Most of Australia is lucky in that the warm, temperate climate makes outdoor living very pleasant and to be enjoyed for nine months of the year or more, depending on where you live. Since it is something that most people enjoy whether for entertaining or just relaxing after the evening meal, here are some tips to help you enjoy it more.
- If you and your family enjoy dining outdoors, create a space that does not cause a lot of work taking chairs, tables and lighting outside – not to mention food – then bringing it all back in after the meal is over. For instance, an outdoor kitchen on the deck will contain everything you need for a meal and you can even cook outdoors instead of being stuck inside tending to the meal while everyone else enjoys themselves in the cool of the evening.
- If the barbeque area is down the backyard, make it more usable and pleasant by adding a shade-cloth, a wind-break if wind is a problem in your area, and pavers or another flooring option to keep your feet dry and clean. That way mud and wet grass won’t be tracked back inside at the end of the meal.
- Have outside furniture that can stay out in the rain and wind without coming to any harm. That way you won’t have to carry heavy furniture in and out all the time. Metal, plastic or hardwood timber are good choices for outdoor furniture. Make sure the furniture is comfortable by adding rugs and cushions.
- Consider adding a roof if you get evening showers. This will extend the usage of your outdoor living area and keep guests dry in case of a sudden shower.
- If your evenings tend to cool off quickly, add a fire pit or an outdoor gas heater or chiminea so you can enjoy outdoor living for longer without freezing.
- If you have a roof, consider adding clear, roll-down blinds to keep the area warmer and protect from cold wind and blowing rain.
- Install good lighting or have lamps you can trust not to blow out. You need lighting to see what you are cooking, otherwise you may serve up charcoal encrusted snags. Harsh spotlights are just as likely to blind you as help you see, so take care what kind of lighting you install. Make sure there is lighting on steps and stairs for safety.
- Add some board games for the kids.
Once you have your outdoor living area set up to your satisfaction don’t forget to use it as much as possible. It will get the kids away from the television for a while and let them see they can have fun without their tech toys.