(BPT) - Summer is home to many of the year’s most beautiful days, so who can blame you for wanting to spend them all outside? Your yard becomes your living room and your patio the kitchen. It’s your home away from home, which begs the question — do you like your current digs?
If your home's outdoor space lacks the comfort and appeal you are longing for, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time to transform your backyard into the perfect outdoor oasis you can enjoy all summer long.
To get started upgrading your backyard without breaking the bank — follow these tips from the experts at Lowe’s.
* A place to gather. Think of the parties you’ve hosted in your home. They've likely all had a common gathering place such as the kitchen counter, the living room couch or the dining room table. Your outdoor space needs a similar location and a dining set naturally invites guests to relax. Five-piece dining sets from Lowe's are perfect for more intimate gatherings, while seven-piece sets comfortably accommodate larger crowds.
* The focal point of your kitchen. Grilling out is a staple of any summer party, so if your existing grill isn’t hitting all cylinders, it’s time for an upgrade. The Master Forge 5-Burner Modular Gas Grill features four heavy-duty burners, one infrared searing burner and one infrared rotisserie burner, giving you a solution for any menu choice. Plus, its built-in halogen lights can keep your party going long into the night.
* A place to relax. The sofas and armchairs in your living room are popular sitting destinations during any indoor event, and you can create the same environment outdoors with sectional patio furniture. The Garden Treasures Palm City Patio Sectional Furniture features sleek and sturdy black steel frames coupled with tan Olefin cushions that up the comfort level, meaning when you sit, you'll never want to leave.
* A little shade goes a long way. An all-day party means plenty of sun, and when guests need a break from the heat, it’s good to provide an area of relief. Patio umbrellas are an affordable option, available in 8-1/2 and 9-foot varieties, providing ample coverage for a large gathering. And to keep the awning a hot destination into the evening, look for an umbrella outfitted with LED lights.
* The perfect accents. The difference between a backyard and an outdoor oasis is in the details you add to your space. Island King Garden Torches bring light to any situation. With durable metal construction and a long-lasting fiberglass wick, these lights will keep their look in any conditions. To add a little extra green space to your outdoor entertaining area, consider purchasing raised garden beds. They provide a grand ambiance upgrade to your oasis at an affordable price.
Summer has just begun! Implement any of the upgrades listed above and you'll be able to enjoy the season's greatest days from your brand-new oasis. To find everything you need to remake your backyard, without breaking your bank, visit lowes.com.
An outdoor living space can be modern, traditional, rustic, coastal or even country farmhouse – the possibilities are endless. The look and feel it exudes is important, so figuring out a design that reflects your own personal style is a top priority in the planning stages. Some homeowners discover that one of the best ways to use the space is with an outdoor kitchen. To get the most out of your outdoor kitchen, get started with these basics of outdoor kitchen functional zones.
Designing Stylish and Functional Outdoor Kitchens\
(Family Features) Just like the inside of a home, aesthetics are often the first thing you notice when stepping outside.
An outdoor living space can be modern, traditional, rustic, coastal or even country farmhouse – the possibilities are endless. The look and feel it exudes is important, so figuring out a design that reflects your own personal style is a top priority in the planning stages.
However, it’s not the only priority. You’ll also need to determine how to use the space. Some homeowners discover that one of the best ways to do so is with an outdoor kitchen.
“We have seen designers and homeowners taking a more thoughtful and sophisticated design approach over time,” said Russ Faulk, chief designer and head of product for Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, producer of premium culinary products for residential outdoor kitchens. “The result is a fully realized space with all of the parts working together – much more than a collection of furniture and cooking equipment.”
To get the most out of your outdoor kitchen, these products should work harmoniously. Get started with the basics of outdoor kitchen functional zones from Faulk.
Hot zones include all cooking spaces, such as the grill, pizza oven and cooktops. Cold zones are made up of refrigeration and freezers. Wet zones are comprised of sinks and adjacent workspace. Dry zones are prep counters and storage.
A truly effective outdoor kitchen involves all four zones working together. Planning ahead can make prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning go more smoothly.
Ideally, you should have open countertop space to each side of a sink, grill, cooktop and every other workstation. These open spaces are called landing zones.
Outside the Lines
Many homeowners want a fully functional outdoor kitchen that operates independently from the indoor kitchen, which requires even more storage space to keep pots, pans, utensils and cutting boards outside.
Outdoor cabinetry needs to be ready to withstand the elements. To handle rain and keep items dry, weather-tight options are available.
In addition to high durability, outdoor cabinetry options have become increasingly design-focused with various finishes that make an aesthetic statement. For example, Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Cabinetry Series comes in oiled ipe wood or powder-coated stainless steel panels available in more than 200 colors.
Whether your space is big or small, the design principles of a well-functioning outdoor kitchen remain the same. Do it right and your kitchen will not only look stylish, but it’ll function smoothly and may become your new favorite part of your home for years to come. Find more information at KalamazooGourmet.com.SOURCE:
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
(BPT) - The trend toward outdoor living spaces that mimic the look, comfort, convenience and functionality of indoor spaces doesn’t have to stop at the backyard grilling station. A growing number of homeowners are exploring new additions to their outdoor spaces, including outdoor showers and powder rooms, and even garage entertaining areas anchored by sinks and wetbars!
While traditional plumbing techniques might once have limited just how homey you could make outdoor versions of kitchens and bathrooms, modern up-flush plumbing cost-effectively solves many problems. Above-floor macerating plumbing systems, like those from SFA Saniflo, U.S.A., allow the easy addition of a sink, shower or toilet outside, regardless of where plumbing lines are located inside. They also eliminate the need to cut through concrete if you’ll be placing your project inside a garage or on a concrete patio. Finally, the compact systems fit perfectly into smaller spaces, such as inside cabinets in an outdoor kitchen or in an outdoor powder room.
Here are four water- and drainage-dependent, outdoor living features that are more possible and popular than ever, thanks to up-flush plumbing.
Outdoor kitchens are in high demand, and have evolved to be true mirrors of their indoor counterparts. In addition to cooking facilities, such as a grill, cooktop, or pizza oven, today’s outdoor kitchen incorporates running water.
While a sink is an obvious necessity in outdoor kitchens, traditional plumbing can limit the location, configuration, size and capabilities of the space. Up-flush plumbing affords homeowners greater flexibility in designing an outdoor kitchen.
For example, using a Sanivite drain pump to remove wastewater more than 150 feet horizontally allows homeowners to install their outdoor kitchen where they desire, rather than having to rely on gravity and grading to move water. The pump is also capable of draining up to three separate fixtures, meaning you can have a sink and a dishwasher in your outdoor kitchen.
If you have a pool or are lucky enough to live near the beach, an outdoor shower can keep sand and other messes from getting tracked into the house. However, traditional plumbing practices can limit where you can locate your outdoor shower. Up-flush plumbing systems use pumps to move wastewater away from the drain, so you can locate an outdoor shower where it’s most convenient.
Products like the Sanishower fit into a small footprint and its low profile is easily concealed beneath the shower floor. Yet the system can handle drainage of up to 20 gallons per minute.
Whether you would like to add a wetbar to a patio or tucked into a corner of the garage, up-flush plumbing can make the process easy and cost-effective. Above-floor plumbing can handle wastewater removal in spots where no drain is present or possible. This means you can easily install a wetbar on a wooden deck, concrete patio or anywhere else where installing a traditional drain would be costly and inconvenient.
When is an extra bathroom ever a bad idea? Imagine hosting a backyard barbecue or pool party without the need to make guests traipse through the house to reach the facilities, or wait in line inside the house while missing all the fun going on outdoors. Exterior bathrooms can solve those dilemmas, and up-flush plumbing can make it easy to add a toilet and sink outside the house.
While tying into existing traditional plumbing lines might require you to snuggle your outdoor powder room against the side of a house, above-floor plumbing allows you to position it virtually anywhere that’s convenient and appealing for your needs. The Sanicompact is a decorative one-piece system that combines a classic china toilet bowl with a built-in macerator/pump that can handle drainage from the toilet and a nearby sink.
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