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.
With the holidays upon us, we at Creative Living wanted to deviate from design advice and product to share with you those aspects of our little urban oasis in Denver for which we are most thankful and share with you a few of our favorite things.
MICHELINE // Mom to two, active teen-aged boys and a small business owner, anything that can take the edge off is welcomed. Running water – the look of it, the sound of it, the feel of it – makes Micheline happy, particularly the hand-carved stone fountains by Greg Roberson which are exclusive to Creative Living.
Micheline is thankful to be in the heart of the Santa Fe Arts district of Denver where she can help local and aspiring artists ensure that their work is seen by displaying it in our showroom. Unlike a gallery, we position artwork in conjunction with a vignette or outdoor setting to show clients how they might incorporate artwork into their own space. Micheline is fond of modern, funky sculpture and painting and as a big fan of street art, she is especially fond of the various graffiti exhibits in this neighborhood (except when they occur, without invitation, on the exterior walls of the store).
STEPHANIE // Stephanie is grateful for the Creative Living team and their efforts to make sure every potential client is given the time and expertise to help them with their outdoor project. Regardless of whether they make a purchase, her sincere hope is that each person walks out of the showroom being creatively inspired and having learned something to assist in the creation of their dream space.
Another item on Stephanie’s gratitude list is the quantity of customizable options and short lead times we have on our furniture lines here at Creative Living. A one-of-a-kind piece is the ultimate way to personalize your outdoor space. When planning and designing a space, having over 150 top-choice Sunbrella fabrics help us to appreciate each client’s style and finish a space as they envisioned.
SANDY // As the primary caretaker of the showroom and courtyard, Sandy is always tickled to make her way into work. The building (a former auto-body shop) and the courtyard create a Zen environment, in spite of sharing a lot with a highly-trafficked convenience store and a multitude of colorful characters. At work, Sandy arranges, displays, organizes, prunes, edits and cleans so that our furniture, water features, fire pits, planters and other products are seen in their very best light. Why is it so much more fun to do those tasks at work than it is do them at home???
Also, on Sandy’s grateful list is the warranty by one of our premier furniture lines Telescope Casual. In a world of one, two and three-year warranties, Telescope Casual provides a 15-year residential warranty from a company with the same family ownership for more than 115 years. It is a pleasure to say ‘yes’ if a Telescope client finds themselves in need of attention from their outdoor furniture manufacturer.
We are all truly grateful for your support this past year and look forward to your visit in 2020! Happy Holidays!
WINTERIZE YOUR OUTDOOR FOUNTAIN
Creative Living is a proud supplier of outdoor fountains constructed of a high-density, cast stone mix that is strong and durable. We recommend that our clients perform regular maintenance throughout the year but winterization is especially crucial. It will help your fountain withstand snow, wind and freeze/thaw cycles.
- The most important step in winterization is draining the fountain. Prior to freezing temperatures, empty all water either by directing the pump to the exterior of the basin or by bailing the water out with a scoop and absorbing the remainder with a large sponge.
- Drain the hoses and other fountain components such as finials so that rain and melted snow cannot accumulate in the basin(s) of the fountain. Remove debris from around the pump including leaves, dirt and algae and dry completely. Ideally, remove the pump and store inside. If removal is difficult, wrap the pump with insulating material such as foam or a thick towel and secure with tape.
- If possible, raise the base of the fountain slightly so it does not freeze and stick to the ground below.
- Cover or wrap the fountain in an appropriately sized weather-proof cover to prevent moisture from accumulating in the basin. Creative Living sells fountain covers by Campania. Made of breathable Tyvek, the cover allows trapped moisture to escape but neither rain nor dust can get in. The locking drawstring will pull the cover securely around the bottom of the fountain. Use of an authentic Campania cover – versus a tarp – ensures the one year product warranty.
- Check the fountain periodically to confirm that the cover is secure and water is not accumulating in any part.
If you’re a Colorado resident, you know that autumn is the epitome of the outdoor season. If you happen to live elsewhere, don’t despair. Just because the days are getting shorter, it doesn’t mean that patio living is finished for the year. You can relish your outdoor space well into fall by doing just a few things.
The first path we shovel after snowfall is from the backdoor to the grill, but you can do better. A patio oven, a smoker or a full-on kitchen overlooking a mountain view - or even your backyard fence – makes meal preparation a pleasure.
Light the Sky
Regardless of whether you’re beneath them or just looking at them from afar, overhead string lights indicate there’s a party going on around here, and they extend the night-time view, making the transition between light and dark less stark. Smaller, more focused accent lighting creates pockets of warmth, bringing coziness and comfort to a seating or dining area, and they cast an attractive glow on every face.
Snuggle Up to a Fire
Nothing says fall like an outdoor fire, either shared with friends or enjoyed in solitude. A gas-powered fire is easiest, especially when it’s controlled with the flip of a switch, but a propane tank or wood fire are just as lovely and are easy to accommodate in most outdoor environments.
Prolong Your Planters
Most folks know that Pansies and Mums are the go-to for seasonal color in the fall. Highly textured plants also work beautifully – think ornamental grasses with tall plumes, flowering Kale and perennials with coarse seed pods whose silhouettes are striking and sturdy, even when they turn brown after a hard frost.
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.