The Outdoor Entertaining Space was the catchphrase for outdoor designs at Melbourne’s Build and Renovating Expo this July. The modern backyard is all about bringing the indoors out, utilising what space you have in your garden and making it fit and fun for entertaining.
Decks, pergolas, verandahs and outdoor rooms are becoming increasingly popular as more people realise the value in expanding their living space to the great outdoors.
But once you’ve built that perfect alfresco living room, it needs to be furnished to make it a liveable and loveable place to be.
If you didn’t make it to this year’s show, never fear. We took a peek at what was on show and have brought some of the best products for your entertaining deck to you.
First and foremost, if you want an inviting outdoor entertaining space, you need to have the enticing furniture to lure you outside. Whether it’s a comfy couch, some stylish wicker chairs, an armchair you can sink into, or a hammock, you need to have enough seating spots to host a decent group of family and friends.
At the Build & Renovating Expo, we just loved the hammock-like outdoor Cloud 9 Hanging Chair by New Style Direct. It comes complete with a footrest and a cup holder. And if you have a pergola or verandah, the beams make the perfect hanging point for the chair, so you don’t need to buy a frame.
You can’t have an entertaining space without the facilities to cook up a memorable barbecued feast. The barbecue is often the centrepiece of an outdoor entertaining space. It’s the place the men congregate to share beers and show off their grilling know-how.
You want to have a barbecue that’s big enough to grill enough burgers, sausages and rissoles for the whole extended family, but small enough so that it doesn’t impose on the décor and aesthetics of your outdoor deck.
The Build & Renovating Expo showcased just how you can transform your backyard with a mock-up of a ‘Outdoor Kitchen’, complete with a sleek barbecue station (including grill and fridge!) provided by BBQs Plus.
One of the major disadvantages of outdoor spaces in the past has been our inability to control Australia’s extreme temperatures. You’d be lured outside by the sun, only to find it too hot or too cold; the outdoors would be shunned in favour of the more temperate and controlled indoors climate.
Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Today, modern technology helps you live more comfortably outside. There are, for example, our outdoor shade and café blinds that prevent sun and wind from entering your outdoor room.
You can also buy gas heaters to warm the deck or pergola to a livable temperature in winter. You can even install ceiling fans specifically designed for the outdoors. The Haiku fans by expo exhibitor Big Ass Fans caught our attention for their sleek designs. They create a fresh breeze in summer (and get rid of pesky bugs in the process!) and have a winter mode to distribute the warm air from your heater.
Their Sales & Design Consultant Alana Day spoke to us about the importance of thermal comfort in your outdoor space.
There’s one thing you probably don’t think about when installing your new pergola or verandah for your outdoor entertaining area: your gutters. With the addition of a new structure to your property, you’re going to have far more gutters to think about.
Whether you’ve connected those gutters to your water tank, or are just using them to drain water off your roof, you want them to work properly. Leaves, branches, twigs and other outdoor debris can clog your gutters and lead to blocked drains.
To minimise necessary maintenance on your new gutters, it may be worth thinking about installing gutter guards, a service offered at the show by Melbourne company, Leaf Guard.
Their gutter guards are an aluminium mesh that can be fitted over your drains to prevent debris getting trapped in the drains. That means less time you have to spend on a rickety ladder emptying soggy leaves from your gutters – and more time enjoying your cosy furniture and swish new barbecue!
A Backyard Entertainment Area – the Complete Package
Your backyard entertaining area can be the talk of your family and friends if you put a bit of time and effort into creating a homely yet trendy space people won’t want to leave.
With the addition of a bit of furniture (at a minimum, chairs and a table), a barbecue, and some outdoor fans you can have the outdoor space you always dreamed of.
Ready to Renovate?
At Australian Outdoor Living, we love to keep you up-to-date with the latest trends and designs in outdoor living. Check out our other resources below:
- Enhance your space with these awesome innovations in outdoor technology
- Find out what some of the latest spring outdoor trends are
- Learn what renovations Australians love most
- Renovate your own backyard with a timber deck. Check out our timber decking products
- Contact us today for a FREE measure and quote on your latest backyard plans