5 Step Backyard Makeover

Create the perfect backyard using timber decking, bright, bold colours and casual outdoor furniture.

5 Step Backyard Makeover

The key to a great outdoor space is clever design and getting the essentials like shade and furnishings just right.

When it comes to current trends, tasteful furniture that blends with the surrounding setting is out, and unusual colourful pieces are in.

Recent trends have seen a move towards bolder pieces, from sharp edged, minimalist architecture to daring colours and movable art that creates a sense of drama.

Here are five handy tips to create your own backyard sanctuary.

1. Extend with a timber deck
1. Extend with a timber deck

Decking creates usable space on any slope. Whether at ground level or cantilevered from an upper storey, a deck is a cost-efficient way to extend a living area outside.


Go for softwoods such as treated pine or more durable hardwoods such as blackbutt.

‘My favourites are tallowwood and spotted gum,’ says Matthew Cantwell, landscape designer and director of Secret Gardens of Sydney. ‘If the budget allows, teak is one of the best decking timbers as it’s very durable and weathers beautifully.’

Australian hardwood species are a good option as many are naturally termite resistant. If you’re in a bushfire-prone area choose blackbutt or spotted gum, found to be more fi re retardant than other species, partly because they are so dense.


Oil the deck for a rich finish or let it weather naturally, depending on how much extra maintenance you’re willing to do over the years. An oiled finish needs redoing at least twice a year.


Consider the details as you would for an inside space. Toughened glass or tightened marine wire on balustrades can add glamour, as can built-in lights and deep, wide stairs that double as extra seating.

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