Column: Firing up a hot patio grill station


A client boldly declared, “I want my place to be where our kids and their friends want to hang out.” I dig that charge! That is certainly the most captivating and frequent request we are charged with.

This Carmel project resoundingly accomplished that. Although the pool in the background didn’t hurt, the adhesive that pulled it together are the multi-level patios, modern fire feature and cobblestone grill station.

Process and rough sketch

Initial meetings focus on visioning and developing a relationship which fuels stories about how the space will “feel,” materials and its desired use.  A quick on-site rough sketch proved we were heading in the right direction, and a few weeks later a formal design/proposal was produced. A few design tweaks and the plan was promptly blessed by the Architectural Review Committee. The fun process can be high-energy and spilling with emotion.

Fire/grill station

Fire features and grill stations are gathering magnets, comparable to your granite kitchen counter. Even when the fire is not engaged or the grill is empty, it’s a comfortable spot to start a conversation that often spills over to comfy patio furniture. It’s a launching point.

The cultured cobblestone on the grill face and blue stone counter speaks well to the home’s formality and lush neighborhood, just as the linear shape of the space offers a sense of modern and fresh. Sexy Mexican beach pebbles in the fire feature marries well with the grill station elements and contrasts brightly as orange and yellow flames push through naturally formed crevices.

Very confidently, I confess the greatest satisfaction of creating incredible living spaces is building relationships and imagining how the space with be used. Hearing the joyful confessions of those patio gatherings is the incentive to do more!

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