How to design an outdoor kitchen
Resort holidays offer relaxation and rejuvenation – what could be nicer than swimming a few lazy laps, having a snooze in the shade, or lounging poolside with a good book? Now imagine enjoying that blissed out feeling in your own backyard. Adding a few elements to your existing poolside set-up could take you from tense to totally chilled, without the trials of travelling.
If you're lucky enough to have a pool, you're halfway to resort-style living already. Do the hard work early in the season and get your pool swim-ready and crystal clear, so it's good to go whenever you're inclined to dive in.
All effort made now will be repaid on hot summer days, so invest in an automatic pool cleaner to help keep the water pristine and, if yours is a saltwater pool, add mineral salts to make the water softer and kinder on your skin.
No pool? Consider installing a spa and you can indulge in next level self-care any day of the week.
Timber is a key element of resort style, and a swathe of decking brings this inviting, natural texture into your space. Get all the benefits of the timber look without the maintenance issues – especially important in a pool area – with one of the latest composite decking materials, so you can relax and enjoy your laidback zone without fretting about a reseal come autumn.
Lounging by the pool all day sounds like heaven, but on hot summer days, you'll need some shade. Strategic planting can be good for this – add palm trees for a Palm Springs look, but make sure they're not positioned where they'll drop fronds in the pool.
Channel an Amalfi Coast feel with bright sun umbrellas, or create a more permanent shade solution with a gazebo; park a day bed underneath and you're set for a summer afternoon of reading and snoozing.
Set yourself up for day naps with comfortable sunlounges or daybeds. Include handy side tables, and add bold accessories, like cushions and beach towels, for a sunny colour hit.
Your home set-up might not have a swim-up bar, but you can create a similar feel with a few key elements. Add a bar fridge for storing cold drinks, or even an outdoor kitchen module with storage space and a benchtop for whipping up poolside snacks.
Complete the bar feeling with tall stools grouped around a servery and consider installing outdoor speakers and ambient lighting for partying after dark.