5 hot alfresco area design tips


Designing the ultimate outdoor space can be a very personal thing. A lot of time and energy is devoted to creating a zone that is functional and inviting, whilst offering a unique appeal as a flexible area for entertaining and relaxing all year round.

As a homeowner, we all want our outdoor living spaces to stand out and reflect our individual tastes and personality. By utilising a mix of textures, materials, colours and design elements you can change the dynamics of your outdoor area to craft something pretty spectacular.

As housing estates boom in popularity in Australia however, creating a space that is one-of-the-kind can seem like a challenge. More homeowners are drawn to the affordability and practicality of picking a simple house design from a catalogue, making a few tweaks and voila; you’ve built your new home and alfresco space!

No one wants to live in the same-old mass produced cookie cutter house, and if your creative juices crave something bigger and better than a few coats of neutral paint and timber decking, here’s a few tips to turn your backyard space into a one-of-the-kind oasis.

1. Make the most of colour and design.
Colour and design are the first things that’ll make an impact in your outdoor space. There’s a wide range of colours to spruce things up which will assist in creating visual movement, so make fresh tints the driving force when you’re picking out design elements. You want the outdoor space to blend with your interior palette so start by choosing one or two main colours and go from there. Use inspiration from the landscaping surrounds to pick tints too.

For a patio, combine accent colours with a unique design to boost visual interest and make a bold statement. Depending on the architectural look of your home, you can choose from a variety of patio designs to create an impressive outside room whilst utilising unique flavours. Don’t forget to add some unexpected elements; like a mix of paving materials, wood charm and lush landscapes to offer dramatic visual attraction.

2. Create an interior-like appeal.
The outdoor space is an extension of your home so it’s important to seamlessly merge the two zones together by creating an interior-like attraction. Team up outdoor elements with home comforts, like the use of natural tones with weather proof essentials. Many homeowners will try to replicate the indoor space outdoors to raise the level of cosiness when entertaining and relaxing outside – but you still want to be smart about shade, use of weather proof fabrics and multi-functional designs to cater to the best of both worlds.

Incorporating an outdoor rug on a deck or tiled patio area can take the edge of hard finishes and using ample cushions on furniture will soften the space for something a little more luxurious. Consider the use of retractable screens or curtains in your pergola or alfresco area to offer the option of privacy too. Ensuring the space is expedient with enough room for seating will raise the level of comfort and you can add a unique spin to the space through amenities. 

3. Include modern convenience.
For an outdoor space to be truly effective, modern convenience and functionality is absolutely essential. You want to create a chill out zone that can be used all year round – not just in the warmer months. By working to bring some of the indoors outside, you can craft a space that acts as an additional furnished living room whilst still living up to the different weather conditions.

Stretch the usage of your patio, pergola or outdoor space by adding the right lighting, adequate shade, an outdoor kitchen or fire pit, in-built speakers and an entertainment system or TV.

4. Establish backyard zones.
Break up the space by establishing smaller zones for eating, lounging and congregating in. Various furniture groupings within the patio area can help to divide a smaller backyard space up into inviting nooks. By defining different entertaining spaces with the use of outdoor structures, furnishings, plants and accessories you’ll have the perfect backyard spot for dining, cooking and relaxing in. You can create stone pathways and add focal point lighting, trellises and arbores to help define dual activity zones too - these elements will provide transitions from one zone to another.

5. Customise it.
Enhancing a patio in a unique and special way simply means thinking outside the box. To truly make your backyard space your own personal retreat customise it with personalised accessories, distinctive crafting ideas and eye-popping textures and elements. The only real limit to designing the ultimate alfresco living space is your own imagination – so get those creative juices flowing and head to your local hardware store today!

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Great Aussie Patios – Perth’s leading patio builders with a solution for every outdoor space. You can catch her on Google+.

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