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Landscaper of the year seeds new ideas on backyard living styles

29/04/2024
Caesarstone

One of the few benefits of the Covid-19 pandemic was our discovery of the true value of our outdoor areas. Alfresco eating, entertaining and living finally went mainstream, with the outdoor kitchen soaring in terms of sophistication and functionality.

Backing this claim, latest research (BIS Oxford Economics 2023) reveals a record 62% of Australian households now claim their barbecue is part of an outdoor kitchen area.

Landscaper of the Year 2022, Adam Robinson, gives us his take on the future of the backyard, describing four key styles he sees as the future of the Aussie backyard in terms of both function and aesthetics.

“Any kind of landscape can be beautiful, if done properly,” says Adam. “There are four distinct styles that are growing in popularity, not least because they respect the Australian climatic conditions and focus on sustainable, natural materials. All these styles are designed with longevity at the forefront of the brief – once done, they will remain current and functional for a considerable period of time, nothing will need replacing as all materials are chosen for their durability.”

CURVACEOUS. ARID. MEDITERRANEAN. MAXIMAL.

These are the four styles identified by Adam as the future of Australian backyards.

CURVACEOUS

It’s all about the curve! Arches and curves for windows and doors complement the organic shapes of meandering pathways, a freeform pool, and benchtops/tables with a curved profile. Modern materials interpret traditional elements, with a restrained colour palette being carried from the inside to exterior seating and dining areas. Any type of planting will work in this setting, especially a layered approach, where underplanting is key. Exterior surfaces, while in a neutral palette, should feature visual interest in the form of patina or veining – such as the beautiful ivory base of Caesarstone Porcelain Mirabel™ with its prominent veining in washed clay, charcoal, and copper in a honed finish.

ARID

A minimalist style featuring sand, gravel, rocky outcrops, and boulders. Group plantings of shrubs, grasses, and natives, in sage greens, browns and silver-greys. The colour palette for the living/dining areas is one of warm, sandy earth tones. The real focus is on textures – natural, raw materials, unfinished timbers, burnished metals, and dry-stone walls. Surfaces for kitchen workbenches, tables and BBQs housing reflect these same aesthetics – such as Caesarstone Porcelain Mosstone™. Its stone finish and adornment of a mottled layer of mosses resembles the split-face of a beautifully weathered, milky white stone, in a combination of muted sage and deeper green, across its entire surface.

MEDITERRANEAN

Inspired by Australia’s multicultural roots, the Mediterranean style features sustainable and water-wise gardens with a vegetative colour palette of green on green with pops of colour from plantings of lavender, lemon trees and bougainvillea.

The materials palette is predominantly white, with muted hues of terracotta and sienna. Essential to the style is the connection between interior and exterior spaces, with multiple eating/entertaining areas shaded by overhanging foliage. The outdoor kitchen is multifunctional, with items such as bbq, pizza oven and smoker. Materials include rendered surfaces, terracotta or brick pavers and natural materials such as our Porcelain surfaces, which can withstand the harsh elements of the Australian climate. Caesarstone White Ciment™ is a perfect fit with its seemingly whitewashed surface echoing the patina of concrete or plaster and featuring a highly tactile ultra rough finish.

MAXIMAL

Warmth, exuberance and sheer joy. This style is completely open to interpretation, there are no rules, but bold colour and layered patterning nail the look.

Checkerboard tiling, chevron or crazy paving, and a riot of colour in the form of foliage and flowers are all part of the mix. Play with levels to increase visual interest – think sunken conversation pit or split-level entertaining area. Layer plants for added depth and richness. Maintain a common element throughout – say, a particular colour or shape – to ensure fluidity. Surfaces should be of modern materials that reflect natural elegance – try Caesarstone Porcelain Beige Ciment™.  Featuring an ultra-rough finish, Beige Ciment™ has a weathered, creamy-beige aesthetic that replicates the texture and tones of warm concrete.

The virtue of a Caesarstone® Porcelain surface in any outdoor entertaining area is its sheer resilience – it’s impervious to UV rays, household chemicals, food spills and extreme heat. Its exceptionally hard surface makes it highly resistant to scratches, pressure and rupture – so confident is the company of the durability of its Porcelain, each slab carries a lifetime warranty.

Caesarstone® Porcelain is produced from natural materials, including clay, feldspar, and natural oxides. The slabs, with 12mm & 20mm profiles, provide a far greater opportunity for creativity than many other surfaces. Their 1,600 x 3,200m size means larger, sweeping expanses of joint-free surfaces can be achieved.