Do you love to travel? The excitement of planning your next adventure and experiencing new destinations is thrilling but we don’t always have the ability to get away when we would like. Staycations are a great alternative and come with plenty of perks! You don’t have to travel to experience the relaxation that a vacation brings. You can get more bang for your buck at home, so why go far when you can live it up on your very own backyard staycation? Groupe Paramount can create relaxing, resort-style outdoor living spaces that are perfect for decompressing after a long week at work, hosting parties or spending time with family. All while increasing curb appeal and overall value to your home!
BUILD A SPA SANCTUARY
When your body and mind are in desperate need of a mini-vacay, send them to your backyard spa for a quick recharge! Seclusion is the key so a privacy wall can create the feeling of being in a luxurious retreat. Planting lush, evergreen groundcover and subtle-scented flowers, while adding finishing touches such as a rock garden or zen fountain, will add to the aesthetic. A fountain will also help create privacy by masking noise. Stretching out on a yoga mat or chaise lounge within your own private spa will turn your tension into relaxation.
WATER AND FIRE ELEMENTS
Calming water and exhilarating fire elements are an integral part of any resort vacation, so why not bring those elements to your backyard landscaping?
From creating a serene audio backdrop, to visually exciting your senses and connecting you to nature, flowing water carries beauty, health, and harmony into your environment. Water features like a backyard pond, a waterfall or fountain provide a very pleasant spectacle of sound, as water falls gently over rocks and steps. They are an excellent place to unwind at the end of a stressful day. Water features come in all shapes, sizes and styles.
Meanwhile, fire features let you stay warm even as the sun goes down and gives your backyard a sense of nighttime wonder. Toasting marshmallows with the kids in the outdoor fireplace, star gazing under a blanket, and playing or listening to music with friends around the fire pit, are all wonderful ways to enjoy the warmth and glow of your backyard fire feature. You can also add an outdoor kitchen or barbecue to your landscape to bring your party hosting game to the next level!
RECREATE YOUR FAVOURITE VACATION SPOT
If you want your staycation to feel like the real thing, try adding elements of your favourite travel destinations! Incorporating reminders of your special vacation spots can help you feel like you’re on holiday even when you’re at home.
Love the beach? Install a resort-style umbrella, beach chairs, plant beach grass, and add decorative seashells to your outdoor decor to mimic that look and feel.
Enjoy a Parisian adventure? Choose outdoor furniture that reminds you of the cutest French bistros to recreate a street-level café. Make sure to stock up on lots of croissants and café au lait!
Are you moved by the mountains? Planting your favourite flowers and trees will give you the feeling of being in nature. You can also surround your spa with decorative boulders and a natural stone waterfall to create the illusion of natural hot springs, like those found in Banff, Alberta! An added bonus to decorative boulders is that they can be used to hide unsightly yard elements that can’t be moved, such as an irrigation pump or a cable box.
CREATE A TROPICAL OASIS
Put away your passport and bring the lush Caribbean days to you instead! Planting pretty, tropical looking plants and flowers will bring the island scents and bright colours to your backyard. Try adding hibiscus, bamboo, agapanthus, yucca, cold hardy palm and ferns to your landscape. To create an even more tropical atmosphere, add some potted banana trees and bird of paradise plants! In the tropics, flowering vines grow in abundance. Bougainvillea, passiflora, mandevilla, jasmine are just a few! Mandevilla is definitely not a cold hardy plant but you can over-winter it indoors by growing it in the container. To finish it all off, hang a hammock, install landscape lighting and sip from a coconut cup with a little umbrella at your pool’s new swim up bar. You’ll be feeling tropical all day long!
There are no limitations to what your landscape can become. Call us today!
You’ve finally decided it’s time to revamp your back yard, front yard or maybe even both. Maybe you’re thinking of adding a pool or you have an old pool that is in need of an upgrade? Whether you are interested in completely redesigning your landscape or simply making a few changes there are some important factors to consider before you start your project. Meeting with a professional landscape designer, pool designer or landscape architect is the best place to start. Here are 5 things that you should know before you go into that meeting that will help the designers design your dream environment!
Who Will Be Using It
Start by thinking about who might be using the space that you’re designing. Do you have young children or is it primarily an adult retreat/oasis? Are there pets to consider when planting/designing? Creating a list of all family members, their ages, and the outdoor hobbies they may have can be extremely helpful to your designer when planning your new landscape.
What They’ll Be Doing
What activities will the space be designed for? Will you be using the space for cooking, relaxing, reading, or gardening? Perhaps you plan to entertain large groups of friends and family or are you more focused on recreational experiences such as swimming, basketball or games of touch football? How you plan to use the space outside your home is an important factor to consider.
When our clients have young children, we always look to conserve some of the grass area for play space. As fencing around a pool is a provincial requirement, we try to ensure kids have access to the play area of the yard without having to first access the pool area. As well, when designing a pool, creating a “beach” is often a fun upgrade with younger children!
Mother nature may have just graced us with a huge helping of winter weather, but spring IS just around the corner – we promise! With renewed enthusiasm for the outdoors, Montreal’s homeowners are embracing thoughtful design, stylish plantings and smart technology to enhance their landscapes as extensions of their homes. As you start planning your landscaping projects for the warmer days ahead, take a peek at some of the top trends in landscape design for 2017 and get inspired!
Bringing Hygge Outside
Homeowners have become more interested in holistic landscapes that promote well-being. The Danish concept of coziness (Hygge) has recently become very popular in interior design and this year, you’ll be seeing more and more of it incorporated into backyard landscape designs. Spaces accentuated with outdoor fireplaces, quaint patios, and cozy gathering places are all going to be sought-after this year pictured above.
Design it Green!
“Greenery” was selected by Pantone, a leading provider of color systems, as its Color of the Year for 2017. Instead of going the conventional route of colourful flowers, using different textures and shades of greenery, such as a formal hedge of green velvet boxwood, a border of green lilyturf and dense ivy-covered trellises, can create quite the impact.
Mixing of Materials
More landscapes in 2017 will feature an integration of several forms of materials. From pebble paths leading to paving stone patios, to wooden decks adorned with iron gates, stylish pairings of different hardscapes can create an elegant approach to landscaping. Some of the most popular exotic woods are Ipe, Teak and Red Cedar. Take a look at this Ipe designed pool area (pictured above)! This is a wood that can be oiled for a rich array of brown shades or it can be left to grey out, which requires almost no maintenance and has a more organic aesthetic/texture.
Full Outdoor kitchens
Hosting a summer party is so much easier when you simply bring the kitchen outside! It can be be cumbersome to carry food from the house to the patio, especially when entertaining a larger group of guests. For this reason, more homeowners are loving the latest high-tech outdoor kitchens and the conveniences they provide. Grills, ovens, sinks, fridges and more! Well beyond the basic BBQ stations and dining sets, they can also be equipped with the latest technology, such as next generation outdoor sound systems with in ground sub-woofers, mobile app-controlled LED lighting and ovens integrated with Wi-Fi.
Pollinator Attracting Plants
Did you know that bees pollinate up to a 5km radius of their hive and that consuming honey from the bees that pollinate in your neighbourhood can provide you with a resistance to seasonal pollen allergies? Without bees, global fruit, vegetable, and nut crops would yield about half of their current amounts while some food species (such as almonds) would not exist at all. There couldn’t be a more perfect time to do your part for the ecosystem and incorporate plantings into your landscape design that will attract pollinators! Bees are most attracted to purple, yellow and blue flowers. Lavender is a lovely choice, both for pollinators and property owners, alike. At Groupe Paramount, we are taking it a step further by adding a bee hive to the mix. The lovely people at Alveole have supplied us with our hive and are teaching us the ins and outs of maintaining it. We’ll soon be adding 10,000 new employees to our team!