How can we live in Australia without enjoying the warmer climate all year? Australians are well known to spend most of their time outside in the backyard, enjoying the outdoors in their alfresco areas with friends, food and good laughs. To help you enjoy your new alfresco area, our building designers at Green Start Design give their top tips to consider before designing your outdoor space.
- Solar access
From December to February, the weather in Perth can be pretty warm. Having a covered area allows you to enjoy your outdoor areas throughout the year. You can either enjoy the summer breeze or huddle up around an outdoor fireplace/heater during the winters.
Opting for motorised shutters is a good alternative solution as it allows you to control the shade according to your preference.
- Connection between the outdoors and indoors
An alfresco is a perfect solution to integrate your living/dining with an outdoor space. It also helps bring the outdoor into your home through views, daylighting and ventilation. The best way to do so would be to install large folding glass doors openable in its full width into your alfresco area.
- Consider the size
Ask yourself why you need the alfresco area and compile a list of your expectations of the outdoor space. Considering your needs (e.g. sipping your coffee while you’re reading the newspaper, having friends and family around for BBQs etc.), you might need a larger or smaller space. Ensure you match your needs with the size of your future outdoor area so you feel comfortable and you don’t have to squeeze in when invitees are coming along.
- Match with existing
The outdoor area will be an extension of your home therefore, the materials, colours and textures you are going to choose should match the rest of your home. Using similar textures and colours creates a whole entity and improves the aesthetics of the alfresco area so it does not look like alien to your existing home. For instance, the effect of “bringing the outdoor inside” can be increased by using the same flooring as the dining/living that attaches with the alfresco and install a flush threshold folding door.
- Check the regulations (R-Codes and local policy)
It is important to ensure you comply with the regulations. Setbacks and privacy are the main focus when it comes to regulations regarding alfresco areas. Privacy is a concern to make sure that you are not overlooking to your neighbour’s property. If that is the case, then you can add a nicely customised screen and can resolve both privacy issues while maintaining the aesthetics of your alfresco area.
Read also Understanding of the R-Codes.
- Think about the lighting
Most people often do not think of lighting as an important detail when designing their alfresco area. Yet, it is both practical and perfect for creating pleasant ambient lighting. For instance, you can opt for a decorative wall lighting with a customised pattern that will reflect on the wall or floor.