Cosy-up your alfresco and entertain all year round

Spring is in full swing and we’re firing up the barbie, cracking open the bubbly and start to spend our evenings in our outdoor spaces. But even though the mercury is rising, the nights are still a little on the chilly side. So how do you cosy-up your alfresco so you can entertain all year round (even in the depths of winter)?

img

#1 Get outdoor heating

It’s obvious but outdoor heating is also the easiest way to heat up your alfresco on a chilly evening. Whether you’re looking to knock down rebuild or build up from scratch on a vacant block, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your (perfectly heated) alfresco space. Three outdoor heating options include:

  • Fire is probably our fave heating option because it creates an atmosphere that nothing else can compete with. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that the crackle of an open fire relaxes people and can even help them sleep! Fireplaces in outdoor areas like the one we built in the alfresco area of the Harmony Exclusive with the Aspire façade at Warwick Farm. And you don’t have to rely on firewood these days either with a large range of gas and ethanol options on the market. And if you don’t want to build a permanent structure? You can always set up a fire pit or chiminea in the yard near your alfresco space to get the desired effect, just like we did in the Eclipse Duplex with Linear façade at Warwick Farm.
  • Heat Bars target heat and allow for zoning in alfresco spaces, honing in on specific areas like the dining table. They’re a good option for an outdoor space where there’s constant air flow.
  • Freestanding gas-powered heaters are a great option if you want a portable heating solution. These days there are plenty of attractive options including floor and table-top heaters.
img

#2 Add textured materials

To make your alfresco feel cosy, texture is key. Timber, warm tones and plush materials like velvet, sheepskin, chunky knitted throws turn the temperature dial up a notch. A few cushions create that snug feeling so you’ll think nothing of staying up all hours and conversing over a glass of wine.

img

#3 Invest in outdoor lighting

Make your alfresco feel like a winter wonderland with pretty outdoor lighting. Fairy lights strung around the perimeter or above the heads of your guests are a great way to add depth and warmth to your alfresco. If you’ve got deciduous trees around your home you can soften bare branches by hanging lights or lanterns. And don’t forget to add ambience with candles—they’ll warm everything up, not only aesthetically but by choosing warm, comforting or spicy scents.

#5 Block the breeze

A covered outdoor space may block out most of the rain but to keep guests extra dry and toasty, blinds and shutters can work to enclose the space. Clear outdoor screens like the ones used in restaurants and cafes are a good option and keep the space visually open.

We love plant screens and vertical gardens which will help with climate control all year round. In cooler months, they’ll block cold draughts and trap pockets of warmth around your fire pit or heater. Then, once it heats up you’ll love the shade and protection they provide from the sun.

img

#6 Relax in a hot tub

If you’ve got the space, a bubbling spa or hot tub will warm you up in no time #rubadubdub. It’s a huge investment, but if you think you’ll get a lot of use out of it, then why not? If it’s raining or there’s a wind chill, the water will provide the perfect retreat for relaxing and thawing sore or frozen muscles. Just make sure your guests have a warm robe, slippers, and a towel nearby for when they decide to exit.  

Other tips to warm up your alfresco space (and keep guests happy):

  • Make sure you let your guests know you’ll be eating outside. It’ll give them a chance to layer up
  • Create warmth with a thick outdoor rug
  • Add throws to create atmosphere and which can double as blankets
  • Don’t underestimate the power of cushions!
  • Add some silica packets to your outdoor storage to keep the damp from affecting pillows, throws, cushions and rugs – just make sure children and pets don’t have access to these silica packets!
  • Spring is also the season for citrus, so if you have dwarf or ornamental varieties in pots, use them to decorate your alfresco. They are both visually interesting and fragrant.
  • Serve hot drinks because best way to warm up quickly is from the inside out. Mulled wine anyone?

Ready to meet some of the best home builders in Sydney and begin planning your dream home complete with cosy alfresco? Come and visit us at a Masterton Experience Centre.

img