The Benefits of Saunas and Steam Baths

Saunacore (click picture to visit website)

Saunacore (click picture to visit website)

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Things are heating up outside, but a backyard sauna or steam bath can assure you are warm and relaxed year-round! Both will get you sweating and boost your circulation, but they do this in completely different ways. A sauna operates with dry heat, typically by heating up rocks that radiate heat in an enclosed space, although you can add some moisture in many saunas by pouring water over the rocks. A steam room, on the other hand, is all about wet heat, using a steam generator to boil water and boost humidity to 100%. Because there is less heat energy in the dry air of a sauna, they can get to between 150 to 185 degrees, while steam baths are normally around 110 degrees.

almost heaven saunas

Almost Heaven Saunas (click image to visit website)

Either way you go, you may find this new addition to your backyard to be both relaxing and healthful. Heat relieves pain and increases blood flow, which can help those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. People who find their conditions adversely affected by humidity will likely prefer a sauna’s dry heat to the wet heat of a steam bath, while others may find that steam helps improve chronic sinus issues. While still unproven, some assert that the sweating produced by heat treatments from saunas and steam baths can help flush the body and improve the health of the skin.

finnleo

Finnleo (click picture to visit website)

While steam baths are a classic choice, saunas have gone state of the art! In a traditional sauna, the walls, ceiling, floor, and benches all become heated and then the radiating heat warms the bather, while the heating elements cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature. In a far-infrared sauna, infrared emitters are used to create infrared energy, energy which is very close to the kind our bodies emit and thus a kind that is thought to be more easily received by the body. Also, because the emitters focus more directly on the person than a traditional sauna which warms everything, they need to remain on at all times in order to maintain temperature, but because of the focused emitters in an IR sauna, a bather will feel hotter and sweat effectively but at a much lower overall temperature.

In addition to choosing what kind of heat and heater best meets your needs, you will also want to carefully consider the materials to construct your sauna or steam bath. Because of the heat (and, with steam baths, because of the moisture), you want the most durable of materials – ceramic tile, stainless steel, and quality woods. For saunas, which are mostly of wood construction, there are primarily three choices – western red cedar, hemlock, and poplar. (Cedar is incredibly durable and has the classic look people associate with traditional saunas, but some people have allergic reactions to it and poplar offers a comparable choice.)

Helo Saunas (click picture to visit website)
Helo Saunas (click picture to visit website)

Well-sealed and well-constructed saunas and steam baths require very little in the way of maintenance. Terrycloth makes benches comfortable while protecting them and keeping them clean. All surfaces should be gently cleaned a few times a year with a mild cleaning solution and wood should be recoated regularly, using care to choose a product that works in the high heat/high humidity environment of a sauna or steam bath. Propping doors after a session allows for good airflow and adequate drying.

KLAFS (click picture to visit website)

KLAFS (click picture to visit website)

If you’re looking for a great way to unwind and make the most of the relaxation your luxury backyard offers, look no further than a sauna or steam bath. Relax with the healthy, reinvigorating benefits of heat and create a tranquil place to recover from a hard day. Saunas and steam baths can be installed indoors or outside, making them a perfect place to unwind and escape from the stresses of life.

Backyard Mamma Stacy NelsonLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and educates consumers and builders about backyard living design and products. View more at www.BackyardMamma.com.

Backyard Water Features that make a Splash

Signature Pools

Signature Pools & Spas (Click picture to visit website)

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There’s nothing that inspires relaxation and tranquility like the soothing sounds of flowing water, so if you want to unwind in your backyard, consider a water feature. Whether you’re adding a reading nook and looking for a way to escape, searching for an eye-catching focal point, or just wanting to add something fun for the kids, a water feature can be just what you’re looking for. Of course, there are the obvious options like pools, spas, hot tubs, or even ponds, but water features can be so much more dramatic, more versatile and yes, even more affordable than that! Here are some of our favorites:

Caviness Landscape & Design

Caviness Landscape & Design (Click picture to visit website)

Waterfalls are an elegant choice when it comes to creating a focal point with water in your backyard. Whether you opt for a more organic, traditional choice like a rock waterfall or the sleek look of a minimalist modern one, you can be sure it will be a highlight in your yard. Waterfalls can also be paired with vanished edge pools, with the water rolling over the negative edge.

poolscapes of charlotte

Poolscapes of Charlotte (Click picture to visit website)

Fountains also work to draw the eye while adding the peaceful sounds of moving water. Consider pairing lighting with your fountain (or any water feature) for a beautiful after-dark effect.

Cipriano Pools

Cipriano Landscape & Design (Click picture to visit website)

Statues and ornamental decorations, like the classic lion heads, can be a gorgeous option that complements the traditional architecture of a home with a manicured backyard. Scuppers, spouts mounted in a wall from which water flows, are another understated elegant way to add moving water to your pool or pond. Deck jets, jets that are set into the deck of the pool and create a single arcing stream of water, are another simple way to create the sense of crystal-clear moving water.

Westside Pools & Service

Westside Pools & Service (Click picture to visit website)

For more modern additions to your outdoor getaway, think about adding a water curtain, where water flows down like a wall of water. Water curtains offer a great way to divide a backyard or to create some privacy for an intimate niche for conversations or retreat. Sheer descent water features are another modern touch, spilling water in a solid glass-like sheet, and a sleek addition to pools and fountains.

Pool Environments

Pool Environments (Click pictures to visit website)

If you love your backyard and your pool after dark, think about pairing fire with your water feature. Whether you opt for a custom fire feature in front of a water curtain or fire bowls in the center of a fountain, the visual effect of pairing water and fire is dazzling and unforgettable.

If you entertain often or have kids in and out of the pool regularly, an outdoor shower is a must. An outdoor shower offers a quick way to rinse off before and after a swim, cuts down on traffic in and out of your home, and can help extend the life of your filtration system.

Splash Pads USA

Splash Pads USA (Click picture to visit website)

Nothing entertains kids like a splash pad! A concrete or fiberglass pad with inset jets and fountains, splash pads are a great place for kids to cool down and with all sorts of exciting additions like water domes, water cannons, water tunnels and water slides, the kids will love spending time in the backyard. These can be simple or elaborate and they can grow as your family does!

Cajun Pools

Cajun Pools & Spas (Click picture to visit website)

For more adult spaces like tanning ledges or pool benches, built-in streams and cascades can be a great way to relax and keep cool while enjoying the sun. And if you’re happier in the shade, misting umbrellas and patio misters are the perfect way to beat the heat and keep kids comfortable and safe on the hottest days.

Alicia Moya-Sanchez

Alicia Moya-Sanchez (Click picture to visit website)

And, of course, if you’re trying to keep it simple and really on a budget, you can make gorgeous, creative water features yourself, from rock waterfalls to fountains, especially with repurposed items like washtubs, barrels, pottery jugs or flowerpots.

Regardless of what you choose, your backyard escape will be all the more peaceful and relaxing with the addition of the natural sounds of moving water.

View more creative backyard water features on Backyard Mamma’s Pinterest Board.

Backyard Mamma Stacy NelsonLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and educates consumers and builders about backyard living design and products. View more at http://www.BackyardMamma.com.

Backyard Fire Features: Some Like it Hot!

Fire Top Tables

Fire Top Tables (click on image to visit website)

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If you love your backyard and hate saying goodbye to it when the sun goes down, you need a fire feature! With the addition of fire, your backyard can not only remain an inviting place to hang out long after dark, but can be warm enough to enjoy the outdoors earlier and later in the year. With a fire to keep you warm and create an intimate place to hang out, your backyard will be a getaway long after the day – and the summer – have ended.

Bobe Water & Fire Features

Bobe Water & Fire Features (Click on image to view website)

When it comes to choosing a fire feature, the options are endless! The traditional option is a backyard fire pit, a place to gather with drinks at the end of a long day and a place where kids can be toasting marshmallows in minutes. Fire tables are similar to fire pits and offer the same gathering point for friends to congregate, but simply in the form and with the advantages of a table with a fire in the center. Chimineas also offer budget-friendly fire features with the added advantage of being fairly easily portable, if you’d like to relocate to another part of the deck, but if an after-dark lounging area is what you’re looking for, an outdoor fireplace can offer a cozy setting for conversations in the wee hours along with a powerful way to punctuate a darkened yard.

California Outdoor Concepts

California Outdoor Concepts (click on image to view website)

— Outdoor Fire Concepts

Fire features can also create an exotic feel, enhance existing focal points, and offer dramatic views when used as accessories and lighting. When the sun goes down, a backyard can transform as darkness offers a completely different design opportunity. Fire bowls are a powerful way to flank a pool or emphasize a low dividing wall. Fire bowls are also available with water, making it appear as though the blaze is burning on top of the water itself. (This same technique can be an especially eye-catching effect when used in combination with a vanishing edge pool, making it appear as though the edge of the pool is on fire.) Fire chandeliers are a great way to utilize fire as lighting and can work in a variety of settings from modern to rustic, while fire torches can be a versatile choice to light a path or provide accent lighting in smaller lounging nooks.

Eldorado Outdoor

Eldorado Outdoor (click on image to view website)

Custom features are always an option – fire features can run the length of the pool or can be coupled with water fountains. Custom fire features are limited only by the budget and the imagination, but there are plenty of DIY options for budget-conscious homeowners as well. Fire pits are a great weekend project for an ambitious DIYer and can be created from repurposed barrels, landscaping pavers, or concrete blocks.

Emily Rose

Emily Rose (click on image to view website)

Fire features can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the materials and how much of the work you do yourself – and on the labor involved with piping and completing the hookup for any gas source. Fire features are fueled by wood, propane, gel fuel, or natural gas. Wood is an affordable option, but requires a source and dry, sizable storage areas. Natural gas is also fairly inexpensive, but can require the labor involved with installing lines. Propane is also readily available and convenient, but can have an odor some people find objectionable, while gel fuel is growing in popularity and allows for a fire feature to be portable, but can be difficult to find and does not put off as much heat as other fuel sources.

Outdoor Fire Concepts

Outdoor Fire Concepts (click on image to view website)

Last but not least, you’ll want to consider accessories for your fire feature and should consider safety first! Safety covers and fire pit covers, for instance, protect not only your guests, but also your investment. Faux log sets for gas-burning features offer an authentic look, while ceramic rocks are durable and cost-effective. You may also want to consider splurging for remote operation, allowing you to control the fire from anywhere in your backyard.  Then grab your favorite beverage and head outside to enjoy relaxing by a roaring fire, knowing that you can escape to your luxury backyard even more often than before!

Grand Effects

Grand Effects Fire & Water (click on image to view website)

Sunset Bay Outdoor

Sunset Bay Outdoor (click on image to view website)

Backyard Mamma Stacy NelsonLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and educates consumers and builders about backyard living design and products. View more at www.BackyardMamma.com.

Backyard Structures Reinvented

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Backyard sheds aren’t just for storing tools – and sheds aren’t the only option when it comes to backyard structures! Having a sheltered area as your private getaway in a luxurious outdoor setting is a wonderful way to stay comfortable and escape the heat, but a backyard structure can offer much more when it comes to entertaining, staying healthy and fit, or even finding a quiet place for work and hobbies. Here are some of our favorite options along with our suggestions for how you can make yours uniquely you!

she shed better homes and gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

She sheds have gained a lot of popularity this year, as the backyard answer to the Man Cave, and they are a great example of what an escape a backyard structure can offer. A she shed at its most basic is a tranquil, beautifully decorated shelter where a woman can read a book, work on a project, take a nap or just relax. Like most backyard structures, the purpose reflects the wishes of the occupant – add a chair and a bookshelf and it’s a reading nook, add a hammock and it’s a napping spot – and as with all the options that follow, offering you the getaway of your dreams is the most important part.

 

5th room pergola cover

Fifth Room

Pergolas are the perfect choice for people who really love being close to nature. They offer sheltered pavilions for any outdoor space, easily accommodating popular outdoor living choices like kitchens, hot tubs, or entertaining areas, but consider dressing one up with a central fire pit and hanging porch swings around it for a great after-dark gathering place. A pergola is perfect for the avid gardener, offering a dramatic focal point that emphasizes landscaping. Pergolas can be simple or transformed with designs that use natural light to create intricate or ornate patterns when the sun shines through the roof.

custom pergola decoholic

Decoholic

If you want a real home away from home in your backyard, look no further than a pool house or cabana. Not only does a pool house offer all the convenience of storing pool accessories, equipment, and furniture during the offseason, it makes a convenient place to change clothes before and after swimming and, particularly if you add a bathroom, cuts down on traffic – and thus water and clutter – in your home. With a shower and your pool nearby, a pool house can also make a great place for your own personal gym, while also making poolside entertaining effortless and luxurious. If space and budget allow, treating yourself to the addition of a bedroom allows your pool house to also double as a comfy guesthouse, quiet home office, or personal retreat.

cali bamboo tiki hut

Cali Bamboo

Create a tropical atmosphere with the addition of a tiki or chickee hut, which makes a perfect bar for any occasion. A tiki hut can provide a pleasant, shaded poolside area – or consider adding one right in your pool to offer a sheltered area that’s perfect for those who love to spend every minute in the water!

bar shed cubebreaker

Cubebreaker

A bar or pub shed will make anyone looking for a place to entertain adults while watching the big game want to move right in! A clubhouse for grownups, pub sheds are a terrific place for lounge furniture – think hammocks or hammock chairs – and a foosball or pool table.

After so much effort to make your backyard an inviting place, you may never want to leave and with a backyard studio or office, you might not have to! A studio space offers the quiet and enforced break between home and office that someone who works from home might crave, but a studio/office space can also offer an older child more independence and space for school projects.

 

custom - creative carpentry

Custom Creative Carpentry

A gazebo, the classic backyard structure, creates an elegant focal point for special events like weddings and offers a lovely traditional space for a private retreat or an intimate chat, but can also do so much more. A deck gazebo keeps the structure attached to your home, creating a charming dining area close to the kitchen for those who love to entertain outdoors, while a gazebo is also an ideal place for a hot tub, offering both shelter and privacy.

For the gardener, there’s no better escape than a potting shed. They make gardening easier by offering a convenient, organized workspace that allows you to work at a comfortable level, they keep animals out of delicate plants, and they protect plants from the elements, allowing the serious gardener to get a jump on their spring work by starting seeds indoors.

imagine that play houses

Imagine That Play Houses

But don’t forget the kids! Playhouses can encourage kids to be healthier by spending more time outdoors, while encouraging creative, imaginative play. More durable and lifelike than the plastic “big box” department store versions, a quality playhouse can also be a great place for kids to gather with their friends and makes entertaining little guests easy.

And our furry friends deserve a retreat of their own! An outdoor shelter for pets is much more attractive than the standard dog run and offers them protection of the elements year-round. With a quality structure, pets can be as comfortable outside as in, and you don’t have to worry about sudden changes in temperature or weather.

Then there’s always a multipurpose storage shed that keeps the backyard you love so much tidy, organized and pleasant. Store pool accessories or cleaning supplies, lawn equipment and toys in a storage shed so that when you’re in your backyard, you can truly get away from your work and responsibilities.

Whether you’re looking to get organized, get healthy, get together or just get away, a backyard structure can provide the solution and assure that comfort and convenience are what you and your guests experience with every escape!

View more creative backyard structures in our gallery below.

 

Links to images featured in the gallery:

Yanko Design  –  Avide Kiotthon  –  Landscape Juice Network  –  Smiling Bagel  –  Archipod  – Gizmag –  Re-nest

See a quote from Backyard Mamma that was recently featured on ABC News and The Washington Post. 

Backyard Mamma Stacy NelsonLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and educates consumers and builders about backyard living design and products. View more at www.BackyardMamma.com.

Planning Your Luxury Backyard Kitchen

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Step into any luxury home’s kitchen these days and you might as well be stepping into the kitchen of a five-star restaurant. Commercial ovens with infrared broilers, gas ranges in stainless steel, integrated refrigerators, silent dishwashers, custom countertops and cabinets – anything you need to help you cook and clean up with ease is right at your fingertips, making entertaining a breeze! But all that convenience and organization aren’t much help when you move the party outside and find yourself running back and forth, carrying everything in your kitchen outside and back again when you should be enjoying your guests. That’s why a must-have for today’s luxury outdoor space is an equally luxurious outdoor kitchen.

Cipriano Kitchen

Cipriano Landscape (Click on the picture to visit the Cipriano Landscape website)

With traditional kitchens, much of the planning is fairly standard, but when planning a backyard kitchen and making decisions about what to include, you’ll want to ask yourself several questions. How large does the kitchen space need to be? How often you expect to use the space? How many people you will be entertaining and cooking for? What kind of cooking will you be doing –traditional outdoor fare or gourmet meals or something in between? When planning, you also want to make absolutely sure you consider lighting and materials that are suitable to your climate. Stainless steel is a classic choice because it stands up to a variety of weather conditions well. For counters and storage, you can opt for anything from prefab units that arrive assembled based on order specifications, modular sections to offer some of the flexibility of a custom build, or a complete custom job suited for your needs, your style, and your weather.

Then you can think about the real centerpiece of your backyard kitchen – the grill! It can be as simple as a traditional gas grill to a gas cooktop all the way to a full stove and oven with a vent hood. If you’re planning on cooking and grilling, be sure to allow enough burners to have multiple dishes in progress at the same time. If you plan to do some preparation ahead of time, consider a microwave or even warmer to help reheat prepared food. Luxury kitchens can also include specialty grilling and cooking appliances like a smoker, a rotisserie, a griddle or a pizza oven.

And of course, no getaway would be complete without a cold drink and there are a range of choices, so again, ask yourself what kind of entertaining and serving do you expect to do? While the old standby of an ice chest is an easy way to keep drinks within reach for casual gatherings, you can also consider a beverage cooler built into the counter, but if you’re really serious about playing bartender during get-togethers, an ice machine is crucial, as is, of course, a well-stocked cocktail/drink station. If you plan to serve large groups meals or even just have family suppers in the backyard, choosing a fridge for outside with as many amenities as the one inside can be a huge help – no more running back inside for more ketchup or barbecue sauce. And since your outdoor fridge will be full, you might also consider a beer tap refrigerator, so a cold one is always on hand!

Morehead Pools Kitchen

Morehead Pools (Click picture to visit Morehead Pools website)

You’ll want to consider your guests’ comfort as well as their appetites. There’s a wide array of outdoor seating and dining furniture, from relaxing lounge chairs to more formal seating to suit any event style, and a shelter or backyard structure like a pergola can keep everyone relaxing together while they’re enjoying their food and drink and can offer additional seating. Comfort measures like a patio heater are also a valuable consideration if you hope to get the most out of your luxury backyard year round.

The key to gracious entertaining is making things appear effortless and having everything conveniently located outdoors makes that much easier for an active host or hostess. Be sure to select dishes and cookware (opting for non-breakable drink- and tablewares whenever possible) and fill your cabinets with all the essentials – aluminum foil, paper towels and napkins, grilling utensils, serving dishes and utensils, etc.  Stocking your outdoor kitchen well in advance will allow you to enjoy both your guests and your luxury backyard.

Poolscapes of Charlotte Kitchen

Poolscapes of Charlotte / Previously San Juan Pools of Charlotte (click picture to visit Poolscapes of Charlotte website)

At the end of the night, cleaning up should be a snap, so make sure you allow for adequate storage, so everything can be neatly and easily stowed for the next event. Planning for a trash drawer in your storage areas assures that you can clean up as you go and have all garbage gathered in one place. A sink, which will make hosting simpler too, allows for convenient washing up and if you plan to serve big meals outside, you’ll love having a dishwasher that gives you the same freedom you have in your traditional kitchen to flip a switch and head to bed.

Before you turn in though, make sure to take a minute and cover all your equipment. Investing in and regularly using protective covers will let you rest easy and enjoy your backyard kitchen for years to come!

Backyard Mamma Stacy Nelson

Luxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and sources luxury products to builders and educates consumers about backyard living design and products. View more at www.BackyardMamma.com.

Creating a Luxury Backyard on a Budget

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Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools

Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools (Click picture to visit the Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools website)

Backyard style is at its best when it is as personal as it is luxurious, making it possible to create a gorgeous outdoor space on a budget just by building a backyard that focuses on enhancing your quality of life. To keep it simple, put at least as much thought into how your space will be used as you put into planning how you want it to look. When making choices, you want to have a clear understanding of how you plan to use your luxury backyard. With so many options available, it is easy to get swept up by the range of possibilities and convince yourself that you can’t afford to transform your space, but with these simple tips, you’ll have the luxury of a space that’s all yours in no time! To be sure you’re getting the most for your money and selecting features you will really use and enjoy, ask yourself these six basic questions.

How many people do you plan to be entertaining in your backyard retreat? If you are planning to use your space as a private sanctuary to escape from the world, you may want very different elements from the family who is excited to invite everyone over for the big game.

liquidscapes

Liquidscapes (Click the picture to visit the Liquidscapes website)

How old will your guests be and do they have any special requirements? Small children or elderly relatives, for instance, might require that you prioritize a pool with a gradual slope or additional safety features.

How often do you plan on cooking out and for how many people? If you are just planning on grilling hamburgers a couple times a month for your family of four, a quality grill can handle the work, but if you’re a foodie who loves to feed the whole neighborhood, you will probably want to invest in a quality kitchen with amenities that will help you be the perfect host.

Do you need it, do you want it – or is there another way to get it? Think about what you really need to be able to relax and enjoy your space. Do you want the full-size fully loaded refrigerator or do you need a smaller one that has an icemaker? If you want a flagstone patio, have you considered stamped concrete which can offer the look of a traditional flagstone walk for less? If you want a fire feature and a water feature, think about combining them with a waterfall cascading from a poolside fire pit.

perry pools

Perry Pools (Click the picture to visit the Perry Pools website)

What are the choices you make going to do for you? If you plan to cook often, an outdoor refrigerator could save you steps on a regular basis, but if you’re more interesting in relaxing in a tranquil space with a good book, you might opt to consider a comfy piece of nest furniture or a small water feature. Keep in mind that accessories like fire pits, refrigerators, and counter space can easily be added during a future upgrade if you decide you just can’t live without them.

Can you get what you need and improve your life, regardless of what you want? This is why it is so important to have an understanding of how your space is going to be used. At the end of the day, regardless of the accent tiles around the pool or whether you chose a fountain or a refrigerator, if you have a cozy, restful place to relax and a place to enjoy the company of your loved ones, your luxury backyard can be your new favorite getaway. Make sure your choices reflect who you are and your space will too. Remember, at the end of the day, your backyard should be a place where you can unwind and spend time with your family and friends. Backyard spaces provide us with the perfect opportunity to put down the technology and live in the present moment.

Backyard Mamma Stacy NelsonLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com.

Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and sources luxury products to builders and educates consumers about backyard living design and products.

Backyard Mamma Website Sneak Peak

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BM HOME thumbBackyard Mamma provides luxury backyard products to swimming pool builders, home builders and remodelers, landscape architects, and general contractors through distribution. They also offer design consulting for builders and consumers, as well as educational seminars for builders.

Backyard Mamma is currently establishing a dealer base throughout North America to sell, install, and service their luxury outdoor living products. They have launched a “sneak peek” look at products that are currently available at www.BackyardMamma.com. The complete website will be launching soon at the same web address.

Backyard Mamma is a perfect addition for swimming pool builders, contractors, landscape architects, and home builders as a single-point resource for luxury backyard products. Current products available include saunas, furniture, glass tile, marble, pool equipment, and more. Additional items are being added soon.

Be sure to follow Backyard Mamma on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter (@BackyardMamma), Pinterest and LinkedIn for updates on the product line and for Mamma’s top picks in luxury backyard designs. You can also read Mamma’s informative articles about luxury backyard design trends for 2015 and more on the Backyard Mamma blog.

Backyard Mamma was founded by swimming pool and outdoor living expert, Stacy Nelson, who has worked with some of the largest brands in the luxury outdoor living industry. She has also sourced backyard products for numerous television shows and movies over the past 15 years. Call (844) 368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com for more information about how you can become a Backyard Mamma dealer. Backyard Mamma is a division of Triquetra Marketing LLC, which provides marketing and business consulting to manufacturers and builders in the swimming pool and outdoor living industries.

 

Patio Deck Design Ideas for Luxury Backyards

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Building your very own luxury backyard can be so exciting with your own private getaway just outside your backdoor and one of the most important choices you can make is your decking materials. Decking is one of the most important elements in the backyard, the design choice that will pull everything else together. You have so many options to choose from and you want to be sure your choice suits your style, well, right down to the ground!

Aloha wood

Aloha Fiberglass Pools (Click the picture to visit the Aloha Fiberglass Pools website)

Pressure-treated wood is a traditional choice for decking material that goes best with more naturalistic, organic looks.

Composite decking is a modern product with a traditional look. It can be used just as wood can, offering the same natural look, but also a variety of color options.

Concrete is perhaps the most typical choice, but now you can choose from a variety of custom finishes like stamping and coloring or even mimic the look of flagstone or pavers or use concrete slabs with artificial grass or pea gravel in between. While different finishes offer different looks, concrete is normally associated with a contemporary, modern look.

Exposed aggregate is concrete as well, but with the rougher surface material removed to expose the “aggregate” or the stones used to bind concrete. By using different sizes or different colors of stones, exposed aggregate can be very versatile, pulling together both natural and contemporary backyards.

Kool Deck - Perry Pools & Spas

Perry Pools (Click the picture to visit the Perry Pools website)

 

Kool deck offers much of what concrete does including the modern look, just minus the heat! It’s engineered to be cooler to the touch than concrete which can be an important consideration if your home is somewhere with extreme temperatures in the summer months.

Pavers are the great choice for a natural look if you want to get creative! These little blocks (available in stone, brick or concrete) are like building blocks, so the designs can be as complex and imaginative and you and your builder decide!

Traditional brick is also commonly used as a paver, and like pavers, they give your outdoor space a more free-flowing natural feel.

Travertine Decking - Premier Pools

Premier Pools & Spas (Click the picture to view the Premier Pools & Spas website)

 

Travertine is another stone paver material but is distinct enough to deserve its own mention. Travertine pavers can appear almost marble-like and offer the lighter colors and clean lines that are a perfect fit for a modern backyard space.

Marble itself is a gorgeous, cool choice for a contemporary yet classically beautiful backyard. Like almost all stone materials, marble is durable, but offers a crisp white modern look.

Flagstones are an excellent choice if you love the durability of natural stone but a more free-flowing, naturalistic feel. Each stone is unique and assures the finished product will be as well.

Flagstone Decking - Keith Zars Pools

Keith Zars Pools (Click the picture to view the Keith Zars Pools website)

 

Bluestone makes a pleasing choice if you want a little order with your nature. Bluestone is easy to shape, so it can provide the appearance of natural stone but the lines and convenience of pavers.

Slate, a different form of sedimentary rock, is another great natural stone decking choice for a nature lovers.

Tile is one of the most versatile and artistic choices for a contemporary, modern backyard. With an endless variety of color and sizes in which to create designs, tiles make almost anything possible.

Artificial grass is a great contemporary choice to inject a controlled natural element into your modern backyard. It can be used to emphasize the clean lines of other design choices, but there’s no need to cut or maintain it.

Rubber spray or rubberized pavers are another terrific and versatile modern invention. These materials offer a clean, uniform look that enhances the dramatic effect of any contemporary backyard space.

Of course, you don’t have to pick just one! Consider mixing your favorite elements – a composite deck with flagstone paths, concrete slabs with artificial grass, or even just a mixture of travertine and other pavers – to create a luxurious backyard that is just as unique as you and your home are. You want your getaway to be all about you from the ground up!

Below are some of the more popular decking options for luxury backyards. Let us know your favorite by voting in our poll at the bottom of the article.

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Backyard Mamma Stacy Nelson

Luxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at 844-368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com.

Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and sources luxury products to builders and educates consumers about backyard living design and products.

Luxury Backyard Design Trends for 2015

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As 2015 heats up, we continue to see a rising demand to make ordinary backyards extraordinary and luxurious, with homeowners typically favoring two distinct approaches: modern and natural. Modern luxury backyards draw on the established tradition of modern with clean lines, sophisticated but simplistic water features and crisp monochromatic tones, particularly grey, black, beige, and, of course, white. Backyards designed with natural luxury in mind are more organic, incorporating curves, warmer colors in the earth tones range, and natural materials.

waterfall4

The Modern Luxury Backyard

Those wishing to incorporate a modern luxury outdoor space will most likely include clean straight lines in their swimming pool design as the focal point of their private oasis. You can increase the luxury factor by adding a knife edge (also known as a vanishing or invisible edge) on one or more sides of the pool, which makes the water appear as if it is even with the top of the pool, creating an attention-grabbing illusionary effect. A quality pool builder can also incorporate gorgeous water features into the catch basin where the pool water overflows. Pool finish colors for the modern luxury backyard range from deep blues to neutral greys and quality glass tile, especially European glass, is a preference among many.

luxury backyard-naturalThe Natural Luxury Backyard

No natural luxury outdoor space is complete without water, but for a nature lover, the pool should fit seamlessly in the natural world. Again, a builder with knowledge and experience can integrate a pool with curves, emphasizing the shape and space of a yard, while making an organic fit with stones and tiles in the greens and browns of an earth tone palette. Flagstones and Italian marble both add nature-inspired distinctive looks.

waterfaucet2Water Features

In either case, water features are a must, the perfect way to add the tranquil sounds of moving water to one’s relaxation. Rain waterfalls can be incorporated into the pool in an endless variety of ways, from free-form styles to more modern features that give the illusion of a wall of water. Waterfalls also punctuate an outdoor space in a stunning way when used as standalone features that offer an eye-catching focal point. Fountains are another classic, timeless option that never seem to go out of style, versatile enough to be both elegant and playful. Built-in side wall rain curtains can offer soothing water sounds with a subtler understated effect, with European faucet-inspired features offering a particular chic, modern finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADecking Materials

All this can be wrapped in decking options that are just as vast as those for interiors. There’s classically inspired Italian marble, traditional concrete which has been reinvented and reinvigorated with an array of decorative finishes, flagstones with their naturalistic feel, along with Image 12innovative options like composite decking or artificial grass. Those seeking to bring a little order to nature will love travertine pavers, which offer the durability and beauty of marble and flagstone, but the dramatic design flexibility of pavers.

 

 

 

fire table2Fire Features

Adding the inviting warmth of a fire assures that your spectacular luxury space can be enjoyed anytime of the day or night. Of course, nothing could be more dramatic than coupling fire and water features by, for instance, insetting gas jets in the top of a side wall water feature, but if you’re looking to create the inviting ambience of an evening gathering place, you’ll want to shift attention after dark to a fire bowl or fire table, versatile enough to be modern or naturalistic, simply based on the materials. Then again, why not simply bring the fireplace outdoors for a nighttime focal point that offers that comforting oasis of enjoying a fire in the dark.

floating light ballsLighting Options

Of course, if you’re looking to light up the night, consider the impact of novelty lighting. Floating pool lights add a whimsical touch to a night swim, while DMX-controlled lights give you the opportunity to orchestrate your own private light show! LED accent lights can create new focal points and highlights after dark or simply help keep everyone safe, but for lots of late-night get-togethers, consider choosing hanging lanterns or chandeliers. Available in every style, from elegantly simple to ornately romantic to strikingly modern, these lighting selections work best in places people gather to talk and unwind.

pergola furnitureOutdoor Structures

And if gathering and entertaining are the inspiration for an updated backyard and space permits, consider a gazebo for lounging shade lovers, a pergola, which can easily have either a fabric or metal panel roof over the kitchen or seating areas, or go all out on a custom space to get the perfect space that will draw your guests together in comfort. Regardless of the choice, be sure to add an outdoor shower, either on its own or as part of a custom build.

shower3Outdoor Showers & Kitchens

With an outdoor shower, just add a kitchen and you’ll never need to go indoors again! No host or hostess wants to lose out on time with guests and with an outdoor cooking area, you can prep and party all at the same time. No backyard is complete without a gas grill, but a luxury space can offer so much more – pizza ovens, rotisserie racks, smokers, anything the serious backyard barbecue aficionado could desire! All the standard kitchen amenities like a stainless steel fridge with ice maker, a spacious sink with garbage disposal and stainless steel cabinets make sure that kitchen2everything is within reach, so entertaining will look and be effortless, and counters in granite, tile, marble, or stack stone, skewing grey or neutral for the modern backyard or toward ivories and earth tones for a natural one, make preparation and cleanup so easy. Meanwhile, keep guests’ glasses full by adding a wine or beverage chiller and to make your personal oasis feel like a real tropical getaway, a swim-up pool bar is a must.

tv3Technology

But convenience and technology aren’t limited to the kitchen! Outdoor televisions allow you to watch the big game in a much more versatile place than a crowded living room, while projector screens take family movie night to a whole new level. Audio systems for the backyard offer everything that home theater systems do and a quality custom job can make sure speakers are well-positioned and well-hidden. You can even add underwater speakers – and then pull the whole thing together with the seamless effortlessness of an automated remote-controlled system.

furnitureFurniture

After all that, it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy it all in a comfy seat! Outdoor furniture offers as many options as indoor these days, with classics like cast iron and wicker and more modern choices like aluminum and teak, with limitless fabric options. Modern palettes favor whites, creams and ivories, while more naturalistic looks tend toward teals, lime greens, or orange hues – or simple splashes of accent colors against the larger earth tone color scheme. If space allows, having formal seating areas clustered together makes a backyard versatile enough to accommodate small, intimate parties or larger informal gatherings, while tucking a stylish European-inspired seating area away nest4in a private or hidden corner also makes a lovely place to get away from it all for a few moments. Then there’s always the ultimate hideaway: nest furniture. Nest furniture, standard or hanging, creates just that, a cozy nest-like nook that offers a calm retreat, the perfect place to curl up with a good book. Hanging furniture is also available in a variety of other forms, turning every seat into a swing. Regardless of the choice, choose wisely and settle in because there’s no better place from which to take in the view and enjoy your newly transformed backyard!

BM Profile PicLuxury comes in every shape, size, style and color, so to learn how you can transform your own backyard from ordinary to extraordinary and to locate products and builders, contact Stacy Nelson from @BackyardMamma at 844-368-4769 or email stacy@BackyardMamma.com. Ms. Nelson has more than a decade of experience in the outdoor living and swimming pool industry and sources luxury products to builders and educates consumers about backyard living design and products.