How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors?

outdoor living

Embracing the outdoors and making them a part of your home have been popular trends in recent years. There’s a good reason for that when the weather is nice there is nothing better than getting outside and enjoying it. The best way to do this is to have friends around and blend the inside of your home with the outside.

But, in colder weather, the right scenic doors can actually make you feel like you’re outside, even when you’re not.

You just need to learn how to set the stage and find a supplier of great entrance doors.

Widen The Opening

The first step is to look at how you will be moving from your home into the yard. You need to make the gap as wide as possible, this will help if you have a lot of visitors and will help you to feel like your outside even when the weather isn’t good enough to be outside.

You may even be able to simply sit inside and appreciate the night sky.

You’ll need to consider if it’s structurally possible to remove walls to make the entrance larger than it currently is. It won’t just make the outside feel like it’s inside, it will also transform the look and feel of your home, creating a modern, open plan, and desirable house.

Maximize Glass

Having created as large an opening as possible you need to be thinking about glass. Ideally, the entire opening can be opened with a set of glass doors. This maximizes light into your home and makes it feel like your outside.

If you can’t find or afford doors to fill the entire gap then make sure the rest of it is made up of sheets of toughened glass. It will help to retain the same effect. 

Choose The Right Doors

The right doors can make a big difference to the look and feel of your home and the interaction between inside and out. The doors need to be primarily glass but the frame needs to match your home and your outside space.

There are a huge array of glass doors to choose from, from folding to French and even sliding doors. All can look good in the right situation. You just have to decide which suits you and your home best.

The Deck

Don’t forget that to really set the stage for outdoor living you need to design a great outdoor space. Wooden decking or patios are the most popular option but you can choose any type of floor. You’ll need a railing, even if you’re at ground level. You should also invest n some permanent decorations around the deck area and you’ll need to create a lighting system, this will allow you to stay outside until late in the night, enjoying the perfect integration of inside and outside in your home.

Don’t forget that your outside area needs seating and tables, if you entertain a lot it’s a good idea to make the area large enough to support several smaller tables and chairs, allowing people to relax or char as they wish.

Your place will soon be the one that no one wants to leave. 

The post How to Set the Stage For Outdoor Living With Scenic Doors? appeared first on Mom Blog Society.

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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

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Outdoor living spaces are one of the hottest trends in home design. In one recent survey of 500 architecture firms, 70 percent revealed that the number of requests for outdoor living spaces, including kitchens and living areas, had increased in the last year. Some real estate experts even predict that the outdoor living space will follow the lead of the open concept “great room,” which started as a trend and has since become the standard for most new home construction.

While the notion of being able to spend time outside in comfort and style is appealing to many homeowners and buyers, the fact is that not all outdoor living designs and ideas are good ones. Adding a well-thought out outdoor space to your home can potentially increase its value, but there’s no guarantee that it will. You can increase the likelihood of a healthy return on investment, though, if you avoid these common mistakes.

Over Improving for the Neighborhood

With any home improvement project, you have to walk a fine line between making the right improvements and over-improving for your neighborhood. If you over improve – adding high end appliances, for instance – you run the risk of pricing your home out of the market, and will likely take a loss. The same principle applies to outdoor living spaces. How much value an outdoor living space bring to your home depends in some part on what the Joneses are doing. If you live in a market where homebuyers expect features like outdoor kitchens, not building one will hurt you when it’s time to sell. But if you live in a neighborhood where outdoor spaces are less elaborate, and limited to a firepit and deck, adding a full kitchen and living area won’t get you the return you want.

Not Considering Light

Outdoor spaces are meant to be used both during the day and in the evening, so lighting is a key concern. When designing the space, consider the angle of the sun and how it will affect usage during the day. If the sun is constantly beating down on your space, without any shade, you may not get much use from it during the height of summer. By the same token, if you position your outdoor space so it’s primarily shaded, it may be too cool in the spring and fall. Your design should find balance between the extremes, and use awnings, umbrellas, pergolas or other elements to maintain light and temperature.

For the evening, you need to think about how you’ll light the area so it is still usable. There are more options for outdoor lighting than ever before, so consider combining several styles to create the best ambiance. Don’t forget to use lighting designed for outdoor use though; indoor lighting can cause electrical shocks or fires, or simply won’t hold up to the elements.

Forgetting About Utilities

For a true outdoor living space, you’ll need electricity and running water – and using an extension cord and garden hose aren’t going to cut it. When planning your outdoor space, work with a contractor to ensure you have the right utility design in place and all of the necessary permits. Failing to plan ahead can result in a lot of frustration and headaches, and potentially damage to your home.

Forgetting About Maintenance

Like any other aspect of your home, your outdoor living space will require maintenance. You can limit some maintenance tasks by choosing the right materials and appliances to withstand the elements, but there are some tasks you can’t avoid. For example, when planning the layout, carefully consider how your Denver lawn mowing service will be able to care for the grass. Will they be able to reach all areas of the lawn, or have to work around hardscaping and furniture? With careful planning from the start, you’ll ensure your space continues to look great and function the way you want it to.

Ultimately, the best design for your outdoor living space is one that fits your lifestyle, climate, and the unique features of your yard. Choose only what you like, and don’t simply follow trends if they aren’t right for your space. Have a plan for what you want to do and where, and choose the best quality materials and furnishings you can afford. When you do, you’ll have an outdoor space that you can enjoy for many years, and will add some value to your property.

This content was originally published here.

Landscape Architect Visit: The California Life, Outdoor Living Room Included

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When it came time to retire, Steven and Dee Dee Kim knew just what they wanted. They would leave their home in Tiburon, California near San Francisco, and build a traditional house with a swimming pool overlooking a golf course in the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley, California. They found a five-acre lot in a stand of old-growth oak trees and assembled their dream team—landscape architect Bernard Trainor, architects Sagan Piechota, and contractors Stocker Allaire—to make it happen.

What they got was something different but even more desirable: a 4,400-square-foot modern house with a guest studio, an outdoor living room, and a glass walkway through the trees—and no one is missing the swimming pool. Principal architect Daniel Piechota walked us through the details:

Photography by Joe Fletcher courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture.

Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-outdoor-room-wood-floor-Garden-Piechota Above: An outdoor living room was one of the clients’ first requests; this one with plaster walls and a batu wood deck juts off the main, indoor living room. The daybed is from Danao Living.
Above: The Kims initially wanted the room screened to keep out bugs, but contractor David Stocker knew from experience that moving air does as good a job, so they installed a ceiling fan instead.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-Concrete-Garden-Piechota.-outdoor-roomjpg Above: Early on, the clients made clear that they liked houses with “long views.” When exploring the project site, Trainor and project architect Cameron Helland identified two main axes around which to arrange the house: the line running through the outdoor living room, shown here, and the axis marked by the entryway stair, shown below.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-concrete-slab-view-piechota Above: The view from the outdoor living room toward the golf course.

The clients initially wanted a house in a traditional architectural style, but they also gave the architects clues about how they wanted to live—close to nature, chiefly. “That necessitated a certain amount of glass,” said Piechota, “and a modern style is a better fit for that.”

Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-Concrete-Garden-Piechota Above: Trainor had three rows of drought-tolerant Cape rush (Chondropetalum) grass planted in the inner gravel courtyard behind the house.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-wildflowers-stone-corten-Garden-Piechota Above: A verdant meadow beneath the oaks was largely destroyed during construction, and Trainor restored it. “It’s not as simple as putting some seed down,” said Piechota. “He’s a real master at bringing the landscape back to where it used to be.”
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-concrete-slab-wildflower-gravel-piechota Above: A patio with a fire pit overlooks the property. The homeowners first wanted a pool, but decided it would go unused. “It was a really good decision,” said Piechota. “In its absence, Bernard did something that was equally interesting.”
Above: The concrete and steel fire pit is Trainor’s design, and the chairs flanking it are 1966 Lounge Chairs by Richard Schultz.

Though the lot is on a slope, the architects “wrapped the house around the topography of the site instead of cutting into the hill.”

Carmel-Valley-house-hot-tub-wood-cedar-cladding-piechota Above: On the far side of the courtyard is a hot tub of Trainor’s design, clad in batu wood. In this shaded spot, Trainor planted giant chain fern (Woodwardia). The door beyond opens into the guest house.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-gravel-wood-exterior-Piechota Above: Trainor filled the courtyard with “Sierra tan” gravel, which has some brown tones but with an overall effect of gray. He chose it to temper the courtyard’s bright daylight sun. Just beyond sits a water feature of Trainor’s design, made of quartzite schist.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-Mediterranean-Concrete-slab-Garden-Piechota Above: The view from the house’s “front door,” which borders the interior courtyard and disappears within a wall of glass.

Piechota and Trainor have worked together many times throughout the last decade and are highly collaborative. “Honestly, I don’t know how to design buildings that don’t relate to the landscape,” said Piechota. “And I appreciate working with someone who’s both in tune with the landscape and respectful of the architecture.”

Carmel-Valley-Landscape-wide-outdoor-stairs-Garden-Piechota Above: The Carmel Valley house is a case in point: “The roofs and walls interact in such a way that this house is really a framing device for the landscape,” said Piechota.
Carmel-Valley-Landscape-windows-piechota Above: An enclosed walkway over the staircase links the master bedroom to the main living space. The interior floors are white oak.

“What this house does best is that it has the feeling of being up in the air—in the trees—and simultaneously grounded on the courtyard side.” Often, said Piechota, a house offers one or the other.

Carmel-Valley-wood-walkway-concrete-slab-garden-piechota Above: Piechota clad the house in heavily knotted Western red cedar, satisfying his clients’ request for exterior character. (Luckily, the “lower” grade wood fit nicely into the budget.)

A gravel driveway rings the oak grove in front of the house. Here, Trainor chose a lighter, warmer color for the gravel—”California gold”—to brighten the front landscape and reflect back what little light filters through the trees.

Carmel-Valley-Landscape-wood-facade-deck-Garden-Piechota Above: A three-tiered deck of batu wood leads to a “dramatic arrival experience” beneath the glass and cedar bridge and up the staircase.
Carmel-Valley-wood-corten-exterior-Garden-Piechota Above: The architects used raw steel throughout the project, intending it to weather over time.

Find more inspiring modern landscapes in:

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Modern yet timeless Midwest cottage with indoor-outdoor living

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This Midwest cottage designed by Peterssen/Keller Architecture in collaboration with Martha O’Hara Interiors is located in the charming Linden Hills neighborhood, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Encompassing 5,518 square feet of living space, this four-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary urban cottage easily accommodates a family’s active lifestyle. 

The vision for this dream home was to create a modern, yet timeless urban cottage that blurs the lines between indoors and out. Highlights include expansive rooms, get-away spaces for parents and kids, three fireplaces and a swimming pool. Designed to fit within the context of the neighborhood, this spacious two-story house blends traditional, gable-roofed cottage vernacular with exhilarating modern contrasts in texture and color. Continue below to see the rest of this fabulous home…

Project Team: Architecture: Peterssen/Keller Architecture | Builder: Reuter Walton Construction | Interior Designer: Martha O’Hara Interiors | Landscape: Travis Van Liere Studio

Key design elements include a double gable front facade with a steep roofline and dormers, a traditional front porch and columns, vertical nickel gap siding and metal panels, traditional wood-clad windows contrasted with sliding doors and a screened porch. On the interior, expansive living spaces are finished with a simple, understated materials palette including tongue and groove ceilings, Shaker-style cabinetry, and character-grade white oak flooring.

What We Love: This stunning Midwest cottage was designed to accommodate a family’s active lifestyle and their love of outdoor living. Two gabled pavilions offer living spaces for kids and adults to enjoy their privacy while the core of the home allows for quality family time. Traditional cottage vernacular blends with an open modern aesthetic, creating a stunning overall result.

Tell Us: What do you think of the overall design of this family home? If this was your home, are there any elements in the design that you would have done differently? Let us know in the Comments!

Note: Have a look at a couple of our favorite home tours featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of Peterssen/Keller Architecture: Modern twist on a traditional cottage style home in Minnesota and Gorgeous lakeside retreat in the Midwest gets inspiring renovation.

Above: This Midwest cottage forms a U-shape around the swimming pool and patio in the backyard. With its steeply pitched rooflines and classic white facade, the overall aesthetic exudes a modern-yet-traditional cottage motif.

Above: A three-season porch is located underneath one of the home’s pavilions. This space features Phantom retractable screens, a wood-burning fireplace and an array of seating arrangements for family living and entertaining.

Above: A glassed-in living room boasts white oak flooring and a baltic bluestone and blackened-steel fireplace. This helps to create an overall atmosphere that is casual and inviting.

Above: The master bathroom features custom white oak cabinetry, a marble steam shower with dual heads and a spa tub.

Photos: Spacecrafting / Troy Thies

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Homecrest Outdoor Living | May 2019

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Homecrest continues to add experienced retailers and industry veterans to the Homecrest sales team with a number of exciting East Coast announcements. These moves support our mission to bring a great sales team and compelling products to the marketplace through our independent sales reps.

Dobbins & Son: Industry veterans and retailers Gray Dobbins, Justin Carter and Pam Mulcahy have joined the Homecrest team, providing sales leadership in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Homecrest welcomes both the industry and retail experience this dynamic team brings to the brand.

After attending the University of Florida, Gray joined his father as a manufacturer’s rep. For a number of years, Gray and his father represented some of the top brands in the casual furniture industry. In 2006, Gray purchased Atlanta Home & Patio, an outstanding retailer in the Fayetteville, Georgia, market. His skills as a retailer, coupled with his years of industry experience, makes Gray a valuable member of the Homecrest team.

Justin Carter entered the casual furniture market working at his father’s store in Peachtree City, Georgia. Justin joined Gray in 2006 as a manufacturer’s rep and to assist in running the Fayetteville store. Together, they represent and retail some of the top lines in the casual furniture marketplace.

Like Gray, Pam Mulcahy followed in her father’s footsteps, entering the casual furniture industry in her youth. Throughout her successful career, Pam has engaged in a number of retail pursuits include casual furniture, retail apparel, wood flooring and real estate. She is noted for her design expertise, her attention to detail and her ability to get the job done. Together, Gray, Justin and Pam represent one of the most effective teams in the casual furniture industry.

DD Sales, LLC: Retailer and business consultant, Darrell Campbell, joins Homecrest as an independent rep for the states of South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Darrell’s experience in business and retail will make him a valuable addition to the Homecrest team.

Darrell holds an MBA from Jacksonville University. Early in his career, Darrell worked himself up through ranks at CSX Transportation to Vice President of Coal Operations. In 1996, he left the corporate life and, along with his wife, started Backyard Retreats, a retail store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Over the course of a few years, that business converted from selling hot tubs to become a premier casual furniture retailer. Darrell’s unique business background, along with his retail experience, positions him as a valuable business partner to our retail dealers. Homecrest is excited to welcome him to our team.

Signal Sales, Inc.: Jordan Kenney joined Homecrest in 2015 as an independent sales rep in the Mid-Atlantic region. Jordan, along with his partners, are building a strong retail-driven sales organization headquartered out of the Baltimore, Maryland, area. Jordan’s team continues to represent the Homecrest brand in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington DC, and now takes on the added responsibilities of the Philadelphia metro market and West Virginia.

Jordan has a degree in marketing from Virginia Wesleyan University. With over 10 years of experience as a manufacturer’s rep, and his drive to build a great team, Jordan is well positioned to help build the Homecrest brand in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more blog posts!

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The 5 Best Dining Sets for Outdoor Living

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The perfect outdoor dining set is an entertaining game-changer. Adding one to your patio, deck, or balcony means you can enjoy moonlight cocktails with friends, backyard barbecues, alfresco family meals, and more — all because these dining sets, designed to withstand the weather, basically create a brand-new dining room just outside the walls of your home.

When you’re choosing an outdoor dining set for your space, you’ll want to consider the size as well as the materials. Outdoor furniture comes in lots of sizes and shapes, ranging from two-person bistro sets perfect for small balconies to L-shaped sectionals with seating for a dozen of your family and friends. Most also come with durable cushions designed for outdoor use, though protecting them under a cover or inside a storage bin will ensure they are clean and dry whenever you are ready to dine out(side).

Rattan or wicker are both popular for outdoor furniture, but the natural material doesn’t hold up well in the elements without a lot of maintenance and care. Thus, the introduction of synthetic rattan: Designed to look like real wicker, polypropylene resin wicker (also known as PE wicker) won’t rust, fade, peel or dent. Not only is it durable and strong, it’s simple to maintain; just just wipe it down with water and give it an occasional cleaning with a common household solution and it will last for many seasons to come.

Excited to host an alfresco gathering? We’ve rounded up the best dining sets for outdoor use, so find the one that’s right for your home and start planning that barbecue!

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

This content was originally published here.

Top Outdoor Living Design Trends Coming Into 2020

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Homeowners often look into different ways to spice up there living and make some incredible changes. While the inside of your home is important, you can’t forget about the outdoor scene. Think about this, your outdoor living space is essentially known as an extension of your home. A place where you can truly make your own comfortable scene with a number of things like kitchen appliances, a pool/spa area, comfy furniture and much more! What’s interesting is that investments in your landscaping (even outdoor areas) can drive your property value up.

Over the last decade, the designs and looks of outdoor living areas have evolved to new heights. You often see tons more features being used as well as different materials that are uncommon amongst most. In other words, there will be always be something new to try when it comes to your design ideas. This is a new year, so you can expect some big changes to present themselves when you are looking to make a change. Check out some of the top outdoor living design trends that have shown up this year.

Beautiful Hardwood Floor Look

Some homeowners like to have a flair behind their design, a flair that hardwood flooring can provide. Believe it or not, a hardwood flooring design can offer a different sense of beauty. The wood adds a seamless transition, and you don’t have to worry about the extra maintenance like staining or painting. Coming into 2020, this is a trend that a lot of people are starting to take a liking to when looking for a great outdoor design.

Dual-Purpose Furniture Options

Just like the indoors, wouldn’t it be great to have a different array of outdoor furniture in your outdoor living area? Furniture options that are functional can serve multiple purposes, especially flexibility. Not to mention that extra accommodation that’ll be available for any guests you have over. Think about all of the possibilities like keeping drinks together and having some extra storage space. You want to think about things like tables, benches, cooler designs, and much more. When it comes to dual-purpose furniture selections you are going to have a lot to think about.

Unique Metallic Finishes

There’s no surprise that the use of metallic finishes has become popular over the years. By now, you may have seen different decorative features with metallic finishes. You might even see lighting options and furniture selections with metallic finishes too, but it all depends on what you are interested in seeing. There are a number of different finishes you could expect to come into the light like aluminum, copper, chrome, and many more. Overall implementing a nice metallic finish into your outdoor living space design may be a go-to decision that you’ll love.

Needless to say, you have the power to come up with some incredible outdoor living space designs. What you could consider doing is heading on over to for some great ideas. This could be the year for some of the best outdoor home changes, so now would be a great time to start thinking about them.

This content was originally published here.

Homecrest Outdoor Living | February 2019

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Homecrest Outdoor Living doesn’t follow trends. We set them. That’s why, with over 65 years in business, we’re qualified to give you the real skinny on what style directions are going to be big for outdoor living in 2019. We’re cutting away nonsense marketing lingo to give you straightforward facts that you can use to directly inform your patio furniture plans.

Here are the Top Five Outdoor Living Trends for 2019:

1. Being Conversation-Centric

A beautiful outdoor set-up is only as good as it is functional.Patio furniture that’s designed to make conversation amongst friends and loved ones effortless will always be in. This season, look for modular seating that comes with corner options, like our Allure Modular collection. Designs like this focus people inward, towards one another, creating a sense of cohesion and making conversation easy.

 2. Fire Table Center Pieces

Fire Tables have so many benefits that they really are a game-changer. The obvious advantage is that they will keep you warm during cool nights and balmy weather, lengthening your outdoor season by several months on either side of summer. But, fire tables have many more aesthetic benefits as centerpieces. Fire tables create natural lighting, which has a calming effect, and they’re evocative of warm times shared around the campfire back in the good ol’ days. When you find the right style from Homecrest’s extensive collections and colors, you’ve got yourself a focal point for your outdoor space.

3. Rustic Materials

After nearly a full decade of interior and outdoor design moving further and further into clinical, technology-driven and “sleek” products, style is ready to move back in the other direction and breathe a little. Smooth plastics and cold metals are giving way to more rustic-appearing materials. Collections like our Natural Series tables use durable materials (that will last in rough weather) that still create the appearance of natural sandstone, slate, timber and others.

4. Earth Tones

Coupling with the rustic materials trend, frame finishes and seating fabrics for patio furniture are moving towards earth tones. For metal frame finishes, colors like warm browns with undertones of burgundy or olive (for example, Homecrest’s Cognac) compliment natural-style materials. Color trends are quite finicky, of course, so it is always most important to find a color that you like over what a company tells you that you should like. Homecrest offers a broad range of fabric patterns and frame finishes for this reason.

5. Minimalist Frames

With the trends towards functional, nature-inspired outdoor living styles, patio furniture designs that lean into simplicity are becoming the markers of sophistication. Take a look at Homecrest’s Eden series to see this in action. Its slatted, teak-inspired top with rectangular legs give a clean silhouette, possibly inspired by the Scandinavian Design movement. Watch for minimal, quality-made patio furniture styles in 2019.

See Eden Collection & Allure Collections Here! 

For more information on any of these trends or mentioned products, please feel free to contact Homecrest Outdoor Living. We’ll give you real, useful customer service.

Visit our website to learn more about our current collections or to find a dealer near you!

Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more blog posts!

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Muji launches prefabricated home to encourage indoor-outdoor living

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Prefabricated Yō no le home by Muji

Muji has launched a single-storey home called Yō no Ie that has a large outdoor deck to encourage indoor-outdoor living.

Yō no Ie, or Plain House, is intended for use in rural settings and is the first stair-free dwelling in Muji‘s line of prefabricated timber homes that launched in 2004.

The 74-square-metre structure responds to a growing demand for low-profile homes in suburban Japan, and the retail company hopes it will provide “a wide range of generations” with more choices of places to live.

“[Yō no Ie] enables you to interact with gardens that are difficult to realise in such urban areas,” explained the Japanese retail company.

“You can buy it for the first time, at the end of your home after the children have settled, or as a villa. [Yō no Ie] should be a pleasant answer for a comfortable home.”

Yō no Ie is a compact single-storey home without columns or fixed divisions. It was designed by Muji for flexibility and will allow owners to reconfigure its layout to meet changing needs.

True to the brand’s minimalist aesthetic, it has a pared-back interior finish composed of pale wood floors and white walls.

Three full-height doors line one side of the house, opening up to the outdoor decking that features a sunken segment for use as a fire pit or garden.

This decking area is intended to form a seamless extension of the house’s interior, so that the division between them has been made as flush as possible. Muji hopes this will encourage inside-outside living as owner’s can easily move their furniture out to create an external living space.

“The boundaries between where you are outside and where you are indoors are ambiguous. From the room, to the deck, to the outside, the space continues in a gradational manner, and the activities performed in the room ooze out,” said Muji.

“Bringing out activities that are originally performed indoors to the outdoors is a way to associate with a new garden.”

The standard exterior finish for Yō no Ie House is Japanese chestnut, but cement mortar is also available. The roof will be made from galvalume sheets.

It is currently only available in Japan, selling for ¥15,980,000 (approximately £120,000).

Muji is a Japanese retail company known for its minimalist aesthetic and simple branding across homeware, furniture, fashion, office supplies and more. In 2017, Muji’s art director Kenya Hara told Dezeen that balancing such a broad product line is what makes the company so successful and unique.

The company’s previous prefabricated houses include Ki no Ie, Mado no Ie, or the Window House, and Tate no Ie. The retailer has also developed a compact nine-square-metre prefabricated hut, and worked with Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa to design three holiday cabins.

The post Muji launches prefabricated home to encourage indoor-outdoor living appeared first on Dezeen.

This content was originally published here.

Mountain modern prefabricated home in Tahoe boasts indoor-outdoor living

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Sagemodern in collaboration with Gallagher Construction was responsible for the design of this mountain modern prefabricated home. Boasting 3,170 square feet of living space, this dwelling incorporates touches of heavy timber in its design, helping to blend in with its surroundings in Martis Camp, a private community in Truckee, California.

This striking home was designed to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor living. A functional floor plan helps to maximize common areas and bedrooms to accommodate family and friends. Outdoors, there are 1,700 square feet of exterior deck space, featuring Ipe and copper-gray slate tile that is perfect for outdoor functions.

Interesting Fact: This home was built as modules with 90% of the finishes already installed. The modules are then craned into place and then there is a small amount of interior and exterior finish work.

The residence includes five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, with a fresh, clean design. With designer fixtures and finishes throughout, the home features sustainably harvested hand scraped hickory and copper-gray slate tiles with radiant heating on the floor.

The exterior facade is comprised of hot rolled steel, cedar channel siding and board-formed concrete with heavy timber and trellis details. Energy-efficient features include thermal insulation of walls, roofs and floors, energy-efficient windows, sun protection, and bioclimatic architecture and solar water heaters.

What We Love: This mountain modern prefabricated home offers clean lines and simple design features, producing an inviting living space. We are loving the whole concept of this home, from the way it was constructed to the materials elements added to elevate this simple design. A beautiful concept from start to finish!

Tell Us: What do you think of this prefab home? Would you build a prefabricated home? Tell us why or why not in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags for more inspiring home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this home, Sagemodern.

Above: The cedar (Tight Knot quality, rough sawn, 1″ channel) siding is stained in Superdeck Duckback Transparent Stain – 1907 – Canyon Brown. The concrete fire pit is gas with decorative ceramic logs, sourced from HPC Fire. The tile on the deck is American Slate – Molten Palace.

Above: The hot rolled steel was oiled (gun oil) and waxed and then left to patina through the years. If you wish to maintain this look, use Permalac. The steel was sourced from a metal supply company in Reno, NV. It was purchased in 15″x30″ pieces.

Above: The outdoor wall sconces are from Seagull Lighting – Dark Sky – Bronze. The metal is hot rolled steel with a gunmetal coating applied to it. Over time, it will oxidize and rust. The deck is Ipe (a strong, durable, low-maintenance wood), while the sliding doors are from Sierra Pacific.

Above: In the family room, the fireplace is a Heat & Glo Fireplace. The walls are painted in Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White – SW7035. The sofa is the Wells Custom Sofa from Room & Board. Floors are American Slate Molten Palace. Dimensions of this room are ~20’x20′

Above: On the wall, the branches wall decor is from Viva Terra. The dimensions of this room are 16’x13′. 

Above: The kitchen countertops are Caesarstone Raven, while the custom cabinets are maple. The backsplash tile is Ann Sacks glass tile – Description: Bliss – Glossy | Color: Sterling | Size: 4×8″. The barstools are the Tiffany Bar Stool from Room & Board. A similar bar stool is the Felix White Barstools from Crate & Barrel. Flooring is hand-scraped Hickory from Kahrs.

Above: The kitchen island dimensions are 8’10” x 3’8″.

Above: Suspended above the dining table is a trio of pendant lights — Fucsia 1 Modern Pendant Light by Achille Castiglioni. The flooring is American Slate – Molten Palace.

Above: The bedroom walls are painted in Anew Gray SW 7030 – Sherwin-Williams. The shades were done by Shade Inc in San Francisco, CA. Bedding is from John Robshaw Textiles.

Above: The tub is the Kohler Tea-for-two drop in tub. The countertop is Caserstone Blizzard, while the sink is Kohler Ladena undermount sink and the faucet is the Kohler Stillness Series. The tile is from Walker Zanger.

Photos: Courtesy of Sagemodern

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5 Tips for Merging Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

There was a time when a simple patio or deck was the height of backyard outdoor living. Today, we have transcended to a place where our outdoor spaces rival and often surpass the look and livability of our indoor spaces. The latest trend on this design journey is to merge our outdoor and indoor living spaces in a way that allows the backyard to be a true extension of the home. Here are some ideas on how to accomplish this.

1 – Use Complementary Architecture

When designing an outdoor living space, use materials and architectural touches that mirror the interior space. For example, if the interior includes arches, transoms or large beams, similar touches can be incorporated in the exterior spaces. You can also mirror architectural materials such as light fixtures, countertops and flooring in your exterior spaces. Just remember to buy the outdoor-rated versions for durability in the harsher environment.

2 – Create Seamless Transitions

For climates that allow this as an option, collapsible doors provide the perfect opportunity to create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. This is not realistic in some climates due to excessive temperatures, mosquitoes and other factors. For these scenarios, the look can be accomplished with large windows, sliding doors or screened enclosures. It also helps to have the initial zone of the outdoor space at the same floor height so there’s not a step up or down when going in or out.

3 – Incorporate Cohesive Design Schemes

If you’re limited by architecture or climate and want to create a sense of flow to the outdoors, continue the same decorating motif used in the adjoining room. Use similar color schemes, furniture styles, rugs, lamps, vases and other accessories.

4 – Make the Space More Functional

If you really want your outdoor space to be cohesive with your indoor space, it needs to be a place where people want to hang out. That means adding functional elements like a bar, outdoor kitchen or fire feature.

5 – Link Entertainment Zones

Adding a television is a no-brainer, which is easy enough to link with your home’s system. But you’ll also want to add WiFi extenders to improve internet connectivity. To really enhance the sense of flow from the indoors out, add audio speakers and connect them with your home’s entertainment system. That way, you can hear the same background sounds when walking from one space to the next.

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Enhance your outdoor living space and save this summer

outdoor living

Nothing makes a Michigan summer perfect like a warm night outside with burgers on the grill, cooking s’mores over a fire and enjoying a swim or a soak in a pool or hot tub at just the right temperature. What you may not realize is there’s an easy way to make all those things possible using the same fuel that warms your house and cooks your food in the winter: natural gas.

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are increasingly popular ways to create a focal point when enjoying a deck or patio. Traditional wood-burning pits and fireplaces generate smoke and ash that require cleaning and constant tending, making it harder to enjoy your outdoor space. A natural gas fireplace or fire pit, however, starts and stops at the push of a button and burns just as cleanly as the burners on your stove. Natural gas can also power outdoor lighting for a soft, warm glow to make your outdoor space more inviting. Whether it’s for looks, for light or for toasting marshmallows, natural gas lights,  and a fire pit or fireplace makes your outdoor space the perfect place to savor a summer evening.

Saving money, saving time

When it comes time to fire up the grill for your Fourth of July cookout or simply to avoid heating up your home with an oven or stovetop, natural gas is the clear winner over propane or charcoal for both convenience and cost. With a natural gas grill, there’s no waiting for coals to heat up, and you never have to worry about making a trip to the store to exchange a propane tank. A natural gas grill can reach 600 degrees in as quickly as six minutes, so you spend less time waiting for the grill to be ready and more time making a delicious meal. Natural gas cookouts also cost only about one-sixth the cost of cooking with charcoal, and about one-third the cost of propane. Conversion kits are also available to adapt your existing propane grill to natural gas and allow you to get started using natural gas when connected to an outdoor gas outlet.

Natural gas also gives you a cost-effective option for heating your pool or hot tub. A gas pool heater works like a boiler, pulling in water and warming it as the gas burns in a separate combustion chamber. The water then circulates back into the pool, producing a consistent temperature twice as fast as an electric heater. A gas pool heater can even pay dividends year-round by allowing you to maintain the temperature you want in any temperature, letting you enjoy your pool or spa whenever you want.

To find out more about how natural gas can contribute to helping you enjoy your house year-round, visit .

The post Enhance your outdoor living space and save this summer appeared first on Empowering Michigan.

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Captivating contemporary home with indoor-outdoor living in California

outdoor living

SDG Architecture is responsible for the design of this large single-family home with modern interior design and beautiful contemporary landscape, located in Palo Alto, California. A collaboration with landscape architect Bernard Trainor to create a zen space has resulted in a captivating contemporary home with a lush landscape that provides a sense of escape from busy Silicon Valley. Continue below to see the rest of this beautifully designed home…

Project Team: Architecture: SDG Architecture | Landscape: Bernard Trainor | Interior Designer: Kimberly Larzelere
Contractor: James Witt Homes

What We Love: This captivating contemporary home offers a feeling of tranquility from the moment of arrival, courtesy of the lush surroundings. Spacious living areas and indoor-outdoor connectivity are ideal for entertaining family and friends. We are especially loving the beautiful patio and pool area, offering a zen-like feel, perfect for lounging!

Tell Us: What do you think of the overall design of this home? What elements did you find most appealing? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags to see more fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of SDG Architects.

Native landscaping and mature growth trees surrounding this property add to the overall aesthetics of this contemporary home.

Inside, a glass bridge connects the levels, which spans three stories. This allows for natural light to penetrate through the center core stairwell, courtesy of skylights from above. LEDs illuminate the glass bridge, creating a visual display.

In the kitchen, the color palette repeats the colors and materials used on the exterior facade. The waterfall marble island creates a beautiful contrast to the richly stained base cabinetry, which matches the wood siding used on the exterior. The custom hood and upper cabinetry mimic the metal elements on the exterior. 

A sophisticated dining area features a wood-clad privacy wall, while the translucent glass wall mimics the material of the glass bridge. The sculptural light fixture suspended over the table simultaneously acts as art.

The family room features a dual-sided fireplace to delineate living spaces. A NanaWall operable glass wall system provides the quinessetial California lifestyle of indoor-outdoor living. This extends the main living spaces to the outdoor patio and pool area, ideal for entertaining.

In the finished basement, a home theater, built-in bar, and wine cellar provide the ultimate entertaining space.

A lower level playroom provides access to the back patio. Sliding panels conceal a home office. 

A luxurious outdoor seating area lends tranquil views of the lush landscaping and beautiful redwoods that surround this home. An expansive infinity pool offers guests a refreshing spot to cool off, while the outdoor fire pit provides warmth and ambiance.

An outdoor kitchen and dining area further extends this home’s impressive entertainment offerings, set amongst a grove of olive trees.

Photos: Bernard Andre

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How to Create a Cozy Outdoor Living Space – Happy Happy Nester

outdoor living

Do you need help on How to Create a Cozy Outdoor Living Space for summer? Well, I’m including nine tips on how I create my outdoor rooms and what elements I include when styling.

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But first, I should mention that I’m joined by some pretty fabulous bloggers today. And their posts are at the bottom of this outdoor DIY. We love sharing all our home decor ideas, and we hope you enjoy them too!

So, my husband and I live outdoors starting the first week in May, right around Cinco de Mayo. And after living in our Northern California home for almost ten years, we finally have the backyard styled for maximum relaxation and entertainment. Now, don’t get me wrong we still have a lot of improvements, but for the most part, the bare bones are in place.

Moving here from Seattle, we were excited to lounge in our yard from May to October. But, it did take a few years to wrap our heads around the fact that we could create quite a few cozy outdoor living spaces without the inconvenience of a rainy summer.

We have about three areas of our backyard that on most summer weekends you can find my husband lounging around in one of them. Not a summer weekend goes by that he doesn’t mention how much he loves our backyard. And this makes me super happy!

So I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips on how to create a cozy outdoor living space? Once, I started to take inventory on what things I do when getting our backyard ready for summer, and I came up with nine ideas. So, here goes with my outdoor living space tutorial.

9 Tips on How to Create a Cozy Outdoor Living Space

1. Choose a Spot

We like to center our living spaces around our pool. I feel that there is good energy around water and so it makes sense to tap into that for an outdoor room. If you don’t have a pool, do you have a canopy of trees that would make a beautiful den or dining room? The cool thing about trees is that you can drape fun lights from them and make the space cozy. Or maybe you have a corner of your yard that you can carve out a beautiful sitting area.

2. Choose Furniture

Incorporate outdoor furniture that is comfortable and inviting. We have these old IKEA chairs that have held up pretty good. I give them a new layer of chalk paint every year, and they are good to go for the summer. As you know I love chalk paint and I’ve painted just about everything in our home, well, maybe not everything. You can see my outdoor chalk painted plastic Adirondack chairs .

3. Add Lighting.

We have big outdoor lights all around our yard, and we are in the process of stringing some over this area. But, in the meantime, candles and lanterns are what light the space in the evening. So, adding strings of outdoor lights, lanterns, and candle votives are how to create a cozy outdoor living space.

4. Incorporate an Outdoor Rug

I can’t have enough outdoor rugs and I’m enjoying this buffalo check rug from Wayfair. I feel that rugs not only define an area but also make an outdoor room inviting and comfy. Adding a rug is one of the ways of how to create a cozy outdoor living space.

5. Surround the Area With Potted Flowers and Floral Bouquets from the Garden

This hydrangea plant I bought for myself for Mother’s Day! I planted it in a pot and placed it in this cute basket. I’m wondering if I should put more around the patio for decoration!

6. Add Throws and Pillows

Yes, my humongous pillow collection extends to our garden. Well, these are outdoor pillows, and we do use them when lounging. Also, when the summer evenings get strangely cold, we always have a pile of blankets to grab to wrap around our shoulders. We are a blanket, loving family.

7. Bring an Outdoor Table in the Center of the Space

So, this spring, I decided to place this small glass table in the middle, so it provides a place for us to set your book or drink. Not sure why it took me so long to realize this is the better choice for the space! So, bottom line, don’t be afraid to move things around.

8. Add an Outdoor Firepit to the Living Space

We do love our outdoor firepit, and my husband has it all ready to go with a bucket of firewood and kindling. Also, every spring I give our little fire pit a new look with black bbq spray to freshen it up for the new season. But, I must admit that we enjoy sitting around and chatting and making smores.

9. Outdoor Umbrellas Are Essential

Somehow I missed taking a photo of my awesome outdoor umbrella, I guess this week’s shenanigans got the best of me. So, here is one of our many umbrellas from another outdoor blog post. And maybe you might like to read my post about how important it is to buy Sunbrella umbrellas.

You can also see the huge deck transformation from a couple of years ago. I think the painting that my kiddos did for me that summer has left a huge scar on their childhood memories. I’m sure I’ll hear about this for years to come.

Well, I’m super happy about my first blog post for the summer. And I’m so delighted that this post inspired me to get my patio ready for the beautiful weather. Now, I can’t wait for the hot days of summer. So, thanks for visiting my post on how to create a cozy outdoor living space.

Ok, until next time, happy decorating,

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Mountain modern farmhouse with indoor-outdoor living in Central Oregon

outdoor living

This single-story mountain modern farmhouse is located in Bend, Oregon in the sought after golf community of Tetherow. Designed and built by Norman Building and Design the residence sits on a one-acre golf course parcel bordering the foothills of the Deschutes National Forest with views of the Cascade Mountains.

Within the 3,579 square feet of living space is found three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a media room, and office. Entering the residence your eye is immediately drawn through the open-plan living space to panoramic views. Preparing for retirement this California couple approached Norman Building and Design to share their vision for a home that would blend the mountain architecture known to the area with rustic farmhouse aesthetic touches.

Aided by Wendi Zampino, Design with Detail, the two teams worked to curate the many custom elements showcased throughout the home including four fireplaces, reclaimed wood accents, forged-iron metal treatments, extensive millwork, knotty alder paneled interior doors, specialty cabinetry, and brickwork. Norman Building and Design’s Cabinet division delivered on the homeowner’s vision of a ‘found’ look with furniture-like cabinetry and the use of unique wood finishes throughout the residence. 

Above: Entering this mountain modern farmhouse brings forth an experience to stimulate your senses beginning as one grasps the texture of the forged iron door handle which operates an eight-foot-tall metal, wood and glass pivot door. Once inside your eye is quickly drawn through the home to the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that perfectly captures the forested mountain views in the distance.

What We Love: This beautiful mountain modern farmhouse home is the perfect playground for those who enjoy outdoor activities year-round. Captured by the beauty of the Cascade Mountains and championship golf course, the outdoor living area is the idyllic spot to spend a quiet afternoon lounging, or planning your next outdoor adventure. The felt sense of the interior is open and bright filled with natural light offering warm and inviting spaces to enjoy time cuddled up with a favorite hobby, or entertaining family and friends. 

Tell Us: Readers, what do you think of this mountain home, any details that caught your eye? Please tell us in the Comments!

Above: The great room is the heart of the residence. The large wood-burning fireplace draws your eye upward to the expansive spaciousness of the cedar ceiling, oversized black iron chandeliers and structural beam work that secure the rustic mountain feel.

Above: Wood and metal floating shelving introduce a welcome contrast to the rustic texture of the brick walls and crisp lines of the white cabinetry. A bulky honed quartzite countertop creates a gathering place for guests as well as a lovely area for meal preparation.

Above: Subway tile, open shelving, and metal accents highlight a farmhouse theme with details that liven up the pantry. 

Above: The floor to ceiling glass in the Media room creates an open feeling that draws the natural setting indoors. The covered deck accessible from this room and the kitchen invite outdoor dining as well as entertaining views of golfers trying their hand putting the nearby greens.

Above: Each of the home’s bathroom vanities was designed as aged re-purposed furniture. The interior doors were crafted with knotty alder planks with rustic touches that introduce contrast to the crisp finish of the white shiplap walls. 

Above: The office is light and bright, inviting as a get-a-way, or for more formal use. The used brick fireplace surround, white cabinetry, and beam workflow seamlessly into the feel of a single design element. 

Above: Here a set of wide metal and glass trolley doors draw the hallway into the office creating a greater sense of spaciousness.

Above: The use of natural light encourages lazing mornings as the homeowners wake to spectacular views year-round. Stone accents, an aged wood mantel, distressed beams as well as the white-painted ceiling treatment take you back in time to the feel of an old farmhouse residence.

Above: Hallmark Floors Gunpowder Oak Organic 567 Collection flooring was selected to bring forth a feeling of vintage reclaimed wood in the residence.

Above: Character was introduced to the look of this newly created trolley door by adding an 1890’s vintage door handle acquired from a collector in Boise, Idaho.

Above: Outdoor living is a way of life in Central Oregon, which means lots of gear and equipment. The home’s 1,700 square foot four-car garage provides adequate space for large toys, it also has a specialty wall of cabinetry to help organize the smaller items needed to enjoy the outdoors. The washbasin is a favorite regularly used for clean fishing waders, hiking boots, and other recreational gear.

Photos: Courtesy of Mike Albright Photography

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration! 

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Fun Ideas for Your Outdoor Living Space – Craft-O-Maniac

outdoor living


A patio or porch is an excellent idea to add greater appeal to your home. It is an easy addition to any property and one that does not cost you an arm and a leg.

You can have an outdoor living space where you can spend most of your time in sunny weather to get fresh air and enjoy
the natural sights of your yard and garden.

You can meld your interior and exterior spaces for a more unified look. You can DIY some of the parts of the project while leaving the critical components to a professional.

For instance, your roof should best handled by an experienced contractor like Outdoor living is on the rise in the United States, with the total revenue of outdoor furniture expected to increase to $2 billion in 2019. The compound annual growth rate between 2014 and 2019 is quite modest at 1.3 percent, but it is steadily rising.

Here are some quick tips for planning your outdoor living space:
1. Add a grill or kitchen — Form follows function. You do not want your outdoor space to serve any purpose other than to enhance the curb appeal. A kitchen and a dining table allow you to eat out (literally) every time. But if you cannot afford a full kitchen, a barbecue or built in grill makes everything alright.

You can still entertain guests on your patio or porch by hosting a barbecue party.
2. Outdoor fireplace — any fireplace will add warmth and romance to the area. If you have decided on an outdoor space, why do not you go all out by building a fireplace?

You can still spend time out of your house during chilly nights. There is nothing better than spending the night with a loved one as you wrap yourselves in a blanket while watching the stars. Alternatively, you can build a fire pit, which is the more inexpensive option.

3. Sectional furniture to establish space — Since you do not install walls on your patio or porch, you can use sectional furniture instead to build space. A large sofa or bench can hold more people instead of individual chairs. It also helps people socialize more,
especially when you are hosting parties for a large crowd.

4. Add a bar — Bring the fun outside by building a bar on your outdoor living space. If you are worried about your guests being stiff in the party, there is nothing better to break down inhibition than alcohol. But even if you are alone, you can still partake in your
favorite drink from your bar.

5. Consider your climate — How many times do you get sun in a year? How many times does it rain? Does it snow in your area? How about extreme weather conditions like a hurricane or storm? The answers to these questions will determine what type of structure you need to build.

If it rains regularly, you need an excellent roof to make sure your cushions do not get soaked by rainwater. Also, if you are on the path of a
hurricane, make sure that your porch, gazebo, or pergola is built on strong foundations.

If you have no time to go to the store, you can do so at the comforts of your own home. But you also need to understand that it comes with risks. However, it is easy to rectify. Ultimately, the gains of shopping online outweigh the dangers.

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Tankoa’s 200-Foot TLV62 Superyacht Concept Is All About Outdoor Living – Robb Report

outdoor living

Integrating the exterior with the interior is not exactly a new concept when it comes to superyacht design, but bringing the entire living area outdoors is a different story entirely. And that’s exactly what the new Tankoa TLV62 concept promises to do.

The sleek 200-foot vessel was brought to life by yacht designer Luca Vallebona with help from the managing director of Sinos Giancarlo Mussino. The vessel boasts a clean and balanced profile with an “almost vertical bow,” a crisp steel hull and an aluminum superstructure, which feels bold but not aggressive.

Though the real beauty is in the innovative layout that offers fresh and practical solutions without going over the top. “Most of the time on superyachts the main salon takes up a lot of space but is rarely used,” Vallebona said in a release. “So I brought the living area outside, reduced the size of the dining room, and put a smaller TV lounge with its own AV rack room and the main exterior dining table on the upper deck aft.”

Courtesy of Tankoa

This emphasis on the outdoors is extended throughout each of the vessel’s levels. The open transom and terraced aft deck ensure there are no visual barriers between the guests and the sea. Meanwhile, the sundeck—which spans at least half the length of the hull—provides ample space for sun loungers to catch their rays. When it’s time for a dip, seafarers can take their pick from the asymmetrical swimming pool located by the stern, a second pool situated on the sundeck or the jacuzzi which sits forward.

Meanwhile, the gargantuan interior can accommodate 12 guests across four cabins, a VIP suite and a master suite. Situated on the main deck forward, the epic 300-square-foot master suite comes complete with its own lobby, office, walk-through wardrobe and ensuite bathroom. Elsewhere on the vessel, guests will find the requisite luxury amenities, like a fire pit, gym, jet skis, tenders, a cinema and the all-important bar.

Powered by two Caterpillar 3512 engines, the chic silver superyacht can climb to a top speed of 16.5 knots and cover some 4,500 nautical miles when sailing at a more leisurely 12 knots.

Check out more images of the new TLV62 concept below:

Courtesy of Tankoa

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R&R in The Great Outdoors: 3 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Living Space

outdoor living

As Americans increasingly appreciate the therapeutic benefits of nature, they’re putting more thought and effort into creating beautiful, comfortable and functional living areas outside their own homes.

These days, such outdoor havens are considered valuable home extensions rather than underutilized corners of your yard. More than 70 percent of U.S. households now incorporate outdoor living spaces, reports one survey, and nearly 70 percent use those areas at least weekly in season.

A favorite material for such havens is Western Red Cedar, a stunning and fragrant wood species that incorporates beautifully into decks, porches, furniture and other functional elements of your home.

Not surprisingly, Western Red Cedar has many fans in the construction world. Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan of HGTV’s “Colin and Justin’s Home Heist” recently broadcast an online episode featuring the building of a lakeside cabin pergola that features the finely grained wood. “It smells incredible,” notes Ryan. “Honestly, you are transported to the center of a forest … it feels escapist, it feels luxurious and it looks amazing. If you brought lots of plastic or man-made materials into this environment, it would just be wrong.”

The unique characteristics of the sought-after cedar allow it to weather into a gorgeous silver patina even as it resists rot, decay and insects. Further, the durable wood is a dream to work with because it’s lightweight, lays flat, stays straight and is free of pitch and resin. Bonus: The forests harvested for the wood are carefully and sustainably replanted.

Dreaming of a private, well-appointed outdoor space where your family and guests can relax while enjoying nature? Consider how these other suggestions might also help put those wheels in motion.

* Cover your bases: Make your space easier to use through the seasons by adding a gazebo, pergola, pavilion or three-season porch that can protect you, your guests and your furnishings from sun or rain. Consider draping curtains or netting that can be pulled back at will, allowing greater privacy and/or protection from bugs. Ideally, your new oasis will merge the best of both worlds, bringing the comforts of home outside while still offering the benefits of fresh air, fragrant breezes, sunshine, birdsong and positive interactions with flora and fauna.

* Eat, drink and be merry: The old adage about guests gravitating toward the room that has the food? It’s absolutely true, and incorporating cooking into your outdoor haven can lend a fun and informal entertaining element that just can’t be replicated indoors. Options for equipment include grills, smokers, pizza ovens, fireplaces, bars or full kitchen set-ups with ovens, sinks, refrigerators and prep areas. Make sure to choose weather-resistant finishes for everything, install effective lighting and make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating for foodie friends.

McCallister notes on his show how rewarding it can feel to transform unused outdoor areas into havens of fun and relaxation, “transforming dead space into valuable life space.” That same feeling can be achieved by do-it-yourselfers who embark on their own outdoor projects.

“Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures … and the homeowner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space,” notes Audra Slinkey in a recent report by the National Association of Realtors. “Today’s yards are multi-functional and serve to entertain, lounge and maximize lot square footage.”

It’s beautiful, it’s practical and it’s easy to use. Western Red Cedar can be an ideal building material for your next home improvement project. For more information about the building material and its guest appearance on “Colin and Justin’s Home Heist,” check out

Source: (BPT) –

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5 Common Problems Contractors Can Correct With Outdoor Living Projects | Unilock

outdoor living

5 Common Problems Contractors Can Correct With Outdoor Living Projects

Issues such as erosion, drainage, and a lack of privacy can greatly detract from the aesthetic and enjoyment of your landscape and outdoor living spaces. If these common landscape issues are stopping you from enjoying your patio, pool deck or softscape, here are ways a Unilock Authorized Contractor can resolve them for you:

Erosion is a common problem for properties with sloping or hilly terrain. Often a slope doesn’t even have to be all that steep for erosion to become an issue. Erosion occurs when rainwater washes away the fertile topsoil where plants and grass thrive, leaving unsightly bare patches in its wake. Because of this, erosion can quickly become a significant issue. The fewer plants there are to hold the topsoil in place, the faster the soil erodes, leaving even fewer plants to hold the soil in place and so on. Erosion can also have a knock-on effect, affecting the stability of the soil and can even causing damage to hardscape areas.

To correct this issue, a Unilock Authorized Contractor may suggest incorporating a retaining wall system into your landscape design. This may take the form of a few simple low walls, such as terracing built using U-Cara Multi-Face, or a more heavy-duty solution in the form of a Concord Wall retaining wall to contain large amounts of soil.

Concord Wall is an effective solution for extreme erosion because of its extreme durability and built-in setback design that automatically forms the correct slope. This wall unit is also available in tapered units, which allow contractors to create curved retaining walls that follow the natural contours of the landscape. This is ideal for stabilizing large swaths of the landscape at a time and can help to maintain a natural feel.

Poor Drainage

Erosion and drainage issues often go hand in hand, and a property that is prone to erosion is likely to be suffering from poor drainage as well. While erosion is caused by rainwater flowing over parts of the landscape and causing damage, poor drainage results in water pooling on flat surfaces such as lawns and hardscapes. This can cause damage to these areas and even result in damage to the foundations of your home. There are a number of ways that drainage issues can be corrected by a Unilock Authorized Contractor, from installing French drains and sumps, to simple surface channel drains.

Another option is to opt for permeable pavers for your hardscapes. These pavers allow water to flow rapidly through their jointing spaces, and allow water to return to natural underground sources. Not only is this better for the environment than directing rainwater into public storm drains, it can also help to keep your patio, pool deck and driveway cool in the summer and ice-free in the winter. Unilock offers a number of attractive permeable pavers that can be used to create stunning hardscapes, such as Town Hall, Tribeca Cobble, Thornbury, and Thornbury Smooth, each offering a unique appearance and the opportunity to complement your design theme. Permeable pavers can also be accented with regular pavers, such as Brussels Block, for added visual interest.

Unstable Soil

While unstable soil may be due to erosion, your location can have a lot to do with the type of soil on your property. Sandy soil, particularly, can pose an obstacle to an inexperienced contractor, and can result in shifting pavers and a heaving hardscape. However, a Unilock Authorized Contractor will be able to guard against these issues by ensuring a strong and stable base for your hardscapes.

One method a Unilock Authorized Contractor may use to stabilize the ground beneath a hardscape is to use Unilock DriveGrid System in the construction of your driveway, pool deck or patios. This triangular system redistributes forces in 360 degrees, stabilizing both the subsoil and the base aggregate. This prevents issues such as settling and rutting. The Unilock DriveGrid can also help to reduce the thickness of a hardscape’s base, thereby allowing you to save money on materials.

A Lack of Privacy

A lack of privacy can significantly reduce your enjoyment of your outdoor living spaces. Fortunately, with Unilock wall units, this is an easy fix for a Unilock Authorized Contractor. Unilock wall units allow the construction of attractive privacy walls that will block out your neighbors’ view of your patio or pool deck. Raised plant beds are another privacy solution, giving plantings additional height to shield you from the wind and nosey neighbors. Whether you opt for the rustic appeal of Rivercrest Wall , the charming timeworn aesthetic of Brussels Dimensional System or Estate Wall, or the sleek contemporary appearance of Lineo Dimensional Stone, your privacy is assured.

Inadequate Accessibility

Ensuring that outdoor living areas are both accessible from the home and to one another is important for encouraging frequent use of your backyard. This kind of accessibility is also crucial for enjoying one’s time outdoors and allowing outdoor cooking and dining to be as unencumbered as possible. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help make your outdoor entertaining a smooth process by incorporating wide walkways constructed from safe, non-slip pavers such as Umbriano or Richcliff from Unilock.

If your family includes elderly members or members with limited mobility, accessibility is naturally a priority for you. Special considerations can be made in the design of your outdoor areas, and walkways can be constructed from large, smooth pavers, such as Beacon Hill Smooth XL. While smooth and providing an even, level surface, Beacon Hill Smooth remains non-slip and safe, ideal for use with walkers and wheelchairs.

Accessibility also applies to areas such as plant beds that need access for maintenance, or simply to enjoy the plantings from close up. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help to ensure this by adding stepping stone paths in your plant beds using premium-quality Natural Stone slabs from Unilock.

The title image features a permeable Town Hall patio with Brussels Block accents and Brussels Dimensional System verticals.

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Types of Outdoor Living Spaces – Brooklyn Berry Designs

outdoor living

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Many people consider their outdoor living spaces to be just as important as their indoor ones. In fact, some families spend more time outdoors grilling, hanging out by the pool or lounging on their decks than they do inside their homes. No matter what type of outdoor living space you want to create, there are plenty of types and features to choose from. Additionally, there are various companies, such as Softwoods Adelaide, available that can assist you with designing your spaces or provide you with the materials and tips that you need to do it yourself.


Pergolas give you the ability to create outdoor spaces that are private and protected. Usually, pergolas are custom-designed to fit your home. However, you may also purchase pre-manufactured ones and simply place them where you want them. Some people like to place their pergolas directly against their homes and connect them with decks, whereas others like to place them in a random location on their landscape. Where you want to place your pergola is all about personal preference, but pergolas certainly make charming additions to homes and landscapes.

Perhaps one of the most popular types of outdoor living spaces are decks. Many people have decks that connect to their homes and are accessible through sliding glass doors. Others have decks around swimming pool and spa areas. Still others have decks that are a combination of both and connect the swimming area with the home. Decks may be enclosed or uncovered, and they can be built in virtually any fashion that the homeowner desires. Decks allow you to expand your outdoor living space as much as you want it and get you up off the ground so that you can enjoy the conditions outside no matter what the weather, even when the ground is wet and soggy.

The type of outdoor living space that is best for a home is influenced, in part, by the homeowner’s personal sense of style as well as his or her budget. For instance, some more elaborate types of pergolas and decks can cost more than simpler models. Some people might simply prefer simpler designs. No matter what type of outdoor living space you choose to invest in, selecting one that complements your home’s design is essential to creating an advantageous space. For instance, if your home doesn’t feature any sliding glass doors, then you might need to consider creating a deck that accommodates a different type of access.

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