Granny flats in recent years have gained popularity for their stylish, innovative designs, clever use of space, affordability, short construction time and alternative means of income. While the granny flats themselves have a stylish design, what about blending them into your backyard? Discover how you can tie your main dwelling, backyard and garden in with your granny flat, to create the “Ultimate Backyard Granny Flat”.
What style are you going for?
Modern, quirky, vintage, beachy … What style do you love and is it similar to your main dwelling? Establishing a style will form the framework for which your modifications can be built. Consider the traits that you associate with the style, be as broad as you like.
For example if you love a quirky theme, you may consider traits such as:
• bright pastel colours such as lemon, dusty pink, pale blue and lime green.
• raw uncoasted materials such as hessian, wood, stone and fabric.
• rounded furniture and edging
• old combined with the new (modern & vintage)
• mismatched furniture and decor
• shapes and patterns
Once you’ve outlined your style you can start to look at areas in which you can incorporate it. These areas include, outdoor furniture and seating, exterior and garden decor, paint colours, lighting and walkway choices, as well as plant choices.
What are your future plans?
Are you planning to add perhaps a swimming pool, garden shed, vegie patch, etc? Consider their placement around your granny flat and whether they will tie into your plan. This can be a time to grab a sheet of paper, pencil and your creative mind to draw up a visual backyard plan. Ever dreamt of having a pond? Don’t forget to add that too. Include large trees, garden beds, water features, sheds, and that tree house the kids wanted. Let your imagination run wild.
Matching the garden
Using the “quirky” theme as an example, you want to match your garden and plants to this theme. To do this, you will need to look back at the traits you established in relation to your style/theme and then match them to actual things you can incorporate in and around your garden and granny flat.
Walkways & lighting
Walkways are a great way to connect areas and buildings, whilst outdoor lighting creates a lovely outdoor experience for evening entertaining or leisure. To tie these in, you will want to combine the materials and colours associated with your chosen theme/style with a layout and shape of the sections that will make up your path.
For example to tie the quirky theme into your walkway you may want to use black and white alternating round pavers with a grey or white stone gravel around them.
Lighting, built into the ground, could make for a clever and magical walk from your main dwelling to your granny flat of a nighttime.
Solar lighting is also a wonderful idea that not only light up when the sun goes down but also does not have ugly cabling, nor do they add to your electricity bill.
Furniture & decor
Decorating your deck or patio is the fun part, requiring little to no effort. For a vintage theme, there are plenty of stores which sell furniture made new to look aged. Alternatively, you can get creative and add some effects such as crackled paint and blemishes. Find out how to get the crackled paint look here. Look for crackle medium at your local hardware or paint store.
Garden ornaments are great ways to incorporate your chosen theme into your garden, onto the granny flat and main dwelling’s verandahs, patios and/or decks. Outdoor furniture can be adorned with vibrant or subtle patterned cushions, blankets and paints, to suit your theme.
Google Images and Pinterest are great places to get some online inspiration, alternatively head out to your local homewares store to get some great suggestions.