Looking to lift your alfresco game?
Living in Western Australia means the warmer months are all about entertaining, being outdoors and making the most of your fresh-air space. We've put together 10 top tips that don't blow the budget on how to take your alfresco area to the next level and maximise your outdoor time with summer on our doorsteps.
Create space and a laid back atmosphere by adding bench seating to your outdoor area. Using affordable light timber materials from your local Bunnings and some colorful or patterned cushions can add a new dimension of comfort and make your guests want to sit back for the night and take it all in.
Not so handy? We've found a how-to on bench building for you to make this alresco upgrade 100% achievable.
2. Heat it up with a fire-pit
When you're entertaining it's all about creating an atmosphere and few things do that better than a roaring firepit area. They're a great meeting point for everyone to congregate around and they make it comfortable for the night to run late without it getting too cold.
Perth has a number of great outdoor firepit suppliers (what can we say, we love a good firepit!) and we've rounded up some of our favourite looks from a more rustic feel to a little more high end.
- The Caldo Firepit in rusted iron from WG Outdoor Life
- The Maximus Chiminea from Subiaco Restorations
- The Litestone Alba in concrete from WG Outdoor Life
- The Fiametta Stone Firepit from Bunnings
3. Shine a little light
You can really change the mood of your alfresco with different lighting options. An easily achievable idea for new lighting (as long as there aren't too many little people running around!) are an abundance of candles in varying different sizes. Creating flattering lighting and a harmonious atmosphere which is warm and inviting, you can purchase candles in a plethora of dimensions from IKEA, Kmart, Spotlight or any craft stores of your choice.
If you're looking for more of a resort-style look and feel, shaded lighting like the below can be a great way to set a backdrop for your alfresco and elevate the mood.
4. An outdoor tipple is a good tipple
You could run back and forth pouring drinks for your guests. OR you could create your dream outdoor bar set up with something as simple as refurbishing an old shelving unit. As long as you have space for your drink of choice, some glassware and a section for ice then your list is ticked off. Looking for a how-to on getting your outdoor refreshments zone built? We've got you covered.
5. Get your green thumb out
Not sure if you've noticed, but there's been a bit of buzz around houseplants lately and there's good reason. Monsteras, Giant Peace Lilly's, Palms and Birds Of Paradise varieties can really impact the look and feel of your alfresco and enhance the outdoor elements.
Looking for something a little more subtle? A carefully selected wide pot in the colour palette that matches your aesthetic could be the perfect home for your succulent garden. Succulents are a cute and colourful way to add some texture and depth to your outdoor set up and are a stunning accent piece. Some of our favourite plant and pot stores are:
6. Hang some vines
If you have any boring or far-from-pretty walls that you'd like to disguise, growing some vines across the surface will help soften the space and add aesthetic value to what was once an eye-sore. This project can be executed with as little as buying the vine of your choice (Wisteria is a beautiful option!) and some hooks from Bunnings so you can direct the vines in the areas you prefer.
7. Create Shade
As Western Australians we know just how hot our summers can get, and with that scorching heat a little bit of shade goes a long way. Sun-shades and patio umbrellas can brighten up your space and create dimension whilst keeping you cool. Add in a ceiling fan and you can keep your guests cool throughout the day.
8. How's it hanging
For anyone who has a smaller outdoor space and a plethora of plants isn't really an option to freshen up the look and feel, vertical gardens are a great option for you. Hanging pot-plants from beams and walls is an option too. There are a lot of how to's out there on building a living wall; we loved this step-by-step video which gives you a great idea of how to get it down using inexpensive plants and materials and creates an inner-oasis.
That's a wrap on our alfresco upgrades but if you want to find a design which focuses on highlighting your outdoor space you can have a look here.