Let’s face it, in Queensland we do most of our entertaining outside. So why wouldn’t we want to celebrate Christmas outside too?
For us Queenslanders, Christmas doesn’t mean sitting down to a hot roast beside a fireplace hung with stockings. We’re more likely to sit down to a cold platter of freshly sliced ham and Moreton Bay bugs or fire up the barbie for some garlic prawns. More often than not we’ll eat outdoors in an attempt to cool down and enjoy whatever whiff of breeze is on offer.
That’s why around this time of year, with Christmas get-togethers fast-approaching, most of us are coveting the kind of outdoor entertaining areas you see on the pages of glossy magazines and Instagram feeds. You know the ones: polished timber decks, shiny outdoor kitchens and casually-styled designer furniture.
It’s also the kind of outdoor entertaining area you’ll find at our $1.1 million eco-friendly Christmas Prize Home on the Sunshine Coast. With a gorgeous wrap-around timber deck looking out to the sparkling, modern pool, and untouched bushland beyond, it’s an Insta-worthy vision you’d be glad to call home. Picture yourself spending Christmas in your own slice of backyard paradise.
When creating an outdoor area that really ‘works’ for entertaining family and friends, there are a few key elements to think about. Things like shelter, seating and cooking areas all need to be considered to ensure that everyone is relaxed, comfortable and has a great time – even the host!
The stunning outdoor space at our Christmas Prize Home at Valdora has all the right ingredients for Summer entertaining. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a lazy brunch or afternoon drinks as the sun goes down.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients that make this amazing space ‘work’:
Summer in Queensland is not for the faint-hearted. Blistering sun and monsoonal rains mean having a good-sized undercover area is a must if you plan on entertaining outdoors throughout the warmer months. Our eco-friendly Prize Home features an expansive, covered timber deck wrapping all the way around the rear of the home. It creates a huge area for relaxing and entertaining – just the place to keep cool and stay dry while enjoying time together.
Given that Queenslanders do a lot of entertaining outdoors, the ultimate outdoor space needs to include plenty of seating options so you can cater for as many people as possible. A large table and chairs plus another zone with extra casual seating gives your family and friends a choice of spots to come together or escape if the need arises.
The centrepiece of our Valdora entertaining area is a beautiful teak table surrounded by bamboo director’s chairs, seating eight in comfort. Further along the deck, we’ve created another spot to ‘chillax’ with more teak designer chairs around a timber coffee table. Here you can watch the kids in the pool or simply put your feet up and enjoy the view.
If you’re planning the ultimate outdoor area, it would be remiss to forget the big screen TV. In our ultimate space we’ve mounted a 138cm ultra-high-definition Linden LED TV high up in the perfect viewing spot without getting in the way of access. Naturally, it’s also hooked up to the ceiling sound system speakers. Now when you’re torn between spending the day outside or in front of the ‘tele’ watching the cricket, there’s no need to worry. You can do both in complete comfort. We told you it was paradise.
If you’re entertaining outside or it’s simply a beautiful day, who wants to be stuck inside in the kitchen preparing the food? That’s why we think an outdoor kitchen is a luxury that everyone should have. The Weber Q3600 built-in LPG Titanium BBQ takes centre-stage in our outdoor kitchen, surrounded by plenty of bench space and storage. The finishing touch is a Grandfire single door alfresco fridge – the ultimate for Summer entertaining. Stock it with your favourite drinks and let the party begin!
Given that a modern outdoor area is really an extension of your home, it’s nice to make it feel inviting and personal. So, rather than just plonking a table and chairs in the middle, add some colour and texture with lush pot plants, beautiful light fittings and natural table ornaments. The gorgeous timber chandelier suspended above our outdoor dining table, sourced just up the road in Noosa (of course), is a truly fabulous example of how to add a touch of glamour to a relaxed outdoor space.
Put all of these ingredients together and you have our recipe for the ultimate entertaining space. Why not come and check out the finished result in person? Visit our Christmas Prize Home at Valdora and get a taste of what this Christmas might be like if you’re lucky enough to win.
Whether you’ll be spending Christmas on the deck in Valdora or another neck of the woods, we’ve put together a few ideas for planning a festive outdoor get-together for family or friends:
Even if you’re sitting outdoors, it’s still nice to create a really special Christmas table for your guests. Make each setting personal with name tags or personalised Christmas crackers. If you have the time you can even make your own and load them up with your choice of goodies.
To add to the Christmassy vibe, put a potted tree on the deck that you can deck out with Christmas decorations and fairy lights. Let the kids cover it with homemade beauties like paper chains and paddle pop stick stars. Or add some shiny baubles and tinsel for a bit of sparkle. If you don’t have a potted tree, you can always choose one in the backyard to decorate. Just make sure the decorations are waterproof incase a Summer storm decides to swing by!
When it’s stinking hot, and let’s face it, it probably will be on Christmas Day, it’s vital that you have something on hand to keep the drinks cold. After all, friends don’t let friends drink warm beer or chardonnay.
In the case of our gorgeous Prize Home, you’ll have your built-in drinks fridge to keep the beverages cool. For the rest of us, simply find something that can hold plenty of ice and drinks on the day.
If you don’t have a big esky, here’s your chance to get creative. What about an old cast iron bath tub for a fun, rustic vibe? Even polystyrene vegetable boxes could be re-used to do the job. As long as the drinks are cold, no one will mind what they’re in. Don’t forget to grab a few bags of ice on Christmas Eve and you’ll be ready to celebrate come Christmas day.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool like the stunning one at our Valdora Prize Home, make sure you check the water quality a week or so before the big day. This will give you time to make any adjustments needed to ensure you have clear, sparkling water for family fun on Christmas Day. And just in case anyone decides to take an unexpected post-lunch dip, it’s probably a good idea to have a few extra towels on hand.
Think of some other activities that will help work off Christmas lunch. A few overs of backyard cricket, some badminton or even a civilised game of boules/bocce (depending on where you’re from) are all fun options. While they don’t take long to set up, these sorts of things are fantastic for getting the family out laughing and are a great way of making lasting Christmas memories. Who could forget Uncle Merv being bowled for a duck?
For your chance to win the ultimate outdoor area we’ve created at Valdora (and of course the beautiful eco-friendly home attached), be quick to buy your ticket in the Endeavour Foundation Christmas Prize home lottery. You will also feel good knowing that you are helping to provide opportunities for people with an intellectual disability. Imagine what’s possible with your support.
The more tickets you buy, the more chances you have to win. Click here to purchase your tickets online or call our Customer Support team on 1800 63 40 40 (Australia Free Call); 0800 44 22 35 (New Zealand Free Call); +61 7 3908 7295 (International).