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Cooking With Gas – How to Improve Your Outdoor Eating Setup

The idea of the quintessential aussie verandah has definitely been changing over the past decade. Nowadays, whilst we still love our outdoor time, there’s been a need to maximise the functionality of our traditionally ‘bare bones’ verandahs. There’s been a growing trend in homeowners refurbishing their unused outdoor areas and transforming them into timeless alfresco living, dining, and entertaining spaces. Here’s what you need to create these three unique spaces.

Living


There are only a few main elements you’ll need to perfect your alfresco living area: comfort, utilities, and (most importantly) warmth! Invest in a quality outdoor gas heater, to protect from the winter chills as well as to serve as the central point of your cosy space. You could do a fire pit if that’s preferable, but it’s not recommended for sheltered outdoor areas, as it’ll mean sacrificing the airiness of your space, and constantly having to clean ash off your deck.

You can add a touch of comfort to your living space by subbing out a traditional couch for a broad daybed, complete with a playful array of throws and cushions. Instead of a single coffee table, use lightweight end tables for maneuverability, just in case you ever feel the need to create an impromptu dance floor or fancy a game of Twister. It’s always a good rule of thumb to keep the area highly flexible. And if you want to make the most of your space, you could also allocate some room on a suitable wall to mount a TV! Alfresco living areas can be the perfect destination for summer lunch dates and having friends over to watch the footy.

Dining


If you feel like you’re the kinds of hosts that’ll reap more benefits from creating a dedicated alfresco dining area, then rest assured that this is the option for you. With alfresco dining, it’s always recommended that you stick to a modest style to complement your wooden decking, the natural surroundings and, of course, the cool night air. I’m talking dark wood furniture, brass over gold or silver embellishments, and tea lights and lanterns for ambient lighting. Soft lights create an effortlessly cosy atmosphere (not to mention they’re also great for taking photos!).

With alfresco dining, your approach to decor should always be somewhat minimalistic. Upon arrival, your guests should feel like they’re entering a space that they feel has the potential to hold a high level of joy. Essentially, that’ll mean making sure there aren’t too many recreational facilities or other distractions in the room, so that your guests can engage with each other rather than the space.

A good alfresco dining area is, in essence, a conduit for merriment. And it’s true that you can double up your alfresco living area as a makeshift dining area on its own. It really depends on how many guests you see yourself catering for at future events, and what kind of atmosphere you’re looking to create in this hybrid room.

Entertaining


This one is where you can really get creative! Basically, your alfresco entertaining area is a great combination of the first two rooms: your eclectic hybrid space. This means that you can fill this space with whatever elements you feel would be useful for you and your guests in your dream entertaining area. If you’re thinking big and were looking to install a spa or a pool or a pool table, you can still incorporate living and dining elements into the room by compartmentalising or zoning the space. Installing a fence between the potential pool and the heated seated areas would be your first step, and it’s just recommended for overall health and safety purposes.

As for distinguishing between relaxation zones and dining zones, feel free to play with the space outside your outdoor area, that is your wider garden. Place painted metal garden chairs and tables amidst beds of perennial shrubs and blooms. Keep a nice stretch of lawn clear for summer cricket matches with the extended family. Not only will you find that your entire backyard will feel totally integrated, but with the lushness of your green paradise, your outdoor entertaining space will come ready-made with a blissful view. It’s a definite win-win.

It’s definitely true that our understanding of the aussie verandah as an empty deck with one or two lone wicker chairs is certainly becoming a thing of the past. This bright new future of total outdoor living is appearing on the great southern horizon. And honestly, with all the options available for us today, it could not have come sooner.

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