Entertaining for the Holidays: How to Spruce Up Outdoors for Winter Use

While you’re all dreaming of the excitement that comes with a winter wonderland, let your imagination run to your outdoor living space, too. Your guests will love what you’ve done with the place to make it a near year-round living area – or will do now after reading these tips!

You’ve dug out your holiday décor from the attic. You’ve set the table with special linens and good china. You’re prepared for company in every way, but are you really? Delight your guests’ senses from the moment they arrive and make them not want to leave.

Curb Appeal for the Holidays
You’ve given the front of your house a mini facelift for the holidays, but have you considered a more permanent impact for your home’s curb appeal? Adding a beautiful walkway path to your door sets the stage for your guests to feel welcome and comfortable. If you prefer a grander entrance, consider a paver driveway, steps or front porch. Adding pathway lights can accent your décor plus help guests navigate at nighttime. Winter is the best time for planning your landscape, so getting started now ensures you’ll be ready for spring.

Backyard Winter Wonderland
Don’t forget your backyard in your holiday celebrations. Lights, garland and wreaths bring warmth to your patio and often can be enjoyed from the inside, too. Leave the curtains open and let your guests enjoy the view through the windows. If the weather isn’t too frightful, enjoy a night outside warming up next to the glowing fire from a Belgard fire pit. Grab some throw blankets and marshmallows and keep the fun going into the night.

The holiday season is a time for gathering with those you most appreciate, so we’d like to take this time of year to say Thank You to you. We appreciate your interest in Belgard and wish you much warmth and wonder this winter. Happy Holidays!

HNA Wrap Up with Belgard

Belgard Block

Belgard Display - pavers, permeable paver fountain, walls and brick veneer

This year, the city of Louisville, KY played host to the best and brightest in the Outdoor Landscaping arena. As a major exhibitor at the HNA (Hardscapes of North America) expo at the end of October, Belgard® stole the show with their displays and events. Using their most popular products, the versatility of Belgard’s pavers and walls made for a spectacular display area where visitors couldn’t help but linger and feel as if they were in a towne square. The area even included Oldcastle’s Glen Gery brick veneer product to create the appearance of real “buildings.”

Wall planter

Using pavers from the Mega Lafitt®, Lafitt and Domino pavers line, plus the new product, Anglia Edgertm, walkways meandered in the Belgard booth. With Belgard’s wall pavers, fountains created a relaxing ambiance and landscape met with colored lights, all within the expo center. Speakers were integrated throughout so that visitors were attracted from across the facility. Visitors could touch and sample the Elements Outdoor Living products which Belgard offers to create your ideal outdoor room.

The "Block"

Over the three days, many thousands of industry professionals visited the Belgard booth. Thursday the Belgard “Block Party” was the hit. It featured a day of food, live music and festivity. The event was such a showstopper, even the country group Stealing Angels stopped by.

Friday was an even more exciting day as the Belgard Street Carnival attracted visitors and more than 500 people competed for the chance to be Carnival Champion. See videos (below) with Vice President of Belgard Marketing, Ken O’Neill on 2012 trends and carving a space.

On Saturday, the “Block Party Tailgate Extravaganza” enticed visitor to experience Belgard living as they could relax in Belgard’s outdoor living space and view ESPN’s College Game Day on the big screen and compete in bean bag toss competitive games.

Ken O'Neill

Outside, Belgard’s presence was evidenced by the wafting smells of pizza cooked non-stop (over 200!) in our Chicago Brick ovens. Belgard’s Elements Collection of fireplaces, columns and firepits were on display. This area had demonstrations and discussion on some of our latest product innovations from our R&D facility.

This event was made possible from the hard work of the following companies:

See videos on the trends for 2012 as Ken O’Neill, VP of Marketing, speaks about hardscapes trends on the horizon.
Hardscape Trends for 2012

Carving out space

Outdoor Living Trends for 2012

Belgard Helps the Environment

Today, we are encouraged to be green, use green, and buy green. People who are familiar with the “go green” theme strive to help save the environment. Belgard®, with their line of Environmental Pavers is no different.

Subterra Permeable Paver

But how about, “Go Blue!” with regards to a watershed. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of water, such as a pond, lake, stream, or other body of water that collects runoff from surrounding areas. Rainwater landing on the non-absorbing surfaces, such as parking lots, walkways and roofs eventually journeys as runoff to a larger holding area. Unfortunately, this runoff collects surface debris and chemicals, such as car fluids, fertilizers, animal waste, and debris, carrying it into our waters.

A watershed may be as large as the Mississippi River spanning 33 states or more communal like Diamond Lake of Minneapolis. The 2010 Blue Community Makeover Program known as “Go Blue!” was developed by residents to improve water quality when their Diamond Lake received the grade “F” because of pollutants and heavy sedimentation in the river from storm water runoff.

“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said resident of Lake Diamond Community. “This is one way I can help make the earth a little greener and a little happier,” she commented next to her new, serene rainwater-fed pond and gutter rain barrels.

Subterra

Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct storm water runoff. Belgard was called upon to take up the gauntlet. Their Environmental Collection of permeable pavers played a huge role in the fight to improve the situation by reducing water runoff.

With the installation of permeable pavers, pollution from rainwater runoff can be reduced by as much as 100%. Permeable pavers can be installed in any landscape, from a home patio to community streets. Belgard is pleased to offer three types: Subterra Stone, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc.

Subterra

Aqua Rock

Turfstone

Eco Dublin

Subterra® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allows easy installment. The newest addition, Eco Dublin™combines cut stone with contemporary material, to provide a classic look. Aqua Roc™is the strongest out of the permeable pavers. This paver can withstand heavy vehicular traffic, yet subtle enough for a small project. Turfstone, with its high tech design, not only allows water to be absorbed naturally in the soil, but it also prevents erosion. Plus, greenery can grow through it, disguising it, thus working in harmony with nature.

The reason these pavers are so environmentally friendly is their installation. Gaps between pavers, which are filled with sand, gravel or filler, allow water to seep through and into the soil below. Through this process, may contaminants are removed from the water that will eventually make its way to a watershed.

With any one of these permeable pavers, not only will you be able to enjoy your new outdoor area, but you’ll also be environment friendly! Remember, you can always count on a Belgard Contractor when it comes to installing these pavers. Also, local dealers can help and provide color samples for your outdoor living area. Belgard offers its lifetime guaranty with all products.

Nothing is more precious to life than clean water.  Because of this, it makes sense to do all we can to instill, in our people (and most especially our youth) an understanding of water and watersheds, and how the activities of man affects them. Make a difference!

Click for more on Go Blue!

For case studies on Belgard Permeable Pavers, visit our site.

Belgard pavers can be used commercially too.

Warming Cool Nights: Add A Belgard Fire Feature

Pure beauty: Belgard Elements fire pit & water feature

As summer starts to dwindle down, kids go back to school and football starts up, that can only mean Fall is right around the corner. Homeowners may think being outside in the  cooler temperatures isn’t thrilling; it’s chilling. However, Belgard fire features are now becoming one of the popular trends for your outdoor living area. They extend the outdoor experience into the winter in the North, and all year long in the cooler Southern states.

Belgard fire pit

Belgard gives homeowners a variety of fire features from which to choose with their fire pit and fireplace options. Using Belgard products and an Authorized Belgard Contractor, your custom possibilites are limitless. Yet, Belgard is pleased to offer pre-made fireplace units through the Elements Collection. This collection makes it easier than ever to have a fire feature (plus coordinationg pieces – read out blog) installed on any budget – in less time. Both gas and wood burning options are available.

As for the increasingly popular fire pit, Belgard offers the highly affordable standard Weston Wall. Fire pits are easy to maintain and create a natural space for friends to congregate. Imagine the crackling of the fire, the taste of roasted marshmellows and s’mores, plus the company of friends: create special memories for years to come.

With fireplaces, each collection uses Belgard pavers and wall products so that you can create an entire space with a seamless look. The Bristol Collection combines the Arbel and Urbana pavers, providing elegance and good looks great with any landscape. The Nottingham Collection integrates BelAir Wall and tumbled paver accents. This natural appearance will have you feeling right at home. The Wexford Collection incorporates tumbled block featuring the Old World accents, which provides a rugged yet defined look to your home. See the catalog for more photos and ideas.

Nottingham Collection

Not only can you add fire features to your backyard, but why not coordinate furniture to highlight them. Think about adding Adorandock or lounge chairs for a relaxing experience. Maybe the sound of a nearby Belgard water feature will add to the mood. With Belgard, items can be added at a later time, so it’s best to discuss your full hopes and dreams with your contractor at the start of the project.

Country Manor

Fire table

With any one of these collections in your backyard, you and your family can enjoy an evening outside.  Create that intimate setting you’ve been looking for! Be Prepared for Company!

Remember when it comes to fire, think about safety first. Your contractor can help you decide the best location for installation.

Walls, pavers and fire pit by Belgard

Belgard at the Ultimate Beach House

Outdoor diningroom with Mega Lafitt pavers

Homeowners dream what their home will look like when its “done.” The finished product is what homeowners strive for, but the hard work of planning and making it happen (usually on a budget) can be the challenge. Belgard® has many offerings of products, from pavers to full kitchen to entire outdoor rooms, can put you on the right path.

Before

This blog will show you the 2011 Coastal Living Magazine Ultimate Beach House in Norfolk, Virginia. Belgard provided pavers for the outdoor areas. This exceptional three-story home overlooking the Chesapeake Bay in East Beach has more than 1,500 square feet of outdoor living space.

Belgard’s Mega-Lafitt™ pavers were chosen to complement the beach feel of the home. Mega-Lafitt pavers offer the natural, flagstone appearance throughout the driveway and patio areas. Produced in numerous colors, these pavers look at home anywhere, whether at the beach or in the mountains.

For this home, pavers in the “Mega” or larger size are from the modular collection, which come in a three or four-piece shapes that layout in a particular, repeating yet natural pattern. With a simple installation, the three-piece pavers were used in the outdoor garden rooms to give it a more intimate feel, while the four-piece modular pavers were used for the driveway allowing for an expansive appearance. Both offer the strength and the durability that Mega-Lafitt pavers provide plus the Belgard lifetime warranty.

Pavers installed

Even though the garden rooms were scaled down to a smaller size to fit this house’s limited outdoor patio space, Belgard pavers made this backyard area a “dream” outdoor living area for beach living. Never overlook a side yard – it may become your next favorite spot!

Mega Lafitt Driveway

The Belgard driveway of your home will scream “Look at me!” While your neighbors might settle for a poured concrete driveway, you can make your dreams come true with Belgard. Plus, you will sleep better knowing your driveway won’t crack like concrete.

Not only does Belgard provide pavers, but you can also think about other decorations for your outdoor living areas. When the seasons get cooler, you don’t have to come inside. Belgard can enlighten and warm your outdoor space with an ever-popular fire pit or more elaborate outdoor fireplace.

Belgard also offers many different collections that can appease your lifestyle anywhere. Each paver has a lifetime warranty and you can count on your local Belgard contractor to get the job done for you new outdoor area.

For you to get a taste of what it’s like to experience Belgard pavers along the coast, The Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House will be open for tours from now until November 27, and it will cost $10.

Finished side yard

Belgard Pavers: Natural Collection

Belgard's Arbel and Urbana work together beautifully

When some homeowners look to change their outdoor living area, they may be unsure about which options best fit their preferences or house style. Questions such as, “What should I put in my backyard? What colors would look best? How to I keep the scale of items in proportion?” Finding the answers before making changes to your walkway, patio, driveway or pool deck will save you money, even increase the value of your property while creating an inviting outdoor atmoshere.

Leave it to Belgard® to provide pavers to fit every hardscape project, design style and budget. Belgard pavers are divided into three Collections based on texture: natural, classic and antique. For the past two weeks, this blog has featured the Antique and Classic collections. While these collections offer many different colors and designs, don’t forget to consider the Natural collection for your outdoor area. This collection mimics the look of natural stone yet without the fragility and complicated installation. You will have a  natural, eye-catching the look for your outdoor living space in less time and effort!

Mega Arbel & Urbana

Arbel & Urbana

The Arbel® Stone collection has a natural, sophisticated look that homeowners thrive for when looking to turn their outdoor living area into their own backyard paradise. This collection resembles the look of irregularly cut flagstone and provides a variety of natural hues for homeowners to choose from.

Flagstone and Mega-Arbel may resemble each other, but the process of installation for Mega-Arbel pavers makes it a breeze versus a potenital headache. In the Mega-Arbel design, each paver comes in a two or three paver set, allowing the pavers to interlock easily. Although the look may seem random, installation is quite organized. Plus, each piece is the same thickness making for a level area.

Mega Lafitt

Belgard pavers offers the newest addition called the Lafitt collection. This collection features Mega Lafitt®, Lafitt Patio Slab and Lafitt Pavers in which each have different sizes. No matter if you’re planning to install a short walkway from your backdoor to the pool or a nice patio to overlook the bay, the Lafitt collection has it all!

Like Mega-Arbel, the Mega Lafitt pavers also a natural appearance but as slate, cut in a rectangular shape. Its modular shape allows a wide range of options for your outdoor area. For wider areas comsider the hefty sized Lafitt patio slab. Lafitt patio slab also has three shapes to choose from for your backyard design such as the large rectangle, the small rectangle and the large square. The Lafitt Collection provides the the durability that you would expect a paver to have with the strength that will last for years to come.

Urbana

The Urbana® Stone collection has a clean chiseled stone appearance and are offered in a three-piece modular system with an optional square foot large square for add-ons which allows for maximum versatility and a broader range of shapes. The Urbana collection is great for long driveways, patios and walkways.

If you want to add a little color to your natural backyard pavers, the Urbana collection provides color blends to tie in that realistic look you are looking for. When decorating, think about dark brown chairs and add beige cushions with colored, striped pillows to add that accent. Enjoying a nice glass of wine never seemed better in your new backyard!

Old Word borders Mega Arbel

Another option in the Natural Collection is the Old World collection, reflecting the design of an old, well-worn European cobble stone. These strong and durable pavers are perfect for high traffic areas, yet look great for a home in the suburbs. Multiple patterns and as borders give this paver versatility. Grab a lemonade on a sunny day and enjoy your old-time look in your backyard!

With the Natural collection, installing outdoor pavers never seemed so easy! Each collection provides a simple yet durable paver for you to embellish. If you think you’re missing something to complete your perfect outdoor area, the Natural collection can be the missing link to meet your satisfaction.

Belgard takes pride in offering a lifetime warranty on all its pavers. With unsurpassed standards in the industry and an artisan’s attention to detail, these products are sure to add value to your home for years to come. And, when it comes to installation, count on a Belgard contractor. They have been trained on the latest techniques and methods of installation so you can be assured of a quality outcome with the product that is as durable as it is beautiful. Local dealers can provide you with samples and colors in your area. Belgard.biz is full of ideas for your next project.

Our product and lifestyles catalogs are available for viewing online. Plus, the Online Visualizer allows you to upload a photo and get ideas how various products would look, including colors in your area.