Habitat asked five industry experts to share their top trends for alfresco entertaining.
With the popularity of the Aussie barbecue on the rise, people are becoming increasingly keen to recreate restaurant-quality food at home.
There is now a growing demand for outdoor kitchen spaces that match the quality, performance and design of their indoor counterparts.
Invest in high-quality, high-performance barbecues that not only look gorgeous but deliver superior cooking results.
-Peter Woodland, BeefEater Barbecues
DRESSING YOUR TABLE
Our balmy nights call for outdoor entertaining, and I always like to create a really laid-back atmosphere with serving boards or platters for sharing - my go-to for food presentation for a really rustic feel.
A more recent trend to come through in alfresco entertaining has been drink dispensers. These are a great alternative to the punch bowl, and have a vintage feel about them. I usually like to have several dispensers with different offerings - non-alcoholic for the kids, and then something extra for the adults!
-Justine Murphy, Kitchen Warehouse
BEYOND STAINLESS STEEL
Many materials have now been upgraded to be more stable against UV light, so they can be used in your outdoor setting with much more confidence, blurring the distinction between indoors and outdoors even further.
Reconstituted stones - such as Caesarstone and Smartstone - can match through from your interior finishes, and UV-stable resin-based benchtops in Corian can be moulded to any shape, making a real statement to incorporate your appliances for a look that wheeling in an off-the-shelf trolley barbecue can never achieve.
-Lyndon Craig, Electrolux
FIRE AND ICE
The latest in suspended fireplaces can double as an ice bucket in summer with a quick adjustment, such as the Cocoon Aeris ethanol fireplace.
Designed by award-winning South American industrial designer and interactive designer Federico Otero, the Aeris is crafted from 316 marine-grade stainless steel to stand up to coastal indoor and outdoor applications.
It is easy to install and to move around - and in the summer you can remove the combustion chamber and fill with ice for a drinks cooler.
-Jocasta Bronwasser, Jetmaster Fireplaces WA
RAISING THE BAR
The outdoor area should be sleek, and seek to emulate some of the fantastic bars our fair city now provides.
Glass frontage for refrigeration is a simple and popular way to make this statement.
Stainless steel is the predominant material for durability and many brands now have options from single-door to three-door capacity. These can be built under-bench and range in price from $649 upwards, depending on finish and design.
Wine storage cabinets can be under-mounted or taller storage cabinets for around 240-bottle capacity are at the higher end.
-Steve Lewis, Harvey Norman