Alfresco living is one way Australians can enjoy their outdoor lifestyles from the comfort of their own homes. A well built and designed alfresco will not only provide a charming setting to enjoy Australia’s beautiful weather, but utilising your outdoor area increases your living space, and can add significant value to your investment. Some of the key things to consider when planning your alfresco are:
- How much space do you have? This will determine the shape of your outdoor setting, and size is important if you are considering a BBQ or outdoor kitchen area.
- What will you use your alfresco for? When designing your outdoor space, the layout and decor you choose should be planned around how you will primarily use your alfresco, such as hosting large events, or quiet family evenings.
- What’s the weather like in your area? If your location is subject to heat and high humidity, ventilation may be a priority. If you dread the cold weather, finding a way to keep your alfresco warm in the colder months may be your goal.
Here are some of the latest trends in alfresco living, as well as some tips to make the most of your space:
Seamless Indoor/Outdoor Living
Creating a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces can effectively double your living space to help you make the most of your property. You can achieve this look with the use of:
- A patio or deck
- A roof or cover over your alfresco area (skylights can achieve this too)
- Glass walls or large windows
- A well-lit exterior area
- Matching your interior/exterior decor
Using built-in furniture allows you to use your space however you like while still having plenty of sitting room. Well-designed built in furniture can help your alfresco feel like an extension of your house, and you can simply change the decor by adding pillows and cushions to match your interior design. Built in furniture gives you the flexibility to choose how you fill your space, so you can adapt your alfresco to any occasion.
Fire pits are one of the latest trends in outdoor living. While the idea itself is not new, 2018 is when we may see this feature gaining popularity in new homes. One of the reasons fire-pits are becoming more common, is they are a great way to enjoy your alfresco space in the colder weather, when we tend to forget about out outdoor areas. Fire-pits are low maintenance, giving you the experience of a campfire from the comfort of your backyard.
When it comes to outdoor lighting, you want to strike the balance between being having light to see clearly, without being so bright to spoil the atmosphere. It is well known a good lighting plan can increase the value of your property, so some of the best outdoor lighting techniques are:
- Fairy lights / hanging lights
- Lanterns along the garden edge or path
- Wall lights with covers
- Lights underneath steps or ledges
To add atmosphere, avoid harsh fluorescent lights or lights in the roof. Candles can also provide atmospheric lighting in your outdoor space, while functioning as decor during the day too. Don’t forget you can also have an outdoor kitchen.
Having a cover over your alfresco area is crucial in Australia, where heat and harsh sunlight can drive people inside over summer. Installing ceiling fans or having a roof cover with ventilation will also help your alfresco to stay cool over the hot summer months, and will reduce the wear and tear of your patio and outdoor furniture.
Local, Low Maintenance Plants
By importing plants from far and wide, you’re setting yourself up for a challenge to keep your plants alive in the harsh Australian climate. The simplest way to have healthy, beautiful foliage is to find a range of local flora. Most Australian plants will require little watering, so you don’t have to worry about your garden suffering in a drought. 2018 has also seen a return of the cactus as a houseplant, making them a trendy addition to your alfresco space.
If you are looking for new home that will allow you to have a stunning alfresco area, make sure that you talk to one of our expert consultants. They can help you shortlist builders, designs and land estates that will work with your requirements, budget and location. You can talk to a consultant 7 days a week on 1800 184 284 or you can book a call online.