Inside Out: Bringing the Comforts of Home Outside

If summer’s warm temperatures are luring you outdoors, here are some ways to add the comforts you enjoy inside your home to the outside.

Front Yard Courtyards

The front courtyard is America’s new gathering space. Adding patios, comfortable seating and crowd-friendly layouts makes the front yard a welcome sign for neighbors to gather and mingle. You can find more information on creative enclosure and plant ideas at Landscaping Network

Fresco™ Wall System, Slaton Plus™ Tumbled Paving System

Fresco™ Wall System, Slaton Plus™ Tumbled Paving System

Outdoor Kitchens

Let’s face it: Being the cook at a barbecue isn’t a lot of fun if you’re shuffling between kitchen and patio. The solution? Bring the kitchen outside.

Fresco-Wall-Grill

Fresco™ Wall System

You can start simple by building a grill surround to add counter space or imagine a full kitchen complete with sink and refrigerator. The possibilities are endless when the cook helps create the kitchen.

Dining and Seating Areas

No outdoor living space is complete without areas to dine, sit and relax with family and friends.

If you entertain, estimate how much patio space you’ll need for a dining area and for general seating. Upgrade the size of dining tables to serve a crowd and purchase extra chairs if necessary.

You can also define spaces by incorporating concrete wall or paving systems, by varying elevation of areas with different uses or by adding structural elements such as pergolas and columns. The landscape design below does it all!

Highland Stone® Retaining Wall System

Highland Stone® Retaining Wall System

Home Value

Improving your outdoor spaces can not only increase your enjoyment of your lawn – it can also increase the value of your home.

According to Minnesota real estate agent Erik Wood of Edina Realty, landscaping isn’t just about curb appeal anymore. “Buyers want to see how the yard is integrated into their lifestyle,” said Wood. “Raised patios with kitchens and lots of seating for entertaining are popular and really move a house to the top of the list for a potential buyer.”

Whether you aspire to nap under the sun or entertain under the stars, creating a functional outdoor living space is sure to pay off.

Visit Anchor Block Company’s website for more home landscaping ideas. Whatever inspiration you find, tell us about it in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Top Landscaping Trends: Which is Right for You?

Summer’s almost here! The season’s short but there’s plenty of time to improve your landscape. Here are the top outdoor trends to incorporate into your yard.

Living Spaces

Outdoor Kitchen Featuring Anchor™ Diamond Stone Cut® Retaining Wall

Diamond Stone Cut® Retaining Wall System, formal-face

An outdoor living space, such as a kitchen or entertaining space, was cited as the most popular outdoor design element by landscape architects surveyed by the American Society of Landscape Architects

Landscaped Gardens

Artisana® 6

Artisana® Multiheight Retaining Wall System

Landscape trends come and go, but well-designed gardens are always in style. What’s new for gardens? The rising popularity of native, drought-tolerant plants and using perennial plants for a low-maintenance landscape.

Reducing Runoff

Holland Permeable Paving System

Holland Permeable Paving System

Cities and citizens alike are looking for ways to reduce water runoff into ecosystems. Installing permeable pavers is an effective and stylish way to drain water into the ground. In addition to reducing runoff, permeable pavers naturally filter contaminants.

Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Stone Age 36

Stone Age 36″ Outdoor Fireplace

Fire pits and fireplaces are very in-demand, according to 97% of the residential architects who participated in the ASLA survey. Fire elements remain popular because of the wide range of versatile products available. Homeowners can choose do-it-yourself fire pit kits or larger fireplaces that make stylish, dramatic additions to the yard.

Which of these trends would you choose to enhance your landscape?

Share your ideas with us in the comments section or on Facebook, or visit us at www.anchorblock.com for more outdoor living inspiration.