If you don't want to move, then improve!

10 October 2019

As the property market slows, homeowners are choosing to stay in their houses for longer and invest in home improvement projects to suit their lifestyle changes over time.

Adbri Masonry recently carried out research that indicated that 32% of homeowners intend to live on their property for more than 20 years while a further 20% expect to stay between ten and 20 years.

With the warmer weather well and truly on the way, Adbri Masonry brand ambassador and award-winning landscape designer Jason Hodges says it’s time to renovate the outdoor area to create a haven bridging the indoor and the outdoor.

Adbri Masonry has released some tips for sprucing up your back yard.

Jason says that people often underestimate the cost and effort involved in renovating an outdoor space but stresses that it is one of the easiest home improvement projects to tackle.

“Historically, homeowners focused their renovations on the interior of their homes, but given the relative low cost and high value that can be gained by the creation of a new living space outside, the numbers stack up to consider an outdoor investment.”

He adds that an outdoor space grows with a homeowner and that it is no surprise that Aussies are seeing their yards as black canvases to create new recreational areas of life and colour.

The first step of refreshing an outdoor space is having a plan for how to use the area over time – will it be a kids’ play space, a lounge area for the adults to have a glass of wine after work, or purely a showpiece?

Once you have an end result in mind, it’s time to gather inspiration – make a mood board of ideas and inspiration from magazines or social media. There are plenty of magazines to browse through or, for those who are budget-conscious, any amount of social media accounts to follow and peruse for ideas.

Jason outlines a couple of masonry trends to start the ball rolling on inspiring your renovation.

Darker colours help to emphasise colour pops in your garden space.

Grey is the new black

Darker colours are becoming an increasingly popular design choice for paving in backyard spaces, according to Jason, who says they inject moody tones and maturity to an outdoor space.

Darker colours are also softer on the eye than light colours reflecting the sun which is a big benefit in Australia.

Jason adds: “By painting your fences black it will actually hide your fence while plants and flowers will pop with colour, making anything green look greener.” White is a perfect colour to contrast with black but Jason also suggests considering pops of colour to really personalise the space.

Irregular shaped and coloured tiles can be an eye-catching feature.

Ditch uniformity

Large format slab pavers are still a design favourite, the French-style pattern proving an aesthetically pleasing concept. Mixing two different size pavers can create an appealing, irregular visual that is distinctive on the eye, Jason says.

A related trend is to move away from smooth surfaces – textured and treated surfaces deliver a contemporary aesthetic and interesting effect, adding an extra element of character.


Easily adaptable spaces make reinvention easier as family needs for that space change.

Champion functionality

For those who decide to stay in their houses for longer, it’s important to be mindful of how a space changes and how the family’s use of it will adapt. It’s important to plan for the future, considering areas that can be easily evolved.

Jason explains: “For example, if you have a family home with young children, consider building a sand pit, over time and when the children get older, this could become a veggie garden that they can help maintain. When it’s time for the teenagers needing space, transform that veggie patch into a fire pit.”