Contributing Writer

Selecting the Proper Pavers for Outdoor Spaces

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Hello everyone, it’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, and this year we will spend it at home sprucing up our outdoor sitting area in preparation for summer.  I know many of you will be doing the same thing, shopping the stores for upgrades to your yard in order to enjoy them during the longer nights and warmer days ahead. 

Today Mr. Courtney Lake of Courtney Out Loud is back as a Contributor with his story about how he chose pavers for his own backyard setting, and offering some very valuable tips on selecting the proper pavers for your outdoor space too.  Enjoy! 

“Spring is in full bloom and the heady sent of the first blooms are beckoning us to light up our grills, put on shorts and enjoy our yards. Yet for many of us, our outdoor spaces are long forgotten dumping grounds of mismatched furniture, yard supplies and kiddie pools or worse, the outdoor spaces are just vast barren patches of concrete, grass, or in my case, gravel.

When my Partner and I opted to invest in our outdoor space last year, we were completely at a loss on what to do with it. We inherited a barbell-shaped space that was half French limestone pavers surrounded by pea gravel and dirt. Functional but not very user friendly is how I would describe the old space. The major issue was the pea gravel which (1) the neighborhood cats assumed was their personal litter box, (2) didn’t allow the patio furniture to rest evenly as the legs always sank an inch and (3) wood floors and pea gravel don’t mix unless you enjoy refinishing and patching scratches every few months.

We opted to spend the majority of our budget on replacing the pea gravel and dirt with something a bit more “friendly” both underfoot and to our interior floors.  Since the builder had already started with the limestone pavers, we decided to continue with the look because it was economical since we only needed enough pavers to complete the space, the limestone is pretty durable and finally, we actually liked the neutral look of the pavers.

Courtney Lake Interiors

 

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Create an Inviting Outdoor Conversation Area

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

One of the things I’m looking forward to most in summer is lingering outside with friends and family on a warm evening while we sip beverages, barbeque, and enjoy the cool breezes that blow through the yard.  I’m sure you feel the same about your summer evenings too!  I invited my friend and fellow blogger Shannon of {aka} Design to be a contributor here and today she’ll be sharing a few ideas for creating that perfect inviting outdoor conversation zone which will guarantee your guests linger longer during the warmer summer months.  Please welcome Shannon as she shares her best tips on creating an inviting conversation area in your own yard. 

“Outdoor dining areas have long been popular in the warm summer months for parties, barbeques, and family get togethers.   There are so many fabulous ideas to be found both online and in print to inspire you to create a cozy eating area and conversation zone outdoors. 

With so many beautiful and affordable outdoor furniture sets available these days, it’s easy to create an outdoor conversation zone that works for your lifestyle.  But creating an area for lingering conversation is about more than just plopping down an outdoor sofa and some chairs.  Here are some tips for creating an inviting conversation outdoors in a space large or small!  

1. Create a Focal Point

HGTV

firepit seating area

Parker Palm Springs

Build your conversation area around something interesting by creating a focal point.  This can take the form of a fire pit, a coffee table, or an outdoor ottoman to rest your feet.  By gathering your seating around something you make it easier to have face-to-face conversation.  The nice thing about a fire pit is it creates a campfire-type atmosphere for sharing stories – of the ghost-type or not – and is great for toasting marshmallows.  A coffee table or ottoman provides a place to set your drink or put up your feet, which is always a reason to stay a little longer. 

 

2. Layer Greenery

elle decor outdoor greenery

Elle DECOR

bhg greenery around outdoor sitting area

BHG

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