Outdoor entertaining made easy
An alfresco area is a wonderful addition to any home. It can be a place to enjoy meals with family or to host dinner parties with friends. The key to creating an outdoor space that you’ll use regularly is smart planning. We’re sharing tips on what makes for the ultimate entertaining area.
It’s important to keep rain, wind, UV rays and insects out of your outdoor living space, so weatherproofing is key. (This will also help keep your area looking good for longer.)
Enclose the space to prevent it from getting damaged and choose weatherproof outdoor furniture.
Ensure that everything in the outdoor kitchen and bar fridge are weatherproof. For hardware, use marine grade ply and stainless steel on all your carcasses, tracks and draw hardware to stop it from corroding.
When designing your alfresco area, keep the design consistent with your indoor style to cultivate a cohesive feel both inside and out.
When creating your outdoor space, take into consideration things like matching the hardware to your indoor kitchen, pairing the style of appliances and splashback tiling, matching the colour of the cupboards, or selecting similar furnishings (table, chairs and/or bench seats).
Functionality is the most important consideration for outdoor kitchens. Storage is important for regular utensils and crockery, but think about adding a rolling caddy for items like cooking oil, sauces and seasonings. This will provide easy access and mobility around the outdoor space.
Choose a benchtop material that is easy to clean, such as granite, and don’t forget to include smart lighting – this will allow you to use your outdoor area after dark.
Every alfresco area should have a bar fridge for beverages to enjoy on a hot summer day or night, and to store meat and vegetables for cooking outside.
Consider installing two fridges for extra storage, as this will be useful when you have friends and family coming over; a bar cart can also help with the overflow.
The best summer afternoons and evenings are spent around the barbecue cooking a meal with family and friends.
When choosing your barbecue, think about what type of cooking you will be doing and what cooktop will be best. Also, consider the fuel type that’s best for your space (such as gas, charcoal and electric), and whether or not you want the barbecue to be built-in or portable.
Whatever barbecue you choose, it will be handy to have plenty of bench space nearby for easy prep. Think about what outdoor kitchen appliances will work best for your space and the way you like to cook.
Tip: Always make sure you have proper ventilation, particularly if the kitchen is enclosed.
Lastly, select some comfortable furniture for relaxing, such as bar stools, lounge chairs and ottomans.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.