When spring does finally roll around, there’s nothing better than getting back into your alfresco area with a morning coffee or having guests over for a BBQ.
Undeniably, Aussies take great pride in their outdoor areas. Whether it’s a small inner city balcony, a charming sunny courtyard or a sprawling covered wraparound deck with a pool, it’s so important for both homeowners and renters alike to make their outdoor area as visually appealing and inviting as possible.
We’ve developed six tasks to help you prepare and make the most of your alfresco area for the sunnier months ahead.
Step 1. Spring cleaning.
First of all, you want to wash away all the dust, grime and debris from the past few months of torrential rain and ferocious storms. Start by clearing away any rubbish, cobwebs, sticks and leaves that have accumulated.
Next, pressure clean the decking, tiles, pavers and bricks. Clean out and refill any ponds and water features. Dust all blinds, screens and shutters. Wash windows and glass doors to instantly add shine and brighten up the entry to your alfresco space.
Degrease the BBQ and check your gas bottle connections for leaks. If your unit is looking a little worse for wear it might be worth upgrading. There are amazing models with wok burners, warming racks, viewing windows and even handy draws for storing tools and condiments in.
Lastly, take your outdoor cushions, sun umbrellas and patio furniture out of storage. There’s nothing worse than sharing a meal over a dirty table top where you’re afraid to rest your hands. So, before using your setting wipe it down with a wet rag to get rid of any dust, dirt and cobwebs.
Step 2. Comfy seating.
Key to any great laid back get together or an afternoon relaxing solo outdoors is a comfortable place to sit or lay. The style and type of seating you go for will depend on the space you have to work with and the primary uses you have in mind for the area.
You could add in an outdoor couch with plush cushions, a bench seat, sun lounges, a hammock, a hanging egg chair or an inviting day bed. Bring in some cool stools so that guests can perch and chat comfortably at your outdoor bar or servery window. If you’re not looking to make a big purchase opt to have your outdoor seating cushion covers reupholstered or replaced for a fresh new look.
Step 3. Create shade and shelter.
When the harsh Australian sun gets to its hottest it pays to keep your guests cool and comfortable by having planned ahead in your outdoor area.
For the latest and greatest in alfresco tech, seek out LouvreTec Super Roof or motorised retractable fabric roof systems and awnings, where at the touch of a button you can soak up the sun or chill out in the shade. You can even get Super Roof with LED lighting and in-built rain sensors, so no surprise spring shower will even ruin your barbeque again.
If you’re renting or want a less permanent fix go for a simple patio umbrella to block out the sun when need be, or add in a shade sail yourself.
Step 4. Bring indoor items out.
Add colour, charm and a homey feel to your alfresco space by bringing traditionally indoor decorative items outside for spring entertaining.
Get creative by adding in wall mirrors, clocks, durable floor rugs, vases of fresh flowers, scatter cushions, artwork, couches, book shelves and/or ottomans to your outdoor space. A bureau or sideboard could serve a dual purpose and function as a food buffet for guests as well as a quirky outdoor décor feature.
Step 5. Stash the clutter.
Once you’ve completed your spring cleaning the last thing you want is to realise you have no room for all your new outdoor accessories. Look around your alfresco space and evaluate your storage options and opportunities.
Consider adding in bench seating with storage compartments, add in draws and cupboards to your outdoor kitchen, utilise space under the deck or the garden shed to pack up cushions, spare foldable chairs, camping gear, gardening tools and the esky. A retractable clothesline, hooks and wall mounted shelves are great practical additions that won’t compromise the look of your space.
Step 6. The finishing touches.
Light some candles, string up some lanterns or fairy lights to create a festive atmosphere, put on some tunes, crack open the champers, sit back and enjoy a long awaited evening of outdoor spring entertaining with friends and family. You’ve earned it!
Happy house hunting!
From the Homely Team