We love the holiday season – friends and family coming together to celebrate, a coat of white snow covering the ground and a contagious holiday cheer that you can’t quite explain.
We love our outdoor spaces but in many climates this time of year isn’t quite right for sitting outside. That doesn’t mean that you can’t deck the halls outdoors and bring a little holiday cheer to your porch or patio.
Adding a beautiful walkway path to your door welcomes guests and adds curb appeal. If you prefer a grander entrance, consider a paver driveway, steps or front porch. Adding pathway lights accents your décor plus helps guests navigate at nighttime.
Lights, garland and wreaths bring warmth to your outdoor space and often can be enjoyed from the inside, too. If the weather isn’t too frightful, enjoy a night outside warming up next to the glowing fire from a Belgard fireplace or fire pit. Grab some throw blankets and marshmallows and keep the fun going into the night.
Winter is the best time for planning your landscape and getting started now ensures you’ll be ready for spring. Visit www.Belgard.biz to request a complimentary Idea Book.
Winter’s colder temperatures drive homeowners indoors, providing the ideal time to plan outdoor spaces that will be ready for spring when outdoor living begs and burgeons. The planning process doesn’t have to be long and laborious; however, it should follow careful steps to ensure the resulting space is suited to its environment and entertainment needs.
The journey to designing the ideal outdoor space begins by using an architect’s eye and ends by incorporating personal preferences. Here are four perspectives to consider when first considering the design of an outdoor living space:
Let Architecture Be Your Guide
Outdoor living spaces should be a continuation of the home, so in the designing phase work with, not against, the architecture of the house and its relationship to the property. Accents and angles should be thoughtfully incorporated into the design.
Begin at Focal Points
Extend visual lines from the home’s corners, doors and windows to create shapes that integrate the landscape design into the architecture.
Allow for Breathing Room
When deciding on a size for an outdoor room, consider how much space you’ll need around your furniture – pulled out chairs and mingling during cocktail parties require different space needs than a table set for dinner for four.
Consider The Axis
Design areas of major interest off your major axis points. When standing at the back door or window, imagine the outdoor space like a wheel, with the spokes as your sight lines. These lines should guide the eye to a beautiful flowering area, a water or fire feature, or an intimate seating area.
With the architectural design elements firmly in grasp, the design team can begin to consider the paver colors, patterns and textures that best complement the home and suit the homeowner’s style preferences.
Visit Belgard.biz/outdoorspace for step-by-step guides or to request a complimentary Idea Book.
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.
Last month, Blue Max Materials in Charlotte, N.C. celebrated the opening of its new Outdoor Living Design Center. The design space is an inspiration hub and one-stop-shop for contractors and homeowners alike.
The space was created to give Blue Max customers one place where they could see a variety of work in a natural, inviting setting.
Design centers like the one at Blue Max are a great way for contractors to help their clients envision what their outdoor space can become.
Contractors love the new design center because they can bring their clients with them to help pinpoint what the homeowner is looking for and then source the materials at the same place. Blue Max owner Mike Bishop says they see two or three contractors a day bringing in clients.
“We’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the Outdoor Living Design Center,” Bishop said. “From contractors to homeowners, and the installers who worked on the space, we’ve been able to provide a source of inspiration, a source for materials, and a referral source for the great companies who created the vignettes.”
Currently featuring six backyard vignettes, the almost two-acre space will be host to eleven vignettes when the second phase of construction is complete next spring.
“Our goal was to create a welcoming environment where our customers could leisurely walk the displays,” said Barb Luzum, marketing director at Blue Max. “The center was designed to feel like someone’s backyard. When homeowners walk through the space we want them to daydream about the possibilities for their own backyard.”
Each vignette was constructed by a local installer to showcase a wide variety of options in outdoor living spaces. Local installers include Belgard Authorized Contractor (BAC) Greenview Landscape, BAC Island Creek Landscape, BAC TG&R Landscape Group, BAC Overstream Landscaping, Peaceful Ponds, and The Stone Man.
“This design center would not have been possible without everyone involved, including the installers and manufacturers, like Belgard,” Bishop said. “We’re so excited to see this project come to fruition and continue to grow into next year.”
This weekend, homeowners across the country will be setting back their clocks before bed on Saturday night for the end of daylight savings.
As we fall back one hour, the days become shorter and we have less light into the evening, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor enjoyment has to end there.
Fire features and outdoor lighting enhance your space this time of year. Here are a few of our favorite patios that light up the night:
Which Belgard fire feature is your favorite?
Despite fall’s cool temperatures knocking at our doorstep we’re not ready to give up on enjoying our outdoor spaces. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite cozy products for curling up outside:
If you’re braving the temperatures, comfort is essential. We love this 2-Piece Outdoor Toss Pillow Set (1) from Target. These soft, fluffy pillows will make your outdoor furniture feel like indoor furniture.
Every outdoor space should have a throw or cover-up within easy reach. This Outdoor Throw in Sunbrella® Sand (2) from Frontgate is soft and luxurious – perfect for soothing away hair-raising goose bumps.
The best product for fighting off fall’s falling temperatures is a Belgard fire feature. A fire pit or fireplace gives off just the right amount of heat so you can enjoy your outdoor space on chilly October days and well into the evening. This Nottingham Fire Pit (3) from the Belgard Elements Collection creates a 360° centerpiece that you and your guests can gather around.
Warm up from the inside out with this S’mores Party Maker (4) from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Hot, gooey marshmallow paired with melting chocolate and crunchy graham cracker makes for an irresistible fall treat that is great for a group of friends on a fall night around the fire pit.
Wash down those s’mores with a hot drink from this Hayes Mug (5) from Crate & Barrel. Fall’s weather is ideal for enjoying hot apple cider, hot chocolate or your favorite herbal tea.
How do you plan to get cozy in your outdoor space this fall?
Home décor inspiration can come from anywhere – art, magazines, museums, and even social media. If you’ve never considered using social media as a research tool for finding home décor ideas, here are some tips for Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter:
Facebook is a great hub for sharing photos, links, design tips and videos all in one place. By “liking” pages on Facebook, their latest posts appear in your news feed delivering the latest and greatest in outdoor living and home décor to your digital doorstep. If you visit Belgard on Facebook, you can see new styles in hardscapes, find events near you, beautiful backyard and patio photos, and much more.
One of our favorite new social networks is Pinterest – a very visual site with a strong lean towards home décor. On Pinterest, the pictures do all the talking. And that’s why our Pinterest page is full of inspiration boards to help you plan the outdoor lifestyle of your dreams – from patios, pool decks, fire pits and fireplaces, and even recipes for outdoor cooking. For example, you can follow Belgard on Pinterest and repin the photos that speak to you. New to Pinterest? Simply hover over the picture you like, click ‘Repin’ and put it on one of your boards or create a new board. It’s easy and free to set up an account, and it becomes a virtual organizer for all your design inspiration.
Some other Pinterest pages that we think are excellent resources for outdoor living and home décor inspiration are: Sunset Magazine, One Kings Lane and Whole Foods, which has lots of yummy recipes for outdoor cooking.
Twitter is a dynamic place for conversations and the latest, most up-to-date information. It is a fast-paced environment in which dialogue and sharing of ideas is encouraged. With a 140 character limit, tweets must be short and to the point, containing only the most important information. Conversation is key on Twitter so it’s a great place to get home décor tips and advice and ask questions of those you follow.
With fall comes falling temperatures, changing leaves and football season. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or just a casual fan who enjoys hosting friends, fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy your outdoor space and tailgating at home.
Here are a few tips for enjoying your outdoor space this tailgate season:
- Design an outdoor sports cave. Outdoor spaces become outdoor rooms when adding a television, comfortable seating, and outdoor kitchen conveniences like a mini fridge, cooking space and sink. You’ll love how a fresh beverage is within easy reach. Plus, if you accidently spill your drink while cheering on a touchdown, a paver patio will handle the mess much better than indoor carpet.
- Fire up the grill. Spending the day cheering on your favorite team can really work up an appetite. Be sure to keep your guests happy and full by providing lots of tasty, hot-off-the-grill treats. An added bonus, cooking outside on the grill will give off extra heat on cooler days and into the evening.
- Create comfortable surroundings. The cool temperatures of fall can be refreshing, but unwelcome if you aren’t prepared. Create comfortable surroundings for you and your guests by adding a Belgard fire feature. Fire pits make for a social center piece or mount your big screen above a fireplace. Show pride for your favorite team with color-themed throws and pillows adorning your outdoor furniture.
Warm up from the outside-in this autumn with a Belgard fire pit or fireplace that extends your outdoor season and creates a centerpiece for your patio.
Not only does a fire feature create the perfect evening gathering spot, but with Belgard’s wide variety of shapes and styles you can create a space that fits your personal aesthetic – from contemporary…
Fire features are great for entertaining friends and family into the cooler months. Bust out the marshmallows and try these unique s’mores recipes. Your backyard will be the place to be come sun down!
Visit www.belgard.biz to request a complimentary Idea Book and find the fire pit or fireplace that’s right for you.
Who doesn’t love a long weekend? An extra day to enjoy however you like. If you’re laying low this Labor Day and looking for peace and quiet in your outdoor space for a staycation relaxation, we’ve got a few tips to help you unwind.
Comfortable furniture is key in relaxing outside. We love chaise lounges because they allow for multiple activities – sunbathing, reading, gossiping with friends. Your outdoor space should be like a second living room. Choose plush cushions with fabric that can stand up to Mother Nature’s elements. A light throw is great for covering up if there’s a breeze.
There’s nothing more serene than listening to nature’s music – chirping birds, leaves swaying in the wind, or the pitter-patter of running water. A Belgard water feature not only looks beautiful and blends seamlessly with the natural environment, but the sound of moving water can help put you in the vacation state of mind.
Even though the temperature is becoming more tolerable, the sun’s damaging UV rays can still harm your skin. An awning or umbrella can create a shady hideaway perfect for an afternoon catnap.
The last thing you want to do on vacation is think about your responsibilities. Planning dinner doesn’t have to be a chore. Keep it simple with an easy meal you can just throw on the grill, like this recipe for Barbequed Salmon from Sunset magazine. Clean-up is a breeze too; it cooks on heavy-duty foil.
Your patio is your oasis; design it to capture the style that helps you relax, whether that’s classic, rustic or modern. Visit www.Belgard.biz for a complimentary Idea Book and start planning your staycation relaxation destination.
It’s the height of the summer season and August’s sweltering temperatures have homeowners diving headfirst into their pools to cool off. This week, we’ve gathered a few of our poolside favorites for enjoying the dog days of summer:
This NEWave Arctic Chill Floating Cooler (1) from Bed, Bath and Beyond is the perfect way to keep refreshing drinks cold and within reach.
We love these Vertical Rugby Stripe Beach Towels (2) from Land’s End. They come in five colors and monogramming is available so you always know whose towel is whose.
Set up a table under this TUUCI Manta Shade (3) from Design Within Reach and enjoy a shady lunchtime retreat.
These Floating White Blossom Lights (4) from Target light up the night for evening swimming.
The Villano Double Chaise (5) from Summer Classics is great for soaking in the sun next to your loved one while still being able to control your personal lounging angle.
Lastly, the perfect pool isn’t complete without a beautiful, smooth paver deck. We love Catalina Stone (6) which offers the eco-advantages of permeability, reducing run-off and pollution.
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