Create an urban oasis

As we move into summer, the courtyard space starts to look a lot more inviting. And if your outdoors space has been neglected - or perhaps you're considering installing one from scratch - Matt Leacy and his team at Landart have a few tips to help you create an urban oasis.

“Generally speaking, creating a space that is a welcoming sanctuary to relax and entertain in is the key goal; changing lifestyles is what it is all about,” says Matt. Here is his expert advice for everyone with a smaller outdoors space to play with.

  • Your courtyard can be a green oasis in an urban jungle. With the right choice of plants – depending on light, space and looks – you can transform any dull concrete space into a living lounge room.
  • Focus on design for entertaining: as much as a quiet courtyard with space for one can be a comforting Sunday afternoon sitting spot, courtyards can also offer
    a fantastic space for warm evening gatherings. You’ve got to agree that plants and fresh air enhance almost any glass of wine – so take entertaining and friends into account when designing a courtyard space.
  • You might want to consider including an outdoor bar area, or an outdoor fireplace – to make sure that your courtyard doesn’t get totally abandoned over the cooler months.
  • Pet-friendly courtyards can be shared with your furry mates. That means including a small patch of grass – real or artificial – for four-legged friends.
  • Some courtyards will even have space for a plunge pool or a stunning water feature. You’ll never really know what’s possible until you get a professional in to assess the space.
  • Attention to detail – like the materials you choose – can make a courtyard seem professional, rather than awkward and forced. The feel – and look – will change depending on whether you choose concrete or timber, tile or stone. Colour, light and sound are all important factors to consider too.
  • Courtyards are typically low maintenance – they suit water-wise plants, like succulents, that can be a ‘set and forget’ feature. “You don’t need a big space to have a big design impact,” says Matt. “Sometimes smaller courtyard areas can in fact have the biggest impact, design-wise. Elements such as flooring and water features are magnified in a smaller space, and budget-wise you are concentrating your spend on a smaller space to create visual appeal, and functionality.”

Matt adds, “Space-saving design features are also a key focus of our designs, and seating and garden beds that incorporate storage are always popular in small areas.”