Posted on

2019 Best Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Outdoor kitchens are as much about beauty as they are about functionality when it comes to design and execution. You need to consider climate, positioning, and appliances when drafting up your design plan. Fortunately, perfecting these elements and getting the look you want is fairly straightforward, especially when using materials such as natural stone. From a custom jumbo stone slab for your outdoor kitchen counter top, natural stone walling tiles for the counter or bar sides, to tailored flagstone for your patio layout, STONEarch has a number of beautiful colours and products for you to choose from when designing your outdoor kitchen area. We want to offer 7 of the top outdoor kitchen design ideas for your backyard kitchen so that you can make the most out of the space you have.

  1. Kitchen Type and Placement
  2. Theme
  3. Grill Station
  4. Bar Seating
  5. Patio
  6. Nearby Dining
  7. Outdoor Fireplace

 

1. Kitchen Type and Placement

Determining the best type of outdoor kitchen for you will depend on available space, lifestyle, and other factors. At its most basic, it could include a barbecue grill and maybe an outdoor bar that serves as a partial counter. As for extravagance: the sky is the limit. You can get as elaborate as you desire with additions such as an outdoor fridge, an outdoor wine cellar, an outdoor TV, and/or even an outdoor pizza oven. Decide if you want a fully functional kitchen or something simpler that just fits your needs. From there, you can begin designing a layout and selecting the right materials that work for you. For other areas that experience more extremes in weather, location within your yard is important. Pay attention to micro-climates. You want to avoid spots that are open to more wind, hot under the sun, too shady or cold. If you live in a region that gets lots of rain, consider locating your grill or kitchen under a partial patio roof. Adding large ornamental umbrellas and lighting allows you to host in the dark, in the rain, and any other condition you’re willing to weather. Using natural stone for your counter top, patio, or ornamental walling leaves you with reliable materials that you can count on for all of your outdoor kitchen design needs.

2. Theme

Designing a backyard living space can be a chore if you haven’t come to a decision on theme. Starting with a theme allows you to make more inspired decisions about how you would like the final product to appear, and what kind of essence it will bring to your backyard space. Making sure you choose the right theme for your house and lifestyle can be just as important as the materials themselves. You can choose to blend into your surroundings with heavy emphasis on rough edge stone and foliage, or you can stand out with colour, design and unique stone work for your backyard. Go with a refined, natural stone patio to compliment any pops of colour you choose for your outdoor kitchen, or use natural stone walling under a Jumbo Slab stone counter to make your kitchen look carved out of nature. STONEarch has an excellent selection of stone colors such as Indus Gray or Alicante Black to give your outdoor space a contemporary look or you can go with warm and earthy colors such as Slate Gray or Flint that emulates a humble country aesthetic.

3. Grill Station

It’s time to focus on the centre piece to backyard entertainment; the barbecue. Though barbecue itself is important, making the most out of your barbecue doesn’t just rely on your cooking skill or ability to grill. Having a grill station where you can prep, cook, and serve allows you to make the most out of your space and be more involved with your guests. Adding a little bit of counter space to your barbecue area for room to dress up, cut, or serve your home cooked cuisine can make a big difference in convenience as well as style. You can opt for a modest addition to the side of your grill, or enhance the space exponentially by including a longer grill station with additional storage underneath for utensils, extra propane tanks, or a cooler.

4. Bar Seating

Take your outdoor kitchen to the next level by adding some additional counter space and bar seating for your friends and family to join you by the grill. By including this addition, you can better define the space’s boundaries while also offering an element of inclusion. You can go with an extended counter so that your guests can sit level with the rest of the counter space, or bump the bar up to emulate the true essence of bar seating. There are plenty of colours to choose from for your counter top if you choose to use natural stone, like STONEarch’s Spring granite featured in the above picture. Whether you want a modern contemporary look or a country aesthetic, your guests are going to admire your outdoor kitchen and bar.

5. Patio

The patio is what lays the foundation for your backyard living space, quite literally. Never settle in the design for your patio style and layout until you’ve achieved the look of your dreams. You can go for a style that eases the indoors out, or create a look that stands out but gives you all the space you’ll need for designing your outdoor living space. For flooring you can go with uniform pavers, a combo of different sized cobbles, or you can select random sized stone that offers a more natural look. When it’s all said and done, the patio stone and other stone products should create a harmonized atmosphere that compliments each other and offers some sweet contrast that makes the whole project come together.

6. Nearby Dining

Along with the important pieces like the barbecue and the counter space, having an outdoor dining area or designated sitting area nearby is one more addition that can take your backyard kitchen to the next level. Whether you’re looking to seat the whole extended family, or a smaller company, a designated dining area will give you the ability to entertain and serve your guests. This addition will make this outdoor space come together in beautiful ways and create the outdoor living you’ve always dreamed about.

7. Outdoor Fireplace

Adding an outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit will take your outdoor kitchen and living space feel like you’ve simply just moved your living area under the sun. You can add a gorgeous ornamental fireplace with a majestic chimney – or go with a more country style look with a custom fire pit. It’s perfect for keeping you and your company warm on cooler days and colder nights, and offers the perfect mood lighting for cozy sessions with couples or family. Picking a patio stone or paver that compliments whichever element you go with can help establish the space, unify the landscape and add a gorgeous base for any deck furniture you choose for your backyard getaway.

However you wish to define your outdoor space, the incredible selection of natural stone products available at STONEarch can help take your design to the next level. Offering a variety of colours and products – such as pavers, flagstone, curbs, steps, slabs and a much more – STONEarch will accommodate your needs and work to bring your outdoor kitchen design to life.






Written by Kelsey Adley
Posted on

2019 Latest Trends in Landscape Design

The time has come to take back the backyard with new and improved landscape designs as summer waits on the horizon and barbequing season comes full swing. Now landscape design can be interpreted at many levels – macro, meso, and micro. While macro landscape design is for a more industrial-scale application, meso and micro express a contained articulation that can be applied in home and commercial gardens. It’s here that landscape design gets to test its boundaries in both creativity and innovation. From the use of landscaping stones to a tailored selection of plants, there is a lot to be considered. Some of the best landscape design ideas are derived from a combination of artistic liberty and well-defined spatial parameters. In this collected list we’ll be taking a look at 5 of the latest trends in this landscaping that you can easily apply on both meso and micro level to breathe new life into your backyard:

  1. Poolside Hardscaping
  2. Sun-Style Meandering Pavers
  3. Outdoor Barbeque Counters
  4. An Outdoor Fireplace
  5. Stone Flower Bed Periphery

 

1. Poolside Hardscaping

Many suburban homes these days have a pool in the backyard. While it’s an enjoyable and useful design element, you could add further embellishments to unleash its true ornamental potential. This is why poolside hardscaping has become such a hot trend. It can be articulated in the form of natural stone-clad boundaries at one end of the pool with the potential to be re-purposed into sunny sitting areas or poolside planter beds. It can also be emulated in the form of feature-length stone-clad decking where lounging chairs can be placed for tanning in the summertime. These landscaping stones are perfect for enhancing the natural appeal of an outdoor space. Poolside hardscaping is definitely one of the best landscape design ideas you can go for to take your pool to the next level.

2. Small-Style Meandering Pavers

One of the most timeless and classic landscape design trends that is sure to remain popular in the foreseeable future is gently meandering pathways. These are quite often found in most carefully designed gardens. The pavers and landscaping stones used in them are stylishly pitted and arranged in a way that feels like a personal trail guiding you to areas of interest. Sometimes the hardscaping is interspersed with small amounts of grass, while other times the grass quantifies the pavers. It all depends on the kind of aesthetic you’re creating. A good landscape stone supplier can provide you with a cache of great choices in this genre to make the most out of this design.

3. Outdoor Barbecue Counters

Outdoor kitchen islands are one of the most popular trends in the world. It’s a design element that makes a statement in both large and small gardens. Creating an outdoor kitchen space could make your backyard events the highlight of the summer as they add an element of organization and inclusion for family and guests. The best part is that it can be scaled according to the size and style of your garden design. It’s one of the best landscape design ideas in the book, and can even add a rugged appeal to the overall outdoor space when you choose to clad it with natural stone alternatives such as walling stones and veneers. You can consult your local landscaping stone supplier on which finish better suits your desired outdoor atmosphere.

4. An Outdoor Fireplace

Pro Land Landscape

Outdoor fireplaces are an absolute necessity for both small and large garden patios. They not only provide a great center and focal point for outdoor seating areas, but are one of the trendiest landscape design ideas that you can choose. Additionally, there are a lot of ways to craft these fireplaces to fit your patio size and layout. Some people erect a round/square landscaping stone periphery around a pit that is later filled in with logs and cinder. Others prefer a more contemporary take on this venture by going for a conventional mantle-and-chimney fireplace on the feature wall of their landscaped gardens. These are usually built and finished in gorgeous stones, all the better to fit in with the natural environment while equally standing out in elegance. Your landscaping stone supplier can better guide you while making a choice between the two.

5. Stone Flower Bed Periphery

Pro Land Landscape

Flower beds are a landscape essential, and one of the best ways to keep them neatly organized in their zone is by erecting a boundary around them. It’s not only functional and highly pragmatic, but also incredibly trendy. Some of the best landscape design ideas include getting creative with the stones used in these flower bed peripheries. Cobblestones give off a quaint and charming aura, flagstones emulate a rugged appeal, and copings give off a stunning finish to the flowerbeds overall. You can easily match the colour scheme of your backyard landscape design to bring the whole space together in gorgeous unity.

For more design inspiration, visit our Gallery or Inspiration page.

Posted on

2019 Latest Trends in Swimming Pool Design

Whether you’re planning to build a new pool or looking to upgrade, having a vision for your personal pool design can be challenging. From uncertainty about trends, colors, and layout to quality materials and pool liners, knowing where to start can feel a little daunting. With options like fresh water pools or salt water pools, picking the right pumps, pool heaters, flag stone, pool copings, or spa copings can pose a challenge for your pool’s construction. Here at STONEarch, we’re shining a light on the latest trends in swimming pool design for 2019, and what we can offer to bring your dreams into reality. So let’s get started;

  1. Dark Pool Liners with Earthy Coloured Decking
  2. Sun Shelves
  3. Country or Contemporary Style Pool
  4. Luxury Finishes
  5. Cut Shapes and Simple Lines

 

1. Dark Pool Liners with Earthy Coloured Decking

Standing in the number one spot in this coming season’s top pool design trends are dark pool liners. Dark colours for pool walls and liners simulate the serene look of natural bodies of water in your backyard landscape. It gives the illusion of depth and absorbs more of the sun’s heat – a natural source for pool heating providing a comfortable temperature to swim in. Cap off your gorgeous pool deck with STONEarch’s warm and earthy-color natural stones for your pool copings such as Flint, Lavender, Slate Gray or Saga. Use the same earthy tone flagstones to create the maintenance-free and sandy-looking pool deck of your dreams. Using the same colour stone as your pool copings and pool decking creates vastness to the area and gives a welcome theme to the whole project.

2. Sun Shelves

If you haven’t heard of them sun shelves are flat shallow ledges along a pool’s interior side. These are also known as tanning ledges or Baja shelves. Sun shelves are ideal for parents to lounge on while young children play around the pool deck.  You can relax on the ledge itself while partially immersed or set up lounging chairs on the ledge so that only your feet get wet. These shelves look excellent in kidney shaped pools and rectangular pools. Either choice will make your backyard look like a true oasis, adding to the relaxation and comfort that you’re seeking. For a more natural look try STONEarch’ range of natural stone such as Dove, Black, or Fossil or try something more sophisticated and modern like Silver Valley Limestone, New Ebony Granite, Alicante Black Granite or Gray Mix Travertine Stone.

3. Country or Contemporary Style Pool

Country Style Pool or Contemporary Style Pools – both offer a relaxing environment, and when these designs are tied up with landscaping elements that follows theme the overall feel of the design is enhanced tenfold. However, landscaping with clean straight lines along with rectangular pools is becoming trendier as kidney shaped pools become a thing of the past.

Natural stone adds another dimension to the richness of your backyard allowing you to stay in touch with nature. Rock waterfalls, stone fountains, and customized garden ornaments add your signature to your customized outdoor living space. Natural boulders, armor rock, or random flagstone can give a more rustic look and can help you create a country style backyard. Or you can go with straight and clean lines to create a modern or contemporary landscape. Design a pool that reflects your persona and play with these elements to create a pool deck that your family and friends will enjoy.

4. Luxury Finishes

One trend that we expect to gain momentum in 2019 is the use of luxury finishes. People have come to recognize they are by no means limited when it comes to colours, stones, and finishes especially when working with a custom swimming pool. In natural stone there are beautiful finishes such as flame, antique, leather, natural, sandblast and other variety textures. Additionally luxury pools allow for customized stones with stunning cuts, shapes and finishes. Pool Copings can be customized to your pool design theme and the pool deck can be adorned with customized liner shapes that reflect a more contemporary style.

5. Cut Shapes and Simple Lines

Simple square pool shapes are supreme when it comes to modernized pool designs. This sharp cut shape offers a modern spa-like atmosphere and has become a widely popular shape for in-ground pools. This modernized trend incorporates full-width steps and offers opportunity when working with stone walling. It also offers an opportunity when designing long swim-out ledges in pools of a more rectangular shape. Going with a dark colour pool coping along with similar patio stone  – like our selection of Ebony, Saga, or Silver Antique – can really take your pool design to the next level and create the backyard oasis of your dreams.









Written by Kelsey Adley
Posted on

CLIMBING FOR NATURE; WWF & THE CN TOWER

Donate to the Cause

This year STONEarch has put together a corporate team to participate in raising money and supporting WWF. The World Wildlife Fund’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s environment. The WWF uses the raised money towards harmonizing Arctic, oceans, freshwater, people and wildlife. Help team STONEarch reach our fundraising goal by clicking here and donating towards the cause. Your donations will not only help us raising funds but will also encourage STONEarch team to stay committed to the cause.

STONEarch; Why We’re Climbing

The STONEarch team has taken the initiative this year and is committed to participate and contribute towards the cause in years to come. The CN Tower Climb for Nature will generate awareness towards the preservation of our precious and beautiful environment. This event provides an opportunity for us to reach new heights, all the while supporting conservation work in Canada and across the world. Climbing the CN Tower is just one way to raise funds towards preventing the decline of our world’s many species; from protecting the mighty polar bear in the Arctic, to the vital capelin in Atlantic Canada and magnificent killer whales off the West Coast. Our support will help WWF rebuild healthy freshwater systems and marine ecosystems. This will also support ecologically sound future of the Arctic, and resilient communities that enhance nature. This is our first initiative and we are committed to contribute toward the cause in many more ways. Our commitment towards the conservation of nature is set in stone.

 

 

Written by Kelsey Adley