As spring gives way to summer, with most of the world’s population currently confined to their households, thoughts turn towards home improvements. A stunning outdoor renovation might be at the top of that list.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given homeowners an opportunity to assess every aspect of their property, including outdoor spaces. Many will be looking for materials which look great and stand up to the rigors of daily life, while also delivering the highest standards of health and safety.

From small projects like replacing garden furniture to bigger projects such as laying a new terrace or building a firepit, creativity and forward planning are essential.

This week, Neolith®’s dedicated design team looks at potential improvements that their Sintered Stone can make to gardens and outdoor spaces.

Terraces and Balconies

Where conservative tastes once governed the design of terraces and balconies, from the patio to the furniture which occupied it, homeowners have become far more adventurous with the materials they choose and how they specify them.

From flowing silver travertines to clean, white quartzite, unusual and distinctive stones, particularly in lighter colors, have grown in popularity. Whether it’s contrasting with verdant foliage on a city centre balcony or the azure blue of a Mediterranean poolside, these natural designs create a ravishing, biophilic look.

The potential for slippery surfaces poses a safety risk; many materials can become hazardous when wet, risking trips and falls. As such, we’ve witnessed a growing interest in flooring which incorporate a finely textured treatment which creates friction and reduces the slip-factor.

Fireplaces and Firepits

The once humble fireplace has transcended its functional purpose to become a sculptural installation, forming a social hub around which people gather as the sun sets on a sultry summer party. From wide, deep firepits to portable installations which can be moved around the garden, there has never been so much choice for those looking to enjoy the rapturous flicker of flames against the starry night’s sky.

More culinary-minded renovators might choose to incorporate a fixed barbecue to up their grilling game. Sintered Stone, with its resistance to extremely high temperatures, is the perfect cladding and worktop surfacing material for this outdoor cooking medium, able to withstand the heat of the kitchen. Easy to clean and non-porous, it gives every budding grill master the confidence they are preparing food in a hygienic, low maintenance environment.  

Swimming Pools

One popular outdoor renovation that combines beauty and function is a swimming pool. A big trend this year, multi-layering can be achieved in a number of ways. Steps within a pool blur the line between where the water ends and dry land begins, and also make an excellent place to sit and relax. Some homeowners have even opted to create large shelves, providing a shallow area ideal for the more leisurely pool user or young children who haven’t yet mastered swimming.

Pools are not just for the daytime: many across the country enjoy a night-time swim. Clever use of lighting can transform a swimming pool into a sculptural focal point which can be enjoyed 24/7. Below-the-surface lighting can also create a warm glow, turning the pool into a luminescent focal point for an outdoor dinner party. Lighting around the swimming area can be used along walkways towards the pool, illuminating the path and adding an aura of majesty.

Quality in All Things

It’s not only important to work with the best quality materials, but also to work with the most-skilled and officially accredited professionals. Before undertaking any outdoor renovation work, take the time to source a fabricator who understands and has worked with the materials and surfaces you want to specify. This will ultimately avoid unnecessary costs, stress and disappointment during the construction process.

Check out their site to learn more about Neolith and their extensive range of patterns, finishes, formats and thicknesses.