One of the hottest trends in the world of home design right now is the outdoor space. Before building your perfect outdoor kitchen, think about the things you must have for that space. Today these areas aren’t just a table and barbecue outside; they’re true extensions of your indoor living and dining rooms. Not only can they add immense value to your home, but a stylish alfresco area can really enhance your enjoyment in your home. An outdoor alfresco also provides a beautiful focal point in and outside the home; all year round.
Let’s look at some of the key areas:
DESIGN & LOCATION
The design of your outdoor space should seamlessly integrate in with your home’s indoor dining and living space. It should also complement your landscaping and the design of your home. To enhance your outdoor space ensure it is usable all year round and can protect you from harsh wind, rain and sunlight.
BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
Consider bi-fold doors that fold right back and turn your outdoor space into an extension of your living room. Also notice how the inclusion of bi-fold doors connects the outdoors seamlessly to the indoors. If the two areas cannot be merged into one, you won't get the most out of your outdoor space. Bi-fold doors are perfect because they can open wide or be closed when the weather turns bad.
CREATE A FOCAL POINT
Whether it’s a vertical garden or water feature, a strong outdoor setting – incorporating a ‘wow’ factor into your outdoor design is key for drawing guests from the inside, out.
LOW MAINTENANCE FLOORING
Timber decking and dark coloured pavers create the perfect base for an outdoor entertaining area. When choosing pavers consider a pattern that suits both the style of paver and your home.
You will want to have a roof over your head. Some have roofs and ceilings, with downlights installed in the ceilings. Others have pergola roofs, shade sails or modern outdoor awnings that can be extended or retracted to suit the weather and your needs. The important thing is that your roof should be stylish and functional, so match your roofing materials with your local environment. You don't want an open pergola roof if you live in a rainy environment, but it might be perfect for an area that enjoys sunshine most days of the year.
THE GRILL - COOKING
The most important thing that you need for your outdoor kitchen is the grill itself. A barbecue, a wood fired pizza oven or a complete outdoor kitchen are all great options for cooking. Think about your lifestyle when choosing which one will best suit. Consider installing some clever storage solutions to organise your utensils. Extra additions such as a bar fridge, sink and other kitchen fixtures will make hosting easy and cleaning up simple”.
Outdoor counters come in a variety of colours and designs, including granite or other stone products. Even if you have a large kitchen in your home, you need outdoor counters. No one wants to spend the night running in and out of the house to prep food during a party.
An outdoor kitchen is only as strong as the furniture that you use in that space. Consider choosing an outdoor table that comes with a 'leaf' which can expand the size of the table and provide more seating space. You can add even more room with an outdoor sofa or couch and a few chairs. Furniture will play a big part in your outdoor entertaining. Not only will it need to be comfortable but it will need to fit in with the surroundings and theme of your home. Choose furniture that’s durable and weather proof.
HEATING & COOLING
To create warmth in winter consider having an open fire in your outdoor alfresco area. This can also be a fun way to entertain. You could also install ceiling fans for the warmer months.
Garden lighting will allow you to make extra use of your outdoor space on those balmy summer nights while adding atmosphere. Choose a style that adds to the look of your garden. Solar lights are a great option for garden beds or grass areas, while deck lights are great for lighting up steps.