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Dining al fresco is only part of the fun.  The dinner party really starts to sizzle when you serve the entire cooking experience outside!  


An outdoor kitchen not only allows you to cook, eat and entertain without having to book a reservation but it also expands your living space. Not to mention, a well-designed outdoor kitchen will allow you to enjoy cooking and dining outside beyond the summer months.  


Incorporating traditional kitchen elements to your outdoor kitchen is a great way to add versatility, value, and fun to your space.


Here are a few of my must-haves for creating the perfect outdoor kitchen.






Start from the ground up


Designing the floor layout and material of your outdoor kitchen is essential to building the foundation of your amazing outdoor space.


When making your selections, be aware of the different weather in our area, as well as the overall weight of the appliances you are installing.


Flooring such as polished marble or granite will be slippery and slick when wet and may not hold up to oil or food stains. The right flooring will not only complete the overall look of your outdoor kitchen but will also add durability and value to the end product.


Milestone Tip: When designing a project of this scale, remember that safety comes first. Outdoor kitchens are typically located near wet surfaces like swimming pools and spa tubs.  


Be sure to choose materials that meet safety criteria, stay away from flooring that may be too slippery or rugged, and select a material that can handle food spills and grease. Ceramic tiles or porcelain outdoor tiles are the best option in this area.






Location, location, location


Where you decide to place your outdoor kitchen depends on several factors.  First off, you’ll want to make sure that smoke from the grill doesn’t drift back into the home.  


It’s wise to have a good idea of the general wind pattern in your yard so you can set the grill appropriately.  Secondly, if you like to entertain you want to engage with your guests and won’t want to walk a long distance from the indoor kitchen to the outside.  


Consider placing your grill and outdoor kitchen near the entrance to the inside kitchen.


Lastly, if you want to preserve the view you currently have from inside the house to the outside, you’ll want to design your outdoor kitchen to the side or at an angle.  


This way, you don’t obstruct your view from the inside of your home.  Just like an indoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen is full of hazards so place your kitchen in the right area of your backyard.  


The right planning will help ensure that your outdoor kitchen is in the right location for your yard.


Milestone Tip: If you are considering completing a lot of landscaping changes to your yard, such as adding retaining walls, living walls or a swimming pool, be sure to include the outdoor kitchen as part of the overall design.






Choose your appliances wisely


Every kitchen needs a focal point and most outdoor kitchens center around the grill. Whether you choose gas or charcoal, your grill should serve as an accent to your space.  


When creating an amazing outdoor kitchen be sure to include a sink and a small refrigerator.  Some outdoor kitchens are fitted with other appliances to make the outdoor kitchen feel custom.  


You can even add specialty appliances like a beer tap, smokers, hibachi grills and warming drawers.  Be sure a licensed electrician installs your electrical connections so that your outdoor kitchen is up to code.


Pizza ovens and tandoors are becoming increasingly demanding.


When purchasing your appliances, be sure to order items that will make it through the seasons, both rain and shine.  Stainless steel or ceramic appliances are very durable, require little maintenance and work in all weather conditions.


Milestone Tip: Gas powered grills are a popular feature in the outdoor kitchen. If you want a plumbed gas line for your gas grill, you’ll need to hire a licensed professional and most likely file a permit with the city.  


Be sure you consult an expert for this aspect of the project.






Add a touch of ambiance


Your outdoor kitchen will provide a place to cook, eat and entertain family and friends. This area will become the center of your outdoor life and is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoor weather while having the comforts of your indoor space!  


Be sure you incorporate features that really make this space the center of your summer.  Chairs, tables, decorative objects, specialty lighting and custom water features can complete the look while injecting your personal tastes in your decor.


When it comes to furniture, choose sturdy pieces with comfortable outdoor cushions. Select the largest table you can for the space so you have, as you’ll be spending a majority of your time here.  


A water feature, such as a small fountain or pond can also lend a relaxing vibe to your outdoor kitchen.  Some outdoor kitchens are being fitted with television sets, truly making the outdoor kitchen both the place to cook, eat, relax and entertain.


Milestone Tip: If you have a small backyard try not to overdo it with an extravagant full outdoor kitchen. Sometimes less can be more.


An alternative option is to build a BBQ island, which has all of the essentials from a grill to countertops and is a better fit for a smaller space and budget.






The best outdoor kitchens are just as functional as your indoor kitchen, as welcoming as your living room, and as entertaining as your family room.  


An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, table, and chairs, or as elaborate as a fully outfitted kitchen complete with built-in appliances and seating.


Although a homeowner can set up a simple and straightforward outdoor kitchen, designing a grand and impressive outdoor kitchen is best left to a professional like the design pros at Milestone.  


With so many different types of outdoor kitchens, designing the best kitchen for your family takes the time to plan and may require permitting from the city.  


Regardless of whether you hire a pro or not, you can follow the above tips to get started on the right foot.  An amazing outdoor kitchen will provide all the comforts of home in the serenity of your backyard!  Bon’ Appetite!



Backyards have become a true expansion of the home.  When properly landscaped and designed, your backyard will provide additional outdoor living space where you can spend time entertaining family and friends.   


Pergolas are architectural garden hardscapes that became popular during the Italian Renaissance.  They can be a welcome reprieve from the midday summer sun while creating a lovely visual for your space.  


At its heart, the pergola is simple: crafted from sturdy boards and crossbeams, and accented with lattice and sometimes vines. With the right materials and guidance, they are a welcome addition to your garden retreat.






Play to Your Landscape’s Best Features


Where you place your pergola is almost as important as the pergola design itself!  Pergolas and similar hardscapes work great placed directly in the landscape or right next to your home.


When located within the landscape, a pergola is visible from indoors, creating a beautiful scene.  When deciding where to place your pergola, you should play to your landscape’s best features.


Think about where you will be spending most of your time.  What area of the landscape have the greatest views?  Are there any spots that need to be sheltered from the wind?  What time of day do you want to sit under your pergola?   


Which areas of the landscape are most pleasant at that time? How big a structure you want ? Minimum distance of 1-1.5 m is recommended from boundary lines to build a pergola.






Bring Shade to Your Backyard Retreat


One of the most charming benefits of adding a pergola to your backyard design is the shade they offer to your backyard retreat.  When building your pergola, you have the option to place smaller slats on top of the main beams, oriented in the opposite direction.


These shorter slats are placed only two inches apart, offering exceptional shade cover to your outdoor space. Remember that a pergola is not designed to give you shade all day, as the sun will be moving.  


So consider your lifestyle and schedule when planning where to place any outdoor structures to make sure you design the best setting/space for the time of day you’re likely to spend time there.


Curtains can be added to pergola for extra shade and sail shade fabric can bring shade too when combined with wood to create a cosy feeling.






Create Boundaries for Your Outdoor Space


You can easily create boundaries within your backyard by adding a pergola.  This covering can designate space dedicated to eating and entertaining, especially when built in combination with a patio and outdoor kitchen.  


Additionally, pergolas offer a covering for your outdoor furniture or outdoor dining area, amping up the functionality of your space. You can even add climbing plants, including flowering plants, ivy, and vines that will thrive with a pergola offering them support.  


You can even hang beautiful planters from the slats of your pergola to showcase additional plant life.






Spa Covers & Patio Partitions


A pergola is a perfect addition for those looking to enjoy a little shade with the bonus of a nice breeze.  A pergola is a great addition to for your hot tub or plunge pool.  


A meranti wood pergola or aluminum pergola featuring louver panels that open for air or close for more privacy.  If you don’t want to wait for the decorative vines to grow, you can add a thin shade cloth that will cut the UV by up to 65%.  


Not only are these pergolas decorative and functional, but they also create the feeling of a separate area for your backyard spa.  


As a home construction project, a pergola is far less intimidating than a covered patio. Whether your patio is directly outside your door or deep in your backyard, a pergola creates a separate space for entertaining and relaxing in the shade.  


Pergolas and patio covers let you spend time in your landscape even on the most sweltering of summer days. They are also great for defining spaces within the landscape and creating an inviting transition between indoors and out.






Waterproof pergolas


Milestone Builds waterproof pergolas with wood and gypsum combination, wood covered by polycarbonate sheet, aluminum louvered pergola. Concrete structure can be combined with wooden roof  to add character to the backyard.


Choose your theme to decide what kind of pergola will suit you the best.


If you are a homeowner working with Milestone to design a backyard retreat, you have countless options for customizing your space. Homeowners always have the choice to include a pergola in their backyard.  


These beautiful, wooden structures offer countless benefits, including dramatically improving the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.



Your office is more than just a place to work. Your office is a humming hive of engagement and activity!


Whether your organization runs in a traditional office setting or your company operates out of a home office, this space needs to be an inviting place that you and your employees like to be in.  


After all, aside from our homes, this is where we will spend a great deal of our time (and energy).  Here are a few tips to keep your office looking fantastic, inviting, and productive.






Hide the Wires


Between wires, laptops, and other electronic devices wires are everywhere!  Add in docking stations, paperwork, and personal items, and there are many things that can turn a room full of open desks into a very disorganized space.


Even an expensive conference table can look terrible if wires are not well concealed.  Luckily manufacturers are developing solutions that are clean and simple, making it easy and affordable to hide all of those pesky wires.  


When you remove the wires, you are creating a clean workspace.  Less clutter will correlate with increased productivity.






Bring the Outdoors In


This past year we have witnessed a serious shift toward nature in design.


Reclaimed wood panel installations, exposed concrete flooring, indoor plants and incorporating natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork are all becoming more prominent in the home and office.


You can even add plant life in the form of living walls.  Vertical gardens are not only proven to increase well-being and decor with their lively aesthetics, but they also promote fresh air within the office.  


Incorporating nature into your office design scheme recreates the natural, cozy feeling that nature inspires. Ultimately when we are happier we are more productive!






Multipurpose Workspaces


Gone are the days of the stiff and sterile cubicle. Instead, modern offices have shifted towards non-assigned seating. Multipurpose spaces can be utilized for everything from morning announcements and multimedia presentations to casual breakout sessions.  


If you prefer to keep with the traditional desk setting, try adding an oval-shaped table or desk, which allows for a more comfortable place for small groups of employees to meet.






Designated Lounge Areas


This goes back to getting rid of those uninviting cubicles!  Now that everyone enjoys the pleasure and easy access of wireless technology, modern office spaces include a designated seating area to make work more enjoyable.  


Add couches, coffee tables, and benches so that employees can work while enjoying some comforts from home. You can get creative by adding bright, bold colors, accent pillows and throw rugs. It’s all about creating a vibe that promotes creativity and productivity.






Forget the Permanent Layouts


Versatility and flexibility is a growing trend in modern office design. Traditional office spaces, which were planned in advance with permanent layouts, are evolving to the needs of an ever-changing work landscape.


Try incorporating products designed to move the office layout, so they can change with your business. Modular components can be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering innumerable combinations for a dynamic and collaborative workplace.


A space with autonomy and flexibility – that’s a space that can transform a business.


When it comes time to design, decorate, or redecorate your office the ultimate goal is to create a space that people (including yourself) want to go to.  


Your office is more than just a place for your employees to work, it is a direct reflection or your biggest assets – your property and your people.  


If you’re interested in an office fit out, we’d love to discuss your options. Don’t be shy! Contact the Milestone design team today!



The advantages of having your own swimming pool are well known. Not only will a pool provide hours of fun creating a lifetime of memories, but the right pool will increase the value of your property.


Whether it’s in-ground or semi in ground skimmer or overflow , a stunning infinity pool, lap pool or a small plunge pool, a pool offers provides hours of amusement right in your backyard.


Here are a few tips that are sure to create a splash when designing your awe-inspiring swimming pool!






Types of Pools


The type of pool you build will be based on the size of the space and budget you are working with and what you plan on using your pool for.  Will you be swimming laps or are you just looking for a place to take a dip during those hot summer months?


From infinity pools that expand your horizon, to plunge pools that save space and traditional pools alike, as you design your pool be sure to keep in mind the aesthetic and style of your home.  


For those working with minimal space, a smaller plunge pool may be the ideal option. For those with more space, an endless infinity pool will not only enhance the look and feel of your yard but it also increases your property value.


You can even get creative and add a hot tub spa to your pool design! Ultimately, your pool should enhance the existing design of your space while giving you a place to relax and entertain in comforts of your yard.






The Shape


Today, most people avoid the traditional rectangular design for their swimming pools. While functional, they are common and can come across as boring.  When designing your pool, think outside of the box!  


When you select the right shape for your pool, you will enhance the aesthetics of your space.  Consider an oval, circular or even square shaped pool. Depending on the size of your pool area, you can even use a combination of shapes.


When it comes time to plan the shape of your pool ask yourself the following questions:


Who will be using the pool?  Does anyone plan on swimming laps in the pool? Are you planning on entertaining with the pool? How you answer these questions will help you determine the size and shape that best suits your pool needs.






Surround the Pool with Non-slippery Surface


Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or simply looking to provide a space for your family to enjoy during the warmer months, you must be aware of safety issues and recommendations when designing your indoor pool.  


We recommend paying close attention to the flooring that surrounds your pool and to choose something that is practical and comfortable for swimmers.


Slate flooring is not only water-resistant, but it’s also durable and is an ideal option for a room that leads directly to a pool area.  Composite wooden deck is non slippery and not hot to land your feet on.


Another alternative is outdoor ceramic non slip tiles. .  As long as the tiles and floors are not polished smooth, cement tiles provide a great look for your pool that’s functional and safe.  


If you are building an indoor pool, be sure to make the pool close to an exit.  In doing so, you will effortlessly connect your indoor pool to the external area, such as your outdoor kitchen or garden area.  


This can be as simple as adding a French window or a door to complement the pleasure of swimming and relaxing in your pool.






Spruce up the space!


Adding customized lighting fixtures, water fountains, and decorative ceiling art can go a long way in taking your indoor pool to the next level of awe-inspiring. Adding a waterfall with some mood lighting will truly create a space that you won’t want to leave.  


You can even take it one step further by painting a stunning mural on the ceiling. All of these added visuals will not only add value to your home, but they will create an indoor oasis that will get you through those cold and rainy days.


Perhaps the most important element to design your dream swimming pool space is to be brave and experiment! Think about all the fun events you will center around your pool.  


Think about how creative details such waterfalls and fountains will contribute to that joyful experience.  


Will you be adding other entertainment pieces to the area, such as a tennis table or television?  By the time you think of all the elements you want to add to your pool area you’ll be loving your pool long before it’s built!