What is better than a beautiful winter afternoon outdoors? A beautiful winter afternoon outdoors with a cocktail: fresh air, cold nose, warm heart! Enjoy outdoor living at its best cozied up to a roaring fire pit, relaxing in comfy modern outdoor furniture and sharing time with friends and family.
Whether you’re grilling, smoking, roasting, mixing, or just chatting while whipping up a snack on the patio, you can be sure that outdoor cooking has evolved. No longer are heavy, stone-clad, masonry structures your only stylistic options. Just as interior kitchens and dining areas have progressed from Old World, traditional styling to more sleek and contemporary spaces, the outdoor cooking environment has also expanded. Now you can select from an assortment of steel cabinetry, composite countertops and chic appliances that will stand up to the toughest weather conditions, and blend with your streamlined interior and architecture.
A cooking device is at the heart of your outdoor kitchen, and patio ovens are one of the ‘hottest’. This appliance is far more versatile than is original moniker of Pizza Oven. Fueled by wood, the Patio Oven by Hearthstone heats up to 750 degrees within 20 minutes and easily handles all manners of baking, braising and searing. A layer of ceramic fire insulation and multiple layers of fire bricks form the oven itself and a removable door helps regulate temperature. Either freestanding or perched atop a non-combustible countertop, this beauty is available in a mix of stainless steel and copper powder coating.
Another fun option new to the outdoor scene is social grilling, and this table by iBBQ – short for Interactive Barbecue – doesn’t disappoint. No longer is the chef relegated to one area while guests whoop it up in another. With a seating capacity of up to 8 people, the table includes a marine grade stainless steel body and frame, Tiger-wood surface and independently controlled burners so each guest can grill and dine together, at the same time.
Just like indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens can be minimal or expansive, depending on space and dollars available. Regardless of size, most outdoor cooking requires at least some staging or preparation area. Artisan Outdoor Kitchens will make sure that your kitchen is customized, well-designed, durable and stunning to look at.
In your wildest imagination, envision your ideal outdoor environment. Perhaps yours is a meditative space filled with planters and lush vegetation, ideal for quiet reflection, where a cushioned chaise or sectional takes center stage. Maybe your perfect patio is a sleek and contemporary pavilion overlooking the city lights, with outdoor cooking and dining configurations and a gas fire pit around which your guests can gather. If you can give a name to your stylistic preference, that will help you search for images of patios that will appeal to you: traditional, vintage, farmhouse, contemporary, eclectic.
Take stock of existing conditions to create a base map for your dream space. Locate and dimension doors and windows, and survey the elevation difference between indoors and outdoors to determine if you’ll need stairs or a multi-leveled terrace. Check the solar orientation of the area. Is it facing south and likely to get lots of light and heat, or is it north-facing and thus, shady and cool? Is there any existing vegetation such as trees or shrubs that can be incorporated into your overall design?
Visualize your use areas – lounging, dining, entertaining (maybe they can be combined) - to determine how your space will function. You can experiment with furniture layout by using on-hand pieces such as a card table and folding chairs. Use blue painter’s tape or sidewalk chalk to outline a fire pit or grilling area. Be sure to consider the following before construction begins:
- Electrical capability, including dedicated outlets for lighting, water features, cooking appliances, and audio visual equipment. Ensure that you have the capacity in your current electrical panel to accommodate your proposed outdoor features.
- Plumbing for irrigation, water feature or outdoor sink
- If a permanent fire pit or grill is in your plan, hire a certified plumber to set a gas or remote propane line and do the installation.
Once you’ve settled on a Conceptual Plan, you can fine-tune materials and finishes as well as landscape and furniture. You should expect your plan to evolve as you get more specific with your selections. Once you’re underway, don’t forget to accessorize with planters, toss pillows, and outdoor artwork which reflects your personality, as those are the items that will make the ideal patio space uniquely yours.
Creative Living is designed as a one-stop source for modern patio furnishings with complimentary design services. Our design professionals can help you recognize your style, lay out furniture, select colors and fabrics and arrange your patio décor.
Create privacy and add structure to your outdoor patio by using custom pieces of steel art panels and enjoy the space that truly reflects you. The custom steel panels will add a sculptural component to your outdoor space and will create a beautiful contrasting backdrop to the plant material next to it. Custom build steel trellises are another great way to add structure and create privacy to the space.
With the temperatures cooling down, extend the season with fall entertaining and gardening. Take advantage of cooler weather and make this October to remember outdoors!
Showcase the richness of a vibrant color in your Outdoor Decorating with Pumpkins, Mums and Pansies that are available during the fall season. Bring out lanterns and add some accessories, start your fire pit and enjoy the beauty of your outdoors.