Explore the Outdoor Living Spaces of the 2017 Coastal Living Idea House

Belgard is proud to once again partner with Coastal Living magazine as a sponsor of the 2017 Coastal Living Idea House, located in the historic New England town of Newport, Rhode Island. The bay-front home boasts amazing panoramic waterfront views and is packed with classic style, smart decorating ideas and a trove of seaside inspiration. As the official hardscapes sponsor, we are excited to offer you this virtual tour of some of the home’s more than 1,000 square feet of outdoor living spaces.

Varied sizes of Provence® Slab are laid on the bias and bordered in large 15×30 pieces. The limestone driveway is lined with rustic Bergerac® pavers to add a contrasting texture and tie in with the brown color tones of the home’s exterior.

Step up to this welcoming front porch by way of the lovely Belgard walkway. The featured paver chosen for the Newport Idea House is our new Provence® Slab, which utilizes the innovative Satura™ color technology to offer the most realistic look and feel of natural stone available in a manufactured paver. To complement the blue color theme used throughout the interior and exterior of the home, the designers chose the Shenandoah Blue paver color, which emulates the look of natural bluestone and includes variegations of brown tones to coordinate with the home’s taupe siding. The paver sizes were varied and laid at a 45-degree bias to add a formal touch to what are otherwise casual outdoor living spaces.

Next, step onto the rear terrace, which includes multiple lounging areas, a dining area and a pool.  Striped fabrics and vibrant blue pillows pair with crisp white wicker to create a nautical ambiance.

Garden Wall: Celtik® Wall. Pavers: Provence® Slab.
Photo credits: Amy Neunsinger (top), Chipper Hatter (bottom).

Lastly, join us on the charming fire pit patio. A circular design of rustic Bergerac® pavers centers on a Countryside Fire Pit, beckoning guests to gather and share fireside chats while taking in the breathtaking view of Easton Bay.

Photo: Amy Neunsinger

The home is currently open for tours  Thursdays through Sundays through September 4, 2017.  For more information on dates and times, click here.  To virtually explore the interior spaces of this amazing home, visit the 2017 Coastal Living Idea House web page.

Tips for Planning the ‘Phased’ Project

Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to build your dream outdoor living space all at once. When building one phase at a time, proper upfront planning can save time, money and headaches.

Tip #1:  Choose a qualified design/build contractor

A large outdoor living build-out is an important investment in your home. Don’t trust that investment to just anyone. With a smaller job, an installation contractor is fine, but in order to properly plan a job that will be built in phases, you’ll need someone with design skills. For more information, read our Tips for Choosing a Hardscape Contractor blog.

Tip #2:  Design your complete dream outdoor space upfront

You can always scale it back, but it can be much less costly to design something that is never built than to retrofit a space later. This is especially true if future footings or underground utilities will be required. Many contractors will charge a fee for the design, but often credit that back to you when the work is done. For a realistic vision of how your dream space would look in your backyard, Belgard Authorized Contractors can utilize the Belgard Design Studio to import architectural plans or photos of your home to create 3-D renderings of their outdoor living designs that include furniture placement and potential landscaping. Fly-through animation will allow you to virtually walk through the design so you can truly get a feel for how you would live in that space. This can help you catch potential issues with the layout prior to construction.

Sample Belgard Design Studio 3-D rendering of an outdoor living area that could be built out in phases.

Tip#3:  Preplan for future phases

When you’re planning an outdoor living space, think of what you would plan for an indoor living space. Think lighting, music, televisions, cooking needs, and gas or electric appliances. Consider your local climate and think about ways of keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Running utilities all at once, including those that you won’t need until later, can be a huge cost savings in the end.  And if you plan to install heavy elements in a later phase, such as a pavilion or an outdoor fireplace, be sure to plan where any footings will be needed and install them prior to laying any hardscapes in those areas.

Tip #4:  Consider your lifestyle

When planning out the phases, discuss your lifestyle with your contractor so that you can plan the phases that will work best with your budget and how you would like to live in the space. A typical scenario would be to install the flat surfaces first, then build up, then embellish. For example, if a design includes a patio with an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, and seat walls, the phases of the plan may look like this:  1) patio  2) kitchen  3) fireplace  4) seat walls, lighting, and sound.  However, depending upon your lifestyle, you may want to rearrange the order of the phases or build in sections instead.

Tip #5:  Look for opportunities to reduce the number of phases

Construction economies can be achieved by building in fewer phases. Many Belgard Authorized Contractors offer the Belgard Preferred Payment program, which can help you build more at one time and spread the cost out over several months with same-as-cash financing options for loan amounts up to $55,000 that can include labor, materials, furniture, appliance, landscaping and more.

Coming up next week:

National S’mores Day is Thursday, August 10. Come back to the Outdoor Living Blog next week to learn how you can submit your favorite s’mores memory or recipe for a chance to win a Belgard fire pit!

Patio Design: Trends in Paver Laying Patterns

When designing a new paver patio, there are a number of options to consider with regard to paver laying patterns that will vary depending upon the style and shape of pavers you choose. Below are some examples of laying patterns to help guide you through the process. You can even mix and match different styles, shapes and patterns to create unique and interesting designs.

Traditional Shapes and Laying Patterns

For those who like to go with the tried and true, you can’t go wrong with rectangular and cobble-style pavers laid into one of the following traditional patterns. These patterns work especially well in smaller spaces that can be overwhelmed by larger styles of pavers.

Running bond

A running bond pattern is one in which the pavers are laid in rows running in the same direction. You can either go with a classic running bond, or you can get creative with color tones, borders and pattern direction.

Herringbone

A herringbone pattern is one in which rectangular pavers are laid in a zig-zag pattern. To add additional pop to a herringbone design, consider adding a contrasting border along the patio edges.

Basket weave

Basket weave patterns utilize rectangular pavers to create block designs. To add contemporary flair to this traditional laying pattern, you can alternate the color tones or laying direction to create modular designs.

 

Modular Shapes and Laying Patterns

Modular shaped pavers offer a variety of square and rectangular sizes that can be laid in multiple laying patterns that are less repetitive, visually dynamic, and create a contemporary look that works especially well for larger patios.

Three-piece modular patterns
four-piece modular patterns

Asymmetrical Shapes and Random Patterns

Asymmetrically shaped pavers create a natural look and often incorporate false joints that create the illusion of multiple shapes laid at random. Multi-shape cobble-style pavers can also be laid in a multi-piece pattern that emulates a more random look, as an alternate to using a traditional laying pattern.

Paver Borders

Border selection can add an entirely new dimension to a patio design. Options can range from using the same paver at a different angle to choosing a contrasting color, shape and/or style of paver (or more than one). But the options don’t end there. Once the border paver is selected, there are a number of border laying pattern options, as well.

Soldier course

The soldier course is likely the most-used laying pattern for a paver border. For this pattern, rectangular pavers are laid in a row, side-by-side.

sailor COURSE

Another popular border, the sailor course lays rectangular pavers lengthwise in one or more rows. For additional visual interest, wide sailor course borders can be created using more than one type of paver.

Inlaid borders

Striking designs can be created by laying a contrasting border further inside the paver field.

Planning Your Outdoor Living Makeover

Planning your ideal outdoor living space takes thoughtful consideration and planning, and Belgard is here to help you with every step of that process, from inspiration to completion and beyond.

STEP 1: GET INSPIRED

Before you get started, take some time to explore the options and consider what your goals are for the space. Do you want an area conducive to entertaining large groups? Are you looking for more of a quiet space to read and reflect? You will also want to consider issues like design schemes and kid-friendliness. Belgard offers a variety of tools and resources to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Pinterest boards – Peruse an array of design ideas organized by project type.
  • Style File – Browse inspirational photos and collect ideas to save or share.
  • Project Visualizer – Upload a photo of your space and experiment with paver styles and colors.
  • Design Studio – Take virtual tours of 3D outdoor designs with fly-through animation.
  • Interactive Idea Book – Explore the world of outdoor design, including informative design trends videos and links for additional information.

planningguideSTEP 2: START PLANNING

When you’re ready to start planning your project, download our comprehensive Project Planning Guide, which offers multiple resources to help you create your outdoor living space, including info and tips on design, contractor selection, installation and maintenance. When you’re ready to start talking to contractors, visit our Contractor Locator Gallery to find a qualified designer and installer near you.

STEP 3: START TRANSFORMING

Once you and your contractor have agreed upon the design details, be sure to discuss the particulars of the installation process so that everyone is on the same page in terms of time tables, disruptions and overall expectations. Also remember to discuss any hardscape lighting needs and future improvement plans with your contractor so that adequate steps can be taken regarding the need for wiring, plumbing or other utilities. That will keep you from the headache and expense of having to rip up and replace a section of hardscapes later. Depending upon the scope of your project, you may want to warn your neighbors regarding the construction schedule if you think it might inconvenience them. Also, remember to invite them to your post-project celebration as a thank-you.

STEP 4: ADD SOME STYLE

For many people, this is the “fun” part. Modern outdoor living design mirrors indoor design trends in a number of ways — including furniture, rugs, throw pillows, lighting and decorative accessories. Enjoy filling your space with outdoor versions of all of your favorite indoor comforts, including appliances, sound equipment and tech gadgets.

STEP 5: ENJOY!

Now it’s time to enjoy living in your new outdoor space. Remember to follow these simple maintenance tips to keep your hardscapes looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.

Built-in Grill Design Ideas

Get cooking with some of our favorite grilling station design ideas, from simple grill islands to gourmet outdoor kitchens.

•   •   •

The Angular Look

These outdoor kitchens use multiple angles and countertops galore to create expansive grilling stations with ample prep and serving space, as well as bar-style seating.

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Weston Stone® clads the Bristol Brick Oven and was used to create a coordinating base to the grill station and extended kitchen, as well as the staircase leading to the back of the home, which ties the entire look together.
Rough-hewn Country Manor® wall adds a rustic touch and was used to create an angular kitchen that follows the shape of the gazebo roofline.

•   •   •

The Classic L-Shape

With a classic L-shaped grilling station, everything you need is within arm’s reach.

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This L-shaped kitchen unit is part of the Bristol Series of the Belgard Elements collection and is prefabricated in a factory setting and shipped in sections for a custom look that installs quickly.
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This custom L-shaped grilling station is constructed with the chiseled stone look of Belair Wall® and houses multiple storage cabinets and drawers to keep everything you need close at hand.

•  •  •

Multiple Cooking Surfaces

Gourmet outdoor chefs can’t settle for just one cooking method.

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With the design flexibility of Tandem® Modular Grid, this outdoor chef has it all…wood-burning brick oven, charcoal-burning Big Green Egg®, butane grill, sink and refrigerator!

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Gorgeous Curves

Outdoor kitchens and grilling stations don’t have to follow the limited linear rules of an indoor cooking space. Get create with curvy designs.

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Multi-level counter tops and diamond-shaped embellishments add visual interest to this Weston Stone® grilling station. A built-in umbrella stand helps protect the cook from sun and rain.
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Doric columns and curved Tandem® walls add an elegant look to this outdoor kitchen.

•   •   •

Timelessness

You can’t go wrong with the classic look of brick.

A copper vent and roof add a modern twist to the traditional look of this brick grilling station and bar, which offers ample seating for guests to visit with the grill master.

•   •   •

Creative Touches

For a unique design, sometimes you have to think outside of the box.

A built-in gas fire feature adds flare to this Weston Stone® grilling station and bar.
This sunken kitchen was created using rough-hewn Celtik Wall® to retain the pool and build out the kitchen structure, which includes a grill, beverage cooler and refrigerator.

•   •   •

Grill Islands

Even when space is at a premium, you can still have an eye-catching cooking space.

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This grill island from the Bristol Series of the Belgard Elements collection includes a bar top for seating on the opposite side. Embellishments of Arbel® pavers add visual interest, and in this design, coordinate with the paver patio.
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The Bordeaux Series grill island from the Belgard Elements collection has a smaller footprint and offers a stacked stone look with either a midnight (shown) or limestone countertop.

•   •   •

Multi-Media Mecca

Some folks want an outdoor kitchen that offers all of the convenience of the indoors.

Tandem® Modular Grid was used to build out this outdoor kitchen, which houses multiple cooking surfaces and outdoor appliances, as well as a built-in flatscreen TV and sound system.

•   •   •

Wood & Stone

There’s just something earthy and fabulous about combining the looks of wood and stone together. An excellent way to do that is by adding an arbor to your outdoor space, which not only helps filter the sunlight, but adds pop to your design.

Reclaimed wood creates an eye-catching arbor for this Weston Stone® grilling station.
Arbors flank both sides of this Tandem® Modular Grid cooking station, adding an interesting look and coordinating with other wooden structures in the outdoor space.

Pool Deck and Patio Trends

Modern pool design has become somewhat of an artform. There was a time when all backyard pools looked basically the same, but that time is gone. Today’s pools incorporate a variety of materials and design techniques to make each creation as unique as each homeowner. If you’re planning to build a pool, here are some inspirational ideas based on some of this year’s most popular pool and patio design trends.

Vanishing edge: The latest craze in pool design is the vanishing edge (sometimes called an infinity edge or negative edge), which produces the visual effect of water extending to the horizon.

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Pool deck: Mirage® Quartziti porcelain pavers.

Fire features: There’s just something ethereal about combining the elements of fire and water that appeals to many people on a deep level. Fire bowls, fireplaces and fire pits make an excellent addition to a poolscape, both from visual and practical standpoints, as a fire feature provides a way to enjoy your pool deck during months when it’s too cold to swim.

Pool deck: Dublin Cobble. Fire pit: Countryside.
Pool deck: Dublin Cobble® pavers. Fire pit: Countryside Fire Pit Kit.

Water features: Water features come in a variety of styles, including waterfalls, fountains, spillways and more. The image below incorporates two different types of waterfalls: a natural stone waterfall and a spa waterfall.

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Pool deck: Mega Bergerac® pavers

Back to nature: Many homeowners choose a design that looks like it was carved out of nature. This can be achieved by incorporating natural stone, or as in the design below, concrete pavers that emulate the look at natural stone. There are a number of added benefits to choosing pavers over natural stone, including decreased materials costs, decreased installation costs and non-slip surfacing.

Pool deck: Mega-Arbel® pavers
Pool deck: Mega-Arbel® pavers

“Green” options: Eco-friendly design strategies are one of the top-growing trends in outdoor living. With a pool design, this can be achieve through the use of a geothermal or solar heater, as well as permeable paver decking. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to filter through the joints instead of running off into ditches and storm drains. A permeable system can even be designed to harvest and recycle rainwater.

Pool deck: Eco-Dublin® permeable pavers.
Pool deck: Eco-Dublin® permeable pavers. Patio terrace: Belair Wall®

Mixed materials: Eclectic designs are quite popular, achieved by mixing a variety of materials and styles together. The design below incorporates multiple styles of pavers, tiles and natural stone. Wood grained porcelain pavers also add the look of natural wood to the design, but offer added benefits that can’t be achieved with natural wood: durability, slip-resistance, fade-resistance and stain-resistance.

Pool deck: Catalina Stone pavers and Mirage® Sundeck porcelain pavers.
Pool deck: Catalina™ Stone pavers and Mirage® Sundeck (wood look) porcelain pavers.

Multiple elevations: Retaining walls can help control erosion, convert sloped terrain into usable space, and in the case of poolscape design below, build multi-level terraces for seating, gardens, dining areas, water features and more.

Pool deck: Mega-Lafitt® pavers. Walls and terraces: Country Manor retaining wall.
Pool deck: Mega-Lafitt® pavers. Garden walls and terraces: Country Manor® Wall.

Decorative edging: There was a time when your choices were limited to brick or bullnose coping. Keep in mind that both of those options are still popular choices. But now, creative  designs and alternate edging materials are becoming increasingly popular, as well.

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Edging: Aquastyl® coping. Decorative border: Dublin Cobble® pavers. Pool deck: Lafitt® Rustic Slab

Extended outdoor living areas: Modern poolscape design tends to expand beyond the water’s edge and into extended outdoor living areas, which are often designed and decorated to look like an outdoor version of an indoor space.

Outdoor fireplace: Bristol Belgard Elements. Pool deck and patio: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.
Outdoor fireplace: Belgard Elements Bristol Series. Pool deck: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.

Less is more: While some are drawn to expansive poolscapes, others are opting for a contemporary minimalist look. The design below evokes the timeless look of a classic pool with the contemporary twist of an additional modular stepping stone patio.

Pool deck and stepping stones: Mirage® Stones 2.0 porcelain pavers.
Pool deck and stepping stones: Mirage® Stones 2.0 porcelain pavers.

Lighting: One simple way to add ambiance of a pool design is to incorporate interesting lighting. This can be done throughout the landscaping and in the interior of pools and spas.

Pool deck: Dublin Cobble® pavers.
Pool deck: Dublin Cobble® pavers.