Visit us at the Richmond Home Show, March 4-6

March 1, 2011

Stop by the Richmond Home Show, March 4-6 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.  Our booth will be in the first building by the door to enter the rest of the show.  You can’t miss us!  Check this link for more information on the Richmond Home and Garden Show

 Here are a few pictures from the show we did this Winter.  A travertine patio with seat walls, a stone outdoor kitchen, landscaping, a fountain and a bench and table made by one of our designers!  Our designers and installers are truly talented.  Can’t wait for this show!

A stone bench and table that Chris McClaning made from some extra material at the shop.  


 A stone outdoor kitchen with pizza oven/grill combo, a soap stone counter top and natural stone bar top.   


Outdoor Fireplaces – Hot Summer Trend

June 16, 2010

Last year everyone wanted an outdoor kitchen…this year it is the outdoor fireplace!  We are busy working on building our fourth outdoor fireplace this spring and have more scheduled for this summer.  A fireplace creates a

Stone fireplace

great entertaining area, an interesting garden focal point and helps extend the time you can use your outdoor space in the winter. 

Since there is so much interest in this topic, I wanted to direct you to a couple of prior posts that give some good information on outdoor fireplaces.  And as always if you need help, you know who to call, Carville Landscape Co.

Outdoor Fire Pits Create Great Entertaining Spots!

May 21, 2009
Blue Stone Fire Pit

Blue Stone Fire Pit

As I sit here in my office looking out on one of our first beautiful summerlike days, I am thinking about outdoor fire pits.  Not because we need the warmth right now, but because that is what all our clients want!  I have installed more outdoor fire pits this spring than anything else.   And they keep on coming!  Outdoor fire pits are the hottest trend in landscaping this year (no pun intended, well maybe).

There are so many options when it comes to outdoor fire pits.  You can buy a portable fire pit from your local home improvement store or get as elaborate as a dancing flame on the sand!  Whatever you desire it can be done.  Here are a few suggestions of ways to bring a little fire into your backyard landscape. 

Portable Fire Pits and Chimeneas – If you are looking for something wood burning and quick to purchase, look no further than your local home improvement store.  They have an array of cooper and wrought iron fire pits, as well as terra-cotta chimeneas to add a little warmth to your backyard.  Make sure when using these items that you keep them a safe distance from the house and use a spark screen to keep embers from flying near your home.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits – A permanent wood-burning fire pit can make a great addition to your outdoor living room and are perfect for roasting marshmallows on cool autumn nights.  These fire pits can be as simple as a hole dug in the ground with a rock border or as elaborate as a stone mortared pit.  With permanent fire pits you can make them as custom as your imagination; just about any shape or size and use a variety of materials – paver, brick, stone, even blue stone.  Check your local zoning to determine any burning restrictions and if you need any permits to build.     

Gas and Propane Fire Pits – If you are tired of chopping wood and want to make your fire pit easier to use, install natural gas or propane as your fuel source.  You can add gas to many fire pit structures and light it with a flip of the switch.   If you are really looking to make a big statement in your landscape, install a dancing flame as a focal point.  You can make the flame dance over sand, colored glass or rock.  Again you will want to keep any flame away from your house, but with a gas source, you will have fewer restrictions.

Whatever type fire pit you decide to use this summer, remember to keep it safe.  Never leave fire unattended and keep flames a good distance from your home.  And ALWAYS keep marshmallows on hand!

Looking to extend your homes square footage?

March 29, 2009

Patio and Fire Pit

A great way to add square footage to your house is to bring it outside!  Add an outdoor room to your home and have a unique fun setting to entertain your friends and family.  Our clients are bringing everything outdoors – fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, living rooms, fountains – even decorating with plush furnishings and lighting! 



When designing your outdoor room, start by defining the function you want your room to serve and the foundation for your room.  Do you just want to add square footage to your current living space?  Do you want a pool as your focal point with separate living spaces around it, a separate kitchen space and living room and fireplace space?  Do you want to create a private covered courtyard space complete with walls and a roof?  Or the ultimate MAN room with built-in grill and kegorator, plush reclining chairs and outdoor big screen television (this is the one I am planning for my yard)!

Once you have decided how you want to use your room, start thinking about the foundation.  Many rooms start with a patio – brick, paver, blue stone, travertine, or concrete.  Once you have your foundation think about if you want walls – paver columns, brick walls, or wood fence – and a roof – trellis with vines, pavilion roof, pergola or just wide open sky. 

Now that you have the structural details in place you can really get creative with all the other features you want to include in your outdoor room.  Below is just a small list of what you can do.  Use your imagination to create the perfect space for you!

Fireplaces – Bring your fireplace outside for those cool fall nights.  You can do something as simple as a small round fire pit or as elaborate as a full blown fireplace with chimney and wood box.  Both options can be run off natural gas (just like the ones inside) or the good old wood burning option. 

Outdoor Kitchens and Grills – Create a grilling station by building your grill into your patio and creating nice paver countertops for preparing food.  Or create an entire outdoor gourmet kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, grill, warming draws, kegorator and side burners – complete with granite counter tops!  Even build in a bar to create outdoor seating for your guests to enjoy their meals or just as a place to sit while you are cooking dinner. 

Outdoor Televisions – Build a great space to watch your favorite football or baseball games.  With the invention of flat screen televisions, it is easy to put your television outside.  Enjoy the sunshine while you enjoy the game.

Fountains and Waterfalls – Create a focal point for your room and add a fountain or a waterfall.  They can be placed on walls, on the patio, in containers or in pools.  You can even create a reflecting pond with a water fountain.  Get creative and add a little running water to your room.

Pools and Hot Tubs – Don’t forget a fun and relaxing feature to your outdoor rooms – pools.  Create an area for a pool or hot tub.  Relax on a raft in the hot summer sun or enjoy the cool nights under the stars in your hot tub. 

Lighting – Outdoor lighting can add dramatic effect to a focal point, provide security or just extend the amount of time you have for enjoyment.  There are so many options for lighting that there is bound to be something that fits the style and décor of your room. 

Seating – Add some permanent seating to your room.  Add seat walls around the edge of your room to provide extra seating for guests.  You can even dress them up with seat cushions and pillows.

Whatever you decide, start with a plan so that your outdoor room serves your needs and fits your style!  For more pictures and information on outdoor rooms, visit Carville Landscape Co.

Outdoor Kitchen and Bar

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