Virtual Reality: The New Game-Changing Technology in Outdoor Living Design

Not long ago, the thought of virtually walking through a project that was only in the design phase would have seemed like science fiction. Today, the Belgard Design Studio offers a way to do just that.

Originally developed for the entertainment and gaming industries, virtual reality technology is now used by the Design Studio to give homeowners a total 360-degree 3D view of their future outdoor living space, complete with imagery of the home, furniture, appliances and landscaping. The experience is incredibly realistic and completely free of charge when working with a Belgard Authorized Contractor.

Outdoor Living Design in VR
To view a sample 360-degree view of a virtual reality outdoor living design from the Belgard Design Studio, click the image and then scroll up and down using your mouse or finger.

Immersing Yourself in Your Future Outdoor Living Space

This “gaming” technology is now changing the game for homeowners interested in an outdoor living makeover. Embarking upon a large-scale home improvement project can often be a stressful experience for those who have a difficult time visualizing the end-result of their design choices.

Belgard Virtually Reality VR Outdoor Living DesinAs lifelike as the 3D pool design image above is, the experience is even more realistic when viewed through Belgard virtual reality goggles. When you tilt your head up, you see the roof or the sky. When you tilt your head down, you see the patio pavers. For the most realistic experience, it’s best to sit in a swivel chair so that you can slowly turn in a complete circle to take in the entire immersive design, as though you’re sitting right in the middle of your future outdoor living space.

What Makes these Outdoor Designs so Realistic?

Your contractor will submit “before” photos of your home and simple design sketches of your future space to the Belgard Design Studio, along with your choices of any Belgard pavers, landscape wall products, outdoor kitchen pieces or outdoor fire features. The Design Studio integrates all of this information so that your personalized design includes imagery of your existing home. If your home hasn’t been built yet, they can also integrate architectural drawings of your future home into the design.

The Benefits of Virtual Reality Design

Belgard’s virtual reality designs not only help you visualize your future space, they help to ensure that you and your contractor are on the same page. It also gives you the opportunity to make changes in the design before products are ordered, potentially saving you a great deal of money and headaches. For example, you may decide to change the size of a design element or choose a different paver style or color. In addition, placing furniture in the virtual design will ensure you’ve allotted enough room for seating, gathering and traffic flow. Virtual reality designs can also help you create a long-term plan for a dream outdoor space that you can construct in more affordable phases.

Interested in learning more? Click here to find a Belgard Authorized Contractor near you, or call 877-BELGARD (877-235-4273).

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Next Week:  What’s your favorite outdoor kitchen design? Visit the Belgard Outdoor Kitchen Pinterest board to cast your vote by pinning or saving your favorites. In next week’s blog, we’ll publish the results!

 

Join Belgard at the Nation’s Largest Horticulture Event

Philadelphia Flower Show

Calling all garden enthusiasts! If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show, you’re missing out on incredible displays from the nation’s premier floral and landscape designers. Belgard is once again excited to partner with the largest horticultural event in the nation as the official hardscapes sponsor of the show, to be held March 3 – 11, 2018, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

This year’s show, “Wonders of Water,” will celebrate the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water by showcasing stunning displays that emulate tropical jungles, temperate forests, native woodlands and arid landscapes, featuring the astounding plants that thrive in each environment. As the official hardscape sponsor of the show, Belgard patio pavers and retaining walls will be used exclusively throughout the show in exhibitor displays, garden areas, stage construction and anywhere hardscapes are needed.

One lucky booth visitor will win a Bordeaux Elements™ Grill Island!

Belgard will also have a feature exhibit, designed by the Belgard Design Studio, where visitors will have an opportunity to register for a chance to win a Bordeaux Elements™ Grill Island.

The expansive Belgard display will include an outdoor kitchen and living room and a patio with multiple fire features and water features. The exhibit will showcase installations of more than a dozen Belgard products including a fireplace and grill island from the Bordeaux™ Series of the Belgard Elements™ Collection of outdoor fireplaces and kitchen units. To tie in with the “Wonders of Water” theme, the Belgard display will also include contemporary fountains and an outdoor shower.

The renderings below offer a sneak peek at the exterior and interior of the Belgard exhibit.  Click on any image for a larger view.

Belgard will also sponsor a Virtual Reality experience in The Backyard area of the Grand Hall, where visitors can view 3-D designs from the Belgard Design Studio using the studio’s new VR platform.

Click on the image to view a sample 360-degree VR design. Use your mouse or finger to drag and navigate. When viewing on a mobile device, gyroscope mode will enable you to navigate your phone around the image.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and benefits a variety of year-round programs in the Philadelphia area that have become national models of urban greening. For more information on the show, visit theflowershow.com or read the blog post: Sights from the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show.

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.

Sneak Peek at the 2017 Southern Living Idea House

This year’s Southern Living Idea House is located on picturesque Bald Head Island, North Carolina, a car-free barrier island that is accessible only by boat — located about 35 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 70 miles north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A true coastal retreat, the island is bordered by the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Nearly 10,000 of the island’s 12,000 acres remain as a preservation easement. The porch-surrounded homes on the island rest quietly on sand dunes beneath a canopy of trees and moss. Located on a wooded homesite bordering The Common in Cape Fear Station on Bald Head Island, the Idea House is just a short walk from the island’s distinctive Southern Living community.

The front of the 2017 Southern Living Idea House features a quaint Cambridge Cobble® driveway and adjoining walkways in Savannah color, trimmed with contrasting borders of Westerwood color. The driveway leads to the crofter cottage, which is a Bald Head Island term for the golf cart garage typically found on Bald Head Island homes that also functions as a guest suite. The foot of the driveway is bordered with permeable Turfstone® pavers to manage rainwater and prevent runoff.
Outdoor bar area looking into the kitchen.

Designed to have stunning views from every room, the interior of the home focuses on comfort, with an emphasis on natural materials and pops of color that continue to the outdoor design. The open floorplan boast a wall of double doors that open to the back porch to create a seamless integration between the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Bifold windows also open from the kitchen out onto a bar on the porch as a continuation of the indoor/outdoor experience.

Over 1,300 square feet of outdoor living space is provided by ample porches that span both floors of the rear of the home, plus an adjacent outdoor deck and a welcoming fire pit patio.

The highlight of the outdoor living space is the fire pit patio, which features Cambridge Cobble® pavers (Savannah color) and a Weston Stone® Fire Pit.

The home is currently open for tours through October with tours available on Wednesday through Sunday each week through the end of August, and Saturday or Sunday tours available during September and October. To book a tours of the Idea House, visit Ideahousebhi.com.

To get a quick peek inside the home, view the 2017 Southern Living Idea House gallery or watch the video below.

 

Photos courtesy Southern Living magazine. Photography: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Get a Sneak Peek at the
HGTV® Dream Home 2017

driveway

This year, HGTV purchased an existing three-bedroom, three-bath home on the beautiful coastal St. Simons Island, Georgia. Architects, contractors, and designer, Brian Patrick Flynn, descended on the home and began the incredible renovation that transformed this hidden gem into a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, HGTV Dream Home. As the design unfolds, viewers will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win the home and prize package by entering daily on HGTV.com starting December 28, 2016. HGTV will give the home away to one lucky winner in March 2017.

As the exclusive hardscape sponsor of the HGTV Dream Home 2017, Belgard is proud to offer a sneak peek at this coastal retreat. Once registration opens, we’ll offer a full virtual walk-though of the outdoor living spaces. But for now, here’s a little taste of what you will have a chance to win in 2017.

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts at 9 a.m. ET on 12/28/16 and ends at 5 p.m. ET on 2/17/17. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. For full official rules, visit www.hgtv.com or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway 2017”, P.O. Box 52915, Knoxville, TN 37950. Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a Home & Garden Television. HGTV, HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC. Photos ©2017 Scripps Networks, LLC. Used with permission; all rights reserved.

Festive Backyard Lighting Ideas

For the next few weeks, it may seem like you’re holding a constant “open house” between planned events, holiday gatherings, family members visiting from out of town, or college kids home for winter break (not to mention their friends who might drop by). Keep your outdoor living spaces company-ready with these festive lighting ideas.

Decorative String Lights

string-lights2

Today’s string light options are literally endless. Instead of choosing holiday-specific string lighting, you may want to consider choosing decorative string lights that can stay up all year long. Decorative string lights not only add a festive atmosphere, the chosen style can help define the design scheme of your outdoor living space. World Market offers an eclectic mix of string lighting options that vary from whimsical holiday themes to designs inspired by various cultures around the globe.

Classic String Lights

BEL14-136_Christmas CardYou can’t go wrong with classic string lights. They’re available everywhere and are great for wrapping around posts, lining porch ceilings, framing doors, or decorating walls to create an instant party atmosphere. Because of the simplicity of their design, they can be used alone or in combination with other lighting options without conflicting with an existing design scheme.

Hanging Lanterns

Whether you choose store-bought lanterns or decide to take on a DIY crafting project, hanging lanterns around your outdoor living space is a shabby-chic way to add festive outdoor lighting. Lanterns can use either real or battery-operated candles. Just be sure to keep safety in mind with real candles and remember to extinguish them at the end of the night. For DIY ideas, a quick search on Pinterest will get your creative juices flowing.

Colored Bulbs

Colored bulbs are a fun way to turn any outdoor light fixture into a holiday-themed decoration — including sconces, post lights, tabletop lamps, and flood lights. Home Depot offers a variety of colored bulbs for both interior and exterior lighting. Mix and match colors for a vibrant look, or choose all one color to create a stylized monochromatic lighting design.