On this episode of Next Home we look at several new concepts and ideas for outdoor living. First I found a modular outdoor fireplace that’s also a fountain! And then we look at new ideas for BBQ that combine the old world with the new. And we check out furniture made of recycled materials.
And finally we have some fun with some outdoor games.
I love being outdoors and it’s my favorite place to entertain too!
On this episode, we are adding an outdoor fireplace, built-in BBQ, furniture, lighting, speakers and games – an outdoor pool table and foosball game!
Every room needs a focal point including an outdoor room – would it be a fireplace or water feature? After a couple Google clicks, I found Starfire Direct, which had a portable, easy to install unit with fire and water! We ordered the fireplace with a water wall in the gray color scheme of the deck and pergola (Trex Pergola). We chose to use propane for the fireplace instead of running an expensive gas line. Because there are color options, we were able to order a unit that complimented the space perfectly. Starfire delivered the unit and installed it in 2 hours – it looks great!
No backyard in southern California is quite complete without a BBQ – we can use them year round. So, to have a complete backyard, I wanted a built-in looking BBQ island. I went back online to find a stylish modular system that could be customized and ordered for large or small spaces.
I came across a company that makes the grills and stainless steel modular islands called Napoleon. There are lots of options and it took some planning to get it right. The gas and infrared grills can be ordered with side burners, rotisseries, smokers, etc. We choose to use propane, again so we didn’t have to run an expensive gas line. The modular pieces come is several styles and make it easy to customize the island.
We sketched the BBQ island plan and we saved a lot of money by ordering a modular island instead of having one built-in and we got the same look.
This is the original plan I put together for the outdoor kitchen. Pretty simple but it worked! Our island looks very similar to this now that it’s complete.
Our installer Robin laying out the modular pieces
We saved money on the countertop too – we found a gorgeous granite remnant at a local stone installers shop
The grilling island is the perfect addition to the backyard!
We ordered the propane storage module
One of my favorite modules, next to the grill, is the paper towel & wastebasket module – it keeps things nice and neat!
OUTDOOR FURNITURE MADE OUT OF RECYCLED GROCERY BAGS:
To really enjoy your outdoor spaces, it’s really important to have comfortable furniture.
TIP – write down what you want to do in your space, how many people you need to accommodate and what you’ll be doing (sunbathing, dining, talking over a glass of wine, kids parties, etc.)
The Next Home Project House backyard is not large but it’s designed to accommodate groups up to 30 people. To accomplish this comfortably, we used a variety of different furniture.
I was so excited to learn that the Trex material used for the deck also came in a beautiful table and bench – yay, great looking & no maintenance!
The Trex furniture and planters compliment the deck and fencing
EFFICIENT OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Eterior lighting is as important as indoor lighting. It needs to be functional as well as provide a relaxing atmosphere and, when you’re replacing fixtures, it’s a great opportunity to choose efficient lighting so you can save money and energy overtime.
Today, there are so many great choices in efficient outdoor lighting!!
For the Next Home Project House, I needed to find outdoor sconces that would give our traditional, slightly Spanish style house a contemporary lift.
Just right… the LED fixture is black which goes well with Spanish style and the sconce is neither too traditional or too contemporary
It’s important to find exterior lighting that compliments the style, design and colors of your home. I had the best time looking online looking for lighting for the Next Home Project House! One of the best sites I found is www.lampsplus.com. They’ve got thousands of choices and you can search by style, price, category, etc.
The pergola and decking we ordered from Trex came with built in LED lights that add to both safety and atmosphere. (look closely at the picture above with the fireplace and you’ll see the built-in pergola lights – love those!)
We added ‘up’ lights to some plants around the perimeter of the backyard and replaced the outdoor wall sconces with stylish LED options that are controlled from indoors. Sconces that are attached to the house should compliment the style and design of the house. We went for an update, but not too contemporary sconce style for the Next Home Project House. I was happy to find hundreds of design options, and good prices too.
We also added additional lights (mounted on the house) to the pool table and foosball areas.
Solar lights can be a great option to areas where you don’t want to run wires. They come on when it’s dark and stay on until daylight. We used both hardwired and solar.
TIP – When planning lighting, study your space at night and answer these questions: 1) What do I want to highlight? 2) What do I want to ‘keep in the dark’ and where do I need light for things I will do? (IE. dining, walking, games, etc.)
Fun, Fun, Fun for all ages!
The addition of the outdoor pool table and foosball game has surprised many a BBQ guest! And a little competition among friends can be fun!
These great looking games from Playcraft go well with the color scheme of the backyard and come with covers to keep them nice throughout the year.
OUTDOOR POOL TABLE:
ELAN SMARTPHONE APP
When I’m entertaining in the backyard I want to be able to adjust the lighting and music throughout the evening. I searched for a system that would let me make adjustments from a tablet or smart phone and I found the Elan smartphone app. You can download the app onto your phone or tablet and use it anywhere inside or outside your home.
Like to hear music outdoors but not see the speakers? I do!
You’ve probably seen these sly speakers – they look like rocks or garden lights.
I just love indoor to outdoor music. It really adds ambiance and sets the mood for entertaining.