Letitia’s Tips – Design features for large areas

Design features for large areas

If you have a large outdoor area that you want to turn into a beautiful and functional alfresco area, then these design features for large areas may help you.

1. Create different zones

Zoning gives you versatility within your alfresco area. Defining your zones using different materials such as pavers and decking allows each defined space to shine. At the same time zoning allows your whole alfresco area to operate functionally while making everyone feel connected.

2. Shade options

Having a large alfresco area gives you some great shade options. We love the flexibility that louvre opening roofs offer. Or you could use sensor driven opening roofs, glass opening roofs, or blinds to ensure you have the weather, light, and privacy at your command.

3. Outdoor kitchen

If you have a large area, creating an outdoor kitchen is a great addition to your space. These days, you have a large range of outdoor kitchen options to choose from. And that means you don’t have to head in and out of your indoor kitchen once your guests have arrived.

outdoor kitchen

4. Focal point

By creating a focal point into your alfresco area, you draw attention to that point. And this creates an illusion of a more intimate alfresco. Plus it adds a wow’ factor to your home. Your focal point could be a water feature, a feature wall or even a pool. 

5. Lighting

Garden lighting allows you to use all that extra outdoor space in the evenings, and it adds atmosphere. Choose lighting that works with your different zones, or even set out your lighting to create zones. Solar lights are a great option for this. If you have decking, then deck lights are great for lighting up steps and framing the edge.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you turn your outdoor space into a beautiful alfresco area, contact Letitia, our alfresco design specialist. 

Louvre opening roofs

Louvre opening roofs

Creating flexible alfresco’s

Louvre opening roofs, are not necessarily “new” in alfresco design, but they are becoming increasingly very popular. Why? Because more people are seeking flexibility with weather and light control in their alfresco areas.

So, what do louvre opening roofs offer you?

Here are three reasons:

1.   You control your alfresco environment

When you love being outside in summer, but the glare and heat from the sun is just too much, having an opening roof allows you to create shade, yet still let a breeze through (if there is one).

In winter, simply open up your louvre roof and angle it to allow the winter sun in but without the glare in your eyes.

2.   Reduce your energy consumption

Having the flexibility to better control your alfresco area means that you can reduce the summer heat. And that means you don’t need constant air conditioning.

In winter the reverse applies. Maximising the winter sun and creating a heat bank in your alfresco area reduces the energy required to heat your alfresco area

Therefore, no matter what time of year you are using your alfresco area, a louvre opening roof helps to reduce your energy consumption and therefore your electricity bill.

3.   A custom design to meet your alfresco needs

If you have an existing deck or pool area, a louvre opening roof can be designed to be “retro-fitted” and provide the type of cover you want. 

Alternatively, if you are building an alfresco area for your home, have a custom designed louvre opening roof included to create extra flexibility in how you use your alfresco.

No matter what size your alfresco area is, big or small, your louvre opening roof can be designed to maximise use – all year around

Want to know the technical details?

At Ultimate Alfresco, we have been using Louvretec opening roofs for a number of years and highly recommend them. 

Why Louvretec?

Louvretec offer a number of different opening roofs options, all with exceptional quality and capabilities.

  • Louvretec opening roofs are fully engineered and manufactured to the highest engineering standards and backed by an extensive warranty.
  • All aluminium louvres and extrusions used in Louvretec’s systems are manufactured in an ISO9002 quality assured environment to AS1866 & AS3902 standards.
  • Marine grade T316 stainless steel is used for the drive axles, with stainless steel componentry fixings being standard.
  • Plastic injected moulded componentry is all UV stabilised.
  • All Louvretec motorised systems are powered by leading brand Tubular motors. Both motors and controls are supported with five to seven-year warranties depending on the motor type.

You get an added design bonus as all the drive systems, motors and gearboxes are fully hidden. This creates clean lines for your alfresco area.

  • The Louvretec opening roofs use a spiral pivot system. This enables full 180º louvre rotation, which means you literally control the amount of sun or shade for your alfresco.

If you want the flexibility and benefits of a louvre opening roof for your alfresco area, contact Letitia, our alfresco design specialist. 

Communication through your alfresco build

Communication through your alfresco build

Communication through your alfresco build

At Ultimate Alfresco we work with you through a proven process to ensure your project meets all your needs, is hassle-free and planned to ensure no hidden costs.

We will keep you up to date at all times throughout the process.

Step 1 – Your personal design consultation

We believe in creating your ultimate alfresco area just for you. In this meeting, we discuss your vision, uncover your needs, and discover your alfresco dining dreams so that we can tailor our designs to match.

Communication – A face-to-face meeting between you and Letitia, our Alfresco Design Specialist. If any clarification is required after the meeting, Letitia will contact you via your preferred method, whether that be email, phone or another face-to-face meeting.


Step 2 – Project estimate of cost

We will create an estimate of the cost of your project. Any costs that we anticipate being required to make your dreams a reality, we will make them clear to you. Transparency is key.

Communication – Your estimate of the cost is advised via a meeting at the Ultimate Alfresco office. If this doesn’t suit you then we contact you via your preferred method. 


 Step 3 – Design and plans

Now it’s time to put your ideas onto paper. Do you have designs from an architect? We work with them. Don’t have plans yet? We are always more than happy to provide our clients with professional designs. At this stage, we turn your concepts and ideas into concept drawings or plans.

Communication – Design and plans are visual, and all the information and products are available at Ultimate Alfresco. Because of this we ask you to meet at the Ultimate Alfresco office to help you turn your concepts into plans.   


Step 4 – Actual project costs

After creating the design and concept drawings for your dream alfresco area, we get out our calculator and provide you with the final costing of your project.

Communication – Similar to Step 3 – all the information and products are available at Ultimate Alfresco. Because of this, where possible, we ask you to meet at the Ultimate Alfresco office to help you turn your concepts into plans.   


Step 5 – Building contract

We’ll then prepare and provide you with your building contract. You will then have, at hand, all the specifications of your alfresco area, its construction and the project timelines.

Communication – Your building contract is provided through your preferred method. We can go through it at the Ultimate Alfresco office, or if this doesn’t suit you then we send it to you via email or traditional mail. 


Step 6 – Council application

We will process all of the local council paperwork regarding your new alfresco area. This includes engineering certification, the building application and all legislative requirements, all submitted on your behalf. This saves you from the headaches and complexity this step of the process is often known for.

Communication – Your preferred contact method is how you will be notified that this has taken place.


Step 7 – Construction of your alfresco area

After receiving council approval we’ll arrange our building team to begin work. Building materials and other supplies will be delivered to your property and our team will begin turning them into your dream alfresco area.

Communication – Your preferred contact method is how you will be notified that we are ready to start construction. This is also how we will contact you throughout the construction. 


Step 8 – Practical completion of your project

After completing all of the building, construction and clean up work, we will contact you to arrange an inspection. We want to make sure that you are absolutely ‘wowed’ by the results and can start enjoying a fabulous future of entertainment and relaxation in your new outdoor space.

Communication – The inspection is an on-site meeting. We’ll arrange this with you via your preferred contact method.


We understand that communication through your build process is one of the most important things for you. You are welcome to contact us at any point throughout and after your alfresco build.

Making the most of a small space

Making the most of a small space alfresco

While Australia is renowned for wide open spaces, the reality of our homes doesn’t always reflect that and we often have a smaller outdoor living space. With the modern trend of down-sizing, our backyards have become much smaller and with that, it can be challenging to create an illusion of space.

If you have a patio or pergola area that is on the smaller side there are some things you can do to make it appear bigger.

Here, we share five things that can help you create an illusion of space and maximise your alfresco area.

1. Retractable roofing

A retracting opening roof can open up to 135 degrees and then retracts back leaving approximately 75% open space. So when the weather is perfect you can open up your roof and instantly create a feeling of more space.

2. Frame with seating

frame a small space with seating

When you have limited space, framing the area with built-in seating means you have ready-made seating and plenty of standing room for people to mingle. Adding cushions when needed turns a timber frame into a comfy couch. keep some portable furniture in storage for those occasions where you want to do some sit-down entertaining and invite people over for dinner.

3. Apply a minimalist approach

minimalist approach to small space

Using a minimalist approach and decluttering can create an illusion of space. You can add to the illusion by placing decorative mirrors on your walls (not too many) and use polished steel objects that reflect light for ornamental design. It’s low maintenance but high style

4. Design to scale 

Design a small space to scale

One of the key things that can make your patio area look larger is designing to scale. Choose smaller, fine lined furniture rather than bulky or heavy furniture. And. consider the materials you are using, create contrast and levels of interest by mixing up materials and plants. 

5. Use the Rules of Perspective

small space - use the rules of perspective

Designing the space around the rules of perspective can help make a small area seem larger. The rules of perspective are chiefly that parallel lines appear to converge in the distance and objects then appear smaller than those close by.

For more small space design inspiration, you may enjoy this video

If you have a small outdoor area you would like to convert to a beautiful and useable space, contact us today. We specialise in designing beautiful spaces for your lifestyle.