Of contemporary design, this outdoor room is designed to provide year-round enjoyment
Words Karen Booth Photos Patrick Redmond
As day eases into night, there’s no better place to be than in this beautifully furnished and meticulously finished outdoor room. Located at the rear of the home and stretching its full width, the undercover entertaining space is divided into two main zones: a spacious dining area and a lounge area with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. Featuring only the best-quality materials, fittings, furnishings and decorative elements, this outdoor room is every entertainer’s dream — a space that has equal appeal, day or night.
Adding to the night-time appeal is the extensive lighting, but it’s not limited to the outdoor room. Lighting throughout the garden and swimming pool turns the landscape into a stunning vista that serves as a backdrop for evening meals and cosy get-togethers. The starting point for this rather miraculous makeover was an ugly outdoor structure that needed an extensive renovation to turn it into something functional and inviting that worked in harmony with the house and the wider landscape. “The closed-in nature of the existing lean-to meant the interior of the house was quite dark, so letting a lot more light in was the first priority,” explains David Kirkpatrick, director and head designer of Outdoor Creations. “This was achieved by virtually knocking out the walls and putting in a pitched skylight. This also gave the very low existing structure the illusion of height.”
The flooring of the outdoor room was then changed to polished timber to add warmth, the interior fixtures and wall panelling added and an outdoor kitchen with ample bench and storage space installed. The kitchen incorporates a large, built-in, stainless steel barbecue with a complementary stainless steel rangehood and a sink. To either side of the barbecue and tucked beneath the benchtops there are matching glassfronted fridges for storing wine, beer and other refreshments. For casual dining, a “breakfast bar” was created underneath the window that opens to reveal the interior kitchen. Three bar stools tuck under the ledge. When not needed for relaxed family meals, this area can be used as a bar area.
Next to the outdoor kitchen, a casual conversation zone was created. This features a modern, synthetic-weave outdoor lounge setting and glass-topped coffee table. On the other side of the outdoor room, a spacious dining area was established, the focal point of which is the coloured feature wall and the decorative wall art. Both entertaining areas offer views of the pool with its deep-blue-tiled interior and sheerdescent water feature.
One of the decisions Outdoor Creations faced was whether or not to retain the existing stack-stone cladding on the support pillars. “This debate was based on the fact that this material is a current fashion item and will date. In the end we decided to leave it, with clear instructions to remove it as the fashion for this material moves on. At that point, it will be replaced with rendered sheets to match the rear pool wall,” says David.
While the project didn’t present any technical challenges, there was a nonnegotiable deadline for completion (it had to be finished by Christmas), so the outdoor room had to be constructed while the pool and garden were being installed. With so many tradespeople working on-site concurrently, skilful project management was vital to ensure a successful and timely outcome. “What the owners now have is a fabulous new space providing a sense of added depth, increased usability and a number of different outdoor rooms so the children can have a variety of options. All in all, it is a stunning addition to the house that adds enormous value over and above the cost of the works,” says David.