What are the winning strategies to plan your ideal alfresco lifestyle?

Alfresco backyard dining table with smiming pool
Photo: Zstockphotos, Bigstock

Patios are a popular choice in Australia with the country experiencing favourable weather through most of the year. Outdoor living is almost an Aussie way of life, which is why it’s important to plan your ideal alfresco lifestyle if you’re the type of person who likes to spend more time outside than inside.

You’ll need to consider several things if you’re looking to create a stunning, functional space outside your home. Follow these strategies to plan your ideal alfresco lifestyle.

Establish Desired Functionality From Your Patio

The functionality you desire from your patio will determine the layout. Consider the following:

  • Are you looking for a space purely for your own relaxation?
  • Are you looking to create a space that enables get-togethers?
  • Do you want to incorporate activities like cooking and barbequing?
  • How much seating are you looking for in the patio?
  • Do you enjoy the idea of a fireplace for cool evenings?

Once you determine the activities for your alfresco, you’ll be in a better position to plan the size and layout. For example, small and intimate spaces work best for people looking for their own relaxation, while larger spaces work for people looking to incorporate outdoor cooking and barbequing facilities.

Incorporate Convenience Into The Patio Space

While you love the idea of an outdoor lifestyle, you cannot be completely detached from the house, especially if your space has cooking and barbequing facilities. Consider the following:

  • Does the space allow you to easily access your kitchen?
  • Can you incorporate food storage on your patio to reduce walk ins to the main house?
  • Can you move freely from inside to outside and vice versa?
  • Does the space have adequate electrical units for lighting and other electrical needs?

Simply planning an alfresco lifestyle isn’t enough. You must find a way to incorporate convenience into it to ensure that you reduce your back and forth trips between different areas in your home.

Avoid Deviating Too Far From The Existing Architectural Style Of Your Home

When designing any patio space, you’ll want it to blend into your home and not stick out like a sore thumb. Consider the following:

  • Extend interior finishes to your exterior spaces to feature homogeneity in all your living areas.
  • Use similar colours on your floors and walls to create a continuous transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Incorporate similar lighting fixtures and furniture colours to craft a cohesive finish.

While everything doesn’t have to be the same, you’ll want your home to have a harmonised finish. This can make a huge difference to your selling price if you’re looking to move out at a later stage.

Plan Your Outdoor Lighting To Suit Your Lifestyle

House with Patio
Photo: Dariusz Jarzabek, Bigstock

While you probably don’t think about light when it comes to outdoor living, it can make a huge difference if you’re planning on spending evenings and nights on your patio. Consider the following:

  • What kind of ambience are you looking for from your patio? An intimate or bright space? Intimate lighting works best for relaxation, but you may need bright lighting for outdoor cooking spaces.
  • Would you like to control the level of lighting you have outside? In this case, you may want to opt for dimmable LED lights.
  • Are you looking to incorporate spotlights to bring attention to special garden features?
  • Would you like to use sensor lights to keep burglars at bay?

Think of the lighting that works best for your alfresco space and plan accordingly. Any new light installations require the services of a licensed professional; so don’t try to do it on your own.

Consider The Level Privacy You Want For Your Patio


One of the best things about alfresco living is your ability to remain outdoors, while retaining your desired level of privacy. Consider the following:

  • What kind of privacy works best for your space? Screens, blinds, trees, fencing, draperies or plants?
  • How will the privacy feature work with the existing décor of your patio?
  • How open or closed off would you like your patio space to be especially when it comes to inviting sunlight inside or keeping it away?

Incorporating patio living doesn’t have to be at the expense of your privacy. When planning for privacy, find a balance, so that you don’t box yourself into a space that feels like the inside of your home.

Patio living is a stylish and practical addition to your home, especially if you’re the type of person who enjoys the great outdoors.