By Laura Giadone, C.I.D., Certified Interior Decorator


       outdoors hammock decorOne of the joys of living in Flagler County is outdoor living. Expanding your home by creating unique outdoor spaces is an increasing trend as people are enjoying more quality time at home for entertaining and relaxing. A patio, lanai, deck or screened porch can provide the feeling of increased square footage with the right decorating touches that coordinate with the colors and design of your home. An outdoor living area can functionally be designed as a kitchen, dining area, family room or a combination of rooms.

        First, your room needs a hard surface like decking, pavers, stamped or stained concrete, tile or stone. Consider outdoor flooring that brings the outside in as you look through your window, like extending interior tile to the outdoor area. An all-weather rug will add a splash of color and warmth and provide an anchor to your furnishings.

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Get Cooking this Summer with an Outdoor Kitchen

Most home owners will agree that it’s just not summer without the sizzle of the grill. But running back and forth from the kitchen to the barbeque can get old quickly. Outdoor kitchens make life easier for those who frequently enjoy grilling their meals, can enhance your home’s resale value and enjoy growing demand among prospective home buyers.
Here are a few questions to take into account when determining if an outdoor kitchen is right for you.

What works best in your space?
Egret Summer KitchenOutdoor kitchens can be as elaborate — or as simple — as you’d like. But to make the most of your new space, you need to carefully consider the design. Have a professional check the patio or deck where you plan on building your outdoor kitchen beforehand. While most can support the additional weight, you may need to add structural support.

Think about how the space will be used. Do you want guests to eat outside or just mingle while you cook? What features (pool, trees, etc.) are already in your backyard and need to be worked around? Is there enough ventilation area so smoke from the grill can blow away?

Make sure there is plenty of space for people to watch without getting in the way or being too close to open flames. Typically, there should be 3 feet of space on either side of the grill for work space and food preparation.

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