Planning Your Garden and Sightlines When Renovating

There is no doubt that a gorgeous garden adds great value to most properties. Whether it’s a sweeping lush garden on a sizeable block or a simple stylish courtyard, creating attractive outdoor spaces is a crucial part of renovating your property. So if you’re seriously considering a renovation it makes good sense that the garden blueprint is an integral part of the planning process. This means that you must start thinking about the garden design in conjunction with the building design. In this way the building and the garden will work together to elevate your (or your buyer’s) enjoyment of the home as well as its market value.

Irrespective of size, a well-planned garden should be an integral part of the overall property. The old days of a front yard and a back yard connected by a doorway disappeared long ago. Today’s gardens should sensibly and effortlessly bring together the indoor and the outdoor spaces.

Many of us take great pleasure in peaceful garden spaces, and most of us enjoy also the idea of having access to a functional but stylish area for our ozzie barbeques with friends and family. At the renovation design stage, it is a simple step to take all your garden and outdoor entertaining preferences into consideration. Spaces can be divided into specific zones, and garden materials and finishes can be designed in to harmonise with those planned for the internals and externals of the building.

Practical and structural things such as plumbing, drainage, irrigation, tap placement, lighting, pathways, retaining walls, screens and garden features could all come into play.

Another very important reason for planning the garden at the beginning of the process is to ensure that good sightlines are taken full advantage of. Sightlines are the invisible straight lines through rooms. Good sightlines bring pleasant views into focus such as a stunning garden, an attention-grabbing space, or a beautiful piece of art or furniture. Well thought through lines of sight will open up rooms, will define pathways and will encourage communication within connected rooms – including from internal rooms to the garden and outdoors. Used well, mirrors too are a great way to draw the eye through a space towards something pleasing. Of course sightlines are also designed to conceal private spaces, such as bedrooms or less attractive areas such as the kitchen sink or storage of rubbish bins.

At this stage it probably isn’t as important to be exacting in your choice of plants, although thought should be given to sizing and layering and what type of plants are going to survive and flourish within the location and its environment, for example in coastal conditions

So careful consideration of the garden at the design stage with your architect or building designer, along with collaboratively working with your builder beforehand, will ensure all potential problems are identified and addressed in the early phases of planning.
Of course it may be that you can’t immediately afford the additional cost of installing the garden. But planning for it at this design stage won’t cost a lot extra. Then, when you can afford it, your garden can be installed without any major glitches and it will add a whole lot of value and pleasure in the end.

In any event, leaving the garden as an afterthought can potentially create frustration due to the cost of having to go back to the drawing board and/or because of costly structural impediments.

So, as you can see, it is really important to think about all these things before you’ve finalised your plans. All the hard work and expense of a renovation will be enriched by a garden with a strong natural, synergy and connection with the building.