Your outdoor space can either add beauty to your home and bring people together, or simply be an area of burden and upkeep. If you’re keen to building the former, there are many creative ideas that can help make your outdoor living space a more pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere, and without spending a fortune. Below we share five of those ideas to help you create a better outdoor living space.
Outdoor patios are the perfect gathering space positioned just outside your home. Not only can patios be built using a wide variety of materials, ranging from wood to stone brick pavers, but patios can also help make your house appear bigger than it actually is. They offer many uses ranging from relaxation areas to hosting spaces. If you add the right furniture to the patio, you can create a second living room that caters to hosting gatherings, parties, and even outdoor picnics.
Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits
Like indoor fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits come available in different varieties ranging from gas to wood fired and coral limestone to bonfire pit designs. You can choose either style depending on the type of your house and the type of fuel you prefer. For those with large patio spaces, outdoor fireplaces add a layer of elegance and inviting warmth. Fire pits, however, are typically better for backyards and open spaces that call the homestead to join around the fire.
Other than adding beauty, outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are great at keeping you warm when it gets chilly. Not only do such improvements inspire conversations and gathers, but you can keep your guests warm when sitting on the patio. In addition, you can choose a multipurpose fireplace such as one that doubles as a grill to get more functionalities and add value to your investment. Or for something simple, consider outdoor fire pit kits that can be easily built and enjoyed in the same day.
Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75 percent of all U.S. households currently include an outdoor grill or smoker. However, that’s only part of the story. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning outdoor kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends.
Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating.
Multiple Cooking Surfaces
Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers, and wood-burning or gas ovens.
Over the last decade, outdoor fireplaces have continued to be a rising trend in outdoor living design. A fireplace provides an elegant focal point that visually transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. When planning an outdoor fireplace, there are a number of options to consider.
Custom-Build versus Modular Fireplace Units
Custom outdoor fireplaces can be built using a variety of masonry products, including nearly any Belgard retaining wall product. The benefit to a custom-built fireplace is that you have the design flexibility to create any size or style that suits you. Belgard also offers the Belgard Elements™ line of modular fireplaces that are pre-built in a factory setting, shipped in sections and installed with a pallet loader. The benefits are lower installation costs and a shorter construction window.
Use Interior Fireplace Design Principles
To enhance the “outdoor living room” feel, employ interior design techniques when designing your outdoor fireplace and surrounding patio. Examples include accessorizing the room or creating a faux rug in the paver design.
Research Local Building Codes
Codes will vary by municipality, but in general terms, gas-burning fireplaces have fewer restrictions and can typically be placed anywhere in a design, including directly against another structure. Wood-burning fireplaces typically need to be placed at least 10 feet from another structure. Some building codes require additional safety measures or restrict the use of wood-burning units altogether.
Built-in Outdoor Gas Fireplaces
An economical option that can typically be installed anywhere is a built-in gas fireplace, which can be built on the exterior of the home, on a porch or under a pavilion.
Think Outside the Box
When creating a custom build, consider how you want to use the space and work with your contractor to come with with creative solutions and ideas.
Consider Built-in Seating
Built-in seating is one of the leading trends in outdoor design and makes an excellent addition to an outdoor fireplace, adding both form and function to an outdoor room.
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This post was originally written and published on Belgard.com