When is a backyard oasis truly a place to relax and enjoy?
When it most resembles one you might find at a luxury, high-end resort. This is
not the place to skimp on the quality of furnishings and furniture. Instead,
find the most luxurious styles and gorgeous designs that reflect the true
nature of your indulgent preferences. These little luxuries are sure to make
the difference between a ho-hum backyard and a resort-like oasis where you can
relax amid surroundings fit for a king or queen. Here are our choices for
luxury outdoor furnishings in four different categories.
The Luxury: Stingray Shade Structure from TUUCI
There are few, if any, shade structures that come close to the beautiful style of the Stingray umbrella. TUUCI calls it a “shade innovation” that exemplifies “design in motion,” much like a stingray gliding sinuously through the water. But this umbrella does more than just look good. It is made with marine-grade, polished aluminum and tensile fabric to make the Stingray a most durable shade structure. Another great feature is its ability to rotate a full 360 degrees so it can easily follow the sun and provide protection from its damaging rays.
The Luxury: Marimba Swivel Fan Chair by Tommy Bahama
When you want both a unique and comfortable option for seating, it is hard to resist the pull of the gorgeous Marimba chair. Its overall style is regal – perfect for the king or queen of the house. Unlike the “peacock chair” popular in the 1980s, the Marimba Swivel Fan Chair has taken the classic silhouette and updated it with modern colors and materials. It is finely crafted from durable aluminum with all-weather wicker and accented in gold designs forming an intersecting ring pattern. The chair back uses graceful curves atop a deep seat that fits even the most robust of occupants. You are sure to feel as if you are reigning over your own home in luxury outdoor furnishings such as this magnificent chair.
Luxury Fire Feature
The Luxury: Firefall with Artisan Glass from American Fyre Designs
When is a fire pit not a fire pit? When it’s a firefall complete with subtle LED lights. Your luxury outdoor living room would not be complete without the mesmerizing draw of live flames dancing against a backdrop of glass mosaic pieces. Each piece is hand laid and formed into an artist-inspired design, then grouted by hand. Available in both large and small sizes, the Firefall with Artisan Glass is fueled by either propane or natural gas. This unique fire feature is made of sturdy, fiberglass reinforced concrete and includes a wind guard to keep the flames alive even on a blustery night. You have a choice of several colors and textures to match the existing décor in your backyard oasis.
Luxury Chaise Lounge
The Luxury: Bazza Contour Armless Double Chaise by Telescope Casual
Lastly, what backyard oasis would be complete without a chaise lounge? Our top pick in this category is the Bazza Contour chaise which is a sleekly styled sling made for two. Finely crafted from a weather- and rust-resistant frame, each side of the chaise adjusts autonomously to allow a couple ultimate comfort while lounging poolside. The armrests are made from a polymer that doesn’t heat up when exposed to the sun and your Bazza chaise lounge can be ordered with armrests in a contrasting color to the frame, which is available in nearly a dozen different hues. There are plenty of fabric choices for the sling material, as well.
Luxury outdoor furnishings such as these are sure to enhance
your backyard oasis.
Have you always wanted a backyard where everyone in your family and surrounding neighborhood gather to have a good time? If you current outdoor living area isn’t quite up to snuff in terms of style, comfort and usability, then use these tips to create a party friendly backyard sure to be the hub for fun.
Design an Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Room
Take a cue from the interior of your home and design similar rooms outdoors. At the heart of any good party is food and beverage so an outdoor kitchen is de rigeur. Make sure the kitchen is well-equipped with a spacious, built-in barbecue, refrigerator and a sink for washing hands and veggies. In close proximity, set up a dining area with a table large enough to handle a crowd and lots of comfortable dining chairs.
If you don’t plan on entertaining a large group of people, you may want to consider using a dining table with a gas or propane fire pit in the middle. Some “fire tables” are set up specifically to cook food; having each guest cook their own kebabs and s’mores tableside makes for a very fun evening.
Another option is to extend the countertop around your outdoor barbecue and add a row of barstools. This permanent seating is located where most of your guests will hang out anyway – in the middle of the cooking action. It is a more informal arrangement and best suited for smaller parties.
No matter the configuration of your kitchen and dining area, be sure to top it all off with a shade structure that adequately covers the entire area. You may opt to use a cantilever umbrella such as the Vineyard Shade Pod for your party friendly backyard. With up to four separate, yet conjoined, umbrellas, this unique design is sure to provide all the shade necessary to cover a large area.
Design a Poolside Entertaining Area
Another popular place for outdoor parties is poolside. Who doesn’t enjoy cooling off in crystal clear water on a hot day and enjoying an ice cold beverage afterward?
The key to designing a poolside entertaining area is to ensure you provide lots of comfortable lounge seating, shade structures and perhaps a cabana or two.
Cabanas such as the Mercury Lounger by TUUCI shown here make the ideal place for guests to change in and out of their swimwear. Plus, it’s such a cozy spot!
Attach a cantilever umbrella to the pool deck and you can easily create a shady spot for swimmers to refresh. The Bay Master swim under cantilever umbrella from TUUCI is the perfect choice for the pool. Simply adjust the positioning as the sun crosses the sky. An added bonus is that this umbrella looks as good as it performs.
If you wish your party friendly backyard to resemble a resort, opt for a line of lounge chairs, such as these from Seaside Casual, on the pool deck. Loungers with deep cushions in bright colors look oh-so-inviting to guests. Be sure to include a variety of occasional tables scattered between the chairs to make it convenient for guests to keep their cold beverages and snacks close at hand.
If your goal is to do more entertaining in the upcoming months, then use these tips to create a party friendly backyard that friends and family will love to visit.
Every San Diego homeowner needs an eco friendly fire pit in their backyard oasis – at least that’s our contention. There is nothing quite as mesmerizing, romantic and comfort-inducing as a fire pit putting out a warm glow. Here is everything you need to know about adding a fire pit to your luxury outdoor living room and making it the environmentally friendly choice.
Skip the Wood and Opt
Here in San Diego, wood burning fire pits are permitted as long as there are not hazardous conditions in place which would prevent their use. However, homeowners’ associations and the CC&Rs in your specific community might prohibit fire pits that use wood.
Although they are allowed, a wood-burning fire pit is not
the eco-friendly choice since it produces air pollution – and adds to an
existing problem. Instead of using a fire pit fueled by wood, consider adding
one that uses natural gas or propane. These models burn much cleaner and they
can still be used if the city is under a wood burning ban.
Advantages of Gas
In addition to the fact that gas fire pits are more eco friendly, they are also much easier to use and maintain. Many of our fire pits come with a remote control. All of them are very easy to turn off and on with a simple flick of the switch. There is no need to buy and stack wood, nor do you need to clean up the mess that comes from piles of kindling and the ashes left behind after a fire.
Plenty of Styles and
There are plenty of different styles and designs available,
too. Whether you’d like a fire pit in the middle of a dining table or one
surrounded by rustic tiles, there is certain to be at least one that perfectly
meets your needs. They are made from various, durable materials including
metal, concrete and manufactured substances made to resemble their natural
counterparts. Choose from a wide variety of shapes and sizes, too.
One big advantage in terms of aesthetics is the ability to use various media on top of the gas lines. For instance, bits of colored glass can really change the look of your eco friendly fire pit. Protect the environment even more by opting for post-industrial glass which has been melted down and repurposed. You can also choose the more traditional lava rock or even river stones specifically treated for use in a fire pit. A windscreen made of Plexiglas not only protects the flames but also adds a subtle design element.
Using Natural Gas
One thing to be aware of is that, when using natural gas to fuel your eco friendly fire pit, the unit needs to be safely and securely installed as well as immobile (if you choose propane, that is not an issue). You may need to hire a professional to run the gas line to the fire pit. Do be aware of regulations that determine how far away from your home the fire pit needs to be.
When you are ready to add an eco friendly fire pit to your backyard oasis, just give us a call and we will help you find the best model in your preferred style and design.
With the end of summer in sight, you may think you will be
using your luxury outdoor living room less. But, with a bit cooler weather on
the way, the opposite should be true. In fact, this fall is the perfect time to
plan a staycation in your backyard resort. Here are a few suggestions for
turning your outdoor space into a staycation resort made for soothing R&R.
Start with Seating
What differentiates a typical backyard from the luxury
outdoor space at a high-end resort? Start with seating. Vacation resorts get
seating just right by offering two main differences: the types of seats and how
they are arranged.
In your backyard staycation resort, opt for the unexpected and make sure each seating piece is designed with good looks and plump, plush, oh-so-comfortable cushions. For example, this Curve Chaise Lounge by Tropitone provides an interesting and sexy profile sure to draw the eye to its simple, yet sensuous lines. This is exactly the type of seat you would expect to find at a luxury resort.
The Kantan Brass Rocker is another excellent choice. It is just as gorgeous as it is ergonomically designed. A pair of these brass rockers is sure to become the focal point of your backyard landscape.
The Right Position
Once you’ve got ultra-comfortable seats in place, be sure to
position them to best take advantage of the scenery. In your luxury backyard
staycation resort, that might mean creating a seating arrangement that faces
the pool. If you have a view of the ocean, that would be the obvious choice,
but even if you can see killer sunrises or sunsets, then your chairs and
lounges should at least be movable to take advantage of the colorful display.
Speaking of Pools…
Where do you most enjoy hanging out in your luxury outdoor
living room? Chances are it’s the swimming pool. What most resorts get right
about designing the space around the pool is adding both visual interest and
lots of accessories.
The number one furnishing necessary for a resort-style pool
is a cabana. This is the one addition to the area around your swimming pool
that really sets the space apart. Available in several different styles, each
of our cabanas features durable fabric that lends itself to sensuous draping
and provides intimate privacy. Furnish the cabana with an expansive lounge
chair and lots of pillows that invite leaning back and relaxing with an icy
beverage and a good book.
Just Add Shade
Decorative shade structures are another must-have around your staycation resort. When it comes to an umbrella that is a real show-stopper in terms of designs, it is hard to beat the gorgeous TUUCI Ocean Master MAX Manta Cantilever. It combines a unique design reminiscent of the span of a manta ray gliding through the ocean with ultimate shade coverage.
Don’t forget about the big impact small accessories can
make, as well. A basket of rolled-up towels poolside, potted flowers, outdoor
lanterns and a stack of fluffy throws next to the fire pit are all welcome
additions that are sure to remind you of a resort. As the weather gets cooler,
consider adding colorful throw rugs to keep your toes toasty.
Your backyard can easily become a staycation resort by
adding the right furnishings and accessories then sitting back and enjoying the
fruits of your labor.
Not everyone in the San Diego area is blessed with a large
space for a backyard oasis. If you have limited square footage outdoors you can
still turn the space into an area that rivals a high-end resort. Here are our
small yard design tips to maximize and transform your backyard into a
destination made for fun and entertaining.
Separate the Space
One trick to make your backyard look bigger and make it more functional is to separate it into zones. You may want one area dedicated to cooking, one for dining, another for lounging and a zone that encourages mingling at your next outdoor get-together. As discussed in a recent post about your San Diego side yard, consider reclaiming that space as a place for your barbecue and perhaps an outdoor refrigerator. Food can be prepared in that small, narrow space and then brought to the dining area.
Consider using furnishings and landscaping to separate
backyard zones. Trellises, waterfalls, trees, rugs and even curtains can be
used to create divisions within the space.
Light It Up
Smart lighting is an important part of small yard design. You
will need a source of bright light next to the grill so you can easily see what
you are cooking at night. Around seating and lounging areas, try scattering end
tables with outdoor lamps. Strings of lights criss-crossed throughout the
largest area of your backyard provides a subtle and playful form of
illumination. Low-to-the-ground pathway lights help forge a brief trail through
Gain Square Footage
by Extending the Indoors
One way to gain a bit of extra square footage in your small
yard is by opening an indoor wall to the outdoors. This is a really popular
option this year. Many San Diego area homeowners are taking a dining room wall
and opening it up with a sliding door or a roll up window that exposes a long
bar with stools outside. You could even do away with a permanent wall that
separates your dining or great room from the backyard and simply rely on sturdy
blinds or shutters to close when the weather is inclement.
Use the Proper Scale
Our small yard design tips include a very important
consideration: scale. In a small outdoor space, you don’t want to overwhelm it
with large pieces such as bulky sectional sofas or broad outdoor fireplaces.
Everything needs to be scaled down to look appropriate. Consider a cluster of
chairs rather than a sofa for seating and occasional tables rather than a long
coffee table. A couple scattered market umbrellas work well to provide shade,
as opposed to a large shade structure. Remember scale when it comes to plants
and trees, as well. A tree that will grow taller than your home will dwarf the surrounding
space so stick with shrubs and bushes instead.
Create a Focal Point
Our final small yard design tip involves one focal point to
draw the eye and minimize the fact that your outdoor space is lacking in square
footage. The easiest way to create a focal point is by adding a water feature
in the middle of the yard. Not only is this a mesmerizing focal point, it helps
mask the noise from neighbors and street sounds.
We hope you find these small yard design tips useful for
transforming your outdoor space. If you have any suggestions for features that
you have incorporated in your own backyard oasis, please leave a comment below.
For most of us, having a luxury backyard oasis equipped for
relaxing, swimming and entertaining is the dream. But sometimes our backyard
just isn’t enough space for doing it all – or it doesn’t quite fit our goals.
Why not use all the outdoor square footage around your house? There’s no reason
to keep all the fun stuff and gorgeous furnishings on the back patio or front
porch. Use these ideas for styling your San Diego side yard in a way you and
your guests can truly enjoy.
Turn It into a Dining
Depending on the configuration of your backyard or patio, it
might not be an adequate size to handle a large dining table and chairs. Turn
the corner and your side yard may be a better fit, since typically this area is
long and narrow. To save space, consider placing a banquette along the
fence/wall between your property and the neighbor’s. This way you can easily
push the table up against the wall when not in use and still have room for a
walkway. You might even consider placing your grill in the corner to make it
easier to serve a meal.
Side Yard Seating
Another idea for styling your San Diego side yard is to turn
it into an intimate seating area. An outdoor sofa might be a perfect fit, or
you could opt for benches and side tables. Be sure to cover the seating with a
canopy or umbrella to make it dry and safe from the rain and sun. Add a small
garden or flower pots and you’ve got a cozy little hideaway to enjoy a good
book and a glass of wine.
Add a Water Feature
Whether you decide to turn your San Diego side yard into a dining, seating area or something else, a water feature is always a welcome addition. This is an especially useful item if you live in a noisy neighborhood or you wish to mask the sound of an air conditioning unit. While ponds and waterfalls are always popular, have you considered a fire and ice table? This mesmerizing accessory creates just the right ambience for a small gathering in your upscale side yard.
Out of all our ideas for styling your San Diego side yard,
this one is our favorite. Combining several of the elements already mentioned,
a lounge fitted into an expansive side yard makes it the perfect place for
entertaining. Use shade structures and greens to create privacy and include
lots of plush seating pieces. The centerpiece is a bar cart where you can store
all your drinkware and bottles. Your side yard lounge becomes an intimate area
for entertaining away from your main backyard oasis, perfect for small gatherings
and festive events.
Why not use all the outdoor living space available at your
home? These ideas for styling your San Diego side yard give you additional
space to have fun and enjoy the beautiful landscape that is such a big part of
our southern California lifestyle.
In our summer grilling recipes series we have focused mainly on how to best prepare barbecued meats. But second only in popularity are chicken wings. We hope you enjoy these tips and recipes for having the best wing ding of a barbecue with chicken wings prepared to perfection, courtesy of Kingsford.com.
Best Practices for
Perfectly Cooked Wings
Our friends at Kingsford.com have outlined the perfect way to make perfectly cooked chicken wings. They suggest first preparing the wings by separating the flat pieces from the drumettes (remove the pointed wing tip first as there is not enough meat there to be worthwhile). Next, season them with your choice of dry rub or marinade. If using a wet marinade, let the chicken sit in the liquid for at least one hour, or up to overnight. When prepped, get your grill heated on one side only. Sear the wings on the hot side, then move to the cooler side of your barbecue to finish cooking. Make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees by using a meat thermometer. Finally, brush them with a sauce or glaze of your choice and heat just enough to slightly caramelize before removing from the grill and serving.
Now that you know the steps, here a couple recipes for
grilled chicken wings to serve at your next backyard barbecue.
KC Masterpiece Grilled
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- Yields: 8 Servings
- Cook time: 15
- Prep time: 1 h 45 m
- 1 16-ounce bottle KC Masterpiece® Honey Teriyaki Marinade
- 1 bottle KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Seasoning
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 package King’s Hawaiian® Dinner Rolls (12 per package)
- 4 lbs. chicken wings
- Kingsford® Charcoal with Hickory
For the apricot teriyaki marinade, mix 1 cup apricot
preserves with 2 cups KC Masterpiece® Honey Teriyaki
Place chicken wing sections into a food
storage bag. Pour the apricot teriyaki marinade over the wings so they are
completely covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour and a
Heat grill as directed above, with a hot and cool zone.
While the grill heats, remove the chicken from
the marinade and lightly sprinkle with KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Seasoning.
Once the grill has reached 450°F, place the
wings on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid on the grill and cook the
chicken for 10 to 15 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 180
Remove from grill and serve with King’s
Hawaiian® Sweet Dinner Rolls.
Fire Walker Wings
- Yields: 4 Servings
- Cook time: 25 minutes
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon
sambal oelek chile sauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons soy
- 2 tablespoons rice
- 2 tablespoons brown
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2½ pounds chicken
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons unsalted
Combine ¼ cup sambal oelek, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and mirin in a bowl and whisk together. Place wings in a large resealable bag and add the marinade. Close the bag and refrigerate the wings for a minimum of two hours.
Prepare a smoker as instructed above, with two
zones (hot and cool). Aim for a smoker temperature of approximately 275 degrees.
Remove wings from the marinade and pat dry.
Place them on the cool side of the grill and close the lid. Let the wings smoke
for about 20 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Place a small saucepan on the grill and combine the remaining 1 tbsp. of sambal
oelek, ¼ cup Sriracha, and butter. Allow the sauce to heat through, until the
butter has melted.
Remove the wings and sauce from the grill and place wings in a container with tight lid, along with the sauce. Seal the container and shake to fully coat the wings. Serve immediately.
Now you have all the information you need to enjoy a wing ding of a barbecue with chicken wings.
Summer is the perfect time of year for entertaining. That
often means you will be grilling for a crowd. Here are our picks for the beat
meats that will satisfy your guests while you show off your cooking chops.
Easy Options: Burgers
If your guest list numbers over a dozen people in addition
to you and your family, you may want to go the easy route out and serve meats
that are easy to cook and practically fail safe. That means burgers and brats
(or other sausages).
In either case, start with the best quality meat you can
find. For burgers, use 80/20 ground beef. You could also opt for something more
exotic, such as buffalo or even the more expensive Wagyu beef. Plan on using a
half pound per person, unless you wish to provide really thick or stuffed
burgers for your guests. Just make the patties, sprinkle with salt and pepper, make
a thumbprint in the middle, then put them on the grill. Cook burgers for about
4 minutes per side and add cheese after they are flipped.
Check out this recipe for cheese-stuffed burgers, courtesy of The Food Network and Melissa D’Arabian.
When it comes to sausages, again, quality matters. Peruse
the offerings in the deli case at your local grocery store to find different
varieties. If serving hot dogs, opt for a major brand name for meaty, thick
dogs or visit a local butcher shop. Plan on serving one brat or sausage per
person. Since most of these meats are precooked, all you have to do when
grilling for a crowd is char them nicely and perhaps serve with an array of
condiments such as grilled onions, relish, different kinds of mustard and
When it comes to barbecuing, steaks are king. And if you
really want to impress your guests, visit your butcher to find the best quality
porterhouse, filet mignon, Wagyu or T-bone steaks. Barring that, opt for a ribeye
steak which is nicely marbled and quite flavorful.
Offering steaks when grilling for a crowd requires a bit of
skill and timing. Preparation is easy – just sprinkle steaks with salt and
pepper and let them rest at room temperature for up to half an hour before
placing them on a preheated barbecue. The most difficult part is cooking each
steak to your guests’ preferences and being ready for everyone to eat at the
same time – or as close as possible. Create different heat zones on your
barbecue in order to accomplish this. Finish each steak off with a pat of butter,
with or without herbs and garlic, for a steak that will taste as if it came
directly from a big-name steakhouse.
This recipe for Garlic Butter Steak from Taste of Home will get you started.
Other Meats: Low and
Another good option when grilling for a crowd is to choose
meats that cook low and slow, such as racks of ribs, tenderloin roasts or brisket.
For best results, marinate or rub the meat at least several hours ahead of time,
then allow it to get to room temperature before placing on the grill. We like
to place these meats on a hot barbecue to sear the surface and lock in juices,
then cook them the rest of the way off direct heat or wrapped in foil. These meats
work perfectly for feeding a big group; if your barbecue is large enough, you
can easily cook two or more cuts at the same time.
You may want to try your hand at this Barbecue Brisket recipe, courtesy of Epicurious.
When grilling for a crowd, make things simple on yourself
and your guests by preparing simple meats, then spending minimal time at the
barbecue so you can enjoy the party, too.
When it comes to barbecue, it’s all about the meat. Yes, you can certainly grill all sorts of vegetables and side dishes and even desserts on your BBQ, but let’s face – we all want perfectly grilled meat to shine as the star on our summertime dinner plates. And with these expert BBQ tips from Bobby Flay and the Food Network, you will be a real pro next time you grill meat at home.
It All Starts with
the Best Meat
No matter what tips and tools you use to grill meat, it just
won’t taste as good as it could if you are using a poor quality or low grade of
meat. Bobby Flay recommends that you always purchase your steaks, fish and
burgers fresh from the butcher’s counter and avoid anything pre-wrapped and
sitting in your grocery’s meat case. For the best quality, opt for Certified
Black Angus or USDA Prime cuts. Lots of marbling, indicated by white streaks of
fat throughout the meat, makes a steak tender, juicy and flavorful.
Treat Meat Gently
The number one tip that Bobby Flay shares for perfectly grilled meat is to leave meat alone until it is done on the bottom side. If you move it too soon, it will stick to the grates. That means no squeezing or flattening burgers with your spatula. Every time you do, fat squeezes out and that means your burgers will be dry.
Allow steaks to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to a
half an hour or so before slapping it on the grill. This helps the meat cook
more evenly. The only exception to this rule is a tuna steak. It needs to be
chilled when it hits the grill in order to achieve a nice, rare sear on the
The same principle holds true after the meat has been
cooked. Steaks need to rest for a minimum of five minutes (and up to 15
minutes) before slicing into them, giving those tasty juices time to reabsorb
back into the meat. The thicker the cut of steak, the longer it needs to rest.
When it comes to determining whether or not your meat is
done, it’s better to err on the side of caution and take it off the grill when
just slightly undercooked. Use a good meat thermometer. The meat will continue
to cook for a few minutes after removing it from the barbecue (see the tip on
resting, above). The internal temperature will often rise by about five degrees
If you are cooking bone-in meat, such as chicken quarters, you
can get a nice crust on the skin by putting the pieces directly over high heat.
But do move them to indirect heat before they develop a burnt char.
Alternatively, you can par-roast chicken in the oven for about 15 or 20 minutes
before adding it to a hot grill.
Grilled Two Cheese Burgers Recipe
Now that you know the secrets to perfectly grilled meat, you may want to try your hand at this recipe from The Food Network website, courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian.
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup
- 3 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons
roughly chopped fresh basil (or chives, parsley, mint)
- 1 scallion (white
and green parts), trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove,
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
ground black pepper
For the burgers:
- 1 1/4 pounds 80%
lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon
- 3/4 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 tomato, cored, thinly
sliced, and lightly salted
- 2 tablespoons
grated Parmesan cheese
To make the sauce: Place the mayonnaise, sour
cream, basil, scallion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in the
bowl of a food processor and puree until creamy and pale green. Transfer to a
small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you are ready to use
To make the burgers: Heat a charcoal or gas
grill to medium-high. Divide the ground beef into 4 equal pieces and gently
form into patties. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the middle of
each burger (this is so the burger grills flat and doesn’t contract and puff up
on the grill). Brush both sides of the burgers with the oil and then season
with salt and pepper.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until
they have grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers, cook 2 minutes
longer, and then top each with about 1 tablespoon of the mozzarella. Cook the
burgers 2 more minutes for medium-rare doneness and remove from the grill. Place
the buns on the grill, cut side down, and lightly toast, 30 seconds to 1
Set a burger on
each bottom bun half. Top with a salted tomato slice. Spread 1 tablespoon of
the garlic-herb sauce on the top bun half, sprinkle with Parmesan, cover the
burger, and serve with more sauce on the side for dipping.
The summer season is in full swing and that means it is time to fire up the grill! To help you make your next backyard BBQ a big hit, take these grilling tips from The Food Network and Bobby Flay.
- Clean Your Grill
The most important part of producing good-tasting food at a perfect holiday barbecue is starting with a clean grill. Use a powerful hose spray to loosen burnt bits of food, then use a scrubber to remove them completely. Vacuum up the pieces of gunk with a shop vac. Before you use the grill each time, be sure to heat it up properly and brush off the grates before putting new food on to cook.
- Tame the Flare-Ups
Keep a bottle with water handy next to the grill. That way
you can tame flare-ups from grease quickly, before your food gets charred and gets
that burnt flavor.
- Use a Thermometer
Many of us have been taught how to test for doneness by
pressing a finger to meat (which, according to Bobby Flay, goes like this: If
it’s soft like the flesh between your index finger and thumb, it’s rare. If
it’s soft like your cheek, it’s medium-rare, and if it’s firm like your
forehead it’s well-done). Unfortunately, that is not the most accurate method.
Invest in a good meat thermometer and use it. Keep it next to or hanging from the
grill in a closed case for ease of use.
- Keep It Steady
We all know a home BBQ enthusiast who constantly opens the
lid of the grill and picks up the food with tongs, moving it about from one
spot to the next. Resist the temptation! Leave food, especially meat, in one
spot until thoroughly browned on one side. This will prevent the food from
sticking to the grate and produce nice char marks.
- Keep It Simple
Finally, here is one last piece of advice from Bobby Flay: keep things simple when you are serving a crowd at your perfect holiday barbecue. If you have several dishes that require different cook times, it is hard to keep track of what is done and what isn’t and keep moving food around to accommodate that. Stick with just burgers or dogs plus veggie skewers, perhaps. Your guests will be well fed and you can focus on cooking just a couple items just right.
An Unexpected BBQ
And here is a recipe for those of you still looking for something special for your 4th of July barbecue, courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian and the Food Network. This recipe will be sure to wow guests at your perfect holiday barbecue.
Grilled Potato Salad
- 7 small to medium red potatoes, scrubbed and
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bacon-Green Onion Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Preheat the grill.
Place the red potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with cold
water, covering the potatoes by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil
over high heat. Once the water begins to boil, about 8 minutes, add the
sweet potatoes. Return to boil and cook for 8 more minutes. Drain the
potatoes and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the
mayonnaise, mustard, onion and garlic powders, cayenne and some salt and
pepper. When the potatoes are cool to the touch, toss them in the
mayonnaise mixture and stir gently to coat.
Using tongs, place the potato pieces on the hot grill,
and cook on all sides long enough to make grill marks, 1 to 2 minutes per
side. Handle gently so they don’t fall apart.
In a large bowl, place the Bacon-Green Onion Vinaigrette.
As the potatoes are cooked through, remove them from the grill and place
the hot potatoes in the bowl with the dressing. Gently toss the potatoes
in the dressing to coat completely and serve, warm or cold.
Bacon-Green Onion Vinaigrette
In a small saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Then set aside
to cool. Once cooled, pour the bacon and fat into a small bowl along with the
In another small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil-bacon mixture, whisking to emulsify. Add the
parsley, green onions and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk to blend.
Bacon-Green Onion Vinaigrette
- 1 slice bacon, cut into lardons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Is your luxury patio in need of a new shade feature? Perhaps
it just needs some freshening up. With all the Treasure Garden umbrella
options, it is easy to find a beautiful shade feature that fits perfectly with
the style, colors and existing décor in your outdoor living room. Take a look.
Market Umbrellas and Shade Umbrellas
Treasure Market is a company best known for its shade
features. They offer both market umbrellas and shade umbrellas with wood or
aluminum frames (choose black, bronze, white or silver colors), straight or
cantilever. They come with push button tilt, collar tilt, auto tilt and crank lift
as options. Their umbrellas are available in an octagonal, rectangular or
Shanghai (round) shape and lots of different sizes which makes them the ideal solution
for providing shade in small, large or oddly configured spaces.
Select a Fabric
Once you have decided on a style and frame material, it’s
time to select a fabric for the canopy. Treasure Garden umbrella options
include Bella-Dura, O’bravia, Solefin and acrylic. Most of our customers opt
for the latter material, since acrylic is quite colorfast and durable. One of
the choices for acrylic canopy fabrics is the famous Sunbrella, best known for
the way it stands up to weather, wind, sun and sea spray. It also repels mold,
mildew and degradation from outdoor exposure.
Pick a Pattern
Next up is picking a pattern or solid color for your
Treasure Garden umbrella canopy. With over 50 different solid hues and exciting
patterns, there is sure to be one or more that catch your eye. There are even
stripes, florals and various textures that each gives a different look to your
shade feature. Treasure Garden umbrella options for canopy fabrics are so wide
that you may have a difficult time choosing just one – but why limit yourself?
Umbrella Options – All the Rest
Here are a few more things to consider when ordering your
custom Treasure Garden umbrella.
Where will your shade feature be placed? Does it need to be
secured in the ground (concrete, wood or ground) or will it be mobile (with
casters)? This will determine the type of base you need. Bases for the
umbrellas are available in square or round shapes and in various colors and
finishes, so that is another consideration for the overall look of your custom
Another option is whether or not you include a lighting kit
with your Treasure Garden umbrella. All of our umbrella lights use long-lasting
LED bulbs. Some of them even include Bluetooth speakers, which make it really
convenient to pump up the jams at your next outdoor gala.
Garden Umbrellas Fit Your San Diego Lifestyle
No matter what Treasure Garden umbrella options you choose, you can rest assured that you are purchasing one of the finest shade features on the market today. These umbrellas combine good looks with superior durability and an excellent warranty. You can’t go wrong with Treasure Garden umbrellas providing the shade and style you need and want in your luxury backyard space.
When you are looking for something extraordinary to make
your backyard oasis stand out from the crowd, look no further than a TUUCI
shade structure. With unusual shapes and quality that is beyond what you will
find in any other manufacturer, adding a TUUCI shade sculpture or two or three
is the best way to bring artisanal style along with cooling shade to your luxury
outdoor living room. Here is what you need to know about the company and its
Why TUUCI is the Best
of the Best
At Hauser’s Patio, we only offer shade structures of the highest
quality. And when it comes to superior technology, eco-friendly manufacturing,
marine grade components and artisanal design, TUUCI is at the top of the list.
TUUCI is well-known across the globe for engineering
innovation used in shade architecture. They combine thoughtful design with durability
in products meant to withstand extreme temperatures and all types of weather. They
do so using a sustainable and renewable facility that conserves energy,
recycles material and supports environmental causes. All of the parts used to
make their shade structures are replaceable, thus adding to their lifespan and
Their shade structures are designed to complement your San
Diego lifestyle and environment. With gorgeous shapes that provide shade exactly
where you need it, TUUCI umbrellas and parasols comfortably connect you to the
A Gallery of
Beautiful TUUCI Shade Structures
TUUCI makes shade sculptures, umbrellas and parasols for the
Ocean Master, Vineyard and Bay Master collections. We’d like to highlight a few
of the TUUCI shade structure models we feel exemplify the design and style
aspects most desired by our San Diego clientele.
First up is the Manta, which belongs to the Ocean Master
collection. Crafted into a shape that resembles a manta ray’s expansive span as
it flows through the water, the unusual design provides a plethora of shade
right where you need it. Not only is it useful, but the graceful design set
against a backdrop of ocean and sky makes a profound aesthetic statement in
your backyard oasis. The Manta is available as a cantilever or vertical umbrella.
Here is another interesting shade structure from TUUCI: the
Vineyard Shade Pod. Composed of one to four canopies all connected by a shared frame,
this shade structure provides maximum coverage in a backyard. It is ideal for a
large outdoor space, such as a wide deck around a swimming pool. Since each
canopy moves independently, the TUUCI Vineyard Shade Pod provides the ultimatum
solution to several family members or guests who wish different coverage from
Lastly, we present a TUUCI shade structure from the Bay Master collection. Highlighted here is the swim under, poolside cantilever umbrella. It is specifically made for the canopy to hang over the edge of your pool, with a shorter mast and in-ground mounting system. An auto-lift system allows the Bay Master Poolside Cantilever to be easily manipulated from the pool deck.
When you want your luxury backyard oasis to go beyond the ordinary and delve into the area of extraordinary design and functionality, a TUUCI shade sculpture is the number one choice.
Summertime is often the time of year when we think first about
shade features in our luxury outdoor living room. Whether you need to add new
outdoor umbrellas or simply order replacement fabric for your existing shade
features, you should always consider using Sunbrella fabric. Here are all the
reasons why Sunbrella fabric is the ideal choice for shade features and
The special Sunbrella fabric for umbrellas and used in outdoor furnishings is manufactured by Glen Raven. The company itself was founded in 1880 but started out making garments. Then WWII happened and Glen Raven recognized an opportunity for making parachute fabric capable of handling heavy military equipment. Next up for the company was the invention of pantyhose, saving women from having to don silk stockings and garter belts. Glen Raven further entered the history books by providing the fabric for the first American flag planted on the moon in the 1969.
It was 1961 when the amazing Sunbrella fabric was developed for awnings. It was made then and still made today to resist stains, mold, mildew and fading. The UV-stable fibers are not coated, but saturated with color so they retain their good looks even after repeated exposure to weather. Sunbrella fabric for umbrellas can be cleaned with a bleach solution and not lose any of its integrity. In addition to all these benefits, Sunbrella is made to block 97% of UV rays and thus endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation since 2005.
Sunbrella Fabric for Umbrellas
With all the advantages of Sunbrella fabric, it’s the natural choice for an outdoor umbrella that is sure to be exposed to wind, salt spray, sun and rain. And that’s why Hauser’s Patio is proud to offer a multitude of brands and furnishings that feature fabulous Sunbrella fabric.
Treasure Garden umbrellas, which are available in customized configurations, all feature Sunbrella as a choice of fabric. It is a very popular option, not only due to its amazing durability, but its wide array of colors, patterns and woven styles. You can rest assured your Treasure Garden umbrella with Sunbrella fabric canopy will retain its good looks since the threads are saturated with dye and colorfast.
las, which are available in customized configurations, all feature Sunbrella as a choice of fabric. It is a very popular option, not only due to its amazing durability, but its wide array of colors, patterns and woven styles. You can rest assured your Treasure Garden umbrella with Sunbrella fabric canopy will retain its good looks since the threads are saturated with dye and colorfast.
No matter what style of outdoor umbrella you desire, a Sunbrella canopy will make it more beautiful, more durable and more protective in regard to the amount of damaging UV rays it blocks. Choose from one of the Quick Ship options of Sunbrella fabric for umbrellas and you can receive your custom shade structure in a matter of weeks.
That UV resistance, combined with superior stain and mildew resistance and easy care and cleaning, makes Sunrella fabrics the ideal selection for your next outdoor umbrellas. The furnishings in your luxury backyard oasis are an investment and outdoor shade features with Sunbrella canopies will retain their beauty and viability for many years, no matter what our San Diego weather dishes out.
Welcome June! As we head into this month and the official
start of summer, it is just the right time to think about adding shade features
to your backyard oasis. There are plenty of options for creating a shade
umbrella that is perfect for your outdoor surroundings. At Hauser’s Patio, we
make it easy to order a customized umbrella online. Here is what you need to
know about this convenient option.
How Do You Want Your
Customized Umbrella to Look?
Take a moment and consider how an umbrella fits into your
luxury outdoor living room. Where will it be situated and what will you need to
secure it? Will it be freestanding or anchored to a pool deck or patio floor?
What type of upholstery fabric is used throughout your outdoor furnishings?
What is your style – modern, traditional, transitional, classic? Answering
these questions will help you decide on an appropriate type, style, color and
Select the Frame
Each of our customizable umbrellas is available with a
choice of different frame finishes. Choose from a classic aluminum or opt for a
popular bronze finish. Another choice is a very traditional wood frame; with
some models, you can even select from various colored wood finishes. The type
of frame finish you choose will subtly enhance the overall look of your
customized umbrella. An additional option is to include a frame with collar
tilt that enables you to move the shade along with the sun’s trajectory.
Canopy Size &
Another feature available when you order a customizable
umbrella online is the type of canopy. The canopies for our customizable
umbrellas vary by both shape and size.
Treasure Garden makes a very versatile model called “Shanghai.” These shade umbrellas feature a scalloped edge and a round shape with a draped vent cover. Available in a wide variety of bright hues and patterned fabric, the Shanghai model of customizable umbrella online is a colorful addition to your backyard oasis.
Also from Treasure Garden is a market umbrella in an octagonal shape. You have a choice of a single or double wind vent in the canopy. A designer canopy is another option for this very popular, ready-to-order, customizable umbrella online.
Yet one more option from Treasure Garden is the Sirius
series of tilting cantilever shade umbrellas. The canopies on these beauties
come in a octagonal or square shape and either 9’, 10’ or 11’ spans. A Sirius
model umbrella is a very versatile shade piece that looks right at home in any
outdoor living room.
Canopy Fabric Choices
Finally, one last option when you order a customizable
umbrella online is the fabric on the canopy. This is arguably the most
important choice you have as the color of the canopy makes a huge impact on the
looks of your umbrella. Our custom shade umbrellas are available in over 60
different hues and patterns. All canopies are made from Sunbrella outdoor
fabric, which is manufactured to withstand the effects of mold, mildew, sun,
wind and weather that can degrade other fabrics.
Now that you know how easy it is to order a customized umbrella online from Hauser’s Patio, why not choose one, or several, for your luxury outdoor living room today? Once you have made your selection and ordered, it will take just a few weeks to receive your gorgeous new shade umbrella.
How does your home look when viewed from the front? Even if you do not plan on sticking a “for sale” sign in the front yard anytime soon, a guest’s or new neighbor’s first impression of your home starts with what they see out front. It won’t hurt that you’ll be thrilled by new changes to amp up the curb appeal of San Diego homes such as yours when you pull into the driveway, as well. There is no need to plan a major renovation for your front porch and yard this summer. In fact, just a few little added details will make a big difference.
Add a Front Porch Swing
Nothing looks more homey or natural than a porch swing. In days past, this is where most homeowners spent their time in the lazy summer months, sipping a beverage and waving to passers-by. Although our society has changed immensely since those simpler days, a front porch swing is still an iconic furnishing that is sure to get used. Plus, adding a swing with lots of colorful pillows and a deep, comfy seat cushion is an invitation for neighbors – even those you haven’t yet met – to stop by and sit for a spell.
Add Front Porch Accessories
A front porch is just an extension of your home’s interior, when it comes right down to it. Just like your backyard oasis, think about decorating your front yard with many of the accessories and furnishings you enjoy inside your home. We’re talking about adding a piece of artwork to the wall(s), placing an occasional table with table lamp next to the swing (or chairs) and laying down a colorful rug. If you plan on spending a lot of time on the front porch, you may want to add a small fire pit or even a fire and ice element to add to the curb appeal of San Diego homes; just be sure that it is safely and properly installed.
Spiff Up the Front
Go beyond the confines of your front porch and continue your refurbishing efforts in the yard. Solar lights lining the pathway to the front door not only increase curb appeal of San Diego homes , they serve a real function by lighting a guest’s way at night. Add a bird bath so you can enjoy watching local bird species splash about. Wind chimes and other decorative hanging elements are perfect to dress up the eaves of your home. A water sculpture both soothes with the sound of running water and provides an additional visual point of interest.
Move Items From the
Backyard to the Front
There is no law that says certain outdoor furnishings have to remain in the backyard. We’re referring to items such as a shade umbrella, outdoor sofa, outdoor heater and bar set with stools, to name just a few. As long as these items have a natural setting in which to reside, why not create outdoor seating or dining areas in the front yard? Especially if your view is better from the front, wrap luxurious furnishings all the way around the house for best use of all your outdoor space.
The curb appeal of San Diego homes is easy to enhance with the right furnishings, accessories and all the little items that provide maximum comfort.
With the Memorial Day weekend – and the unofficial start of summer – fast approaching, we would like to take the opportunity to remind you that this holiday is about more than a day off, barbecues and picnics in the park. It is an excellent time to pause in remembrance of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their time and their lives to make our country free and our citizens safe. Here are a few events that you may wish to participate in this Memorial Day weekend in San Diego, California’s Beach City.
Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial
This memorial site’s tagline is “Honoring Veterans by Preserving Their Legacy.” What better place to honor area veterans, both deceased and living, on Memorial day? The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial site is filled with plaques of black granite, each one memorializing a military vet with their photograph and a brief description of their military service. The plaques on the walls honor more than 3,500 veterans from all walks of life (including past US Presidents and celebrities) involved in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to today’s War on Terror. Visit the National Veterans Memorial and pause for a few moments in front of the plaques, giving thanks for the bravery, courage and service of these important men and women.
Veterans Museum and Memorial Center
Another popular venue at which to pay homage to past and present military personnel is the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center at Balboa Park. The Center specifically honors veterans who served in the Coast Guard, the Wartime Merchant Marine and the US Armed Forces. The Memorial is housed in an old Navy chapel that dates from the WWII era. It also includes a garden with a memorial to the famed B-24 bomber and the San Diego Vietnam Peace memorial, which lists all citizens of San Diego who were involved in the Vietnam War.
Other Military Museums and Memorials
There are plenty of other places to celebrate Memorial Day in San Diego and the surrounding areas that are appropriate to visit to honor our military veterans. You can plan a tour of the USS Midway aircraft carrier or walk through the Embarcadero, which is hosting a Greatest Generation artwork collection featuring pieces that depict “victories, tragedies and sacrifices of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, past and present.”
As always, the Hodges and the rest of the Hauser’s Patio family enjoy taking this opportunity to give thanks to all of our wonderful clientele. We appreciate each and every one of you and hope that you are as richly blessed as we have been through our association. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to continue to serve you and your family and help you create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere in your own home’s backyard.
Happy Memorial Day in San Diego!
As we swing into the most popular time of year here in
beautiful San Diego, it may be time to take a fresh look at your front porch.
As the first area that most people notice about your home, a spiffed-up front
porch is a vivid representation of you and your family. You will surely start
to entertain outdoors more often, so why not make a great first impression as
guests pull into your driveway? Here are a few tips to jazz up your San Diego
front porch for the summer season.
Begin with a Clean
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to remove
everything currently residing on your front porch: outdoor furniture, wreaths,
potted plants, mats, signs and anything else that is movable. Then hit the
floor and walls with a good spray of water. Scrub away stains and sweep away
cobwebs, if necessary. Wipe the dust from chair cushions and tables. Now is a
perfect time to decide whether or not you wish to replace or just get rid of
any of those items that have found a place on your front porch.
You can’t truly enjoy the view from your San Diego front
porch unless you add a couple of cushioned chairs, rockers or perhaps a swing
(just make sure it is securely anchored) or loveseat. Because the porch is
usually an area that is protected, feel free to shop for seating made from a
slightly less durable material than metal or resin outdoor furnishings, such as
rattan or wicker. Select upholstery fabric that enhances the color of siding on
your home. Why not opt for a splash of color with a big floral print that draws
the eye to your front porch? Select a pattern that includes the same hue as
your front door.
Of course, if you are going to sit on the front porch, you
need a small table or tables. What type of table you opt for depends on the
seating. For a pair of outdoor chairs, an ottoman with storage or an occasional
table placed in between the two is a perfect fit. For a loveseat, a small
coffee table works well. If you opt for a porch swing, you may want a taller
table placed alongside which makes tabletop items easy to reach from the
Are You a Fan?
Another useful addition to your front porch is a ceiling or
table fan. This is a good way to better circulate air and keep the bugs away.
Have a ceiling fan securely installed if you have enough room to accommodate
both it and a porch light.
Light Things Up
Finally, if you wish to enjoy your San Diego front porch
both day and night and in any type of weather, you will certainly need extra
lighting. A table lamp in addition to the outdoor porch light is handy for
reading and crafting. Experts recommend at least three sources of light for the
best illumination. In addition to the porch light and table lamp, you may want
to add a pair of sconces on either side of the front door or add a light kit to
a ceiling fan.
Are you ready to jazz up your San Diego front porch and get
it ready to fully enjoy summer? Let our professional team help you pick out
just the right components to make a statement with your choice of front porch décor.
It is officially May and that means one of our favorite holidays is here: Cinco de Mayo. For San Diego residents, this “start of summer” holiday is one that can’t be missed. Here is what you need to know about Cinco de Mayo in San Diego and tips for celebrating in style.
The Origin of Cinco de Mayo in the US
As you may already know, Cinco de Mayo represents a famous day in Mexico’s history. The year was 1861 and Benito Juarez was president. After years of borrowing money from European nations, the time had come for payback. President Juarez resisted the efforts of France to take over his country and gathered a troop of 2,000 Mexican citizens to fight the 6,000 French troops attacking Puebla de Los Angeles, in central Mexico. In the feel-good story of the century, Juarez and his men managed to defeat the larger and more powerful French troops on May 5th.
Although the holiday was originally just observed in the Mexican state of Puebla, it soon spread across the country and then into the United States. This movement was fueled largely by the widespread migration of Mexican-American citizens who wished to celebrate their heritage by observing Cinco de Mayo. Today’s American celebrations of the Battle of Pueblo include a repast of Mexican foods, mariachi music, parties and even parades.
Cinco de Mayo in San Diego
Here in San Diego, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.
Balboa Park has plans for a full-blown event that includes music, dance, strolling mariachis, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors and plenty of food trucks for your taco and margarita fix. For more information about Cinco de Mayo in Balboa Park follow this link.
Head to historic Old Town for a full weekend of fun, starting this Friday. Billed as the “largest Cinco de Mayo celebration on the West Coast,” you can expect to find lots of Mexican goodies at the Mercado while enjoying live entertainment, such as lucha libre wrestling, a lowrider auto show and plenty of Mexican bands.
,” you can expect to find lots of Mexican goodies at the Mercado while enjoying live entertainment, such as lucha libre wrestling, a lowrider auto show and plenty of Mexican bands.
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Home
If you would rather stay home and entertain family and friends, there are lots of simple ways to get your luxury backyard oasis ready to fiesta.
Start with the décor. Gather up Mexican blankets, serapes and other colorful textiles to drape across chairs, outdoor sofas and benches. Ceramic pottery filled with plants, flowers and even things like maracas, castanets and other fun items are right at home in your outdoor entertaining area. Sombreros and piñatas, while kitschy, are a great way to infuse the space with Mexican-inspired ornamentation.
Of course, a Cinco de Mayo party is the perfect occasion for which to fire up the grill and please guests with an impressive display of Mexican-inspired food. Go beyond the usual tacos and burritos and try your hand at making ceviche with grilled prawns, rice salad, chicken sopa, fruit salad and fried ice cream for dessert. Of course, you can’t go wrong with freshly made guacamole and salsa; instead of tortilla chips provide fried plantains, pork rinds and veggie sticks for dippers.
Cinco de Mayo in San Diego is cause for celebration. Whether you decide to stay home and entertain or head to one of our City’s grand fiestas, be sure to enjoy the weekend.
As we wind down our fabulous spring in San Diego activity posts, we want to remind you that at the end of every day, you can wind down and enjoy the best of this season right in your San Diego backyard oasis. It’s always a good idea to get out and find new things to do in this dynamic city in which we live, but what makes it all worthwhile is having a luxurious living space available through your back door. With this in mind, consider these fabulous trends for 2019 to incorporate in your San Diego backyard oasis.
That Boho Vibe
Much of what we are seeing in decorations and fabrics for the outdoors this year focuses on a bohemian style. Lots of layers of pillows, blankets and scarves with different textures and patterns are popular for upholstered seating and pavilion interiors. But instead of the bright hues you may associate with vintage boho, opt for muted tones based on this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral. Ethnic and geometric patterns that incorporate soft but lively golds, oranges and earthy tones are everywhere.
When selecting new furnishings that best show off boho style, opt for wicker and rattan seating pieces with contrasting upholstery. This summer, we are seeing a lot of natural materials that ground backyard furnishings while providing a link between city dwellers and the forms of nature just beyond our urban borders. Organic elements crafted from stone and wood, especially teak, bring nature right into our outdoor living rooms while providing a sense of calm at the end of a hectic, technology-centric day.
No Trouble With the Curve
Another big trend this year for your San Diego backyard oasis involves shapely curves. While fabric patterns may focus on geometric shapes, outdoor furnishings and shade structures are curvaceous. These rounded lines incorporated in lounge chairs, umbrellas, and loveseats provide a softness and the perfect vehicle for mixing vintage and modern pieces. Curvy shapes are also a great foundation for layering textiles in the warm, spicy hues mentioned above.
Cook for a Crowd
Perhaps more than any other feature popular in 2019 for a San Diego backyard oasis is the outdoor kitchen. Although we’ve seen lots of homeowners adding a kitchen to the back patio, this is the year when it becomes de rigeur for the well-equipped outdoor living area. In addition to built-in grills with all the extras (panini press, infrared sear, griddles, etc.), you will certainly want to add a little bit of everything you would find in an indoor culinary center. We’re talking compact refrigerators, trash compactors, pantries, pizza ovens and, of course, an adult beverage station with ice, glasses, condiments and more.
If you need help getting your San Diego backyard oasis ready for spring entertaining, we invite you to stop into our showroom, give us a call or do your shopping right here online. Hauser’s Patio has everything you need to get the most out of this lovely season right in the comfort of your own backyard.
If you are looking for activities in San Diego this spring with more of an “adult” theme, you will find plenty to do. As we mentioned in a previous post about San Diego craft beers, we have a vibrant brewery industry right here in our own backyard. But there are even more ways to enjoy an adult-themed day or night in our bustling city. Try these ideas on for size.
San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
What better way to enjoy tastes and sips of the City than with a tour guide who does all the driving and takes you from location to location? You can also book a La Jolla walking tour, coastal train tour or tasting party with the innovative San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours Company. There are plenty of local wineries as well as craft breweries and distilleries where these tours stop. Even locals are sure to find new favorites when they take a tour that includes the best food and beverage San Diego has to offer. What’s even better is the fact that they will pick you up from your home so you don’t have to worry about driving back after a day of imbibing. Feel free to book a tour any day of the year, but spring, with its fabulous weather, is the best season, in our opinion.
San Diego Wine & Culinary Center
If wine is your preference over beer, than a trip to the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center is a must for any local. The place is modeled after a wine cellar and includes a kitchen for demonstrations, reception space for events and a patio lined with a variety of colorful flowers. The Center features tastings of local and international craft wines as well as cocktails and spirits. Your booked tasting event also includes a custom menu using local ingredients. While the Wine & Culinary Center is meant as a venue for your catered event, you will certainly want to stroll through and see firsthand everything offered here.
Orfila Vineyards & Winery
How about a tour of a working winery and vineyard? Just a half-hour from downtown San Diego, Orfila Vineyards & Winery is located in the San Pasqual Valley. It features a tasting room with lovely outdoor patio that overlooks acres of picturesque vineyards. During a visit to the winery, you can expect to taste wines made from locally grown grapes, as well as vintages crafted from grapes grown in other areas of California. Their second tasting room, Orfila Oceanside, features small plates with artisanal dishes developed specifically to complement their wines and is located conveniently in Oceanside. A third location is also open in Escondido. If you are seeking award-winning local vintages, Orfila Vineyards gives you plenty of choice locations from which to imbibe throughout the San Diego area.
With so many world-class options for an outing that includes adult beverages, why settle for the same old bar and restaurant scene? Enjoy the best wine and spirits San Diego has to offer this spring and re-experience the lovely weather and scenic views that made you fall in love with the city all over again.
Last fall, we shared a post about the incredible hiking opportunities at Point Loma. But there are plenty more activities to enjoy and things to do in Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma than just traversing the varied terrain. Here are a few more suggestions for getting out and enjoying spring in San Diego, and specifically, this grand park right in our own backyard.
Tour the Area with GoCar
GoCar San Diego is a company that came up with the incredible idea of offering rental cars with GPS-guided storytelling. All you have to do is start driving and your GoCar “guide” will let help you navigate the sights and streets of San Diego while leading you to attractions such as the Gaslamp Quarter, the zoo, Balboa Park and, of course, Point Loma at the Cabrillo National Monument.
Speed Through the Waters in a Boat
If driving through traffic doesn’t sound like much fun, how about taking a speed boat tour? With San Diego Speed Boat Adventures, Inc., you get to drive your own boat and take a two-hour guided and narrated tour through San Diego Harbor. You get the best of both worlds: the fun of driving your own boat coupled with a knowledgeable and witty narration about the historical sights around the harbor.
Brunch or Dinner on the Harbor
Here’s another idea perfect for a romantic date. With Hornblower Dining Cruises, you can either book a relaxing tour of San Diego Bay while enjoying a delicious dinner or full-blown (pun intended) weekend champagne brunch. Even if you live in Southern California, you are sure to enjoy a new view from the water of The Star of India, Seaport Village, Coronado Bay Bridge, shipbuilding, Shelter Island and Point Loma, along with a scrumptious meal and the best view of the San Diego skyline.
This May: Cabrillo Under the Stars
Here is an adventure that you only get to experience once a year. This May 18th Cabrillo National Monument is hosting their “Cabrillo Under the Stars” fundraising event. This popular event features great food from local restaurants as well as sips of local craft beers and wines. This is a rare opportunity to visit the park after dark and enjoy an amazing view of the sunset and the San Diego city lights. It will also include a silent auction, live music and the opportunity to win gift cards and sponsor a needy child. The best news is that the funds raised on this special night will benefit special education programs at fund more things to do in Cabrillo National Monument. You will certainly want to make plans to attend this fabulous and fun, fundraising event.
For more information and the location of Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma, please visit their website.
As always, we encourage you to get out and enjoy spring by seeing the majestic sights of San Diego and, in particular, things to do in Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma.
It’s our favorite time of year in San Diego and undoubtedly, spring is the favorite season for many of you, as well. But for those of us year-round residents, we tend to take for granted the beautiful surroundings and lovely weather of the season. Perhaps it is time for you to get out and enjoy spring in San Diego like a tourist and find some new favorite activities and destinations to enjoy in the next couple months.
When was the last time you saw a whale up close and personal? Did you know that April is prime whale watching season?
What you’ll see: pods or single gray whales on their journey from the Baja peninsula up to Alaska for the summer. At this time of year, young whales and their families tend to travel together at a speed of about six miles per hour. San Diego’s coastline is the perfect place to watch them go by on their journey north and best seen from Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Torrey Pines State Reserve or Cabrillo National Monument. You could also book a whale watching boat excursion, where you will learn all about these gentle giants.
Kayak the Sea Caves
of La Jolla
Speaking of water activities, how about traveling along the
coastline in a kayak? Start from the city of La Jolla, where you can find
several different kayak tours, complete with guide to show you the majestic
cliffs and natural caves along the shoreline. There is an abundance of sea life
to observe from your kayak, including undulating kelp forests, rainbow-hued
garibaldi fish and small leopard sharks, which are harmless. You get a nice
little workout while enjoying the best marine sights our area has to offer.
Spring is the perfect time to revisit one of San Diego’s biggest attractions: Balboa Park. When was the last time you strolled through our city’s magnificent, 1,200-acre park which, by the way, is the largest urban cultural park on the continent? Undoubtedly you know that Balboa Park houses a zoo, museums, an art center, restaurants, gardens and shops. But if you have not visited Balboa Park lately, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Visit Balboa Parks’ website to check for events occurring on the days you plan to visit.
The Food &
We’ve previously highlighted the vibrant craft brew scene
here, but did you know you can also taste a variety of wines at places such as Hungry
Hawk Vineyards & Winery and the Forgotten Barrel Winery?
Indulge in an evening of Asian tastes by visiting Convoy Street’s Asian Restaurant Row, where you will find a handful of authentic restaurants, markets and even a brewery with Asian-themed beers.
Another great option for a lovely spring night is dining al fresco on a rooftop. San Diego’s tourism website lists seven rooftop restaurants where you can enjoy lunch or dinner with a great view of the ocean.
Isn’t it time you for you to get out and enjoy spring in San Diego like a tourist? Our area is packed chock-full of fun things to do and events to attend. We encourage you to enjoy this lovely season while it lasts.
Now that you have read through our March blog tips for
cleaning your patio and outdoor furnishings, you may want to give a bit of
attention to the little details that will take your outdoor entertaining to the
next level this season. Consider these small ways to spruce up your deck for
spring that will produce big benefits.
Nothing makes your backyard oasis look cluttered and dirty
like having tools, supplies and toys scattered throughout. Not only is this not
visually appealing, it makes your backyard disorganized. The old adage of “a
place for everything, everything in its place” is applicable to the indoors as
well as the out.
The ideal backyard has a roomy storage shed, garage or
gardening shed with plenty of hooks, shelves and cubbies. If there isn’t enough
room in your backyard oasis for a dedicated structure, you can always add
outdoor furniture that doubles as storage space. Furnishings such as ottomans,
benches and even side or coffee tables are all available with hidden
compartments ideal for stowing things like pool toys, gardening tools and more.
If you do a lot of entertaining in the spring and summer, a dedicated bar and buffet/console table helps keep all your beverage vessels, accessories and bottles neatly corralled.
Add Toss Pillows
Nothing says comfort more than a large array of fluffy
pillows and cushions. Beyond the usual upholstery on seating pieces, add
outdoor throw pillows that invite lounging. Cabanas are an ideal place to
scatter pillows in order to give a sumptuous, palatial feel. Opt for
fade-resistant and mold-resistant outdoor fabric, such as Sunbrella, to get the
most durability from your toss pillows. Choosing bright hues and colorful
prints is also an excellent way to add a bit of pizzazz and fresh interest to
your backyard oasis and spruce up your deck for spring.
Beyond the obvious additions of shade umbrellas throughout your outdoor living room, consider adding other, more subtle ways to get in out of the sun. Fabric-walled outdoor cabanas are a very popular option, particularly next to a swimming pool, where they can function as a changing room. Even if you don’t have a pool, a cabana is a lovely place to read a book and sip on a cool beverage during those hot summer months.
Another out-of-the-box choice is a roomy, two-person lounge chair. This one is crafted from a sturdy, all-weather woven material and roomy enough to easily seat two. Many of our two-person love seats feature a canopy, which can be raised and lowered dependent on your preference and mood. This seating piece is built for comfy lounging.
Add a Fire Element
One more feature that will spruce up your deck for spring is a fire element. Placed in the midst of or to the side of a conversation area, a visually stunning fire urn, fire table or fire bowl is the piece de resistance. These eye-catching displays of flame add both a touch of warmth on chilly spring nights and a muted glow perfect for a relaxing evening outdoors. Make your fire element unique by adding fire glass, crystals or gems in the color of your choice.
With all these great
additions to your backyard oasis, you will find it easy to spruce up your deck
for spring and enjoy entertaining outdoors for months to come.
In continuing with our theme of spring cleaning this month,
we’ve got more valuable tips to help you get your outdoor living room ready for
entertaining and relaxation this summer.
These tips for cleaning your backyard oasis involve items such as the
siding on your house, wrought iron furniture, and outdoor furnishings that are
textured as well as made from teak wood.
One area of our outdoor living rooms that is often overlooked is the siding on our house. This forms the backdrop of recreational and entertainment areas when guests are not enjoying the landscape view available from your backyard. As such, it needs a bit of TLC, usually in the form of a power wash, to get it spruced up for the summer season. This should be sufficient for most types of siding in order to get rid of surface dirt and mold stains. Use a solution of water and vinegar to eliminate mildew. While you are cleaning your backyard oasis and concentrating on the siding, use the power washer on concrete or stone steps and pathways throughout your backyard, too.
When it comes to outdoor furniture made from wrought iron,
this material is so hardy and durable that it does not require a gentle
cleaning. A good hosing down is usually sufficient. The only instance where you
may need to use a bit more elbow grease is if your wrought iron furnishings
have been affected by algae from sea spray, which often produces rust. In this
case, a commercial disinfectant and stiff brush are required to remove the
algae and prevent future rust spots. Often, using a wad of aluminum foil when
cleaning wrought iron whisks the rust away due to a chemical reaction. If there
are lots of rust spots, consider painting the furniture or replacing it with
Teak is a very popular material for outdoor furniture in the
San Diego area since it is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and rot. Use a
gentle hand with teak wood furnishings. A mild soap and water solution along
with a soft-bristled brush is your best bet for getting it sparkling clean and
free of any stains. Add a bit of vinegar to your mild cleaning solution to
gently scrub away stains. After you are finished cleaning it, let it dry
thoroughly and apply a sealer to the teak wood.
Items with a Coarse
Some furnishings, such as outdoor lamps, portable heaters
and outdoor fireplace surrounds are difficult to clean due to their textured
surfaces. Try using a cheap paintbrush dipped in a mild cleaning solution to
reach into the cracks and crevices, then spray with a gentle stream of water.
If this cleaning method is not sufficient to get rid of stains and spots, you
may be able to paint the surfaces to give them a fresh lease on life.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about properly cleaning your backyard oasis and the furnishings in it, feel free to call and ask any of our associates. Even if you did not purchase your outdoor furnishings from Hauser’s Patio, we are happy to help you preserve what you have so you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less maintaining it.
The concept of spring cleaning applies to more than just the
inside of your home. How about undertaking some outdoor spring cleaning
projects that will get your backyard living room ready for lots of fun this
summer? Here are our suggestions for spruce-ups that will bring your backyard
oasis back to life.
Start With a Clean
Step one of your outdoor cleaning projects is to put away and secure any items that aren’t permanently in place (if you haven’t already done so getting ready for winter). We are referring to things like outdoor lamps, candles, magazines, ashtrays, toys, potted plants, etc. Secure them safely away before you start in on the general cleaning process. If necessary, wipe these items down with a damp cloth or wash them in the sink with a mild detergent solution. While you are at it, pick up any trash that may have blown onto your lawn.
Brush Away the Dirt
More than likely your outdoor furniture, umbrellas and barbecue grill cover are coated in a layer of dust. The best way to (literally) make a clean sweep of your entire backyard living room is to take a stiff brush to any fabric surfaces. This will dislodge loose dirt. It’s important to brush away excess dust and dirt first. Take a moment to sweep pathways, pavers, stone walls and the pool deck, with an outdoor broom, too. Otherwise, you will simply create a muddy mess when you move onto the next step.
Get It Wet
Now it’s time to break out a garden hose. Your patio pavers may be stained and there are likely dead leaves and insects accumulated in the cracks and crevices of furnishings and landscaping areas. A good spray with the hose will remove the majority of built-up dirt and debris. Don’t forget to hit your window frames, screens and shutters, too.
After the initial spray, identify any deeply soiled or
stained areas. Whatever dirty spots are left after the spray down will need to
be tackled with stronger cleaning tools. For upholstery on your outdoor
furniture, start with a mild detergent solution and gently dab at the stain or
use a soft nail brush, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. You could also
try rubbing a bit of Fels-Naptha bar soap over the spots.
Any items made out of metal or resin can take a stronger
cleaning solution, such as one with hydrogen peroxide. For natural paving
stones, rock walls and concrete, a sturdy scrub brush and undiluted bleach (use
rubber gloves to protect your hands) will help you get to the root of the
stain. Baking soda makes a safe, effective and easy-to-use scrub.
Post Outdoor Spring Cleaning
When your backyard living room is tidy and clean, it is the perfect time to assess what new outdoor furniture and accessories you could use. This is a great time to shop for new sofa pillows, chair cushions, umbrella cover, outdoor lamps and more. You may even be tempted to add outdoor artwork on a bare wall.
Now is the perfect time of year to start these outdoor spring
cleaning projects in your backyard oasis. With a bit of time and elbow grease,
your space will be ready for relaxing and entertaining this spring and summer.