Soon it will be time to leave outdoor living spaces and ride out winter’s cold indoors. But before you batten down the Barbeque Grills and stow the patio cushions, don’t forget to take care of wooden structures – like decks, pergolas and – that must remain out in the elements.
Routine maintenance of these structures – often made from Western red cedar – can ensure they weather the winter well and are ready for you to enjoy come spring. Plus, beautiful, well-kept outdoor structures enhance curb appeal and your home’s resale value.
“Western red cedar is a popular material for outdoor structures because of its natural durability and beauty,” says Paul Mackie, or “Mr. Cedar” as he’s known in the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA). “Preparing your outdoor living structure for winter is an important step to help maintain that beauty.” Read more
Make it subtle, bright, or both
What’s your preference: line-voltage fixtures, low-voltage fixtures, or both?
A 120-volt outdoor lighting system offers several advantages over a 12-volt system — especially when security, not aesthetics, is the issue. For starters, 120-volt fixtures usually illuminate larger areas than 12-volt fixtures can — useful both for security and for lighting trees from the ground. The bigger fixtures are also sturdier, and their buried cables and connections provide a look of permanence lacking in some low-voltage systems. Read more
Instead of talking style I will talk about function. Whenever you are designing an outdoor space for entertaining, you must fulfill the function before the styling can begin. My 5 tips are to design a backyard for grownups.
Plan well defined areas
Staying at the exact spot for the entire party during is quite boring. The best party designers know that time seems to pass faster if you move your guests around from one area to the next. Read more
20 tips for designing a yard that will suit your entertaining needs
By Maureen Gilmer, landscape designer, author and LandscapingNetwork.com columnist
Entertaining is a very personal thing. Each individual, couple or family is unique in how they view gatherings with friends, and what they do during such get-togethers is equally diverse. This is why a designer must view your project as a one of a kind endeavor, because its ultimate form is derived from your idea of entertaining, the available space on site and the budget to put it all together. Read more
As more homeowners discover the joy of preparing and enjoying meals outside, outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity. The array of available products and designs means that every property can be equipped with a great outdoor kitchen, regardless of the size of the yard. Read more
By Jason Stutes, ShoppersChoice.com, LLC.
Learn how to build the ultimate outdoor kitchen with our great outdoor kitchen tips and design ideas. First, you should break down you outdoor kitchen into “zones” and strategically plan where your outdoor kitchen appliances will go in order. By doing so, you create a natural flow in your outdoor cooking and entertaining process. Read more
by Sara Elliott
The exciting thing about an outdoor kitchen is the outdoor part — taking the steamy, smelly and hot work of preparing a meal into the open air. The garden is an inspired place to entertain, too. No more cutesy coasters. No more worrying about Uncle Joe accidentally dropping his quesadilla behind the couch cushion (and not mentioning it), or worrying about your youngest running amok with the Kool-Aid. No matter the mishap, you’re a length of garden hose away from a clean slate. Read more