Outdoor Living Spaces
You have made all the big decision; your kitchen design, the bathroom fittings, floor coverings, lighting plans and so on…. And now, you are asked, “What about your outdoor Living Area or Alfresco…” Immediate thoughts are, “Can’t we leave this until after the build?” or “Even more expense..”
A good Outdoor Living Area is almost a must in Australia. A connection to the outdoors provides natural ventilation (fresh air) and natural light – two natural elements that are essential to our well-being. For at least 6 months of the year, most families in Australia spend time outdoors, whether it is relaxing in a lounge chair, swimming in a pool, dining on a patio or cooking on a BBQ, maybe in a fancy outdoor kitchen. Ask yourself, how do you see your family spending next Summer in your new home – I’m sure your mind will create images of you and your family utilising your back garden for leisure.
A visit to display homes or a flick through a magazine such as ‘Home Beautiful’, ‘House’ or ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ will expose you to a variety of homes that all make the most of their outdoor space – from a small patio or balcony to a suburban home with a back yard. The aim of all of these designs is to integrate indoor and outdoor living. The best of these homes have a seamless connection between the two zones. The Alfresco or Outdoor Living Area is an extension of your homes living space.
To create a seamless connection to your outdoor area, including this in your initial plan makes good sense and probably costs less in the long run. Your Outdoor Living Area could be an area under your existing or extended roof line, making the external look your house aesthetically pleasing. Your Custom Builder will be able to make suggestions on the Outdoor Living Area – an Alfresco area placed in a u-shape on your plan surrounded by windows on three sides or to an extension of the roof line that could contain a living area complete with couches, a dining table, outdoor kitchen and even an outdoor fireplace suitable for year round use. So many choices from simple to luxury; for most of us, our design will be somewhere in between.
What is it that your family needs? Do you see yourself spending time in an outdoor living area? When you entertain, would that connection to the outdoor space give you more choices as to the number of your guests and the type of celebration planned? Have you got a good surface area for your 3 year old to practise their scooter skills? Is access for your granny in her wheel chair a smooth transition?
Wow! What a lot to think about….. Next week I will share more specific areas of designing your Outdoor Living Area and lots of variations with each planning element.