’s decision to work with Zones Landscaping.

The Sleek Outdoor Kitchen

A standout feature of the transformed landscape is the stainless steel outdoor kitchen, complete with a large BBQ, built-in sink, and ample cabinetry/drawers for storage. This setup is paired with a two-door mini-fridge for absolute convenience.

Overhead, sleek louvre roofing provides flexible shelter that can let in sun rays at the perfect angle or provide full-coverage protection for rainy days. The roofing covers the entire outdoor living area, from the outdoor kitchen to the seating area by the stunning new concrete fireplace from Trendz. With a tall retaining wall providing a clean backdrop for the fireplace, the outdoor living area has become a cosy yet luxurious place to relax no matter the weather. 

A Well-defined Layout and Timber-look Spa

While the kitchen and fireplace create a welcoming social space, the beige tiling and staircase combined with the retaining planter walls and glass balustrade are what define the outdoor living area. These high-end features collectively establish a beautifully defined layout and relaxing atmosphere.
The new spa pool seamlessly fits into the environment. With timber-look cladding, the spa has an understated appearance that doesn’t take away from the finer details of its surroundings.
Spacious Lawn and Additional Car Parking

Around the corner from the established outdoor living area is a spacious lawn for kids to run around to their heart’s content. Framed by green shrubbery, garden beds, and new fencing, the lawn provides a beautiful and secure outdoor space to enjoy. Meanwhile, a patio area to the side of the lawn offers yet another place to relax. 

As the property’s landscape has been updated with a high-functioning irrigation system sourced from Advanced Irrigation, it’s easy to keep everything fresh and healthy. And the extensive outdoor lighting from The Garden Lighting Co. allows the well-maintained gardens to be showcased throughout the evening.

Last to mention – yet perhaps the most significant of all the functional improvements – is the additional car parks. Divided from the lawn by custom-made white slat fencing and a matching gate, there’s now enough room to comfortably fit two cars – a valuable feature to have when living in Auckland’s inner-city suburbs. 

A Glowing Review

The landscape of Stephen’s Parnell home now takes full advantage of the space available, providing defined areas for outdoor living with luxurious features for ultimate functionality.

Stephen and his family couldn’t be happier with the landscape’s extensive transformation, which is sure to be enjoyed through all seasons for years to come. 

“We are thrilled with the result – which friends have described as a ‘world class’ backyard – and we truly couldn't have done it without Kate” – Stephen, the homeowner.

Would you like to discuss your home landscaping ideas?

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This project was completed in
October 2021
Project description
Full outdoor landscape renovation
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Difficult access to the site and council consent delays.
Interesting aspects
The outdoor kitchen, concrete fireplace, and louvre roofing.
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Kate Ryan is Landscaping Consultant of Woodbury Landscapes Ltd, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in Auckland.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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