It’s no secret that I love a good alfresco area and that’s because I think it has the ability to make your house feel like a home you never want to leave. #holidayathome

These are some of our favourite ways to create the ultimate alfresco extravaganza:

The lay of the land

Chances are, if your yard slopes away, you’re probably feeling a bit #rippedoff because the amount of land you've got to work with is is way less than you’ve actually got! Start by levelling it out and you might be surprised how much space you really have to use. 

At House 9, the backyard not only looked like a desolate wasteland #harshbutfair but it also sloped away from the house, meaning it didn’t get used at all. We wanted to create a family-friendly alfresco area that opens seamlessly from the kitchen and the bar, with different zones for eating, relaxing and chatting with friends.

Anyone who’s been following us for a while will know we can’t enough of a HardieDeck. We installed our first one in House 4 and haven’t looked back. It’s super durable: rot-proof, moisture-proof, warp-proof and splinter and termite resistant. The perfect hard-wearing product for the harsh Australian climate.

For the first time in House 9, we created a raised deck using HardieDeck, built on piers, over the sloping area of the yard. It worked wonders to level the yard and regain so much wasted space. We built this deck in a U-shape with turf in the middle which is perfect for kids to play. 

If you’re using decking to level your yard, HardieDeck is the perfect product because it can be built much lower to the ground than timber can, only requiring a 5cm gap between the earth and the decking boards. And it’s fire-resistant meaning it’s a great solution for homes in bushfire-prone areas where timber decks are not allowed. This was a god-send for me when building in a BAL40 zone and I pretty much encircled my new home in HardieDeck.


A little privacy

Sorry nosey neighbours, there’s nothing to see here! 

We love ourselves a privacy screen and they offer so much more than just blocking out the neighbours. Connected to a pergola or overhead covering, a privacy screen can help create the feeling of an outdoor room.

At House 9 we built our largest privacy screen yet, running almost the full length of the backyard. Of course, we used our favourite James Hardie Linea by Scyon and painted it Dulux Domino. We recommend painting your privacy screen the same colour as the house to look like a seamless continuation.

Luck was on our side at this house, in the form of an existing row of lush green bamboo along the boundary fence. It falls over the screen for added privacy and the green looks gorgeous against the black.


Fab Furnishings

Alfresco areas have come a long way over the years and if you’re creating the ultimate alfresco oasis, fold-out chairs and a trestle table aren’t going to cut it. 

We love a built-in bench seat to help create that ‘outdoor room’ vibe and provide loads of practical seating options. At House 9 we built a bench seat around two sides of the table and then added bench seat from Freedom on the other side. Benches are also a great way for fitting lots of bottoms around a table as they table up much less space than chairs. 

I love to design an alfresco area by creating zones and I’ll show you how I did it in House 9 with fabulous furnishings from Freedom.


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