Airy Rooftop Gathering Space featuring Bloc Fire Bowl in Black Sand, Honed finish
Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds Airy Rooftop Gathering Space featuring Bloc Fire Bowl in Black Sand, Honed finish

More than ever before, homeowners desire bigger and better outdoor living spaces and are investing time, energy and budgets into creating their own backyard oasis. Consumers want an entire outdoor experience for cooking and sharing meals, entertaining, relaxing and connecting with friends and family.

In the midst of supply shortages and material price challenges, builders and other trade professionals are looking to help homeowners find that “just right” fit of sophistication that will enhance their favorite gathering spaces as quickly and easily as possible. Here are a few options that can offer maximum impact with minimal effort:

Outdoor Luxury Made Simple

Outdoor kitchens have evolved dramatically over the past several years. Ample countertops, high-end appliances, temperature-controlled beer dispensers and wood-burning pizza ovens are just a few of the many trend-forward options that consumers are looking for when designing an outdoor kitchen space.

Metropolitan Signature Kitchen from Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, faced with Eldorado Stone
Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds Metropolitan Signature Kitchen from Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, faced with Eldorado Stone

The most innovative manufacturers in today’s market offer pre-designed, ready-to-install kitchens in an assortment of size and style configurations that ship complete with all cabinets, bolts and end caps. The prefabricated “building block” units can then be finished with a wide variety of stone or brick veneer profiles, as well as the appliances and countertop materials of your choice.

These types of product offerings allow builders and landscape architects to assemble a beautiful and authentic outdoor space with just two people in less than half the time as compared to traditional building techniques.

Fireplace Focal Points for Interiors

Indoors, a well-appointed fireplace can serve as a focal point for seasonal creativity. Stately fireplace surrounds, hearth stones and/or mantel shelves provide an always-in-season decorative canvas for season-specific accents.

Luxurious Living Area featuring The Dylan Fireplace Surround in Aged Teak, Honed finish from Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds
© 2021 Dan Solomon Luxurious Living Area featuring The Dylan Fireplace Surround in Aged Teak, Honed finish from Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds

Fireplace installation, however, can be a cumbersome process. Fireplace surrounds and mantel shelves composed of manufactured stone veneer are approximately 75 percent lighter than a comparable solid stone, making handling and installation much easier.

Much like the innovation around pre-designed outdoor kitchens, some manufacturers are creating indoor fireplace surrounds that ship with all materials necessary for easy installation. From the actual mantel itself down to adhesive and shims, builders receive everything on site in one complete package.

With this approach, a typical installation can take two people approximately two to six hours and be performed by a range of professionals, including carpenters, masons, tile setters, and general contractors.

Outside: Light the Night

From movie viewing under the stars to intimate conversations around a roaring fire, outdoor living is all about reinforcing the ties that bind. A variety of outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and captivating, sculpture-inspired fire bowls can help transform any backyard into an outdoor oasis.

Outdoor Oasis featuring Kulm Fire Bowl in Oyster Shell, Honed finish
Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds Outdoor Oasis featuring Kulm Fire Bowl in Oyster Shell, Honed finish

Many of these products are now constructed of strong, glass-reinforced concrete for added durability and ease of installation, and ship complete with all components. Builders may want to consider fire pits or fire bowls that utilize lava rock which creates an even distribution of the flame, is easy to clean and maintain, and provides a more natural appearance to correspond with the design of the complete outdoor space.

As builders look to deliver their client’s dream of a backyard sanctuary, there are a number of innovative and creative ways to provide practical yet elegant solutions for luxurious outdoor spaces.

About Sarah Lograsso

Sarah Lograsso is the Director of Marketing and Product Design for Boral North America’s stone division of brands (Cultured Stone, Eldorado Stone, Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, Versetta Stone, Dutch Quality, StoneCraft and ProStone), where she manages all of the brands’ marketing, advertising and promotional projects and objectives. She is well versed in manufactured stone and brick veneer, masonry techniques, biophilic design, fireplace surrounds, outdoor living, fire bowls, color and texture, and up-to-date industry and market trends.