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Tips on Designing the Ultimate Alfresco

By Sophie Anderson

Summer is just around the corner and what better way to enjoy a hot summer night than on your very own alfresco! Below are a few ideas to transform your outdoor area into a stunning alfresco area.

  1. Matching Inside & Outside – Ideally you want the alfresco room to be as connected as possible to the indoor living spaces. Having the inside and outside floor heights the same will make it feel like your alfresco area is an extension on your internal living space.
  2. Size – Think about how you are going to use the space to determine the best size. For entertaining it will need to be large enough to fit a table and chairs (minimum of 3x4m). If you have outdoor equipment (Outdoor Kitchen or BBQ facilities) you will need more space between the cooking and sitting areas. For a casual outdoor lounge space you might have 1-2 outdoor lounges, a chair to relax in with a good book and a low table for drinks (minimum 3x4m).
  3. Shade With the beautiful warm Aussie climate it is important that there is enough shade cover.  You could plant a deciduous vine or creeper to grow over a pergola or screen or use timber battening to extend an awning. You could also plant some trees that will provide shade.
  4. Weather You could use the alfresco space all year round! Retractable clear awnings or shutters can protect it from rain and wind. During Winter you could consider including features such as fireplaces or fire heaters. In warmer climates it is advisable to include ceiling fans.
  5. Lighting – Lighting is just as important as everything else! It helps set the tone of your alfresco area. You could use dimmable LED down lights while preparing food and Up/down wall lighting is perfect for creating ambience. Spotlights can be used in the garden to highlight the surrounding environment.
  6. Decorating / Styling – Choose furniture that will make you feel like you’re on a holiday! Try a darker shade of paint than you have used inside and experiment with natural materials and textures to blend the inside and out (stone, timber, renders).
  7. Landscaping – The best alfresco areas seamlessly link between both inside and outside and should integrate with your landscaping. Include greenery (maybe a green wall within your alfresco area) and have some stepping stones or or paving that leads to the garden.

Source : iBuildNew – Zoe Manderson

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