In the Media: Ace outdoor spaces create happy faces

Date: Saturday 2 March 2024

Source: The West Australian

Journalist: Kaylee Cranley

Soaking up the outside atmosphere from the comfort of your own home is good for the soul, and a well-designed outdoor entertaining area is a worthy starting point.

Oswald Homes Designer Franco Ranallo said the people of Perth loved their outdoor spaces, typically utilising alfrescos with barbecue areas to get the most out of entertaining opportunities.

“Those fortunate enough may additionally have a swimming pool and, perhaps, even a pool house in which to chill out and enjoy themselves,” he said.

“Depending on the season, we can also enjoy gatherings with a conversation pit huddled around an open fire.

“Outdoor spaces also seem to naturally encourage kids to be more active and get involved with backyard sports, thus reducing their screen time, which is always a win.”

When designing your abode, Mr Ranallo said time spent focusing on outdoor living and entertaining zones was time never wasted.

“These spots can be easily underestimated and simply thought of as a tack on to the rear of the home; however, this is far from the approach which ought to be taken in reality,” he said.

“For example, north-facing lots take the opportunity to capture all the northern light into the outdoor living area at the front of the home.

“We can achieve this while also maintaining privacy, and it makes for such a more enjoyable home to live in all year-round.

“Health studies also show good residential courtyards and outdoor living bring people a psychological feeling of emotional pleasure.

“Furthermore, they attract people to actively engage in more physical activities which, in turn, is of great significance to improving physical and mental health.” According to Mr Ranallo, outdoor living designs gaining momentum of late include rooftop gardens, vertical gardens and koi ponds.

He said Oswald Homes’ custom build in Applecross was a prime example of utilising the outdoors.

“The Applecross client home certainly makes good use of the outdoor living areas with an alfresco connecting directly to the kitchen via bi-fold servery doors, making life easy for outdoor cooking and serving drinks,” Mr Ranallo said. “It has an attached open cabana with a pergola roof, which then overlooks the swimming pool.

“The entire rear yard can effectively be utilised as outdoor entertaining areas for adults and children year round.”

Mr Ranallo shared some advice for increasing the quality and convenience of outdoor entertaining spaces, starting with incorporating handy power-saving elements. “Generally speaking, you can save some power running costs of the air-conditioner system by having dinner outside with, hopefully, a nice western sea breeze blowing too,” he said.

“Allowing for various plumbing services to be integrated into the design is quite important.

“Add consideration for gas supply, hot and cold water supplies, and electricity for the likes of bar fridges, TV connections, fans and general lighting.

“My pet peeve is where no thought has been given to things like pool equipment and/or air-conditioner units, and then you end up sitting outside adjacent to your favourite outdoor living space sipping your favourite beverage, all while having to listen to the noisy equipment running.”