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Outdoor Lighting

How Lighting Enhances Outdoor Living Space Elements

Outdoor Lighting

When considering outdoor lighting for your outdoor living space, it’s essential to be aware of three things. First, lighting is meant to be enjoyed in the evening. Second, the outdoor lighting design needs to be tailored to your specific tastes and outdoor area elements.

The third and final point is that the lighting needs to find a balance between being aesthetically pleasing and serving the purpose of providing a safe environment.

So, to help you create a beautiful and safe outdoor space, here are some ways in which lighting can enhance your outdoor living space elements.

The Importance Of Lighting And How It Can Enhance A Space

Lighting Elements For Outdoor Living Spaces - Buddha Builders

Good outdoor lighting can emphasize the landscape of your garden as well as increase security. By using strategically placed lights, you can highlight paths and walkways so that you can easily move around your garden in the dark.

When starting to transform your outdoor living space through lighting, try walking around your garden at night with a flashlight. This will help you identify areas that are perhaps too dark and certain areas that need to be lit, such as walkways.

Besides being safer, having ambiance lighting can give your outdoor living space a warm and welcoming feeling – making it the perfect place to relax.

When walking through your garden, it’s also important to ask yourself what your aim is in lighting your garden. Do you want it to be a reflection of your indoor living space? Or are you aiming to create an entirely new world through lighting?

Either way, here are some ways that lighting can enhance your outdoor elements.

Accent Features

Accent lighting is purely aesthetic and carries very little security and safety. It makes your garden seem more dynamic by highlighting a specific feature. This can be a landscape, architectural, or even artistic feature in your garden.

To accent a feature, you will generally use spotlights or floodlights to light it up so that it’s clearly visible even when it’s dark.

By doing this, you automatically draw your guests’ eyes to that feature and can therefore enhance the overall landscape and atmosphere of your garden.

Light Up Your Walkways, Patios, and Driveways

Walkways - Buddha Builders

This is a more security-driven method of lighting up your outdoor living space. But, with the use of modern lights and lighting designs, you can get creative and make it look good as well.

The term used for this specific form of lighting is called task lighting (as it performs a task such as lighting a walkway, patio, or driveway). You ensure that your guests can see where to walk at night, while still creating a neat and inviting environment by focusing on the placement of these lights.

As a driveway may also be lit by the lights of cars, low-voltage lights are very popular for this. They are easy to install and use less energy than other systems.

When lighting steps, you can also play around with the placement. Consider whether you want lights placed along the sides of steps or hide them under the nose of the steps so that people can easily see where each step lies. The latter can truly emphasize the steps as a feature and create a stunning, layered visual effect.

The same goes for the lighting on your decks or patios. Although it’s still task lighting, it can also enhance the atmosphere of your patio area. For example, you can use wall lighting to create sufficient lighting around seating areas or the grill area but enhance your patio further with some fairy lights to create an inviting and magical space.

Set The Mood In Your Pergola

When setting the mood for your pergola, you would most likely use overall lighting elements with some aspects of accent lighting.

You can use your lighting choices here to highlight the interesting architecture or design of the pergola. By using specific bulbs, such as incandescent bulbs, you can also establish the right atmosphere. Although incandescent bulbs have a short life, they emit a pleasing, glowing light.

Highlight Walls

An interesting feature to highlight in your garden may be a wall. Whether you have a beautiful, textured wall that you want to accent or would like to show off your neat retaining walls, lighting is the perfect way to do so.

By installing hidden lights in the ledges of your retaining walls, you can create an interesting visual effect that can brighten up your whole garden. You can also add lighting to highlight the trees or shrubbery growing up from behind your walls to enhance the natural elements in your outdoor area.

Brighten Up Your Outdoor Living Space Elements

Outdoor lighting, while enhancing security, can change the entire ambiance of your outdoor living space. By using it strategically, you can add a welcoming and luxurious atmosphere to your garden. So, if you are looking to upgrade your home, lighting is an excellent place to start.

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Interlocking Permeable Pavers - Buddha Builders

How To Decide Which Permeable Paver Is Best For Your Project

Interlocking Permeable Pavers - Buddha Builders

After deciding that you’re ready for your next outdoor project, you might be wondering about permeable pavers. More and more people are deciding to use these for their driveways and patios.

Permeable pavers are also known as permeable interlocking concrete pavements (PICP). This paving system is environmentally friendly as it is great for reducing runoff and minimizing the risk of flooding. The design lets rainwater trickle through cracks between the paver stones. This is so that water can seep into the ground (instead of pooling on top of the surface).

There are also lots of colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Not to mention that the way you lay them can create visually appealing patterns to complement your home or outdoor living space. So how do you decide which permeable paver is best for your project? Well, first let’s take a look at the different types and what they’re most suitable for.

Types of Permeable Paving

Interlocking Permeable Pavers

If you want to create beautiful outdoor living spaces or a sleek new driveway, interlocking permeable pavers are an excellent choice.

This type of paving involves placing paver stones in a way that allows for joints or cracks between them. These cracks allow water to seep through into the ground below so that you don’t experience flooding or excessive runoff.

Interlocking permeable pavers can also be placed in a variety of ways and come in many different styles. So, you can create the perfect driveway or outdoor space to suit your needs. From old-fashioned cobbled pathways and charming, stepping-stone styles to more classic, modern cuts, and luxurious natural stone finishes, interlocking pavers are incredibly versatile.

Permeable Concrete Or Asphalt

Permeable concrete is made when concrete and stone are mixed together and laid without a sand or gravel sub-base. This makes it more porous so that water can slowly seep into the ground, rather than pool or result in a lot of runoff.

Aesthetically speaking, this type of paver looks less refined than traditional concrete or interlocking pavers. Thus, it might be more suitable for commercial use rather than residential.

Aside from being somewhat expensive to install, permeable concrete has some other disadvantages. It’s important to note that it has limited water drainage capability, needs regular maintenance, and is not very durable.

Plastic Paving Options

Many people are starting to turn to plastic paving solutions due to their heightened permeability. Plastic paving grids are excellent for commercial and industrial use as they can withstand heavy truck traffic. This type of paving is filled with gravel or grass – making it extremely permeable.

Things To Consider When Choosing Permeable Pavers

Budget

Of course, budget is one of the first things you need to consider. Some of the materials for your permeable paver needs may be more expensive than others. If you are set on a specific type of stone, you may need a bit of planning to purchase materials at a later date and time. Unless you’re a DIY expert, there is also the matter of the installation to think about.

Design

Design is another important aspect to consider. Whether you are looking for a nostalgic, cobbled design, a more modern, square-cut stone with a geometric layout, or a textured paving surface in multiple colors, there are many options to choose between.

Thus, there are several design factors that you need to think about. These include the color you want, the shape of the paver stones, and how you want them laid out.

If you’re not completely sure what would best suit your project needs, it’s always best to reach out to an interlocking paver expert for some advice. We, at Buddha Builders, are always happy to help!

Why Choose Permeable Pavers?

When stormwater has nowhere to go, it has to wait for the evaporative powers of a hot day or find its way towards permeable areas and sewer systems.

Aside from being a timely consideration, this aspect can cause flooding. As stormwater runs through streets and drains, it can also become contaminated and affect the groundwater quality when it finally sinks in.

Permeable pavers remove these obstacles by providing a more effective means of runoff reduction. With permeable joints or cracks, these pavers allow water to seep through into the ground below. They are a more environmentally friendly solution that reduces runoff. In turn, this regulates stormwater, reduces the risk of flooding, and helps to protect natural waterways.

Apart from being more eco-friendly, interlocking permeable pavers can help you to create the outdoor living space or driveway of your dreams with visually appealing patterns and styles.

Find Out More About Which Permeable Paver Is Best For You

Still have questions about finding the right permeable paver? Get in touch with Buddha Builders today and we can assist you with a quote as well as attend to all your interlocking permeable paver needs.

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outdoor living space

5 Tips For Planning Your Outdoor Living Space

patio and firepit

While online gardening websites and magazines might make it seem like a walk in the park, planning an outdoor living space can be more complicated than it looks. If done right, however, an outdoor living space can be an outside sanctuary. You get all the benefits of a relaxing, satisfied experience without even stepping out of your backyard!

To help you create the perfect space to enhance your home living experience, here are some top tips for planning your outdoor living space. 

Top Tips For Creating Your Ideal Outdoor Living Space

While everyone likes a good hack or trick to get things done easily, tips go beyond maneuvering yourself out of a tricky situation. They streamline the process but still ensure that you get the job done without taking shortcuts.

1. You Need A Focal Point

It’s the thing you see first in a space and the first thing your eyes return to after you look away. As such, it is the most important part of the living space.

While a good focal point can often make up for an overall average space, an average focal point can be disastrous for the atmosphere – even if the rest of the space has an impeccable design. Because of this, it’s important for you to select an item that resonates with the vision you have for the outdoor living area.

If that’s peaceful – try something that brings light and calm, like a fountain or water feature. If you envision a cozy, homey space for the whole family, try to integrate a fireplace or a fire pit with warm hues and tones. 

2. Use The Surrounding Nature And Plants

One of the common mistakes is overdesigning an outside space and forgetting to leave space for nature. As our green friends, plants not only improve the air quality by replenishing the oxygen levels in their surroundings, but their presence has been linked to decreased stress levels in individuals.

That, added to the beautiful variety of species that you can obtain to match any style, makes plants an outdoor living addition unlike any other.

3. Consider The Lighting

The amount of light in an area always has a strong impact on its atmosphere. If you’re ever in doubt, the rule of thumb says the more natural light the better. Especially for an outdoor area – you want to make sure that it feels like you’re outside.

If your outdoor space is partially closed off, try incorporating ideas such as a patio, which provides a large entry point for natural light. For night time it is good to have sufficient light. Keep it stylish by searching for overhead lights that are functional and match your theme’s style.

When selecting the tone of light consider the specific atmosphere you want to enhance. For example, white light creates areas of enhanced focus, necessary for areas such as the cooking area, whereas warm hues signal relaxation.

4. Stick To A Style

Color, furniture, cushions, and other outdoor decor items all revolve around the specific style decided on for the area. The colors of each item should be complementary and to feed into the larger style. This is especially important if you want to collect items and curate your area over time.

This all starts with the foundation. Whether you have cobblestones, gravel, or geometric, interlocking pavers, the style and color of your foundation should guide your choice in outdoor furniture and decor. Repaving your patio can also make a world of difference and completely spruce up your outdoor living space. 

Extra tip: Make sure that your furniture is comfortable and practical for outdoor use (e.g. they should be waterproof if they will not be covered).

5. Don’t Rush It!

Creating an area from scratch can be exciting and tiring and, at worse, overwhelming – especially without help from a professional. Sometimes the best (and most enjoyable) way to tackle such a task is to break it down into smaller sections and take it on one thing at a time.

Start with dreaming and conceptualizing the space. Decide on the style and atmosphere you are aiming for and then relax. While out shopping, keep an eye out for elements that may suit the design and allow yourself to find your favorite pieces.

Over time, you will have collected only the items you love and slowly curated an outdoor living space brought to life, one item at a time.

Start Planning Your Outdoor Living Space Today

Now that you have a better idea of the requirements of curating an outdoor sanctuary, it is hopefully a lot easier to get all your succulents in a row. By following these tips, coupled with a drive of enthusiasm, your outdoor living space is bound to be the talk of the neighborhood in no time!

Contact Buddha Builders today for your free consultation and quote.

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