Product Highlight:
Belgard Elements Kitchens

The outdoor kitchen craze continues to sweep the nation, and there’s no quicker way to build a stunning and durable outdoor kitchen than with the Belgard Elements Collection. Belgard Elements are modular outdoor kitchen and living room pieces that are built in a factory setting using Belgard pavers and retaining wall blocks, shipped in pieces on a pallet, and quickly installed on site with the use of a forklift. This quick and easy installation method saves time and money, allowing the construction of an outdoor kitchen in minutes or hours that would take days or weeks to build from scratch on site. This means fewer headaches and a shorter disruption of your daily life.

Bristol Series

Bristol Kitchen2 There are two styles available for outdoor kitchens, the first is the Bristol Series (shown above), which is constructed with tumbled Weston Stone® and trimmed with the flagstone look of Arbel® pavers. The combination of these hardscapes creates a striking look that blends well with any style of home or landscaping. The countertop is made of polished terrazzo, for a maintenance free surface that resists outdoor stains and cleans easily.

Bristol ColorsBristol Options

The Bristol Series is available in two color palettes: the warm earth tones of Gascony Tan or the cool gray tones of Cotswold Mist. There are a variety of pieces available within the series, including a grill island, brick oven, and a selection of straight and L-shaped kitchen pieces that can include accessories like sinks, burners, grills, appliances, and stainless drawers or cabinet doors. Accent low voltage hardscape lighting can also be installed prior to delivery.

Matching LIving Room PIeces

For those who want to create a more expansive outdoor living space, the Bristol Series also includes modular living room pieces, including an outdoor fireplace with option hearth and wood boxes, as well as motorized water features. And because the Bristol series is constructed with Belgard Hardscapes, patios, garden walls, fire pits, and seat walls can be constructed with the same materials to create a cohesive outdoor living design.

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Bordeaux Series

Bordeaux MaterialsThe Bordeaux Series is slightly smaller and more lightweight and is constructed with Lamina™ stacked-stone veneer. The smooth limestone finish of Cordova Stone™ is used both for trim accents and the countertop surface. The combination of rustic stacked-stone and beveled limestone creates a contemporary look that complements both rural and urban settings. The smaller footprint of the Bordeaux Series allows for installation in locations with tighter access.

Bordeaux options

The newest series in the Elements collection, the Bordeaux Series currently includes grill island and brick oven kitchen pieces. The grill island comes outfitted with a stainless gas grill and matching cabinet doors.

Matching Living Room Pieces

Living room pieces available in the Bordeaux Series include an outdoor fireplace and optional wood boxes. As with the kitchen pieces, the Bordeaux living room pieces offer a smaller footprint and height and are a more lightweight option than the Bristol Series. Both the Bristol and Bordeaux fireplaces can be constructed as gas-burning or wood-burning.

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InstallationInstallation

Belgard Elements are shipped in pieces on pallets and installed on-site with the help of a forklift. The site must have adequate access and be properly prepped to support the weight of these structures. To find a Belgard Authorized Contractor in your area who can help you design and install your Belgard Elements Kitchen, visit our contractor locator page.

Old Fashioned Mother’s Day Backyard Picnic

Summer Vacation Picnic SceneMother’s Day is fast approaching and families are trying to find the perfect way to say “Thank You” to Mom. What better way to do that than an old-fashioned picnic? You don’t even need to go anywhere to do it. Simply grab your picnic basket and head to the backyard. This is a super easy and endearing way to show your appreciation for that one woman who has always been there for you. Unsure of what to pack in your basket? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Her Favorite Things

Keep it simple. Think finger foods. Possibilities include tea sandwiches, antipasto plates, or whatever quick meal you know your mom will enjoy. This shouldn’t be hard; after all, think of all the times you came home from school and had a homemade snack from Mom waiting for you. Does your mom have a strong affinity for Chinese food? If so, go to the nearest Chinese restaurant and grab some of her favorites, like egg rolls or potstickers. Maybe she’s more into salads. Salads are quick and painless to make, and even quicker to find ready-made at your local health foods store. The point is that you will be spending a special afternoon with your mother.

Fun and Games

Pack a fun little game with you, such as a deck of cards or a travel-sized chess board. If your mother enjoys being active, plan on some fun yard games like badminton, croquet, or cornhole toss. These activities will be especially fun if you and your mom love to compete with each other, and they work well for both intimate and large gatherings. When in doubt, pick any fun activity that your mom loves to do and bring the necessary materials.

Special Jams

Are you a musician? Bring a guitar with you and play some songs for your mom. Maybe even write her a song. Any mother who says she wouldn’t like a song made just for her is either extremely humble or a liar, or both. Not musically inclined? That’s fine, too. Make a playlist with some of your mom’s favorite tunes and play them on a portable speaker.

Treasured Memories

No matter how you decide to plan your picnic, make it something that your mom will always remember. You should know your mother better than most people. Make it a unique experience for her. Fill it with items that you know your mother enjoys. Also, don’t forget to pack chocolate and flowers. But, that should go without saying.

Upgrade Your Curb Appeal

Research shows that one of the top ways of increasing the value of your home is to boost your home’s curb appeal. Anything that can make a home stand out in a positive way will automatically increase the perceived value by others, but can also affect the homeowner’s own personal sense of fulfillment, creating value for the homeowner as well. Even simple changes can make a big difference. Dramatic changes can be a bit more costly, but can also pay bigger dividends in the long run.

A World of Color

MLRS_RES_BEL2013_Edger_AngliaEdger_Patios_LafittRusticSlab_001One of the easiest ways to add character is to add color. Landscaping, whether do-it-yourself or professionally installed, is a quick and easy way to add curb appeal. The options are literally endless and can range from simple flower gardens to multidimensional vertical gardens. Pathways and walkways also add a charming element. The photo to the right shows a simple, yet colorful flower garden with a stone Anglia Edger border that coordinates with the Lafitt Rustic Slab pavers of the walkway. The clean lines and sweeping curve of the hardscapes combine with the tasteful flower selections to create an understated, elegant look. Other garden ideas that will boost your curb appeal include container gardens and built-in planters.

Show Your Personality

When guests arrive at your home, they should immediately get a sense of the type of person who lives there. Are you carefree or conservative? Whimsical or stylish? From clay pots to antique doorknobs, every element you choose can combine to illustrate your personal sense of style. The following image shows a home with a unique sense of curb appeal. All of the elements of the design combine to create an earthy feel, including the natural wood shutters and door, the stacked stone veneer, and the man-made creek. The eclectic plant and flower selections in the garden create a random look that appears both natural and manicured. The Bergerac pavers of the walkway and Celtik Wall of the steps both emulate stone textures that combine with the landscaping and architecture to create a country-cottage atmosphere.

Belgard 2010 ~ AmcorSmall Touches Can Make a Big Difference

The right accent item can go a long way in upgrading your curb appeal. The objective of using an accent piece is to create a focal point to your landscape design that will draw the eye and add dimension and character. This accent item doesn’t need to be grandiose, like a fountain or gazebo. Inexpensive ideas include building a stone mailbox, picket fence, or wooden arbor.

 

Five Facts for Fantastic Grilling

Meat grilled steakThe sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s time to fire up the pit for some springtime backyard entertaining! Call your friends and get ready for a good old-fashioned barbecue with these tips for grilling success.

1. Cleanliness Is Tastiness

Keeping everything clean and sanitary will lead to a more enjoyable and safer meal. Before placing any food on the grill, make sure to thoroughly scrub your heated grate with a wired brush before and after use. This will prevent charred debris from previous meals making its way into your next meal. Also, avoid using the same cutting boards, utensils, and platters for raw and cooked foods. This could result in cross-contamination and hospital bills.

2. Just Tap It In

When applying rubs, be sure to keep it gentle. Simply pat the whole meat down with your desired rub evenly, and call it a day. Using too much force can damage the meat’s fibers and texture. You can also run the risk of over-seasoning your meat and having your family wishing they had gotten take-out instead.

3. Sit, Don’t Flip

Burgers: one of the most commonly grilled items, but also one of the easiest to get wrong. Many rookie grillers will feel like they have to constantly flip their food. However, it is better to let your food sit and get fully cooked, rather than constantly moving it. A good tip is to check for grill marks on the bottom, then flip.

4. Heat On, Heat Off

Foods that do not take long to cook — such as burgers, steaks, and vegetables — are best grilled directly over the heat source. Foods like whole turkey, chicken pieces, briskets, and ribs are better suited for indirect heat, away from the flames.

5. Shish KaBOOM

Who doesn’t like a good kabob? A hit at most barbeques, the shish kabob gives you a great variety of grilled foods on just one stick! To ensure your kabobs are a hit, grill each food item of the kabob properly. Remember, vegetables and some meats need different types of heat. For safety reasons, don’t forget to wet your sticks before skewering.

Mega-Tandem™ Provides Striking Support for Utah Homebuilder

During the construction of a home in the Salt Lake City area, the landscape contractor was challenged with building a retaining wall that would support the garage and driveway area, which had an elevation drop of about twenty feet into the property line and neighbor’s yard and needed to be terraced according to city codes. The home also needed a grass ramp sloping from the driveway into the home’s own backyard, which was at the same elevation as the neighbor’s, twenty feet below. The Mega-Tandem™ Mass Segmental Retaining Wall system achieved the project’s structural goals, with the bonus of an enhanced aesthetic look of natural stone.

DEVELOPER: Ken & Kristen Keller, Keller Development

INSTALLER: Terra-Scape Landscaping – Rand Locke, Owner

DEALER: Beehive Brick & Stone – Dee Young, VP of Sales

SUPPLIER: Amcor, an Oldcastle company

 

Family Backyard Getaway

Profile-HERO-Anchor North Patio-AfterSealerThe goal of this project was to create a backyard getaway where the homeowners could enjoy family time within the outdoor environment. The outdoor living room, complete with Belgard patio and outdoor fireplace, was designed as an extension of the home’s existing wood deck. The installer also included a mix of shrubs, trees, plants, and large boulders to enhance the natural feel of the landscape.

Notice the difference in paver color before the color boost sealer was applied.

Notice the difference in paver color before the color boost sealer was applied.

The installer was able to include many different types of natural and manmade products to create a unique sitting area that includes a beautiful fireplace for friends and family to enjoy. The homeowner also liked the way the patio looked after a rain storm, so Belgard suggested to clean and seal the patio and utilize Belgard’s BG-2295 color boost sealer, which enhances the blended colors throughout the entire patio.

PROJECT LOCATION: Framingham, MA

APPLICATION: Backyard patio with fireplace

PRODUCTS USED:

Mega-Arbel® Patio Slab – Color: Danville Beige

Old World Paver™ for border – Color: Danville Beige

Belgard Elements Brighton Series – Color: Gascony Tan

DEALER: Cornerstone Landscape Supplies, Inc. – Framingham & Marlborough, MA

SUPPLIER: Anchor, an Oldcastle Company