An outdoor dining room makeover

No dining room and no space for an extension? No problem. Simply take it outside, as Brett Chilcott did


At 11m2, Edge Bisset and Ingi Deutschländer’s outdoor dining area is proof that size is not all that counts – clever design can make a difference too. The Capetonians’ brief to Brett Chilcott, owner of Roomtogrow Gardens, was to transform their tiny courtyard into an intimate outdoor entertaining area.Pot plant

Says Brett: “By making this compact space an extension of the interior, we have doubled Ingi and Edge’s living area and solved their space problems. I also managed to incorporate dining room features that are not usually seen outdoors, like bricks that were laid to resemble a carpet under the table and rustic picture frames, making this a great supersize update.”

BeforeOutdoor dining area

Brett achieved this space-enhancing effect with a floating cement bench that doesn’t take up visual space and ensures that chairs are not cramped around the large dining table. The grey palette also makes the courtyard appear larger as the walls fade away to the left and right.

On the other side of the dining area’s blue focal wall, Brett and his team gutted an unusable outdoor shower. The space that Edge described as “a muddy swamp” has now been transformed into a compact, yet stylish extension of the couple’s bathroom, complete with new fittings and proper drainage. The black bamboo (Bambosa nigra) is as happy with the new space as its owners.