Who doesn’t enjoy a good braai? South Africans have truly embraced outdoor living and the Lowveld’s moderate year-round temperatures make it even more desirable. .
5 Things to consider when planning your outdoor living areas:
1. Shelter from the elements
An outdoor space like a patio, deck or veranda lets you extend your indoor living areas to the outdoors, but you need to be cognisant of the climate and the elements. We are fortunate to enjoy warmer winters in the Lowveld, but at the same time we need shelter from the sun in the summer. Having at least one covered outdoor area which can be used no matter the season or weather, is crucial. Designing an outdoor space with sufficient covering, without compromising the outdoor living experience can be tricky, but most architects will find a solution that suits your budget, requirements, and house’s overall design.
2. Use suitable materials
Countertops and flooring material should be highly resistant to grease stains and able to handle moisture.
Although composite decking is a costly alternative to wood, it comes with a list of pros. Apart from being environmentally friendly if made from recycled plastic, composite decks also require less maintenance.
Concrete has withstood the test of time and it will be hard to find a material to use for flooring that is more versatile and adaptable than concrete.
Whether you decide to go with wood, composite materials, concrete, marble, tiles, natural stone, or pavers it is advisable to choose low-maintenance materials that can withstand the rigors of the outdoors.
3. Functional layout and design.
Compliment the design of the home’s architecture, but a functional layout is crucial to ensure that your outdoor space will be used (and enjoyed) frequently. Functionality trumps design and there is no space where this is as evident as in a kitchen, whether it be inside or outside.
Consider the flow between your outdoor areas. There should be a natural flow between the cooking (braai) area, seating area(s) and the pool if you have one. If your outdoor kitchen will incorporate a washing area, workspace and refrigeration make sure these are placed with functionality in mind.
Allow for adequate lighting, especially around the cooking areas.
4. Install equipment that suits your preferred style of cooking.
A brick or pizza oven could be a fun and functional addition to your outdoor kitchen. Long gone are the days when they were primarily used for cooking pizzas. Nowadays people use these outdoor ovens for baking bread and cooking meat and other meals to perfection.
Adding a gas heater or fireplace to your patio will increase the use of the area and create a cozy atmosphere for rainy or cooler days.
5. Have sufficient seating for your guests.
The whole point of outdoor living is to entertain, so be sure to provide your guests with comfortable and sufficient seating. Apart from having ample seating, it is advisable to also add a dining space on your patio. Having a dining table for guests to relish your cooking creates the ultimate outdoor entertaining experience.
Being surrounded by Lowveld bushveld, residents at Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate are naturally drawn to outdoor living. Abundant space between houses creates a feeling of seclusion and tranquility – perfect for appreciating outdoor estate living in the Lowveld.