Create an Inviting Outdoor Space

15 Mar 2015

As the calendar pages flip to spring, Charleston area homeowners pull out their outdoor furniture and dust off their grills, ready to enjoy the sunshine and picturesque Lowcountry living.

It’s not uncommon for locals to spend more time on their patios than in their living rooms, so they want comfortable and inviting outdoor spaces perfect for a lazy weekend or a gathering of friends. 

If you’re thinking of giving your outdoor space a fresh look for the spring and summer season, get inspired by these outdoor projects. Whether it’s new furniture, a swimming pool or an outdoor kitchen, investing in your outside spaces will result in long-lasting summertime fun.


Blue Haven Pools & Spas

Brian Peppin, manager and vice president at Blue Haven Pools & Spas, received a very specific request from homeowners living in Mount Pleasant: a low-maintenance pool with a one-of-a-kind design for their new home. Peppin didn’t pause at the challenge and his team went to work combining two different styles into one that would meet the needs of the customers. 

“We are capable of doing this type of work all the time,” he said.

The design team created a natural, free-flowing pool with a variety of unique features: built-in bar stools next to the outdoor entertainment area, a custom elevated spillover spa and an automated control system. The pool also has a large, free-flowing tanning edge where the homeowners and guests can situate their lounge chairs in a shallow pool of water, but not be sitting in three feet of water. 

The low-maintenance pebble pool interior finish and premium travertine deck keep in line with the high-quality and low-maintenance focus, while the custom waterfall with built-in steps and slide give the pool a truly one-of-a-kind look. 

The pool deck connects with the covered outdoor entertainment area and custom outdoor kitchen for a complete outdoor living experience. 843-552-6000,

Signature Kitchens & Baths of Charleston

When it comes to outdoor kitchens, Linda McLain of Signature Kitchens & Baths of Charleston and Signature Appliance Center chooses only those cabinets, appliances and countertops that can withstand outdoor conditions. So when a Kiawah Island homeowner came to her for help with an outdoor kitchen that needed to be both durable and low maintenance, McLain recommended Lifestyle Outdoor Cabinets. The cabinets not only look nice but are long-lasting and easy to maintain. 

Lifestyle Outdoor Cabinets can be pressure washed inside and out, and they have built-in water drains so there is no risk of damage to the cabinets. McLain used ipe wood, a durable and strong hardwood found in South America and parts of Central America, with decorative metal inserts. Ipe is a popular choice for outdoor use because of its hardy nature, and it has the same fire rating as concrete and stucco. Also the home already had an ipe wood deck so the cabinets coordinated well with the space.

The cabinets also provide ample storage, McLain noted, with drawers, pull-out trash cans and other amenities. You don’t have that with a stucco enclosure, she said. This is a product that lasts and has storage opportunities. 

The appliances in the outdoor kitchen are also rated for outdoor use and are able to withstand the varying temperatures. And the countertops are a durable granite. 

The homeowner’s outdoor kitchen space is covered, so McLain added a ventilation system, but the side opens up to views of an infinity pool with the Kiawah River and marshes as the backdrop. 843-571-5720,

Backyard Retreats 

After seeing a colorful row of Adirondack chairs in front of Backyard Retreats in Mount Pleasant, a Daniel Island couple enlisted Sharon Campbell’s help with their home’s outdoor space. Step one was decorating a large screened porch with a fireplace and then a smaller side porch. 

Because the home’s screened porch is visible from the front entrance and accessible via the kitchen and dining room, Campbell wanted to create a transitional space that flowed naturally from one area of the home to the next. 

“You can stand at the front door and see all the way to the screened porch so we want (that porch) to flow and blend so it’s an extension of the home,” she said. 

The screened porch is outfitted with Ebel wicker furniture, swivel chairs and an outdoor rug to create a warm and comfortable space. Two accent tables of cut glass create statement pieces for the room without being overly distracting. 

For the side porch, Campbell used the couple’s existing furniture but added custom cushions and pillows for a fresh look. 

Campbell takes into account each customer’s personality and style. “We want it to come together but also be something they are comfortable in.”

She worked with a palate of varying colors to reflect the homeowners’ preferences while creating an inviting space. “It’s a place you can walk in and feel very comfortable,” Campbell said. 

Being able to tackle the project in stages was beneficial, Campbell said, because the homeowners can use the porches while the rest of the outdoor space is being completed843-856-0049,

Outdoor Concepts of Charleston 

Homeowners from Johns Island were looking for an outdoor living space they could use year-round. They enlisted the expertise from the folks at Outdoor Concepts of Charleston to help design their custom space. Locally owned, Outdoor Concepts specializes in bringing indoor comforts to the outside. 

With their complimentary design services and custom creations, Outdoor Concepts worked with their Johns Island clients to add an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, pergola and pool. 

The full outdoor kitchen has refrigeration and a grill. It is enhanced with a custom fireplace with hand-laid stones, making it perfect for use as a pizza oven, roasting marshmallows or for warming up a chilly evening. 

Two pergolas were installed for shade, plus an infinity pool and hardscape to take advantage of the home’s waterfront views. 

As more people relocate to Charleston, they are eager to take advantage of the warmer climate with year-round outdoor living spaces. That’s where Outdoor Concepts steps in to create a custom space that fits the clients’ needs and season of life – whether a couple who wants to entertain or a family eager to gather around the firepit and roast S’mores.

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