Be inspired by this Glendowie yard that was turned into an outdoor relaxation area perfect for entertaining all year round.

WORDS Sharon Stephenson

Now here’s a challenge: take an outdoor space that was busy and not terribly user friendly, link the sheltered, entertaining and garden areas and turn it into a space that the owners can use all year round.

Not to mention adding a louvred roof to fit over the tall French doors of an extension and cantilevered over the low roof of the original 1950s house.

It’s a challenge that Kate Ryan, of Woodbury Landscapes Limited, an Auckland Zones landscaping specialist, took on last year.

“The owners of this Glendowie property wanted a more coherent space with a decent size deck that had both shade and shelter."
- Kate, Landscaping specialist

New landscape design specifications

“The owners of this Glendowie property wanted a more coherent space with a decent size deck that had both shade and shelter,” says Kate.

The views to the adjacent reserve also needed to be unobstructed, while still retaining privacy.

Although Kate and her team initially did an overall landscape design, including levelling the section, realigning the retaining wall, extending the deck to meet the lower lawn and covering it – as well as carving out spaces for a fire, outdoor spa and large – for budgetary reasons, the owners had to scale back the plan.

The extension to the narrow existing deck included steps leading down to the lawn, a feature which has greatly enhanced the flow to the garden.

In the end, they opted to prioritise the deck and shelter options, leaving the rest of the design to possibly be completed at a later date.

But Kate and her five contractors still had their hands full. The extension to the narrow existing deck included steps leading down to the lawn, a feature which has greatly enhanced the flow to the garden.

“When it came to the shelter, there were definite challenges around the two different heights of the main house, which has a lower roof and eaves, compared to the extensions which have high French doors and a roof with no eaves,” says Kate.

“We looked at different options for a pergola over the deck that would give the clients shelter from sun and rain and would work in with the different roof heights.”
- Kate, Landscaping specialist

“We looked at different options for a pergola over the deck that would give the clients shelter from sun and rain and would work in with the different roof heights.”

Kate’s comparisons between a wooden pergola with clearvue roofing and a louvre roof system that provides shade and shelter but still permits sun and slight into the house and deck area, showed a clear winner.

Installing a louvred roof

“The louvre roof was the more effective operation, particularly when it came to coverage over the different levels of the house and ease of use, so in the end the clients opted for that.”

Kate was fortunate with a supplier who produced a roofing system that can rotate 160 degrees in either direction to provide shade at different times of the day.

This required the tricky feat of having the louvres specially cut to angle into the left corner of the roof. Not all louvre suppliers are able to custom make to such an exacting brief, but Kate was fortunate with a supplier who produced a roofing system that can rotate 160 degrees in either direction to provide shade at different times of the day, as well as featuring rain sensors which automatically close the roof.

Final thoughts

“The result is a brilliant solution to covering an area with shade during the day and with ambient LED lighting at night, which looks beautiful illuminating the deck area.”

Kate says the makeover hasn’t resulted in the loss of the house’s natural light. “But the extra shade and shelter into the extended living has given the client more options in terms of leaving the tall doors open. It also provides welcome shade for what is a very sunny room.”

“The whole deck area has been transformed into a functional, beautiful and relaxing entertainment area that has amazing views out across to the reserve. My clients have finished off the new area with a contemporary outdoor sofa setting and coffee table that can be lifted for dining.”
- Kate, Landscaping specialist

The project, which was started in November 2017 and completed a month later, has ticked all the boxes for Kate’s clients.

“The whole deck area has been transformed into a functional, beautiful and relaxing entertainment area that has amazing views out across to the reserve. My clients have finished off the new area with a contemporary outdoor sofa setting and coffee table that can be lifted for dining.”

*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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