Turn your basic backyard into an outdoor oasis

Summer’s in full swing, but are you truly making the most of it? Creating a vibrant outdoor space can expand the living area of your home, while providing a unique venue for entertaining or relaxation, allowing you to enjoy every free moment to the fullest. From the ultimate sports bar to a zen paradise, the outdoor design possibilities are endless and can be customized to meet your priorities, be it entertaining friends and family or creating the perfect tranquil retreat. As a leader in home comfort for nearly 40 years, Napoleon has extensive expertise in designing products and environments that help create …

5 tips to make the most of your outdoor space

On a beautiful, sunny day, you simply have to be outside. But when you step outdoors, where do you go? To the park? The lake? A friend’s home? How often do you stay home and enjoy the beauty of your own outdoor space? If your answer is not often or never, it’s time to create your own home field advantage. With just a few simple improvements, you can make even the smallest outdoor space feel comfortable and welcoming to you and your guests. Start with these five projects and you’ll make your own yard the place to be when the …

Transform your backyard with these 3 elements

It’s amazing to contemplate that all the famous paintings in history — from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to van Gogh’s Starry Night — are essentially formed from three primary colors. Artists skillfully combine red, yellow and blue to formulate an infinite range of colors to bring their paintings to life. Likewise, when creating your own outdoor living space, you can combine three basic elements — decking, railing and lighting — in nearly endless ways to “paint” a personal masterpiece of fun and relaxation. 1. Get decked out with modern decking For decades, backyard decks mainly have been rectangles. This is …

Garage doors: More visual impact than your front door

If you’re buying a garage door, you’ll be faced with several decisions that you likely never had to make before. Before you call your local garage door dealer, here are some of the decisions that you need to face. The design decision Remember the adage that the front door is the most important design element in the home? Not anymore. In most homes today, the visual impact of the garage door is many times greater than that of the front door. Studies have shown that your garage door design can affect the appraisal value of your home. Today, manufacturers offer …

The savvy homeowner’s 5-point outdoor winterization checklist

As temperatures drop, you’re reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. Before the first flurries fly, it’s important to take some winterization steps to ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings. This five-point checklist will help safeguard your home against winter’s woes for another year. For additional winterization ideas and detailed project plans, visit Real Cedar.com. Inspect windows Inspect each window from the outside to see if any gaps or cracks are present. These small openings let in cold air and are also inviting to small critters looking for protection from the cold. If …

Tips for Tackling a DIY Deck Project

While planning a new outdoor living space can be overwhelming, chances are there’s a home improvement retailer nearby that offers an abundance of resources to help you tackle virtually any project. If a DIY deck project is on your to-do list, these tips can help you navigate the aisles like a pro.  Do your homework. Get started by perusing retailer websites to learn about their product offerings and services. Then visit manufacturer websites for more information and to compare aesthetics and performance. Research your options and decide what materials and styles make the most sense for your lifestyle and preferences. …

Deck Design 101

Tips for planning a perfect outdoor oasis Timing can be everything, especially when it comes to planning an outdoor living space. By getting a jump-start on planning, you can afford yourself time to complete the process with maximum creativity and minimal stress. Try these expert tips and tricks of the trade to help make your dream deck a reality. Lay a Solid Foundation Don’t skimp on the substructure. Often overlooked, the substructure can have tremendous impact on performance and appearance. For maximum strength and stability, opt for steel framing over wood in order to achieve a consistently flat decking surface. …

6 Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, many homeowners overlook their lawns’ needs. Unfortunately, winter can be brutal and make it hard for lawns, trees, and shrubs to thrive the following spring. Just like chapped lips and dry skin, plants struggle to find moisture in the winter, too. Symptoms include scorched and dropped leaves, mottling on leaves and even dead leaves and twigs. Dry or frozen soil can prevent plants from replenishing needed water, which can result in winter burn. In addition, when temperatures drop below a plant’s natural tolerance, it can impact their health and vigor and cause them …

In the Garden: Fall Planting for Lilacs

How to Plant and Grow Lilacs Fall is a great time to plan ahead for your spring garden. Lilacs are among the most carefree of all shrubs. Their needs are simple: plenty of sunlight, good drainage, fertile soil, and annual pruning. Choose a planting site carefully and the only care needed is yearly pruning to maintain a nice shape.

Outdoor Kitchen Trends

Outdoor living invariably brings to mind outdoor kitchens, according to industry experts. “They are now ‘must-have’ addition to any home,” says Crystal Watson of Embers Grill and Fireplace Store. Carol Sullivan of The Hearth & Grill Shop says, “What better way to celebrate Middle Tennessee’s weather—even in December last year—than to enjoy outdoor dining?” She adds that with an outdoor kitchen a homeowner can eliminate running in and out of the house with food for guests. “Your outdoor kitchen can be anything you want it to be,” she adds. Watson says, “Some homeowners may add an outdoor kitchen/outdoor bar for …