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outdoor entertainingalfresco livingEntertaining outdoors has become part ofthe New Zealand lifestyleWords: Sandra Batley110 NEW zealand Backyard & garden Design Ideas
outdoor entertainingEntertaining outdoors with family and friendsis one of the most rewarding functions ofa kiwi garden. Gone are the days whenbackyards were just a place to grow plants andhang the washing. Today, backyards have becomeoutdoor rooms in their own right, fully equippedwith everything from cooking facilities, furnitureand audio-visual technology. These luxuries, oncerelegated to the indoors, have changed the faceof New Zealand backyards and have turned thehumble garden into the perfect place for your nextalfresco affair.Alfresco cooking & diningA popular pastime during the summer monthsis dining outdoors. Whether it’s an impromptuget-together or a formal dinner, it’s importantto have an area dedicated to dining that isboth easily accessible to the house and largeenough to accommodate your seating andcooking requirements.Furniture for the dining area should include atable and chair that is designed for use outdoors.The space you have available will determine thesize of the furniture. Remember, you will needroom to walk around the table so choose furniturethat is proportionate to the size you have. It’s agood idea to position the dining furniture as closeas possible to the cooking facilities so as to makepreparing and serving meals easy.The dining area will also need to be protectedfrom the elements so that it can be enjoyed nomatter what the weather brings. Pergolas, sunumbrellas, awnings and shade sails are just a fewof the options you may want to consider.When it comes to cooking, the modestkiwi barbecue has always been a quick andconvenient way to get a few steaks and sausagesready. However, for those who want to enjoy thecomplete kitchen experience outdoors, there isnow a range of outdoor kitchens to suit everystyle and budget.Taking the outdoors to a whole new level,outdoor kitchens extend your internal livingspace and are the perfect way to bring what hastraditionally been an indoor activity outside.When it comes to outdoor kitchens, you’respoiled for choice. Your alfresco diningexperience can be as simple or lavish as you like.From basic modular systems to state-of-the-artkitchens complete with washing-up facilities andstorage space, there is bound to be an option tosuit you and your outdoor area.If space permits, consider incorporating acomplete outdoor kitchen. With everythingoutside, it means you won’t have to go backand forth inside the house to prepare meals.If your outdoor dining area cannot11. Dine outdoors in style. This diningsetting shows how easy it is to use a simplepalette of colours and materials to createa stylish and comfortable outdoor space.Photos courtesy of Poynters.NEW zealand Backyard & garden Design Ideas 11
outdoor entertaining2345accommodate a complete kitchen, you canconsider a humble barbecue or wood-fired pizzaoven. These can be easily incorporated into youroutdoor living area without taking up too muchspace. And the warmth they provide is an addedbonus on those cold winter nights.Outdoor furnitureSeating for the outdoors not only needs tobe functional, practical and comfortable, italso needs to be durable and stylish. Outdoorfurniture needs to be built tough to withstandthe elements 365 days of the year. Furniturefor coastal settings especially needs to bedesigned to avoid corrosion.There was a time when manufacturersand furniture designers were limited to just afew materials to work with, such as timber andwrought-iron. Today, however, technology hasbrought with it an array of materials, styles anddesigns to choose from including concrete,woven wicker, anodised aluminium, stainlesssteeland fibreglass. There is also an exciting newrange of weather-proof woven furniture for theoutdoors, available in a variety of stylish coloursto complement any outdoor setting.When choosing the right style of furniture forthe outdoors, the same rules apply as for insidethe home, but with a few added conditions.The furniture pieces need to complement thesurrounding garden style. For example, if youhave a contemporary courtyard you should opt forpieces which are modern in design and which usematerials appropriate to the contemporary style.For a more casual coastal setting, try paddedtimber deck chairs or a comfy beanbag. And forthe more formal, classic outdoor setting, hotdippedgalvanised hand-forged steel delivers atimeless elegance.Teak or kwila furniture settings are good incombination with native or sub-tropical-stylegardens. Their natural good looks blend with theleafy lush foliage and the furniture develops a12 NEW zealand Backyard & garden Design Ideas
outdoor entertaining6soft silver/grey weathered look over time. Timbersfrom a sustainable resource are also available forthe eco-conscious.When it comes to outdoor furniture, in additionto tables and chairs there are also sofas, sunloungers, armchairs, hammocks, beanbagsand even footstools available. So no matterwhat your outdoor setting, there is a range ofoptions to choose from when it comes to gettingcomfortable outdoors.Outdoor entertainmentJust when you thought it couldn’t get anybetter, manufacturers are now producing arange of outdoor weatherproof televisions forthose who want to enjoy the complete hometheatre experience outdoors.Featuring dust and waterproof LCD screenswith a protective glass front panel, the TVsare made in lightweight aluminium framesto withstand harsh environments, makingthem perfect for backyards. And with outdoortelevisions there is no compromise with picturequality. You can watch your favourite sports ormovies in high definition (HD), with the same108OP resolution found in indoor televisions.And for those who want to experience thefull cinematic experience outside, there is arange of projectors and projection screensdesigned for outdoor use. What better way towatch your favourite movie than on the bigscreen, under the stars, in the comfort of yourown backyard?When it comes to sound, there is a range ofoptions available. Stereo speakers that can beeasily mounted under the house eaves, insideplanters or attached to posts in the backyard orpool area. Made of plastic moulding or heavydutyaluminium, they are built to withstand theelements and are durable enough to weatherextreme temperatures.Some speakers are even designed to looklike rocks so they blend in seamlessly with youroutdoor area. These speakers are ideal forgardens that have lush plantings and groups ofnatural rock.Entertaining outdoors is about having fun.With so many options available, from outdoorcooking facilities to furniture and entertainmentsystems, bringing the indoors out has never beeneasier. And with so many exciting products andaccessories on the market, creating the perfectentertaining area means you’ll be able to enjoythe outdoors all year round. n2. Boston Acoustics Soundware speakersprovide for great outdoor sound. Madefrom water-resistant materials, thespeakers are sturdy enough to withstandthe elements. Visit: www.easternhifi.co.nz3. The Rinnai CrossRay BBQ is designedfor the entertainer. It uses an innovativemethod of radiant infra-red plates forcooking. Visit: www.rinnai.com4. A barbecue with a difference! TheRinnai Maxim X7SS comes withadditional features such as a hotplateand sink. Visit: www.rinnai.co.nz5. This compact, all-in-one hardwearingstainless-steel cabinet includesuseful bench space to prepare food,and sliding cupboards and drawers forstorage. Visit: www.braycostainless.co.nz6. These luxurious textured rattan loungeswill get you comfortable outside in no time.The dark chocolate colour complements thenatural surroundings beautifully. Photocourtesy of Coast Design Co.NEW zealand Backyard & garden Design Ideas 13