What’s not to love about an alfresco dining area? Natural air, cooling breeze and the romantic vibes are all great reasons to have one. We spoke to renown design consultant JQ Ong to get tips on converting your existing balcony into an alfresco spot:

1: Measure your space

You need a minimum of 70 cm walking space between the table and other furniture, or the wall.

2: Control the sun and rain

Alfresco Dining Table
A ceiling fan is a great way to beat the heat in your alfresco area.

Install outdoor blinds or classic bamboo blinds you can raise and lower. They keep out the hot sun and our tropical rain. Installing a ceiling fan is a great idea.

3: Add cosy garden decor

Alfresco Area Potted Plant
Potted plants add a bit of texture to the area.

A few large potted plants and timber flooring help create a garden mood. You can also hang decorative garden tools and signs on the walls, or create mood lighting with outdoor candle stands. Also consider a “vertical garden” – hang potted plants or planter bags on the wall.

Text: Sylvia Ong
Photo: Bauer/Matteo Manduzio