A Thank You to Our Readers

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, so what better time than now to say “thank you” to you, our readers! We’re so glad that you keep coming back each week for outdoor living tips and information, and we’d love to hear what else you want us to cover, just leave a note in the comments section.

For more ways you can stay in touch with us and find outdoor living inspiration:

  • Belgard Idea Book – From amenities and features like outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, to paver colors and styles, and even recipes for entertaining outdoors, the Belgard Idea Book provides advice on designing and enjoying the perfect outdoor oasis. You’ll learn tips such as what shapes make an area look more spacious and what paver textures coordinate best with your home’s style.
  • Style File – With your Style File you can browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on outdoor living projects with friends and professionals. It’s the easiest way to keep track of your favorite Belgard pavers for when you’re ready to start that next outdoor living project.
  • Facebook – Like us on Facebook and you’ll see beautiful photos daily. From extravagant to modest, these photos will inspire you for your own outdoor living project.
  • Twitter – Join in on the conversation by following us on Twitter. We’ll share our latest blog posts and photos, and answer your outdoor living questions.
  • Pinterest – With pinboards organized by application, we make it easy for you to find exciting pool decks, outdoor kitchens, fire pits and more.

Thanks again and happy holidays!

Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Popular Outdoor Products for Fall

With the changing colors of the leaves and more tolerable temperatures, fall is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy your outdoor space. Here are some of our favorite outdoor products for fall:

A good mug is essential for sipping down a hot beverage in cooler temperatures. We love this Barkaris Olive Mug from Pier 1 (1).

This Selamat Reo Lounge Chair from Wayfair (2) makes a cozy spot for long conversations into the night with friends.

A brick oven from the Belgard Elements Collection (3) is the perfect accessory for dinner and dessert; fire up some tasty pizzas with all your favorite toppings and then break out the s’mores for a treat that’s sure to please.

Nothing makes an outdoor space feel more like the indoors than soft, fluffy pillows and throws, plus they brighten up your patio with seasonal colors. We’re fans of the Tuscan and Brittany Papaya pillows and Canyon Chenille throw from Frontgate (4) because they’re made using Sunbrella which means they can withstand mother nature.

A rug is the foundation for making an outdoor space a room, defining the space and creating a focal area. We like the fall colors in this Red Floor Tile Rug from World Market (5).

Ready for a s’mores upgrade? Try this S’mores Party Maker from Bed, Bath and Beyond (6) and make up to three s’mores at once with one tool. Plus, if you want a twist on the classic s’more, try these exciting flavors in the 5-Piece Chocolate Bar Gift Set from Crate & Barrel (6) – toffee brittle, milk chocolate, malted milkshake, s’mores and peanut butter cup, yum!

Backyard Makeover 101

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know by now that we are big proponents of homeowners having an outside space that works with their lifestyle. Have you always been interested in a paver project for your own home but don’t know where to start? Here’s a bird’s eye view of the five-step process for making your backyard makeover dreams a reality.

Step 1 – Get Inspired
We recommend taking time to do your homework. Research your options and decide what types of features you want in your own outdoor space. The Belgard Idea Book is packed full of beautiful backyards from extravagant to simple and space maximizing.

Step 2 – Organize Ideas
Once you have an idea of the styles you like, organize your ideas so you can easily see patterns in the vision you have. The Belgard Style File can help. You can browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on projects with friends and professionals.

Step 3 – Design Consultation
After you’ve got a fairly clear idea of what you want your outdoor living space to look like, it’s time to reach out to an expert for a design consultation. On our Contact page, you have the option to select “Set up a free estimate or design consultation;” check this box and a Belgard representative will get in touch with you. Or if you’ve create a Style File you can send it directly to your local Belgard Authorized Contractor (BAC).

Step 4 – Product Selection
Work with your Belgard Authorized Contractor or Dealer to select your favorite Belgard paver and wall block. They will be able to show you the color options available in your region and help guide you in what will look best in your space.

Step 5 – Installation
Once all of the decisions have been made, it’s time to put your BAC to work installing your new outdoor living space. Choosing Belgard means you can rest at ease because we guarantee our product against manufacturing defects for as long as you own your home, plus we offer a transferable warranty so if you ever decide to sell your house the next homeowner will have the same peace of mind.

Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Enjoying Fall Outdoors

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year – daytime temperatures have cooled enough to enjoy outdoor spaces without summer’s heat and in the nighttime we are comforted by the warmth and glow of a roaring fire.

Here are some ways to enjoy fall outdoors with your friends and family:

  • Start an annual flag football game – boys against girls, generation against generation, whatever it may be.
  • Enjoy a staycation in your own backyard by pitching a tent and camping outside. Don’t forget to bring the marshmallows for some late night s’mores!
  • Create the ultimate tailgate by firing up the grill and setting up the TV outdoors. We prefer outdoor cooking in the fall when the temperatures are more tolerable to standing over a hot flame
  • Enjoy the quiet moments. Take your morning cup of coffee to the patio and listen to nature’s music.
  • Have a date night at home. Enjoy a romantic evening with a glass of wine by the fireplace or fire pit.

How do you enjoy fall outdoors? Let us know in the comments section!

Extending Your Outdoor Season with the Elements Collection

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With the first day of fall behind us, our minds go to a place where crisp weather kisses our cheeks, pumpkin spice coffee tantalizes our taste buds, and the warm glow of an outdoor fireplace warms our bones.

As we transition from summer to fall, the weather usually dictates how we use our outdoor space. Unless you happen to live in a warmer climate, the days of cannon balls in the pool are gone until next year. However, when one door closes, another one opens. Fall is the ideal time to enjoy fire features that are both beautiful and functional providing heat in cooler temperatures.

Adding a fire feature to your outdoor space has never been easier with the Elements Collection. This collection of pre-built modular hardscape elements makes creating an outdoor living space easier and more affordable than ever. Modular units clad with Belgard concrete and brick pavers and retaining wall products are created in a controlled environment and shipped on a pallet for quick installation. Elements include outdoor kitchen units, brick ovens, fireplaces, fire pits, water features, and a large assortment of decorative pieces in a variety of styles. All elements are designed to coordinate with Belgard pavers and walls for an overall cohesive look.

Extend your outdoor season with the Elements Collection. Request a free Idea Book to learn more.

Click here to learn how you can enter to win a Brighton Fireplace from the Belgard Elements Collection!

Happy Labor Day! A Salute to Belgard Authorized Contractors

Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. This Labor Day, we are celebrating Belgard Authorized Contractors (BAC) who make installing our pavers a labor of love.

Check out some of our favorite outdoor living spaces installed by BACs:

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This outdoor living space in Charlotte, N.C. was designed by BAC Legacy Landscaping and includes an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and pool. The project used Mega Lafitt pavers in River Street Blend and Mega Bergerac pavers in Potomac.

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This fire pit and patio located in Pismo Beach, Calif. designed by BAC Addison Landscape is one of the most stunning locations we’ve ever seen. The project showcases Mega Arbel pavers in Toscana and Celtik wall in Toscana.

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This patio in Fishers, Ind. features a fire pit, walls and a dining area by BAC McCune Outdoor Living. The project includes Bergerac pavers in Harvest Blend with Brittany Beige and Weston Wall in Harvest Blend.

To find a Belgard Authorized Contractor near you, visit http://www.belgard.com/locator.

Top Picks on Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to find and collect ideas for your outdoor spaces. The Belgard Hardscapes Pinterest page has a wealth of beautiful photography organized by the different ways pavers can be used to help you design your perfect outdoor living space. This week, we’re counting down our top picks on Pinterest as decided by your repins and likes. Enjoy!

#10 – Mountain Retreat with Amenities

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This gorgeous mountain retreat garnered 67 repins and 15 likes making it our #10 top pin.

#9 – A Poolside Evening

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This evening poolside shot received 80 repins and 35 likes making it the #9 top pick on Pinterest.

#8 – Adirondacks by the Fire Pit

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Belgard Pinterest followers gave this Mega Arbel patio and fire pit 86 repins and 16 likes putting it at #8 in our countdown.

#7 – The Outdoor Room

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This transitional space blurs the lines between indoors and out, placing at the #7 spot with 91 repins and 23 likes.

#6 – Greek Spinach Dip

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Our fans can’t get enough of this Greek Spinach Dip recipe originally posted on the Belgard blog, where we regularly post recipes for outdoor entertaining. With 92 repins and 12 likes it’s our #6 top pin.

#5 – All About the Details

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The combination of Mega Arbel and Old World pavers was a hit receiving 93 repins and 20 likes and landing in the #5 spot.

#4 – Dining Outdoors

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Belgard Pinterest fans love cooking outdoors and with 113 repins and 11 likes this outdoor kitchen is at the top of their wish list and #4 in our countdown.

#3 – Fireplace with Built-In Seating

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This patio featuring a fireplace and built-in seating wall is our #3 top pick on Pinterest with 126 repins and 22 likes.

#2 – A Space for Entertaining

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The #2 spot in our countdown goes to this outdoor space made for entertaining. With 144 repins and 35 likes, Pinterest users wish their backyard looked like this.

#1 – The Perfect Patio

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Belgard Pinterest followers’ #1 top pick is this perfect patio receiving 160 repins and 34 likes. With a seating area, fireplace and grill station, we couldn’t agree more – it’s perfect for outdoor entertaining!

Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Enjoying the Dog Days of Summer

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It’s just a few weeks into summer and we’re already feeling the heat in many parts of the country. While the summer months provide the warm weather to enjoy our outdoor spaces, the dog days of summer can sometimes mean higher temperatures than we’d prefer. Here are some tips for enjoying your patio even on the hottest of days:

– Shade and sunscreen are a winning combination for hot summer days. Make sure your outdoor space has a shady retreat to escape the sun and always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

– One of our favorite ways of staying cool in the summer is going for a dip in the pool. Pools that integrate into your outdoor space become a stunning visual throughout the year.

– Stock your outdoor fridge with plenty of drinks. Cool, refreshing beverages will keep you hydrated throughout the day.

– An outdoor fan is a great option for porches or patios with a ceiling overhead. They help circulate the air and can provide just the right amount of breeze on no-wind days.

– Always remember, safety first. If the temperatures are just too high to tolerate, stay indoors. The elderly and those with health conditions are most at risk so take proper caution on severe heat days.

Celebrate Summer Outdoors

With the first weekend of summer behind us, let’s take some time to celebrate summer outdoors. From cannon balls in the pool to s’mores around the fire pit, we asked homeowners how they enjoy their outdoor living spaces during the summertime.

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“My husband recently purchased his new dream grill. We’re looking forward to all the tasty meals we can cook outdoors this summer.” – Anna from Parkville, Md.

“We live in the Village of Fairport across from the Erie Canal, and our favorite day outdoors is during the Canal Days arts and crafts festival, when we have a day-long cookout so that all our family and friends can drop by at any time during the festival and get a little food, a cold drink and a comfortable seat on our patio. Our backyard is one of our favorite social spaces in our home and it’s absolutely perfect for summertime get-togethers like these.” – Kara from Fairport, N.Y.

“I’m so glad that warm weather has finally arrived so I can enjoy my back patio. I love laying out in the sun for a summertime cat nap!” – Kristina from Kansas City, Mo.

“Our friends just introduced us to this amazing new twist to the classic s’more. Instead of using plain milk chocolate they used this delicious caramel and toffee chocolate. The melted toffee mixed with the marshmallow and graham cracker was divine! We’ll being making these around our fire pit all summer long!” – Heather from Charlotte, N.C.

Tell us how you’ll be celebrating summer outdoors in the comments section!


Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Our Favorite Products for Keeping Cool Outdoors

Spring and summer provide homeowners with warm temperatures for enjoying the outdoors, but it’s never too soon to plan ahead for when those temperatures get a little too warm! This week we’re sharing our favorite products for keeping cool outdoors so you can enjoy your outdoor living space even in the heat of summer.6.7.13
Air circulation is essential to making a space feel cool and refreshing. An outdoor fan (1) on a patio or porch can not only help keep you cool but looks stylish and adds charm to any home.

It’s all about relaxation when it comes to enjoying a warm summer day. A comfy hammock (2), complete with pillow, lets you swing in a soft breeze.

Adding a Belgard water feature (3) to your outdoor space provides calming, natural sounds while you day dream the afternoon away.

Throw back a refreshing beverage from a tumbler (4) designed to keep drinks cold while the outside of the glass stays condensation-free.

Lastly, if you’re the neighbor entertainer, keep drinks cool for a group with a drink dispenser (5) with a built in ice compartment.

1. Hampton Bay Sailwind II Outdoor Ceiling Fan from Home Depot
2. 2-Point Beige Hammock from Target
3. Water Feature from the Belgard Elements Collection
4. 16 oz. Tumbler from Tervis
5. Drink Dispenser with Ice Chamber from Pier 1