Keen to add the alfresco zone concept to your home? The alfresco outdoor entertaining area is more popular than ever with homebuyers and renovators because it delivers the best of both worlds – harmoniously merging your indoor living and entertaining comforts with the beauty of being outdoors. Before taking the plunge to create your own alfresco haven, consider these five items to help you best plan your space.
1. Find the perfect location.
Consider which room your alfresco zone will extend from, plus how this will impact on your garden space as well as the flow of your home. Your alfresco zone could be an extension of your cooking and meals zone, a private outdoor retreat off a bedroom or an effortless extension of your open-plan living area. With a little clever planning and design work, your alfresco zone can appear a seamless extension of your indoor living zones.
2. Create a big entry way.
Think big to make your entrance. A wide glassed doorway will create an effortless flow-through effect from your indoor living space, and if entertaining is your caper then it’s your most practical option too. Think: double sliding doors, bi-fold doors and/or glass floor-to-ceiling windows alongside to create visual interest and blur the indoor/outdoor lines.
3. Plan the standout feature/s for your zone.
How do you plan to use your alfresco zone? What standout features will make your space? Pretty much anything you have indoors can be created in your alfresco zone too – from an outdoor kitchen to a dedicated bar area, in-built bench seating, an outdoor fireplace surrounded by lounge setting or even a hot tub (for the retro-philes amoungst us!)
4. Create a well-lit space.
If you plan to enjoy your alfresco zone late into the night, good lighting is a must-have. With a lined-ceiling, downlights are an easy, practical option, but a mix of feature lighting and wall lighting can take centrestage in you space too. Be sure to add spot lighting to any potential night-time safety hazards, such as stepped areas, pathways and cooking zones. Also, check out these expert lighting ideas for your alfresco zone.
5. How to enjoy your alfresco-zone year-round.
With a little forethought you can be relaxing in your alfresco space all year long. It’s simply a matter of bringing a couple of those traditionally indoor comforts outside:
Create walls for your outdoor space (café-style blinds are popular).
Add heating and/or fans.
Install lighting – essential for gloomy winter days and for night-time too.
Choose comfy furnishings, such as an outdoor lounge or hanging egg chairs (look for all-weather materials).
Include cooking elements in your alfresco space too, from a small nook for the barbecue to a full kitchen outdoors.