Sunday, February 19, 2012

Make The Best Use Of Great Weather

Few people can resist the allure of a sizzling BBQ, fresh salads and cold drinks at the end of a long hot day during Western Australia’s summer months, and the way we go about this has become more sophisticated in recent years.

Increasingly, people are taking advantage of our generous weather and balmy nights outside of their homes on patios, decks and courtyards.  Quality alfresco areas are now highly sought after and available in all manner of style and prices.
Alfresco areas, from the Italian, “in the fresh air”, is ideally suited to our Mediterranean climate, and even in cooler months can be enjoyable alongside a glowing chimonea, under a gas lit heat lamp or waiting expectantly before a pizza oven.
In many newer homes and renovations their presentation and quality has grown considerably from the days of the old back verandah.  Ideally an alfresco theme is designed to combine the outdoor and indoor areas of a home in seamless fashion. Real estate agents can attest that an appealing outdoor area has become a strong selling feature which for some buyers is equally as important to them as the interior.
The irony to this trend is that the land area in modern homes is shrinking and the big backyard has given way to bigger homes instead. However, smaller outdoor areas are getting much more use now that busy homeowners don’t have the time to tend to large yards. In other words, land size has given way to quality use of lesser space.
The contemporary alfresco design can range from a simple all-weather patio that leads directly from the living area, to an elaborate structure that might incorporate some standard indoor features, such as a cooktop, sink and refrigerator. A typical alfresco structure is generally a continuation of the main roofline.
The ideal is to create a liveable and comfortable outdoor space. Important factors to keep in mind include protection from glare and direct sun, shelter from the wind, adequate space for chairs and a table and a preparation and serving area for food and drink.
If space and funds permit, you might also include large decorative pot plants, ceiling fans, a television area or maybe a spa?
Having gone to all this trouble, it then helps to screen your garden shed, garage and clothesline from your alfresco area for an aesthetic finish.
The impact of a functional alfresco area in a home should not be underestimated. This is evidenced by the number of homes for sale which are promoted almost solely around this basis, and often the photo which catches the eye of the buyer will be the smart presentation of a home’s outdoor living area.
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