The rundown deck of this Sydney home was all that was standing in the way of a fantastic outdoor area. The garden itself was quite lovely. Because of its west-facing position, the courtyard would get beautiful afternoon sunshine in summer, making it great for lazy Sunday entertaining; while in winter, the dappled light made it the perfect spot to relax and soak up some rays. But the dilapidated deck deterred the owners from using the area and interrupted the flow between the house and the yard. “It was such a waste of good space,” says the owner. “We wanted to be able to open up those back doors and really extend the living area into the garden. We designed it so the deck would be a place to simply relax and the courtyard would be the place to eat and entertain under the beautiful trees.”


The owners rarely used the rotting deck at the rear of their home. “It was so unusable. The dog would lie out there in the sun occasionally, but other than that, it just ended up being the place to store plants and random junk,” says one of the owners. They wanted to update the deck so it seamlessly connected the house to the yard. “We wanted to be able to stand in the living room and still get the sense of being outdoors.”

Bringing the outside in

To really maximise the flow between the indoor and outdoor areas, the owners aimed to keep the deck area as open as possible to ensure the line of sight from the living room to the garden was free of distraction. They also painted over the neighbouring brick wall in a luminous, light-reflecting cream shade, creating the optical illusion of a bigger space. To successfully blend indoor and outdoor areas, try the following tips:

  • The retractable awning by Markilux Australia was the perfect solution for the sunny deck. It gives the owners the flexibility to create a little shade without having to enclose the area.
  • Retractable flyscreens are a nifty solution for bi-fold doors; they simply slide across from either end of the doorway.
  • There is such a huge range of outdoor furniture available now it’s possible to find a setting that not only looks good outside, but also complements your indoor style. The owners’ outdoor table and chairs are made from waterproof synthetic rattan and rust-proof aluminium, so they can be left outside rain, hail or shine.