Spring is almost here, and it’s the perfect time to start thinking about outdoor dining (and everything else you love to do outside).
There’s nothing better than relaxing in your backyard with the music playing, the barbecue cooking, and drinks chilling in the fridge. Outdoor dining is central to our lifestyle in Australia.
That’s why when planning your custom home design in Perth, your outdoor living space is as important as your indoor one. It should be an important talking point when planning your build with your luxury builder.
This month we’re considering how to design a functional and stylish outside area that makes outdoor entertaining easy and enjoyable while maximising your investment.
How to design an outdoor dining area for your custom-built home
A key consideration for outdoor dining is orientation. A north-facing area is the most desirable because you will catch sunlight moving east to west. Light will peak at lunchtime and continue throughout the day. You’ll also get more sun during winter – bonus!
Try and avoid a west-facing alfresco, especially in Perth, as the sun will be intense in the afternoon – you don’t want to ruin those lazy Sunday afternoon lunches with family and friends. Enjoy eating breakfast outside? A northeast-facing dining area will welcome more sun in the morning.
Sunlight will also depend on which way your block faces, as well as nearby building or tree obstructions. Your custom home builder will help you make the right decision based on your location, block of land and personal preferences.
Plan a functional layout
Your outdoor layout will depend on the size of your block, home design and how important outdoor living is to your lifestyle. You may decide to forgo indoor space for more outside. This is your custom home design, so it’s up to you.
What to consider:
Convenient access: Convenience is key. You want easy access from the inside, preferably the kitchen or living area, so you can bring food outside effortlessly. You will also want easy access to the pool, garden or garage.
Plenty of space: Do you prefer intimate meals or big get-togethers? Make sure your alfresco allows for enough room for people to sit comfortably and move around.
Maximising views: Lucky enough to have a view of the ocean, river or park? Design your outdoor setting so it makes the most of the surrounding environment. This may sound obvious, but a simple layout error in your custom built home can cost you a beautiful view.
Landscaping: Love a garden? Consider your overall landscaping design. How will your landscaping integrate with your outdoor dining area? Your home designer can collaborate with your landscaping designer to get the most out of the space.
Zoning: It’s not all about dining. Just like indoor spaces, you want your outdoor area to be multi-functional. Think about the needs of your family. You may like a chillout zone for reading or a games area for the kids.
Prioritise shelter, shade and protection
We may be lucky with the sunshine in WA, but you will still need protection from the elements – shade from the sun and coverage when the weather worsens. This way, you can still entertain regardless of the news BOM bears!
Outdoor dining is usually built within an alfresco, verandah or pergola. How do you know what to choose? And what’s the difference? A verandah, porch or alfresco is an extension of your home design. Usually, the living area will extend outside and open to the outside. Verandahs are part of the house structure, running around the back or front of your custom-built home.
Pergolas are open outdoor structures separated from the house, often free-standing with vertical posts or columns. You will often see these with vines climbing around them, creating a tranquil and secluded setting for outdoor dining.
Choosing a sturdy and well-designed verandah, pergola or alfresco offers more than protection. With thoughtful home design, these undercover areas can become a star feature. They will also increase your home’s value considerably.
Make your custom home design extraordinary
This one’s for the hardcore outdoor diners, the ones who want to cook outside as well! Add a simple pizza oven or BBQ, or go for the complete kitchen experience with a fridge, sink and cabinetry.
Heating, lighting and airflow:
Comfort is key to any living space, and the outdoors is no different. What happens when it gets dark, cold or too hot? If you’re a big outdoor person, you might want to consider installing heaters or fans so you’re comfortable all year round.
Outdoor entertainment isn’t all about sharing meals. Sports fan? Why not watch a game outdoors or plan a movie night under the stars? Installing a TV and surrounding speakers makes your outdoor dining area the ultimate space for entertainment.
When you think of outdoor dining, you usually think of a traditional table and chair set-up. But you can make it even more comfortable with lounges and recliners. This is your space, make it as comfortable and luxurious as you like.
Are you excited to design your outdoor space? Speak to a custom home builder who balances function and style.