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Add Value to Your Home

outdoor fireplace

An outdoor fireplace is a feature that potential home buyers find highly attractive. It serves as a functional focal point that can significantly boost the aesthetic appeal and ambience of your outdoor space. Real estate experts often note that well-designed outdoor features like fireplaces can increase the overall market value of a property. By creating an inviting outdoor setting, you're not just offering a structure but an appealing lifestyle that resonates with buyers looking for unique home elements. The return on investment for an outdoor fireplace can be quite favourable, as it not only attracts buyers but can also lead to a higher selling price.

Expand Your Living Space

encourage family time

Installing an outdoor fireplace is like adding another room to your home without the walls. It transforms your backyard or patio into an extension of your living space, ideal for relaxation and entertainment. This setup encourages homeowners to utilise their outdoor areas more, effectively increasing the usable square footage of their property. Whether it’s a quiet morning with a cup of coffee or an evening with friends, the fireplace area becomes a seamless blend of comfort and functionality, extending the living spaces from the indoors out.

Enjoy the Outdoors Year-Round

enjoy the outdoors

One of the most significant advantages of having an outdoor fireplace is the ability to enjoy your outdoor space throughout the year. Even during cooler months, a fireplace provides enough warmth to make the outdoor environment comfortable and inviting. Whether it’s a crisp autumn evening or a chilly winter night, the warmth of the fire allows you to relax outside and enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings in comfort. This year-round functionality makes an outdoor fireplace not just an addition but a year-long enhancement to your lifestyle.

Low-Maintenance Entertaining

An outdoor fireplace offers a hassle-free way to entertain guests. Unlike other home additions, fireplaces require minimal maintenance and preparation for gatherings. There's no need for elaborate decorations or setups; the natural allure of a crackling fire and the elegant design of the fireplace itself provides a perfect backdrop for any social occasion. Guests can gather around the fire for a night of stories, laughter, and relaxation, creating memorable experiences with minimal effort. This ease of entertaining not only makes your home a favourite spot among your friends and family but also reduces the stress typically associated with hosting events.

Encourage Family Time

In today’s tech-centric world, finding quality time with family can be a challenge. An outdoor fireplace creates a unique space that encourages family members to gather, disconnect from their electronic devices, and enjoy each other’s company. The inviting warmth of the fire draws people together, promoting conversation and bonding. From roasting marshmallows to sharing stories or simply enjoying the quiet moments, an outdoor fireplace creates an atmosphere where family ties can strengthen, making it more than just a physical addition to your home—it becomes a way to build and nurture relationships.

Picture this: Sunshine warming your skin, a gentle breeze rustling through the leaves, and the soft clink of ice cubes in your drink. Your backyard isn't just a patch of grass anymore, it's an escape, your own slice of summer paradise. Let's ditch the harsh plastic chairs and scratchy blankets. Instead, imagine cosy woven furniture that practically begs you to sink in, plush cushions that hug you like a cloud, and maybe even a hammock swaying gently between the trees.

Think layers! A sailcloth awning overhead shields you from the sun's midday intensity, while strategically placed umbrella trees offer shade in the afternoon. Toss in some calming colours – think sky blues, earthy greens, and warm neutrals – to complement the natural green around you. And as the sun dips below the horizon, let twinkling fairy lights or lanterns transform your space into a relaxing oasis.

Mimosa Caymen Wooden Cantilever Umbrella

This elegant Mimosa Caymen Wooden Cantilever umbrella is the ultimate shade solution to your outdoor area. The frame is made from a gorgeous eucalyptus timber and accompanied by a strong powder coated steel swivel cross base. With UPF50+ protection combined with a 360-degree swivel base, this umbrella ensures you are always protected, no matter which direction the sun is shining.

mimosa umbrella

RRP $799.00

www.bunnings.co.nz

Baya Summit Peak Outdoor Rug - Khaki

Revitalise your outdoor space with these contemporary and fully reversible floor rugs. Soft underfoot, the handcrafted double weave stripe design looks stunning on any surface and can be used interchangeably and outdoors. The Baya Summit Peak outdoor rug features a heavy stripe on one side and a finer design on the other; simply turn the rug over to create a new look in a few moments. 

baya summit peak outdoor rug

RRP $545.00 SML, $900.00 LGE

www.inkandbrayer.co.nz

Tropea 3 Piece Outdoor Lounge Set- Gunmetal

This contemporary chic outdoor lounge set features an aluminium frame, deep seats, and trendy mesh side panels. Tropea is built to handle the elements, ensuring that your outdoor space stays stylish year-round. Elevate your deck or patio with Tropea, where modern design meets durability.

Tropea 3 Piece Outdoor Lounge Set- Gunmetal

RRP $3797.00

www.targetfurniture.co.nz

Bryne Outdoor Cushion

Add a splash of style to your outdoors with the Bryne Outdoor Cushion. UV and fade resistant, it holds up to regular use outdoors. Showcasing a striking diagonal swirl pattern in copper, spruce yellow and lichen green hues, this outdoor pillow adds a pop of colour to any living room or outdoor setting.

bryne outdoor cushion

RRP $79.95

www.freedomfurniture.co.nz

Bampton Fire Pit 50cm

Send your summer evenings roasting marshmallows around the Bampton fire pit. This modern wood burning outdoor fire pit is crafted from iron and features matte black heat resistant pain. Perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere for those nights spent under the stars.

brampton fire pit

RRP $329.00

www.earlysettler.co.nz

Choosing the Right Paving Materials

Paving Materials

The first step for your paving project is to choose the right materials. There are a range of options available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.

Concrete Paving Stones:

These are durable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. They come in various colours and sizes, allowing you to create a custom look for your outdoor space.

Brick Paving:

Bricks are a classic choice for paving. They offer a timeless look and are highly durable. Bricks can be arranged in different patterns to add interest and texture to your paving.

Pavers:

Pavers are another popular choice due to their versatility. They come in a wide range of sizes, colours, and textures, giving you plenty of options to customize your paving.

Natural Stone:

If you're looking for a more natural look, natural stone such as granite or marble could be the perfect choice. These materials offer a high-end, luxurious feel to your outdoor space.

When choosing your paving materials, consider factors such as durability, maintenance, cost, and your personal style preference.

Designing Your Outdoor Space with Paving

paving ideas for your outdoor space

Once you've chosen your paving materials, it's time to start designing your outdoor space. Paving can be used to create different areas within your outdoor space, such as a patio, pathway, or seating area.

Patios:

A patio is a great space for outdoor dining and entertaining. You can use paving stones to create a defined area, and consider adding a fire pit or outdoor kitchen for added functionality.

Pathways:

Pathways can lead visitors from one area to another within your outdoor space. They can be designed to match the paving materials used in other areas of your outdoor space for a cohesive look.

Seating Areas:

Seating areas can be created using paving stones arranged in a pattern or design. Consider adding outdoor furniture and accessories to make the space more inviting.

Remember, the design of your outdoor space should reflect your style and the way you want to use the space, aligning with current outdoor design trends.

Installation Tips for Outdoor Paving

Paving Ideas

Installing outdoor paving can be a DIY project but requires some skill and knowledge. Here are some installation tips to ensure a successful paving project:

Proper Planning:

Before you start, make sure you have a clear plan of where each paving stone will be placed. This will help ensure a smooth and even installation.

Preparation:

Proper preparation is key to a successful paving project. This includes removing any existing materials, levelling the ground, and ensuring a solid base for the paving stones.

Installation:

When installing the paving stones, make sure each stone is properly aligned and level. This will ensure a smooth and even surface.

Maintenance:

Once the paving is installed, regular maintenance is required to keep it looking its best. This includes cleaning the paving regularly and repairing any damage promptly.

With the right materials, design, and installation, your outdoor space can be transformed into a beautiful and functional area that you'll love spending time in.

outdoor space

Here are 6 things you should consider:

Understanding Local Regulations and Permits For Your Pool

Before you start constructing your pool, you need to make sure that you comply with local council regulations and obtain the necessary permits. Each local council in New Zealand may have different regulations regarding pool installation; it's essential to research your specific council's guidelines and regulations. These regulations cover things such as safety features, fencing requirements, and the distance from your property boundaries. It's important to understand these regulations to avoid any legal complications.

Once you've familiarised yourself with the regulations, you'll need to apply for the necessary permits. This process can vary, but it generally involves submitting an application to your local council. The application should include information about the pool's location, size, and design, as well as details about the safety features.

Choosing the Right Size and Shape

The size and shape of your pool should be determined by the available space in your backyard and your budget. A smaller, rectangular pool might be more suitable for a limited space, while a larger, free-form pool could be a better option if you have more space.

When deciding on the size of your pool, consider not just the available space, but also how you intend to use the pool. A small plunge pool might be perfect for a family that primarily uses the pool for exercise, while a larger leisure pool might be more suitable for families who enjoy swimming laps or hosting pool parties.

The shape of your pool can significantly impact its aesthetic appeal and functionality. Rectangular pools are popular for their versatility and ease of maintenance. On the other hand, free-form pools can offer a more natural, relaxing option. You may also want to consider unique shapes like geometric or kidney pools, depending on your personal preferences and the space available.

Deciding On Pool Type and Material

There are several types of pools to choose from, including concrete, fibreglass, and vinyl liner pools. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, maintenance, and durability.

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are durable and can be customised to any shape or size. However, they require regular maintenance, including regular cleaning and refinishing. They also tend to be more expensive than other types of pools.

Fibreglass Pools

Fibreglass pools are pre-manned and can be installed quickly. They are low maintenance and require less cleaning than concrete pools. However, they can be more expensive upfront.

Vinyl Liner Pools

Vinyl liner pools are the most affordable option, but they are less durable and require more frequent maintenance. They are also less customisable than concrete or fibreglass pools.

Pool Maintenance

Pool maintenance involves regular cleaning, you should be prepared to commit to regular maintenance to keep your pool in good condition.

Regular cleaning involves skimming off leaves and debris, brushing the pool walls, and vacuuming the bottom. This should be done at least once a fortnight, or more often during the swimming season.

Checking the water chemistry involves things like testing the pH levels and calcium hardness. This should be done weekly to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.

Any leaks or damages should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage and to maintain the safety of the swimmers. This could involve repairing a broken tile, fixing a leaky pipe, or even replacing a damaged pump.

Pool Safety

Safety should be your top priority when installing a pool. A secure fence is crucial for preventing children and pets from accidentally falling into the pool. Educating children about pool safety is essential. This could involve lessons on how to swim, rules about when and where to swim, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Proper lighting is important not only for safety but also for overall aesthetics. Consider installing lights around the pool's edge and perhaps even underwater lights for a dramatic effect.

Cost Considerations

The cost of installing a pool can vary significantly depending on the size, type, and additional features. It's essential to have a clear budget and understand what each component of the cost covers.

The cost of a pool installation can be broken down into several components. This includes the cost of the pool itself, the cost of installation, the cost of equipment like pumps and filters, and ongoing maintenance costs.

Photos via Pinterest

As design trends continue to evolve, swimming pools will remain a canvas for creativity, blending technology, aesthetics, and functionality to create aquatic masterpieces that cater to every home.

Natural pools

As sustainability and eco-friendliness become more important in design, natural pools are gaining popularity. These pools combine the aesthetics of a traditional swimming pool with the ecological benefits of a pond. Natural pools use a system of aquatic plants and biofiltration to purify the water, eliminating the need for chlorine or other chemicals.

Lap pools

Lap pools are a testament to functionality and minimalistic design. These long, narrow pools are ideal for homeowners who want a dedicated space for swimming laps and exercise. They are often incorporated into smaller outdoor spaces, making them an excellent choice for urban homes or compact gardens.

Swim-up bars

Combining relaxation and refreshment, swim-up bars have become a sought-after addition to many pool designs. These pools feature a submerged bar area where swimmers can grab drinks and snacks without leaving the water. Swim-up bars create a resort-like atmosphere in your own backyard, making it easy to entertain friends and family.

Waterfalls and grottos

Water features like waterfalls and grottos can transform a simple pool into a tropical paradise. Waterfalls can be incorporated into the pool's design to create a soothing ambiance and the soothing sound of cascading water. Grottos, on the other hand, offer a unique and shaded spot for relaxation, often featuring hidden seating areas and even integrated speakers for music.

Photo by: NZ Pools

The beauty of outdoor entertainment areas lies in their versatility. They can be customised to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Al Fresco Dining: A dining area in your outdoor space allows you to savour meals in a natural setting. Whether it's a candlelit dinner for two or a family brunch, outdoor dining adds a touch of elegance to any occasion.

Relaxation Retreat: Create a tranquil retreat with plush seating, soothing water features, and lush vegetation. This space can be your personal sanctuary for reading, meditation, or simply unwinding after a long day.

Entertainment Hub: Turn your outdoor area into an entertainment hub with a well-equipped bar, outdoor speakers, and a large-screen TV. It's perfect for watching sports events, hosting movie nights, or dancing under the stars.

Gardening Paradise: For those with a green thumb, an outdoor space can be a canvas for gardening. Create raised beds for vegetables, plant a variety of flowers, or design a herb garden for fresh ingredients in your cooking.

Beyond the aesthetic and functional aspects, outdoor entertainment areas offer a multitude of benefits. Spending time outdoors is proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being. Designing and creating an outdoor entertainment area is an opportunity to infuse your personality and lifestyle into your home's exterior. It's a space where you can celebrate life's moments, bask in nature's beauty, and find respite from the demands of everyday life.

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