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Alfresco Dining, and Outdoor Kitchen Designs and Ideas



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Alfresco Dining & Outdoor Living Areas

The prospect of entertaining outside has become much more popular recently, with the design of such areas becoming far more sophisticated than what used to be merely the “barbeque area”.

Such areas can be designed to enhance the interior of the home as much as they add to the garden or outdoor areas. Indeed, they can be designed to create a link between the interior and exterior of the home. By incorporating decorative themes from the home interior, such areas become extensions of the home and add a perception of space whilst blurring the line between inside and outside.

The use of outdoor heating and fireplaces, water features, lighting, stunning-looking cook-tops and cabinetry, has enabled a real link to be established with the interior of the home.
The design of this free-standing Al Fresco pavilion and surrounding entertaining precinct has been tailored to suit the relaxed, casual ambience of the site's coastal setting. The space as a whole has a ‘sense of place’ in which all elements combine to create a seamless picture of relaxation and enjoyment.


This trend has also seen the emergence of casual entertaining as opposed to the traditional table and chairs of old. Modular lounges, arm chairs and coffee tables in a variety of external-grade materials and colours have become infinitely available. This has been both a contributor to and a result of the rise in popularity of outdoor Al Fresco entertaining.

The most successful Al Fresco spaces are those that take their visual cues from those elements to which they are most obviously connected. The style and decorative approach for a great Al Fresco space will relate to those rooms of the home that connect to it, such that they ‘belong’ to each other. Or it may be a case, if the Al Fresco space is not connected to the house (i.e. free-standing), where the style and colour cues come from the exterior treatment of the home, because this element is what one sees from within the Al Fresco space.

Depending on the style of the home (exterior or interior), these spaces can be traditional, contemporary, or a combination of the two. The design and layout of the space will be a function of the external conditions to which it will be exposed, such as prevailing westerly winds or hot sun which will require a wind break or shade screen to ensure the space can be used comfortably regardless of the weather. Similarly, the layout will be a function of the owner’s requirements. Ranging from a simple casual barbeque and sitting area, right through to a self-contained kitchen, dining and casual lounge area. In the case of the latter, a building will form part of the picture, which enables one to control the micro-climate inside, and the owner can be assured of maximising the potential use of the space by not being held to ransom by the weather.
Being attached to the home itself, the Architectural design of this Al Fresco pavilion reflects that of the home. This creates a sense that the space is merely an outdoor room of the home. Sitting within the space, one feels connected with the home, the garden and the pool within it. This space represents a more formal approach than the other Al Fresco project , yet a ‘sense of place’ has also been achieved here.
Written by Scott Brown
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