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Outdoor entertaining area with an outdoor table, chairs, BBQ and a ceiling fan

Overview

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.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Weatherproofing

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.

The top of a house with pieces of timber attached to it

2Design consistency

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).

Outdoor entertaining area with a table and chairs in it and timber flooring

3Functionality

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.

Outdoor entertaining area with a table and chairs in it

4Ample fridge space

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.

Outdoor kitchen with a bar fridge, BBQ and a cabinet in it

5Barbecue essentials

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.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Always make sure you have proper ventilation, particularly if the kitchen is enclosed.
Outdoor kitchen with a fridge, BBQ and basin in it

6Go with flexible furnishings

Lastly, select some comfortable furniture for relaxing, such as bar stools, lounge chairs and ottomans.

Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: A portable barbecue is useful, as it can be moved around the yard and used wherever you want, whether it’s in the middle of your seating area or near the pool.
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.