An extraordinary outdoor living area complete with a fireplace and pergola in Whitford

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An extraordinary outdoor living area complete with a fireplace and pergola in Whitford

Thelma Meyer was brought in to design a complete outdoor revamp for this Whitford home

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Homeowners Brent and Debbie have been living out in Whitford for over 27 years and have no intention of leaving their special place. So when it came time to make some changes and give their home an update, they called Zones Landscaping’s Thelma Meyers to help give their house a complete facelift, and to update their outdoor space to fit in with the current times by creating a outdoor living area with a wooden fireplace, a tiled area, deck and pergola!

“The house was in a dated colour, had green joiner and rounded terracotta outdoor tiles,” said Thelma about the original condition of the home. “It all needed to go!”

The bespoke landscape design

The homeowners wanted advice on how to improve their outdoor living and Thelma provided them with several design options including an outdoor fireplace, weather shelter, and new stylistic tiles.

“Adding a sheltered area, a wooden fireplace, and modern tiling would really help shape the space into a contemporary, elegant, outdoor area,” explained Thelma.

Together, they decided to replace the outdoor tiles with ones of more voguish size and shape, install 2 composite decked areas from Outdure, an outdoor wooden fireplace, as well as a louvre roof and pergola from Pacific Outdoor Solutions.

Brent decided to do all the layouts for the tile areas himself and provided guidance on exactly where he wanted the 2 decked areas on the grass. Meanwhile, Thelma chalked out the louvre roof and pergola layouts.

“Adding a sheltered area, a wooden fireplace, and modern tiling would really help shape the space into a contemporary, elegant, outdoor area!"
- Thelma, Zones Auckland Central Landscape Specialist

Upon reviewing the design, Thelma explained to the homeowners that the composite deck area would feel too enclosed with the screens in its current position. The number of posts, even in the chosen beautiful slender design, would be too much in that confined space on the edge. This prompted them to decrease the number of posts and to get rid of the screens at the side of the edge.

Outdoor privacy screen

Instead, Thelma and her team suggested they installed screening by planting it further away from the decking, which would not only help with privacy and wind shelter but provide them with the freedom Brent and Debbie were after!

“The practicality of the square columns simply didn’t work,” explains Thelma. “Investigation in the design stage is so important—probably the most important stage for any homeowner. I know that if they hadn’t used Zones and our 5 step process, this project would have cost them plenty more!” By identifying these issues early and solving them before getting to the build phase, Thelma saved the homeowners both time and money, as all Zones Landscaping specialists strive to do.

That wasn’t the only challenging aspect of this project, as the level of their grass area was higher than the existing tile area. Thelma and her team had to excavate a large chunk of their existing lawn, but ensuring these levels were flush and that drainage was efficient was important. 

Throughout the project, Thelma liaised with Debbie and a Resene Consultant regarding the new home and joinery colours to ensure the louvre roof, pergola, tiles, and decking, all gelled together. Her team also helped with some carpeting work that needed to be done in their indoor pool area. 

The final result

When asked about her favourite aspect of this project, Thelma revealed “I loved the opportunity to use my interior design background throughout the project. And although we didn’t do any landscaping in their backyard, I decided to gift Brent and Debbie a basic design sketch for what I had in mind, as a thank you, after the build.” Perhaps the homeowners will be featured on our site once again when they decide to put those plans into motion!

Thinking of landscaping?

If you’re feeling inspired and want to get started on your own landscaping project, get in touch with your local Zones specialist today for a free consultation!

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This project was completed in
June 2020
Project description
Complete Exterior Update
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
7 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Practicality of Square Columns Didn't Work
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Thelma Meyer is Landscaping Consultant of Tailormade Designs Ltd, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in Auckland.

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