All posts by Zak

Entertain Swimmers with a Swim-up Bar Counter

October 2, 2015

When lounging in a swimming pool under a hot sun, people often contemplate relaxing with a nice cold drink in hand. Some hotels and resorts have poolside service where servers bring drinks directly to people in the swimming pool. At most other places, getting a drink while in the pool would require someone to either emerge from the pool to approach the bar, or deliver an item from the bar to the pool. Spare this inconvenience by having a bar counter right at the pool that people can swim up to. Counters between the pool and kitchen, pavilions with televisions, and cabins with a swim-up deck make swimming more fun and social. When constructing a pool, consider the placement and factors that can allow the construction of a counter near the pool.

There are many factors to installing a counter, such as height from both sides of the counter surface, the space between submerged stools, and the wall surface below the counter because it should be smooth to prevent knee scraping. Underwater seats must be planned since a portable one usually is not suited for a pool’s surface, and may scratch the surface. Something as simple as a column seat with a pool ledge overhang will work as a counter. The location of the counter matters too, because if it is in the sun, the counter can get very hot. Using porous material for the paving, such as travertine, can reduce the temperature of the surface. Alternatively, have the pool be adjacent to an outdoor kitchen to allow swimmers to enjoy food while still partially submerged in the pool. Always remember never to have glassware around the pool, because broken glass in the pool is extremely difficult to detect.

Poolside pavilions offer an alternative method to enjoying the luxury of a swimming pool while also enjoying shade, extra outdoor furniture to place your food or drinks on, or even other forms of entertainment, such as an outdoor television. This allows the best of both worlds because people in the pool have direct access to the pavilion while people not dressed for a dip can lounge under the pavilion. An alternative to a pavilion is to have the pool go directly up to the house. Some homes right next to a lake or pond already have this function, as swimmers can emerged from the water directly indoors. Remember to have some floor mats, towels, or another method to dry off to avoid getting the home’s interior dirty.


Turn Your Kitchen Window Into An Outdoor Bar

nice patio at a home in the woods

August 17, 2015

Those who love outdoor entertaining understand the significance of an easy transition from the kitchen to the patio. However, most people have to live with what the house provides because of lack of space or resources to add a door or window in the kitchen. A handful of options exist to allow you to adapt to your house and patio to enable easier outdoor entertaining. From adding a counter on the patio side of a window that faces the patio to installing a patio bar counter, having an outdoor bar makes lounging in the patio much more relaxing.

A Counter Through A Window

A counter that extends from the kitchen to the patio via a window creates a serving bar that allows you to head outside for a snack or meal. By simply extending the kitchen’s countertop all the way to the window, you can not only use it to easily transfer things, but using the same design as the countertop makes the home look more pleasing. As for the window, a sliding bi-fold window gives plenty of space, but if a bi-fold window cannot fit, pull-up or swinging windows work too. Some designers get crafty with their windows and add themes, such as a window that slides up like a garage door or antique-themed windows that swing open.

Open The Kitchen To The Patio

A home’s heart resides in the kitchen, so making it more accessible to the rest of the house creates a more homely feeling. If you live in an area with a friendly climate, consider adding some air, natural light, and outdoor entertaining to your kitchen. If the windows have security bars or a screen on the outside, consider having the ability to remove them or move them aside to allow a fully opened window. Glass doors to the patio also allow more natural light into the kitchen. Some houses have the space to allow sliding glass doors, either as a single sliding door or as dual sliding doors.


Can you picture a kitchen without a barstool? Nearly every house has some form of barstool, as it adds variety to a home’s appearance. They allow friends and family to bring their presence to the kitchen or counter. A barstool comes in varying heights: counter, bar, and spectator/stadium. Counter stools measure up to a standard counter of three feet, so these stools sit about two feet high. Bar stools sit about two and a half feet for higher counters. Spectator/stadium stools sit the highest, with the seat at three feet high. All stools may come with additional features, such as a swiveling seat, adjustable height, a backrest, padded/cushioned seats, or footrests. Whether in the kitchen or in the patio, barstools will add flair to any home.