Try different BBQ styles from around the US

Main Image
May is National BBQ Month, and the month when many east coasters break out their grills. The warmer weather also means that folks begin taking culinary trips, like long weekends to nearby cities or shore towns. But with the kids still in school and work ramping up for a busy quarter, a jaunt to a city famous for its BBQ may not be in the cards. Why not try a few classic BBQ styles at home this weekend?

Patio Gift Ideas for Mom

Main Image
What do you get the mom who has everything? Move outside for some unique and fun gift ideas. Our indoor spaces receive a lot of attention. After all, we spend most of our time inside so the majority of our decorating and cleaning efforts go toward keeping the space in top shape. Many moms keep beautiful furniture, decor and art in their homes but have a plain, standard-issue space outside. Here are some ideas for gifts and arrangements to help Mom spice up the patio.

Mysterious moon flowers to bloom in your night garden

Main Image
Floral fragrances wafting through the warm air is one of the best parts of summer. Sunny days bring spectacular blooms and sublime scents. But what about the nighttime? Some of these light-colored, night-blooming plants emit sweet aromas to go in with your full moon cocktails or your star-gazing on lazy summer evenings on the patio.

Spa and pool designs: the basics

Main Image
The placement of a backyard spa is more controversial than you may think. When homeowners are beginning to consider buying a home with a pool or installing a pool, the many discussions and articles written about design options may overwhelm them. Spa and pool owners can have strong opinions on which set-up is best. For now, let’s start with some basics. We’ll take a look at a few photos and get acquainted with some terms.

Perfect prom pics on the patio

Main Image
Now is the time to break out the camera as our nation’s youth head out to one of their first formal events. Leverage the light around your patio to capture the perfect pictures of this milestone.

Host a beer tasting party on the patio

Main Image
It’s time to get outside and do something a little different. A beer tasting party can be a sophisticated or simple home-brewed kind of affair. Beer runs the gamut from simple, mass-produced ale to complex microbrews. A beer tasting party hosted on your own personal outdoor bar or patio is easy to set up and has high “edutainment” (entertaining education) value.

Easter excitement on the patio

Main Image
Egg hunts are the standard fun for this celebration, but there’s a lot more fun to be had outside to welcome the coming of Spring. A nice bit of sunshine and some creativity is all you need for a perfect party outside. With creative use of common accessories, foods, and some bright color choices you can transform your patio into a catered Easter affair. Here are a few things to consider.

Growing well: 6 steps on how to garden with kids

Main Image
It isn’t a tough sell. Playing in the dirt is awesome and kids’ natural curiosity will get them interested. Here are a few tips for uprooting the children out of the game room and replanting them in the garden.

Pizza Perfection: Add an outdoor pizza oven to your patio

Main Image
In modern culture, we have a plethora of food and cooking options. Instead of simply roasting a piece of meat over a crude fire, we can bake, sauté, deep fry or flambé. With each new method comes more dining options. Cooking standards that were acceptable before fall out of favor as we reach for new heights of dining perfection. Many stand-by foods are transformed into delicacies in high-end eateries dedicated to the art of fine preparation. More and more, we want to replicate these restaurant experiences at home for family and friends.

Roll in the fun: Serving carts for the patio

Main Image
Retro is hip. Each year brings a new twist on an old trend, and it makes us all wonder why it ever fell out of favor. This year’s outdoor living trend may be the return of the serving cart. You are familiar with the serving cart or “kitchen trolley:” a two-or-three-tiered shelf unit with two legs and two wheels (or sometimes four wheels), used for the ease of serving food and drinks. Think of old movies with a white-gloved waiter pushing a gilded trolley full of drinks along the art-deco tiles of a grand hotel’s pool, or remember the whiskey-laden carts seen in practically every Mad Men episode. And who can forget the snack trolley on the Hogwarts Express with its chocolate frogs and jelly slugs?

How to clean pollen off patio furniture

Main Image
Welcome Spring! The third week of March marks the equinox of the new season. Snow may still be on the ground but the trees are getting ready to spread a blanket of yellow pollen all over the land. Unfortunately, this includes your patio furniture.

Making and maintaining an outdoor kitchen is easier than you think

Main Image
Looking to bring your patio to the next level but you wonder what’s involved? Don’t worry. We got you covered. Outdoor cafe culture started in Europe and eventually took over even the smallest American towns. Now homeowners are picking up on the trend. Additions like outdoor rooms, patios, kitchens and sports bars are topping homeowners’ wish lists. Who doesn’t love to dine al fresco with family and friends, in the warm sun or under a starry summer night? Fire pits and heaters extend the time spent outside all the way through the winter months, too.