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Tag Archives: Outdoor Dining

Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

To bring indoor comfort and outdoor beauty together, homeowners and contractors are showing increased attention to landscape design. From small outdoor areas to functional landscapes, there are thousands of design opportunities to turn an ordinary outdoor living space into a peaceful haven. This year’s trends focus on craftsmanship, stunning lighting, and natural materials. Here are some ideas to inspire your next project in Scituate, MA:

Alfresco Dining

The number of people who show their dedication to creating the perfect landscape design by hiring maintenance services increases every year. Everyone enjoys an open space that connects various outdoor areas and creates a natural and inviting flow. With alfresco living, every meal is a special experience because of the casual but festive atmosphere of outdoor cooking, dining and lounging.

Outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens, grills and fire pits are a necessity for creating an outdoor area suitable for this purpose. These features make entertaining more enjoyable for the homeowners and add more surface area to the floor plan of your home, as they convert outdoor space into functional outdoor rooms.

All Natural Materials

More and more homeowners are embracing the natural look with their hardscaping materials. Natural stone patios and walkways, as well as vertical features such as outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and wall systems, are ever popular. Popular natural stone used in hardscaping includes bluestone, limestone, sandstone, flagstone, and granite. More and more homeowners are also opting for locally sourced materials and aiming for a more authentic, sustainable backyard.

There is also an emphasis being placed on craftsmanship because of its power to transform the backyard. Wood and stone are ideal materials for handcrafted details and spectacular designs.

Transforming Small Spaces

Small backyards can easily be transformed into attractive and functional outdoor spaces. With small yards, less is more. Incorporating features that offer multiple functions is a creative way to make better use of the space while adding bold visual elements. Small yards are also perfect for stimulating the senses. By dressing the landscape with strongly-scented, therapeutic flowers, pops of color can be added while creating a rich ambience.

Related: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

Pergolas and Gazebos

Pergolas and gazebos not only offer shade and shelter, they are also stunning additions to the aesthetics of an outdoor space. These structures create a sense of intimacy and can serve as the centerpiece of an outdoor area. If decorated with vines and climbing plants, pergolas can help to introduce color, fragrance, and texture – perfect for a backyard getaway.

Related: Creating Privacy in Your Massachusetts Backyard

Wonderful Water Features

Regardless of whether you include a mini waterfall, a small pond, or a cool fountain, water features add a fresh touch to the outdoor space. The soothing sound of water can contribute to peaceful afternoons outdoors while the movement introduced by water features can contribute to a beautiful landscape. Water features can be further enhanced with the addition of lighting to highlight the feature and reflect off it’s rippling surface. Using lighting in conjunction with water features also provides safety benefits and reduces the risk of guests accidentally stepping into your pond.

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Landscaping Ideas for Outdoor Living in 2018

Now is the perfect time to plan for the year to come and imagine the ways in which your Hingham, MA, backyard can evolve. Do you feel like your landscape could be more attractive, or that your outdoor entertainment could be more practical? Read on to discover a few trends that could take your landscape to the next level in 2018.

Beach-inspired walkways

You can make your home feel like a beach-side getaway by creating a charming walkway at its entrance. Landscape designers achieve a distinct beachy look with the use of small white pebbles. These pebbles can be used to frame a walkway consisting of grass, sand, or tumbled pavers. Alternatively, the stones can be assembled to form the body of the pathway, flanked by small shrubs, flowers and larger rocks.

When paired with a large untamed lawn and a Cape Cod style home, the relaxing and isolated atmosphere of a holiday beach-side house can be created. Shells can be scattered around large rocks or between plants to emphasize the theme.

Related: Some Stunning Alternatives to the Traditional Brick Walkway in Hingham

Making the most of small spaces

Is there a corner of your landscape that has remained unused for years, simply because its too small to turn into an outdoor room? Try making the most of your small, neglected spaces in 2018. One way to create an outdoor room free of crowded furniture, is by including multi-purpose retaining walls into the design. Retaining walls can outline the perimeter of the room, while serving as casual seating space or a surface upon which to place food and drinks.

Refrain from incorporating plants and flowers in many different colors, as they can make the room feel crowded. Opt for a monochromatic color scheme instead, filled with pops of cool color like blue, silver, and teal.

Turning small spaces into destinations doesn’t mean that they have to be able to accommodate many people. Consider creating a tranquil space where you can be alone and unwind or meditate. You could nestle a small water feature beside a snug bench and allow the surrounding plant life to envelop the rest of the space.

Related: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

Incorporating Japanese influences

Japanese landscapes are inspiring works of art that incorporate many different elements of nature, water features, and organic materials like wood. They refrain from using materials that look artificial, like concrete, for example.

Consider creating a waterfall shrouded in plant life that empties into a large pond. A sophisticated wooden bridge may be constructed, leading to a small patio underneath a pair of large flowering trees. Japanese influences work best when you have a large landscape to experiment with, and are centered around creating harmonious shapes, sounds, and textures.

Related: Backyard Designs that Promote Serenity and Calm

Dining further from the home

Outdoor dining areas are generally situated snugly against the home so that trips to the indoor kitchen can be made unnoticed. However, more homeowners are creating distance between their al fresco dining and home. You could create a decked out kitchen right beside your dining area – with all the appliances and utilities you would ever need. Or you could simply carry your plate a bit further, from your indoor kitchen or existing grill to your new secluded dining area.

Related: Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Improving Safety in Your Hanover Backyard

An isolated dining area can help to make the ambience of dining under the stars more immersive and unique. Having a fire pit or hot tub nearby will ensure that pre- and post-dinner entertainment is always available.

Related: Advantages of Hiring a Design Build Company over a Basic Landscape Contractor in Milton

Finding an Outdoor Kitchen Design that Suits Your Style and Needs

When it comes to incorporating your tastes into a plan for your Milton, MA, outdoor kitchen, the input of a landscaping professional can be a huge asset. Maximize the enjoyment of your outdoor cooking area while complementing your home and property with these tips to get you started:

Related: Is It Too Late to Start on Your Stone Patio Project in Milton, MA?

Consider Your Space

The area chosen for your outdoor kitchen space will determine a great deal about your outdoor kitchen design. This space should ideally be located near the indoor kitchen, in close proximity to an entrance, facilitating the actual cooking process as well as the transfer of ingredients from one cooking area to the other. Once you know where the outdoor kitchen will be, you’ll have a general idea of the size of the area available. At this point, considering the functions you have planned for the space, you can get an idea of the approximate size for the patio and outdoor kitchen design plan. A professional can help you optimize the space to ensure that small areas are not too cluttered and that larger areas are utilized to their full potential.

Related: What to Expect From a Professional Design Build Company

Incorporate the Home’s Style

The outdoor kitchen that’s best for your landscape will likely be the one that’s in keeping with both your home’s style and your own tastes. Whether your home is contemporary, traditional, coastal, or romantic, the outdoor kitchen can reflect this style while maintaining a high degree of quality and functionality. Fortunately, with the ready availability of concrete manufactured paver and building units, you will find it convenient to incorporate styles, colors, and textures to suit the aesthetic that appeals to you. A simple three tone color scheme might include pavers that match the roof of your home, verticals (bars, kitchen counters, seating walls, etc.) that match the siding of your home, and accents that highlight or contrast colors in your landscape. Matching or contrasting textures reflected in existing hardscaping is also an effective way of achieving a cohesive outdoor kitchen design plan.

Related: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

Plans for Use

How you intend to use your outdoor kitchen space will also influence your design decisions. Whether your kitchen space is limited to an outdoor grill and table set or includes all of the extras, such as a sink, refrigerator, island, pizza oven, etc. is up to you. Consider how often you plan to cook in the space and the types of dishes that you’ll be preparing. Think about your cooking style too: if you’re an expressive cook, you want to include additional counter space and stain resistant, easy-to-clean surfaces. If you take a more reserved approach to cooking, consider a design that ensures that everything is near at hand and easily accessible. A professional can help you to determine the most appropriate layout for function and aesthetic to ensure you outdoor kitchen is a roaring success.

Related: 5 Essential Elements for Your MA Outdoor Kitchen

Don’t Leave Out the Extras

Many other considerations might play into your decision. Think about important elements such as the view, adequate seating, and optional fire features that you’d like to include in your layout. Your contractor will be able to work closely with you to ensure that everything that you might want or need in your outdoor kitchen space is accommodated without sacrificing space, function, or aesthetic.

Related: Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

5 Essential Elements for Your MA Outdoor Kitchen

Adding an outdoor kitchen to your landscape is an investment that pays dividends in increasing property value and your family’s enjoyment of your backyard. If you’re confused about the range of essential elements for your outdoor kitchen in Westwood, MA, we’ve compiled a few vital considerations. Remember to choose materials that are complementary to the design of your home and other outdoor spaces, in order to keep the entire design unified and balanced.

A Place for Prep

Enjoying a meal with family or friends begins with the preparation stage. This initial part of the cooking process requires a surface area on which to season, cut, and otherwise get food ready for cooking. When it comes to prep room, the more the better. Whether you choose to incorporate a patio island or counters connected to your grill area, the choice should be made with an eye toward making the most efficient use of the space available.

Related Read: Finding an Outdoor Kitchen Design that Suits Your Style and Needs

A Place to Cook

The most obvious choice that you’ll have to make is your method of cooking. Whether you purchase an expensive grill, construct your own outdoor pizza oven, or create a construction that allows for a range of cooking methods, dedicate a space near the prep area for cooking alone. You might include a rotisserie, smoker, gas or wood burning grill. Consider your outdoor cooking habits and include the units best suited to your purposes.

Related Read: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

A Place to Clean

During and after cooking and enjoying your meal, you’ll need a place to clean the mess. Requiring a sink and a trash receptacle, this area should be designed for efficient and quick cleanup. Whether you typically clean as you cook or save the mess for after the meal, with a nearby clean up area with running water, sink, appropriate cleaners, and tools, you’ll find that the clean up is much quicker and easier than if you were to have to travel back and forth inside the house carrying dirty dishes and wet cloths.

A Place for Storage

Storing food outside requires some form of cabinetry for non-perishables, as well as a refrigerator for perishables. Being able to prepare meals without running inside and out for ingredients and tools is an essential requirement of a truly independent outdoor kitchen space. While you will likely use the fridge space mostly for refreshments and pre-made foods before a celebration, the extra space and cold drinks for your guests is a huge convenience. Moreover, for those who cook regularly outdoors during the summer, it simply makes sense to keep commonly used ingredients within the space where they’ll be used.

Related Read: Trending Backyard Designs This Summer

A Place to Eat

Finally, the point of your outdoor kitchen will be to share a meal with family and friends. You’ll need a dining area specifically for this purpose. The floor space should be stain resistant and easy to clean, and the seating should be comfortable with a nearby surface space for eating. You can choose to purchase luxurious outdoor furniture or construct a permanent dining space. Either way, consult a landscape design professional to ensure that the space complements the rest of your outdoor space, as well as your existing home’s architecture.

Related Read: Creating Privacy in Your Massachusetts Backyard