How to take your dining outdoors... Alfresco is in

How to take your dining outdoors

With warmer temperatures and holiday festivities in full swing, it’s time to take your dining alfresco and enjoy all those long summer nights with family and friends.


Jan 14, 2021

Trends & Design

From enjoying your breakfast in the morning sunshine, to a quiet dinner under the stars – there is so much to love about dining outdoors. Careful planning will help you make the most out of your outdoor space and find the right design that suits you.

Plan your space

Whether you have a big section or a small backyard, it’s important to think about how you’ll use the space all-year round.

If you have a small outdoor area, it can be hard to find a dedicated space for alfresco dining area. One idea is to use stackable chairs and an extendable table that can be adjusted or moved easily – transforming your space from outdoor dining to backyard. To maximise your space you could even add built-in seating, attaching bench seats to available walls, fences or decking.

If you’re spoilt for space with a large section, then the challenge becomes what to do with it all. A great idea is to use decking or paving to create different zones within your outdoor space.

A decked area could become the casual lounge, with comfy outdoor sofas and a coffee table for afternoon drinks and platters in the sun. A paved area could form your outdoor dining spot, complete with a long table and chairs for family and friends. You could even use landscaping to create your own cosy garden picnic spot.

Sunrise to sundown

While you’re planning your outdoor sanctuary, you’ll need to consider the best spots for maximising sunshine and shade. We might not be a tropical island, but Kiwi summers certainly bring some hot temperatures and strong UV rays. Make sure to plan for areas to shelter from the heat and protect your skin.

Whether you add a pergola over your outdoor dining table, a retractable awning or shade sail above your deck, or even a large outdoor umbrella that you can move around your backyard as you need its shade. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you could look at an electronically controlled louvre – a flexible roof made of large panels that can open or retract. This is an increasingly popular way to control the shade in your outdoor space at the touch of a button.

To get the most out of summer evenings, you might want to consider a space to store blankets or outdoor heating to keep people cosy as the temperatures drop. An outdoor fire or a fire pit provides warmth and entertainment.

In many areas summer brings pesky mosquitos that are also quite hungry. Citronella candles will help set the mood and, more importantly, keep the bugs away from you and your dinner.

Bring the kitchen with you

Forget preparing food indoors on a beautiful day. Take the kitchen with you by creating an outdoor cooking area for all those summer gatherings.

Add a barbeque area, a pizza oven or even an outdoor kitchen, complete with a bar fridge to meet all of your entertaining needs. If you have the space, you could install a built-in barbeque with additional bench space to prep your favourite summer meals. Make sure you also think about storage for cooking utensils, napkins, crockery and cutlery.

If outdoor cooking isn’t for you and you’d rather be in the kitchen, create the perfect indoor-outdoor flow with large bifold or sliding doors.

There are so many options to consider when you’re planning the perfect outdoor area – the most important is to think about how it will suit your lifestyle. Are you passionate entertainers who will have lots of loved ones around for barbeques, or are you more likely to host intimate dinner parties with just close family or friends?

Whatever your needs, make your outdoor space your own and talk to your local Platinum team about designing your perfect outdoor area.

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