If you are the kind of homeowner who loves entertaining guests, then you may consider taking your game to another level with a gazebo. A gazebo is an outdoor freestanding, open-sided structure with a solid roof and a floor. However, gazebos can also be temporary structures, and just like tents they can be constructed and folded up as and when needed.
There is so much one can do with a gazebo from being used as a place for family get-togethers, reading room or party venue depending on the size.
Architect Simon Peter Kazibwe says although gazebos are usually made of wood, they have been remodeled and can now be constructed using stone, concrete and metal. In this plan, Kazibwe uses treated wood, tiled roof and a mixture of concrete, brick and wood for the floor.
“Clients usually want their gazebo to blend with the house and therefore go for the same materials used to construct the rest of the house,” Kazibwe explains.
A very small one will end up looking like a children’s playhouse and one too big leads to unnecessary wastage. “Gazebos are not that cheap to construct, furnish and maintain, you need something that will not end up costing as much as a home,” Kazibwe cautions. This gazebo occupies 25 square metres and can accommodate up to ten adults.
The beauty of a gazebo is that it can be built anywhere since it is a stand-alone structure. “The location is usually dependent on what major activity you envision for the gazebo, if it is more of a family gathering area then it would be wise to construct it closer to the house. If it is for adult entertaining, then choose a more secluded area like at the edge of the garden or behind the home,” Kazibwe advises.
Apart from activity, it is advisable to build on an elevated area because low lying areas tend to collect water that might affect the structure.
Observe where the paths of water lead in your garden when there is a heavy rain. If your gazebo will be close to your house you must also take into consideration your gutter downspouts, where they empty, and where the water that is emptied leads to as well. You will need to find a spot that has solid soil and does not accumulate water.
Dr Patrick Asea’s home in Kigoowa, Ntinda, has a gazebo complete with an inbuilt bar, a kitchenette complete with a sink and a provision for the entertainment system. For furniture he went for an eclectic mix of garden furniture, bar stools and regular leather sofas.
For lighting and power, the gazebo is connected to the guest house’s system.
For the finishing, Asea used terrazzo and Italian marble for the floor.
Apart from the exceptional beauty the terrazzo and marble add to this charming gazebo, they are easy maintenance compared to a wooden a floor which needs regular waxing.
To complete his luxurious retreat, Asea added a pool just at the foot of the gazebo where he normally entertains his family and friends.
Hannington Wasswa, a décor expert, observes that choosing lighting for a gazebo majorly depends on what it will be used for. “The dramatic potential while lighting a gazebo are endless. One can choose to go vibrant with bright light or use cool lights for a serene or romantic effect,” Wasswa explains.
Wasswa also advises incorporating potted plants and hanging bright flowers to add a natural element to the gazebo.
For furniture, Wasswa recommends teak wooden furniture because it is quite strong, weather and pest resistant. Another preferable material is the all-weather wicker looks like natural wicker, but is made out of materials that guarantee it will last years longer