The outdoor room - Outdoor and Landscaping NZ
The outdoor room

The outdoor room

The concept of the outdoor room has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years. It’s a trend that was borne of a desire to engage and connect more with the outdoors and as a way to maximise available space in the home. We talked to Aber Livingabout how people are heating, and cooking, outside.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

In the United States, the focus in the outdoor residential space is all about a return to traditional ways of cooking. Charcoal has been surpassed by cooking on raw wood and embers, and for the most part, outdoor spaces are being defined by full exterior kitchens and semi-enclosed entertaining areas.

Enhance Outdoor Entertaining Areas

“In New Zealand, we’re following that trend and we’re seeing people wanting to create fantastic outdoor spaces as part of renovation projects, as well as design them into new builds,” Aber’s Nicki Luxton says.

“This is a particularly popular concept in New Zealand as we see the cost of land and building increase. Because of this, it’s often that we find people are looking at different ways of maximising the space they do have available and wanting to design spaces for year-round use that work as an addition to the available space inside the home.”

An Extraordinary Outdoor lifestyle

Gone are the days of a simple deck or concrete slab or paving to define an outdoor space. Now, semi-enclosed spaces with retractable roofs and versatile walls are becoming the norm as people look to a more connected outdoor lifestyle.

Choose Your Outdoor Gas Fire

“Within that though, people want to be comfortable and be able to use the space in all weather,” Nicki says. “Generally, there are two types of people: those who love the ambience of a fire but want convenience without the mess of an open fire. On the other

side of the fence are those that love the rawness and woodsmoke smell that comes with an open fire.


Electric and gas fires are the most sought-after solutions for the first category of people, while contemporary wood fires are most favoured by the latter. Modern gas fires are often portable and provide another level of versatility, enabling people to adapt the setup of an outdoor space to accommodate different situations.

“They’re aesthetically pleasing and are easy to use. Our range of cement table top gas fires uses gas bottles, which are hidden underneath the frame, allowing those who don’t have connected gas to enjoy the ambience of an outdoor gas fire.”


Electric radiant heaters are the other option for ease of use and convenience and can be relatively concealed above an area if required. “These are discrete and heat a semi-enclosed area from above, heating objects rather than the air so they are an effective heat source, working much like the sun – when you are under them you are warm.”

The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

As we follow the United States, and global, trends though, full outdoor kitchens come into play. Instead of the traditional set up whereby parts of a meal are cooked on a barbeque or outdoor oven and others are prepared inside, the focus now is on designing full outdoor kitchens. “That’s where products like the Kent Tekapo Wood Fire are popular,” Nicki says. This new multi-purpose fire allows for heating in combination with a pizza oven, a warming drawer and a grill plate.

Aber Living specialises in outdoor heating and cooking solutions, with an extensive range of innovative products in line with global trends and the Kiwi desire to live well and connect with the outdoors.

As we head into winter, make sure you visit Aber Living on ArchiPro here for some inspiration about how you could make your outdoor areas suitable for year-round use.

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