Posted on December 19, 2019

Alfresco living is built into Aussie DNA. Long leisurely lunches, gazing out onto an open green backdrop with a glass of wine in hand and the sun on our backs. As lovers of nature and the outdoors, alfresco spaces make for premium entertaining and elevate the look and feel of a home.

Whether you enjoy entertaining outdoors, taking in the sunset solo or drinking your morning coffee alfresco, make the most of your outdoor space with the right styling. Here are 7 helpful tips to have yours ready for the warmer season.

1. Consider your ideal layout

It’s important to consider how the alfresco area flows with the rest of the home. Does your backyard open out to a gorgeous view? If so, position furniture to best enjoy the scenery. Consider which areas are in direct sunlight and keep furniture away to ensure comfort on hot summer days.

If you love to entertain and prefer to spend time with guests outdoors rather than isolated meal prepping indoors, consider an in-built barbecue and outdoor kitchen for your space. If space and budget permit, you can add a small fridge for drinks and even a pizza oven!

2. How do you like to entertain?

The alfresco area is about expanding your living spaces which begs the question; how do you like to entertain? Do you enjoy the formalities of a sit-down dinner or do you prefer a more casual, flexible way of hosting guests?

Considering this will help you select the right furniture. A large dining table is great for larger gatherings and outdoor dinners, whereas a lounge with coffee table and stools sets a more casual tone. If you have plenty of space, why not set up different zones to include both! Most of all, dedicate space for the things you enjoy doing outdoors the most, whether it’s entertaining, gardening, lounging with a glass of wine or curling up with a good book.

3. Choose the right furniture

With carefully chosen climate-proof materials, your space can bring joy whatever the season. Invest in durable, weather-resistant pieces like powder coated tables and waterproof lounges to avoid damage over time. Choose natural colours for your furniture as the base and then add colour with outdoor cushions, throws and rugs.

Furnishing with dinner parties in mind? Consider how many people you normally entertain and ensure your dining table seats them. If you have the room, opt for chairs rather than bench seats for more flexible seating.

4. Heating and cooling

We all know that summer days, particularly in Victoria, can lead to chilly evenings. To enjoy outdoor dinners all year round, consider an outdoor heater. With a full array of options, they can be as discreet as a heat strip or a statement piece like a cosy fire pit. On warm days, an outdoor fan can make things a lot more comfortable.

5. Pot plants and vertical greenery

The design of your alfresco area is an expression of your sense of style – and we all know how important a good first impression is. Dress up your alfresco area with soft earthy greens, using plants to add colour and even fragrance. To add some interest to walls, add a vertical garden, climbing vines or hanging plants. If you’re not much of a green thumb, a landscaper can help you choose the best low-maintenance options.

6. Lighting

A well-lit outdoor space is just as important as indoor lighting. Staying safe as you move around outdoors or having visibility while cooking are important factors to consider, especially when entertaining friends and family. Install spotlights, downlights or inbuilt decking lights for the right amount of visibility and ambience. Once you have the functional lighting planned and installed, set the mood with lanterns, candles or even fairy lights.

7. Privacy

If your outdoor space is visible to neighbouring properties or the street, it’s easier than you think to create a veneer of privacy. Privacy screens have come a long way in recent years with a huge range of choice in colour, material and design.

Our Alpha Collection home designs now come with an alfresco included as standard. Click here to view the collection.