Monday, September 17, 2018

The Why & How of Outdoor Office Workspace Additions

Bleak surroundings. Hours under energy-sapping artificial lighting. Constant interruptions from bored/drained coworkers trying to stay conscious. It’s no surprise that 76% of workers polled in a recent survey noted they were more productive when working outside the traditional office environment. Is your company thinking outside the box? Checking off your office to-do list in a nice, sun-dappled, Wi-Fi enabled outdoor workspace makes for a productivity oasis. Here’s how you can pull it off.

Interior Courtyards
If you’re building your own office space, including an interior courtyard in your building design offers an ideal outdoor workspace solution. Highly coveted for the natural light they add to a building, interior courtyards are a great alternative to artificial lighting, which has been proven to negatively impact cortisol (stress) hormone levels. In addition to increasing worker exposure to natural light, a known stress reducer and mood booster, interior courtyard setups also provide a natural source of ventilation and circulation, reducing your carbon footprint and making it easier to heat and cool your office space. Centrally located, interior courtyards are prime real estate to congregate. Unique to other outdoor setups, they provide the outdoor experience, while still remaining contained – ideal for ensuring office security. And there are tons of ways to customize: Go lush with lots of greenery, low-care with containers, or reduce irrigation and maintenance duties with the right pairing of rocks, pebbles, and succulents.

Decks & Balconies
Decks make for an ideal meeting space – a setting that promotes relaxation and positive energy. However, shelter is key to keeping employees from getting burned when the expected meeting excess leads to sun excess. Easily added to offices with prime deck real estate and outdoor air rights, Arcadia adjustable pergolas make for the perfect fit. Lightweight and aluminum, they can be installed in nearly any location, providing flexible shelter for any season of the year with 170-degree and pivoting flexibility. Dial-in just the right amount of sun, shade, or shelter on demand, keeping rain from ruining your monthly review.  

Rooftop Gardens

If green office space is in short supply – raise your expectations – to the rooftop! Adding a rooftop garden can really payoff and is a great way to capitalize and improve existing real estate. Like deck and balcony additions, shelter is likewise a necessity in rooftop environs. More than a productivity-boosting outdoor oasis for staff, rooftop gardens offer a host of benefits beyond boosting worker morale, helping control heating and cooling costs and control water runoff, and bringing an amazing return-on-investment via energy savings, rebates and incentives. How hard is it to pull off a rooftop garden? From easy containers and raised bed additions, to more intensive and ecologically-diverse green roofs, there are options to add green to your rooftop space at a variety of levels. Learn how.

Living Walls
Let’s face it, some office spaces, such as those halfway up a high-rise, don’t have the luxury of outdoor or rooftop real estate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring some of the outdoors in. Living walls  are an easy way to improve the office ambiance and provide a faux outdoor setting, especially when combined with LED lighting options in daylight/sunlight hues. Made of polystyrene and other materials, living walls are typically mounted on the interior or exterior walls of buildings, providing a wall or frame you can plug plants into to create a lush, green space nearly anywhere. Hiring a knowledgeable installer ensures plant compatibility and low-maintenance care.  

Does your office pack an outdoor productivity punch? Capitalize on your office space and boost your bottom line with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Stress Busters: 10 Ways to Add Some Chill to Your Backyard

Stressed out and yearning for a space where you can finally put your feet up and relax? Give stress the boot, grabbing a cold, frosty beverage and dipping your toes into one of these 10 outdoor chill zones for your deck, patio, or yard…

  1. Have a Glass on Your Private Bistro.
    Grab a glass of wine or enjoy a quiet dinner al fresco, rain or shine, adjusting to changing weather on-demand with the quick, remote control or iLouver app adjustment of your Arcadia adjustable aluminum pergola.
  2. Take a Nap.
    Create an outdoor living space surrounding a cushy outdoor daybed or sofa, adding curtains or motorized screens to your adjustable aluminum pergola to block the glare of the sun and add a touch of privacy.
  3. Hang Out.
    Kick back and relax in a classic hammock, taking a winter nap with the louvers open to bask in the warmth of the sun, or closing them for shade on a warm summer’s day.
  4. Sway Your Worries Away.
    Indulge your inner child, swinging your worries away on a hanging chair with a stand beneath the shelter of your pergola.
  5. Indulge in a Good Book.
    Curl up in your private reading nook, tucked away in the corner of your private patio or garden space.
  6. Take on a Tropical Getaway.
    Hideaway in the tropics without ever leaving your backyard, creating a resort-like oasis with large, lush tropical foliage carefully selected for your climate. Pair with a relaxing water feature to drown out city noises, kicking back on a hammock, chaise, or swing.
  7. Elevate Yourself.
    Even city dwellers need an escape. Turn your balcony or rooftop space into a terrific retreat, incorporating lush, green living walls and container planters for privacy and noise control, around a cute café table set or blanket-covered outdoor futon for lounging.
  8. Escape to Your Secret Garden.
    Create a secret space just for you, tucked away in a private corner of your yard. Surround with native grasses and lush, flowering bushes for privacy, adding motorized curtains or screens for the times when you simply must fly solo.
  9. Let the Bubbles Take You Away.
    Take in the warmth of the sun or indulge in the cool summer breeze, sipping your favorite beverage in your outdoor bath.
  10. Lounge Poolside.
    Put the lime in the coconut and lounge poolside, opening louvers wide to indulge in the sun, or closing louvers to relax in the shade beneath the fan of your remote control
    Arcadia aluminum pergola. 

Need to get away? Look no farther than your backyard. Create a space that’s a true escape with the help of Denver Pergola Systems today.

This post was originally published at

Monday, August 27, 2018

8 Tips for Planning a Relaxing, Functional Outdoor Living Space

Achieve a Relaxing, Functional Outdoor Living Space with these 8 Pergola Tips

Creating a useful, enjoyable outdoor living space should not revolve around a bargain store impulse buy. A comfortable, sought-after space requires careful planning around your outdoor living needs. How can you ensure an outstanding outdoor design?    

The Formula for a Winning Outdoor Living Space Design:

  1. Determine the Purpose & Size of Your Outdoor Living Area
    What are you and your family looking for in an outdoor living space? A private, relaxing retreat? Added kitchen and dining space? A place to work while the family plays? The necessary features of your outdoor space will largely depend on these decisions, with size restricted by your property’s unique footprint, zoning, and HOA limitations.
  2. Ponder Placement
    When considering placement, don’t overlook the influence of natural elements that can add to ambiance, as well as those that could detract, such as prevailing winds and sun orientation. Instead of the typical locale (just out the back door), consider alternatives such as breaking up your outdoor space into several small patio ‘rooms,’ connected together with landscaping or hardscaping, adding a pavilion as an outdoor focal point, or locating your space in an off-the-beaten-path, secluded area of your yard for quiet and privacy.
  3. Consider Convenience
    The placement of your outdoor room should allow for easy movement into/out of the house. Safe, convenient access to power and water are key. Good zoning of your space, properly installing/locating amenities, spacing and separating various activities and furnishings allow for safe traffic flow and ease-of-use.
  4. Set the Scene
    Adding greenery with a living wall, large planters, water and fire features, or taking advantage of surrounding natural views.
  5. Ensure Comfort
    Create intimacy, define your space, and provide integral sun and rain shelter with an adjustable Arcadia aluminum pergola. Unlike fixed patio shade structures, the Arcadia lets you take advantage of all each season has to offer, sealing out the rain, basking in the sun, or dialing in the perfect amount of shade via remote control or iLouver app-driven technology.
  6. Complement Your Home’s Décor
    When selecting your pergola design, choose a scheme that harmonizes with the architecture of your home and your signature style. The Arcadia comes in a wide variety of custom colors and trim variations to accommodate this, including faux-wood wrap, architectural columns, and custom trim, including corbel ends to meet your unique design needs.
  7. Plan for Privacy
    Ensure privacy from neighbors and noise reduction with motorized privacy curtains, or strategically placed fencing, decorative stone screening wall and/or tall landscaping plants. Consider the addition of screens, which alongside privacy, can also offer protection from pests.
  8. Ask for Help When You Need It
    Unsure of how to accomplish your dream outdoor living space design? The pros at Denver Pergola Systems have the experience you need to help you bring even the most imaginative outdoor living ideas to life.

Turn your outdoor living dream into a reality, ensuring an investment that will last for years to come. Contact Denver Pergola Systems today.

This post was originally published at

Monday, August 20, 2018

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.

Monday, August 13, 2018

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.

Monday, August 6, 2018

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...

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.

Best 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

Monday, July 23, 2018

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:
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.

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.
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 13x10 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.
Calculate a sundeck space featuring a 2x6-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.
Like kitchens, there’s a nearly
endless number of bar variations, from portable models to all-out Irish pub fare for the extended family.
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