There’s something deeply satisfying about cooking outside. The smell and sound of sizzling food seems to tap into our primal instinct for warmth and nourishment; and flame-grilled food tastes all the better when cooked and served in the fresh air. The popularity of Alfresco kitchens (as opposed to the simple backyard barbecue) has soared in recent years. Australians are choosing to add al fresco dining areas to many new builds or renovations, and landscape designers and builders have risen to the challenge; creating all weather living spaces that are more than a match for their indoor counterparts. Below are fresh ideas for an alfresco kitchen for your Central Coast home.

Alfresco Kitchen Basics

The type of alfresco kitchen you create will depend on the size of your section and, of course, your budget. A basic alfresco kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive – a barbecue, some seating, and a sun umbrella will suffice if you only want to eat alfresco in summer. But a permanent outdoor room will require more space and a reasonable amount of money.

Concrete and Stainless Alfresco Kitchen

A flat area leading off a living room is ideal for an alfresco kitchen. But if your section is sloped you will need some excavations to create an even surface. You will also need to take into consideration any council restrictions (contact your council for details), proximity to your neighbours, and accessibility. If you want to include a large, purpose built kitchen unit it may have to be craned in; and the more inaccessible the site, the higher the cost.

Floor to Ceiling Alfresco Kitchen 

Your alfresco kitchen will need solid flooring and suitable covering on top. Tiles, such as slate or porcelain, are popular options for outdoor kitchens. They come in a range of colours and can be matched to the flooring in your indoor living areas. Slate is naturally textured, and looks great outdoors, but it’s somewhat cold and rather expensive. Suppliers stock a wide range of slate in many colours. Porcelain tiles are very hard and don’t absorb much moisture, so they are pretty slip resistant. You will need to ensure that you use tiles that are specified for outdoor use.

Decked Alfresco Kitchen

Decking is another popular choice, especially for outdoor kitchens that flow on to pool areas. Wood like vitex (a durable hardwood) is ideal, but note that some barbecues and kitchen units are too heavy to be placed on decking. Remember that some decking timber comes from areas where unsustainable logging is rife. Choose a good wood guide that can help you make a good decision around your decking choices.

Opening Roofs and Chimney

What’s up top is equally important, especially when the weather gets bad. Opening roofs are ideal; they can be opened to let the sun in or closed to create a snugly haven on rainy days. Look for a range of aluminium opening roofs that are great for alfresco kitchens. The angles are controlled with a button, and blades come in a range of styles, including translucent, which allow the light to shine through when the roof is closed. If you prefer a seamless look, your roof can be matched with your home’s existing roofing material. This is particularly effective when the entire roof is being replaced during a renovation.

Contact the top-rated experts at Trim Joinery and you will receive excellent advice, designs, and professionally built cabinetry to organise and modernise your kitchen renovation.


Before, people bank on the idea that in order for a kitchen to be fully functional it has to be big. The area has to be large enough to accommodate all necessary equipment to prepare the meals while ensuring a smooth-flowing mobility around it. However, nowadays small kitchen designs have been gaining popularity. Their practical aesthetics and space-saving layout have been a trend among modern homes. Below are some practical small kitchen design and layout tips.

Opt for an Efficient Kitchen Design

A tighter work triangle makes for a more ergonomically correct and efficient workspace. In a small kitchen, the key work stations can be accessed by simply turning around, not by walking three to six metres. So opt for an efficient and space-saving kitchen design without sacrificing mobility and ease of access.

Choose High-End Materials

In deciding which materials to use for your practical small kitchen design and layout, you should think ahead and purchase materials that are both durable and reliable. Because you are purchasing less material (e.g., 9sqm of granite countertop instead of 91 sqm), you can afford to upgrade the quality of materials you use.

Maximise Living Space

Living space should be maximised because less space is given over to the kitchen. Realize that kitchen islands are space hogs and are not always as useful as they may appear. Try to craft a kitchen design that doesn’t include an island. Push cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Often, standard kitchen cabinetry has an open space at the top. While this does create a more airy feel, it’s a luxury you cannot afford in the small kitchen.

Strive for a Compact, Sensible Layout

Your range of potential layout designs is limited in a small kitchen. But that’s a good thing. For one, by maximising the functionality of the space, there will be less unused dead space. Open expanses of flooring and high ceilings are great, but they don’t help you cook a casserole.

For one thing, kitchen services already “like” to be close together. Dishwashers need to be near water supply and drain areas (i.e., sinks). Refrigerators with automatic ice makers need a water supply. Kitchen cabinetry tends to be clustered together into cohesive units rather than spread out. So, pulling together a tight kitchen really makes sense from a common sense, practical point of view.

Choose Glass Cabinet Doors

Use glass cabinet doors. The downside of pushing cabinetry up to the ceiling is it can make a kitchen more claustrophobic. Cure this by installing glass cabinet doors. Adding interior lighting to the cabinets can also make a huge difference.

Use Neutral Colours and Large Floor Tiles

Go for neutral or lighter colours. Darker colours will make the small kitchen feel oppressive and smaller. Similarly, opt for larger floor tiles. Counter-intuitive yes, but small flooring tiles make a room feel smaller.

Contact the top-rated experts at Trim Joinery and you will receive excellent advice, designs, and professionally built cabinetry to organise and modernise your kitchen renovation.