Alfresco Inspiration – 2018 Design Trends

Alfresco Inspiration – 2018 Design Trends 

Be inspired by these five 2018 design trends for patio, pergola, decking and alfresco areas. We hope you are inspired to create your perfect outdoor space. 

Do you need help creating your perfect outdoor space?  

If you would like to discuss how to create a beautiful outdoor area designed specifically for you and your lifestyle, contact Letitia today. 

Letitia’s Tips – 2018 Alfresco Design Trends

2018 Alfresco Design Trends

If you’re thinking about creating a beautiful alfresco area, you may be interested in some of the 2018 alfresco design trends.

Flexible covering

Having a flexible cover over your alfresco area provides you with a beautiful and functional outdoor area that you can use all year round. Increasing in popularity are roof covers with ventilation, such as the Louvretec opening roofs. Not only do these designs help your alfresco to stay cool and shady during Summer, they help reduce the wear and tear of your patio and outdoor furniture.

Seamless Indoor/Outdoor Living

enclosed alfresco

Creating a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces is certainly one of the most popular design factors when creating your alfresco area. Not only can you effectively double your living space, you have a variety of options to achieve this look, including

  • Glass walls or large windows
  • Adding a deck
  • Incorporating a roof or cover over your alfresco area
  • Matching your interior/exterior decor

Outdoor Lighting

Having the right lighting can really impact the atmosphere of our patio, pergola or decking. It is also well known that a good lighting plan can increase the value of your property. Some of the popular outdoor lighting techniques include:

  • Wall lights with covers
  • Lights underneath steps or ledges
  • Fairy lights / hanging lights
  • Solar lighting along the garden edge or path

Outdoor kitchens

Outdoor Kitchen - Tip 4 Outdoor flooring

It’s quite common to see families cooking outdoors in Australia – we have great weather for it! And because of that incorporating an outdoor kitchen into your alfresco area is definitely one of the design trends we are seeing. In fact, we recently shared six things to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen.

Fire Pits

fire pit

We don’t really think of, or use, fire pits in the warmer months, but they are one of the latest trends in outdoor living. While the idea itself is not new this feature is gaining popularity in new homes. They are a great way to enjoy your alfresco space in the cooler weather and are low maintenance too.

If you are looking to design a stunning alfresco area, contact us to discuss how we can help you create your ultimate alfresco.

Letitia’s Tips – Six things to think about when designing your outdoor kitchen

Six things to think about when designing your outdoor kitchen

It’s quite common to see families cooking outdoors in Australia – we have great weather for it! And most of the time it’s “on the barbie” that’s located somewhere in your alfresco area.

If you cook outside all the time (or a lot of the time) have you considered adding an outdoor kitchen to your home?

There are a number of benefits to having an outdoor kitchen, including:

  • Expanding your living area
  • Adding value to your home
  • It’s great for entertaining

Designing your outdoor kitchen

When designing your outdoor kitchen, there are a number things to think about. Letitia shares six important design considerations.

1. Preparation space.

Outdoor Kitchen - Tip 1 Preparation area

How much countertop space will you need. Do you entertain often and with lots of friends or family? In which case allow for a larger countertop. Or if you usually cook outdoors for your immediate family, then you won’t need as large a preparation area. Ideally, your prep area will be close to your sink to make cleaning up easy.

2. Cooking space.

 

Most outdoor kitchens make use of an in-built barbeque. Think about the size and style of barbeque you will need. Ventilation is important as you don’t want smoke blowing all over you and your guests.  

3. Storage.

Outdoor Kitchen - Tip 3 Cupboard space

 

Don’t underestimate the need for cupboards outdoors. Otherwise you’ll end up running back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchens. And that really defeats the idea of having an outdoor kitchen. Think about what you need: cooking equipment, trays, cutlery, crockery, candles, etc

4. Lighting.

You’ll need great lighting, particularly over your preparation and cooking space if you are entertaining the evening. Great lighting will also help you see your barbeque or cooker clearly so you know how well your food is cooking.

5. Flooring.

Outdoor Kitchen - Tip 4 Outdoor flooring

Make sure you go for low maintenance flooring that can handle food spills and regular cleaning.

6. Design.

Outdoor Kitchen - Tip 5 Outdoor Kitchen Design

Think about how you will use your alfresco area, and how a kitchen with all the above can be incorporated. The space you have available may mean some adjustments need to be made. Design is where you call in the experts (like us) to help you make the most of including an outdoor kitchen into your patio, pergola or deck.

If you’re looking to add an outdoor space contact Ultimate Alfresco to discuss how we can help you design your outdoor kitchen.

Letitia’s Tips – Three ways alfresco areas add value to your home

Letitia’s Tips – Three ways alfresco areas add value to your home

Australia is made for outdoor living, so it is little wonder that alfresco areas have become sought-after additions in any property.

Homeowners see great value in adding beautiful outdoor spaces such as decking, patios and pergolas – and not just financial value.

This month, Letitia shares three ways an alfresco adds more than dollar value to your home.

1. Adding an outdoor area can enhance your lifestyle.

You can enjoy the outside of your home and make the most of your home life, whether it is :

  • creating a space for you to retreat to
  • creating a central hub for your family to spend time outdoors together or
  • adding an area to entertain friends and family.

Design Tip - Value

2. You get to enjoy your home, indoors and out, for the whole year!

Patios can be designed to create a beautiful space that offers shade and shelter in the hot Australian summers. The range of roofing options allows you to control the amount of sun and shade throughout Summer.

And in Winter, your alfresco are can provide comfort and warmth so you can still enjoy time outside. And there are plenty of design options to keep you warm.

 

3. Lower maintenance.

Choosing high-quality, durable products, that require minimum maintenance means your alfresco will look its best for years and you get to enjoy it for longer.

And, if you’re not a green thumb, adding an outdoor living area means less gardening and less garden maintenance.

And, a bonus tip!

If you are looking for a larger home, but really want to stay where you are because you:

  • like your neighbourhood and your neighbours
  • are established there
  • love your home

adding an alfresco area can be a more affordable option than moving home. And you get to stay in a home you love.

If you’re looking to add value to your home contact Ultimate Alfresco to discuss your options.

Four Tips to freshen up your alfresco

Four Tips to freshen up your alfresco

Whether you have a an outdoor space big enough for a large party, a shady deck by the pool or a charming sunny courtyard to enjoy your morning coffee, your alfresco can become a bit tired as the years go by – a bit like us really.  Fortunately, we get to go on holidays (or use our alfresco area) to revive and freshen up. Our alfresco’s don’t get this chance, however we have four tips to help you freshen up your alfresco and help it feel new again.

1. Add some greenery

Design a small space to scale

There are a number of reasons adding greenery to your alfresco is beneficial. Here are three!

a)     Plants can add to and freshen up your décor instantly. Adding greenery to your alfresco instantly adds freshness, colour and texture. If your alfresco has a neutral palate, plants can instantly add a pop of colour and brightness. Pick your favourite plants, making sure they are suitable for alfresco living, pot them up and place them in bunches together for impact.

b)     It is well known that plants purify the air. Fresh air is a benefit to our health and plants increase oxygen levels. They can also remove toxins from the air, as well as from furnishings and finishes – helping keep your alfresco area fresh.

c)     Plants make people happy! Having plants can provide a calmer environment making you feel more optimistic, and contribute to your overall well being. Now we know that alfresco areas can have this effect as well – adding plants can take it to another level.

Even as something as simple as a vase with flowers can freshen up your space.

2. Add a feature/focus point

Patio feature - water feature

Creating a feature or focal point is a popular design feature for interior designers, so why not take it outside too.

a)     Add a sculpture or artwork to create a talking point for your guests. For something really personal, consider seeking out a local artist to craft something unique, and specifically created for your alfresco. Or, these days, many garden supply businesses have a variety of sculptures or outdoor art available.

b)     A water feature adds instant relaxation to your alfresco, as well as creating a focal point. Water features have advanced by leaps and bounds from the traditional Grecian ladies pouring water out of a vase.

Today, there are vertical fountains, natural looking ponds, water features with programmed lighting… the list goes on.  A big benefit of a vertical fountain is that won’t take up too much space in your alfresco area.

The most difficult thing will be deciding what style of water feature you want!

3. Have a summer clean

clean pavers with outdoor furniture

Traditionally we would call this a spring clean, but you can always have a summer clean instead. Here are three tips to freshen up your area.

Declutter

It’s amazing how quickly we collect things. Have a look at what you have out in your alfresco area and ask yourself – does it need to be there 24/7? Think about what you could store away (or throw away / donate to charity) and declutter.

Decobweb

Cobwebs instantly make a space look old and tired – not to mention the chance of uninvited eight-legged guests dropping in while you’re entertaining. Having your alfresco regularly treated for pests ensures cobwebs and “friendly” creatures stay away, and minimizes you needing to get out the long-handled brooms and sweeping your ceilings, corners and cobweb friendly areas.

Freshen up your flooring

Clean pavers or a freshly oiled deck instantly brings your alfresco area back to life, and can even create a sense of “new”.  Get out the brushes, and get scrubbing. Plus, there’s the added benefit of a work out while you freshen your flooring. 

4. Replace furniture

new outdoor furniture on a deck

The most obvious way to freshen up your alfresco is to replace your outdoor furniture. You have a number of options here too.  

a)     You could go the whole hog and replace all your furniture and create a completely new look. Now, replacing your outdoor furniture can be expensive, so choose pieces that are classic in design and will stand the tests of time.

b)     Instead of replacing all your furniture, you can keep most of your existing furniture and add character with the addition of a couple of statement pieces. These statement pieces can, similarly to sculptures or water features, create a focal point for your alfresco.

c)     The simplest way to freshen up your furniture is to add colour with a selection of outdoor cushion Colour can keep your alfresco perky and bright, always ready for entertaining, or sitting back and relaxing. And if you already use cushions to create colour in your alfresco, simply change your cushion covers over to create a new style, look and feel.

Try these tips, enjoy your freshened up alfresco and celebrate your new look with family and friends.

If you’re looking to freshen up your alfresco space with a new patio, pergola or deck contact Ultimate Alfresco to discuss your options.