A great-looking backyard is a dream space for any homeowner to enjoy and entertain in over weekends. But as any homeowner would agree, such a backyard also requires hours of backbreaking effort to keep the space looking good, free of overgrown plants, untrimmed grass and dirty tables and decks. No one wants to spend their weekends neck-deep in backyard maintenance; so how do you get a backyard that allows you to enjoy the beautiful space with minimal effort and time invested in maintenance?

Here are 3 smart ideas you can apply when you are designing your backyard.

1 Shrink your lawn space

A large, expansive lawn may look good in photographs but it’s a high maintenance feature in any backyard. Mowing, trimming and keeping a lawn looking pretty is very time-intensive; the easiest way to reduce maintenance time is to reduce the area of your lawn, or eliminate it entirely!

However, if you have kids or pets, you may still need space for playtime. Take a cue from these designs that will help you plan a lawn area without imposing much on your weekend time.

This small yard uses about a third of the old lawn space as a deck, still leaving plenty of room for play.

Only a small section of the yard is lawn, with almost three quarters of the design using low maintenance areas.

This great design keeps the lawn in the back, so the kids can play while guests enjoy refreshments.

2 Introduce entertaining areas

A low maintenance backyard design needn’t mean you have to compromise on the fun factor. Reduce your lawn area but introduce fun spots such as a small fire pit or a seating area. Check out the ideas below:

Eliminating the lawn entirely and replacing it with varying levels of decks adds life to a relatively small space.

This fire pit set-up uses gravel and stone pavers, and the trellis helps add shade and break up the grey tones of the stone.

Here’s a great entertaining area for a few guests, plenty of shade and close to the pool for summer, and nice and warm next to the fire in winter.

3 Minimise maintenance-intensive products

While you may have reduced your lawn area or completely eliminated it to save on maintenance, there’s no point in replacing it with materials that demand more maintenance. For instance, timber decking requires a certain level of maintenance to keep it looking elegant.

Using Knotwood wood grain aluminium finishing is one way to keep your backyard maintenance to a minimum, as you can see in these designs.

There are other factors too that can impact backyard maintenance: Planting the right types of plants, keeping the lighting intimate to hide all the stuff you don’t want to fix, and making the most of your space without cluttering are a few ideas you can try when designing your backyard.