With Australia Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get your home ready for some serious summer entertaining. The best way to appreciate this sunburnt country is to celebrate in style with an Aussie Day barbie at your house; complete with friends, family, snags and good times.
Having a well-designed outdoor space that looks fresh, functional and clean is a great way to shape your home up for the grilling season. The Australian lifestyle is synonymous with backyard BBQs, ice cold drinks chilling in an Esky, relaxing by the pool and lapping up the sun. Start planning your outdoor area’s design now and create a space that you and your guests will savour this summer.
1. Invest in a winning BBQ.
No Australia Day entertaining is complete without a BBQ, so investing in a good one is definitely a smart idea and great place to start. Australian summers go hand in hand with outdoor cooking and the simple pleasure of a sausage sizzle in the comfort of your own backyard. There’s no denying either, that our love affair for outdoor living remains as strong as ever so make sure you grab a BBQ that’ll last the distance and get the job done right. You can’t go wrong with a Weber or Ziegler & Brown, which typically come with five year warranties.
Regardless of your alfresco area size and budget, finding the right BBQ is easy with so many options to suit different price points and spaces. Consider whether you want to cater for dozens of guests at home or whether you want something that’s compact enough to use camping and on other outdoor adventures. If you already have a decent one, get started dusting it off now, check the gas bottle for leaks, grab yourself some new BBQ tools and recipes so you’re all set to impress guests.
2. Create shade and comfort.
Celebrating summer under the Australian sun calls for shade and comfort. There’s no denying how nice it is to relax by the pool or on your deck area in the sun, but on a 40-degree day it can get too much even for the most dedicated of sun lovers! Providing plenty of shade will ensure you and your guests stay cool and protected from the sun, and keep your outdoor furniture looking new and lasting longer too.
If you don’t have an enclosed alfresco area; set up some shade cloths above the eating, deck or pool space. The use of smart landscaping with lush, tall plants can be ideal for those that like to plan ahead too and works wonders in creating your own private retreat. Large colourful umbrellas can do the trick too and will dress up a tired space with fresh new colours. Strategic seating will offer flexibility and flow and if space permits, designate a ‘chill out’ zone with a comfy chair and small coffee table.
3. Make use of all your outdoor entertaining space.
Outdoor entertaining usually works best within the backyard of your home, but what about making use of the front yard and space down the side of your home too? Summer entertaining, especially on Aussie Day, can get crowded with the whole family (and all your friends) moving outdoors. Depending on the layout of the property, create a space at the front or side of your home where guests can relax and mingle at their own pace.
With the right fencing around the front of your home, it’s easy to design a second private space suitable for outdoor entertaining. Fencing options like slat fencing can boost your home’s value significantly and offer a private and safe area for summer night dinner and drinks. Make sure you tie the two spaces together if there’s a side entrance by designing a simple pathway to lead guests into the second area.
4. Shape up the pool and deck area.
Winter months can take a toll on your pool and deck so if you haven’t started already, give it a proper clean and test the water and filtering system. There’s nothing worse than having a pool you and your guests can’t cool off in on the big day! Legal requirements are in place to have pool fencing installed too, so have everything checked and updated to ensure you comply.
Summer entertaining – especially on Australia Day – tends to go well into the evening so set up the right pool and deck lighting for safety considerations. Night time illumination will create a luxurious feel to the space too and change the outdoor mood positively.
Regular deck maintenance will ensure the patio area is safe, secure and looking fab. Give the deck and railing a good look over for any screws that may have come lose over the cooler months and use lighting to create focal points. A good power-wash and fresh coat of polish will boost the appeal of a tired looking deck without breaking the budget or dress it up with colourful accessories for a new look. Outdoor furniture that looks like its seen better days can be revamped with a coat of paint too. Here are some more outdoor area styling ideas to try at your place.
5. Banish unwelcome guests.
The downfall that comes with outdoor entertaining over Australian summers are the mosquitos and bugs that join in on the party too. But with a little pre-planning, it’s relatively easy to ward these pesky guests off. Citronella tiki torches are cheap to purchase and will keep the bugs at bay, whilst offering some light and boosted ambience as well. If you’re near a lake or in a mosquito-prone area you’ll want to grab some coils to burn under the outdoor table and by the pool area too.
Planting natural repellents can be helpful and especially great for outdoor spaces lacking greenery and lushness. Rosemary, citronella grass, basil, lavender and geraniums are easy to find and grow and will keep you and your guests from being attacked. Plus, they’ll add a nice fragrance to the area and can be used in your cooking.
6. Turn on some summer tunes or tennis.
Outdoor entertaining is all about creating the perfect ambience and setting to relax and enjoy yourself in – and cranking some great summer tunes will certainly set a party tone for the day. Aussie Day BBQ’s are renowned for supporting the Triple J Hottest 100 so make sure have a decent stereo system or built in speakers set up to stream the station for the ultimate party playlist.
Also consider setting up an outdoor television to keep up with all the tennis action live from the Australian Open. To ensure your outdoor setup lasts for the long haul you’ll want to invest in a TV cover to protect it from dust and moisture. There are a range of special outdoor TVs on the market or SealTV.com.au can turn your indoor TV into an outdoor TV.
We hope these 6 tips help you to prepare for your best Australia Day BBQ yet. For more Australia Day 2016 ideas take a look at our Q&A topics: