Outdoor Fireplaces

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Outdoor, Uncategorized

1674681_SLiving in Florida is great because outdoor living is a year round option for most of us.  Whether you have a porch, patio, or deck, a key element of outdoor living year round is an outdoor fire feature.  This fire feature can be a fireplace or a fire pit. Fire pits have become extremely popular over the last few years.  While built-in outdoor fireplaces and fire pits become an architectural feature, portable fire pits can be easily moved around.

Outdoor fireplaces can be placed at the end of an open porch to create a wall.  Stone or brick are the most common materials used for outdoor fireplaces and fire pits.  The stone wall and fireplace can turn an open porch into an outdoor room. With the addition of furniture and indoor/outdoor area rugs, these outdoor rooms can be as stylish and comfortable as any other room.  Outdoor fabric has come a long way in the recent past and can now be found in many patterns and colorways to suit many styles.

With the addition of an outdoor fire pit or fireplace, you can use your outdoor living space year round. Don’t forget the cozy throws and s’mores supplies for your outdoor fireplace.

Make a Grand Entrance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor, Tips and Advice

Would you like the front entry of your home to look this dramatic? Well, this entrance has some significant structural advantages, but you can borrow some of these ideas for your own home. Let’s take a look at what you can do.

First, use contrast to add drama. The cream walls and the dark door make the entrance stand out. Whatever colors your home shows, choose a contrasting tone for the door. The two doors in the photo below show two choices for adding drama to a white background.

Red has become a popular color in recent years and it still has an impact. However, if you want to be dramatic and different, how about a dark plum or a glossy black? The green shown below has its own charm.

Next, surround your door with elements of interest. Both of these photos show examples of this. In the top shot, the door has leaded glass surrounding it. This adds sparkle and charm. The other two doors have very dramatic surrounds of both wood and glass. Figure out what you can do with your door.

If options are limited, consider adding personality to the door itself. Notice how each door shows some brass – a large handle on the top photo and mail slots and door knockers on the bottom photo. A wreath or other door decoration also makes your door more unique.

Finally, look at the surface of your entryway or stairs. If they’re bare concrete, think about adding tile or stone to make them special and interesting. Then with a nice doormat, you’re ready to welcome guests with a front entry that catches attention.

Bring the Beach Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

This inviting beach scene begs you to sit down with a cool drink and enjoy the view. The sandy surface, natural furniture and splash of bright colors makes this an inviting place to spend time.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a beach, you can create some aspects of this scene in your own back yard. Let’s take a look at a few design decisions that can produce a patio with some of the best features of this beach.

To start, a natural flooring choice for the patio provides a hint of a beach feel. This rectangular travertine block has the soft tones of sand along with the benefits of a beautiful and solid surface for the patio furniture.

The next step requires selecting natural wood patio furniture. Unlike the rough-edged twig chairs and tables on the beach, this oiled teak is reminiscent of the beach but with a much sleeker look. The mosaic design on the table echoes the feel of a shell and complements the stone floor.

Finally, pillows in red, yellow and green take the place of the flags on the beach. A few splashes of color warm up the patio and set the stage for entertaining.

What else would make this space resemble the beach scene? Add some candles and outdoor light strings for evening use and you’re ready to go. You’re ready for a beach-style party even if you’re miles from the shore.

Outdoor Space with Style

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

Since outdoor rooms generally have only one wall, choices of flooring and roof material really affect the final look. In this outdoor living and entertainment area, smart and unusual decisions add style.

The roof shows an uncommon choice – thatch. Although this option has been in use for centuries and works well for protection from rain and sun, it’s difficult and expensive to find people with the skill to produce a thatch roof of this caliber. The effort was definitely worth it, however, creating a dramatic and significant style feature that captures the imagination and creates a special mood in the space.

The flooring – rectangular and square tile – echoes the rectangular lines of the ceiling support posts. The diagonal orientation draws the eye through the space from the seating area to the dining table at the far end.

Choosing a slightly darker tile for the smaller dividing squares along with a dark grout helps the floor feel as unique and inviting as the roof. Simple squares cut into the framing carry that four-sided image further and add personality to what could have been an unnoticed structural feature.

The rattan furniture also shows a smart eye for design, with its woven texture carrying the ceiling down to ground level. Finally, a tile mosaic on the back wall provides weather-proof art for the area.

The fundamentals in place, the owners can change out the cushion covers and table linens to create any style for entertaining, or just enjoying a nice afternoon outside.

Creating Outdoor Magic

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Lighting, Outdoor

What makes this outdoor space feel so magical? Of course, the view helps, but there’s more to this look than that.

First, take a look at how the lighting defines the space. The light above the dining table provides more than illumination. Its design creates a montage of reflections on the ceiling of the patio cover.

The flooring also defines the space, both in terms of outlining the room and setting a style. By using a variety of stone types in a rectangular pattern, it feels as if the room has a well-designed rug underfoot. Stone choices and styling elevate the space beyond the normal and add style.

The furniture, while able to handle the outdoor environment, doesn’t look much different than indoor furnishings. The exceptional variety of fabrics and cushioning materials that can handle the weather have opened up the possibilities for outdoor rooms, as this space shows.

Most homes don’t have the space or style for this type of patio cover, but there are so many ideas that anyone can borrow to add personality and splash to any outdoor entertaining area.

  1. Use lighting to make specific outdoor locations feel special. By combining general lighting with one fixture that emphasizes the table area, lighting both illuminates the key areas and adds charm to the entire space.
  2. Don’t be afraid to mix flooring to support your design plans. The intriguing stone mosaic in the center helps the main entertaining area pop. This is a low-maintenance way to add color and personality to an outdoor living space.
  3. Explore furniture choices that make the outdoors as comfortable and inviting as the inside of your home. Today’s products allow you to do that.

Creating your own Fountain

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Outdoor, Tile and Natural Stone

Many people would like to add a water feature to their yards but aren’t sure where to start. Do those pre-designed fountains seem a little too big, small, too traditional or modern or just not right for you? How about taking a chance and building your own unique water feature?

If you’re handy, grab some books and start making plans. If you’re not, there are landscape contractors who specialize in water features. Think about what you want. Do you hope for a dramatic fountain? Would you like more of a waterfall effect just off your patio? Maybe you just want a little burbling place to splash your hand in on hot days.

Once you decide, consider style. Would you like something that looks like it has been there forever? You might find stone tiles that give that feeling. How about a contemporary waterfall like the one in the photo? There are plenty of drops to help the water splash and make noise, and the natural-toned tiles help blend the piece with its surroundings. Maybe you’d like a south-of-the-border look with hand painted tiles in rows along the edge.

Whatever your taste and style, take a look at the options at our showroom. Our salespeople can point out the tiles and stone choices that can best handle outdoor living and lots of water.

Do you want to add the magic feeling that water gives an outdoor space? With the right choice, you can make your yard a special place to linger and enjoy.

How To Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

Do you have a fabulous outdoor space that you want to utilize in a most effective manner? Below are some questions to ask yourself, giving you a starting point and a direction to move forward.

Q1. What size space do you have to work with? What is the main function do you want to take place in the space? Be realistic when answering. The following are examples:

a. The space is not as big as I would like. I would like to have a swimming pool; volleyball court and an outdoor kitchen…. You are dreaming wake up and smell reality!

b. It is on the smaller side. I would like to use it as a space to lounge and sunbathe. …Now that sounds do-able!

c. It is a wide-open large space. I would like to have a small pool with a lounge area and a fountain. …There is a realistic answer. When deciding what functions you want make sure they have some similarities that tie one another together!

Model Answer: Be realistic about what type and size of space you have to work with. Depending on your space you may not have enough room to have everything you want. Decide what is a must and what is a want.

Q2. What are some relative characteristics that define the type of space you are working with? Is the yard flat, sloped, hilly or restricted by vegetation?

Make your space work for you not against you. When considering your wants try and take advantage of any features you may have.

Ex. A flat yard is optimal for playing horseshoes.

Q3. What type of climate do you live in? A space that is functional throughout the year or most of the year is optimal.

Ex. If it is cold and snowy during 3 out of the 4 seasons, a pool is not optimal for that type of climate

Q4. How can you utilize the natural features of your yard?

Ex. You need a place for your kids to play. There is a large Oak tree in your yard= Install a swing or several swings to the strong tree.