• The Perfect Staycation
    Ah summer! There are only a few precious weeks left before fall routines kick in, and then it’s back to school and back to normal.

    Got the itch to squeeze in a vacation but no plans? Why not staycation? Vacationing at home is always convenient and can be very relaxing, especially if you have an outdoor space suited to your lifestyle.

    Whether you’re starting from scratch or upgrading your current space, there are three essential components for a functional outdoor space:

    •  Appliance for cooking (such as a grill, smoker or fryer)
    •  Seating for dining and/or entertaining
    •  Heating product to extend the season (such as a fireplace)

    The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association offers these ideas for customizing your outdoor area to create the perfect space – no matter what your stage of life.

    First Time Homeowner
    An outdoor space is an investment that will make your home more attractive, and your staycations more enjoyable. During that first year in your home, you’ll want to have the basic elements – an appliance to cook on, something to sit on, and a hearth product to extend the outdoor season. When you’re ready for the next step, you can choose to upgrade these elements to make the space more comfortable, or better complement your style. Then you can move on to accessorize your outdoor oasis with plants, umbrellas or possibly even a water feature.

    Family Fun
    Rethink the typical family vacation and make it a staycation where you have all comforts and conveniences of home! You can set up a tent and play games in your yard. Consider how you want to spend time with your family outdoors – this could entail adding an outdoor kitchen for preparing meals together, a firepit for roasting s’mores, or a fireplace with seating area for catching up at the end of the day. As your family grows, an outdoor space will extend your home’s living space.

    Instead of traveling with friends, host an outdoor party staycation! The design of your outdoor living area should be centered on being “the host with the most.” Evenings can be chilly, so make sure you have an outdoor fireplace to keep the party going into the night. It will also give you a longer outdoor living season. Select comfortable patio furniture that invites people to settle in for extended periods of time, and install an outdoor stereo system to keep things rocking. Make sure to incorporate areas for preparing and serving food and drinks.

    So why destination when you can staycation? Spend the days playing games, reading books and relaxing, followed by evenings gathering around a warm and inviting outdoor fire. Check out the many options for outdoor fireplaces here.
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