Make the current alfresco and dining space trend YOURS with these simple tips!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from lockdown, it’s that our home is our sanctuary. And what better way to make the most of your private space than by embracing the current alfresco living and dining trend we’re seeing unfold in real time?
I’m seeing more and more people extending their interiors including sunrooms and dining rooms with their patios and balconies. I’m seeing lots of foldout doors and furniture that is adaptable – suitable to both the inside of the home and weather resistant to the outdoors.
But what else can a homeowner do to create the ultimate alfresco space in their home, and what are the first steps?
Take a good look around your space to determine what you can do with it before you go ahead with any changes. Find out what is functionally possible and have a think about what you want and what you need your space to do.
Do you want the ability to sit both inside and outside at your will? Are you looking to cook outdoors? Is your outdoor space sizable and ready to host those big holiday get-togethers you’ve been dreaming of?
There is no point in heading out to buy that massive 10-seater dining set if your new alfresco area can only comfortably seat 6. So taking the time to assess your ‘zoning’ will help you plan the new entertainment space and guide you in what you need to do next.
There’s a reason all good restaurants boast big glass windows and glass bi-fold doors: it helps create a seamless transition between the inside and outside of the venue. And your home can benefit from the same design technique.
Forgo big bulky materials like hardwood that threaten to expand in wet weather, or creak in the heat. Go for glass, which is the easiest way to include an exterior wall between the interior of your home and your extended living space to the outdoors. No compromised views, and a little more flexibility with your floor plan.
Make your finish fabulous
When it comes to cabinets, drawers, sideboards or shelving in your living space, it’s important to remember that consistency is key. I’m not just talking about the general style of your units, but the finish too.
Unless you’re going for a quirky mix & match style in your new space, it’s best to ensure your furniture shares the same finish – or at least can easily blend one into the other by matching tone to avoid a cluttered look.
Consider your flooring too. If your patio is tiled but the interior space you’re trying to blend it into has polished wood floors, it may be time to pull up those old tiles in favour of a new decking.
Upgrade your appliances
This is especially important if you’re looking to use your new alfresco area as an outdoor kitchen. Investing in the right appliances that work well in all outdoor climates will not only make those big get-togethers easier to cater for, but really elevate your space.
I’m thinking a woodfire pizza oven, BBQ, even a wine cooler and drinks fridge! It may sound decadent if this is your first time on the renovations rodeo, but once you introduce these spectacular entertainment staples into your life, you won’t look back.
No dining or alfresco living space is complete without the right lighting – but taking the time to plan what lighting you need is actually more important than you may think.
Remember that you’re trying to extend your interior out into your outdoor space to create the most comfortable and inviting area possible. So while we want design continuity throughout your space, we also want to delineate your zones with subtly.
For example, add dimmable ceiling lights to your outdoor area if you’re adding a ceiling, or even a feature pendant or small chandelier to really dress up the area and anchor the table.
If you have the space, add a fire pit just outside of your newly planned dining or living area, out in the open air; this will help to create an illusion of an even longer space, as well as draw people out of the undercover area into a more natural zone.
These are just some of the many, many ideas you can explore to extend your dining or living space into a gorgeous alfresco area. If you’re coming up blank on what to do with your existing outdoor space or that house you’re looking to buy needs ‘The Kitty Touch’, give our office a call on (02) 8916 6172 and we’ll talk it through!