Outdoor comforts

Date Friday, 10 July 2015 12:00 AM

A little attention to detail goes a long way – both indoors and out. Here are a few clever builders' tips for making the most of your outdoor area.

Make a splash
Outdoor kitchens are perfect for warmer climates or households that love to entertain. If you're worried your outdoor kitchen will encroach on the alfresco space, consider a mirrored splashback – it will reflect natural light and help to create a feeling of openness.Choosing a built-in barbecue with hood will protect the splashback while cooking, which means you can save thousands by using a standard mirror. Be sure to choose a barbecue with a hood that lifts within itself, so it doesn't damage the splashback.

Paint it black
One of the easiest – and most cost-effective – ways to draw attention to your landscaping is to paint your fence a dark colour. Combined with dark pavers and white pebbles, a dark fence will enhance the natural colour of your plants and add a stylish twist to even the simplest landscaping. 

Take it easy
If your block contains a water or power easement, don't be put off – though you can't remove or build over it, you can easily camouflage a stormwater drain or sewerage line with some clever landscaping. For example, you can surround a square drain with square pavers and pebbles to create a uniform look that complements your home's outdoor style.

Get in the groove
When it comes to finishing your alfresco area, swap the traditional materials for something a little more visually exciting. For example, as an old-school touch you can install painted VJ tongue and groove sheeting on the ceiling – it looks great and is surprisingly affordable.

Be sure to ask your local G.J. builder for more great tips when designing your alfresco area.

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