For much of the spring, our homes have been our sanctuaries as we hid from the dreaded pandemic sweeping the land. But now, summer is upon us, it’s time to venture forth, if not into our communities, then at least into our backyards.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the newest (and perfect) outdoor living products every homeowner will need for their backyard entertaining needs.
The WaterBridge exposed shower from Sonoma Forge turns any outdoor bath into an exotic setting. Bridging the gap between high design, versatility and function, the WaterBridge system makes a luxurious statement. An array of choices allows owners to create a completely customized shower. Custom designs are also available on a special-order basis.
A New Type “Man” Cave
A dark, cigar smoke-filled basement with dorm-sized refrigerators filled with microbrews and a slightly stained poker table with some ‘60s rock music rolling in the background are the man caves of old. The new “man” cave is simply the ultimate entertaining area made for everyone. An outdoor kitchen with sintered stone countertops is the latest material to enter the market that is specifically designed to address all of the limitations of typical building materials when it comes to this design space. Quartz may be popular right now, but it could yellow in the sun and sometimes cracks or discolors under high heat. It also doesn’t have the thermal resistance due to the polyester that binds it. But sintered stone is mineral based without binders. The product is engineered to withstand scratching, cutting, staining, etching, heat and frost; is antimicrobial, and is able to kill bacteria on the surface. Check out brands like Lapitec, Dekton, and Neolith, to name but a few.
Lined with Luxury
Lunada Bay Tile’s new Just Add Water (JAW) collection of glass tile borders is an ideal option for pools, showers, spas, water features and other areas. The new line is available in 10 colors and combine with ocean-inspired shapes that are bring the beach into your backyard, whether your live near a coast or far inland. JAW tiles come in two shapes: Feather, whose form emulates a wing or a wave, depending on the viewing angle, and Zing, which depicts the gentle curve of a rolling wave.
Creating a Stronger Deck
As summer temperatures rise, deck-building season typically hits high gear. Simpson Strong-Tie, a leader in engineered structural connectors, is offering a free video series on YouTube on how to build a stronger, safer deck. The first episode of the entertaining as well as educational “Build a Stronger Deck” series focuses on post basics; the second, with ledger installation. Future episodes will cover beams, joists, guard posts, stair stringers and deck boards.
Visualize Your Future Pool
A backyard pool can transform your backyard into a welcoming extension of any home. But the process of building one isn’t easy. You can start with the visualizer from Latham Pool Products, the largest maker of fabricated pools in the world. The tool allows you to choose the shape, size and liner pattern of a pool to fit your backyard. It lets you use augmented reality with your phone’s camera to virtually build a fiberglass pool of up to 15 shapes and 12 color options with enhanced details and specifications.
An Eye for Tile Design
Island Stone’s latest tile collections present a grand opportunity to create eye-catching exterior walls, walkways, pool decks, pools, showers and water features, with looks ranging from classic, natural split-face stone to dimensional or sleek glass mosaics that shimmer in the sun. The company’s artisans draw their inspiration from cool exterior living spaces from around the world, from here in the US to the world-famous Balinese tropical pools and gardens.
The Key to Relaxation
This one is inside, but I couldn’t resist, especially because the DIY-er in your house may need to relax after performing all these workman-like tasks outside. So how about a simple upgrade so you can feel pampered after a hard day’s work? A showerhead with Katalyst technology from Kohler may do the trick. Or for a slightly more ambitious project, consider revamping the entire shower experience with Kohler’s HydroRail shower column, which can be installed in an hour or so without having to go behind the wall to reroute plumbing. And if you are really enterprising, look at changing out your bathtub with a new whirlpool tub. Or adding a digital shower with steam functionality, which will make you wonder why you ever left home in the first place.
Get ‘Fire’d Up
Outdoor living continues to dominate today’s design trends and Kindred Outdoor is a new brand that combines bold, creative design elements with a timeless sense of style. Kindred’s beautifully sculptured fire bowls are statement pieces that instantly enhance any outdoor living space, and its outdoor kitchens are easily customized and installed in less than half the time as compared to traditional building techniques. The fire bowls come in traditional and modern designs, with four color choices in either honed or travertine finishes.