Today, outdoor entertainment means much more than barbecue grills and patio furniture. On average, Orange County residents are spoiled with more than 280 days of sunshine a year, which is why these outdoor spaces have taken on the name “California Rooms”. California rooms have become an extension of our homes, and most include outdoor kitchens for entertaining. Custom outdoor kitchens can include pizza ovens, wet bars, refrigerators, cook top burners, smokers, and warming drawers.
Remodeling and designing your outdoor kitchen can be a dream come true. Not only does it add value to your home, but if you like to have people over and enjoy entertaining, odds are you will be using your outdoor kitchen for more than just the occasional barbeque. Your outdoor California room can include anything you can dream up – large family dining tables, comfy couches in front of a built-in fireplace, televisions, bars, you name it. The days of running back and forth from the backyard to the kitchen are over. You can now eat and relax with guests, all while enjoying our great weather.
While one can dream of their perfect outdoor entertaining area, it may be harder to put together a cohesive design and plan than you think. Work with a designer to discuss your kitchen remodel and your vision, and let them handle the design, structural plans, material details and execution.
Two design elements that are paramount to client satisfaction, is having enough counter space in order to prep and serve food, as well as making sure that you have functional storage to avoid the trip back to the kitchen indoors. Make sure your design does not isolate the cook from the rest of the party; there is nothing worse than getting stuck with grill duty while hearing everyone else having a blast!
Lastly, choosing the right furniture and layout for your outdoor space will keep your guests entertained, and your soiree running smoothly, so you can thoroughly enjoy the festivities, too. Happy planning!
A GUIDE THOUGH THE ESSENTIALS
By: Andrew Shore – President, Sea Pointe Construction
Remodeling any area of the home can be a large investment of time and money. It is only natural when a client wants to be sure that their commitment results in a kitchen that exceeds their design and accessibility expectations. That is where the Sea Pointe Construction design team steps in. Below are a few key design features to think about while envisioning and planning your dream kitchen.
Direct Access to Outdoors
Incorporating the outdoors into your kitchen remodel is an easy decision to make when living in sunny Southern California. With an average of 285 days of perfect weather per year, the backyard is easily considered part of a home’s living space. Replacing an exterior wall with large format bi-fold doors creates a seamless indoor-outdoor kitchen design that is perfect for both entertaining friends and keeping an eye on dinner while playing with the kids. Not only do bi-fold doors bring next level design and functionality to your kitchen remodel, but taking advantage of a bi-folding door system also allows for ample natural light.
For those clients who find that their kitchen is the family gathering place or entertainment hub of the home, but the space doesn’t quite live up to those lively expectations, Sea Pointe Construction’s design team says a large kitchen island is the answer! A large kitchen island makes for the perfect middle ground between a prepping host and their guests.
Not too long ago, it seemed that a big highlight of a kitchen remodel meant getting granite countertops, but through the use of different technologies to fabricate countertop materials, quartz has become an exciting new option for homeowners. When quartz countertops were first introduced, the options were limited and lacked visual interest. Today, there is an option to match every design aesthetic. Quartz is virtually no maintenance when compared to materials like marble and granite, and it’s sure to impress.
The days of remodeling a kitchen to simply look pretty are behind us! Like they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Yes, a beautiful kitchen is sure to impress the in-laws on special occasions, but for the homeowner who uses the kitchen day-in-day-out, accessibility is key. Putting thought into how you use your kitchen space and what might be lacking is huge during the design process. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a pullout spice rack, customized drawer interiors or a prep-sink. Accessibility challenges are what the team of Sea Pointe Construction designers set out to solve for our clients.
We know, it’s like a broken record … Open floor plan, open floor plan, open floor plan! For those who aren’t totally convinced, let us help you see what mustering up the courage to knock down walls actually gets you.
Coziness vs Airiness
Most clients want to keep their walls because it makes the room feel “cozy” or “homey”, but what they may not realize is that having all those enclosed spaces is actually what can make your home feel cluttered and unorganized. Oftentimes small spaces get overstuffed with bulky furniture, interrupting the natural flow of the room. Knocking down the wall between two rooms and reworking the furniture will make the room not only more entertainment friendly, but it will seem larger without actually adding any square footage to your home!
An “Everything” Space
What purpose does having three different rooms for three different uses really serve? Combining those three rooms into one makes for more family time! It’s a space where your spouse can watch the game while the children play and you’re whipping up an old family recipe! If having everyone together and enjoying family time is something that you value, then an open floor plan is for you!
Turning 3 small living areas into one, makes for a luxurious relaxing experience. Opening up an area of your home that was once closed in, will breathe new life into the space! No matter how small or large your home looks from the outside, if your interior is open, flowing and lively, the luxury is sure to follow.
While you’re gearing up for the summer BBQ’s and backyard picnics ahead, here are some of the home trends you can incorporate into your preparations.
Adding design elements to a large, open wall in the home can take your entertainment space over the top. Certain tiles and reclaimed wood accents are such a nice, fresh touch. Incorporating breathable and renewable materials, will draw the eye, bring light into the space and scream summer!
Green & Natural Color Schemes
It may sound crazy, but green is in! Adding a beautifully detailed green piece to a space of the home that may be lacking color, will bring visual interest and create excitement for the eye. Green is the color of renewal and is perfect for a space that needs livening up!
Small space designing always seem to send homeowners into a tailspin. These awkward, and seemingly unusable spaces, can actually add value to your overall home design. This is not to say that you must overcrowd the area with furniture or pieces that may not fit the room. Remember to account for the natural flow of the room and maybe you’ll find that your small space is calling out for a bar-cart.
Deco style tile can be a super fun and exciting addition to your residential remodel. For those who love the idea but may find it hard to commit to, here are a few applications for each room of the home which aren’t too overwhelming but still add that pop of style.
In a bathroom remodel, deco style tile can be utilized as an accent tile baseboard. This can bring color into those bright white bathrooms, which everyone is after! Or how about the back wall of an open-faced built in cabinet? That’s an awesome way to bring some visual interest into a place that was once lackluster. For those who are locked into using a deco style tile on the floor of the bathroom, but are looking for something that is more subdued, try a tile with an interesting or unconventional shape (like a triangular tile) and use a dark colored grout.
For those who love the monochromatic kitchen, but don’t want the white and light gray color scheme, how about doing a dark blue cabinet, with a deco style floor? For kitchens with enough natural and general lighting, this is an awesome and out-of-the-box design, that is sure to impress. If blanketing the kitchen floor in deco style tile isn’t for you, maybe try working it into your overall kitchen floor design. Again, a great design element for your kitchen remodel, that is sure to get people talking.
In a living room, a large format deco style tile, could be great as an accent wall! Some might think accent walls are outdated and a poor design choice, but when done right, an accent wall is stunning. Not to mention, it’s a great way to tie your newly remodeled living room together. An accent wall, or area, is especially beautiful around or on the wall of a fireplace.
Don’t be afraid of unconventional material selections for your residential remodel. When done right, almost every design choice can be breathtaking. Happy Remodeling!
Whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom or family room, transitioning a small space from frustrating to fantasy is absolutely achievable. No matter the part of the home, maximizing limited living space always starts with defining your goals for that particular area. Do you have a small kitchen, but you love to entertain? Have you found yourself with a lack of sitting space for those friends and family members who drop by? Or maybe you feel the walls closing in on you in the master bedroom? Before pulling your hair out, try picturing your limited living area from a new perspective.
Designating specific areas of your limited living space to the different activities helps to stop the chaos brought upon by small spaces. This does not necessarily mean creating zones though a residential remodel. The smallest changes can make a big difference! Even adding a coat rack to the entry way in hopes that jackets won’t get tossed here, there and everywhere. Or even eliminating the kitchen table to allow for better flow for entertaining. While optimizing your small space, don’t be afraid to add or eliminate furnishings. Just be sure that in doing so, you’re adding value to your use within the space.
Let the Light in
If your limited space allows for natural light, embrace it! There is nothing like some Southern California sunshine to create the illusion of a bigger space. For those spaces with limited opportunity for natural light, brightness can be obtained through limiting dark furniture to accent pieces. Moreover, choosing a light paint color for the walls adds an element of freshness to the room.
When done right, vertical storage can be a lifesaver! No matter how small or large, everyone has that one spot in their home that they just don’t know what to do with. Rather than adding a functionless table or chairs to that area, add vertical storage! It might take time to find the perfect storage piece for that awkward shaped space, but the work is worth the reward. What was once dead space in the home, is now the needed addition to store items that do not see everyday use.
Don’t Overdo It
Clean lines and minimalistic style furniture will shine in a limited living area. In confined spaces with design overload, the eye gets overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to look first! We may not even realize it, but design overload ads to the uneasy feeling of small spaces. Practical, and simple storage is especially essential when considering a bathroom remodel. Keep it simple and you’ll find your small space inviting and charming while entertaining friends or family.