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Outdoor living has indeed become a staple of American culture. As many homeowners begin to spend more time in their outdoor living areas than in their indoor living areas, the overall trends continue to revolve around creating homey, attractive, livable outdoor spaces that are an extension of the indoor environment. As we enter 2016, expect to see a continuation of this theme in outdoor living design, as well as increases in sustainable (“green”) outdoor living practices.
Bordeaux Series Fireplace, Midnight trim
Home is where the hearth is.
Once upon a time, the living room fireplace was the favored gathering spot for family and guests, and roasting marshmallows over a campground fire was part of the annual family vacation. Modern outdoor living combines these two traditions into one with outdoor fireplaces and fire pits. This trend will continue to be one of the fastest growing phenomenons in outdoor living for 2016. To meet these needs, Belgard continues to expand and develop the Belgard Elements collection and has recently released a new Midnight trim option for the Bordeaux Series fireplace and matching kitchen pieces. In addition, Belgard offers a full line of retaining wall products that are ideal for creating custom outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, such as Celtik® Wall or Weston Stone®.
Mirage Porcelain Pavers, Officine Collection
Mimicking the indoor environment.
Outdoor living room designs continue to mimic the look of their indoor counterparts. This includes furniture design, lighting fixtures, decorative accessories and flooring. Modern interior design is trending towards larger tiles with natural textures. The same goes for outdoor hardscapes. Expect to see an increase in the popularity of larger format pavers with natural textures and design elements, such as the natural flagstone look of Mega-Arbel®, the cut flagstone look of Mega-Lafitt™, and the cut slate look of Lafitt™ Rustic Slab, all of which offer multi-piece large-format design options. Because of the thinner profile, Lafitt Rustic Slab and its smooth counterpart Lafitt™ Grana Slab are both available with an extra-large 14″x22″ piece. Also expect to see an increase in the popularity of Mirage® Porcelain Pavers, which are a durable outdoor-rated version of interior porcelain tiles and are available in a variety of large-format sizes and natural looks, including trendy wood grain and stone textures.
Celtik Wall kitchen and Mega-Bergerac pavers
Rise of the outdoor chef.
Outdoor kitchens now rival the scope and scale of their indoor counterparts, with professional-rated appliances, multiple cooking surfaces, and bar-type seating with ample countertop and prep space. Expect to see an increase in brick ovens as more homeowners learn that these attractive fixtures can be used for more than just cooking pizza, but can actually function as a full-use outdoor oven. To meet the needs of evolving kitchen trends, Belgard offers a variety of kitchen pieces and brick ovens in the Belgard Elements collection and has recently released Tandem™ Modular Grid, which can be used to quickly and easily create custom outdoor kitchens and coordinating design elements.
Subterra Stone permeable paver driveway
Turns out, it is easy being “green”.
For several years, permeable pavers have been a growing movement in commercial construction as more municipalities develop and implement stronger codes for managing stormwater. But as homeowners learn about the benefits of permeable pavers, the trend is beginning to make its way into the residential arena, particularly for driveways, and is expected to continue to grow. Textured permeable pavers, like Subterra® Stone and Eco Dublin®, offer the natural stone look that homeowners desire, while at the same time reducing flooding and improving local waterways through the absorption and filtration of stormwater through the paver joints. As an added benefit, permeable pavers can be used as part of a rainwater harvesting system to collect and reuse water for irrigation or other gray-water uses. Because many states and municipalities offer grants and tax incentives for these types of sustainable, or green, practices, the reduced net cost is an attractive incentive for savvy homeowners.
For many people, outdoor living has become so much a way of life, they spend more time on their back patio than in their interior living room. For those outdoor living enthusiasts in your life, here are some of our favorite gift ideas this holiday season.
Rain-Drum Accent Table
Rain drums, named for the pleasing sound they make when hit by raindrops, have existed in Asian cultures for thousands of years. This cast-aluminum version from Pottery Barn adds old world charm to an outdoor living room and works well as a coffee table, side table or accent table.
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Colorful Hanging Lanterns
Decorative outdoor lighting adds ambiance to any outdoor living area. This colorful tabletop display of hanging globe lanterns from Pier 1 uses either standard wax or battery-operated tea lights to add a festive glow to any outdoor kitchen or living room. The decorative handcrafted set includes a sturdy iron base and handblown glass globes.
Countertop Brick Oven
With four versions to choose from, the countertop Belgard brick oven can easily turn any outdoor kitchen into a gourmet cooking space without the time and expense of a full custom brick oven installation. The countertop oven is available in copper or silver finish with either a pyramid (shown) or dome roof line.
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Cajun Turkey Fryer
Cajun cooking is all the rage, and no Cajun holiday is complete without a marinated fried turkey, crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. This whole-turkey deep fryer package from Home Depot has the tools to turn the average homeowner into an outdoor Cajun chef, including pot, stand, propane regulator, turkey stand, and meat thermometer.
Baby, it’s cold outside..but don’t let that stop you from enjoying your outdoor living spaces with family and friends this holiday season. Here are some tips for entertaining outdoors in colder weather that embrace the holiday spirit.
The Fire is So Delightful
There’s a reason that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are one of the fastest growing trends in outdoor living: there’s just something universal about sitting around a fire. The dancing flames, the smokey aroma, the gentle crackle…fire’s are mesmerizing! This holiday season, it’s time to invest in that fire feature you’ve been wanting. And, be sure and stock up on wood and marshmallows.
All is Calm, All is Bright
Festive lighting is essential to any holiday gathering. String lights and candles will not only create a holiday atmosphere, they provide lighting that’s softer and more intimate than standard overhead lights.
Jingle Bells. Jingle Bells.
What’s a party without music? A boring party, that’s what. If you don’t have a sound system in your outdoor space, don’t fret. There are a number of inexpensive bluetooth speakers on the market that will allow you and your friends to take turns showcasing your holiday playlists. Or set your iPad on a Pandora or Spotify station, link it to the speaker, and you’re good to go. When you’re ready to install something more permanent, look into the Sonos wi-fi system, which will allow you to link together your indoor sound system, desktop computer, any number of devices, and an outdoor speakersystem that can all be operated together or in separate zones, all from a smart phone or other device.
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Sometimes it helps to warm your guests from the inside out. Be sure and have warm drinks available, like traditional English wassail, hot buttered rum, or peppermint cocoa. But to make sure they’re warm on the outside, too, it’s probably a good idea to keep lots of throws handy. You may want to consider investing in some tabletop and full-size butane heaters, which are available in a number of attractive styles, shapes and sizes from just about every hardware store. Just remember to keep extra fuel tanks on hand.
Oh, Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding
No holiday entertaining blog would be complete without a mention of food. You might want to skip the figgy pudding, though. It’s not that great. Stick to small bites like cocktail meatballs and goat cheese crostinis. The primary issue with outdoor holiday entertaining is keeping food warm in the cold. You may want to keep the food station indoors or use covered warming trays outdoors.
Article by Belgard Hardscapes
This time of year typically has wonderful weather for outdoor living in most areas of California — no more hot steamy nights, yet not quite cold enough to send everyone scurrying indoors for warmth. But in order to take full advantage of your outdoor living space, it’s time to invest in outdoor lighting. Here are some of our favorite modern ideas for illuminating your outdoor living space.
Flower pot by day, light source by night, illuminated planters are a chic and modern way to shed a little light on your outdoor living space. Outdoor-rated LED illuminated pots are available from a number of retailers in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Or for the DIY-er, a quick browse through Pinterest will help you generate unlimited ideas for your own unique creations.
Today’s trendy outdoor living rooms and kitchens emulate the look of their indoor counterparts. One of the easiest ways to create an indoor look for an outdoor room is to install outdoor-rated pendant lights over bars, coffee tables, and dining areas. With thousands of fixtures available, design options are endless. In addition, the nature of designing outdoors allows for bolder, and more creative choices.
If you’re planning to install pavers, garden walls, or Belgard Elements kitchen or fireplace units, be sure to plan a lighting scheme prior to installation. Low voltage lighting can be affixed directly into the hardscapes during installation to provide attractive ambient lighting throughout your outdoor living areas.
Nothing says “outdoor entertaining” like string lights. From bare bulbs to Japanese lanterns, today’s string lights are available in a variety of motifs that complement any outdoor living design scheme and add a festive atmosphere any time of year. To put up permanent string lights, consider having an electrician install outlets into the eaves of soffits and porches with a conveniently located light switch to turn everything on or off at once.
Water restrictions are getting harsher as Orange County tries to figure out ways to conserve its water supply. Many homeowners across southern California are getting letter notices requiring us to reduce our water usage...and for good reason.
Fortunately, residents no longer have to settle for an unattractive, waterless yard for the sake of saving water to help our community. Many people are turning to hardscape, which is the usage of stone, pavers, tiles and other materials rather than grass and plants. It provides a very attractive, convenient option to conserve A LOT of water, as well as substantially cut down on your utility bills.
Complete paver backyard remodel in Brea, Ca.
Moreover, artificial grass, or "synthetic turf," has come a very long way since its inception a few decades ago. It looks so unbelievably authentic that the only way residents know their neighbor has artificial grass is probably because it looks so lush and green while their grass lawn is turning brown. This takes "going green" to a whole new level.
Hardscape and artificial grass truly go hand-in-hand, serving as the very best option in conserving our much needed water, while maintaining some of the most welcoming yards California has to offer. Contact us today for more information and free samples to find the right pavers and artificial grass to fit your home.
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We Do Driveway Remodels!
When it comes to remodeling your "welcome mat," nobody does it better than West Hills Masonry. As anyone knows, concrete driveways stain easily, crack over time, and have no easy fix available. Pavers, however, provide an aesthetically pleasing, incredibly durable, and easily fixable option if damaged. They can also withstand the elements from major rainfall to those hot, dry seasons. Pavers and concrete come in many different colors, shapes, and styles to fit any home-style. When you're ready to have your driveway greet you upon arrival, let us know how we can help.
We Do Backyard Remodels!
Your backyard is your get-away, and is truly an extension of your home. Outdoor living is practically synonymous with the Orange County lifestyle. Whether you want a complete outdoor oasis, to play hosts for neighborhood parties, have a quiet gardening spot, roast marshmallows around the fire pit, or simply have a better looking backyard when you're enjoying your morning coffee or tea, West Hills Masonry can transform any backyard area. We can take care of every dimension of your "outdoor room:" patio remodeling, fire pits, retaining walls, outdoor fireplaces, pool deck remodeling, BBQ installations, custom outdoor kitchens, and even coverings.
We Do BBQ Installations & Outdoor Kitchens!
You're the grill master, the host with the most, the "lean, mean, grilling machine." When you want a BBQ installation to meet your grilling needs, or perhaps an outdoor kitchen remodel to dish up both hot meals and cold drinks, West Hills Masonry can take care of that for you. Every backyard is unique, much like their homeowners, and we want to create an outdoor food prep and dining area that caters to all of your friends, neighbors and family. Some of the fondest memories are created while eating around the table, and we want to make it the best experience possible for many years to come.
We Do Artificial Grass Installation!
Many Orange County residents are unaware that installing artificial grass is virtually the same process as installing pavers. Therefore, since pavers is what we do best, that means artificial grass is what we do best too! With recent water restrictions, homeowners are no longer forced to settle for brown lawns. Pavers and artificial grass are a pairing that makes any home look renewed, and requires no water maintenance at all. This is a great way to do your part for the community while maintaining a great looking yard and home you can truly be proud of. It's a win for you, California, and especially your wallet.
We Do Pool Remodels!
You have a pool because you want to relax and/or play in your very own water paradise. After all, you work hard...you splash hard too. Be that as it may, over time your pool may have started to look outdated, or even damaged throughout the years. It may not even hold water efficiently like it's supposed to. A paver remodel for your pool creates a safer surface to prevent slipping, coupled with an attractive look that never goes out-of-style! Let us help give your pool the facelift it deserves. We can ensure that you're not wasting water so that you can get back to enjoying life. You can be sure we'll remodel a great pool you can be proud to call your own.
VIEW OUR MASONRY GALLERY PICTURES
From driveway remodels to stone veneer walls, West Hills Masonry has you covered. But don't just take our word for it when a picture says it all! Check out our masonry gallery for inspiration, ideas, and proof of how we can make your home project truly yours. We've been helping homeowners for 30 years all over Orange County and Los Angeles County.
What is Hardscape?
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West Hills Masonry 109 Meadowcreek Rd Brea, CA 92821 Tel: (714) 519-5009
Orange County, CA
License # 920870
Driveways, Front Yard Remodels, Backyard Remodels, Block Walls, Outdoor Living, Patios, Walkways, Barbecues, Water Features, Fireplaces/ Fire Pits, Pool Remodels
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