Tag Archives: backyard

How To Have Your Cooking And Your Nice Weather Too

Light blue dining area with sliding glass door

January 27, 2016

A home simply cannot exist without a kitchen. The kitchen represents the heart of the home, whether a house, apartment, condo, or mobile home. People like to spend time in the kitchen because of easy access to nearby food, which draws in other people that want to interact with others. As a result, the kitchen can start to feel crowded and cramped. When using the hot stove, the kitchen can uncomfortably heat up, especially in the summer time. For homes in regions that allow for ample outdoor living, opening the kitchen to the outdoors brings life, light, and air into the home. Combine with contemporary outdoor furniture, and your kitchen can turn into the best place to host a party from.

Open up the indoors to the outdoors with glass-pane barn doors. This creates a focal point where people can move between the spaces, and the elegant doors easily slide apart instead of taking up space that conventional swinging doors do. Glass doors allows light in and outward viewing, and the doors will remain aesthetically pleasing, even after the sun sets. Sliding glass doors and screens take up no additional space, so they effectively increase the home’s square footage. For homes where sliding glass doors would look out of character, consider French doors for classic alluring charm. To accent these French doors, design a special garden feature, such as a trimmed hedge or a fountain, to line up with the view from the inside.

If you do not have the option to work on the doors of your place, why not take a look at the windows? Bifold windows and folding glass wall systems fold up, which allow you to open up the kitchen to allow the breeze and the sun in, especially if you keep potted herbs near the window. Folding windows have minimal frames, making them a great choice for modern and contemporary homes. Additionally, add an outdoor bar right outside the window. From the outside, folding windows provide an ideal spot to create an outdoor bar with pass-through access to the kitchen. Position the outdoor bar under a wide awning to provide some cover from the sun, and rain where applicable.

In a home where you cannot physically work on the doors or windows? Try to think of other ways to add light to an otherwise dark space. In a kitchen or an open-plan space without windows, you will want to add light at the end of the room. Instead of sliding or swinging doors, have doors that fold back accordion-style. Glass doors always make the kitchen and patio feel more spacious and welcoming. Even for small or narrow kitchens, glass doors at the end of a kitchen offer an enticing view of the backyard. When closed, the additional light and view can make the narrow space feel bigger.

Able to go big? If you have a larger budget and more control over the home, go big by opening up some walls of the home. As an extreme, open up an entire side of the home near the kitchen.  Glass doors can fold away to the side, or can roll up into the ceiling like a garage door. Do not forget the curtains in case you want to close up the space later on. Additionally, roll-up doors can fold up too, like airplane hangar doors. Fancy homes even have roofs over the kitchen that completely retract, kind of like a sports arena or stadium. This places the kitchen in a spot where it can completely have the sunlight, while functioning as an indoor kitchen when needed.

Enjoy the Outdoors by Watching Sports in the Patio


November 23, 2015

At any point throughout the year, a professional sports league has a season under way. Between the big three American sports of baseball, basketball, and American football, anyone can always find a sports game or sports news program on the television set. While attending actual games provides an immersive fan experience, most sports look just as good on television, as they capture the best shots from multiple angles. For those who live in areas with a mild outdoor climate that can allow for a television outside, they get to enjoy the sports games while lounging on the patio furniture, enjoying food by the pool, or entertaining outdoors.

Homes in warmer climates will certainly have more options as far as outdoor entertaining goes. If the patio can contain it, a television can fit right in to the patio. The room that lets out to the patio should come with windows that open up to provide a more open feel to the home. If your backyard has a decently sized lawn, take advantage by setting up outdoor furniture on the grass, or set a towel or mat down and have a seat right on the grass. Even during the winter, most of these options remain a solid choice for outdoor entertaining. Areas with wetter weather will want to take advantage of the patio space to stay dry.

Bring the feel of a sports bar right to your home by turning your patio into an outdoor bar. If the kitchen sits right next to the backyard, use the kitchen’s window as a serving station. A bar counter, bar stools, and multiple screens all lend towards a great venue for watching sports. Homes with a swimming pool can even allow people to enjoy the games while taking a dip. When the weather starts to drop, a pool heater will keep swimmers warm, while a fire pit can maintain heat for those above the water.

Having transparency not only makes a space appear larger, but also allows people to potentially see the television from further away. Large glass doors would allow people outdoors to view a large-screen television indoors, and vice versa. Glass doors also allow the adjacent room to seamlessly blend in to the patio. To display a screen to more space, use a projector screen. Some upscale homes may have the screen built in to the home and can scroll from the ceiling or wall. For homes without this feature, a portable projector screen from an office supplies store will suffice. Homes with a large blank wall can even function as the screen itself. Lastly, to save money while enjoying the outdoors, opt for simply a projector and a small screen to set up outside.

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.