DIY kits that come on pallets are starting to emerge pretty strong. Check this out-http://www.outdoorlivingkits.com/literature/Necessories-Outdoor-Living-Kits-Mini-Catalog.pdf
These kits are modular. Homeowners can purchase one module at a time as budget allows. They are actually pretty simple to install as well. Two guys can put one like the bar table together in a couple of hours.
What do these stones feel like in person? Any porous/staining issues?
We've seen some more "unusual" outdoor furniture start to become more mainstream. Outdoor televisions and table lamps for example. (not just lights, but real lamps with shades and everything)
We saw on the Food Channel that they highlighted outdoor kitchens in their Top 10 Food Trends for 2012. They talked about the aspect of "social cooking" - that the spaces were being designed and created so everyone prepare food together in the outdoor kitchen, just like the indoor kitchen. (I guess just like inside, the party always moves to the kitchen!)
They referenced incorporating televisions, rotisseries, warming plates, etc.
I have to say AK for me personally, the outdoor TeeVee is sort of an oxymoron. Kinda defeats the purpose.. The texture on the Rockwood is pretty much the same as any other paver/block company out there, they have just marketed to the DIY folks in a savvy way. I couldn't speak for the cleaning aspect of the stone though, interesting question, which begs of course that I make some call....lol...
Wood fired outdoor pizza or bread ovens....Its on our long term improvement list.
Thank you all! Very helpful info. I'll keep you posted!
my outdoor kitchen was one of my best investments, homewise, for me the way I equipped it was based on its location / it is off an elevated deck nx't to my kitchen / i used a modular system where i was able to choose cabinet components based on needs and area available / it was just a framing system then I was able to choose which facing was desirable and complimented my home exterior / we have an extra large grill that we hooked our gas line to, so a one button push eliminated filling propane tanks or charcoal although either can still be used if the need occurs / it has a smoker and rotisserie attachments ans'd double burner industrial burners that can convert to a wok burner / the sink was the next important element in the design, but mk sure u hv the appropriate faucet hose as i had to replace 2 yrs in a row before I figured this out or hv u plumber blow out lines before season first freeze / nxt an ice bin, ice maker, small frig / the cabinets hv a built in trz'sh receptacle, paper towel holder and a cutting board - all excelllent thngs to hv but u dont want seen or hv to haul out ech event / word to the wise; outdoor icemakers arent the most reliable so dont penny pinch when purchasing had to replace/repair more than once, thnk goodness under warranty / also good lighting is important we placed one near grill and catercorner to that one, also an over head fan w/light fixture is a neccessity if you like to hand'g out late at night and in the heat of the day / i went with a faux stone for facing and slate for counter tops, flooring and stairs / again dont skimp on this the d'slate needs to be at least two and a half inch thick and put a really good seal on it so water doesnt penetrate your grout and lift up slate causing layers of it to "flake" off, yes this too was replaced / what i would do differently, well chng location of sink, pretty exposed to elements as it is not completely covered overhead so leaves and other debris get in, hv temporially solved by placing old teapot over drain / would also like to hv overhead cabinets to store "outside dishes e on list for nxt spring
Wow, Faidra, thank you so much for all these details and advice about your own outdoor kitchen. Would you be interested in being featured in the story I am working on for Atlanta Home Improvement magazine?
How about this trend! Family lives in a gated community with a huge pool complex. So they build a backyard "Oasis" including summer kitchen, large pavered open patio, firepit with seating all within a screened "pool cage" enclosure. Same cost as a pool without the upkeep. Expands your living/entertainment areas ourdoors.
That is definitely a great option for that particular living situation. Thanks for sharing, Nautilus Homes!
Not everyone's cup of tea, but there are some man-made modular boxes designed to receive some cultured stone veneers that I've seen (in person) that are very nice, and more affordable than natural stone and the substrates and structure required for them. Check this out and see what you think:
Here's a better link:
Is it just me...or do you others feel that the building market is becoming more and more filled with "faux" materials...like in Mikes link above. Is it a sign of a want it now and cheap walmart type society?
To me part of the wonder and beauty of building comes from the beauty of the material itself...a fine polished marble or chunk of granite...the beauty and unique texture of real wood grain.
@KMS...or maybe it's just that us rural folk who don't have a lot of money to work with, want the same things as people that afford the better stuff, so they opt for the less expensive and less quality materials....just sayin
Ellen...My grandfather was dirt farmer who lived on the MO. AK. state line. I had seen a lot of pics of the old "homestead"...back then all of the materials were natural...and the home looked just fine...in a county 1930's kind of way. Poor folks can still build great looking things using real materials...it may be that there is just a scaled down version, or there is a ton more "labor" involved.
In the older days most folks did all of their own building / work ...so the labor cost was free. In Today's society many folks are afraid of hard work...and hire out...to some possible "undocumented laborer" ...if people want to "appear" wealthier...they may go the faux route. But the only folks who may be impressed are those that don't look to closely.
Given a choice of soild built with real stuff at Size X....or cheap Faux at size XXX...I still prefer the real stuff.
KMS, I'm with you, my brother! I personally love natural materials, but at least here in the DC market, quite a premium would be paid for natural stone veneers.
I realize the true craftsmanship and authenticity is lacking, however the final product and ease of installation and accessibility to product make this a very attractive solution for many.
Thanks for the links, Mike. Definitely will check out. And, I definitely think there are pros and cons to manufactured vs. real stone. Seems to be a market for both. Good discussion!
My pleasure, Kali. Good luck with your article!
dont forget about the waterfeature angle to promote stress relief.
pizza ovens added to the summer kitchen is an up coming trend ive done two this year in addition to the rest of the kitchen and some pretty cool waterfeatures for that sound of water nothing better