More than a place to relax, this backyard has become a completely functional room in itself - an entertainer’s dream.
These homeowners contacted Zones Landscaping for help upgrading their backyard. While their 1980s home was undertaking a full renovation, there was no better time to create the outdoor living area of their dreams.
What they most desired was a space to enjoy while barbecuing and entertaining with friends. They wanted the area to feel like an extended part of their home. But it was likewise important for it to require little maintenance.
Put in touch with Thelma Meyer, their local Landscaping Specialist, they arranged with her a briefing meeting to discuss the project. Here, the homeowners had the opportunity to explain their ideas and wants thoroughly - an essential step in every successful landscaping project.
Establishing the concept & design
The homeowners envisioned a modern transformation that would be sleek, functional, and low-maintenance. With that functionality, shade and privacy were vital in creating a comfortable environment to enjoy all year round.
This vision was the main focus throughout the design process, from determining the fixtures down to the garden. In fact, the homeowners specifically mentioned they don’t have Greenfingers in their household. So choosing plants that are relatively good at caring for themselves was essential.
The desire for low-maintenance outdoor living led Thelma to suggest Xeriscape landscaping, a gardening process that reduces the need for irrigation. Not only does this approach make gardening more self-sufficient, but also eco-friendly. It was the perfect answer and therefore integrated as a core aspect of the design.
Ultimately, the final design called to transform the site, roughly 64m2 in size, with a complete landscaping makeover. The project featured installing coloured concrete flooring with decorative cuts, a louvre roof, cedar timber screen, aluminium powder-coated fence and gate, and a low maintenance garden.
The project cost
The homeowners were renovating their property at the time. So when they came to Thelma, they had a clear budget in mind and hoped to bring the landscaping in at $80,000.
Though they loved the initial design, it wasn’t quite going to meet this budget. So the homeowners went ahead without the cedar screening, acid-wash concrete sealing, and built-in fireplace/BBQ.
However, they happily changed this decision during the build process to include the cedar screening and acid-wash, which really did make beautiful finishing touches to the area. They also chose to source a BBQ themselves, which allowed the costing to come in at approximately $90,495.
Build management & timeline
Thelma and her landscaping team worked to a meticulously planned schedule to ensure the outdoor living area was ready in time for Christmas.
The biggest challenge timewise was applying the acid-wash and non-slip sealer to the concrete as it could only be done 28 days after pouring the concrete. Strategically, Thelma arranged the majority of construction to be completed by December 12th - entirely usable for Christmas - and left finishing touches for the concrete to be made in January.
Altogether, the main timeline ran for three weeks. This period included tree removal, demolition, trenching for electrical work, ground levelling and concrete pouring, and installing the custom-sized fixtures - which required careful allocation to avoid damaging underground services.
Planting a low-maintenance garden took shape towards the end before installing the new fence and entrance gate to their garden. These fixtures, along with the louvre roof, were chosen from Pacific Outdoor Solutions. After integrating the LED lighting, these additions became simply luxurious.
This backyard has completely transformed into an entertainer’s dream, featuring sleek dark finishings, a desert-style garden, and elegant concrete flooring.
With both aesthetic and function considered, Thelma and her landscaping team have designed the lavish space to provide shelter and privacy while amplifying the natural surroundings.
“I love what you can do in small spaces, which are typical in Auckland Central. You work with what you’ve got,” says Thelma. And her favourite part of the new landscape? “The cedar privacy screen. It is beautiful.”
Moving ahead, the homeowners have further asked for a consultation to install outdoor curtains to make the space perfectly usable all year round. This addition is sure to pair beautifully with their outdoor living design.