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Alfresco Dining

Issue: TW11 May '14

Homes and Interiors

AS THE DAYS GET longer, and the air starts to feel a little warmer, we all start feeling the little glimmers of excitement for the summer which lies just around the corner. With the prospect of long warm evenings, we inevitably look to the outdoors for inspiration. What better way to spend the summer evenings than dining alfresco and enjoying beautiful weather while taking in a pretty view.

With this in mind, I turn to the outdoor kitchen, a place of relaxed cooking, mouth-watering smells and the inevitable envy of all the neighbours in a half mile radius. Cooking outside is a welcome change from the usual routine, and it’s just as easy to cook in an outdoor kitchen as it is in an indoor one. Whether you are happy with a burger popped on the barbeque, or you fancy getting stuck in and creating your very own homage to the Mediterranean with a fully integrated outdoor kitchen, there is an option to suit all aspirations and budgets.

Outdoor spaces such as patios, balconies, terraces and decks are all extensions of our homes to be used for relaxation and enjoyment. With some proper space planning and landscaping you can turn even the smallest area into a gorgeous retreat, allowing the summer season to transform the way we use our home.

This simple design from Eric Olsen design (pictured bottom right) is a great use of an outside wall in the garden, providing an understated elegant outdoor kitchen for these residents to enjoy whilst having a little protection from the elements courtesy of the existing roof.

This walled garden in Primrose Hill by London Garden Design (pictured top right) integrates an outdoor kitchen with a seating area, as well as a luxurious wood burning stove, enabling the user to spend time in the space all year round.

You must plan out the space according to how you intend to use it. Designate specific areas for the relevant purpose you want your outdoor space to serve.

Then the decision of whether to build or not to build; free standing grills and portable refrigerators are ok for those that are a not quite ready to commit to the full-on kitchen in their garden. There are also plenty of simple options that incorporate a simple bench system with a sink and BBQ area that don’t require any drastic building/hard landscaping works. Dutch designers wwoo (pictured middle above) have created a beautiful and simple outdoor kitchen unit that can be built to any requirements. Above all this, you will want the space to sit, dining with your nearest and dearest, enjoying the food as well as the view.

Tanya Dunbavin is a local designer and owns Amok
Tel: 0774 784 3566