Let There be Light
Christie Mesiano, showroom lighting manager at Ace Plumbing, Heating, Electrical and Lighting, shared with us what homeowners need to consider before adding lighting into their yards to increase curb appeal to their homes.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. Evaluate your outdoor space and what you have to work with.
PICK A FOCAL POINT. Think about the areas you love the most and would like to bring attention to.
KNOW THE USE. Be sure to remember how you utilize certain areas of your yard and if light will affect it.
GET AN EXPERT. Always consult a landscape lighting professional when it comes time to plan your space.
Turning on the Heat
Fireplace expert Alexis Rettinger, owner of Rettinger Fireplaces, says that while most homeowners still enjoy outdoor wood fireplaces because the mess and smell aren’t a big issue, there is an array of popular additions and designs homeowners are incorporating.
HIGH-TOPS: More and more homeowners are choosing high-top gas fire tables over regular fire pits for comfort reasons. With the high-top, friends and family can gather on cushioned, comfortable seating and share a meal while still being close to the fire.
ELECTRONIC IGNITIONS: Let’s face it, lighting a fire pit with a match stick and a breeze isn’t always an easy task. The new model of electronic ignitions is more user-friendly and will relight themselves upon being blown out from a summer breeze.
INFRATECH HEATERS: Due to an increase in demand from clients, they can now find the warmth and comfort of a heated space with the help of infratech heaters. They are 90 percent efficient and emit no harsh glare with zero energy wasted.
Paving the Way
If you are looking to install a patio this season, Steve Bombaro, owner of Cousins Garden Design, says homeowners need to focus on a few deciding factors before going to the drawing boards.
DECIDE ON THE USE: Are you using the patio for tables and chairs? Maybe the grill, too? Whatever it is, this is the time to put it in stone.
ACCOMMODATION SIZE: Will you be entertaining a lot of company throughout the season outdoors? Or is this mostly for you and your family to enjoy? The big host will need a lot more space than those who prefer intimate gatherings.
ADDING AMENITIES: Installing an outdoor kitchen, fire pit or dining area is better to be installed with the patio as a whole. Drawing these add-ons into the original plan will save you time and money.
Greener on the Other Side
Sam Waddell, president of SLS Landscaping, walked us through the different types of synthetic grass uses and what type may be right for you and your family.
GOLF OUTING: Sick of wasting time driving to the course when you just want a short practice perfecting your put? Adding a synthetic putting green to your backyard eliminates the unnecessary travel time to work on your skills.
FIDO’S LAWN: There is even a synthetic lawn for dog owners. For people who have multiple dogs, this lawn eliminates the wearing down of natural grass over time, the mud dogs produce and track through the home and also the cuts down the expense of maintaining an ornamental lawn.
SPORTS FANATIC: Everyone wants to raise the next all-star. With a synthetic turf for sports like baseball and softball, your athlete can have a batting cage in their very own backyard. Or maybe soccer is their cup of tea; adding in a miniature soccer field to practice penalty kicks is sure to improve their game.
A Sun Escape
Whether you are thinking about incorporating a pavilion or gazebo somewhere in your landscape, Peter Zook, part owner of Stoltzfus Structures, says they have a design to fit your backyard.
TRADITIONAL: When you think of a pavilion, this normal model with four posts is what typically comes to mind. This is the average purchase of most homeowners and the cheaper route.
THE HAMPTON: This pavilion is a nod to the traditional one but with a steeper roof, larger size, more detail and overall nicer than its traditional design.
THE PERGOLA: For the homeowners who are looking to achieve a more open aspect, the pergola will still give them that focal point in the yard, but will also allow sun- shine on its visitors.
SANTAFE: A new model because of its request by clients, the SantaFe can either be a pavilion or a pergola with a lean-to style building. It kind of looks like a carport area that goes right against the side of the house.
Liven up your landscape
With the help of a few DIY additions, your landscape can become a landing spot for nature’s best. Try these small additions to start bringing different walks of life into your backyard:
- Bird feeders
- Butterfly gardens
- Hummingbird feeders
- Bird baths
June 21: The first day of summer
The ideal time you want to have all of your outdoor projects complete so you can relax all summer long.
Want more color in your garden?
Try these summer-friendly bloomers:
- Wax Begonias
QOUTES FROM THE EXPERTS
“One of the new things we see in LED integrated outdoor lighting is the availability to change the color temperature; giving the customer the opportunity to create a warmer or cooler feel to the space.”
Christie Mesiano, Ace Plumbing, Heating, Electrical and Lighting
“Adding any kind of outdoor fireplace, fire pit or firetable will help extend your time spent outside with family and friends. I can tell you from first-hand experience, it's a given—spring, summer, fall and even [winter].”
Alexis Rettinger, Rettinger Fireplaces
“Homeowners are using a larger style paver design in multiple sizes. [The larger size] gives the [patios a] slate stone look. The small 6-inch by 9-inch and 6-inch by 6-inch paver block design is now more for small walkways or borders around the larger paver block design.”
Steve Bombaro, Cousins Garden Design
“Synthetic turf has come a long way since the old lime- green, short, plastic grass that you used to see on concrete patios and walkways 30 years ago. The color, thickness and natural fashion of it [now] is so close to resembling a natural turf.”
Sam Waddell, SLS Landscaping
“Poolscapes are more creative than ever. People enjoy sitting by the pool as much as they enjoy swimming in it. There are many custom designs that fit all budgets and styles. Pavers and waterfalls are very popular around pools these days, however, landscaping—including flowers with plenty of color—is a great way to get your poolscaping started.”
Brian Gill, Gill's Landscaping
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March, 2017).
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