The summer holidays are fast approaching, and the hot days and long warm nights will see more South Africans relaxing outdoors.  What better way to prepare to spend quality time making memories with family than by creating an outdoor area for some alfresco entertaining.

The good news is that there are quick and easy things you can do to create an outdoor entertainment area from scratch or update an existing neglected space – and they won’t break the bank either.

Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights Hardware, a family owned chain of hardware stores in the Western Cape, offers some tips:

Out with the old

“If you have an area in the garden with old, patchy and unhealthy grass the best thing to do is remove this (you will save water too) and lay down some cement paving stones and stone chips.  Or pave the area with cobble stones or bricks.  A good spot for this would be in the shade of a favourite tree or near to a water feature or the swimming pool.”

“If the ground is level this is a DIY project that can easily be undertaken in a few days as paving stones, cobbles and bricks do not need a concrete foundation or substrate but can be placed directly onto the ground,” says Luis.  “Alternatively, but a bit pricier, you can install a section of decking to serve as your entertainment area.”

Light it up

“Once you have your new area set out, the next thing you want to do is provide some lighting.  There are many solar options on the market that allow you to install instant lighting without needing to get in an electrician to do the wiring.”

“Choose between solar lanterns, spotlights, downlighters, motion sensor lights, floating solar pool lights and so many more.  You can also string up solar fairy lights for some extra ambience over the festive season.”

Sitting pretty

“No entertainment area is complete without seating, and ideally a dining area for some alfresco meals,” says Luis.  Treat yourself to some new outdoor furniture to finish off your new space.  There is a wide range of options available to suite all tastes and budgets.”

“Alternatively, you can make your own outdoor furniture out of pallet wood or pine planks – there are many tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest to guide you.  If you already have an outdoor set but it needs some TLC there are paint products available at Brights that you can use to spruce up old garden furniture – whether it be metal, wood or plastic – with a fresh coat of paint.”

Add some greenery

Having some strategically placed pots planted up with flowers, rose bushes, ornamental trees or suitable bushes (whatever you personally prefer) will add a beautiful element to your newly created entertainment area.  

“You can also use rectangular shaped pots planted with sedges, bushes or climbing vines with trellis to serve as a privacy screen around your entertainment area.”

Heat things up

Last, but certainly not least, invest in a braai to go with your new entertainment area.  There are so many kinds to choose from in different styles, sizes, formats etc. – wood burning, charcoal or gas, built-in, freestanding, table-top and more.

Outdoor entertaining in SA is not complete without a braai.  The evocative smell of meat sizzling over the heat, family and friends gathered together enjoying each other’s company and savouring a delicious meal – it is one of our favourite pastimes.

“Brights has a wide range of braai’s available and a selection of them are also featured in our Christmas catalogue.  Choose between a Totai portable charcoal braai, or a Technipunch table-top braai in mid steel or stainless steel, or an LK portable braai.  There are also built-in braai’s featured in the Christmas catalogue for those who want to make it a permanent fixture.  For pizza lovers we have Technipunch double pizza dome on offer which comes with a pizza cutter and a pizza spade.”

Luis goes on to advise that a firepit is another great addition to any outdoor entertainment space.  Evenings spent sitting around a crackling fire under the stars is always going to be memorable.  Brights have an great LK firepit featured in the Christmas catalogue. 

Brights Hardware has on-site experts in all of their stores to provide advice and guidance on any home renovations and upgrades.  “Whatever you may be wanting to spruce up in your home, our knowledgeable staff members can provide you with all the product insights and information that you need.”

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