Now that summer is just around the corner, it's the perfect time to start thinking about your alfresco. If your back yard is looking a little neglected and it's time for an update, we have put together our top 6 ways to level up your space and create a summer paradise:
1 | Indoor Outdoor Connection
To make the most out of your outdoor space, we recommend adding large bi-fold or stacker doors that really open up the inside space to the alfresco. Where possible, we prefer having the inside and outside floor levels sit flush to create a seamless transition - and even better if you can closely match the flooring as well! If mosquitos and flies are a problem where you live, don't forget to add stacking flyscreen or security doors, or retractable screens for bi-fold doors.
2 | Alfresco Kitchen
When space is no issue, we love adding an alfresco kitchen! This usually includes a sink, bar fridge, and built-in BBQ, and if we have enough space, we might also add in a pull out bin, cutlery drawers or even a pizza oven. If space is an issue, consider adding a servery window from your Kitchen straight to your alfresco area instead!
3 | Shade and Fans for Summer
If you live somewhere that gets very hot in the summer, it's important to consider how you are going to keep the space cool enough to enjoy in the heat. The first thing that you need to know is the orientation of your alfresco and where the sun hits the most. We recommend blocking out the worst of the sun by adding shading, such as outdoor blinds and awnings, or even something more permanent like a creeping plant or a timber screen. And don't forget to add a fan as well!
4 | Heat for the Winter
Similarly, it's a good idea to consider adding a source of heat to the alfresco if you plan to use this space during the colder months. A fireplace or fire pit is a cosy way to add warmth, but if you don't have enough space for this, then we recommend adding some heating strips to your walls or ceiling instead.
5 | Lighting
Adding lighting to your alfresco is an important part of the design. We love having a combination of ceiling and wall lights where possible, however, make sure that the light fixtures are safe for use outdoors and wear well in your local climate (particularly if you live in a coastal area). It's also important to consider lighting beyond your alfresco if you have a large back yard. You can add up/down lights on walls, solar powered lights along your paths or fairly lights in the garden!
6 | Furniture and Styling
When selecting furniture, it's vital that you select pieces that are made for outdoor use and will wear well in all seasons. However, this doesn't mean that everything needs to be hard and boring. We recommend adding outdoor cushions and rugs, as well as greenery, to soften the look and make the space feel really cosy. It's also important to select pieces that tie into what you have inside so that it feels like one cohesive space.
I hope these ideas and tips have been helpful! If you're building or renovating and want to find out how we could help you with your project, get in contact with us below:
Have a wonderful week!