W hen you want to celebrate a special occasion, or just catch up with family and friends, you no longer need to "go out" to a restaurant.
Today, homeowners are opting to dine in style at home and as a result companies are coming up with more innovative dining concepts - particularly for outdoor settings and structures — while creating ultimate comfort and maximising social interaction.
■ The Artista
The revolutionary Artista is an integrated cooking space which features a barbecue grill, bar fridge, sink and premium stone bench top that can be extended at right angles to create either a bar or dining area. The bench can also be swung back when not in use.
Artista designer Nohad D'Alessandro of Fab Kitchens said she wanted to create an area which could connect people.
"Outdoor living has become very popular in recent years," Ms D'Alessandro said. "I created the Artista to add to the outdoor entertaining experience. What it also does is draw people together."
The Artista can be custom made to suit the homeowner's needs, wants and desires as well as the size of the outdoor living area.
To find out more about the Artista, contact Fab Kitchens on 96882777.
■ The pizza oven
You can now relish homemade pizza made in a woodfire pizza oven right in your own backyard.
Joint owner Janelle Lowe of Alfresco Woodfired Pizza Ovens, said pizza ovens had become very popular in the home.
"People are now renovating and building to improve their lifestyle," Mrs Lowe said. "They are especially building a place where they can entertain their friends and an alfresco pizza oven adds to the outdoor entertaining experience."
When choosing an alfresco pizza oven, Mrs Lowe recommends homeowners look carefully at the design and products used to make the pizza oven.
"There are many inferior pizza ovens out there, so it's important to look at how it was made and which company made it," she said. "If you are unsure about how the pizza oven was made, ring the manufacturer. With purchasing pizza oven kits, look at what it includes. Some don't include everything you need so you end up having to spend more money. Do your research before buying a woodfire pizza oven."
For more information on Alfresco Woodfired Pizza Ovens go to alfrescowoodfiredovens.com.au.
■ The barbecue
A barbie is still the traditional Aussie outdoor dining experience. Barbecues now range from standard portable types to barbecues with built-in infra-red technology. But with so many styles and designs available, it can be confusing for homeowners to choose the right one for them.
Bunnings national leisure buyer Cam Rist said before purchasing a barbecue, homeowners need to ask themselves some questions, such as:
how they will use their barbecue
what type of cooking they prefer,
how much they will be using the barbecue
how many people they will usually be cooking for.
"Consideration should also be given to where the barbecue will be placed and what the budget is," Mr Rist said. "Another decision involves the fuel source. Gas is easy to turn on, and there are no messy ashes to clean up. Gas models can also offer lots of features, like wok cooking. However, many people claim that charcoal offers a better taste."