Backyard Tailgates: Outdoor Kitchens and Bars

Stone backyardIn recent years, backyard spaces have been transformed. Instead of big lawns and little patios of decades ago, homeowners are drawn to properties with functional, usable outdoor spaces. Homeowners are installing outdoor kitchens and bars, filling their green space with beautiful gathering spaces where family and friends come together to eat, drink and be merry.

Why An Outdoor Living Space?

There are many reasons to install an outdoor living space in your home. Whether you’re planning to sell your home in a few years or you hope to live in your house for the next several decades, you can enjoy the many benefits of an outdoor living area.

  • Property value. Homebuyers love outdoor living spaces, and will pay extra for nice features like an outdoor kitchen, bar, dining room or living room.
  • Entertainment. Do you love hosting parties or inviting guests to your home? If you’re the king of the outdoor barbecue, then you’re almost certainly going to love having an outdoor kitchen or bar, where guests and family members alike can spend time lounging, watching you cook, and enjoying time together.
  • Functionality. With an outdoor kitchen and bar, you can have as many guests as you want without making a mess in your house.

How to Make Your Outdoor Kitchen or Bar Standout

Once you’ve made the decision to install a living space in your yard, it’s important to choose a design that is functional as well as attractive. Below are some suggestions for making the most of your exterior upgrade.

Install Lighting

Outdoor lighting is important after the sun goes down. To facilitate parties that go on into the night, install exterior lighting that is warm, cheerful and strategically positioned.

Garden lighting that’s low to the ground will prevent accidents like trips and falls, while strings of cafe lights or Chinese lanterns can make the space feel festive. Your contractor can help you choose a variety of lighting options to make your outdoor space feel comfortable and safe for your guests.

Provide Shelter

We get regular rain here in Ohio! You’ll get a lot more mileage out of your outdoor kitchen or bar if you can provide shelter over your outdoor living space. Some homeowners do this by placing their outdoor bar or kitchen under a deck that provides shelter from wind and rain.

Other homeowners shelter their space by positioning it under an overhang attached to their house. Even if your outdoor living space is positioned in the middle of your yard, you can still provide a shelter separate from your house. Work with your contractor to build a roof over your outdoor living space that will provide shade, shelter, a place to hang a ceiling fan on hot days, and a place to position your outdoor heaters on cooler days.

Landscape the Area

Landscaping creates a beautiful frame for your outdoor living space. Work with a landscaping contractor with a style and sensibility that matches your own, and with an understanding of the best landscaping flowers, shrubs and trees for an Ohio property.

With proper landscaping positioned around your outdoor kitchen or bar, you can create an environment that is both natural and comforting. Tropical plants make your outdoor space feel exotic, while easy to maintain perennials provide a great return on investment with annual blooms and beauty.

Plan Ahead

Work closely with other members of your family to decide what your goals are for your outdoor space. Before meeting with a contractor to discuss your exterior upgrade, have a plan in place for what you’d like to accomplish with your home improvement.

Think about your use of the space year-round, including the size of the parties you hope to have, whether you plan to use the space in the summer only or throughout the year, and what kind of activities you’d like to do in that space.

Maybe you hope to cook and serve drinks to friends – or maybe you only really want a place where you can prepare food. Knowing ahead of time what you hope to do with your living space can help ensure you’ll accomplish what you hope to accomplish.

Hire the Right Contractor

Hiring the right contractor is so important for a big home improvement like the construction of an outdoor kitchen. Hire a contractor who has experience performing hardscaping and landscaping installation.

The contractor should be able to discuss similar projects they’ve worked on, and should be able to show you pictures of their previous projects, so you can see for yourself how they work and the quality they produce. Some more tips:

  • Check references. Talk to homeowners who have worked with that landscape contractor to finish similar projects.
  • Interview multiple contractors. Meeting with multiple contractors can help you decide which qualities are most important in a contractor, which makes the decision-making process easier.
  • Read the contract. Read the contract thoroughly to ensure that you’re comfortable with the details of your agreement with your contractor. Pay close attention to the payment schedule, scope of work and time frame.
  • Meet in person. Never work with a landscape contractor that would work with you sight-unseen.

Contact Hidden Creek Landscaping

Are you hoping to install an outdoor bar or kitchen on your property? Hidden Creek Landscaping can help you with the planning, design and installation of this home improvement project. With over 20 years in the landscaping business, we know what Ohio homeowners expect from their landscaping and hardscaping projects. Call today to make an appointment for your free consultation to discuss your plans for your outdoor space.

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How To Use Your Outdoor Patio For Thanksgiving Entertaining

20140828_bender_0168As the festive mood grips each one of us, there is the unrelenting temptation to settle into the usual routine of buying Christmas turkey, selecting eccentric stuffing and inviting relatives over for dinner. Of course, sitting around a table in the beautiful glow of Christmas lights in a cozy indoor atmosphere is somewhat of a sacred American tradition that lends itself to much excitement and merry making. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t break the ranks and consider an outdoor thanksgiving celebration, especially if you’re blessed with a patio. All you really need is a few tips from seasoned outdoor decor specialists.

Think In Terms Of Color: A Little Vibrancy Won’t Kill

When the word thanksgiving is mentioned, colorful images flare up in the mind. So quite naturally, your outdoor landscaping designs must exude vibrancy. Planting flowers like lilies and petunias, plants like sedum, and colorfully leafy plants like bronze and golden mums, is a great way to ‘implant’ effervescence to your walkways, porches and patios.

Flowering Vines: A Tangling Delight

Vines have a penchant of being all over the place, rambling over walls, fences, trellises and anything they can wrap themselves around. There are, however, some pretty delightful vines out there that actually bloom in a wide array of colours, like the clematis. The clematis vines bloom in purple, pink, red and the occasionally rare blue. Having these will surely add a touch of sophistication if that is what you seek to impart to your outdoor thanksgiving dinner party.

Fill The Air With Sweet Aromas

There is nothing quite like a flower that gives off a sweet aroma by its mere presence. One particular flower that quickly comes to mind is the cranium. Not only are cranium lilies fragrant, but they are beautiful as well.

Outdoor entertaining for thanksgiving is never easy, especially if you wish to be different. But if you take time to consult with leading landscaping

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How To Use Your Patio For Thanksgiving Entertaining

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.09.33 PMHomeowners that will be hosting their loved ones this Thanksgiving don’t have to be limited to the indoors. Give your guests more room to spread out by utilizing your outdoor living area, even if there is a chill in the air. Put your patio to good use over the holidays with these helpful entertaining tips:

Create a Comfortable Atmosphere. It may be too cold to dine outdoors on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean that guests can’t enjoy sitting out on the patio throughout the day. Don’t store the furniture away until after the holiday. By providing comfortable seating, your guests will be able to relax with a drink and get some fresh air. You can also set up a drink station outside with cold beverages. Depending on the temperature, you may not even need a cooler.

Warm it Up. Even if it isn’t cold enough to require heavy coats, there’s still going to be a chill in the air in November. Make sure that your patio is warm and toasty by providing a good heating source. It could be from an outdoor heat lamp, a cozy fire pit, or a built in fireplace. Make sure that you have extra wood on hand for the fire pit or fireplace, and check on the fire from time to time to ensure that it stays lit. Guests will be able to come and go from the indoors and enjoy some fresh air outside when there’s a working heat source that keeps the patio comfortable.

Don’t Forget Decor. When preparing your patio for holiday entertaining, don’t forget to add festive decorations. For Thanksgiving, you can keep things simple with a carefully arranged display of pumpkins and gourds. Follow a color scheme that matches the harvest season, bringing together warm tones and shades like oranges, reds, yellows, and browns.

These patio tips will help ensure that your outdoor living space can be practical and useful in every season. Enjoy the beauty of the outdoors this Thanksgiving and give your guests more space to relax and socialize by turning your patio into a comfortable entertaining area.

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