The Outdoor Living and Landscape Show gives homeowners ideas for landscaping, gardening, yard, and other outdoor projects. Learn from the…
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The Outdoor Living and Landscape Show gives homeowners ideas for landscaping, gardening, yard, and other outdoor projects. Learn from the…
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At Home Infatuation Blog we want to provide you with answers, alternatives, and inspiration to fuel your imagination, so you can dream, design and live an outdoor lifestyle that is unmistakably you.
Home Infatuation Blog is a companion
to the site HomeInfatuation.com, a
source for luxury outdoor living furnishings and accessories for designers, architects, and the discerning homeowner.
Check out these Belgard recipes for refreshing New Year’s Eve cocktails. Ring in the new year with our specialty champagne cocktails. Read to learn more.
So many dream of the day they can have an outdoor living space. While we are daydreaming, budgeting and getting a plan together to make that dream a reality, let’s look at what’s on trend in outdoor living. Outdoor Kitchens Folding Doors Fire Features Ceiling Fans Retractable Screens Water Feature Retractable Screens We specialize in …
Contemporary rustic design patio rustic with outdoor living contemporary rustic contemporary rustic
We’re Chuao Chocolatier, a San Diego-based chocolatier known for our innovatively delicious chocolate bars, and we’re excited to share our recipe for Homemade S’mores with the Belgard family. We know the name of this recipe sounds ridiculous – of course all s’mores are homemade. Is there really any other way to s’more? Actually there is! We have a fun portable version of s’mores that you can eat anytime, anywhere, with no flame required: it’s Oh My S’mores! chocolate bar, and yes it’s delicious.
BUT we’re here to tell you about a different kind of s’more – one where the graham crackers and marshmallows are all homemade from scratch.
Oh yeah, we’re going there.
It sounds difficult, especially if you aren’t one to enjoy baking on the regular. But we promise, it’s so delicious that you will never want to use store-bought ingredients again! Plus, it’s so easy. Yes, homemade marshmallows are easy. You barely have to do anything! And you get soft, sticky, sweet marshmallows as a result.
Ok, so now you have your base layer and your sticky, smoky layer. Next you need a rich, melty layer to make everything come together. We have a few pretty delicious options for you (though you really can’t go wrong with any of our chocolate stuffed into a s’more).
Oh My S’mores!: It’s basically doubling down on your s’more game. The most fun part about this is the marshmallows, because they stay slightly soft and chewy, instead of ooey gooey like the blazed up marshmallows. The texture is killer and the creamy milk chocolate makes for the perfect combo.
Sprinkle Dreams: Imaging combining a trip to your favorite ice cream shop with an gooey and delectable s’more, all in one fabulous bite! The sprinkles in this chocolate bar keep things colorful and fun, while the bits of waffle cone and hazelnuts add a delicious crunch that brings the whole s’mores experience together!
Firecracker: Get ready for a totally unique s’mores experience! Rich dark chocolate makes this sumptuous and heavenly, but then a surprising kick of chipotle tickles your throat while popping candy explodes in your mouth. Trust us, you’re going to want to try this one! It’s like a party in your mouth.
Joy-Filled Caramels: This is NEXT LEVEL s’mores. If you want to make your s’mores totally and completely indulgent, throw a Joy-Filled Caramel in your s’more and let the rich, sweet caramel take your taste buds to flavor town.
There are countless other fun s’mores recipes to create with our chocolate – what would you try first? Or is there another chocolate bar you’re checking out? Well don’t be shy, tell us in the comments! And then go ahead and give it a try – you won’t ever regret eating this deliciousness.
If you enjoyed this recipe, head over to the Chuao recipe page and try your hand at all the fun and delicious treats we have there!
COMING SOON: National S’mores Day is coming up on August 10! Come back to the Belgard blog on that day to celebrate with us, and you’ll have a chance to enter to win a Belgard fire pit.
Homecrest Outdoor Living – Homecrest serves style-driven consumers seeking to complement their homes’ interior designs and create a seamless flow between indoors and out. – Homecrest Outdoor Living is extremely pleased to announce that Piereth Sales As
Homecrest Outdoor Living – Homecrest serves style-driven consumers seeking to complement their homes’ interior designs and create a seamless flow between indoors and out. – Homecrest Outdoor Living is excited to announce another industry first: the new 5 year residen
These grills are some of the best on the market, which will make for some of the most memorable and delectable summers you’ve ever had
Various paver patterns can be used as an accent to accomplish a number of outdoor living design goals. From simple borders to elaborate inlaid designs, incorporating an accent of a differing paver style, texture, shape or color can add a creative touch to your outdoor spaces to improve both the form and function.
Whether an outer border or an inlaid border, bordering a paver field with a contrasting shape, color and/or texture can really make your pavers pop.
Several Belgard paver styles have coordinating circle kits that can be used to create simple or complex designs.
Create a dramatic entrance to your home through the use of design accents. You can do this by using multiple paver styles, or simply by using contrasting colors, shapes and/or laying patterns of the same paver style.
Creating an inlaid faux rug design reinforces the outdoor room concept and helps define the space.
Paver patterns and borders can be used to indicate the transition from one outdoor room to another.
Borders and varying patterns can be used to interject creative touches here and there, which can add visual interest to a hardscape design.
Paver patterns can also be used to create intricate and creative designs. Keep in mind, however, that these types of designs require additional cutting and a highly skilled contractor.
For more on paver patterns, read our Trends in Paver Laying Patterns blog.
Next week’s blog: Fall is the perfect time for cooking outdoors, especially when you have this foolproof recipe for smoked brisket.
Today only 11/28, save up to 40% on Keter’s Outdoor Living, Gardening & Outdoor Furniture Selection! You can find some great deals on chairs, benches, patio coolers, shelving units, storage sheds (for Christmas decorations?!), planters, and more! This is a great time to start thinking and planning your outdoor spring set up.
We talk a lot about pergolas and retractable canopies and the benefits they offer the outdoor living enthusiast. However, the process that brings one to the point of actually planning a pergola with a retractable canopy has usually started long before, when the word pergola was an unfamiliar one, and the grim reality of sitting uncomfortably on a deck or patio, putting the antiperspirant to the ultimate test, pushes the point to a decision: It’s time to do something with the backyard!
From that moment on, the process of researching starts with going online, looking at backyard outdoor living images, perhaps visiting local landscape designer websites, thinking about how much the images you see will cost. To get more hands-on info you make a few visits to home shows, flower and garden shows, and you purchase some glossy magazines to fill your mind’s eye with the ideas that will gel into a plan over time.
For those of you in the process of planning an outdoor living space, with enough research behind you to have an inkling of what you want, make sure you cover the big picture design points before delving down to the decisions about what type of barbeque you want or the type of furniture you want to make the ultimate outdoor living style expression.
Let’s start with the big picture which is, what will you use your outdoor living space for? The intended use will give you the direction you need to get on track to the ultimate outdoor living plan. Will you be using the space to entertain, or for solitude and privacy. Kids don’t like outdoor living unless it includes a pool. Is that part of what’s needed to make the Staycation popular?
With these things in mind, how large an area is there to work with? If you have a large backyard, you may want to lay out the space you would improve with some markers and walk among them to make sure the openness and spaciousness you expect will result. Keep some rules of thumb in mind for the budget. Get costs per square foot from local contractors for decking, concrete and stone patio surfaces and even pools. They may resist saying ‘it depends’ but press for a number that is representative of the range you are in. Tell them you are either budget conscious, looking for best value, or ready to indulge and get that budgetary per square foot figure to work around. Being the resident pergola canopy expert, here is what you can figure for the price of comfort and style provided by a retractable pergola canopy system:
Pergola (Cedar or Vinyl): $30 – $40/sq ft. Plan for $35.
Pergola Canopy: $19 – $25/sq ft. Plan for $21.
In both cases, the larger you go, the better the price per square foot. We all know our high school math, but regardless, it’s easy to think a 12X12 is 20% more expensive than a 10X10 when it’s really 44% bigger. I know this because I’ve seen enough expressions of surprise when a 10X10 project takes the path of ‘What the heck… let’s go 12X12’.
This isn’t electronics 101 (integrated circuits for the techies out there). It’s practicality 201! When you know what you are going to use your outdoor living space for, and you’ve defined the area that the project will occupy, the integration of that space is the next step. Here are the points to consider:
Where is the traffic coming from and going to? The sliding patio door is one obvious one. How about the side gate for pool party guests? My friend’s back yard has a door from the side of his garage that gets used more than the patio doors (what with all the bicycles, dirt bikes and workshop in there…) So plan for where people will come and go from. Those of you backing on to a ravine or greenbelt may have a rear gate.
Where will the power need to be? Outdoor lighting, motorized retractable canopies (couldn’t resist the plug), retractable awnings, and outdoor kitchens all require power. Make sure the electrician is involved early in the process so your last minute detail doesn’t involve trenching for power out to the pergola. You may also need a service upgrade beyond the usual 200 amps.
The same goes for water features and outdoor kitchens when it comes to water supply. The spigot off the house is one thing, but you’ll be trenching to get the same thing at the bar-b if it is away from the house. Make sure it’s an early consideration.
Make sure your plans don’t interfere with the rights of neighbors. It’s important to know your property rights and lot line setbacks (and maximum allowable fence heights, etc) even before you call in the designers. That way when you sit down with your designer, your outdoor living plans are already taking bylaw limitations into account. Whether or not you advise neighbors of your plans in advance is entirely up to you and dependent on that maximum fence height.
Fences are one privacy option, but a more pleasant and aesthetically stylish way to say ‘privacy please’ is a pergola. The canopy overhead protects from sun and rain, but if you’re in an urban environment, it can also block the view of those looking down from their 10th floor balcony. For those of you dealing with prying eyes on the ground, pergola curtains are a stylish and sophisticated way to say MYOB. Pergola curtains add an extra measure of style to go along with the practicality of privacy.
You’ve covered all the bases, dotted all the I’s, crossed all the T’s, checked off all the boxes, and with that determined your budget. Now it’s time to spend it! And now it’s time to invest in your needs before your wants. Sorry to be the party pooper.It would be great to take the budget and go to the outdoor living one-stop-shop and buy all the cool furniture, lighting, barbeques with a kitchen sink, and potted plants and plantings. But all those things can be purchased any time, upgraded any time, and are subject to the whims of style all the time. Let’s look at the budget items that will be enjoyed and lived with for 15 to 20 years first. Those items are in the hardscape, comprised of the patio, deck, pergola, fireplace, kitchen, pool and whatever else needs a trade with tools to do.
Among those items are a few that are 100% no holds barred required for outdoor living. They are the patio/deck, and the retractable awning or pergola with retractable shade canopy. Clearly, the surface on which you will enjoy the outdoors is necessary. The choices are many and this is an investment that should not be compromised. After five years will the decking be flat and free of mold and mildew? Will the interlocking be flat and free of low spots collecting water? Will the concrete be free of cracks and draining properly? Make these elements of your warranty from your contractor!
The next point is environmental control, AKA sun and rain protection. Where will you be spending your time? How about the guests for events? You don’t want to be dependent on perfect weather for your enjoyment, and a sunny day isn’t really perfect weather for outdoor living unless you have shade. Make sure you can control the sun with a retractable canopy or awning. This is too critical to express in words so here are a few reminders:
Last summer (2012) was the hottest ever recorded and UV is now known to be a real danger to health. Make your outdoor living space one that can be enjoyed to the fullest with sun protection. That means a shade pergola or an awning.
If a pool is on the list, these items will be settings around the pool and no less important to the long term use of the outdoor living space.
So you’ve got the surface selected, you’ve budgeted for all or part of it to be protected from the sun (and rain if you get a fixed roof or a pergola with canopy) and what’s left over is yours to enjoy any way you like. Outdoor furniture, fireplaces, water features, lighting and yes barbeques are on the fun to spend list. Enjoy!
When I became a homeowner, one of my goals was to make every single space liveable. Every room was to have a purpose and every room is meant to be enjoyed. That plan didn’t only include the indoors but, the outdoors too. If you have the same goal, read on to see how you can create the perfect outdoor living space!
Freestanding structures that offer a limited amount of shade contributes to the aesthetic of an outdoor space. They can be used to distinguish the function of a particular area and are particularly useful for outdoor dining or lounge sections. Add outdoor curtains for a dreamy yet elegant ambiance. Choose from soft voile to rugged burlap and in any color you’d like. Surrounding it with natural stones can earthy richness to the space.
In order to have a perfect outdoor living space for everyone to enjoy, you’re going to need a spot where people can relax. A good option is choosing durable and comfortable couches and chairs. Ones that are weather-resistant. Also, picking some vintage pieces adds character. For example, a nice shabby chic table makes a statement.
You can also add modern touches. They can balance out a rigid structure or introduce an element of abstract design. Steel, chrome and polished stone are great options.
Now that you have a gorgeous place to sit down and relax, why not add a screen? Whether you want to host a fun family movie night outside or have an outdoor party featuring the big game, the Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs are ready. Can you imagine watching TV outside, how cool is that?
The Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs are designed specifically for outdoor use. They are engineered to survive just about any climate in North America, resisting the harsh effects of rain, snow, dust, insects, and extreme temperatures.
The SunBriteTV Veranda is a family of weatherproof televisions designed for full-shade outdoor spaces, like covered patios and screened-in porches.
It comes standard with a direct-lit 4K UHD screen with HDR, which is up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs for improved viewing in brighter outdoor environments. It’s more durable, safer, and a better experience than using an indoor TV outdoors. Plus, no matter the size of your space, the Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs are available in 43”, 55”, 65” and 75”.
Now, the best seat in the house is outside, right?
If you are planning to use your outdoor space as much as possible, you’re going to need lighting. Especially if you plan on enjoying it into the evening. Lighting creates ambiance and can make a big difference in the feel of your patio. A popular choice is LED string lights. They can “lighten” up the mood at any time of the year. Whether you choose vintage bistro lights or bright white, they will make your space come to life.
An open fire adds coziness to any space. When outdoors, it can extend your time outside. Not only does it provide warmth, but it also sets a romantic ambiance. Plus, when the weather starts getting cooler, it’s great to snuggle in with some blankets and watch a good movie. You can even add a pizza oven for another unique component to your perfect outdoor living space!
Make the best seat and space in your home outside! Often times, we focus on the indoor part of our homes and we neglect the beautiful space we have outside.
With beautiful and ambient lighting, comfortable furniture, a designated space, and a gorgeous outdoor TV, the SunBrite | Veranda Series Outdoor 4K UHD TVs with HDR from Best Buy–you’re good to go!
You can now enjoy your house from the inside out and enjoy it for year-round for many years to come!
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Most people would agree that despite the old saying, things are not necessarily the same all over. Whether we’re talking about clothes, food or interior design, what’s popular in New York isn’t always as popular in the Colorado or Florida. The same is true for hardscapes. As the leading manufacturer of pavers and landscape wall products, Belgard knows this better than any other hardscapes brand. Looking at our regional sales over the last three years, we can offer insights on which styles and colors are rising in popularity in different areas of the country and which styles are currently less en vogue.
When looking at which styles of pavers are trending, we looked at regional preferences in face textures, pavers shapes and color families. Nationally, the trends lean towards smooth-faced pavers in large-format square or rectangular shapes in “greige” color families (mixture of grays and tans). However, regional preferences vary regarding these various style attributes.
We examined preferences regarding paver face texture and divided the concrete pavers into three different categories: smooth, natural stone and antiqued (or tumbled). Belgard porcelain pavers are available in a various interpretations of stone and wood grains, but they have a very different look than concrete and so were placed in their own “face” category. Introduced in 2015, interest in Belgard porcelain pavers continues to rise nationally, but they are most popular in the Northeast and Central regions. Nationally, smooth-faced pavers are the hottest trend but are most popular in the Southeast and West. Natural stone textures and antiqued pavers are still popular in those regions, too, but are not the prevailing trend.
Nationally, the hottest trending paver shapes are larger format pavers in modular patterns. Regionally, we see some variations on those trends. Rectangular and plank style pavers are gaining ground — a trend that is likely to continue to grow — but modular shapes are still the prevailing trend in the Northeast and Southeast. Traditional brick and cobble pavers are still popular in most of the country, and there will likely always be those who prefer that classic, timeless look; however, this style is losing a bit of favor in the Central region. Irregular shapes were extremely popular just a few years ago, but that trend has declined a bit over the last couple of years.
Gray color tones are definitely sweeping the nation as the most popular trend in hardscapes, especially when combined with tans to produce blended tones that pair well with both cool and warm color families. Black and dark charcoal are trending as hot accent colors, particularly in Northeast and Southeast. Reds are definitely losing favor across the board, but browns and tans are still popular in certain areas, particularly the Southeast and West. Gold tones are comparatively new to paver design and are rising in popularity in most regions. Another interesting trend is a spillover from the monochromatic white and light cream schemes of the interior design world. A popular outdoor living trend is to create designs that flow from the interior to the exterior of the home, a movement that has created an increase in the popularity of white and light cream pavers. This look is particularly easy to achieve with porcelain pavers, which are stain resistance (important for maintaining that crisp white look) and can mimic the look of interior flooring.
We divided wall styles into two categories: face texture and wall pattern. Nationally, the prevailing trends center on walls that are constructed using a contemporary modular pattern in color tones that complement the paver field. However, face texture preferences, in particular, vary widely by region.
For many years, the prevailing trend in landscape walls was the rough-hewn split-stone look. This trend is still the most popular in the Southeast and Central regions. However, the more tailored chiseled-stone look is on the rise, especially in the West. Tumbled stone offers a more contemporary look and is rising in popularity, as well, especially in the Northeast.
A random wall pattern offers the old-world look of a hand-built stone wall. For many years, this was the prevailing trend in landscape walls, and is still popular in the Central region. The tailored linear look had gained in popularity in recent years and is still very popular in the Central and West regions. However, the most popular trend, by far, is the modular pattern, which adds a more contemporary look to any face style.
Fire pit patio designs continue to rise in popularity, and with good reason. They add a fun and relaxing element to any outdoor space. The latest fire pit trends involve incorporating multi-dimensional patio design to create the ultimate backyard haven. Below are 10 dimensional fire pit patio designs that would instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot in your backyard.
According to a recent national survey of landscape architects, built-in seating is one of the top trends in outdoor living. This fire pit patio incorporates built-in seat walls, yet also leaves room for optional patio furniture. The design also incorporates permeable pavers on both the patio flooring and the seat ledges, ensuring that rainwater instantly infiltrates into the hardscapes.
This terraced patio incorporates both manufactured stone and natural stone to create a rustic look that coordinates well with the picturesque mountainside view.
This design takes the natural look a step further by not only using natural stone as a landscape accent, but as a integrated element of the walls and fire pit. The surrounding landscape wall functions as a way to define the outdoor room, but also provides a ledge for additional seating.
This sunken patio design with fire fit is ideal for sloping properties. By terracing off a sloped yard with retaining walls, this homeowner was able to emulate the effect of a sunken living room off of the pool deck, creating an intimate fireside gathering spot.
This terraced fire pit patio offers built-in enclosed seating on three sides, but leaves the fourth wall completely open for foot traffic. The angular design adds a formal touch to balance the rough-hewn textures of the hardscapes.
Natural greenery creates a virtual wall to block the wind and create an intimate atmosphere for this terraced fire pit patio. A retaining wall adds a finished look and provides a ledge for additional built-in seating.
The low profile of the fire pit makes the seat wall the focal point of this patio design. The elegant arched wall is flanked with columns to create a striking look. The sunken level surrounding the fire pit creates a ledge that’s the perfect height for small children to sit and enjoy the fire.
The decorative wall surrounding this fire pit uses Mediterranean design influences to help define the perimeter of the patio. The multi-level terraced design adds to the stylish look.
Sweeping arches define the separate “rooms” of this multi-dimensional outdoor living space, tying everything together into one cohesive and flowing design. Built-in low-voltage hardscape lighting adds ambiance and adds a safety factor for each of the level changes.
This fire pit patio is a unique design idea that connects to the outdoor kitchen and provides an excellent place for family and guests to gather while the outdoor chef prepares dinner. Paver designs help define the transition from one outdoor “room” to the next.
The outdoor living room has been one of the fastest growing trends in outdoor design over the last few years. When considering the popularity of this trend, the question arises: What’s the difference between a patio and an outdoor living room? The answer is simple: Livability.
An outdoor living room is more than just a grouping of chairs with a coffee table. It’s a cozy and inviting space that evokes a sense of relaxation, a space where people want to spend time both alone and enjoying the company of others. To achieve this effect, it’s important to apply interior design techniques to creating your outdoor space.
With that in mind, what tends to be the centerpiece of most interior living rooms? The answer, of course, is a fireplace. The reason for this is multifaceted. Historically, a fireplace would be added to the living room to heat the home. But as this need diminished in necessity over the years, the popularity of an interior fireplace did not. That is because the warmth that exudes from a fireplace is not only physical in nature, but emotional, as well. Spending time in front of a fire with a loved one often creates a deeper connection with that person on an instinctual or primal level. Fire, good.
That’s why one of the easiest ways to create an emotional sense of warmth in an outdoor living room is to add a fire feature, which has the added benefit of physical warmth during the colder months, allowing you to use your outdoor living room year round. Another benefit to fire features — like fireplaces, fire pits and fire tables — is that they appeal to people of all ages. When multiple generations gather around a fire pit, the generation gap disappears, and they can all relate to one another on a purely human level. It’s no wonder that fire pits have been on the top of the “must haves” list in outdoor design for the last several years.
When adding a fire feature to an outdoor living room, be sure to leave ample space for seating and traffic because it will instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot. If it’s a wood-burning fire feature, it will also need to be an adequate distance from any structures, as a safety precaution. In fact, some municipalities and HOA’s have specific regulations about this, so be sure and do your homework.
To complete your outdoor living room, add other interior design touches — such as tables, accent lighting, pillows, throws and other accessories. But be warned, once you create an inviting outdoor living room, get ready for company!
NEXT WEEK: Don’t let the frigid temperatures fool you. If you want your new pool to be ready for swimming season, it’s time to start planning now.
While supplies last, you’ll be able to score decorative outdoor pillows for over 60% off. The regular price on the pillows is $24.00 but you’ll pay just $10 each!
These pillows are available to purchase in-store OR online for store pick-up. No shipping options are available.