If you’re planning a full reno of your backyard, or just want to zjoosh up your home’s rear exterior cosmetically, these are some of our favourite features that will help transform any alfresco area.

So good, in fact, we’ve used them on all of our own projects too! Let’s take a look at what we did at House 13…


A freestanding wall (or 2!), as opposed to a boundary fence, can be a great way to create a distinct zone for a certain activity within an outdoor area. Out the back at House 13, we used (so quick and easy!) to define two different features of the yard - the pizza oven and the outdoor shower. Building a wall has so many benefits - it creates a well-defined zone, provides privacy from neighbours, adds shelter from wind and acts as a backdrop on which to build your pizza oven, outdoor shower, or firepit and poolside daybed, as we did at .

Reminder - always check any height and boundary restrictions before building a wall on your property. Some walls will require consent from your local Council.


Lighting is frequently forgotten when designing outdoor spaces but if you get it right, it adds atmosphere and can extend your entertaining hours well into the night (sorry, neighbours!) to really maximise your alfresco space. #hellowinetime

You’ll want to light it up (but not like it’s dynamite!) so we always start with a lighting plan to make sure we’ve got all bases covered, without the risk of your backyard looking like a night game at a footy field. If you need help with a lighting plan, we recommend speaking to the team at . You can even book a Design Studio consultation with one of Beacon's lighting experts. Our Reno School students rave about this service!

These are a few of our favourite ways to light up your yard:

Do you have a patch of turf that you want the kids to enjoy with their games even after dark?

A few well-directed spotlights mounted on the eaves at the back of your house will work wonders to extend their outside playtime.

Is there a feature in your yard you’d like to draw attention to? Perhaps a beautiful tree or an architectural wall?

Hello, accent lighting! Draw attention to those features with lights so that you can appreciate them after dark as well.

Can you see all the way to your back fence?

Being able to see the entire garden can make your yard look and feel bigger at night. Think about lighting at a range of distances, not just close to the house itself.

If you need to use the side-access of your house, do you have adequate lighting down the side paths so you’re not stumbling through the dark?

Walk around the outdoor area and use your torch if necessary to nut out exactly what lighting you think you need. Some well-placed lighting (perhaps on a sensor?) will save many stubbed toes and swear words after the sun goes down.

And, out the front…

Always remember the pathway and house number lighting for the Uber eats driver! #essentials


We use furniture to create defined dining, sitting and relaxing zones within a space. Upcycling or upgrading your old outdoor furniture can be one of the easiest ways to makeover an alfresco space. Try changing up the cushions on your outdoor sofa or adding an outdoor rug to bring a new lease of life to an area.

If you’re in the market for a new alfresco setting, Bonnie’s called it - “ does fabulous outdoor furniture”. #mustbetrue #checkitout


Did you know that you can totally transform your home through the power of styling alone? No renovations or wrecking balls required!* Well, the same goes for your alfresco area. Cushions, rugs, and weather-appropriate furniture will be your best friends when it comes to styling outdoors. And don’t forget the greenery! We’ve never come across an alfresco space that doesn’t look better with some greenery – it’s a must! Pots can be as important as the plants, and there’s nothing worse than a great plant in a crummy little pot. Bigger is usually better when it comes to pots.

A beautifully set outdoor table is always a good idea! If your outdoor setting is in good nick, you might want to embrace the timber tones and use a simple linen table cloth as a runner down the centre of the table. If your table has seen better days, go for a table cloth to cover it first, with a runner on top. For the setting below, we used a centrepiece of native foliage, an eclectic mix of crockery and crystal glassware, from Westpoint. You can shop the look .

* Psst… we can teach you how! Check out our online course, .