Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

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Sky Adler Speaks with European Home on his Contemporary Kona Grill Design

photo_1As the North American Distributor of the Element4 Dutch fireplace line, European Home recognizes beautiful designs. From time to time we get the pleasure of having conversations with the brilliant minds behind some of those designs. This month we sit down with Sky Adler.

Sky Adler is the Senior Director of Architecture and Design for Kona Grill, a fine dining restaurant specializing in sushi and an array of handmade cocktails.  Sky cut his teeth in design while living in LA and working in the film industry as a production designer for over a decade.

One of the first things I noticed when I walked into the new Kona Grill in Minnetonka, MN was how theatrical the whole experience was.  A giant blue LED bubble wall greets you for your red-carpet entrance.  Over by the bar, the sushi chef is cutting sashimi on his illuminated stage.  Finally, as you turn the corner, you are treated to an Element4 eight-foot long see-through gas fireplace which brings drama and warmth to the entire scene.

photo_2How did you get your start in architecture and design?

(Sky) After completing my studies many years ago I picked up and moved to LA and found myself in the film industry as a production designer for 12 years.  While there I worked on all kinds of  projects even some associated with Steven Spielberg and Wolfgang Puck.  It wasn’t the path I had in mind while I was in school, but when in Rome… you know?

[Eventually] I moved back home to Colorado and bought and old three-story Victorian House.  I was working on that for about a year, while simultaneously working on a number of other rehab projects, when I got a call from Marci Rude (VP of Development for Kona Grill) who offered to bring me on the team.

I’ve only been at this for about 5 years now but already we’ve done about 22 new restaurants and seven remodels.  The crazy thing is, for the first three and a half years it was just me and about three other people.  Now we’re up to a team of 19.

photo_3Did you like to design things as a child?  What would you design?

I grew up in the era of crayons, and while other kids were drawing stick figures or flowers, I was sketching out full on floor plans.  By the time I was 9 or 10 I started building model houses with intricate roofing and very specific details down to the upholstery patterns.  So, yeah, I was kinda weird.  (laughs)

My father was in construction and he would design a new house for us to live in just about every other year, so I had a close relationship with construction and design from an early age.

What has influenced the Kona Grill design aesthetic you have helped develop?

When I came in we wanted to create a complete update to Kona’s image.  I completely re-imagined the color palette – bringing in blues, grays and patina coppers to create a signature look.  I also wanted to bring in new textures, like tile, concrete, and rusted metal.  When you walk into a Kona Grill you can’t help but be reminded of the elements.  Fire and water are central to our identity.  I let these elements inform nearly all of my decisions from the fireplace to the aquarium to the specific color of the light that permeates the entire space.

Light and color seem very connected in this space.  There are lots of different light sources, the aquarium, the LED wall, the fireplace, and I haven’t even mentioned the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.  How did you come up with the lighting design for this space?

I think lighting is critical to any space.  I actually studied lighting for a whole year just to better understand how it operates.  I took a chance with all the blue lighting since it’s well known the color blue is actually an appetite suppressant (laughs) but I think it’s pretty unique for a restaurant.  You have to break the rules sometimes.

I wanted to create different fields of light for different activities.  Everything was intentional and the bar is lighted different than the dining area which is lighted different from the lounge where the fireplace really warms up the space, provides a pop and a lot of drama amidst all the blue.

And why did you pick the Tenore 240 by Element4 — a double-sided, see-through fireplace for this space?

Like I said, I like to create different dining experiences within the same space while maintaining the connectivity and energy throughout. The double sided fireplace allows more visibility between the wall and gives more bang for the buck, allowing a single unit to create two completely different atmospheres on either side. The appeal is to have division between the patio and dining room but still being able to see through to each and have the dynamic fire feature to combine the two.

Could you describe your design style in a couple sentences?

I completely don’t have one. (Laughs)  I feel I’m well versed in everything.  What we’ve created for Kona Grill in particular is something that is modern and relevant but not so modern that it will be dated in a couple years.  My style is very architectural very clean while still being warm and inviting.





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European Home – Supermodel Coco Rocha Embraces Modern Design

photo_1Last fall, international supermodel Coco Rocha and her husband, visual artist James Conran, contacted European Home because they loved our design style.  Coco and James were amazing to work with through the whole design and installation process of their Bidore 140 gas fireplace by Element4. They always made time to chat about the particulars of the design which was especially impressive because it seemed they were always on the go.

And that’s where we’ll rest for a while — in an old New York house that has been renovated into a warm modern home by this dynamic couple. We asked Coco and James about the renovation experience and the importance of good design in their constantly moving lives:

Cory: Tell me a little about your home in terms of architecture and design styles.

C+J: “It’s very much a modern home but we didn’t want it to seem cold or uninviting. We think with modern design it’s a balance, you want to keep that clean minimal look but you also want a space that feels like home.”

photo_3Cory: What originally attracted you to this style fireplace?

C+J: “We love modern design and when researching fireplaces with sleek clean lines we felt like all the products offered by European Home really hit the nail on the head when it came to our taste. The hard part was picking one we liked, there were so many.”

Cory: What does your fireplace add to the space?

photo_8C+J: “It really puts a focus into the living room that it was missing before. Now we just can’t wait for the first winters night when we can really crank it!”

Cory: How would you describe your “personal design style?”

C+J: “We are very, very particular. One of the reasons this renovation took so long was because we had to be involved with it every step of the way. Every outlet, every light was planned by us, down to the inch. It could seem a little obsessive to many but in the end, all those tiny details add up to a home we are proud of and that feels like an extension of who we are.”


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Majestic Brand Re-Launch at Hearth & Home Technologies Brings Numerous Benefits

As a holding entity for multiple iconic brands, Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT), Lakeville, Minnesota, values its long-held reputation among industry dealers and wholesalers. A re-launch of the company’s Majestic Brand is not so much a fix as it is an opportunity to make improvements.

With a team effort led by V.P. Berger, president of HHT, the benefits thus far have been numerous, and stakeholders are pleased with the progress. Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR) sat down with Berger to talk about the specifics of the brand re-launch and what it means for customers.

Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR): How does the Majestic Brand re-launching benefit hearth retailers in the United States and Canada?



V.P. Berger, president, Hearth & Home Technologies, Lakeville, Minnesota: Our areas of focus to help retailers are on products, sales tools, and the value chain. The largest area of focus is on products. Majestic products are now manufactured in our award winning facilities in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and Lake City, Minnesota, which means that retailers will benefit with proven platforms, lean manufacturing capabilities, and the quality they expect from all HHT brands.

In addition to improving the product line, we have also introduced new marketing and sales tools for each of the products. We also believe that shifting Majestic to exclusively wholesale distribution to service dealers will ultimately benefit everyone. It demonstrates our commitment to the wholesale partners, provides them with opportunities to grow their business, while also providing dealers with the tools and services they need to grow their businesses. Dealers will get timely delivery and great service with a proven and capable wholesale partner and distribution network.


Echelon II

P&HPR: What Majestic products are particularly noteworthy in terms of product features and consumer demand?

Berger: We are close to completing a 100% re-launch of the entire Majestic brand which involves a full line of products that deliver the quality and reliability that our customers expect. There is a strong consumer demand for all gas direct vent, inserts and wood products across modern and traditional fireplaces. The new Majestic lineup spreads across all categories with enhanced feature sets that are going to excite customers.

Starting with the recent Quartz (pictured, top left), it provides excellent flexibility for not only consumers, dealers, and customers, but also builders who are looking for a great traditional fireplace or a modern look. The Echelon II is a new linear gas fireplace available in several single-sided and see-through sizes. It has many options for customization, so it hits the sweet spot for consumers looking for a high-end, nearly custom contemporary fireplace, and we are continuing to see excellent growth in this category. The Marquis II is a beautiful gas fireplace with traditional styling. It meets the demand from consumers who want the ambiance of a masonry fireplace, realistic split logs, and all with the convenience of gas.

We are excited about not just one product category, but also the entire product line as we re-launch the entire product line over the next six months.


Marquis II

P&HPR: How is HHT working with specialty retailers, dealers, and wholesalers to accomplish the re-launch of the brand so far?

Berger: It starts with a comprehensive national distribution strategy, and that is what we have done here. We are ensuring customers that their quality, and on-time delivery that they expect, will remain unchanged and uninterrupted. Within 48 hours of announcing this shift, all customers of the Majestic Brand were contacted, and the distribution strategy was explained for the Majestic Brand to service dealers and consumers and how it will benefit all of us.

We have the utmost confidence in our wholesalers to execute this distribution strategy, and ensure that they get the best quality, delivery, and cost as we do it. We are going to equip our wholesalers with the tools necessary to make sure that they are confident and ready to service the dealers in their markets.

P&HPR: What will be happening during the transition period of Sept 2016 and Jan 2017?

Berger: Over the next few months, we are going to work closely with our dealers and wholesalers to ensure that the dealers are informed correctly on who they can buy from, and make sure that they are effectively and efficiently transitioned to a new wholesale partner. We want to ensure that we are maintaining these relationships with the Majestic brand. These hearth retailers will still see the same quality they have come to expect, and we believe they will actually get better service from our wholesale partners who have been committed to us for years and know the brand so well.

P&HPR: What has been the feedback from hearth dealers about this new branding strategy?

Berger: The feedback has been resoundingly positive. We actually announced the brand strategy change back in October of 2015, and that was a comprehensive re-launch of the Majestic brand going back to its heritage of direct vent, gas, and wood burning fireplaces.

Feedback on our distribution has been good across the board. Our wholesale partners appreciate the commitment that we have made to them to help grow their business, and our dealers appreciate the transparency and understand it based on our core strategy. We have assured them that they will continue to receive quality Majestic products in a timely manner, and I think we are all excited about the future of the Majestic brand as we take this step together.









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Galaxy Outdoor Preps November Debut for Enterprise Island


2016 GX Evo Bar Height Table Program (Finished)

LAS VEGAS – The Enterprise Dining / Cooking / Bar manages to combine several things that are already great on their own: a cooking/grill /griddle space where the chef cooks your food right in front of you, a place to seat 6 of your friends or family (optional bar stools counter or bar height), with built-in storage space as well as a built-in umbrella sleeve, (optional 9 ft. tilt umbrella).


2016 GX Evo Bar Table Program  (Finished)

In the heart of the structure is the EVO With its circular flattop cooking surface. EVO lets users prepare virtually any cuisine from any angle. By cooking foods directly on the cook surface, chefs can sear, sauté, grill, toast and stir-fry.

Galaxy Outdoor officials say that “bringing people together around food is our passion. It’s also what inspired us to design and build the most versatile Island/Grill that lets people share the joy of cooking. The Enterprise having a round sitting bar, and the EVO with its circular flattop cooking surface, allows everyone to interact with the chef.”


Counter Table LP Rendering (Front)

The Evo Affinity 30G Cooktop was built to be the centerpiece of the design kitchen. With precise temperature control across dual gas burners and a highly capable cooking surface, the Affinity 30G is the perfect stage to entertain large or small parties. Owners can round up the neighbors and take the party outside to make breakfast, lunch or dinner, but most of all have fun with friends and family.

The new Enterprise Island comes in 36” high counter as well as 42” bar height. Included in the Package is the EVO Grill and S/S Double Doors. Options include Galaxy’s USA made counter or Bar height bar stools, Sunbrella 9’ tilt Umbrella, and LED counter and under bar lighting. It can be ordered totally finished or unfinished.


Counter Table LP Rendering (Night)

Officials at Galaxy plan to start delivery by the first of November 2016. Dealer displays will have as standard equipmentw; heels, gas/electric, LED lighting, and bar stools and umbrella. For Dealers Only, free shipping is offered for display units with dealer margins of 35% plus.

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Momentum Continues to Build at The Fireplace Door Guy

1For more than a quarter century, The Fireplace Door Guy has been providing high quality fireplace doors, freestanding screens, and gas log sets manufactured in the United States. The California-based company has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a garage workshop, and hard work has paid off.

5Now with widely expanded manufacturing capability, Danny Vice, owner of The Fireplace Door Guy, is able to make his wares with even more speed and efficiency—all while delivering year-round and across the country.

2 “We begin with an in-home consultation for each customer to take measurements and choose a design that suits their home,” says Vice. “Once we have all of the specs, we begin the process of handcrafting their fireplace door out of American-made steel. When the door is completed, it is hand painted in an oil-rubbed bronze, black, or grey color.”

3Most other manufacturers take about four to eight weeks to make one customer’s door, but Vice reports that, “Our turn around time is two to three weeks. Depending on the size of the customer’s fireplace, our doors weigh 80 to 100 pounds of solid steel. Our fireplace doors also come with a lifetime guarantee.”


For dealers hoping to capitalize on a customer base that craves customization, products from The Fireplace Door Guy are all hand built, customized one at a time to each customer’s individually chosen design requests. These customers want something made especially and specifically for them, either to fit a uniquely-shaped fireplace or firebox, or something that complements their style and tastes.

4Rustic and modern fireplace doors are doing well these days, and Vice also recently added a new line of modern mantels to complete the look with the modern fireplace doors. “Each of our fireplace doors are handcrafted to the individual customer,” explains Vice. “Customers are also able to create their unique design. We have even had inspiration come from a favorite rug or curtains. It is important to emphasize quality, and that our fireplace doors come from American-made steel. That sets us apart from other dealers.”

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Caliber Culinary Corner + Featured Caliber Dealer

In this edition of Caliber Culinary Corner, learn how to grill zucchini on any of the Caliber grills, see why Sam loves the Caliber Pro Kamado, tour the Caliber Dealer featured this month (Albano Appliances, NY) and see MODE’s new showroom through the recent NKBA So Cal Chapter event this month.


Caliber Featured Dealer of the Month – Albano Appliances, New York, NY

Albano Appliances is the home of the famed architect, David Rockwell and they have done very well featuring the Rockwell by Caliber Social Grill front and center in their store.  Pictured above in the Albano showroom is owner Fred Albano with business partner and sales manager Michael DiNapoli.


Albano Appliances was the first appliance dealer on the East Coast to have a professional chef on staff and is a big part of their continuing education program.  See Chef Jehan in this video talk about cooking rotisserie chicken on the Caliber Pro Kamado Charcoal Grill/Smoker.


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Homecrest 2017 Introductions Set for Display at ICFA Preview Show

Homecrest is excited to showcase its 2017 introductions at the ICFA Preview Show product launch. For 2017 we have expanded the Elements Dining collection into an especially comfortable and transitional Deep Seating collection. We also are excited to unveil two new low maintenance Air collections: Elements Air and Grace Air building upon the success of Airo2. To enhance these new conversation seating collections and with the popularity of our fire tables, Homecrest is launching new offering of rectangular fire pits. The new fire pits can be found in both Mode and Aurora Natural Series. We are also expanded the top offering of our Valero fire tables in the Timber texture. In Cushion, Sling and Woven, we are delighted to introduce Emory, where gorgeous artisanal styling meets the rugged outdoors. We invite you to view our 2017 catalog here.

Elements Deep Seating & Aurora Stonegate Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Like its sister sling collection, Elements Deep Seating features clean lines and a gently rounded arm design, creating a warm and welcoming transitional lounging collection. Featuring Homecrest’s blissfully comfortable DreamCore™ cushions, Elements Deep Seating combines exceptional comfort and outstanding weather-resistance with elegant simplicity to create a space that is harmonious and inviting. Elements deep seating in available in 100’s of gorgeous outdoor fabrics and all frame finishes and includes a sofa, loveseat, chat or club chair and swivel rocker chat chair. Elements Deep Seating coordinates with Elements Air and Elements Sling Dining.

Be sure to check out our new trend setting Aurora Natural Series Rectangular fire pits with our Stonegate tops. Stonegate tops are offered in three color ways and available in 32″ x 52″ and 36″ x 60″. Aurora Natural Series rectangular fire pits are available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend any outdoor season while creating an attractive atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Aurora fire pits are extremely durable and customizable. Select from a variety of frame finishes and top textures and colors for an individual look. All Homecrest fire tables come standard with top quality reflective fire jewelry available in several color options.


Elements Air & Aurora Timber Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Building upon the platform of the unique Homecrest Airo2 collection, we are delighted to introduce Elements Air by Homecrest. This new seating series features the appearance and comfort of a deep seating lounge chair, in a foam-free, “cushion-less” construction. Luxurious Sensation Sling fabric are used for the ultimate in low-maintenance comfort, while also featuring benefits such as exceptional shape retention and surface memory. Available for both residential and contract applications, our Air collections are exclusive to Homecrest and made in the USA. With over 13 skus this uniquely customizable, high performance collection coordinates with Elements Sling dining and is paired in the image below with Homecrest’s new Aurora Natural Series Rectangular fire pits with our envied Timber tops.

The beauty of the new Timber rectangular tops is undeniable. These gorgeous and durable tops are going to be a must have on every dealers floor. Timber tops are available in Drift and Sequoia in both 32″ x 52″ and 36″ x 60″new sizes for 2017. Aurora Natural Series rectangular fire pits are available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend any outdoor season while creating an attractive atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Aurora fire pits are extremely durable and customizable. Select from a variety of frame finishes and top textures and color ways for an individual look. All Homecrest fire tables come standard with top quality reflective fire jewelry available in several color options.


Grace Air & Mode Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Building upon the platform of the unique Homecrest Airo2 collection and the popularity of Grace, we are delighted to introduce Grace Air by Homecrest. This new seating series features the appearance and comfort of a deep seating lounge chair, in a foam-free, “cushion-less” construction. Luxurious Sensation Sling fabric are used for the ultimate in low-maintenance comfort, while also featuring benefits such as exceptional shape retention and surface memory. Available for both residential and contract applications, our Air collections are exclusive to Homecrest and made in the USA. With over 13 skus this uniquely customizable, high performance collection coordinates with Grace dining and is paired in the image below with Homecrest’s new Mode Rectangular fire pits.

Complementing the sophisticated Mode table collection, we are pleased to introduce Mode fire pits. With all of the luxury features that come standard with all Homecrest fire tables, Mode features a floating Onyx aluminum rectangular top. Available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend your outdoor season while Mode’s contemporary design creates an atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Customize your Mode fire pit by selecting any Homecrest frame finish for your base and side panels (Duo-Tone available), and mirror design elements of your outdoor space by selecting from a wide variety of reflective fire jewelry.


Emory Cushion & Breeze Metal Tables (shown below)

Beautiful, strong, comfortable, and unbelievably functional, we are proud to introduce the Emory Cushion collection. Emory offers a wide variety of seating options, in both low and high seat back heights, in stationary, gliding and swivel rocking motion pieces. Featuring Homecrest Luxe cushions, Emory offers tremendous comfort and value in well-proportioned pieces that offer seating options for any space.  Emory cushion is available in hundreds of gorgeous and durable outdoor fabrics and all Homecrest frame finishes. Emory Cushion coordinates with Emory Sling and pairs well with all Homecrest tables and fire tables. It is shown here with the new Breeze metal table offering in a chat height.

The new Breeze metal tables for 2017 are a round slat option at a value price point. Made in the USA, these attractive and functional tables feature all-aluminum construction in a variety of heights and sizes, and are well-suited to both dining and deep seating applications.


Emory Sling (shown below)

Gorgeous artisanal styling meets rugged outdoor construction in the Emory Sling collection. This aluminum collection features old-world scrolled solid aluminum arms, and is not only visually engaging, but is remarkably comfortable. Available in both dining and balcony heights; Emory Sling Dining brings beauty and relaxation to the table. Emory Sling in available in Sling, Padded Sling, Woven and all frame finishes. Emory Sling includes a high back dining chair, high back swivel rocker, swivel rocker balcony stool and adjustable chaise. Emory Sling coordinates with Emory Cushion.


Round Timber Valero Fire Tables & Dining Tables

New for 2017, Homecrest is pleased to add the Timber texture to the Valero fire table offering. This allows for seamless design across the Homecrest offering. Valero Timber tops will be available in 42-inch and 54-inch rounds in 19-inch coffee, 24.5-inch chat, dining and balcony heights.