With a little help from the weather gods, outdoor living season kicks off over Memorial Weekend.
Of course, Memorial Day itself is first and foremost a time to honor our fallen soldiers. And we all want to do that.
But as a precious long weekend, it has also become a time of getting together with family and friends. And as the first weekend of the outdoor living season, it’s ideal for opening pools, heating up the barbecue, spending time gardening — or just reveling in being outdoors.
Locating Your Outdoor Kitchen
Fully equipped kitchens have become a key outdoor living amenity.
And there are reasons for locating your outdoor kitchen away from the house — if you have a ‘destination’ pool, or if other key outdoor living areas are set at a distance.
However, it’s generally a good idea to position your outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible.
Proximity to your indoor kitchen is one obvious reason for this. But your home’s extended roof, not to mention house walls, can provide protection from the elements.
It’s also easier to hook up electricity by being so close to the home’s utility lines.
When you want your kitchen to be equal parts cooking, dining, and drinking spot, however, you may want to set your kitchen where the outdoor activities take place.
In this case, your outdoor kitchen needs to be fully equipped so there’s less back and forth to the house. This means having lots of storage areas for bowls, cooking utensils, frequently used condiments, and definitely it should have a sink.
Wherever you locate your kitchen, just remember you don’t want to get burned up from intense sun during cooking or dining. A pergola is one answer. But another is to have moveable — yet sturdy — outdoor umbrellas for flexible shade.
Stand Alone Outdoor Bars
Depending on what amenities you already have, or your particular landscape, it can be wise to have an outdoor bar/dining spot separate from where the cooking is being done.
And don’t limit yourself to what a bar can be. For example, you can even add waterfalls. The elegant sheet falling ones seen in the photo here gave our clients the sleek modern look they wanted. And, of course, they also provide a very pleasant relaxing sound. This helps friends and family de-stress and invites easy conversation.
We installed the waterfalls with an Aquascape Inc. pondless waterfall system so a pond was not required to capture the falling water.
Adding Pool Amenities
Speaking of de-stressing. You might think that being able to cool off, do laps, or play water polo is enough to demand of a swimming pool.
But adding waterfalls can provide a whole new delightful experience.
Not only are these beautiful to look at, but imagine treading water underneath one. Or swimming under it.
Adding such a feature to a pool opens up lots of possibilities like incorporating other fun amenities with it: diving rocks, slides, as well as bright plantings.
There’s lots more to enjoying the outdoor living season. And we will highlight some of these as the season goes on.
Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!