Saturday, June 18, 2011

Modern verandas- A new Australian species hits the market

Modern Verandas
Modern Verandas

When you use the word “veranda”, there’s a natural mental association and vision of the old style verandas of yesteryear. That image is rapidly becoming out of date as a new breed of designs rolls out. Verandas these days are true architectural achievements, extremely stylish, and far more importantly, fully functional extensions of the living space of the home. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Australia, where the veranda has been a design icon for over a century.

The reason for Australia’s “veranda-consciousness” is simple enough. The old Australian homes used to have all round verandas as a defence against the glare and heat of the Australian sun. Verandas have remained a preferred architectural option ever since the mid-1800s, and a combination of a booming housing market, CAD design and consumer demand has generated a vast new range of veranda concepts.

Designs galore

It has to be said in all fairness that the Australian designs do include some real innovations. The modern Australian version of the veranda can be quite spectacular, and these things are big. They may not be quite ballroom size, but they’re pretty close, and the sheer amount of covered space they create can be quite a surprise.

Design and materials quality are extremely high, and there’s an obvious element of true craftsmanship in both. What may stun some viewers is the versatility of the designs. There are thousands of possibilities, all of this standard, and some designs include excellent lighting through the roof of the verandas, a design innovation in itself. These “skylights” come in a range of options of tinting and shading, and are designed to deal with the sun while ensuring proper lighting.

Lifestyle and functionality

Anyone who knows anything about the Aussie preference for an outdoor lifestyle built on to big homes will appreciate the cultural values, too. If you were deliberately looking for an expression of the “parties, barbecues and good living” motif of Australian folklore, you couldn’t go past the new veranda styles as an expression of that culture.

These new verandas really are something special in lifestyle design, and they include a very high level of functionality as well. The materials are tough, weather-resistant, and top quality. If you’re living in a place like Queensland, for example, with its unpredictable weather and tropical heat, you need something big and tough as a veranda, able to stand coastal winds, the occasional deluge, and hot, strong sunlight during summer. The Australian climate can literally bleach and desiccate most external structures. Top quality materials and good designs have allowed these sometimes huge structures to do their job and survive the toughest conditions.

Verandas on the market

The Australian verandas have another aspect which might surprise some foreigners. You can simply pick up a phone or get online and choose a veranda for your home like shopping for groceries. They’re easily available to be installed directly. This is a consultative process, and the main issue is the sheer number of choices. After you’ve made up your mind, the installers will build a veranda for you, and you’ll find yourself with a whole new home lifestyle on your hands.

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