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Tag Archives: alfresco

Outdoor Decking

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I love decking outdoor’s and recently I have developed an unhealthy obsession with the new range’s of composite decking that is available on the market. These all weather composite decking materials require very little maintenance and are resistant to pest’s and doesn’t require painting or staining. I must say when it all comes down to it I don’t mind admitting that I’m far too lazy for that type of ongoing maintenance. One of my favourite products at the moment is a product called Trex  http://www.trex.com/au/index.html
What’s your thought’s? have you used it or do you prefer the real deal? below are a few photo’s of both options.

deck 1

deck 2

deck 4

deck 3

deck 5

deck 6

Picture sources from Houzz.com  and Trex

BBQ Area Design

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We posed this question on our facebook page a couple of weeks ago. What do you like in your outdoor area and what is too much? Some people love the idea of an outdoor kitchen whereas others prefer something a little less permanent that can be moved to suit the season. Either way there is no shortage of inspirational pics out there to suit your style.

Hampton style Outdoor BBQ area

Hampton style Outdoor BBQ area

Classic stone built in BBQ

Classic stone built in BBQ

 

Rustic Outdoor area

Rustic Outdoor area

Modern BBQ area

Modern BBQ area

Exposed beams outdoor area

Picture source: Houzz

 

Outdoor Living

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Just in time for the Holiday season we have some new outdoor living lines on our website  www.urbanspice.com.au

Limited stocks of some lines so be quick.

New Season Alfresco Homewares

New Season Alfresco Homewares

 

Outdoor Living in Winter

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I must admit I have impatiently waited for Winter this year in Australia and couldn’t wait to rug up but one thing I will miss about the warmer months is being able sit outdoors under the alfresco area.
I have seriously been contemplating putting in an outdoor heater/fire but I am in desperate need of some  inspiration, so allow me to indulge by posting pics of outdoor areas with built in fires that are a bit swoon worthy and you don’t have to have a large space to put one in either, there are some very nice fire pits that would look great in a courtyard .

Picture source – Houzz

Outdoor Entertaining Tips

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River rock paper weights

River Rock Weights

River rocks (available by the bag at garden centres) help keep plates and napkins where they belong, even after they’ve left the serving table. Pile them in a bucket on the buffet table for guests to grab along with their utensils; you’ll avoid having to chase fly- away’s.

rubber band wine glasses

Rubber Band I.D. Wine Glasses

A guests wineglass wont end up in the wrong hands when one of these brightly coloured rubber bands identifies it. Use a permanent marker to write your guests names on the bands after placing around each glass.

Mayonnaise mix ins

Mayonnaise Mix ins

Beef up your condiment offerings for burgers and sandwiches with these four easy blends. Start each with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add: peppers (1/4 cup, finely chopped); Kalamata-olive puree (3 tablespoons); sun-dried tomatoes in oil (1/4 cup, drained and finely chopped); or pesto (3 tablespoons). Don’t leave mixes outside for more than two hours; refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

Rosemary Skewers

Rosemary Skewers

With its sturdy stalk, rosemary makes a great skewer, infusing grilled food with its garden-fresh flavor. Soak stalks for a half hour before adding meat, fish, or vegetables. You may need to poke through the food first with a metal skewer.

Content from this post from Martha Stewart.com

Designing a Usable Courtyard Space

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House and block sizes are shrinking. Gone are the days of the quarter acre block and big back yards that most of us grew up with. New housing developments have ever decreasing block sizes that favour two story dwellings that give us all the house size we need but with less outdoor space.

Designing a courtyard space can be tricky as it needs to accommodate a number of different uses, a seating/dining area, lighting, outdoor kitchen and some free usable space are things on most peoples wish lists. Fitting all these functions into a small space though can be challenging.

I would like to share with you some tips that I have picked up along the way having lived (and currently living) in a house with a courtyard.

Firstly make a list of the things you consider most important in your space, this can be something as simple as a place to sit, table e.t.c.and work from there adding in other wants, this will at least give you a clear starting point.

Your walls surrounding the space are your biggest asset, whether they are timber fencing or brickwork, both can be utilised in a number of ways. Floor space in courtyards is most important so by making use of your surrounding walls this free’s up the available floor space.

The possibilities for walls are endless, they can be used for suspending planters to give you an instant garden, you can wall mount a water feature (a flat water wall style works best), you can hang a mirror which will create instant depth to a really small space. If there is enough floor space against the wall you can even build in brick/rendered planter boxes to lift your surrounding gardens to free up more space and gain extra height in your plantings.

Seating and dining is another area that is a must, but try and resist the temptation to buy oversized outdoor furniture as this will shrink your usable space, take it from someone who made this mistake! A smaller size setting in proportion to your space is the best option and lets face it you can always bring indoor chairs outside for the occasions when you have a larger group of visitors.

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Picture source Pinterest-Southern Belles

Lighting your area for night time entertaining doesn’t have to be expensive, work with the any existing lighting you may have by adding a nicer shade if its undercover. If you are building it is less expensive to incorporate good lighting at the building stage than it is to add it later on, if possible go for low voltage lighting around your perimeter, but if working with what you have there is nothing nicer than sitting outside with a string of paper lanterns or fairy lights along a fence line or around an alfresco area

There are also a lot of great solar lights that will throw off enough glow at night by adding them around your planters/pots and a well placed candle lantern in the middle of a table.

If you would like your outdoor space to function for cooking the occasional B.B.Q. there are an endless amount of table top B.B.Q.’s and smaller Webber type models on the market that will fit the bill without having to take up valuable floor space with a large B.B.Q.

Probably the best piece of advice I can give you is collect pictures of outdoor spaces you like the look of and try and recreate the look, its always good to have a visual starting point and your  personal style will evolve from there, with all the great picture resources like Houzz and Pinterest  around these days there is no end to the possibilities.

Madge