As the official hardscape supplier of the 2016 Coastal Living Showhouse located in the heart of the quintessential coastal community of The Hamptons, Belgard is proud to offer you this virtual tour of the outdoor living areas ofthe elegant coastal cottage — including charming cobbled walks, tailored garden walls, a contemporary poolscape, and an inviting outdoor living room with a gourmet grill station.
To begin our virtual tour, take a step back in time to the cobbled streets of yesteryear, with a stroll down the Old World Paver™ driveway and adjoining walkway (color: Sable Blend).
Next, enter the elegant poolscape, constructed with Stones 2.0 Porcelain Pavers to create a contemporary modular design (color: Pierre Blue). Because Belgard Porcelain Pavers can be installed over a variety of bases, the same pavers were able to be used on the pool deck (traditional paver base) and the adjoining stepping stones (grass base) and porches (concrete base), which helped to create a cohesive outdoor living design.
On your way to the cabana, take in the cozy backdrop of the surrounding garden walls, built with the natural stone look of Tandem® Wall in an ashlar pattern (color: Bella).
Tandem Wall also serves to enclose the relaxing outdoor living room with connecting grill station. Fireplace and grill island pieces from the Bordeaux Series of the Belgard Elements Collection serve as focal points for the inviting outdoor living space (color: Midnight). Stones 2.0 Porcelain Pavers provide the patio flooring for the living room and connect with the pool deck via the stepping-stone walkway.
“The coloring and trim of Belgard’s Midnight Bordeaux Elements flowed very nicely with the rest of the outdoor space, as we were going for a comfortable, coastal look,” said Calais Ongania with landscape design firm Mahoney Associates, Inc.. “To soften up the hardscapes, our team used bluegrass, hydrangea, and other flowers of similar color to tie into the grill and fireplace coloring, but give the backyard a warm feel.”
landscape design team: calais Ongania and nasir molla, Mahoney Associates, Inc.
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For more on the Coastal Living Showhouse, click here. The home will be open to the public through September 4, 2016.
Edible gardens are one of the hottest trends in gardening today. What makes a hot trend hotter? Why fire, of course. So as summer heats up, forget the boring salads and heat up the grill for some flavor-boosted ways to make the most of your edible garden. Following are a variety of fruit and vegetable ideas to add to your grilling repertoire for delicious additions to your summer meals.
Lettuce: I know what you’re thinking…grilled lettuce?! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Grilling lettuce creates smokey, charred, caramelized goodness. Recipes abound for this latest craze. For best results, be sure to choose a sturdy lettuce and brush the grill with olive oil.
Corn: Grilling corn can be done multiple ways. You can wrap it in foil. You can leave it in its husks. However, how about laying it on the grill bare? Doing this will ensure that your corn will have tiny and delicious charred bits. Once you finish grilling the corn, bust out the butter and lather it on as you please.
Asparagus: Fun fact: grilled asparagus cures sadness. Okay, that may not be completely true, but grilled asparagus makes a truly delicious addition to any meal. To protect your sanity, however, use a mesh tray or grill basket for this task. If you want to up your asparagus game even more, make your own garlic and rosemary aioli sauce for basting or dressing your freshly grilled asparagus. You’re welcome.
Bell Pepper: No matter what color, they all taste better on the grill. The cool thing about bell peppers is that they are extremely versatile. Whether part of a shish kabob, stuffed with just about anything, or simply tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette, roasting a bell pepper over a fire brings out a sweetness that enhances any dish.
Jalapeno Peppers: The bell pepper’s zesty cousin, these little fellows kick everything up a notch. If properly de-seeded and de-veined, roasting jalapenos will mellow their intensity. Stuff them with a variety of cheeses or other ingredients and either wrap them in foil or use a special roasting rack. For extra fun, wrap them in bacon, ’cause bacon makes everything better!
Eggplant: If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll fall in love with grilled eggplant. The awesome thing about eggplant is that it will really soak up the flavor of bastes or marinades. So go to your local gourmet oil and vinegar store, do a little online shopping, or use herbs from your garden to make your own infused oils and vinegars and experiment with different flavor combinations. The same is true for a variety of squashes.
Tomatoes: You may argue about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, but you won’t argue about how good it tastes grilled. For best results, choose firmer tomatoes, cut thick slices, and brush the grill with olive oil. For added flavor, top with your favorite fresh herb.
Watermelon: Grilling watermelon? This must be a typo. Before you judge, try it yourself and see why this summer will be the summer of grilled watermelon. You can grill with or without the rind on it. When grilled, the fruit sugars caramelize to create a unique flavor. Feel free to add balsamic vinegar or arugula for an extra flare. Just make sure to keep a close eye on it, for the water can spew and potentially burn you when exposed to so much heat.
Apples: Now for an actual fact: apple pie is an American classic. What happens to the apples during the making of apple pie? That’s right, they are cooked. Now use that logic, and apply it to the grill. The grill will both sweeten and soften your apples for a most excellent treat. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg for that apple pie flavor.
Peaches: Surely you will be enjoying ice cream this summer. Now that you’ve discovered the beauty of grilled fruit, throw some peaches on the grill, then add them to your summer ice cream. Sweet and delicious ice cream plus sweet and delicious peaches, what can go wrong?
Pineapple: Unless you live in Hawaii, it’s unlikely you’ll have any pineapples in your edible garden, but they’re so amazing on the grill, it’s worth a trip to the grocery. Whether served as a side dish or as a hamburger topping, once you try it grilled, you’ll never want pineapple any other way.
Bananas: Again, not your typical grow-at-home fruit, but makes an incredible dessert. Place it directly on the grill with the skin on. Once the skin is brown and the banana is soft, slice it open, sprinkle with cinnamon, and top with condensed milk. Voila!
The 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.
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know by now that we are big proponents of homeowners having an outside space that works with their lifestyle. Have you always been interested in a paver project for your own home but don’t know where to start? Here’s a bird’s eye view of the five-step process for making your backyard makeover dreams a reality.
Step 1 – Get Inspired
We recommend taking time to do your homework. Research your options and decide what types of features you want in your own outdoor space. The Belgard Idea Book is packed full of beautiful backyards from extravagant to simple and space maximizing.
Step 2 – Organize Ideas
Once you have an idea of the styles you like, organize your ideas so you can easily see patterns in the vision you have. The Belgard Style File can help. You can browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on projects with friends and professionals.
Step 3 – Design Consultation
After you’ve got a fairly clear idea of what you want your outdoor living space to look like, it’s time to reach out to an expert for a design consultation. On our Contact page, you have the option to select “Set up a free estimate or design consultation;” check this box and a Belgard representative will get in touch with you. Or if you’ve create a Style File you can send it directly to your local Belgard Authorized Contractor (BAC).
Step 4 – Product Selection
Work with your Belgard Authorized Contractor or Dealer to select your favorite Belgard paver and wall block. They will be able to show you the color options available in your region and help guide you in what will look best in your space.
Step 5 – Installation
Once all of the decisions have been made, it’s time to put your BAC to work installing your new outdoor living space. Choosing Belgard means you can rest at ease because we guarantee our product against manufacturing defects for as long as you own your home, plus we offer a transferable warranty so if you ever decide to sell your house the next homeowner will have the same peace of mind.
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!
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.
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 another 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 stormwater runoff.
“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said a 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.
Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct stormwater 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® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allow 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 into 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 affect them. Make a difference!