1 July 2023

Living Al Fresco

Once upon a time, Northern Irish gardens were largely forgotten about; being simply the place to host a sporadic BBQ or two upon sight of sun with a hotchpotch of chairs, tables and cushions moved from inside to outside to accommodate the family and/or guests assembled for the occasion. From this, we’re familiar with dining al fresco but this season has taken the concept to new, dizzy heights.

Today, elaborate outdoor living spaces have cemented the ‘living al fresco’ trend taking over gardens, with everything from outdoor bars, kitchens and hot tubs becoming mainstay features of regular homes across the county.

Essentially, the trend means taking everything we enjoy about inside living – mood lighting, soft furnishings, quality glassware and technology – to the outside.

Upgrading BBQ areas to full outdoor working kitchens, equipped with cookers, fridges and breakfast bars – and crockery – means you won’t ever have to step inside and lose a moment of the fresh and warm summer air – and the craic being had at your fabulous family gathering. At Outside Rooms, we can combine our walling and flag ranges to create fully functioning outdoor kitchens and bars. Our TerraPave® flagstones create beautiful sleek countertops, while the walling is ideal for workstations and storage.

Outdoor living is one of the fastest growing trends as people look to make the most of their outdoor space and get outdoors as much as possible. Make your own back garden the coolest place to hang out in – you don’t need to worry about getting a table on a busy Saturday night.


How-to-Design a Perfect Alfresco

  • 1. Determine the size and layout of your alfresco

    This will largely depend on what activities you want to accommodate and the size of your area. Whether your alfresco is small and intimate or large and spacious, you’ll want to create zones to separate activities – such as cooking, conversation and relaxation – while allowing for good flow of movement throughout the space.

  • 2. Plans for privacy

    Your alfresco won’t have walls, so if privacy and noise are concerns you’ll need to install a fence or tall landscaping plants between you and the neighbours.

  • 3. Consider convenience

    Your alfresco should be easily accessible from the house, with food preparation areas located near your indoor kitchen to reduce trips back-and-forth. You must also consider access to power and water.

  • 4. Amenities

    When deciding which amenities to add, take into account your family’s lifestyle. Do you like to spend evenings outdoors next to a fireplace or is the outdoor kitchen perfect for your foodie lifestyle.