Extending Your Home by Lighting Your Garden
Your home is where you read with your children, celebrate milestones, host guests, entertain, and retreat to recharge. In short, it’s where you live! And when you’ve got a whole family under one roof, living space is precious. Families are constantly on the hunt for ways to maximise their space, from simple decluttering tips to elaborate home extensions. But what if we told you that up to half of your space could be going under-used right now, and that you could reclaim it without hiring a single builder or investing thousands of dollars?
According to Professor Tony Hall of Griffith University, suburban houses in Australia typically cover between 40% and 70% of a block of land. That leaves 30% to 60% of your space outside the walls of your home! When it comes to lighting your home, many people only think about their interiors, completely overlooking the importance of exterior lighting. This leaves a large percentage of their space unusable for as much as half the day! By simply lighting your backyard well, you create a whole new living space for your family to enjoy.
The best of both worlds: open plan meets separate spaces
Homeowners are increasingly reacting to two previous trends and trying to find the middle ground between them: open plan living, and large private spaces for kids. While open plan living promised to unite families, many can find the reality challenging. It’s not always easy to have adult conversations while kids watch TV or play loudly, especially when you have guests over.
Image source: World of Style by Porter Davis Homes
At the same time, however, many families are tired of living with their kids shut in their own rooms alone all the time. In some cases, kids have large bedrooms with all the amenities - even their own ensuites - and rarely find their way out into shared spaces. Many people are realising that neither of these extremes are ideal, and are looking for ways to share family space while also being able to find some quiet or create separation between different activities when required.
In many Australian homes we are poor for space, so any way to extend or create the illusion of more space is welcome. One of the most common solutions is to keep the floor level the same inside and out so that the outdoors feels like an extension of the living area. This is a great start, but lighting this area well (which we’ll touch on later in the article) ensures that this space not only looks like extra space, but functions that way!
Having a garden that feels and functions like an extension of your home offers an ideal solution to the challenges of keeping family together without inviting chaos: the garden is a separate space, yet easily visible and accessible. If your kids are running around outside and the adults are indoors you can keep an eye on them while also having a little separation for privacy and quiet.
The benefit of the great outdoors
Making your backyard somewhere enjoyable to spend time in daylight or after dark is about so much more than just having a wine on the patio with friends, as wonderful as that is! Spending time outside is crucial for kids’ development: something becoming more and more clear in both research and practice. Kindergartens, daycares and schools are increasingly putting a focus on outdoor days, offering things like bush kinder and regular excursions out in nature.
Unstructured play in the great outdoors has huge benefits for the physical, mental and social development of children of all ages. There’s nothing better for your kids than making sure they get time away from their screens and devices and out having real experiences. Encouraging your kids to see the garden as an extension of the home nourishes the idea that the outdoors is a safe and fun place to be, and helps ensure they want to spend time there.
How the right exterior lighting helps
Lighting your backyard effectively helps your garden feel like a true extension of your home, creating more liveable space and ensuring your whole family feels comfortable and enjoys spending time outdoors. Your outdoor lights can add a moonlight sparkle to your backyard, creating a sense of magic and atmosphere that will tempt even the most indoor-oriented kids outside.
Image source: Aqualux Lighting
The right choice of lighting will also help keep your kids safe as they play, maximising your ability to supervise them and ensuring they can see what they’re doing. A child who can see potential hazards can find solutions to interacting with the environment, meaning they’re far less likely to trip or run into something.
Your garden lighting will most likely include a range of different types of lights, like festoon lighting, deck lights, bollard lights, in ground lights, outdoor wall lights and maybe even spotlights or floodlights. Let us help you choose the right combination of exterior lights to truly make the most of your space.