A fresh approach
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