While you’re all dreaming of the excitement that comes with a winter wonderland, let your imagination run to your outdoor living space, too. Your guests will love what you’ve done with the place to make it a near year-round living area – or will do now after reading these tips!
You’ve dug out your holiday décor from the attic. You’ve set the table with special linens and good china. You’re prepared for company in every way, but are you really? Delight your guests’ senses from the moment they arrive and make them not want to leave.
Curb Appeal for the Holidays
You’ve given the front of your house a mini facelift for the holidays, but have you considered a more permanent impact for your home’s curb appeal? Adding a beautiful walkway path to your door sets the stage for your guests to feel welcome and comfortable. If you prefer a grander entrance, consider a paver driveway, steps or front porch. Adding pathway lights can accent your décor plus help guests navigate at nighttime. Winter is the best time for planning your landscape, so getting started now ensures you’ll be ready for spring.
Backyard Winter Wonderland
Don’t forget your backyard in your holiday celebrations. Lights, garland and wreaths bring warmth to your patio and often can be enjoyed from the inside, too. Leave the curtains open and let your guests enjoy the view through the windows. If the weather isn’t too frightful, enjoy a night outside warming up next to the glowing fire from a Belgard fire pit. Grab some throw blankets and marshmallows and keep the fun going into the night.
The holiday season is a time for gathering with those you most appreciate, so we’d like to take this time of year to say Thank You to you. We appreciate your interest in Belgard and wish you much warmth and wonder this winter. Happy Holidays!
When it comes to your home, you want to achieve the best outcome for your investment. In today’s economy, it’s not only prices consumers are concerned about. Getting the best products, with a lifetime guaranty, are a must. Belgard® knows homeowners want the “biggest” bang from their buck – and we deliver!
Belgard offers “Mega” outdoor pavers: a larger scaled paver option. Belgard pavers are the best choice for your outdoor hardscape project: they look great, come in a variety of size and color options, and have a lifetime warranty.
If you have ever installed natural stone, it can be nerve-wracking. If it’s not done right, there can be an imbalance of the overall design. If you don’t pick your stones individually, their varying thicknesses can potentially mean dangerous dips or humps. Having evenly spaced joints may require multiple cuts with a wet saw. Last, creating the look requires sample placement, assessment, moving stones, and sometimes repeating the process all over to achieve a random, yet balanced appearance.
Enter Mega Arbel®.
With the look of natural flagstone, and available in numerous hues of grey and reds, these concrete pavers are all the same thickness, pre-cut, and developed as interlocking pieces. Using up to twelve different shapes, and a simple pattern chart, you can achieve a natural appearance without the challenge of installation. Your guests will marvel at the beauty Belgard creates.
Open the door for Mega LafittTM.
Our newest addition is already a hit! This 3-piece modular paver, plus a large square, offers various laying patterns to create a natural feel of rectangular, smooth flagstone. The larger size, as opposed to regular it sister, Lafitt Patio Pavers, gives a grander feel. In browns and reds, Mega Lafitt is the easy answer to your next landscape project. Its classic style will create a look to last generations.
Step out on to Mega Bergerac®.
Another of the Mega product lines, the Bergerac paver resembles a well-worn, hand-chiseld cooble stone. You can create different patterns using its 3-piece grouping, or add the large square for a different look.
The large paver, over 14” square, can interchange colors to create a checkerboard look. Offered in browns, greys and reds, this cobble stone look will last a lifetime while adding old world charm to your outdoor project. As the others, Belgard’s attention to detail with the texture of this paver, gives your outdoor living space a high-end look, with a down-to-earth price.
For each paver line, their natural appearance is due to Belgard’s advanced research and development department. “Many of our pavers and wall products are created by scanning natural stone with a 3-D scanner and using the dimensional imagery to create molds to produce hardscape products that mimic the look and texture of slate, flagstone, or hand-chiseled rock,” says Len Browning, Hardscape Technical Advisor for Belgard. “But unlike natural stone, pavers can be laid in a pattern that deceptively looks random but installs much more easily.”
If you are looking to achiece a natural, sophisticated look for your outdoor living areas, Belgard is here to help you make your next move. Belgard…Invite Possibility.
As summer starts to dwindle down, kids go back to school and football starts up, that can only mean Fall is right around the corner. Homeowners may think being outside in the cooler temperatures isn’t thrilling; it’s chilling. However, Belgard fire features are now becoming one of the popular trends for your outdoor living area. They extend the outdoor experience into the winter in the North, and all year long in the cooler Southern states.
Belgard gives homeowners a variety of fire features from which to choose with their fire pit and fireplace options. Using Belgard products and an Authorized Belgard Contractor, your custom possibilites are limitless. Yet, Belgard is pleased to offer pre-made fireplace units through the Elements Collection. This collection makes it easier than ever to have a fire feature (plus coordinationg pieces – read out blog) installed on any budget – in less time. Both gas and wood burning options are available.
As for the increasingly popular fire pit, Belgard offers the highly affordable standard Weston Wall. Fire pits are easy to maintain and create a natural space for friends to congregate. Imagine the crackling of the fire, the taste of roasted marshmellows and s’mores, plus the company of friends: create special memories for years to come.
With fireplaces, each collection uses Belgard pavers and wall products so that you can create an entire space with a seamless look. The Bristol Collection combines the Arbel and Urbana pavers, providing elegance and good looks great with any landscape. The Nottingham Collection integrates BelAir Wall and tumbled paver accents. This natural appearance will have you feeling right at home. The Wexford Collection incorporates tumbled block featuring the Old World accents, which provides a rugged yet defined look to your home. See the catalog for more photos and ideas.
Not only can you add fire features to your backyard, but why not coordinate furniture to highlight them. Think about adding Adorandock or lounge chairs for a relaxing experience. Maybe the sound of a nearby Belgard water feature will add to the mood. With Belgard, items can be added at a later time, so it’s best to discuss your full hopes and dreams with your contractor at the start of the project.
With any one of these collections in your backyard, you and your family can enjoy an evening outside. Create that intimate setting you’ve been looking for! Be Prepared for Company!
Remember when it comes to fire, think about safety first. Your contractor can help you decide the best location for installation.
Rockefeller Center in New York City was bustling with hundreds of daily visitors on site to view the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, featuring both indoor and Belgard® outdoor spaces designed by Chef Tyler Florence. With Belgard’s collection of patio pavers, pillars, walls, fireplace, and fully functioning kitchen with grill and brick oven, the outdoor area was a spectacle to behold. The area was set up so that you couldn’t help but meander out one of the many double doors onto the outdoor living room, dining room or kitchen. Anytime during the day visitors found a peaceful retreat in the center of Manhattan on the couches or at the dining room table. This space did exactly what a great outdoors space is meant to do: beckon you outside.
Designed by Chef Tyler Florence, the goal for this area was to create a space where people can share good company. He felt the need for the outdoor component based on his life in CA where being outdoors is possible all year long. “You want to be part of your events, so having a full kitchen outdoors brings the whole experience together,” Florence comments. This outdoor kitchen has all of his requirements: brick oven, charcoal grill, storage, fridge, and numerous chopping blocks to create work surfaces.
“The Kitchen of The Year was an incredible experience. To see all of the sponsor companies put together an exhibit of that magnitude in five days was amazing. However, I can honestly say the Belgard portion of the project was by far the best!” states Todd Sriro, Field Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes.
Each day saw new cooking demonstrations (recipes at House Beautiful) and wine tastings. When a chef wasn’t creating a masterpiece inside, one could be found in the outdoor kitchen displaying their talents in the Chicago brick oven or on the grill. The outdoor kitchen’s U-shape allowed visitors great views while the chefs had everything at their finger tips. “Not only was the Belgard outdoor kitchen used throughout the week for cooking demonstrations and special events but it supplemented the indoor kitchen’s amenities. The outdoor sink and ice maker came in handy,” adds Mary Beth Sharp, Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes who spent the week in NYC.
“It was a great experience and the outdoor living area really added a new dynamic to the event. Visitors loved the idea of expanding the home and entertaining areas outdoors,” comments Sharp. The kitchens will remain open through July. During August, the area will convert to “Bar 30″ for snacks and cocktails. At the end of the summer many kitchen parts and pavers will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
At Belgard, we want to create the best space for you. Using our website, an outdoor room or kitchen for your home is a click away. You will find listings of design centers, dealers and contractors in your area to help get you started. We offer tools, such as our lifestyles catalog and the online visualizer where you can discover ways to create new spaces in your back yard, for your pool or for a driveway. Our catalog, online catalog and website have 100′s of ideas and photos get you started. Belgard | Be Prepared for Company!
Belgard® is excited about their progress on the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, opening Monday, July 18th in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza. The area went from a plain plaza to an indoor/outdoor chef-inspired entertaining space. Chef Tyler Florence has made the design in such a way that you can’t help but want to linger, smell the cooking and enjoy friends. They say the most popular place when entertaining is in the kitchen – and this set-up has both indoor and outdoor ones!
The outdoor space is designed around Belgard’s Bristol Elements Collection, including a U-shaped kitchen with a Chicago brick oven and a living area with a fireplace. To keep the design cohesive, the Bristol line’s coordinating kitchen pieces are used as design elements for the counters and cooking spaces. Medium Rare grills and accessories are integrated with this kitchen and come standard with the Elements line.
For the covered outdoor living room, the Element’s Bristol line outlines the living space using planters, columns and walls. In this space, seating will be abundant and the smells of Chef Florence’s cooking waft through the air. Visitors can relax and sip a glass of wine alfresco. Adding an outdoor space to your home is like adding on a new room.
The senses will have so much to take in, but not to be overlooked is the transformation of the grey road and sidewalk from drab to fab! The look now includes lively colors of the natural collection’s popular Mega Lafitt with its look of cut flagstone yet with the strength and long-term durability of a paver. Natural looking Mega-Arbel is used on the patio entrance and as accents, while Urbana pavers, also part of the natural collection, are used as trim throughout the project.
Below are some pictures of the building process. Using Belgard products makes installation a breeze! The Element’s items arrive in pre-made components, so they are set into place. All Belgard pavers are designed with the simplicity of installation in mind.
An April blog featured the Belgard Elements Collection of modular fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and multiple matching accessories. One of the most popular pieces within the collection is the Chicago Brick Oven. This unique focal point is a natural addition to any Belgard outdoor kitchen. Featured in the media across the country, and showcased on the Today show with Chef Mario Batali, the brick oven craze has only just begun.
Partnered with the Belgard Elements Collection, the wood-burning Chicago Brick Brick Oven comes ready to install. Or, create a custom look for your Brick Oven with Belgard walls. All ovens are built with a flue for ventilation, so placement should be considered. An Authorized Belgard Contractor can assist you through the entire process. Chicago Brick Oven president Bill Paschen says, “The ovens come in various sizes. If you entertain, consider the largest oven. You will not be displeased.”
Paschen adds, “When I searched for a brick oven for my home, 99% were made overseas, which added huge freight and duty costs. So, I created my own. We offer a variety of sizes, so if you entertain, consider the largest oven. You won’t be disappointed”
It is important to note that along with Belgard Elements, the Chicago Brick Oven is made in the USA.
The beauty of using Belgard’s Elements and the Chicago Brick Oven are that all items coordinate and the oven’s installation consists of only two modular pieces: the oven and the supporting wood box. Each item is delivered and placed on your pre-poured foundation. Once installed, build a few small fires to cure the oven, and you are ready to create mouth-watering masterpieces. The ovens can be enjoyed all year-long and, along with all the Elements components, are designed to be weather resistant.
Maintenance is simple: just brush out ash and crumbs when done. There are two doors, one for decoration to keep out the weather and one insulated to control the oven temperature, especially for baking. Preheating is also simple. Most recipes call for the oven temperature to be over 400 degrees, which takes about an hour to heat. Once it’s hot, you can use the oven for hours.
The type of wood used is extremely important, and the user guide will give directions. When buying, ask for wood that’s been aged for about two years, or that has less than 25% moisture content. Soft woods are easy to light, but they produce less heat than hardwoods. Trying different varieties of aromatic, flavored woods will give different foods unique flavors.
Not only does the oven give food an authentic taste, it provides an opportunity to create an culinary outdoor experience. Not only can you can bake a pizza in a minutes, but the ovens are just as well suited for cooking an entire meal. A few items finding their way into the oven are stuffed turkeys, calzones, vegetables, pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, kabobs, whole chickens in a salt crust, ribs, cedar plank cooked fish, paella, baked apples, dessert pizzas, and various breads such as flat bread, focaccia, cibatta, and pita. Bill Paschen recommends his favorite recipe of stuffed jalapeno peppers.
Recipes are as numerous as the chefs who use the Chicago Brick Oven from numerous Iron Chef contestants to TV chef and celebrities. World-renown Chef Mario Batali has his own line of wood-burning ovens which integrate with Belgard Elements.