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Instead of Eating Out, Eat Outside!

A major monthly expense for families of all sizes, food can put a huge dent in family finances if you’re not careful. In many of today’s families, food funds diverted to eating out have surpassed funds spent on groceries for home-use. Exacerbating the issue, the cost of dining out is up 2.7% (according to restaurant industry news) while the cost of homemade food has dropped 0.5%, ballooning the food budget for those on the restaurant bandwagon. Are you among those struggling not to become ‘food poor?’

Eat Out in Your Own Backyard
Home cooked meals are by far cheaper and healthier than dining out, while the prep and partaking of food make for a great bonding activity – especially when that time is enjoyed in an amazing outdoor kitchen and dining environment. Instead of stretching yourself thin with repeated restaurant purchases, save a ton of money while increasing the quality of your time at home, nutritionally and emotionally building your family unit with the addition of an outdoor kitchen and dining space.

Why Prep & Eat Your Next Meal Outside with the Family?

  • Cooking meals is healthier.
    You control portion size and ingredients, freely making substitutions for health and allergies/sensitivities, ensuring the quality of nutrition over high-fat, high-salt/sugar, mass-produced, cookie-cutter restaurant fare.
  • Cooking outdoors is a tremendous opportunity to learn new skills & bond.
    Involving kids with cooking helps build and safeguard family traditions, rather than the marketing culture of major food corporations. Hang and chat while prepping for dinner, enjoying the fruits of your efforts as a family. Studies show kids that eat at home are healthier, happier, do better in school and engage in fewer risky behaviors than those who don’t share dinner with family.
  • Grilling is a crowd-pleaser.
    New gas grill technology is quick-to-heat, making weeknight grilling a snap. Allowing for the easy customization of dinner plates, vegan or carnivore, attending picky eaters is seriously simplified when grill-side. Grilling takes less prep, involves less cooking paraphernalia, and makes cleanup a snap as well.
  • Eating outside reduces stress & boosts immunity.
    Studies clearly demonstrate the stress-busting benefits of being outdoors. Time in nature reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone (cortisol) levels, easing tension. Sunlight exposure boosts Vitamin D production, which safeguards your body against cancer, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and depression. These benefits in-turn boost your immunity, helping you ward off colds, flu, and serious chronic health issues.
  • Food tastes better in the outdoors.
    When you’re present in an enjoyable outdoor experience, as opposed to zoning-out while under stress, you are more tuned-in to your observations, including the flavor or your outdoor feast.
  • Digestion is improved.
    Because stress has a negative impact on digestion, and being outside reduces stress, digestion is markedly better in outdoor environments.
  • Outdoor dining boosts mood and cognitive performance.
    A natural mood booster, emerging yourself in nature while dining, rather than in the digital world, helps you focus, recharging you mentally and emotionally with its awe-inspiring sights.

Earn Maximum Return with Minimal Time Investment
Planning ahead makes outdoor cooking and dining a breeze. Shopping bi-monthly for non-perishables and taking advantage of sales, and weekly for perishables, keeps your pantry stocked and on-budget. A weekly menu tacked on the fridge helps you thaw on-time, every time, ensuring fast, 10-30-minute prep – the average time it takes to wait for food and dine in fast food establishments.

Reinvest your restaurant savings, ensuring a trouble-free outdoor cooking and dining experience no matter the weather. Have experiences with your family you wouldn’t trade for a lifetime of dining out.  Uncover the benefits of a fully-functional outdoor kitchen and dining space topped-off with an adjustable aluminum pergola from Denver Pergola Systems today.

This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/instead-of-eating-out-eat-outside/


10 Reasons to Add an Outdoor Living Space in 2018

Looking for an excuse to splurge on an outdoor living space this year? How about because it’s good for you? Cheaper than prescriptions and with no negative side effects, spending time in your outdoor living space is proven to boost your mental and physical health.

Because Harvard Says So
According to Harvard Medical School spending time outdoors, whether grabbing a bite to eat, working, or kicking back and relaxing, offers significant health benefits…

  1. Spending Time Outdoors Boosts Vitamin D
    Vitamin D, ‘the sunshine vitamin,’ is essential to overall health. The form gained outdoors is more bioavailable (more easily used by your body), with known protective effects against an impressive variety of serious illnesses: Cancer, heart attacks, stroke, depression, osteoporosis, and more. However, the vast majority of Americans don’t get enough, leading some doctors to write prescriptions for this essential nutrient in the form of time outdoors.
  2. Going Outdoors Makes You Happy
    Natural light elevates your mood. A known and effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder or winter depression, it can also boost workout benefits. Studies show just 5 minutes of ‘green exercise’ offers mood and self-esteem boosting benefits. As an added bonus, the refreshing, invigorating surroundings of an outdoor workout space help motivate workout intensity and length.
  3. Being Outdoors Reduces Stress
    Being outdoors alters physical manifestations of stress, decreasing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and reducing cortisol levels, the hormone marker used to identify a body under extreme stress.
  4. Enjoying Time Outdoors Helps Fight Fatigue
    Eliciting feelings of awe, the amazing sights of nature can inspire you to get your mind back into gear and bounce back from mental fatigue.
  5. Outdoor Interaction = Exercise; Exercise = Good
    Being indoors is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, especially in children. American children spend 6 hours a day on electronic media, on average. Time spent outdoors, on the other hand, is associated with activity, with studies showing children are more than doubly-active when outdoors.
  6. Spending Time Outdoors Improves Concentration
    Research has shown children with ADHD perform better on tests of concentration following exposure to nature (a walk in the park versus one through urban settings). Similar walks have likewise been proven to aid the working memory of those suffering from depression.
  7. ‘Nature Therapy’ Boosts Performance
    In studies, those immersed in nature for 4-days experienced a 50% improvement in performance on creative problem solving tests. Unlike caffeine or side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, ‘nature therapy’ improves cognitive function at zero cost.
  8. Outdoor Experiences Support a Healthy Mood
    Studies have found time outdoors an ideal supplement to existing treatment modalities for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Exposure to green environments offers relief, boosting self-esteem and mood. These effects can be increased in combination with exercise and the addition of outdoor water features.
  9. Natural Light Exposure Aids Healing
    University of Pittsburgh studies indicated views of nature improve patient recoveries post-surgery, with those exposed to natural light experiencing less pain and post-op stress, and requiring fewer medications. Overall, time in nature has been shown to keep the inflammatory processes seen in connection with depression, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancers in check.
  10. Indulging in the Outdoors Safeguards Health
    Studies have shown a strong, positive association between exposure to green space and health. A wide variety of diseases are less prevalent among those living close to green spaces compared to those residing in urban environments. Studies also show the higher the residential green vegetation exposure, the lower mortality rates, citing a 12% lower mortality for those with the most exposure.

Because You Deserve It
Longing to spend more time outdoors, but weather keeps getting in the way? Design a space that is comfortable and functional year-round with the addition of an Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola. Dial-in the perfect amount of sun or shade, or seal out the rain with the touch of a button, taking advantage of all the health-boosting benefits the outdoors has to offer no matter the weather. Incorporate built-in ceiling fans, infrared heaters, and motorized screens for improved comfort and protection against pests, with a flexible, custom-designed patio shelter solution built to blend seamlessly into your home and lifestyle.

Got the outdoor itch? We’ve got the cure. Schedule your complimentary outdoor living space design consultation with Denver Pergola Systems today.

This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/10-ways-an-outdoor-living-space-boosts-health/

Add Green to Tight Spaces by Going Vertical

Tiny, lackluster outdoor spaces surrounded by concrete and fencing are a dime a dozen. Far from inspiring, they make it difficult for the uninitiated to envision the possibility of a beautiful, green outdoor living space where square footage is at a premium and life fails to exist. Yet with vertical gardening, the sky is quite literally the limit of outdoor greenery additions, allowing for the addition of a lush, verdant outdoor space you never before dreamed possible…

tphoto credit: http://www.livingwallart.com/grow-a-vertical-garden-indoors/

What is a Vertical Garden?
Also called living walls or green walls, vertical gardens are typically mounted on the interior or exterior walls of buildings, and occasionally on fences. Vertical planters vary widely in size, shape, scope, and technology. However, each is beautiful and functional, providing a refreshing green backdrop that offers all the benefits of nature, even to spaces once totally devoid of life. This allows for the incorporation of an amazingly green outdoor living space to nearly any location. And the benefits don’t just stop at looks. A growing practice in the green building arena, vertical gardens reduce the heat island effect, decrease noise pollution, improve air quality, and provide opportunities as a food resource.


What Kind of Plants Can You Add to a Vertical Garden?
People tend to be pleasantly surprised by the variety of plants compatible with vertical gardening. But you can’t just toss any old plant into vertical garden setups. Like your family members, each plant variety is most comfortable in a specific climate. When deciding among plants to incorporate into your design to enhance your pergola-covered patio, sun exposure, watering needs, and clearance are important things to keep in mind. Once your adjustable aluminum pergola is installed, will your vertical garden reside primarily in the sun, partial sun, or shade most of the day? Will you leave the 170-degree adjustable louvers of your pergola open or closed in your absence? Choosing plants compatible with available sun and seasonal temperature shifts is key to success. With less dirt, and more exposure to wind and sunlight, drip irrigation is also highly-recommend to meet watering needs. In addition, it is essential to consider plant growth. Massively bushing behemoths and crazy climbers could both interfere with the motor, louvers, and rain/wind sensors of your adjustable aluminum pergola and are best avoided.

tttBest Plants for Pergola-Side Vertical Gardens


  • Sun
    • Geranium
    • Petunias
    • Rock Rose
    • Dichondra
    • Baby’s Tears
    • Chili Plants
    • Sempervivum
    • Sedum
    • Blue Fescue & Blue Oat Grass
  • Partial Sun (less than ½ day of summer sun)
    • Lipstick Plant
    • Sweet Alyssum
    • Pothos
    • Aloe
    • Bugle Plant
    • Elephant Ears
    • Coral Bells
  • Shade (less than 3 hours of direct sunlight; typically morning light)
    • Ferns (most varieties)
    • Hostas
    • English Ivy
    • Staghorn Fern
    • Peace Lily
    • Violets
    • Bromeliads
    • Dracaenas
    • Crotons

Looking to Eat Out of Your Garden?

  • Sun
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Strawberries
    • Basil
    • Thyme
    • Sage
    • Oregano
    • Coriander
    • Chives
    • Marjoram
  • Partial Sun (less than ½ day of summer sun)
    • Lettuce
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Parsley
  • Shade (less than 3 hours of direct sunlight; typically morning light)
    • Mint Varieties
    • Watercress
    • Sorrel
    • Lemon Balm
    • Thai Basil







Think the possibility of a beautiful outdoor space in a barren backyard is a pie in the sky fantasy? See your outdoor space in a different light with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.


This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/add-green-to-tight-spaces-by-going-vertical/


Celebrate Eat Outside Day with the Addition of an Outdoor Living Space

Looking for an excuse to get out and unwind? Friday, August 31st, 2018 marks the official arrival of National Eat Outside Day. With the end of summer just three-weeks away, what better way to bid the season a fond adieu before Denver’s brisk fall and winter weather settles in. More than a nice change of scenery, eating outdoors with the sun shining and birds chirping offers bountiful benefits, helping reduce tension, easing depression and anxiety, and exposing you to a much-needed dose of Vitamin D.


10 Ways to Celebrate Eat Outside Day:

  1. Indulge in ice cream on your porch.
    Busy day? Grab a carton of your favorite flavor and wind-down with a bowl of ice cream on the porch with the kids.
  2. Take your lunch ‘to-go.’
    Flee the confines of your desk for a luscious lunch under the sun.
  3. Organize a family cookout in your backyard.
    What better reason to take advantage of fresh air and great company than a Friday evening barbecue with family and friends?
  4. Dine al fresco at your favorite restaurant.
    Everything tastes better outside. Stimulate all of your senses at an al fresco restaurant with amazing views, indulging in all Mother Nature’s bounty
  5. Find a food truck.
    Grab a couple pop-up chairs, enjoying a gourmet feast at its finest in the great outdoors.
  6. Picnic at the park.
    Grab a blanket and a friend, making your own food fare with a portable grill, or grabbing a few picnic favorites from the ready-made cartons at the deli counter of your local grocer.
  7. Take yourself out to a ballgame.
    Taking in a local minor or major league game while indulging in a few guilty pleasures.
  8. Go camping (or glamping).
    Commune with Mother Nature while nibbling on hot dogs and s’mores tent-side… Or enjoy a bit of wine and cheese on the porch of a festive lodge.
  9. Snack under the stars.
    Grab your favorite frosty beverage and a tray of your fun finger foods, counting constellations.
  10. Make it a habit.
    With the addition of an outdoor living space you and your family can enjoy year-round. Incorporating a beautiful outdoor escape conveniently just outside your back door makes it easier than ever to enjoy a bite with Mother Nature anytime.


Don’t wait for an excuse to enjoy the outdoors. Celebrate Eat Outside Day every day of the year. Incorporate a fun and functional outdoor living space into your home or business with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.


This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/celebrate-eat-outside-day-with-the-addition-of-an-outdoor-living-space/

Goodbye Corner Office, Hello Outdoor Workspace

Today’s companies are luring employees out of their cubicles, enticing them outdoors to green, open spaces. Why the change in corporate real estate? A major selling point for workers, the move is drawing in new talent, inspiring creativity and innovation by placing the focus back on the human psyche, which unsurprisingly, is uninspired by bleak, gray cubicle walls.


Cut the Cubicles & Open Things Up
As the outdoors moves its way into American workspaces, cramped cubicles are being demolished in favor of lush vegetation and open spaces with a direct link to nature. As seen in Amazon’s ‘Sphere’ concept, it’s all about opening things up and breaking the mold: Hold a meeting in a treehouse or ‘bird’s nest.’ Confer or work solo on communal tables. Get out of your ‘hole’ and get out of the rut.

Expand Your Horizons
Innovative workspaces are nothing new, especially within the tech industry. However, with various studies pointing to the benefits of human connection with nature, a number of business genres are migrating outdoors, exchanging draining office fluorescents for the warmth and energy natural sunlight has to offer, providing a refreshing alternative to the traditionally stuffy corporate work environment.


Transform Your Locale & Office Culture
As few can go to the extremes of Amazon’s ‘rainforest in a bubble,’ it’s good to know even the most modest of outdoor spaces can boost creativity and help workers de-stress. From bottom floor patios to balcony additions and rooftop gardens, green office spaces are rising in popularity nationwide, enticing the bulk of workers out of private offices, and fostering a more collaborative office culture supportive of productivity and innovation.


Growing a Green Setup
How can you achieve an outdoor office space certain to grow a maximum return on investment?

  • Capitalize on unused space.
    Whether that be an existing green space, neglected patio, private side yard, or overlooked rooftop.
  • Zero-in on surroundings.
    A ‘blah’ concrete wall fares no better than a generic cubicle. Find (or create) inspiring natural, green settings to realize the true benefits of an outdoor office. Ensure success with these tips.
  • Don’t neglect creature comforts.
    Providing necessary lighting, electricity, internet access, and comfortable, ergonomic furnishings. Enhance comfort and extend seasonal use with fans, heating solutions, and motorized screens for added shade and pest protection.
  • Create a year-round refuge.
    With the flexible, dependable shelter of an Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola. Provide a shady, cool respite, deliver the sun’s warmth, or provide reliable, electronics-friendly rain protection, choosing from 170-degrees of louver positioning via remote, iLouver app operation, or optional rain and wind sensors programmed to respond on-demand.


Enhance your business’ productivity, creativity, and recruitment potential with an outdoor office space. See your office in a new light with the help of Denver Pergola Systems. Schedule your complimentary design consultation today.

This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/goodbye-corner-office-hello-outdoor-workspace/



Refresh Yourself with an Outdoor Bath or Shower


Throngs of Americans are moving their daily activities outdoors. Outdoor cooking and dining. Green office spaces. And the latest outdoor living space trend? Outdoor baths and showers.



Why an Outdoor Bath or Shower?
Standing under a burst of water while taking in the warm sun or enjoying the breeze invigorates in a way tiled indoor bathing spaces cannot. What could be more refreshing (and practical) than rinsing off comfortably in a cool shower after a sweaty run or following an afternoon of gardening? Better still, how relaxing would a warm bath under the stars with a glass of your favorite wine be?





Don’t Be Shy – Step Out & Enjoy Outdoor Bathing
It’s easier than you think to add an outdoor bath or showering space (without inadvertently inviting the neighbors for a free show)…

Decide the ‘theme’ of your space.
Relegate the bathing experience from an obligation to a pleasure, creating a theme for your space. Go rustic with wood and stone, create a tropical paradise, or a spa-like retreat in the comfort and privacy of your home.

  1. Ponder your shower location.
    If there are natural amenities or amazing views, situate your shower to take advantage of your home site. Locate your bathing site in direct sunlight for a more pleasant bathing pleasant, and to keep accoutrements drier. A sunlit, airy location is critical to preventing mold, mildew, scum, and moisture-related wear-and-tear. Avoid areas with trees overhead, which can cause debris accumulation and pest issues. If your shower will share an exterior wall, be certain to add a waterproof membrane between surfaces.
  2. Consider creature comforts.
    Specifically: Hot water. While a hose may get the job done in the dead of summer, it’s far from ideal in spring or fall. Adding hot water involves tapping into your home’s hot water supply or adding a new line specifically for your outdoor bathing area with the help of a plumbing professional or general contractor. Interested in a greener, energy-saving option? A solar roof heating system may be just the ticket. (Tip: Don’t forget a shutoff valve to avoid winter pipe issues.)
  3. Protect your home.
    Plan proper draining for your space to ensure water buildup does not affect your property, draining away from the foundation/basement. Options include permeable pavers, artificial turf, a French drain, draining to a storm ditch, gutter system, or graywater tank. Be certain to verify compliance with local building codes before beginning your addition.
  4. Embellish your space.
    Emulate the theme of your outdoor bathing space with an antique claw-foot tub, modern and sleek teak wood panels, or design a stunning shower stall encased in natural stone. Stainless steel fixtures ensure resilience and withstand corrosion better than brass. Create a space that’s is a true getaway with extravagant landscaping, sculptures, unique accent lighting, gas or electric fireplace, and more.

Add privacy with a pergola.
Instead of boxing-in the lovely space you’ve created for yourself with run-of-the-mill privacy fence panels or blocks, let the sunshine in while ensuring privacy with an adjustable aluminum pergola. With a full 170-degree range-of-motion, adjust the angle of your pergola roof to prevent peeping from surrounding multi-storied homes, while preserving access to sunshine and sky views. Create further privacy without detracting from the experience with the addition of motorized retractable screens and curtains, while also keeping pests at bay. Ensure air circulation and sunlight critical to safeguarding against moisture issues, and to create an incredible bathing ambiance in Mother Nature without offending the neighbors. No upper-level neighbors? Incorporate the Arcadia Slide for amazing views, especially on those clear starlit nights, and indulge in the ultimate bathing experience.

Turn your home into the relaxing sanctuary you’ve always yearned for.  contact Denver Pergola Systems and discover new ways to customize your outdoor living space today.

This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/refresh-yourself-with-an-outdoor-bath-or-shower/







What Size Pergola Do I Need?

One of the most common questions we encounter at Denver Pergola Systems, is “What size pergola do I need?” This is partially because consumers are accustomed to being boxed-in by box-store standard sizing. With Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergolas, however, this is not the case, as each shelter solution can be customized to meet your exact needs. How do you determine those sizing needs? Pergola sizing is ultimately tied to patio size.


Determining Patio (& Pergola) Size
Patio size is influenced by a variety of factors, including yard size, your intention for your outdoor space (cooking, dining, office, etc.), and furnishings. Many homeowners unintentionally end up with a patio that is either too small, feeling cramped by furniture, or an overly large space that lacks intimacy. The trick is ensuring adequate space to allow for movement around furnishings and proportioning each correctly to avoid a warehouse-like feel.


Finding the Patio Type that’s Right for You:

  • Bistro
    Tucked away in smaller spaces, bistro patios can be a challenge to design large enough for function yet small enough to squeeze into tight, typically 6-7-foot in diameter spaces. Want more in your bistro-size space? Check out these tips.
  • Kitchen
    Like home kitchens, there’s a huge array of amenity and sizing variations here. What best suits your needs? Shop, get dimensions, create a chalk outline, then navigate your imaginary kitchen space to ensure adequate elbow room.
  • Dining
    How many will you be serving at evening meals? Allocate at least a 10-foot space for the typical 4-person dining round table; 11-feet for a 6-person round. Going rectangular? The typical setup (seating 2 on each side and one at each table head) takes approximately a 13×10 patio space. 3-feet surrounding furniture is ideal for movement. Adding more furnishings? You should likewise add to your patio footprint.
  • Living Room
    Outdoor living rooms are hugely popular. Featuring technology and furnishings just as plush and large as indoor options, they are likewise supersized: 16-18 feet across, with an ideal 3-feet of clearance surrounding furniture for traffic flow. As outdoor living spaces incorporate multiple functions, a central conservation area, such as a fire feature, is integral to creating intimacy. Paver designs/colors, masonry seat walls, and outdoor rugs are ideal for defining key areas.
    Avoid these common mistakes.
  • Sundeck
    Calculate a sundeck space featuring a 2×6-foot space per lounge chair, with cocktail tables in-between. Ensure a 3-foot walking space at the foot of chairs – 5-feet to prevent an accidental splash in the pool.
  • Bar
    Like kitchens, there’s a nearly endless number of bar variations, from portable models to all-out Irish pub fare for the extended family.
  • Bath
    Outdoor baths and showers are growing in popularity. Is this addition an ideal choice for your outdoor space? LINK: Recent bath/shower blog
  • Outdoor Office
    Personalize your outdoor office for form, function, and productivity with these tips.


Shop for Furniture First
After deciding on your outdoor living space ‘theme’ and checking with your local municipality and homeowner’s association to verify how much of your outdoor real estate is up for grabs, take your measurements, shopping for furnishings and appliances first. This can help you design a patio properly sized to meet ‘must-have’ features without any space-hogging surprises. This should include seating/lounges, tables and chairs, and other integral functional and design elements such as grills, bars, fireplaces/fire pits, water features, and large planters/greenery. All the ‘stuff.’ Keep a detailed list, taking photos, and before you purchase, go home and consider the sizing and placement of your intended additions. This chart is a great reference for estimating furniture/patio dimensions.


Calculate Your Ideal Pergola Dimensions
Now that you’ve put in the prep work, it’s time to order your pergola. Patio size = pergola size, so it’s crucial not to cut corners. Sleek and space-saving, your Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola will prove the linchpin of your design, preserving your outdoor enjoyment rain or shine with iLouver app or remote operation and 170-degrees of rotational flexibility for the perfect amount of sun, shade or shelter. Add the finishing touches with comfort control solutions ranging from lighting to motorized screens for pests and privacy, and ceiling fans/patio heaters for year-round comfort, incorporating your pergola seamlessly into the design of your home with custom color and accessory options.


Unsure of your patio design? Our professional design team can help. Ensure an outdoor living area design that serves as an extension of your home, enjoying its use year-round. Open up to new ways to use your outdoor space with Denver Pergola Systems today.


This post was originally published at http://www.denverpergolas.com/what-size-pergola-do-i-need/