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Create an alfresco space you’ll love spending time in with these five practical tips

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1. Do consider function

Photography: Kristian van der Beek and Real Image Media, Developer: Reno Inspo

When designing your outdoor space, think about how you’re going to use it. If you plan to cook and entertain, consider a built-in barbecue or outdoor kitchen and a dining setting. If laid-back afternoons in the sun are more your style, a sofa and coffee table or a pair of sun loungers with a side table to pop a cold drink might suffice.

When it comes to seating, comfort is key; look for styles with deep cushions, generous seats and armrests. And make sure there’s enough seating to accommodate all your guests, while leaving enough room to move around comfortably.

2. Do choose the right finishes

Photography: Prue Ruscoe, Design: Alec Pappas Architects.

The finishes and furniture in your outdoor area will be exposed to the elements, so they need to be tough, low-maintenance and designed to last. For outdoor benchtop materials, look for ones that are UV-, stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant so they’ll cope with heavy-duty cooking for a crowd, such as Dekton®, which is so durable you can even place hot plates and dishes onto it without causing damage. With over 40 colours to choose from, you can recreate the style of your indoor kitchen outdoors and can also use Dekton® on exterior walls and floors to create a luxe, layered look.

Outdoor flooring should be fade-resistant and designed to cope with high levels of foot traffic, ideally with minimal joint lines to reduce cleaning time. Using Dekton® as flooring is a great alternative to pavers as it is more resistant to abrasion than natural stone, as well as coming in a large 3200mm x 1440mm slab so customisation is a breeze.

3. Don’t overlook safety

Photography: Prue Ruscoe, Design: Alec Pappas Architects.

Safety is a non-negotiable in wet areas such as around the swimming pool or spots that are exposed to rain: you’ll want to seek out flooring that not only looks great but helps prevent nasty slips or falls. Dekton® Grip+ is an innovative floor treatment that is uniquely suited to around the pool, the front door and exposed outdoor spaces – safe and stylish, it has a lightly textured surface that is pleasant to walk on, comes in 16 colours, and meets all international safety standards for wet zones so you can step outside with confidence.

4. Do add a feature

Just like the rooms inside your home, your outdoor area will benefit from having a focal point that attracts the eye and draws guests into the space. If you cook outdoors, make your outdoor kitchen the star of the show by cladding it in a luxurious, eye-catching finish such as Dekton® Orix, which gives you the on-trend look of weathered concrete in a durable, low-maintenance material. Balance your statement outdoor kitchen out with neutral flooring and wall cladding, such as Dekton® Zenith and Dekton® Nilium.

5. Don’t forget flow

L – Photography: Kristian van der Beek and Real Image Media, Developer: Reno Inspo. R – Photography: Prue Ruscoe, Design: Alec Pappas Architects.

Add value to your home – and your lifestyle – by treating your outdoor area as an extension of the interior. You can create a seamless transition between the two by choosing furniture in harmonising colours, shapes and materials, and opting for flooring in the same or similar colours inside and out.

Explore Dekton® options for your outdoor area here.

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