Australians love the outdoors and we love entertaining! It is absolutely no surprise that a feature in new homes combining our two loves, the alfresco, has become such a popular inclusion. Nicknamed the parent’s rumpus room, the #alfresco outdoor area is more than just space to house a BBQ, it has become the hub of entertainment and an adaptable and functional room for all seasons.
With some careful planning and research, your alfresco can become your favourite room in the house, creating a seamless transition from indoors to outside and luxurious resort-style living. Don’t leave your alfresco planning to last, treat it just like another room to style and continue the décor theme to flow throughout. Danielle Taylor and Tamara Spencer from Carlisle Homes share their tips on nailing the perfect alfresco, and our top 10 favourite outdoor rooms from the Carlisle display homes.
Depending on which Carlisle Homes floor plan you choose, your alfresco may include a concrete floor (extension of the house slab) as standard, or this may be an item for you to manage after you move in. A popular choice of floor covering is the iconic timber decking, versatile for its durability for the outdoors as well as its richness in colour to add the resort style effect. An emerging trend is the use of polished concrete in these areas for a very modern and industrial finish. Our favourite is the use of external paving with a non-slip surface to match porcelain and ceramic tiles inside for the perfect inside-out synergy.
Coming in at number 10 in our favourite alfrescos list is the Atlantique at the Berry Lane Estate Mernda, with its beautiful contrasting tiling continuing the colour palette but cleverly defining the outdoor space.
In addition to bi-fold doors enabling your home to literally open entire walls onto your alfresco area, many clients opt to include bi-fold servery windows as a design feature. It makes sense in the planning phase, such as during your Spectra selection appointment, to think ahead to future plans and projects by considering additional gas and power points, water outlets and waste collection points. This forward thinking can save a lot of time and money in years to come as the use of this area expands. Don’t forget to think about lighting and fans to really continue the style theme through this outdoor room.
Our number 9 favourite is definitely the Canterbury at Somerfield Estate Keysborough with the clever integration of the kitchen with the use of bi-fold windows to keep the master chef involved in the party!
The stunning timber clad ceiling in the Sorrento at the Berwick Waters Estate Clyde North is definitely an eye catcher for our number 8 alfresco pick. The warm tones from inside are continued into the outdoor space with the glow of the fire highlighting the rich hues of the timber.
Built in furniture
Clever built-in furniture such as seating, bars and shelving can really create a unique entertaining space perfectly complementing the informal lifestyle of the alfresco. In addition, features such as built-in bench seating can create handy storage space for soft furnishings. The full built-in outdoor kitchen is becoming a standard feature for new home owners to install once they move in, really taking the Aussie BBQ to a whole new dimension. Fresco Frames have some great ideas to install once you move in.
The Marlow at Trillium Estate Mickleham is our number 7 pick in our top ten. We love the addition of the privacy screen with the circular window feature.
Another design feature is the highlight for number 6 in our top ten with a stunning skylight in the Carrington at the Timbertop Estate Officer. The lounging area comes alive during the day with an abundance of light, imagine relaxing on these couches, watching the clouds drift by, now that is real alfresco living!
To really integrate your alfresco area into your home living, continue the style theme from inside to out. Depending on the position of your alfresco and the exposure to the elements, you may need to choose weather proof furniture pieces that can withstand both UV and moisture. For spaces that have guaranteed protection from the weather, create a real inside feel with comfy couches and loads of cushions, soft rugs underfoot and cosy throw rugs to snuggle on those cooler evenings. Don’t leave artwork just for inside! A colourful print to complement your colour themes or match the cushions can really turn this space into a lively room rather than just an outdoor deck. For inspiration, think of luxurious open air hotel lobbies in tropical locations, combining lush greenery, exotic colours and big comfy chairs.
Our number 5 alfresco in the Aries at Allura Estate Truganina is the ultimate microcosm of style! The relaxed and intimate lounge area by the glowing fire, for all year round relaxing, and the very stylish dining area perfect for the casual bbq or lavish dinner soiree.
Some of the Carlisle designs include the option for an L-shaped or extended alfresco area which can add an interesting perspective with the opportunity to create two separate lounging areas. Our number 4 pick in the Addison at the Waterford Estate Melton South makes the most of the space with a lovely relaxing area, ideal for your morning cup of tea, and a sophisticated dining zone with easy access to the kitchen.
By creating the ultimate alfresco room we end up spending most of our home time relaxing in this outdoor space, so you had better think of how to hook up the TV and sound system! Another item to add to your Spectra shopping list, considering pre-wiring in the planning phase will reduce a lot of hard work later on.
Dreaming of adding an oversized flat screen to this wall, sitting in between the relaxed lounge and dining areas, for that technology injection for our number 3 in the Pavillion at Aston Estate Craigieburn. Imagine long winter days by the fire catching an old movie favourite, or hosting the ultimate Grand Final lunch with the game on show all day!
Include a beautiful fireplace in your alfresco to take the chill out of those cooler evenings and create a real statement piece in your room. If you are considering a fireplace make sure you speak to your Spectra design consultant to see if you can include a gas point in your alfresco space. Another heating option is to install electric radiant heat strips to the ceiling or walls after handover for a cosy effect, check out these great systems from Fresco Frames.
Thinking lazy Autumn days with a bowl of soup curled up by the fire and luxuriously long Springtime breakfasts with the crackling of flames at our number 2 alfresco in the Illuka at Trillium Estate Mickleham.
Blinds and awnings
In the cooler seasons, to make the most of your alfresco space, you may opt for an awning or screening to the open elevations to create a sense of enclosure and comfort. Have a look at Spectra partner Victory Blinds for some ideas on creating a weather proof outdoor room. Integrate your outdoor blinds into your home automation system for the ultimate in luxury and convenience.
Our ultimate number 1 absolute favourite alfresco from the Carlisle display homes is the Sunbury at Taylors Hill Estate Taylors Hill! A beautiful combination of inside out décor with statement artwork pieces, an inviting fireplace, colourful cushions and lush greenery. Take the secret path to the perfect dining area for that romantic meal under the stars in your own private hideaway. We love this alfresco style, ideal for all seasons.
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