By Tori Linville
Watching Bama from home? Do it in luxury
If your deck or patio has seen more dried up leaves, stray grass and weeds this summer than actual activity, you might be in need of an outdoor living space overhaul. If you’re planning on watching the Alabama Crimson Tide play from the comfort of your own abode, you’ll certainly want to get the most out of your outdoor space.
Here are some of outdoor entertainment’s go-to top trends to help fix your outdoor woes so you can enjoy rolling with the Tide in true Crimson style.
First things first – start with an ideal outdoor room.
The classic outdoor room not only establishes an outdoor area, but also makes for a welcoming environment that guests will enjoy. The experts at bobvila.com have some great tips and tricks that make this seemingly overwhelming task a pretty easy fix.
Start with a roof that frames your outdoor area – a pergola with some vine potential or even an awning are some options to check out. After dealing with the roof, go to the ground: lay out an outdoor rug that compliments your color scheme and/or outdoor furniture.
Speaking of color schemes and what not, go for bulky(ish) furniture and earth tones that will obviously compliment the surroundings. Furniture pieces that allow for a guest to kick back and relax are almost always preferred over a dainty lawn chair (if those even exist). Easy care fabrics are an obvious choice for weather-wear.
Lastly, add some lighting. String lights are a popular craze, but anything you prefer will do. Just make sure to illuminate the area when it’s dark out.
Next up: an unforgettable grill
If there’s one trend that will never go out of style, it’s the outdoor stovetop - otherwise known as a grill.
High-tech grills with tons of features can be found virtually everywhere. For example, the Saber Smart Edge Grill, with an infrared top and optional ceramic glass lid, is a Consumer Reports favorite. If watching the food slowly cook wasn’t enough, the grill hooks up to WiFi so a phone can keep track of when to cook, when to clean and when to fuel up.
If you’re looking for a more straightforward number, other Consumer Reports grills included the Weber Spirit E-220, the Weber Spirit SP-320 and a Kenmore grill.
Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces: A multipurpose focal point
Fire pits have been all the rage for a while now, and with good reason. As a center point for décor arrangements, the fire pit isn’t just for show. It provides warmth, light – and makes for a great s’mores maker.
Outdoor fireplaces are also a popular choice, according to Keith McCormick with Willcutt Block & Supply Co.
“We usually see a spike in sales of outdoor fireplaces in the fall and in the spring. We sell a few during the hottest part of summer – but not as much.”
McCormick says the options for outdoor fireplaces are virtually unlimited.
“There are many different kinds,” he said. “There’s one that’s a masonry outdoor fireplace, and it can be veneered any way you want. We carry others that are for the most part pre-built.”
In terms of design, some people have a clear vision of their backyard fireplace oasis, while others are looking for a little more help.
“Some people have already done research and they know what they want,” McCormick said. “Others have a general idea and they need a way to make it a reality.”
These days, a homeowner can dream very big when it comes to outdoor spaces for entertaining. One suggestion: Call a professional to help with the larger plans. As the backyard or patio area is being transformed, start planning those Halloween parties, football parties and Thanksgiving gatherings with friends and loved ones. That’s the fun part, after all.
Photos: Keith McCormick
Captions (kind of generic but the photos are stunning, have fun with this one):
An outdoor fireplace can create a warm, inviting outdoor space.
The right outdoor fireplace (or fire pit) provides a dramatic focal point for outdoor entertaining.
Article sponsored by Russell Lee Flooring.
Find them on the web at: www.rslee.com