A recent survey has found that there is a 41 percent increase in Australian homeowners wanting to do up their outdoor space from previous years. Perhaps it’s the advent of home improvement shows, social media inspiration or even global warming pushing us outside, but it looks like the outdoor area is increasingly becoming the centrepiece of the home. The team at SMI Financial Solutions suggest considering the below ideas, not only to build the aesthetic but to also add value when it comes time to sell. 1. Garden landscaping Transforming the landscaping of your garden can be a relatively quick exercise, however, when done, it is best to be thought out and with expert assistance from landscape gardeners and nursery staff. You want to be sure that the garden is compatible with the outside conditions of your area so for specific ideas and tips it’s best speaking to local experts who know the area rather than just online. 2. Mirrors Adding mirrors to your outdoor area can make a considerable impact, not just adding a new decoration but also expanding how big your area looks – particularly useful if you only have a small area to work with. You can surround the mirror with foliage to blend in, but also consider what you’ll be reflecting i.e. you don’t want to draw any further attention to the drain pipes or air ducts! To avoid any fire hazards in our harsh climate, be careful to not position the mirrors where the sun hits. 3. Driveway restoration Although not always a cheap improvement, restoring your driveway is almost a guaranteed action to add value to your home. Seen from the front by passers by (and bidders on auction day!), it’s important that this feature is kept up to the same standard as the house itself’s own facade. Gravel, sleepers, pavers, roofing are among many other factors that all need to be considered to transform a neglected driveway into a key selling point. 4. Vertical Garden On-trend and convenient for those with limited space, vertical gardens allow your backyard to have a unique, bohemian feel, while also covering up any wear and tear on walls. When considering what kind of plants to grow it’s vital to factor in whether you will need access for pruning as they mature and how easy it will be to give the living wall a haircut. Vertical gardens also work particularly well with gateways upon entry to the outdoor area, so even if the garden itself isn’t vertical, you can always spruce up the entrance. 5. Lighting A key ingredient to the perfect garden is ensuring that it looks beautiful in the night, not just during the day. By using some simple and affordable techniques you can make the perfect evening entertainment area. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Wash light on blank walls
  • Uplight feature trees
  • Use LEDs and solar lighting for energy efficiency
  • To heighten security of your home, ensure all entry points are well lit

6. Raised Garden BedsInstalling a raised garden bed gives you the ability to create a garden almost anywhere. It allows you to garden without fighting stones and roots, while ensuring the soil remains fluffy due to not being walked on. Further to this, worm tubes, trench composting, and dig-and-drop composting are all methods you can use to compost directly in your raised garden bed. ​Has this given you some inspiration? If you’re keen to calculate costs and see if finance is needed we’d love to chat.