A fresh ap­proach

Sunday Mail - home - - Design -

There’s noth­ing bet­ter than mak­ing the most of the great out­doors in your own back­yard, writes

The Ital­ians may have coined the term al­fresco, but Aus­tralians have fully em­braced the con­cept. The idea of en­ter­tain­ing around the bar­be­cue is not ex­actly new to this coun­try, but home­own­ers are now cel­e­brat­ing sum­mer meals with a ded­i­cated out­door fur­nished liv­ing space.

Many dis­play builders now in­clude an al­fresco area as stan­dard in a ma­jor­ity of floor­plans.

In­ter­state build­ing di­rec­tor Stephen Thomp­son says most of to­day’s buy­ers con­sider it a ne­ces­sity, with 99.9 per cent of his clients build­ing a new home with an al­fresco space.

“The al­fresco came into be­ing about 15 years ago as an op­tion on most de­signs,” Stephen says.

“Back then the take up was about 50 per cent. Now it’s a must-have.”

Plenty has changed in 15 years with greater in­ter­est in al­fresco spa­ces and turn­ing them into a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of the home.

High-end fin­ishes and smart decor are all part of the deal.

“Ceil­ing lin­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing pre-fin­ished tim­bers make a nice touch as well as light­ing and fans,” Stephen says. “The al­fresco is per­fect for the Aussie life­style.”

Hick­in­botham’s de­sign di­rec­tor Ruth

Vagnarelli agrees home­buy­ers are putting the al­fresco top of their wish­list.

“The un­der­cover al­fresco is pop­u­lar on any sized al­lot­ment due to our beau­ti­ful Mediter­ranean cli­mate. It is viewed as an ex­tra room and can be used 24/7, all year round,” she says.

“Add an out­door bar­be­cue and it makes sum­mer al­fresco-style en­ter­tain­ing a breeze.”

Out­door liv­ing ar­eas have evolved, she says, to be­come an es­sen­tial ad­di­tion to our homes for sus­tain­abil­ity too.

“And an al­fresco at the rear fac­ing west will also pro­vide shade and also in­clude a ceil­ing fan.”

If you’re think­ing you don’t have enough space to cre­ate an al­fresco room, then heed some de­sign ad­vice from ar­chi­tect Elaine Richard­son.

She cre­ated a court­yard in a 150sqm site at Alexan­dria, NSW, that was a mere five me­tres wide.

The owner’s pri­mary goal cen­tred around cre­at­ing a home which was flex­i­ble enough to house a young fam­ily of five now and 10 years into the fu­ture.

A house which made the most of the small site so that ev­ery space was us­able and func­tional, and also a house which opened up the out­doors.

“Our client was look­ing for a lit­tle ur­ban oa­sis from busy Syd­ney life. Our key words were: serene, calm and peace­ful.”

The trend of al­fresco baths in lux­ury re­sorts has driven an in­crease from clients want­ing to in­vest

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