From the curved daybed to the trees growing through the deck, this courtyard-style entertaining area abounds with innovative design ele­ments and space-maximising touches. Created by Chris Dimos and the team at Mr Verandah, the strength of the design lies in its elegance, simplicity and the aesthetically pleasing sense of scale.

“The design brief was to create a low maintenance entertaining area that was private, could be used all year round and functioned like an existing extension of the home,” says Chris. In doing this, we needed to maximise the available space, make it user-friendly and introduce two or three eye-catching features to create strong visual interest.”

To ensure a seamless indoor-outdoor flow, the spot­ted gum timber deck was built at the same level as the flooring of the adjacent internal living area. Mr Verandah used spotted gum because it is a popular Australian hardwood decking product with intense colouring that makes it an attractive feature in any outdoor space. It also has natural fire resistance and with care, you can expect 40-plus years of wear.

Privacy was provided through e construction of spotted gum-slatted screens. These not only make the space private, they hide the old fencing and, thanks to the rich hues of the timber, make the space feel warm and welcoming.

The water feature is one of the first design elements to engage the eye. This is composed of a cypress timber-framed feature stack-stone wall, a Rudi Jass fountain and a pond. An uplight behind the fountain adds extra shimmer to the cascading water during the evening hours.

“The curved daybed is another arresting design feature. It adds a sculptural element to the space and provides a place for relaxing on a crisp spring day or a warm summer’s night,” says Chris. Greenery was incorporated into the design with several plants growing through the openings in the deck.

Another critical component of the new design was the construction of a large cantilevered roof, complete with a box gutter and plaster alfresco ceiling. As with all other elements of the garden, the construction of the roof boasts a quality finish.

“The key to success here was listening to the owners and then designing and building an outdoor space that will bring them decades of enjoyment yet require minimal maintenance,” says Chris. “This small inner-city backyard is now the family’s ideal outdoor living area.”