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2020 February/March
Pg 8 - The Sunshine Express
Home & Garden
Bringing the indoors out
(BPT): 2020 outdoor living trends are all about en-
joying your backyard alfresco, but with the com-
fort and ease you expect from your indoor spaces.
Today¡¯s outdoor spaces are transforming into an
extension of the home.
The current outdoor design also takes into account
the look and feel of your entire home, including
the interior and exterior, building materials and
surroundings.
Connecting with nature: Biophilic design
Biophilic design is achieved when natural elements
are incorporated into the space, helping people
feel connected to the natural environment. It cre-
ates a calm, tranquil space and reduces stress.
Biophilia makes sense for indoor urban environ-
ments needing to bring the outdoors in, but how
does it work when you¡¯re already outside?
Biophilic design for outdoor spaces means inte-
grating natural elements with constructed ele-
ments to create a harmonious space. A plant wall
or raised garden bed can integrate greenery and
pops of color with the built elements of your out-
door space.
It also means using natural materials, like wood
and stone, to complement the surrounding envi-
ronment, create greener, more sustainable spaces
to celebrate the environment, which can help en-
courage pollinators, grow healthy food and forge a
cohesive outdoor space.
You can also use materials such as Belgard¡¯s per-
meable pavers, which allow water to drain through
the surface, replenishing the soil and aquifers
beneath your path, walkway or driveway.
More than just a grill
Today¡¯s homeowners want much more than a
grill in the backyard. With aspirations to cook and
entertain guests outdoors with everything the best
outdoor kitchen can offer, the possibilities are end-
less, from grills to cooktops and ovens or even a
wine cooler and an outdoor bar.
Homeowners also have many options when it
comes to the design and price point of their out-
door kitchen. Some may lean toward a grill island,
adding prep and storage space to their grilling
station, while others might create a full-on out-
door kitchen with a grill, smoker, refrigerator, sink,
seating area and more.
Either way, homeowners can get a feel for exactly
what their space will look like before breaking
ground through Belgard¡¯s design resources.
The Belgard Design Studio takes a simple sketch,
some dimensions and a couple of photos and turns
it, using design software, into 3D animations and
virtual reality experiences to give homeowners a
sense of the finished product in their backyard.
Sleek, modern design
While it may seem contrary to the more organic
approach of biophilic design, the contemporary
trend toward sleek, modular furniture can enhance
your outdoor space.
Modular, sectional pieces with clean lines and
streamlined design can be arranged and re-ar-
ranged to accommodate any natural elements you
want to incorporate in your space, or to handle dif-
ferent numbers of guests when entertaining.
The minimalist approach to furnishings also allows
the natural elements around you to take center
stage.
Multifunctional spaces
Whether your home is in an urban area with lim-
ited green space, or you want to optimize your
outdoor living, get creative:
* Add vertical planters
* Hang hammocks for lounging
* Create built-in seating
* Build raised garden beds
Here¡¯s where some of that modular seating can
come in handy, too. Some urban homes make
good use of their front porches and yards, which
invites more neighborhood engagement and a feel-
ing of community.
Entertaining both night and day
Regardless of the time of day, or year, you and
your family can relax comfortably in your outdoor
sanctuary, thanks to modern technology and the
latest outdoor installations:
* LED lighting is installed in a variety of ways. You
can install strips of light and/or spotlights, even
using multiple colors, to add flair at night.
* In the harsh sunlight, large umbrellas and mov-
able shade walls or screens can keep your space
cool and more comfortable.
* For cooler climates, an outdoor fireplace provides
heat and light for cozy evenings in the yard.
Whether you have a straightforward vision for a
patio or dream of elaborate outdoor living spaces,
these ideas can help you create your oasis.
For more information on how you can upgrade
your outdoor space visit: Belgard.com
2020 Outdoor Living Trends
Know Your Oven
Better baking: 5 things to know
about your oven
(BPT): Measuring, mixing, blending and knead-
ing, there is so much that goes into the art of
baking.
You start with the right materials and tech-
niques, but you also need to be familiar with
how your oven works to get the best results.
Getting to know your oven could be the dif-
ference between a beautiful baked good and
a not-so-great one. Here are five questions to
ask before you get started on your next batch
of goodies.
Gas, electric or convection?
This is an important distinction. This not only
determines where the heat comes from, but
also how it moves around inside the oven.
Convection ovens, such as the LG ProBake
Oven, are the best for baking as they circulate
the air inside the oven for even heat on every
rack. They have a bottom heat source but are
also equipped with fans to blow the hot air
around.
Many gas and electric ovens are also heated
from the bottom, but the heat is not evenly
distributed.
When was it last cleaned?
Many people go months, or even years, without
cleaning their ovens. But months of buildup
can cause smoke and ruin your food.
Remember to wipe away any spills in the oven
after each use or use a drip pan to catch any
grease or drippings.
Are the nooks and crannies clean?
Crumbs and spills hiding in the gaps around
your oven can attract pests.
One easy way to get these areas clean is to
wrap a damp cloth around a butter knife and
run it through the cracks, shaking out the dirt
and food morsels in the trash as you go.
Then, repeat this step with a vinegar damp-
ened cloth to ensure the area isn¡¯t a welcoming
home to mice, ants or
other unwanted guests.
Where are your oven
racks?
The placement of the
racks inside your oven
is more important than
you may think. Most
ovens get hotter at
the top, so if you have
two baking sheets in at
once, the one on the
higher rack tends to
cook faster.
For best results, place
racks in the middle, and
be sure to rotate your
pans from front to back
and top to bottom.
Do you have an oven
thermometer?
Many home ovens are
off by five to 15 de-
grees, some even up to
25 degrees or more.
It might seem insig-
nificant, but the wrong
temperature can affect
your final product. Use
an oven thermometer
to make sure you¡¯re
baking at the correct
temperature.
Get to know your oven.
Answer these questions
and follow these tips
for delicious, successful
baking every time.