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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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European Home – Interview with Fireplace Designer Eric Walden on the Colorado Style

An Interview with Business Owner and Fireplace Designer Eric Walden

Colorado is rapidly changing.  With a recent population boom comes new construction and with new construction comes innovative design.  Distinctive Mantel Designs, Inc. is situated right in the center of this design community.  While they are hardly the new kids on the block, this Denver fireplace and mantel company is going through some changes of its own.

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Plus FREE Tickets to European Home Event – Dwell on Design – in Los Angeles.

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European Home Shines at Millennium Tower Boston

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 9.10.03 PMTake a penthouse tour of Boston’s newest Luxury Skyscraper on the 59th Floor Penthouse. Millennium Tower is a 684-foot residential skyscraper containing 442 units, but it’s so much more than that.  In this article we take you on an exclusive tour inside one of Millennium’s luxury penthouses in the clouds.  Roll your sleeves up in the premium kitchen, peek in on the marble-covered bathroom or get cozy in front of the vent-free H Series fireplace in the living room.

Click Here to take the tour.

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Victorian On the Outside, Minimalism On the Inside: A Renovation Story from European Home

Featuring the Trisore 100H Modern Gas Fireplace by Element4

Both Liraz and Raz spent their younger years in the Israeli Military where they first met. Following their years of service, they traveled the world with short to medium stops throughout South America and the United States.  They collected a lifetime of memories and three beautiful children but never had a home to call their own.

That was until they purchased an old Victorian home overlooking a lake just outside of Boston.  The only problem?  They were two jet-setting modern young professionals living in a house that hadn’t been updated since the turn of the 20th Century.  They called on Charles Rose Architects to help them and the results were truly stunning.

See How it Turned Out

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Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 5.43.10 PMWhat’s New.

New Products.  Continued Innovation. 

We have been hard at work creating new products that you and your readers will love.  Click and download the helpful PDF guide below to catch up on all that’s new at European Home.

Download the What’s New PDF

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Top Fireplace Design Trends of 2018 at European Home

When you think of up and coming design trends you may think of runway high fashion or the next great gadget released by Apple or Google sure to change our lives forever!  However, as technology and interior design evolves, fireplace manufacturers are constantly innovating in step.  Check out these top 11 fireplace and fire pit trends for 2018 ranging from contemporary designer surrounds, to hibachi-style fire pits and even a flame that will dance along to your playlist.

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Striking Centerpieces

While most fireplaces are mounted into a wall or pushed to a corner some designers have taken the bold step of making their fireplace a dramatic focal point right in the center of it all. This design allows groups to gather around on all sides enjoying the heat and view from 360 degrees, conjuring up feelings that fall somewhere in between nostalgic nights filled with ghost stories and art gallery visits.

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A Fire with Function: A Gathering Place and Delicious Hibachi 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could easily do more than just roast marshmallows over a fire? We found an outdoor fire pit that combines aesthetics and practicality to create a welcoming hub for both cooking and socializing. With a modern industrial Corten steel finish and integrated fuel wood storage, this fire is designed to go beyond beauty and warmth.  Perfect for outdoor gatherings, OFYR’s simple classic lines work in harmony with any setting and its multi-purpose design is sure to impress your guests. Whether your’re a trained teppanyaki chef or simply well versed in the art of hot dog roasting, grab a  few friend and get grillin!

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Dress up the Inside of your Fireplace

In recent years, designers have embraced the raw and natural look of industrial warehouse spaces and are creating, within these historic walls, chic urban lofts and artist studios. Bring that same aesthetic to the inside of your fireplace with these new concrete style interiors. With their rich textured appearance this heat-resistant interior gives your fireplace a bold architectural appeal and enhances the look of your flames.

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A Fireplace that Grooves to your Playlist

Put a modern-day spin on a traditional fire pit by adding a little extra technology and a whole lot of groove to your fire. Imagine a unique sound-reactive fire experience, allowing music to stream through the integrated sound system and make the flames dance to the rhythm. Sync up your smartphone, laptop, or smartwatch via bluetooth to the Music City Fire, and watch the flames dance all night. With weather resistant speakers, LED lights, and an adjustable flame height… what more do you need to get the party started?


Fire Media that Mimics Nature

In the world of gas fireplaces for the longest time your options for fire media (or the stuff that covers the burner) were traditional brown logs or modern glass pebbles.  European Home set out to buck this trend by turning their attention to nature.  They researched landscapes near and far for inspiration and came up with a set of curated fire media mixes that mimic the detritus of the natural world: from scattered birch logs to a barren tundra. These new combinations more realistically resemble nature with their diversity of textures and colors.

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Double-Glass Fireplaces

Since new regulations passed in 2015, all fireplaces with a glass front must now come with a safety barrier installed to prevent direct contact with hot surfaces. For the longest time this meant you only had one option,  a mesh safety screen. Now,  there is an alternative option called the Glass Safety Barrier (GSB) system which features two layers of glass for safety and clean, trimless lines for the sake of style. Air is vented between these two glass layers, reducing the heat of the outermost pane. Hot air travels up the chase and is then efficiently distributed into the room, so no heat is lost. This clean and stylish look maximizes the trimless modern lines of your fireplace and is especially a great option for commercial spaces.

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A Contemporary Take on Classic Design

Combining a classic with the contemporary, the Shaker Stove is a cozy new design that we’re starting to see mocked up in modern cabin renderings left and right. This wood burning stove brings a decorative accent to any contemporary space, while providing all the allure a natural wood burning fireplace provides. The Shaker Stove is designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio and is based off of classic American Shaker furniture design. He claims the secret to his success is a commitment and trust in his individuality. “I design objects for myself, and not in response to the recommendations of the market. If I didn’t want to surround myself with my designs, then they wouldn’t exist.”

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Designer Surrounds: Adding A Personal Touch To Your Modern Fireplace

Whether your design style is industrial, traditional, coastal or minimalist and modern, you can build a custom fireplace surround that suits your style. European Home just launched a brand new interactive digital fireplace surround builderthat allows you to mix and match to create something uniquely you. With the option to choose a fireplace size, a design style or configuration, as well as the surround materials for the H Series fireplace, you will find over 300 combinations to design.

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Material Warmth

Wouldn’t it be great if everything we stored looked as good as a cleanly stacked pile of firewood?  This Scandinavian-inspired design trend looks amazing and makes practical sense.  No more trudging to the garage in 3 feet of snow to fetch more wood!

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Technology takes Center Stage

As you may have guessed, there’s an app for that!  Some fireplace companies have recently introduced app control for their modern gas fireplaces.  Set user preferences, utilize Eco Modes, and take advantage of the coolest party trick around when you ignite your fireplace with a swipe and a tap.

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Vertical Fireplaces

Modern design has pushed the linear fireplace for some time now. Introducing: the vertical modern fireplace. These stunning vertical fireplaces give architects the opportunity to design spaces with semi-transparent walls and large dramatic flames. The Sky T by Element4 is a double-sided gas fireplace that soars over 5 feet tall and features robust and programable flames.

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St. Gregory Hotel Remodel: Behind the Scenes

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Featuring two back-to-back H Series Fireplaces by European Home 

The St. Gregory Hotel, sitting in an historic neighborhood in Washington D.C, recently benefited from a contemporary remodel. Check out the before and after pictures and read about this amazing transformation. Whether it’s industrial, traditional, or minimalist and modern, showcase your unique design style with a custom fireplace surround.

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Click the link below and you can design your perfect surround for the H Series fireplace utilizing our digital surround builder.

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Designer surrounds are crafted from premium quality materials such as patina finished metals and Italian tile.

Paxfocus on Dwell: Converted Victorian Cooperage in London

A former cooperage built in the 19th century, where barrels were once manufactured for a local brewery, has now been transformed into a bright contemporary home available for rent. In a central London neighborhood, this is a perfect overnight stay for traveling families. This triple-height living space has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and other features all designed with visitors in mind. Hidden from the street, the loft gives its guest a sense of seclusion and calmness.


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European Home on Love It or List It

For those folks who are not already loyal HGTV viewers the hit show Love it or List it always features homeowners who are looking to either renovate or sell their current homes. Interior designer Hilary Farr works to transform their old, out of date, home while real estate agent David Visentin sets out to find their new dream home.  In the end, the homeowners get to decide if Hilary’s renovation was enough for them to stay in their current home and “Love it” or if David has found their dream property in which case they will “List it.”

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European Home was contacted by the producers of the show, who decided our see-through H Series fireplace would be the perfect compliment to Hillary’s latest design for homeowners Shelly and Zahid. We of course loved the transformation but did they Love it enough to stay?

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Meet Shelly and Zahid…

Shelly and Zahid found their dream house years ago.  They loved the modern architectural design, its spacious interior and the sprawling view. With their 5 year old son Shahzad, they have made this place home.

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The problem? It is totally dated.  Having been built in the 1980’s, it is no surprise that Shelly is ready for some change. She explains, “I feel like I’m living in a bandaged house… patch here, patch there.” She has a laundry list of all that she wants fixed: There’s not enough cabinet space, there’s no place for everyone to sit in the kitchen, you have to go through her closet to find her son’s bedroom… and the list goes on.  She is convinced that the house is no longer a good fit for them, and is ready to list it.  As for Zahid?  He wants to stay.  His infatuation for the pond view from the office is undeniable, and he believes that with the right renovations inside, this can still be the perfect house for them.

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With very specific requests and limited budgets, Designer Hilary, and Real Estate Agent David are being put to the test to find a solution that will make both Shelly and Zahid happy. So first, let’s find out… What will it take to Love it? What will it take to List it? 

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Hilary began by creating all new floor plans that would open up the main level, and optimize their space. Her goal was to keep the integrity of the home, while giving it added function.  She successfully created a plan within budget that met their standards, but ran into one issue — the fireplace and chimney no longer met code.  Eventually Hilary and Shelly agreed a new gas firepleace would be their best option. After lots of research, Hilary ended up going with the 60” H Series linear fireplace by European Home.  Its modern lines and clean look complemented the overall minimalist aesthetic of the redesign, and the fact that it was vent free solved their chimney problem.

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Meanwhile, David was just as determined to find them a new house that would meet all of their precise requirements.  He searched high and low for houses that were modern and open, but also had to accommodate Zahid’s dream of a water view.  After a few tours, the couple was losing faith: these houses weren’t modern enough, the master bedrooms weren’t big enough, and there was still no water.  However, the final house that David found was just what they had been looking for.  With cathedral ceilings, wood floors, a completely open floor plan, and other added features, this home was stunning.

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With two beautiful homes, the couple now had a tough decision to make.  While discussing, the audience can hear them whispering about “the beautiful kitchen, and stunning fireplace.”

To bring more light into the space, Hilary removed the dark cabinetry and outdated chandelier, to add a full wall of windows and the funky new light fixture. She selected a large natural wood table, waterfall counter-tops and soft blue chairs to create a nod to mid-century modern in the dining area. Hilary also added a turquoise area rug, to carry through the featured accent color.

Hilary thought the living room had potential, but the dated black leather couch and shag rug had to go. By bringing in a color palette of contemporary grays, and using pops of turquoise to accessorize, she made the room look much more inviting. The room even felt larger after re-positioning the couch so it no longer closed off the space.

There was once a wall that separated the living and dining rooms, but Hilary decided to knock that down and add a unique fireplace feature, creating a totally open floor-plan perfectly suited for a family home.

The new modern look to the home with warm tones, accents of blue and a clean aesthetic, matched with the functional layout and better use of space was exactly what the couple was looking for.  It is now “the truly modern family dwelling they’ve always dreamed about,” said designer Hilary Farr.

In the final moments of the episode and without hesitation, they decided to…


Photos by: Catherine Nguyen

And thank you to the producers of Love It or List It & HGTV on this collaboration!

Originally Posted By: Jamie Nickerson

Jamie is a Marketing Intern at European Home. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Endicott College. She loves how digital media connects us with so many great designs all across the globe. “I love finding our fireplaces in beautiful places such as Australia, Norway and NYC- all from the comfort of my desk chair!”

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Industrial Modern @ Buggy Works

How a former horse-dawn buggy factory evolved into a chic contemporary hideaway.

There has been something of an industrial design Renaissance happening in the rust belt and across the nation.  Recently, we discovered an old Buggy Works factory in Ohio that has been re-purposed and remodeled into modern condominiums.

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The residents here have embraced the historic nature of this old factory, while adding their own modern touches along the way.

This month we interview Cyndi Collins, take a look at her version of industrial modern design and dive a little into the history of this bygone era buggy factory.

Read More Here

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You’ve never seen anything like this renovated Belgian Home.

In their April 2017 issue, Interior Design Magazine wrote a story about a truly unique renovation out of Belgium, featuring the suspended Bathyscafocus fireplace.

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The architectural firm, B-Architecten, took a 1930s home with good Modernist bones and did something truly remarkable.