Design for living

Mitchell Fowler, Landscape designer and builder from Ocean Landscapes, contractor to Smith & Sons

Not only will a beautifully designed and well-built landscaped garden increase the value of your home, it’s good for the environment and can create a calm and relaxing space for you to relax and entertain in.

When I’m designing a garden for a client, I like to understand their lifestyle and how they would like to use their outdoor space. From there, together we can design an outdoor space that will both improve the aesthetics of the home and provide functional spaces and well designed gardens that can be low maintenance or provide opportunities to grow produce.

My top tips for garden design

• Find your style: visit gardens or look at pictures of gardens and take note of what you like and what you don’t. Providing clear information to your designer about what you don’t like can be just as important as stating what you do, and can avoid unnecessary misinterpretation.

• Prioritise curbside appeal for investment properties: if you’re landscaping to add value to your property, you should spend most of your budget on the front of the home. Even if you’re limited by budget, smart design can ‘wow’ future purchasers or renters.

• Get creative: great gardens make people feel good, but they don’t have to cost a fortune. Adding interest such as a curved pathway with a softened border planting can do just the trick. Creating levels with a common selection of plants is also a great idea and can create a natural flow throughout your garden. Try to stick to a theme with your plants but splash out with something unexpected and striking.

• Make it functional: above all, you want to be able to use and enjoy your outdoor space, so make sure you incorporate usable spaces into your design.

• Sun smart: Make sure the design incorporates your needs in the best position for usability while considering the position of the sun. You don’t want an entertaining space that can’t be used because it’s sitting in the middle of an unshaded spot.

Smith & Sons are quality local builders who specialise in renovations and extensions. The unique Design – Plan – Construct process means that your entire renovation journey is taken care of, from concept to completion. Consider Brett Kingham and his teams at Hornsby and Turramurra. They call upon product specialists and ensure that every need across every project is met to the highest standard. Tel: 0427 649414. renovation-builder/hornsby

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