Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

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European Home – 7 Stunning Modern Gas Fireplaces in Commercial Spaces

For architects and designers, commercial projects are a little bit like public art.  They can be enjoyed by all, however they also pose a number of design challenges that simply do not need to be considered for a residential project.  We picked out some of our favorite fireplace installations in public/commercial settings and talked to a handful of the architects and designers involved in these projects.

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See all seven projects…

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The Outdoor Greatroom Company – How to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen Island

Adding an outdoor kitchen island is a great investment for your backyard area, but it requires some patio planning. One helpful acronym to remember when designing an outdoor kitchen island is “PAL”.

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P – What is the PURPOSE of your outdoor kitchen island?

While it may seem obvious to use your backyard kitchen for cooking, there are many directions you can take. For example, you may want a spacious outdoor kitchen area that includes plenty of seating for family and friends or ample space for multiple cooks in the kitchen.* If you’re an avid cook, make sure to plan out plenty of prep space and quality lighting for optimal use. Maybe your outdoor room will be a backyard retreat (possibly a man cave or girls’ night spot). In that case, a kitchen island with simply a spot for refreshments and snacks may fit your outdoor needs.

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A – What APPLIANCES and ACCESSORIES are you thinking?

“Grill, rotisserie, oven, stovetop, brick oven, blender, wine cooler – there are so many choices.”* Once you decide on the purpose of your outdoor kitchen island, make sure to consider the type of food you plan to make, the appliances needed for making that food, and how often you will actually use those appliances.

As for accessories, think of the items you want to complement your outdoor kitchen island. Patio furniture keeps your guests comfortable while you cook. If you plan to use your outdoor area on game days or you enjoy watching cooking shows while you prep food, a TV made for the outdoors offers versatile entertainment.* Sound systems can also help create the desired ambiance for guests. Make sure to consult a professional on the best tech for your deck or patio.

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L – Where will your outdoor kitchen be LOCATED?

Now that you have considered the other points for your backyard kitchen island, it is time to bring it all together and choose the location. Safety is one of the most important factors. First, locate all of the utility lines to ensure you won’t run into any safety issues.* While weather can be unpredictable, try your best to map out your backyard to determine the best spot. One of our pergolas with optional lattice roof and wall may help create a more defined outdoor room while adding some protection from the outdoor elements.

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Next, consider convenience and comfort when deciding on your outdoor kitchen location. What would offer the most natural flow? Once you have decided on a location, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect design to fit your outdoor theme. Thankfully, our experts are here to help you create the outdoor kitchen island of your dreams. After you have installed your kitchen island, don’t forget a gas fire pit for keeping the ambiance going for entertaining all night long.

*McClatchy, AP. “How to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen,” The Mercury News. April 24, 2018.

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Barclay Butera Talks Curated Outdoor and More for Summer 2018

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 9.02.55 PMBarclay Butera, renowned designer and author and creator of the Barclay Butera Outdoor Collections for Castelle (, talks Curated Outdoor and Summertime.

Q: The buzzword in design is “Curated.” What does “curated outdoor” mean to you? 

BB: I think having a curated style is so important because it’s a true reflection of the client’s home, life and history. Curated to me means accumulated and acquired over time- It’s not about clutter or junk. It’s about surrounding yourself with possessions and reminders of the good times you’ve had. When I take on any project I immediately want to see anything and everything the client wants to keep. We weave those items into our design and everything always seems more authentic. Outdoor is no exception! I love layering a client’s sculpture into their landscape, their favorite outdoor hurricanes into the décor. An inherited wicker chair can still sing when placed next to new furniture. It’s all about layering new with items you love and collected over a lifetime.

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Q.  What color trends are you seeing in outdoor for summer 2018?

BB: I love this season and right now I am seeing and specifying a great deal of silver and white layered with soft pastels- love this look it’s so fresh.

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Q.  Are there “Go-to” elements you are seeing for outdoor areas this summer?

BB: I’m a huge fan of water, so any time I can work a fountain into the design of an outdoor space I do it. Nothing more relaxing than the sound of soft bubbling water in the morning or at the end of a very long day. And if the climate and terrain can handle it, put in a Koi pond.

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Q. What is inspiring your design work right now?

BB:I have been traveling so extensively lately for business and pleasure I cannot help but get incredibly inspired by each and every trip! I recently got back from Florence and Barcelona and you will definitely see some upcoming influences in my interiors projects in the next year.

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Q.  Do you have a favorite summer get-away or summer guilty pleasure?

BB:Oh I sure do… enjoying my own backyard, my incredible landscape and private hideaway with family and friends. I am on the road so much there is nothing more relaxing than a good margarita and barbeque at home on the weekends.

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European Home – Renovating Early Modernism

An Interview with Architect Gary Wolf

Edwin Goodell Jr. was an early and influential modernist architect but his name in the history books is often overshadowed by his colleague, Walter Gropius.  One of Goodell’s early homes sits on a rocky New England hillside in Weston, MA and recently underwent a renovation by Wolf Architects.  Gary Wolf has made a name for himself through his innovative contemporary designs as well as a reputation for thoughtful historic preservation.  We had the pleasure to tour this newly renovated modernist gem, featuring a Bidore 95 modern fireplace, with Gary and homeowner Catherine Riedel and ask the question, “how do you renovate an architectural icon?”

Read the Full Interview…

Dwell on Design 2018: A Modern Prefab takes Center Stage

At Dwell on Design 2018 Method Homes presented a custom prefab from their brand new Option Series, a design collaboration between Method and  Grouparchitect.  The house was thoughtfully staged by star interior designer Jennifer Farrell who utilized large, bold wall coverings and natural textures to create a truly organic modern experience.  The focal point of the main living space was a 5′ wide frameless modern fireplace by  Element4.  The Modore 140 MKII, linear direct-vent fireplace, featured a unique concrete style interior for an added textural appeal.

Watch the Video and Tour the Prefab…

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