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Home is Where the Hearth Is

The outdoor living room has been one of the fastest growing trends in outdoor design over the last few years. When considering the popularity of this trend, the question arises: What’s the difference between a patio and an outdoor living room? The answer is simple: Livability.

An outdoor living room is more than just a grouping of chairs with a coffee table. It’s a cozy and inviting space that evokes a sense of relaxation, a space where people want to spend time both alone and enjoying the company of others. To achieve this effect, it’s important to apply interior design techniques to creating your outdoor space.

With that in mind, what tends to be the centerpiece of most interior living rooms? The answer, of course, is a fireplace. The reason for this is multifaceted. Historically, a fireplace would be added to the living room to heat the home. But as this need diminished in necessity over the years, the popularity of an interior fireplace did not. That is because the warmth that exudes from a fireplace is not only physical in nature, but emotional, as well. Spending time in front of a fire with a loved one often creates a deeper connection with that person on an instinctual or primal level. Fire, good.

That’s why one of the easiest ways to create an emotional sense of warmth in an outdoor living room is to add a fire feature, which has the added benefit of physical warmth during the colder months, allowing you to use your outdoor living room year round. Another benefit to fire features — like fireplaces, fire pits and fire tables — is that they appeal to people of all ages. When multiple generations gather around a fire pit, the generation gap disappears, and they can all relate to one another on a purely human level. It’s no wonder that fire pits have been on the top of the “must haves” list in outdoor design for the last several years.

When adding a fire feature to an outdoor living room, be sure to leave ample space for seating and traffic because it will instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot. If it’s a wood-burning fire feature, it will also need to be an adequate distance from any structures, as a safety precaution. In fact, some municipalities and HOA’s have specific regulations about this, so be sure and do your homework.

To complete your outdoor living room, add other interior design touches — such as tables, accent lighting, pillows, throws and other accessories. But be warned, once you create an inviting outdoor living room, get ready for company!

Source: Belgard

The Best of 2017: Residential Hardscape Design Winners

At the 2017 Hardscape North America tradeshow held in Louisville, Kentucky, the U.S. and Canada hardscape industry judged residential and commercial hardscape designs from across North America for the 2017 HNA Awards. These awards are the industry’s top honors for contractors designing and installing projects using concrete pavers, segmental retaining walls, clay brick, porcelain, and combinations of these hardscapes. Belgard was pleased to have products showcased in 12 of the honored designs, placing in 10 of the 16 categories. Homeowners planning an outdoor living makeover in 2018 can pull inspiration from the award-winning and innovative designs from these residential categories.

View Projects

Source:  Belgard

Pavers: Maintenance & Care

Weather every storm.

Mother Nature can be cruel. Luckily, by choosing Belgard for your hardscape projects, you’ve already taken measures to increase resistance against weathering and corrosion. Still, seasonal hardscape paver maintenance is encouraged to preserve the beauty and integrity of your installation. Below you’ll find some Belgard tips on how to clean and protect patio pavers.

CLEANING PATIO PAVERS

  1. Clean your pavers each Spring with a coarse-bristle “stable” broom and a paver cleaner to keep them looking like new.
  2. Some weeds, if left unaddressed, can shift pavers apart over time. Be sure to periodically apply a granular weed preventative between joints as a part of your paver maintenance routine.
  3. Be careful when cleaning your Belgard pavers with power washers as they can expose the aggregate on the paver’s surface.

HOW TO CLEAN DRIVEWAY PAVERS

  1. Before applying any paver cleaning solution to your hardscape, test a small inconspicuous area first to be sure you get the desired results.
  2. Be sure to read and follow the directions printed on container labels for cleaning solution use, application, precautions and first aid. Always rinse the solution off thoroughly after use.
  3. In the event of an oil spill, act to remove it promptly with granular oil absorbent. Spills should be soaked up, not rubbed. Rubbing will drive the stain deeper into the concrete.

HOW TO PROTECT & MAINTAIN PAVERS

  1. De-icing substances, when used in proper amounts, will not damage good-quality concrete. However, they may accelerate surface wear on some paver styles. Use them in moderation.
  2. The joints between paving stones are the most vulnerable areas of any installation. Keep these joints topped off with jointing sand to prevent the sand-bedding layer below from deteriorating, causing the pavers to shift.

HOW TO MAINTAIN PAVER COLOR

  1. Sealers can be applied to pavers to protect their surface and maintain their color. Sealers should not be applied more than once in three years, to a maximum of two applications. Too many applications will create a film on the surface, which may discolor in sunlight.
  2. Annual washing using a paver cleaner is also important for paver color maintenance and to keep the pavers looking like new.

HOW TO RESTORE COLOR TO PAVERS

  1. Wash pavers using a concrete paver cleaner.
  2. Allow pavers to dry.
  3. Seal pavers using a paver sealer.

Source:  Belgard

Divas of the Dirt Host Annual Event

Divas of the Dirt

Divas of the Dirt, a landscape industry promotion group, held their annual event at Quarry Oaks Golf Course on Thursday, December 7. This marked the 15th year for the event and 55 were in attendance. Keynote presenter was Kathy Engen, co-founder of @shiftandspark and co-author of gōl: a curated guide for the modern day job hunt. Also presenting, Ashly Neneman, Sun Valley Landscaping General Manager on the Commit20 Campaign, a volunteer initiative marking the company’s 20th year in business by putting people first, giving back to the community and creating experiences that make an impact.

Divas host sponsors from NEBCO Inc. companies; Watkins Concrete Block, Reimers Kaufman, Christensen Concrete Products and Kearney Crete & Block.  Sponsors also included Anchor, Endicott Clay Products, Hinkley Lighting, Mulhall’s, Papio Valley Nursery, Pavestone and Sun Valley Landscaping.

November Product Spotlight – Tango™ Block Edging

2017-november

Tango™ Block Edging

Product Uses:

  • Are you looking for a simple way to separate your landscape beds from the yard? Give tango blocks a try. This unique T-shaped block makes the perfect edging stone. Watch the video below for step-by-step installation instructions.

DIY or Professional Use:

  • Both

Learn More:  Click Here

Installation How-To:

Winter Hours – Closed on Saturdays

2016-nov-1

Saturday, October 28, 2017 was the final Saturday of the year that the Watkins showroom and contractor sales will be open for weekend hours.  We will reopen on Saturdays in Early Spring.

Thank you,

Watkins Staff

Design Studio

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    Broberg View 3
    Evans View 2
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    Godfrey View 1
    Godfrey View 2
  • Godfrey View 3
    Hennings View 2
    Hennings View 3
  • McCaw View 3
    McCaw View 4
    Melton View 2
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    Melton View 4
    Sovereign View 3
  • Stigge View 1
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    Stigge View 5

Fall Sale – Happening Now!

Happening now at our showroom at 144th & Giles – Tango Block and 2″ Cap Units are just $1.99!

Tango Block:
– Was: $2.25 / Now: $1.99

2″ Cap Unit:
– Was: $2.36 / Now: $1.99

Learn More About Tango Block: Click Here

Sale lasts until December 31, 2017

September Product Spotlight – Bordeaux Series Fireplace

2017-september

Bordeaux Series Fireplace

Product Uses:

  • With cooler nights fast approaching, what better way to extend the season than by installing a fireplace into your outdoor space. Watkins offers this Bordeaux series fireplace in two different color options. Follow the link below for more details.

DIY or Professional Use:

  • Both

Get Inspired:  Click Here