Planning on building a house? Creating a relaxing, practical alfresco area is a great way to make your new home look and feel bigger, and expand your entertaining area. Our fabulous Queensland weather really lends itself to outdoor living and entertaining family and friends ‘alfresco’ is a big part of the way we live here in the Sunshine State. What’s more, creating a comfortable outdoor area not only provides more opportunities for entertaining and making the most of the weather, it will also increase the value of your home. With that in mind, when you plan your new home, think carefully about extending your living space beyond the back door.
Here are some handy tips to help create the perfect alfresco area when building a home.
1. Connect the indoors and outdoors
Design your alfresco area so it feels ‘connected’ to your indoor living areas. The doors you choose will affect the flow between your inside and outside spaces. Large sliding doors will open up your home to the outdoors. Using similar colours, decorating and furniture styles will also help to blend the indoors and outdoors, so your home appears much larger than it actually is. This is especially important with narrow block home designs, as there’s often less outdoor space. And remember, the furniture you choose needs to be weatherproof!
2. Size does matter
What will you be using this area for? Large dinner parties? Barbecues? For entertaining, the alfresco area needs to be large enough to accommodate a generous table and chairs. If you’re planning on having an outdoor kitchen or barbecue, you’ll need to allow for some space between the cooking and sitting areas. Having an outdoor dining table and some comfortable, lounge-style seating will give you a multi-purpose outdoor room. For smaller areas, choose versatile furniture such as stools, which can double as seats or side tables. Folding chairs and tables are also a great idea, as they can be put away when not in use.
3. Weather protection is a must
You should be able to enjoy your alfresco area at any time of the day or night, all year round – especially in Queensland! In our climate, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate protection from the sun. This is one of the most important aspects of house orientation, one that you don’t want to overlook when building a home. What’s more, outdoor areas that are integrated with the house usually have a plasterboard ceiling. If this is the case, consider adding ceiling fans to create a welcome breeze on those hot, summer days. You may also like to consider planting a well-placed tree in your backyard, if you require shade from the western sun.
4. Add life & colour with greenery
Plants help bring a lovely, relaxed ambience to your outdoor space. Create interest at different levels with large potted plants, hanging baskets, or maybe even a vertical garden. Whatever you do, make sure it complements the style of landscaping you have chosen for the rest of your property. Along with the landscaping, consider the style you’re trying to create and how it complements the home design and the colour schemes of the façade. For example, is it formal, tropical or native? Then, choose plants that reflect your look and the effect you’re trying to create.
5. Lighting sets the mood
Lighting is very important when it comes to creating the right mood for your alfresco area – especially if you like to entertain at night. You will probably need a number of different kinds of lighting – consider bright task lighting near the barbecue, and dimmable LED down lights that can be adjusted according to what you’re doing. Wall lighting is perfect for creating a relaxed ambience, while spotlights can be used to feature the garden.
Hallmark Homes are perfect for alfresco living
Many of Hallmark’s home designs, including our new Luma range, feature a spacious, covered alfresco area directly off the living/dining area – the perfect space to create an outdoor room. Come and check them out for yourself at one of our display centres located across Brisbane and the surrounding areas, including Burpengary East and Narangba on the northside and Greenbank, Yarrabilba and Springfield Rise on the southside. Building on a large block? Come and check out the Retreat 353 acreage display home at Plainland.
If you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, the team at Hallmark Homes is ready to help. If you have any questions about our home designs with spacious alfresco spaces or house and land packages located across some of the most in-demand locations in and around Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, please contact us today.