Summer is almost upon us and for the majority of Australian homeowners, thoughts turn to the garden, as we prepare for that long summer season of outdoor living. If you have taken an honest look at your outdoor living space and have decided it is in need of a revamp, here’s a guide to help you create the ideal Al Fresco dining area.
No Al Fresco ambience is complete without some elegant shading, and with a range of centre or side post garden umbrellas, you have the ideal solution. Modern shade umbrellas are a far cry from the monstrosities of a few years ago, when you had to be a contortionist to open one, and effortless operation is thankfully now the norm. Bright and colourful fabrics that are guaranteed not to fade or tear, offer you a host of design options, or if you have a large expanse to cover, you might want to consider investing in a retractable awning, and with matching units over the windows, you have the perfect Mediterranean dining area.
Timber Decking or Natural Stone
The terrace itself can be built with either timber decking or paving stones, whichever you prefer, and by enlisting the help of a local landscaping company, your patio will be the ideal foundation for the unique look you are planning to create. Both have their pros and cons, with timber requiring regular attention, while stone tends to collect dirt and grime, especially over the winter months, and whatever you choose, it will determine the colours that will be most effective to create the right ambience.
When it comes to outdoor furniture in Melbourne, why not pay a visit to the huge warehouse, where a wide range of styles are presented in a real life garden environment, which is the best way to experience the furniture, and their lower than retail prices will certainly appeal. Chairs, tables, sun loungers and outdoor sofas offer the Australian homeowner a range of styles, so there will be something that looks like it belongs on your terrace. One must factor in durability with outdoor furniture, as it must endure extended periods of exposure to direct sunlight, and make sure the materials are non corrosive, such as stainless steel, wrought iron, or even rattan.
Visit the Store
Most garden centres have a limited selection, so it is best to source a supplier with an extensive catalogue and by paying them a visit, you get to see first hand how the furniture looks in a garden setting. An online search will save you both time and money, and after browsing a selection of suites, you can follow up with a store visit, which will make the selection process that much easier.
As early evening arrives, some carefully placed floor level lighting will certainly add a touch of subtle elegance to your terrace and with a few well-placed spots to highlight focal points and soft table lamps, the Al Fresco look is complete. LED solutions give you far more scope regarding outdoor lighting, and with dimmer switches, you have fine control over lighting.
Most terraces do require a windbreaker, and with stylish fabric roller blinds, this can be elegantly provided, and with clear plastic solutions, the beautiful view will not be compromised, and any time you wish to enjoy the breeze, simply raise the screens. Again, a clever choice of colours can give your terrace some depth and contrast, and with modern roller blinds, there are no unsightly ropes and pulleys, as the running mechanism is enclosed and easy to adjust.
Regarding the look of your outdoor area, you are only limited by your own imagination, and if you are lacking inspiration, a Google image search is bound to give you some ideas.