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!

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.

Go Big! with Belgard

Mega Arbel Belgard Pavers

When it comes to your home, you want to achieve the best outcome for your investment. In today’s economy, it’s not only prices consumers are concerned about. Getting the best products, with a lifetime guaranty, are a must. Belgard® knows homeowners want the “biggest” bang from their buck – and we deliver!

Belgard offers “Mega” outdoor pavers: a larger scaled paver option. Belgard pavers are the best choice for your outdoor hardscape project: they look great, come in a variety of size and color options, and have a lifetime warranty.

If you have ever installed natural stone, it can be nerve-wracking. If it’s not done right, there can be an imbalance of the overall design. If you don’t pick your stones individually, their varying thicknesses can potentially mean dangerous dips or humps. Having evenly spaced joints may require multiple cuts with a wet saw. Last, creating the look requires sample placement, assessment, moving stones, and sometimes repeating the process all over to achieve a random, yet balanced appearance.

Natural Look

Enter Mega Arbel®.

With the look of natural flagstone, and available in numerous hues of grey and reds, these concrete pavers are all the same thickness, pre-cut, and developed as interlocking pieces. Using up to twelve different shapes, and a simple pattern chart, you can achieve a natural appearance without the challenge of installation. Your guests will marvel at the beauty Belgard creates.

Mega Lafitt

Open the door for Mega LafittTM.

Our newest addition is already a hit! This 3-piece modular paver, plus a large square, offers various laying patterns to create a natural feel of rectangular, smooth flagstone. The larger size, as opposed to regular it sister, Lafitt Patio Pavers, gives a grander feel. In browns and reds, Mega Lafitt is the easy answer to your next landscape project. Its classic style will create a look to last generations.

Mega Begerac

Step out on to Mega Bergerac®.

Another of the Mega product lines, the Bergerac paver resembles a well-worn, hand-chiseld cooble stone. You can create different patterns using its 3-piece grouping, or add the large square for a different look.

Large square

The large paver, over 14” square, can interchange colors to create a checkerboard look. Offered in browns, greys and reds, this cobble stone look will last a lifetime while adding old world charm to your outdoor project. As the others, Belgard’s attention to detail with the texture of this paver, gives your outdoor living space a high-end look, with a down-to-earth price.

For each paver line, their natural appearance is due to Belgard’s advanced research and development department. “Many of our pavers and wall products are created by scanning natural stone with a 3-D scanner and using the dimensional imagery to create molds to produce hardscape products that mimic the look and texture of slate, flagstone, or hand-chiseled rock,” says Len Browning, Hardscape Technical Advisor for Belgard. “But unlike natural stone, pavers can be laid in a pattern that deceptively looks random but installs much more easily.”

If you are looking to achiece a natural, sophisticated look for your outdoor living areas, Belgard is here to help you make your next move.  Belgard…Invite Possibility.

Click for a dealer or contractor, or colors in your area. Try our online visualizer to see how Belgard pavers can create a new look for your outdoor space.

Create a grand entrance with Mega Lafitt

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.

Belgard Pavers: Classic Collection

Cambridge Cobble creates a circular patio for relaxation

Homeowners have many different options to enhance their outdoor living experience. From furniture, to plants, to patios, your style can be reflected as much outdoors as inside. Belgard pavers create an outdoor living space with a world of choices. Sidewalks, driveways, patios, pool decks, and walkways can now become a designer showcase rather than just a drab slab of concrete.

Belgard provides pavers to fit every hardscape project, design style and budget. Belgard pavers are divided into three categories based on texture: natural, classic and antique. Last week’s blog introduced the Antique Collection, and for this week’s blog, the Classic Collection will be featured.

Mixing colors

Today, with an uneasy economy and travel prices high, “stay-cations” are all the rage. Creating your vacation backyard can provide you with years of enjoyment. The two products in the Classic collection are Holland Stone and Cambridge Cobble pavers both offer various color combinations to bring your outdoor space to life. “Belgard puts in 20,000 hours to keep up with the trends of colors to stay ahead of the curve,” Laurie Smith of Belgard said. Outdoor pavers are not only easy for a selection color combinations but also for add ons. When you need to add electric or plumbing under concrete, you must tear it up and repour, causing “patches.” With pavers,future construction is as easy as pulling up a few pavers, doing the work and reinstalling them – leaving no marks. Plus, all Belgard pavers offer a lifetime warrantee – bet your concrete can’t do that!

Holland

The Holland Stone pavers are extremely durable and easily integrated into any style. With a simple rectangular shape, a handful of choices in patterns are just a design away. When you use Belgard products, many collections can be mixed and matched due to the consistency of color. Consider beyond the paver and look to Belgard’s collection of walls, steps, firepits, and an entire outdoor kitchen. Take a look through our Lifestyles catalog to get ideas.

Cambridge's whimsy

The Cambridge Cobble collection has more of a tailored architectural look and provides the elegant European design to your home. Available in rectangular, squared and circular shapes, you can create numerous patternsand designs creating interest in your outdoor space. The Cambridge Cobble collection gives off a woodsy feeling with its earth tone color scheme.

Cambridge

These pavers will have you feeling like the woods are your very own backyard. Consider installing Cambridge Cobble pavers from your house out into the backyard to provide a long pathway. Look to have more of a neutral color for your furniture choice such as an iron bench with a lighter colored pillow. Also, think about adding a small, dark colored pergola to enhance the feeling of your backyard. Japanese hydrangeas are a great plant selection along your Cambridge Cobble walkway.

Cambridge Path

Holland retreat

Holland & Bergerac

All collections have color choices, each with variations mimicking a natural feel, and your local Belgard dealer can provide samples for your next project.

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.

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.

Next week: the Natural Collection