The Changing Face of the Australian Backyard

The Australian backyard has changed a lot since the 1980s, with many backyards becoming smaller to accommodate for larger house sizes. In this blog, we look at how the typical Australian backyard has changed over the years, and how homeowners are coming up with innovative designs that maximise the available space.

australian backyard

Change at the turn of the century

Post WW2, suburban Australian backyards were typically large, with many houses having backyards over 150m2  with plenty of tree coverage. These grassy backyards were often large enough to be fitted with an iconically Aussie Hills Hoist washing line, and sometimes even an in-ground pool. By the early 90s, this all began to change. Houses became much larger, covering the majority of the block, and backyards significantly decreased in size, many of them under 50m2.

The impacts of smaller backyards

Smaller backyards mean less room for greenery, which has negative impacts on natural ventilation, stormwater run-off and biodiversity. With less trees and other plants around, the air becomes more polluted and more carbon is present. Smaller backyards also impact household enjoyment, as there is less space for outdoor gatherings and for children to play in, along with a diminished outlook from inside the home. While these factors certainly paint a depressing picture of the modern backyard, it’s possible to work with a small surface area to create an outdoor space that is both enjoyable and practical.

Modern innovation

While Aussie backyards may no longer be covered in expansive patches of lawn, there is plenty of innovation going on. Backyards now have a low maintenance focus, with much of the area consisting of hard surfaces like concrete, paving or decking, often covered by a canopy or pergola. Backyards are considered an extension of the living area, often fitted with features like in-built barbeques and comfortable outdoor furniture for outdoor entertaining. To make up for the lack of greenery, many homeowners resort to space saving options like vertical gardens and small veggie patches, and even rooftop gardens have seen a surge in popularity.

Although the Australian backyard is a lot smaller than it used to be, careful planning and innovative features like vertical planters and indoor-outdoor integration mean an enjoyable outdoor space is still within reach. Prestige Concrete Services offer a range of concreting options and can transform your backyard into an incredible entertaining space, whatever the size.