We seek the advice of landscape designer Stephen Read of how to maximise value through landscape design.  If you’re considering renovating your backyard, reading Stephen’s tips is a must! Here we share Stephen’s valuable advice:

It is easy to get caught up in the design fads and glamorous images you see online and in magazines; however, it is important to remember that good design is much more then just how the garden looks.  The garden also needs to be functional and create a mood that invites you to use the space. If you follow the tips below you will be well on your way to a garden that maximises both lifestyle and resale value.

Honest design, reflecting where and how you live

Connect the garden to its location, whether you live in the inner city, outer suburbs, the coast or the bush, each place has a unique quality.  Good design will always tap into the uniqueness of a place as well as its architecture, climate and the qualities of the people who live there.  Good design will always feel timeless and only need an occasional tweak to keep it up to date.

Balance between elements

If you aren’t into gardening, the temptation is to pave everything. If you love gardens, you may feel the urge to squeeze plants into every millimetre of space.  However, the best gardens are a balance between hard and soft landscaping.  Enough paving to be practical, balanced with a generous planting that makes the garden liveable.

Future proofing and space planning

One of the keys to future proofing is to use honest and hardwearing materials like stone, steel, bricks, gravel, timber and high-quality concrete.  The conditions in our gardens are harsh, and honest materials will age gracefully and stand the test of time.  Fake materials like pressed or patterned concrete and plastic grass will age dreadfully and date horribly.

The other key to a long lasting garden is to plan for the future use of the space, as it may change as your family grows; for example, the space set aside for the trampoline may become a welcoming fire pit area for older teenagers or perhaps a parents’ retreat.

In most cases, the key to maximising both resale and lifestyle value is the same. Simple, honest design that suits your needs and reflects the context of the location. However, if a luxury item like an eight meter lap pool will make your heart sing, then go for it!  Just remember that the extra cost may eat into the resale value, although it may be priceless for your lifestyle.

See more of Stephen Read’s work at his website here or check out his Instagram feed for his latest happenings.