#5 – Featuring the chiseled stone look of Belair Wall®, this al fresco kitchen includes both a gas grill and a wood-fired outdoor brick oven with a built-in wood box. This well-equipped kitchen also includes an ice-maker, outdoor dishwasher, custom bar sink and multiple durable stainless cabinets.
#4 – This L-shaped kitchen is positioned adjacent to a covered Lafitt® Rustic Slab patio that offers ample seating for guests to visit with the outdoor chef during meal prep. Stacked-stone veneer adds a rustic elegance to complement multiple stainless outdoor appliances and a double grill.
#3 – This contemporary Weston Stone® outdoor kitchen includes a multi-functional granite countertop that provides a large linear area to accommodate food prep, serving and dining space. Weston Stone was also used for an adjacent landscape wall to visually tie the design together.
#2 – A raised bar opposite the grill allows guest to enjoy conversation with the outdoor chef during meal prep in this lovely Weston Stone® outdoor kitchen. A quaint lantern-style light fixture adds both ambiance and functionality to the wood-fired brick oven. Weston Stone was also used to construct a coordinating decorative wall that adds charm to the overall design.
#1 – This simple, yet elegant Belair Wall®outdoor kitchen garnered the most votes from our readers. The perfect space to entertain, this kitchen includes an oversized granite countertop that provides ample prep and serving spaces, as well as bar-style dining. The L-shape design puts everything within arm’s reach and opens to a covered Lafitt® Rustic Slab patio with additional seating, which creates a communal atmosphere.
This lovely outdoor living room uses lighting techniques inspired by nature. The focal light emanating from the fire is enhanced by votive candles and low-voltage hardscape lighting that’s built into the walls of the outdoor fireplace. In the surrounding landscape, ambient in-ground lighting reflects throughout the picturesque waterfall. Uplights used for the shrubbery and trees add an ethereal glow.
Fire can be used in a number of creative ways. This outdoor living room uses a European style fireplace and fire bowls that are all operated off of gas and can be turned on remotely. For additional fire elements, tiki torches are placed around the backyard to add a festive design element that coordinates with the “fire” design scheme.
This design incorporates a variety of antique brass light fixtures, including attractive pathway lights in the planter beds and coordinating low-voltage hardscape lighting along each wall.
Columns lights will both dress up a wall and provide additional lighting, as illustrated with the seat wall pictured below. This design also includes hardscape and overhead lighting in the bar area that allows for increased visibility behind the bar, without overpowering the fire pitarea.
Strategic use of pathway lights adds both character and an element of safety for a walkway or patio. The color of the light fixtures selected below incorporates complementary tones to those in the pavers, creating a cohesive design.
In the poolscape below, low-voltage hardscape lighting was installed in a pattern that complements the sweeping arches throughout the design. To improve the safety, lights are installed on all steps and elevation changes, in addition to the seat walls. All lights in the hardscaped areas face downward, with upward lights facing the trees. The combination creates a subdued and cozy atmosphere.
Modern pool design has become somewhat of an artform. There was a time when all backyard pools looked basically the same, but that time is gone. Today’s pools incorporate a variety of materials and design techniques to make each creation as unique as each homeowner. If you’re planning to build a pool, here are some inspirational ideas based on some of this year’s most popular pool and patio design trends.
Fire features: There’s just something ethereal about combining the elements of fire and water that appeals to many people on a deep level. Fire bowls, fireplaces and fire pits make an excellent addition to a poolscape, both from visual and practical standpoints, as a fire feature provides a way to enjoy your pool deck during months when it’s too cold to swim.
Back to nature: Many homeowners choose a design that looks like it was carved out of nature. This can be achieved by incorporating natural stone, or as in the design below, concrete pavers that emulate the look at natural stone. There are a number of added benefits to choosing pavers over natural stone, including decreased materials costs, decreased installation costs and non-slip surfacing.
Decorative edging: There was a time when your choices were limited to brick or bullnose coping. Keep in mind that both of those options are still popular choices. But now, creative designs and alternate edging materials are becoming increasingly popular, as well.
Extended outdoor living areas: Modern poolscape design tends to expand beyond the water’s edge and into extended outdoor living areas, which are often designed and decorated to look like an outdoor version of an indoor space.
Lighting: One simple way to add ambiance of a pool design is to incorporate interesting lighting. This can be done throughout the landscaping and in the interior of pools and spas.
Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends and recipes that are sure to be a hit!
Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating where you can serve some delicious Hawaiin Huli Huli Grilled chicken wings or any of your favorite tailgating food!
Hawaiian Huli Huli Grilled Chicken Wings
1.Place chicken wings in a large zipper-lock freezer bag. Set aside.
2.In a medium bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Pour half of sauce into bag of chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat. Cover remaining sauce in bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Place bag of chicken in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
3.Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate
4.Remove wings from marinade, allowing excess to drip off; discard marinade. Place wings on cooler side of grill, cover with vents partially open, and cook, occasionally brushing with reserved sauce and turning wings, until wings are well browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Move wings to hot side of grill and cook until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side, brushing often with sauce to build up a nice glaze.
5.Serve chicken wings with thinly sliced scallions and grilled pineapple, if desired.
MULTIPLE COOKING SURFACES
Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers, and wood-burning or gas ovens.
EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK
A growing trend in outdoor kitchen design is to include all the “creature comforts” of an indoor kitchen. Nearly every indoor kitchen appliance now has an outdoor-rated version — including ice makers, refrigerators, dishwashers, keg coolers and more. With a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen, there’s no need to constantly run indoors for supplies…everything you need is at your fingertips. Add a stereo system, wi-fi access and a TV, and you can truly live in your outdoor living space. Entertain the masses and wow them with a refreshing Grilled Pineapple Mai Tai on a warm spring night!
Grilled Pineapple Mai Tai
Recipe By:Matt Wencl
"Grilling the citrus for this mai tai brings the natural flavors to the front, making this one cocktail that goes down deliciously easy. Grill up an entire pineapple and a few more limes to make easy beach cocktails for a crowd. Garnish with grilled orange wheels and Bing cherries."Ingredients
1. Use Your Imagination
An outdoor getaway is the perfect place to flex your creativity. Designer Matt Partridge of Juergen Partridge Limited suggests thinking of a place that inspires you — maybe a luxury resort you stayed at on your honeymoon or even just a photo you saw online or in a magazine — decide which elements you like best and incorporate those into your design. For this backyard, Patridge designed it to resemble a Caribbean resort. Separate destinations, from the pavilions to the pool, provide many features for the family to enjoy.
2.) Add Ambience
A fireplace takes an outdoor living space from typical to luxurious. It's the perfect gathering spot for adults and kids, whether they're cozying up on a cool evening or roasting marshmallows. Designer Heather Lashbrook Jones of a Blade of Grass Landscape Design uses American and Corinthian granite to create this custom fireplace
3.) Create Go-To Destinations
Designed by Scott Cohen of The Green Scene this backyard has an oasis-like feel. Located below the infinity edge pool is a lounge-like seating area, which can only be reached by walking over the concrete stepping pads. Water spills over the stacked stone wall creating the sound of rain sticks.
4.) Leisurely Walk Through
This sunken garden is designed in a formal style with stucco perimeter walls in quadrants. Because the garden's grade drops three steps, proper drainage is a must. Designer Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates Inc. added a runnel down the stairs leading to a one-of-a-kind water feature she created from a big copper syrup kettle. "In every space, add something to make people want to linger," recommends Grace.
5.) Work With the Natural Setting
Make the most of your outdoor space by working with the surroundings. The lines of this garden and structures are geometric closer to the house and become wavy and organic as the cultivated areas blend into the natural forest. Design by Juergen Partridge Limited
6.) Rethink the Space
When designing for the outdoors, designer Matt Partridge of Juergen Partridge Limited says, "Be objective. Look at your current space as if you have never been there before and think what would I do to make this better?" For this casual entryway, he incorporates an integrated seating wall, which maximizes the use of the space without furniture.
7.) Think About the Journey
Crossing over water is an enjoyable experience, so designer Scott Cohen of The Green Scene uses a concrete bridge to link one patio to another. "An important part of hardscaping and landscape design is determining how one will walk through the space," says Cohen.
8.) Take a Seat
Not only do this patio's low walls act as room dividers, they're also just the right height to be used as extra seating when entertaining. A bluestone cap tops the fieldstone walls for a smooth, comfortable surface. Design by a Blade of Grass Landscape Design
9.) Mix Stonework
A combination of different stones gives this outdoor space a customized and visually interesting look. Stacked New England fieldstone is used throughout the backyard to create seating walls on the patio and retaining walls that terrace the yard. Antique cobblestone divides the bluestone patio to create a separate dining room and conversation area in front of the fireplace, and reclaimed granite is used to make the steps and pillars. Design by a Blade of Grass Landscape Design
10.) Extend Your Living Area
Before stepping down into the backyard, the homeowners first walk out onto a curved patio, which acts as an extension of the living room. Sofas mimic the shape of the patio and provide a cozy spot to gather under the pergola. To tie the patio up to the pergola, stacked stones create the lower half of the columns, and Sweetwater flagstone is used to veneer the patio. Design by The Green Scene
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and when it comes to home value this is especially true. Years ago, it was commonly thought that the kitchen and bath were the most important place to put your money when remodeling to increase the value of your home. In the past decade however, that has changed and almost every expert’s recommendations (including an article in the Wall Street Journal) now starts with curb appeal at the top of the list.
For this reason, the use of interlocking pavers in driveways, front walkways, and entries has skyrocketed. Most new communities now incorporate the front yard pavers as standard while the backyard landscaping, pool and pavers may be standard or options. Many older communities facing costly HOA repairs to cracked concrete driveways have already instituted driveway replacement plans either replacing all of their driveways with pavers in phases or facilitating group discounts and/or incentives to encourage individual homeowners to replace the driveway and thus relieving the HOA of any liability for the cracked driveways in the future.
But does curb appeal really start at the curb? Don’t visitors get their first impression at the entry of the community? What do the streets say about the property values? Are they cracked and resealed? Do they bleed black tire tracks onto the driveways and garages?
Developers have long known that paver streets sell homes and add value whether it be the high end custom home community that wants the highest value, a high density condo project that needs to look like a warm village rather than a cramped and sterile environment, or the multifamily community that doesn’t want its new project to feel cold and foreign but rather look like it has always been a part of the region forever. Municipalities have woven millions of square feet of interlocking paver streets into the urban fabric of Vancouver’s Olympic Village, North Bay Ontario’s downtown, Seattle’s downtown, Chicago’s Green Alleys, Hong Kong’s airport runways and the Los Angeles Zoo, just to name a few. Europe may have more pavers than asphalt in their streets.
But can only new communities afford pavers? A recent study performed by Robert Tuvel, a Southern California reserve fund consultant, of the prestigious country club Bighorn, found that over the life cycle of the pavement, interlocking paver streets are less expensive then asphalt streets if you incorporate the cost of maintenance. This is substantiated by an ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) study with the same finding.
The lifecycle of interlocking pavers is now longer than thirty years and may be pushing up to forty years. It is important to note that the quality of the installation and the knowledge of the industry technical specifications will impact the life span of the pavement. Any installer performing street work should not only have a contractor’s license for this specific trade, but must have an ICPI Commercial certification, and provide references from other jobs of similar size and scope that are a minimum of five years old. These jobs should be inspected. Since we know that pavers have more load-bearing than concrete, will not crack, do not need resealing, and come in endless colors, designs and architectural styles from contemporary to old world, you may never look at asphalt the same ever again.