The ideal alfresco zone is a seamless natural extension of your indoor space, letting you move your everyday lifestyle outdoors with ease. Factor these handy design tricks into your planning and your alfresco zone will quick become the place to be, dine and relax day and night.
1. Think about location
While some homes won’t offer choice, others will present several options for where to locate your alfresco zone and how it could transform your property. Popular is to open up the back of the home (commonly a living room), but your alfresco zone could also be an extension of your meals area, lounge/family room or become a quiet retreat off a main bedroom.
Consider the spaces available to you and how this will affect the flow of your home. For best results, renovators need to think about what location/s will offer a seamless flow-through effect to the home’s layout while creating a sense of openness and expansion.
2. Make a big entry
For a seamless look, think big when it comes to your alfresco space’s entryway. Double sliding doors or multi-panel bi-fold doors are great options. Not only do they create a larger entry space, but by offering a wall of glass you are inviting the eye outdoors while flooding your indoor space with natural light. This look can also be created with floor-to-ceiling windows plus bi-fold or sliding doors.
3. Bring your indoor style outdoors
For a harmonious blend between indoors and out, keep your sense of interior style going inside your alfresco zone. This can mean adding some home comforts such as an outdoor rug, weather-proof ottoman or oversized cushions. You can also create this sense of flow and consistency by including features/accessories in the same colour palette as your indoor space, adding similar-style artwork or choosing furniture/fittings that match your indoor space (perhaps a wicker outdoor setting to blend with wicker dining chairs, or continue a lighting theme that’s featured indoors).
If your outdoor space offers a kitchen, consider replicating similar materials/tones to your indoor space, such as matching reconstituted-stone benchtops or the same style cabinetry finish.
4. Create a purposeful space
To make your alfresco zone a natural extension of your indoor living areas, you need to make it purposeful just like the rest of your home. Consider the function you want from your outdoor living zone a place to relax and lounge about, dine or entertain? And take note of what furniture/fittings will be perfect for this purpose. Most people will want to include a table setting for dining, but do think outside the square.
Other possibilities include an in-built benched area with bar/stool seating, a semi-equipped outdoor kitchen or adding a servery window from the kitchen to outdoors. If relaxation is your goal, perhaps you could invite ultimate comfort with hanging chairs, a daybed and additional lounges and create a space that’s a natural extension of your family living area.
5. Enclose your space
A lined ceiling over your alfresco space is a sure way to create a seamless look. The flow of ceiling makes your outdoor space appear an extension of the indoor room, especially when the same lighting style (such as downlights) is continued. Plus, enclosing your space with a ceiling/roof (and potentially cafe-style roll-down blinds) will mean year-round use your outdoor room.
For advice on creating a seamless alfresco zone for your Melbourne home, phone The Makeover Group on 1300 768 464 or see www.themakeovergroup.com.au