Posts Tagged ‘exterior design’

Landscape Design for Autumn

Landscape Design

Landscape Design

Autumn brings the warmest and rich colors that nature has to offer us. There are many things you can do to use these colors in your home’s landscaping. Here are some basic tips to help you create an outdoor area in the backyard that is immersive and memorable.

Block Visual

One thing that is often overlooked is how you can use large shrubs or small trees to block visual access to different areas. By not being able to see every part of the garden from one spot, visitors get a sense that the garden just goes on an on. You will need to plan where to put these things so that in the future they will do the job you want them to. Continue reading

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen

Today’s outdoor cooking arrangements are a far cry from the old days of a grill perched on the edge of a wooden deck. A modern outdoor kitchen can include all the amenities of an indoor kitchen, including the elegance.  There have been estimates that outdoor kitchens can add as much 130% of their cost to the purchase price. But the initial cost of outdoor kitchens varies from $3,000 on the low end to $100,000 or more, depending on the layout, design, quality and type of improvements.

Appliances and Accessories

You want to have the outdoor kitchen self-contained, with all the key elements of a kitchen.  The grill, the sink, storage units and the refrigerator, all need to be there.  In this way, the cook is no longer off by himself or herself. He or she is right there with the guests.  A searer on the side of the grill can be included to sear the meat at high temperatures before grilling to seal the juices in.  Weber, Lynx, Alfresco and Wolf are some of the top brands used by outdoor contractors and designers in Summit NJ.

Permits and Setbacks

You are going to want the outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible, but the cooking units have to be at least three feet from the house.  You do not want to be running back and forth to the house for an outdoor kitchen that is a distance away.  Setting the unit closer to the home and to the pool area will encourage the family to use it more.  You are going to have a gas line that is underground if you use natural gas, and you need a licensed contractor to do that.  You will also need permits from Westchester including a building permit.  A licensed electrician should do the electrical work and a plumber will be needed if there is an outdoor sink.   Remember, you have to shut off the water and drain the pipes in the winter….. or they will freeze!

Setting the Scene

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

The entire unit, with all the appliances, usually is set into a straight or L-shaped countertop made of granite, often with a matte finish to reduce glare. Some people want tile, but water can get through the grout and destroy the countertop. You can also have concrete tinted a color to match the surroundings.  Under the countertop, you can put storage units. The surrounding area usually is done to look natural, or possibly to match the house.   Ledge rock is popular for under the countertop so it looks stacked, rather than like an indoor-fireplace rock finish. Kitchen designers recommended real stone rather than veneer, which can flake if it is power-washed


To use your outdoor kitchen in all weather, you can add a roof or a pergola.  The roof can be vinyl or fiberglass. Fiberglass comes in more colors today than in the past, when it was only white.  Another feature many customers like to add is a fire pit, to provide warmth on those Westchester chilly nights. This can take the shape of a built-in unit for the bar area, to add elegance.  Outdoor lighting sets the mood for night parties and adds accents. A stereo system can add music to the occasion, with the speakers hidden in fake rocks. An outdoor kitchen usually includes at least a modest dining area, which calls for a good-quality table and chairs. Choices have improved considerably since the days of the spindly metal, wooden or plastic patio set. Resin wicker is popular, because it does not require cushions like aluminum does. Some people do not want to run outside and take cushions in every time it rains. However, that high-grade aluminum still is popular.

Prepare Your Home For Summer

Porch Setting Outside your Home

Porch Setting

The hazy, hot, and humid summer will soon be upon us.  We need to change gears and be ready.  This is where storage space in your house is a premium feature.  If you don’t have the storage space in your home, there is usually a storage lease facility close to you.  They seem to have a huge client base.   You can design your storage so that your keep each seasons accessories in predetermined spots.  That is for the “ultra organizer”. Continue reading

What is Modern Exterior Design?

Modern Design

Modern Exterior Design

The exterior portions of a home do not always get as much attention as the interior parts, but it is not any less important. There are many different design plans that can be used to develop the exterior of the NJ home. Modern exterior design is popular because of its space saving qualities. Modern design for the exterior of the home resembles modern interior design in that it uses geometric shapes and lines and takes the minimalist approach to developing the design. This type of home design will help bring in the right balance between aesthetic appearance and functionality. Exterior lighting and landscape designs will be complimentary of other design elements such as residential painting. Continue reading

Exterior Siding Versus Exterior Painting

Exterior Siding

Siding on a Home

When a homeowner considers different exterior home remodeling projects there can be quite a few options to think about. Many times larger exterior remodeling projects will come down to either siding or painting. Either of these options can provide a brand new, fresh look for the NJ home’s exterior; and they both have the potential of increasing the resell value and the aesthetic value of the home. Some homeowners may find this a difficult decision to make since each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is very important for homeowners to carefully consider both options and determine which one best meets their needs as well as their budget. Continue reading

Top Exterior Paint Colors

Exterior Paint

Neutral Paint Colors

The whole exterior design of a home can be changed simply by using a new exterior paint color in your next home remodeling project. Color trends change over time and yet there are some colors that remain standards in exterior home design. Color schemes can change according to the neighborhood, home design, homeowner’s preference or just the current trends. Colors for exterior painting can also change according to whether or not the house is to be appraised and put back on the market. Here are some of the most used color trends in exterior design today. Continue reading