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Do you cringe when you have to use the oven during the hot summer months? I do — and I often change the lunch or dinner menu to avoid firing up the oven and ruining my nice cool interior with a blast furnace just to make a meal.
An outdoor kitchen is the perfect solution to this problem. You can bake, grill, fry, saute — all you want without heating up your nice cool home.
You can make a budget outdoor kitchen with just a grill, portable island working table, and mini-fridge to keep meats, drinks, and condiments cool until ready to use. You could also spend $50 to $100K to have an elaborate built-in kitchen with sinks, dishwashers, microwave, full size refrigerator, flat screen TVs, etc. If you’re going to spend that kind of money, I would go with an entire outdoor room where there are 3 walls and a ceiling, but the 4th wall is open to the back yard or pool.
Whatever your budget, setting up a functional outdoor kitchen will add to your enjoyment of your home and make use of wasted outdoor space previously only used to store the lawnmower and garden hoses.
Marcia Blake is President / Creative Director of Outdoor Interiors, Inc., a design firm specializing in creating outdoor living spaces.
In 1900 Sandra Blacksmith wrote, "The way to avoid housework is to LIVE OUTSIDE" she obviously knew the benefits of outdoor living. I woke up this morning, sat outside on my patio while enjoying my morning coffee. What better reason do we have to create an Outdoor Oasis?
Savoring a cup of Italian coffee, listening to the birds chirp as they fly into a nearby tree, noticing the blooms of the flowers popping out all over, are all great reasons to celebrate life, living and the outdoors.
Article courtesy of HPBA® (Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association)
Sitting comfortably with friends or family in the backyard on a cool summer evening, with a warm fire and dinner sizzling on the grill, is pure pleasure. It is also the precise reason why people throughout North America are turning their yards and decks into inviting outdoor living spaces. People are extending the comfort and luxury of their homes into the great outdoors, and the result is the popular trend called the “outdoor room.”
POPULARITY YIELDS FULL-FEATURED PRODUCTS As consumer interest in the outdoor room continues to grow, hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers are developing stylish, full-featured products to enhance the comfort, convenience and pleasure of entertaining or relaxing outside, no matter the climate or season. Manufacturers now have extensive product lines that can help extend a home’s living space both literally and visually. There are barbecues and fireplaces in all sizes and styles, from simple to high-tech, and plush (or sleek) patio furniture and accessories to help set any mood.
Article courtesy of HGTV.com
Whether you have a big backyard or a tiny patio, the key to designing for outdoor living is implementing your plan in steps, says Elyse Santoro, a Miami-based interior designer/decorator. "It doesn't have to happen all at once, and it doesn't have to be overwhelming or cost a fortune," she says. Start increasing your home's square footage today with our budget-friendly outdoor decorating tips.
Where to Put Your Outdoor Room
First, go inside your house and check out the views looking out. Placing the room in a good relationship to the house helps give the feeling that your outdoor room is "an extension of your home," Santoro says. "Make sure... you have easy access to get there," she says, whether or not it's physically connected to the house. An outdoor room can include anything from an attached, screened-in porch to a gazebo to a landscaped area with a bench. If it's an independent area, such as a gazebo, create a passageway with foliage or hardscaping to visually connect it to the house. "You want to erase the fact that you've gone outside," says Atlanta-based landscape designer Patricia Thernell. She advises using the same flooring material outside as inside, or using plants to frame the doorway to your outdoor room.
Of course, air conditioning is a must in most parts of the country, but there are many other things you can do to keep your home cool without spending a lot of money.
The first thing you should do is get all of your window shades in top working order and use them strategically. In the morning, keep all shades, blinds, and curtains on the east and south side of your house closed until the afternoon. Around 1pm you can open the blinds on the east side and close those on the west side. Keep all southern facing blinds closed during the day. The more direct sunlight you keep out of your home the more efficient your air conditioning system will work. If you see sunlight streaming through a window go close the blinds!
This is a story of a fishing boat that, after the sun has finally set on its days, got a second chance for a new life. For decades it has allowed generations of fishermen to earn their living and sustain their families. Now the old wooden vessel tired after many years of salt water, relentless pounding waves, pelting rain and howling winds, had given up its ghost. It sadly laid abandoned on a stretch of beach on the Indonesian island of Java awaiting its fate to become firewood. Fortunately not for this fishing boat.
Mr. Agus, our old timber buyer, had purchased the boat, salvaged the good boards and transported them to our workshop. There the paint was stripped and the boards were cleaned. After seasoning in the kiln for two weeks, the magic hands of our crafters shaped the timber into a beautiful dining table with a Teak slab top that resembles more a castle door than a piece of furniture.
Now the old fishing boat was going on another sea trip. This time far beyond the bay where it patiently waited for the day’s catch. This time the trip was across thousands of miles, almost to the other side of the earth. The boat was going from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest.
When it comes to outdoor living, it's all about you!
Your backyard is without a doubt, your most intimate place on earth. It is the place where you feel the most comfortable, where your guard is always down. Whether you design it as an oasis of tranquility or a stage for entertaining close family and friends, your backyard needs to be unique and personal, it needs to reflect who you are.
To personalize your backyard, your starting point is with a reputable Landscape Designer. Once the ground work is completed, the next step and the more exciting one is furnishing and decorating it. However before you run to the nearest garden furniture store, do your homework first and determine what your needs are. Then look for an outdoor living retailer, who is willing to listen to your needs and help you make your garden truly your garden. A garden that has “you” written all over it. When you decide on the place to purchase from, take with you a picture of your yard and show it to the person that is helping you. The more informed your sales person is about your needs the more he or she will be able to help you make the right choices. In addition to quality, select designs that are appealing to your particular sense of style.