Alfresco living and dining spaces are all the rage right now. Not only are they an effortless way of adding some extra value to your property, but a well-designed outdoor living space is always a very welcome addition to any home. Here’s all you’ll need to consider if you’re looking to get resourceful with your patio.
1. Protect against the elements
First of all, being outside doesn’t necessarily mean weathering the elements. This statement becomes especially relevant if you live in Melbourne and experienced its signature whiplash-inducing weather. The question that Melbourne residents answer so well is this: how can we protect our outdoor spaces from rain, hail, or aggressive sunshine? When it comes to steel roofing, gas heaters, and outdoor blinds Melbourne residents are all decked out! Investing in some sturdy and stylish cafe blinds will provide you with the freedom to open up your patio in the summer, as well as cultivate a warm, enclosed atmosphere on the gloomiest of days.
2. Design for comfort
Speaking of gloomy days, the last thing you want to be in chilly weather is uncomfortable. Sure, you could just decide to not use your alfresco area when the weather takes a bad turn, but where’s the joy in that? Instead, consider incorporating an outdoor heater or fire pit into your alfresco area. Not only are they a fantastic and natural source of warmth and comfort, but the incorporation of these features can also greatly simplify your alfresco design plans. The placement of your furniture can largely be decided by the placement of your heat sources. Be sure to also invest in some comfy cushions and throws to add an extra sense of warmth to your space!
3. DIY deck care
With all the extra foot traffic on your patio, you’re going to want to get into the habit of treating your deck with some extra TLC on a regular basis. Although a lot of us might only treat our deck every three or so years with some professional help, creating an alfresco dining space may require a touch more upkeep, just to ensure that your wood stays free from moisture and food residue. You want to avoid any moisture getting into the boards of your deck as it may lead to splitting, warping and in some cases, even rotting. The best way to do this is simply to go DIY with your deck care. Take a trip to your local hardware store and invest in a pressure washer, a sander, some high-quality deck cleaner, and some deck stain or sealer so that you’ve got all that you’ll need to keep your deck looking fresh year-round.
4. Make a multifunctional space
Having trouble choosing between a living area and a dining area? Why not do both? Creating a multifunctional alfresco space is all about breaking your deck into distinct zones. This can be achieved by arranging furniture into ‘clusters’, and creating clear ‘pathways’ from one cluster to another. For instance, you could set your dining table on the opposite end of your deck to your sofa set and coffee table, with a wide garden bed between them as a makeshift ‘partition’. You could go further and lightly alter the colour palette from your dining area to your living area, presenting the illusion that they’re two separate rooms.
5. Delight in natural light
The great thing about alfresco areas is that they’re usually quite easy to keep well-lit. During the warmer months, all you really need to do is raise your blinds and let the sunlight do what it does best. And in winter, lighting up your alfresco area can be as simple as stringing up some magical fairy lights for some soft, ambient light. For romantic lighting, opt for well-placed tealights and other candles. If you’re looking for some stronger sources of illumination, you could even invest in some versatile smart lighting. As smart lights tend to boast a myriad of different colour options, incorporating these into your alfresco area can help you flit from one atmosphere to another all with the tap of a button.
6. Garden goodness
Any beautiful alfresco dining area has to hold some greenery. Whether they be hanging pots of ivy or some potted succulents on tabletops, any little plant friends will help you cultivate a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You could even install some herb planters to provide your space with that extra touch of freshness and functionality. Lemongrass and rosemary shrubs in particular can be immensely useful for cooking as well as being very easy to care for. And imagine walking your guests into a space with such a heavenly scent!
Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that creating the perfect alfresco space is all about finding what works best for you and your family.
Be sure to ask for plenty of input throughout this process and you’ll be sure to end up with a stylish outdoor space that the whole family can enjoy.