Cover Up the Outdoor Area
Keep the elements – think rain, hail and shine – at bay by adding a roof or pergola to your deck or outdoor entertaining area. The Australian sun's harsh UV rays can put an end to an enjoyable afternoon outside just as quickly as a torrential downpour will.
For those who still want to let the light in, a clear polycarbonate roof is a good option. Suntuf polycarbonate roofing not only lets in nearly all of the sun's light in but it blocks 99.9% of UV rays.
If a fully enclosed roof is not for you, then a pergola could be the answer. Traditionally an open wooden structure, pergolas can be modified any way you choose. A thatched roof, shade sails even vines trained up the posts and trusses can inject character and colour into your outdoor area.
Don't Forget the Sides
If your deck or entertaining area is exposed to wind then installing bistro blinds or shutters will help. Made from heavy duty PVC, café blinds are an easy-to-install solution that can be rolled up when not needed.
For something more permanent, try aluminium shutters. These come in a range of styles and colours, and are easy to install. The louvres can be closed on windy days or opened to allow cool breezes to pass through.
Add a Little Heat
The last thing you'll need to chill-proof your outdoor area is a heater.
Depending on how your space is set up, you may be able to install a built-in wood or gas heater . Built-in heaters can be more expensive than their portable cousins, but they are very effective and can be the difference between a seasonal space and a year-round option.
But if your space or your budget don't allow for something as permanent as a built-in heater, there are plenty of portable gas heaters that do a great job. From freestanding to table top – there are even units with flashing lights – there's a model to suit every space.
Get some more great ideas on how you can set up your outdoor entertaining area.