More than a patio but not quite an extension, an alfresco area is an outdoor room perfectly suited to Australia’s climate and our love of embracing the great outdoors.
In Hawaii they call them a lanai. In colder climates they might be known as a sunroom or conservatory. But in Australia, alfresco areas are indoor-outdoor transitional areas that can be used as an extension of your main home for extra living and dining space.
What Does Alfresco Mean?
‘Alfresco’ comes from an Italian word that means “in the fresh air”. Australians are probably familiar with it in regard to dining outside.
What is an Alfresco Area?
An alfresco area is an extension of your home’s living areas. It’s outside, but still underneath the main roof of your house. This is what makes it different from a patio, deck, verandah, balcony or porch, which is an additional structure attached to your house. So your existing roofline extends over the area, with flooring of concrete, pavers or decking giving the space a clear ‘outdoor’ feel.
The largest difference between an alfresco area to say a gazebo or pergola is the protection it offers from the elements and the way in which it is connected to your home.
Is Alfresco Indoor or Outdoor?
An alfresco area is outside of your home but one which can be used all year round because it offers some protection from the weather. It’s essentially an outdoor room from which the main house is linked, often with bifold doors.
It usually offers protection from rain, wind and sun with the use of a wall, privacy screen or blinds, and sometimes includes features such as an outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, dining area or outdoor furniture for relaxing. An alfresco area should give the feeling of connectedness to your yard or garden, but be comfortable enough to use no matter the season.
Where Alfrescos Are Commonly Used
A way to bring the outdoors in, alfresco spaces are a popular way to embrace outdoor dining, particularly with the use of built-in outdoor kitchens. They are a place to enjoy a casual meal or a space to hold your next party.
An outdoor fireplace, pizza oven or heaters can see alfresco areas get lots of use even during colder months. Adding soft furnishing and rugs are other examples of how to make your alfresco zone cosy all year long.
Alfresco bathrooms are a luxurious addition to a home and something that Australians are keenly adopting. Generally, part of the main or ensuite bathroom, attached by large doors that open onto partially protected, private courtyards, alfresco bathrooms can feature a bathtub, shower, or both.
But by far the most popular use of alfresco areas is for outdoor living. Not just a space for entertaining, but an outdoor room the whole family will use all year round. Add an outdoor couch or daybed and you’ll find you have little reason to venture indoors after a long, lazy Sunday lunch.
Useful Features in Alfresco Areas
Unlike a verandah, balcony or deck where your space can be limited, an alfresco zone can be built to be as large as you need it. If you’re planning on adding a dining table and seating, why not make room for a built-in barbecue or pizza oven, too?
An alfresco area draws people from the inside of their homes to the great outdoors, while still giving them cover from the sun, wind and rain. However, if you’d rather your alfresco zone invite the outside in, there are a number of ways to achieve this.
Adding skylights to your alfresco area can give your space an atrium feel, while the addition of windows and shutters can help you keep out the rain and cool air, or draw cooking smells from barbecues away from your main living area.
Built-in garden beds are also a great way to bring greenery into your outdoor living space and the perfect place to plant herbs to compliment your alfresco pizza oven. A trellis with climbing plants can also help connect your alfresco area and yard, and will help you shade your outdoor room from the harsh summer sun.
The options really are endless when it comes to designing your alfresco space to suit the style of your home and make it the most functional room in your house.
Does an Alfresco Area Add Value to My Home?
Offering shade and plenty of light, alfresco areas will always add value to your house by showcasing how your home can be used for relaxed living as well as entertaining.
As an alfresco area is generally an extension of your main living area, it’s also likely to make your home feel cooler and more connected to the rest of your garden.
Not only does an alfresco area add value to your existing home, it can also help you attract tenants and increase your potential rental yield.
A Stylish Outdoor Living Space You’ll Never Want to Leave
If you’re wondering how best to incorporate an alfresco area into your current home, Correct Constructions can help you make your new outdoor room look as good as your indoor rooms.
Locally owned and operated and with more than 25 years’ experience, Correct Constructions specialise in building outdoor spaces you’ll never want to leave.