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Entertainment and leisure areas

With Summer well on it’s way and the holidays really just around the corner, don’t you want to have a splendid Entertainment area to enjoy this festive season? If you are a Durbanite through and through and you have not planned to go somewhere else for a holiday this year, you will probably avoid all the popular spots because of the influx of uitlanders. And with our glorious weather, you can relax/entertain at home and have a fabulous time without bumping shoulders on the overcrowded beaches.

An awning or a patio conversion will extend the area adjascent to your house and will provide protection against an unexpected shower whilst you are enjoying yourselves. Pull out the gas braai and you are assured of success; add a wood-fired pizza oven and you will offer the ultimate in casual al fresco dining.

Outdoor blinds can keep that patio area or verandah protected from wind and rain, so the party can carry on no matter how inclement the weather is. You can opt for a motorised function, so with a push of a button, all your guests are kept sheltered.

If you are only wanting protection from the sun, shade sails are a good option, especially if the area you are wanting to cover is an awkward shape.

Another way to extend an area, especially if your land slopes away from the house, is with a deck – classy and elegant, it can be covered or out into the sun, or a combination of both, and will add real value to your property.

A spa bath is not only relaxing and refreshing but healthy as well. Who would not love to be gently massaged by all those jets? Tip: a glass of champagne just somehow turns a dip in the spa into a luxurious and celebratory experience.

For a totally outdoor entertainment area, nothing beats a thatched lapa. Beautiful and chic, it offers true African ambiance. Include a built-in bar and yours will be the „go to“ party spot with your circle of friends.

If you don’t already have a pool, installing one will promote you to Number 1 with the kids, as well as giving you no excuse not to get in some exercise. (Don’t forget, the water’s resistance doubles the effect of exercise and is much kinder on the joints.) Adding a pool slide would be the cherry on top for the kids but please, please, please make sure that access to your pool is restricted, either with a fence or a net or cover. Too many tragedies have occurred to neglect this aspect. Even if your own kids are water-safe, it is often the visitors‘ kids or even your domestic workers‘ children that are at risk.

The sound of tinkling water is, for me, one of the loveliest things to hear in Africa (after the call of a fish eagle!) and a water feature, either as part of you pool or a stand-alone one will bring relaxation and with some luck, a frog or two to help keep the mozzies away!

A marvellous way to help save the planet, (as well as needing no maintenance to keep it looking good), is to buy re-cycled plastic furniture. This is gaining in popularity in leaps and’s practical, sturdy and environmentally friendly. Tick. Tick. Tick!

If you really struggle to get a decent lawn area going, and you are plagued by muddy footprints, human and canine, you should investigate using artifical grass in some areas. Just watering; no mud; and NO MOWING!!

Paving also offers a clean surface option and looks classy and attractive. There are lovely colour choices from light honey to classic red brick – you decide which will suit your home.

A jungle gym or a trampoline will keep the kids happy and active for hours. And they will sleep so well after all that exercise. (Some adult supervision is advised – kids can be thoughtless and reckless.)

Another great idea, if you have the space, is to get a hut or cabin installed. These can fulfil a multitude of needs and uses - as a rainy day activity room for the kids; a pool room (as in a room for the pool table); a man cave; a pub; a craft room; or as a sleep over pozzie for reluctant-to-leave guests.

With all of the above improvements, lighting is a key factor. Whether you want subtle glows in the garden, or bright areas around the pool, the correct lighting can enhance the mood that you want to project. Multi-colour lights are festive, whilst fairy lights create a delicate and captivating atmosphere.

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