Posts tagged with "backyard"

Pergola X photo by Natalie Norcross for use by 360 Magazine

StruXure – Pergola X

Outdoor Details Worth Splurging On This Summer With Scott Selzer, CEO of StruXure

Site, function, and budget are all important factors to consider when designing an outdoor space: What can my property accommodate? What kind of space do I want/need? How much money am I willing to spend? However, it’s also important to think about outdoor upgrades in terms of return on investment. How can I create a space that can be used year-round? Will the upgrades increase my property value? The answers to all these questions will help inform choices well beyond furniture selection, like whether to add fixed structures, water features, or built-in appliances.

Adding an adjustable louvered pergola by StruXure to one’s home is not only a great idea for providing shade to an outdoor space, but it can also help reduce interior heat gain by protecting exterior walls.

Summer is synonymous with spending more time outdoors, but without proper planning it can also mean sunburns, bee stings, and heat exhaustion. We hear it all the time, “I’d spend a lot more time in my backyard if I could get some relief from the blazing sun.” A pergola with pivoting louvers, that can be adjusted at the touch of a button, gives you the protection you need from sun, wind, and rain showers, not only in the summer months, but all year long.

Thanks to social distancing protocols, it has become the norm rather than the exception to eat outdoors, and not only at restaurants. Recreating the al fresco dining experience at home is becoming increasingly popular. A pergola with automated pivoting louvers helps protect diners, whether in a commercial or residential setting, from direct sunlight and other weather conditions.

If we learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that everyone can use technology. From a dramatic increase in video calls to prolific smart hub use, people are no longer afraid of technology. Many who thought “smart gadgets” weren’t for them are now capable users. The Pergola X by StruXure uses a Somfy motor to activate its louvers, which can be operated by remote control or through use of an app on a personal device.

As with interior design, a well-designed outdoor space needs to offer both comfort and function. Without both, it won’t get used. In addition, an outdoor space must be designed to withstand the elements. Even the most well-curated outdoor lounge or kitchen will remain underutilized unless it can be protected from rain, sun, and extreme temperatures. StruXure pergolas offer protection and durability. The motorized pivoting louvers, which can be shifted at the touch of a button to let the warm sunshine through or to optimize shade, can be fully closed on rainy days. StruXure products are made from durable, powder-coated extruded aluminum, which makes them scratch-resistant, non-corrosive, and nearly maintenance-free. Pergolas can also serve as anchors, helping to define unique spaces within a larger, multi-purpose backyard design.

Treat your outdoor space as new-found square footage and look for ways to maximize the value of that space. One way is by adding a high-quality pergola that will stand the test of time—one that can be matched to your home’s architecture and color scheme—and then turning that protected space into any “room” your family desires: outdoor living room, theater, kitchen, spa. The benefit of a sturdy, fixed structure with pivoting louvers is that it can be utilized in every season, whether you want shade, airflow, sunlight, or rain protection (our products can even withstand snow loads). And as outdoor living continues to rise in popularity, statistics show that homes with comfortable outdoor spaces are increasingly attractive to buyers.

About StruXure

Founded in 2011 by CEO and Chief Product Architect Scott Selzer, StruXure has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America for six years in a row. Steady growth at- tracted top talent and led the company to open a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters just north of Atlanta, GA in 2016. A West Coast Fulfillment Center and Showroom, located just outside of Las Vegas, NV, was added in the Fall of 2017. With StruXure dealers from Canada to the Caribbean, the company is poised and ready to lead the way to more innovative outdoor living across North America and beyond.

Pergola X photo by Natalie Norcross for use by 360 Magazine

Pergola X photo by Natalie Norcross for use by 360 Magazine

Dog and child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding Trends

The TurfMutt Foundation Predicts “Backyarding” To Become Permanent Trend

“Backyarding,” the new trend to move many indoor activities–from working in an office or classroom to dining and recreation–to the great outdoors, is growing. Under pandemic conditions, yards and other managed landscapes became a safe haven for social gatherings, celebrating milestones/holidays, working, studying, playing, exercising, relaxing.  
 
“Your own backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and homeowners got really creative as they expanded and enjoyed their yards over the last year,” said Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. “We predict, long after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, our yards will become an even greater part of our lives. The notion of ‘backyarding’ is here to stay.” 
 
In 2020, home improvements – many of them in the backyard – skyrocketed. So did the demand for outdoor power equipment as homeowners invested in making their outdoor spaces fabulous, functional and flourishing. Overall, shipments of outdoor power equipment increased 16 percent in 2020.
 
“Expect people to continue to invest in their outdoor life this coming spring,” said Kiser. “Many homeowners who put time and effort into their landscapes last year will be rewarded when that yard comes back to life this spring. But, even if you did little last year, it’s never too late to start – just start.”  
 
Here are some ways to bring more “backyarding” into your life:  
 
1.    Invest in your yard. Design a dream lawn and garden. Consider its purpose. Don’t design just for aesthetics. Do you have kids and pets who need a place to play? Will you be hosting safe gatherings? Do you need a place for rest and relaxation and/or games and recreation?
 
2.    Get the whole family involved. Create a game or a friendly competition with your family to help identify all the ways you can move your indoor life to the great outdoors – and right out your backdoor. Can you take office calls and video meetings to the patio or porch? Can your kids do their online learning outdoors? How often can you take dining outside? Keeping safety in mind, can you gather outdoors for family celebrations, birthdays, graduations and reunions? 
 
3.    Plant something—as early as you can. (Or plant more). Adding trees, bushes, grass and flowering plants is a good yard investment, but they often take time to grow. Plant as early as recommended so you can enjoy the benefits faster.  Just remember “right plant, right place.”  Location, maintenance, sunlight and watering needs should all be considered, as well as your climate zone.
 
4.    Stretch winter-weary muscles. Take workouts, yoga classes and meditation sessions outdoors. You also can let off some steam by mowing the grass, trimming the hedges, or edging the lawn. Working in the yard not only helps our living landscapes look better and stay healthy, it also gives us a sense of accomplishment and control in trying times. 
 
5.    Plan a staycation. A makeshift “resort” or vacation spot could be just out your back door. Pitch a tent, build a campfire, hang a sheet between trees to make a movie screen, set up games – these are just a few ideas to make the backyard a vacation spot. 
 
6. “Level up” nature care. Add flowering plants, trees and shrubs to give wildlife and pollinators food and shelter. Your yard is part of the larger ecosystem, so check your climate zone for landscaping options that support your birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. Don’t forget to take time to just sit and drink it in, observing the wildlife and nature around you.
 
Research shows simply spending time in nature – which starts in your backyard – is good for reducing stress, boosting heart health, boosting Vitamin D levels, and enhancing memory.  Thanks to the family yard, the health and well-being benefits of being outside are just a few steps away.
 
To learn more, go to TurfMutt

Dog illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding is Here to Stay

Backyarding is Here to Stay & It Has a Purpose. What’s Yours? 

By Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

What once only happened indoors now happens outdoors. It’s called “backyarding,” and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. From office work to working out, from eating to entertaining, if these activities were once typically held inside a home or office, they are now being brought to the great outdoors.

Simply think back over the last year and recount the number of times your backyard has taken center stage in your everyday life. The family yard became the safe and purposeful space where we could gather and recharge. Spending time outdoors is great for your physical and mental health, and our backyards are the bridge between indoor and outdoor living.

The backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and you can get really creative in how you expand and enjoy your yard. But before you get to work in your yard, you must first identity what type of “backyarder” you are. Then, you can keep that idea in mind to create a more purposeful outdoor space that is customized to your family’s needs.

Here are just a few of the backyarding personality types. Which one(s) are you?

Entertainer Extraordinaire
Your backyard was the neighborhood hot spot long before the pandemic made that trend posh. Family milestones, birthdays, graduations, reunions, socially distanced BBQs – your yard is *the* place to gather. Your yard is set up for success with patio furniture, fire pit, yard games, plenty of outdoor seating, string lights, and maybe even an outdoor kitchen.  The family yard and community park are five-star event spaces that are always easy to book!  

Environmentalist
You know that nature starts in your own backyard and that taking small steps in your yard can make a big impact on climate change. As the proverbial Robin to your yard’s Batman, you embrace your role in supporting the superhero powers of your living landscape. Those include capturing and filtering rainwater, producing oxygen, and absorbing carbon, just to name a few. 

Expert Landscaper
Your yard makes neighbors green with envy. You know how to maintain a healthy living landscape all year long, and you have the latest outdoor power equipment to make even big jobs easier. Your idea of a good time? Spending the weekend doing yardwork. You love the sense of accomplishment that comes from working in your yard, and friends can count on you for advice about their own living landscapes.

Horticulturist
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is bookmarked on your browser because putting the right plant in the right place is the living landscape Golden Rule you live by. You consider location, maintenance, sunlight and watering requirements, as well as your climate zone and lifestyle needs, before you even think about sticking your shovel in the dirt.

Kid Zone Creator
You know the safest place for your kids to be is in your own backyard, and you work hard to create an outdoor fun zone they will never want to leave. A flat area of sturdy turfgrass to play sports and pitch a tent? Check. Treehouse? Check. Zipline strung safely between backyard trees? Check. An elevated garden where kids can help grow the family’s meals? Check. Natural playscapes, like a patch of sand bordered by rocks and log stump seating? Check. “Fun” is your middle name, and you are winning at this game.

Nature Lover
No binging Netflix for you. You subscribe to “Nature TV” and prefer to spend your free time watching the birds, bats, butterflies and other wildlife that count on your yard for food and shelter. You cultivate a living landscape that supports a rich biodiversity with butterfly bushes, flowering plants, water sources, and trees and shrubs with nooks for nesting and food.  

Pet Pamperer
Your focus is on Fido, and you take cues from your four-legged friends about how to purpose your backyard. You’ve planted sturdy turfgrass like Buffalo or Bermuda that can stand up to pet play, and you’ve used soft foliage to create a natural barricade between “off limits” areas and the rest of the lawn. Trees and shrubs are strategically planted for shade, and you’ve even set up a shallow water feature to help your pup cool off on hot days. For you, planting with purpose means keeping toxic plants out of the picture. (For a complete list, visit ASPCA’s list of non-toxic and toxic plants.

Work (and learn!) from Home Warrior 
You don’t need to turn to technology to create a virtual backdrop for your video calls. The natural setting created by your yard’s trees, flowers, bushes and other plants is your go-to video call background. Your kids aren’t doing in-person school? No problem. Your backyard or neighborhood park is a living laboratory for learning that supports outdoor learning, even when school isn’t in session. Your kids take online classes under the shade of a tree. Do homework at a patio or picnic table. Brush up on STEM education by planting and studying flowers, bug hunting, and weather watching.

Zen Master
Enjoying your morning coffee on the balcony as songbirds serenade you. Meditating under the shade of a tree. De-stressing by swinging in a backyard hammock. Taking a break from your busy day to feel the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair. Your backyard is your sacred space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It’s the best “green spa” in town. You know that spending time outside is good for your health and well-being and that, thanks to your yard, these benefits are only steps away.

Setting the stage for backyarding. One final and important note to backyarders of all kinds. Creating a yard that supports all of the aspects of your family’s outdoor lifestyle means taking stock of what you might need to care for your lawn. Take an inventory of your outdoor power equipment to make sure you are prepared. Then, get out there and create your canvas for even more backyard memory-making.

To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit TurfMutt.

Vaughn Lowery and 360 MAGAZINE test the Zeno Gym.

5 Tips for Staying Active at Home

Are you like the majority of people who are spending way more time at home than you usually would? With lockdown measures happening across the country in 2020, and then the slow return to the new normal, people just haven’t been out and active like they normally would. While it’s been an adjustment, there are ways you can stay healthy and active despite being home so much. In fact these may be habits you decide to keep up with even after the pandemic is under control. To get you started on your path to a more active lifestyle at home, here are five tips you can start using right away.

Make Use of Online Exercise Videos

One of the hottest trends to hit during lockdown was an interest in online exercise videos. YouTube is one of the best places to find this content, with thousands upon thousands of free videos to check out. In particular, you can use these videos for cardio workouts, Yoga, and Pilates. You can go about things at your own pace, choose the length of the workout video, and do them as often as you like during the week. Many of these don’t require any sort of special equipment or workout gear, just enough space in a room to move about and perform the various exercises.

Get Yourself a Golf Simulator

If you’re an avid golfer, why not take this time at home to brush up on your skills and therefore improve your game. You can buy your very own golf simulator like one of these that you can set up in your house. With these simulators, the weather outside never matters; you can enjoy a “game of golf” whenever the mood strikes. What’s really great about these simulators is the amount of information and feedback they provide, which you can use to better your game. You’ll get information on your swing, speed, stance, accuracy, and so much more.

Backyard Sports Games

If you happen to have yard space, you have access to a whole host of additional activities. Anything sports related that can be played in your own yard is a fabulous option. This could include activities like badminton, soccer, baseball, bocce ball, lawn darts, croquet, and so forth. If you have kids, these are also the kinds of activities they can get involved in. 

Invest in an Exercise Machine

If you plan to keep up with your at-home physical activity in the long-run, it can make sense to make an investment and purchase an exercise machine. Some of the more popular options include a weight machine, a treadmill, an elliptical, a stationary bike, and a rowing machine. The catch with these machines is that you need enough space to use them and store them, so they aren’t usually ideal for smaller sized homes and spaces.

Those House Chores are Exercise Too

Then there are the house chores that need to be done regularly. This includes both the indoor and outdoor chores. These act as their own form of physical activity as you can really work up a sweat and burn some calories doing them. Chores that are known for burning the most amount of calories are vacuuming, mopping, laundry, gardening/weeding, and mowing the grass. In order to get the best results from household chores make sure you do at least one strenuous chore daily.

No Need to Leave the House to Get Active

As you can very well see there is absolutely no reason to leave the house in order to be active and stay healthy. Each of these tips will help you to achieve your health goals.

Sewing project tiger pillow

DIY Home Sewing Projects

By Tabitha Sewer,  Brother Ambassador, Sewing and Fashion Blogger and Entrepreneur

The virus has taken a toll on all our lives this year. It has completely turned all of our goals and plans for this year upside down. Rather than wallowing in self-pity over something I have no control over, I decided to see the positive side of all of this. Since building my home a few years ago, I never had the time to style it the way I really wanted. Now, with all the time in the world, I jotted down which rooms needed a makeover and what exactly I wanted to do with them.

The first project we took on at the start of quarantine was our back patio. This space was a muddy landing under the patio that stored my husband’s tools. This space was no doubt an eye sore. Before starting, we sat down as a family and discussed what each of us wanted the outcome to look like. Since vacations were off-limits this year, it was very important to us that this space had a relaxing, tropical vibe that could transport our minds away from everything that’s going on in the world.

My husband and I created a budget, planned out each project that we would complete in this space and moved forward with completing this transformation. We hired a professional to pour and level the concrete for the foundation of our new patio. To keep costs down, my husband and I laid the marble porcelain tile ourselves and even built our own couch.

The styling of the space was easy enough since I created a mood board with elements that we desired to have in this space. In two months time, our new back patio transformed into a backyard tropical oasis. When we step into this space, we literally feel like we are walking into a resort.

Some projects around the house don’t require an extensive timeline or huge budget. There are small, inexpensive projects that can be done to elevate your home and create an impactful moment.

We have a vintage velvet couch in our home that I found at a local thrift store for only $10. When we bought it, it looked extremely tattered and was on its last leg. We tore apart the fabric and cushions and refurbished it into the blue velvet couch we have today. This couch is most definitely beautiful enough to stand alone, but when I came across some designer velvet pillows online, I thought it would pair really well with the couch. So, I decided to make them.

As a Brother Ambassador, I love being able to share my love for Brother sewing machines. I use my machines to create my handmade wardrobe as well as projects around my home. Sewing has a stigma of being a craft that our grandparents would enjoy. I’m here to tell you that sewing isn’t for your grandmother’s anymore. I like to share sewing from a millennial’s point of view; recreating designer projects for less. With social media, inspiration is all around us. Being able to sew what inspires me is something I truly enjoy. Sewing allows me to have access to the things I want without breaking the bank.

So, get after it and feel empowered to create at home. You can upcycle old jeans into shorts during this Summer heat or get quality fashion without breaking the bank. While a pandemic absolutely doesn’t mean you have to come out with a new skill, after all we are just trying to get through each day with our friends and families. But, it can be a time that we come together, inspire and create to release some steam. Here’s how I created this designer-inspired velvet pillow to match my home.

Designer-Inspired Velvet Pillow

Materials:

  • Brother Stellaire Innov-is Sewing Machine
  • Embroidered Thread in Various Colors
  • Large Square embroidery Hoop
  • Tiger Embroidery File (6 in.)
  • ½ yard Velvet Fabric
  • 1.5 yards Braided Trim
  • ½ yard Pellon Sol-U-Film Wash Away Embroidery Stabilizer
  • Sulky Self- Adhesive Tear Away Stabilizer
  • 15” x 11” Pillow Insert

Note: You can purchase your embroidery file from Etsy as there are many available options.

Instructions:

  1. Take your Pellon Sol-U-Film Stabilizer and lay it directly on top of your velvet fabric. Take both and hoop it into your embroidery hoop. Make sure both the stabilizer and fabric are pulled taut inside the hoop. The stabilizer allows your machine to embroider on top of the fabric without the threads getting lost inside the texture of the velvet. Without it, you would not be able to make out the design.
  2. Flip the entire hoop upside down and attach the Sulky Self- Adhesive Tear Away Stabilizer. Be sure to press the stabilizer onto the fabric with your hands, making sure that it stays in place. This stabilizer is important because it gives the fabric and design more stability. It helps the design hold its shape without tugging on and distorting the quality of the delicate velvet fabric.
  3. Once the hoop is set up, place it inside your sewing machine. Set your machine up for embroidery and start. Keep an eye on your machine as it stitches to make sure that your machine doesn’t run out of thread as it stitches.
  4. When your embroidery design is complete, remove it from your machine. Tear away the Pellon Sol-U-Film Stabilizer that was on top of the velvet fabric and tear away the Sulky Self- Adhesive Stabilizer that was underneath. This should be an easy process.
  5. With the tiger centered on the fabric, cut the velvet fabric in the following dimensions: 15.5” x 11.5”. Cut two.
  6. Lay your fabric with the tiger embroidery facing up, pin the braided trim along the outer edge of the front of your pillow making sure the braid is facing the center of your pillow. It may be difficult to stitch the trim perfectly around the corners of your fabric, so be sure to curve around each corner.
  7. Stitch the braided trim in place by sewing as close to the braid as possible. Be sure to remove the sewing pins as you sew along. When you get to the end of your trim, fold it towards the center of your fabric to prevent the ends from showing on the outside of your pillow.
  8. Take the back side of your pillow case, the second velvet fabric you cut previously, lay it directly on top of the first. Make sure the right side of the velvet fabric are facing each other. (The wrong sides of the velvet fabrics should be facing the outside). Pin in place.
  9. Sew around the outer edge of your pillow using the braided trim as a guide. Leave 6 inches unsewn on the bottom edge of the pillow.
  10. Turn pillow right side out. Push out all four corners of your pillow with a blunt tool being careful not to poke a hole through your fabric. Your design should now be on the outside of your pillow.
  11. Folding your pillow insert in half tightly, place it inside of your pillow case.
  12. Fold the back edge of your unsewn fabric to the inside about a ½ inch. Top stitch in place.
nature illustration

Planting for Pollinators

The family yard is now the safe outdoor space to relax, play and de-stress, especially during these challenging times when so many are sheltering at home. The TurfMutt Foundation reminds families that nature starts right outside your back door – and one way to help nature is to make sure your yard supports our very important pollinators.

About 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat exists because of pollinators, and 75% of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce. On top of that, more than 3,500 species of bees help increase crop yields.

June is National Pollinators Month and June 22-28 is designated as “National Pollinator Week.” Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S Department of the Interior. Pollinator Week is  a great opportunity to encourage people to do more in their backyards to support pollinators. Our yards, parks and other green spaces are growing even more critical in recent times not only for the health of the planet, but also for that of humans.

The TurfMutt Foundation has developed an infographic on planting for pollinators so that anyone can provide critical food and shelter to these essential species.

Access the infographic and get planting here.

The Mayumi: All-Inclusive Residential Stay

The Mayumi, a new residential concept by HQ Development, is set to open April 2018 in Los Angeles. Located in the epicenter of Culver City, California, this new space has been fashioned into a remarkable 35-unit flexible-stay residence catering to long-term visitors looking for a monthly all-inclusive residential stay alternative and creative space.

 

Mayumi provides the best of both worlds – a private haven and social hub. Created to provide an unparalleled living experience crafted on a foundation of design, flexibility and community, Mayumi members can enjoy luxurious private rooms and common areas to connect with others.

 

Each member is provided their own unit, with an ensuite private restroom featuring a soft water system and rain shower. An in-room touchscreen managing lights, shades and thermostat provides full control of the environment right at the member’s fingertips, as well as a 50-inch Smart TV with DirectTV service.

 

The innovative concept is a natural fit for HQ Development, whose projects throughout Culver City, Hollywood and Santa Monica have attracted heavyweight companies in creative industries as its tenants. With the opening of Mayumi, HQ Development will mark its entry into the residential market and similarly endow the surrounding neighborhoods with a thriving energy. As Robert Herscu remarks, “Our intent is to make Mayumi synonymous with luxury, flexibility and comfort. Our drive to create a distinctive living experience is as fierce as our residents’ passion to make their mark in LA.”

 

Additional flexible stay locations are currently in development, with expected availability in 2019.

 

For more information :

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter