Creating a stylish outdoor living area in Point Chevalier, Auckland

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Deck with pergola and neighbouring spa pool

A tired patio in Auckland Central was transformed into a beautiful outdoor living space, with a cosy outdoor fire and custom plexiglass louvre roofing maximising use throughout the seasons.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Clare’s home in Point Chevalier, Auckland was in a fabulous location but lacked the outdoor living she wanted. An existing brick patio had just enough room for an outdoor table and chairs, and its wooden pergola didn’t do much to provide relief from the elements. Bi-fold doors opening onto the patio meant there was enormous potential for an outdoor living area with great flow from inside: it just needed the right design!

Clare contacted her local Zones Landscaping Consultant Kate Ryan for advice and a free consultation. With Clare and her partner both working long hours, it was important to find someone experienced to manage the project. Kate was only too happy to meet with Clare at her home to view the space, listen to her ideas and goals for the renovation, and explain more about the 5-step Zones process that has delivered thousands of successful outdoor renovations. 

Defining the Scope

Kate and Clare worked together to determine everything Clare wanted from her outdoor area as well as a feasible budget and timeline. A new deck that could be utilised year round was a key priority which would mean investing in a shade system. However, Clare wanted to keep the existing bougainvillaea climber which provided a stunning pop of colour, so finding a way to accommodate this was included in the brief. 

Incorporating the existing outdoor fireplace was important, and Clare also wanted a private nook for their spa where they could relax and unwind out of sight from neighbours. The general garden was also looking quite tired and in need of a spruce up.

Clare was realistic with the budget and set Kate a target of $100,000 to transform the backyard. Kate got to work designing and refining ideas to maximise Clare’s vision of the space while keeping within budget.

Customised Solutions

The design for Clare’s outdoor living space centred on a spacious new deck with a customised pergola. The pergola would feature a mix of clear plexiglass and louvre roofing to allow plenty of light as well as protection from the elements, with a customised build around the existing bougainvillaea. This meant more posts, but through clever design these were able to be mostly hidden by the plant itself.

The louvre structure couldn’t be fixed directly to the house cladding which meant additional posts needed to be incorporated. Always up for a design challenge, Kate was able to have the posts moved to areas that would keep them ‘hidden’ and not obstruct views or flow. The larger deck space allowed plenty of room for entertaining, as well as room for the feature outdoor fire and the steps down into the garden.

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A Stunning Transformation

Clare’s tired patio and unkempt garden was transformed by Kate and her team into a gorgeous outdoor living space for enjoyment year round. The new deck with a customised roof structure allows plenty of light into the house while providing protection from the elements, exactly what Clare wanted. It also successfully incorporates the existing bougainvillaea, giving the space an established feel.

There is now functionality and flow between house, deck, and garden, and with new edging, lawns, and planting, the entire backyard looks fresh and vibrant. The spa has been moved to a previously unused yet private spot, creating more space in the garden itself. 

Final Words

Kate has delivered a beautiful, functional outdoor living space for Clare. Thoughtful and innovative design together with skilled project management achieved a customised deck and shelter delivered on time and on budget, and Kate is thrilled with the result. “The entire backyard has been transformed. We love the mix of clear Plexiglass and louvre which means the deck can be enjoyed year round, particularly with the cosy fireplace now integrated”.

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This project was completed in
July 2023
Project description
Outdoor entertainment space
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
4 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Housing material did not allow louvre structure to be fixed to the house.
Interesting aspects
Plexiglass pergola integrated with a louvre and customised around bougainvillaea climber.
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Kate Ryan is Landscaping Consultant of Woodbury Landscapes Ltd, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in Auckland.

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