This week as the weather warms across the country, we gathered some of our favorite outdoor living products to share with you.
A chaise lounge and chair (4) add a pop of color with bright red cushions and coordinating lattice rug (7).
Outdoor entertaining is made easy with this beautiful drink tub (1) for easy access to cold beverages. Prep your meats outdoors with this bamboo cutting and serving board (5). Your guests will love the smell of this chili-lime rub (6) on the grill, and love the taste even more!
Lastly, add decorative touches with these glass and twine lanterns (8). Add eye-catching, colored candles inside for extra flair.
1. Oval Tub with Stand from Bed, Bath & Beyond
2. Wood Square Firewood Basket from Bed, Bath & Beyond
3. Bristol Fireplace from the Elements Collection by Belgard Hardscapes
4. Arbor Chaise Lounge and Lounge Chair with Sunbrella Caliente Cushion from Crate & Barrel.
5. Bamboo Barbecue Cutting-Serving Board from Crate & Barrel.
6. Chili-Lime Rub from Williams-Sonoma
7. Emberglow Lattice Indoor-Outdoor Rug from World Market
8. Glass & Twine Lanterns from Terrain
What are some products you would choose to design an outdoor space that reflects your personal style?
Since 1970, we’ve been celebrating Earth Day – a day when 42 years ago on April 22nd, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.
While Earth Day is a great reminder to protect and nurture Mother Nature, we should be taking care of our planet every day. Environmental stress is increasingly being placed on our resources. As more land is developed, the natural water filtration provided by the soil is continually being diminished. In turn, storm water runoff, mixed with motor oil, fertilizers and other contaminants, can pollute lakes, rivers coastlines and groundwater.
Belgard permeable pavers are a beautiful solution to manage storm water and lessen homeowners’ environmental footprints. Besides a beautiful aesthetic, benefits of permeable pavers include:
• Reduces pollution from rain water runoff
• Reduces runoff from the common rain storm by as much as 100%
• 50 year life-cycle for surface
• Outperforms similar systems in harsh climates or freeze thaw cycles
• Replaces detention/retention ponds
Click here for more information about permeable pavers.
Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.
Contractors and homeowners alike are becoming more aware of their environmental footprint and seeking out solutions to decrease their impact. Whether for a commercial or residential project, careful storm water planning helps to account for Mother Nature’s needs while still developing land for our use.
Previous urban sprawl and the proliferation of impervious surfaces over the land and the transportation of rain water via urban infrastructure have had grave consequences over the natural hydrological cycle.
This rising impermeability of surfaces has limited the recharging of soil water reserves, thus drying out the soils from which plant roots draw their nutrients. Dry soils also become more prone to erosion. Unable to leech down through the surface, rain water gathers sediments and ground pollutants as they dramatically increase surface runoffs through urban infrastructure, flowing down to receiving waters.
This has affected humans at the expense of the environment around which we live, as well as economically, raising costs of development and maintenance of infrastructures.
Permeable pavements answer both qualitative and quantitative needs for storm water management. As water rains on the pavement, it seeps through to the ground, reducing surface flows, often even eliminating the need for sewers and manholes.
The key to understanding permeable pavers is to perceive the pavement and the base aggregates as a system, instead of separate products. As water rains down on the pavement, it begins its journey by seeping through the pavement, and then through the base aggregates, which naturally filter the pollutants. As it travels down, the water is stored in the base, until it reaches the natural underlying soils and recharges the ground aquifers. Thus, permeable pavement serves as an underground storage basin that filters the water while allowing pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the surface.
Depending on site conditions and owner preferences, permeable pavement can be designed to obtain full, partial or zero exfiltration. Full exfiltration is the most often desired and used application, which sees all the rain water stored in the base leeching down to the underlying subgrade. When natural soils are not permeable enough, or storms too heavy, perforated pipes are added to alleviate the excess water. Thirdly, an impermeable geo-membrane can be installed above the natural soils to prevent exfiltration of contaminated flows when the pavement is installed in industrial sites.
According to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), when choosing permeable pavement technology, the designer or owner will benefit from:
• Conservation of space on the site and reduction of impervious cover
• Reduction of runoff
• Reduced peak discharge and stress on sewers
• Reduction of downstream erosion
• Improved water quality
• Reduction of water temperature
• Increased recharge of groundwater
• Promote tree survival by providing air and water to the roots
• Reduction of total development costs
• Reduction of infrastructure construction
• Decrease in retention basins and other unsellable land
• Reduction in risk of accidents/injuries
• Elimination of puddling and flooding on parking lots
• Faster snow melt drainage
• Urban heat island reduction
• Eligibility for LEED® credits
To learn more about improving storm water management, click here.
If you’re considering a paver project, check out today’s trends in hardscape design below for project inspiration and to help you stay in the know for cutting edge paver fashions.
Grander Scale Pavers
We’re seeing a trend towards grander scale pavers and slabs such as the Lafitt™ Patio Slab which we introduced last year. Slabs create a more contemporary look and feel, which is increasing in demand, and they tend to install quicker giving homeowners their dream patio in less time. Expect to see more large pavers and slabs introduced in 2012.
Lafitt Patio Slab features the look and texture of cut slate combined with the lasting strength and staying power that’s a hallmark of Belgard pavers. Three shapes allow for a wide variety of design options, giving homeowners the ability to create eye-catching patios, walkways and more, with a natural slate appearance.
There also is a continuing trend to incorporate fire into outdoor patios through fire pits, fire tables and fireplaces. Adding a fire element extends your outdoor season allowing you to stay warm through chilly evenings. Not only do fire features provide warmth and the perfect spot for making s’mores, they look beautiful and light up the night.
We recently shared a clip of Chip Wade on location during the shoot of our new television commercial. It’s a wrap and our new spot can be seen below.
Today we also wanted to take you behind the scenes. The shoot location was at a residence in Atlanta, Ga. The homeowners were incredibly gracious in opening their home to us, and their outdoor living area picture perfect. Chosen because of the pool deck and patio, it featured Belgard Cambridge pavers, one of our best sellers.
The shoot took one full day plus an advance walk-through to plan accordingly, but it did come with a few challenges. What you won’t see (or hear) in the finished spot: the barking dog next door, thanks to carefully timed shoots and helpful neighbors; and the dormant, yellow Zoysia winter grass, thanks to grass paint that let us give the grass its lush summer look in the midst of winter.
Chip Wade’s professional experience was invaluable on-set. He made what could have been a long, tired day smooth and with few retakes. Chip was definitely on his A-game!
One of the most amazing parts of the shoot was seeing the reveal in-person of all of the garden art across the backyard. We had over 100 different pieces including flying pigs, gnomes, pink flamingos, alligators and more. Tell us which one is your favorite character, and let us know when you see the spot air – we’d love to hear from you.