Thursday, July 11 2019
If you own and run a restaurant, bar, brewery, winery, etc., you know that this business isn’t for the faint of heart. This industry requires hard work and lots of planning, and if you’re just getting started, the idea of attracting customers to your establishment and creating a loyal customer base can be daunting. The food, drink, and service you provide are all important factors to attracting the right customer, however the atmosphere in your space will also determine your success.
The latest trend in the dining industry is an open-air atmosphere. Customers want the option to bring their dog along and sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while socializing with friends. The al fresco dining experience creates a relaxed, fun environment where customers can enjoy the views and spend time outdoors. These days, a restaurant or bar isn’t relevant without that indoor-outdoor experience that restaurant goers yearn for.
Pictured above: Robert Young Estate Winery – Geyserville, CA
Use Folding Doors to Connect Inside Space to Outdoor Patio Area
If you’re prepared to remodel or upgrade one or all of your locations, you can invest in custom bi-fold doors to create a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces. Accordion doors can eliminate walls, and leave a wide-open space, turning your restaurant, bar, or winery into an indoor-outdoor venue. Doors fold neatly out of the way to one or both sides, and leave plenty of room for tables, chairs, and mingling while creating unobstructed views of the boardwalk, cityscape, or surrounding nature. With an ADA sill and 10” bottom rail, folding doors will meet ADA requirements.
To learn more about folding door features and customization, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Pictured above: Waterbar – Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Use Folding Windows to Create Al Fresco Bar-Style Seating
If your establishment is on the second floor, or lacks a patio area to open up to, you can use folding windows to create an al fresco space. Bi-fold windows will let plenty of light into your restaurant and can create that open-air vibe that guests look for when choosing a spot for food and drink. Organize seating along the accordion windows to give customers the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience, with fresh air and expansive views. Depending on your setup, you may also consider using bi-fold windows to provide a second access point to the bar via a passthrough window from indoor bar to outdoor patio.
To learn more about using folding windows to upgrade your place of business, visit our Bi-Fold Window Product Page.
Pictured below: Wonderland Ocean Pub – Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA
Final Tips for a Great Restaurant/Bar/Brewery/Winery Atmosphere
Thursday, July 04 2019
If you haven’t yet gotten around to that bathroom or kitchen remodel, there’s still plenty of time to tackle it this summer. The hardest part about a remodel is getting started, especially if this is your first remodel experience—for first time remodelers, starting your project can be daunting because you’re unsure where to begin. Below are five tips for getting a jump on your home renovation project before summer is over.
You can use Houzz, Pinterest, or HGTV to find inspiration for your remodel project. It’s easy to search for home design projects on Houzz and Pinterest, and to create Houzz Ideabooks or Pinterest Boards with the ideas you love and want to replicate in your home. If you’ll be replacing any doors or windows in your home, look to AG Millworks Luxury Patio Door Systems for inspiring photos of accordion doors and windows that create an indoor-outdoor kitchen or living space.
Hire a Contractor
The best thing you can do for yourself is hire a contractor/builder to manage and execute your renovation. This will help reduce the stress of a DIY remodel, and let you oversee the project from afar. A contractor will help you solve any design dilemmas, know what upgrades require permits, and can help you create the home of your dreams. Find a contractor in your area is easy—ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations or search for local contractors on Houzz. Be sure to check reviews, past projects, and the Contractors State License Board to confirm their license and bond are in good standing, to ensure you’re getting the best professional for your job.
Consult a Sash and Door Expert
If door and window replacement is part of the project, ask your contractor to recommend a trusted door and window dealer that you can visit to look at displays, test products, and learn more about the features and benefits of the doors and windows you are interested in. Visit the dealer with your contractor so he or she can help guide you through the process and let you know what design limitations exist in your space. To visit an AG Millworks Certified Dealer, please contact customer service at 806-644-4494 to find a dealer near you or click here.
Pick Out Materials
When you have a design plan, and you’re working with a sash and door expert, it’s time to select the materials for your project. Visit local building material specialty shops, or head to your nearest Home Depot to choose your favorite combination of flooring, backsplash, countertops, and cabinetry for your project. If you’d prefer to hire a design professional to guide the project, you can show them your inspiration boards and they can create something that will fit your tastes.
Take a Vacation
Once your project is in full swing, consider taking a break from the renovation zone and heading on a relaxing vacation—it is summer after all. Home remodels can be messy and stressful, especially if you’re tackling a kitchen renovation that will leave you without a proper kitchen for weeks. You can escape the construction chaos for a week or two and travel to a new place you’ve been wanting to explore. When it’s time to finally head home, you’ll (hopefully) return to a completely transformed space. And if you chose to expand your home and connect it to the outdoors with an AG Millworks Folding Patio Door, when you return home it will feel like you’re still on vacation!
Tuesday, July 02 2019
Will you be heading to the coast and staying in a beach house this summer? Week or month-long oceanfront getaways are a great way to escape the heat, relax, recharge, and enjoy quality time with friends and family. Packing for your beach house vacation can be stressful, and it’s easy to forget important things you’ll need on this holiday. See below for the ultimate beach house vacay checklist!
Packing clothes is always the easiest part because you know you need the basics to get by. Pack the following for each family member so you are prepared for your waterfront vacation:
If your accommodations have a washer and dryer, try not to overpack but instead pack enough to last a week and then do some laundry when necessary.
Focusing on your toiletries now means not worrying about it later when its 11pm and you realize you forgot to pack a toothbrush.
Your beach house may already be fully equipped with all the toys and games you need, but if it’s not, here is a short list that will keep you and the family fully entertained throughout the vacation:
It’s easiest to wait until you arrive at your destination to stock up on groceries, but when you do, choose ingredients for easy, healthy meals. You can find 30-minute dinner recipes on the Woman’s Day Website, Delish.com, and the Food Network.
Once you’re all settled into your cozy beach house, open your Bi-Fold, Multi-Slide, or French Swing Door Systems and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze and salty air! Learn how to bring that beach house lifestyle home with you using Bi-Fold, Multi-Slide, or French Swing Patio Doors.
Thursday, June 27 2019
Can you believe next week is already July? Summer is in full swing and hopefully the June Gloom is over, and the sun is here to stay! If you’re skipping the annual Fourth of July lake or beach camping trip this year and celebrating at home, we know how to throw the ultimate Independence Day party! Use this check list to plan a patriotic pool party that your family and friends will enjoy.
Open Your Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Doors and Expand Your Party Space
Prepare your indoor-outdoor space for the celebration by cleaning, organizing, and decluttering. Make sure everything is in its’ place, stow away fragile objects, and rearrange furniture that might be obstacles for guests. Leave your accordion or multi-slide door systems open so everyone can easily mingle inside and out.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Kitchen and Prepare for Barbecuing
Make sure your outdoor kitchen and barbecue area is clean and ready for the party. Check the propane tank, plug in the fridge, and gather the barbecue tools. Don’t forget to clean the grill beforehand—we like these bristle free grill brushes because they eliminate the risk of metal bristles ending up in your food.
Plan a Delicious Snack and Lunch Spread
The best part about any party is enjoying tasty food alongside great company. You should design a food and snack menu so you can head to the grocery store with a complete list of ingredients in hand. Knowing what you need before your trip to the market will save you tons of time and eliminate the need for last-minute trips back to the store. For recipes of Fourth of July favorites, unique twists on the classics, and patriotic dish inspiration, visit Delish’s Fourth of July Recipe Page—we can’t wait to make these red, white, and blue cheesecake strawberries!
Tuesday, June 25 2019
Summer is here, and if you’re in a southern California coastal town, you’re probably counting down the days until the June Gloom is over so you can enjoy some sunny beach days. If you’re making last-minute travel plans for the summer, consider sticking around the Golden State and exploring some new spots. Whether you’re a California native, or visiting from out-of-state, these four towns are hidden gems that you won’t want to miss.
1 | A mountain getaway in Julian, California
Julian is a quaint mountain town located just an hour East of San Diego. Historically, Julian is known as a gold mining town, however more recently it has become famous for its apples and apple pies. Though you’ll need to make a return trip in the fall for apple season, a weekend trip to Julian this summer is a perfect getaway for eating, visiting charming shops, exploring hiking trails, and stargazing. Stay in a cozy bed and breakfast, or check AirBnB for a rental cottage. You might consider planning your visit for the weekend of July 27th, so you can attend “A Sip of Julian.” At this event you can hop around the 10 tasting rooms in Julian and taste samples of their wine, beer, and hard cider, along with small bites. This event requires a ticket, so make sure you plan in advance!
2 | A quiet retreat in Ojai, California
Ojai is a small, peaceful town located just 90 minutes North of Los Angeles. Known for its art galleries, pixie tangerines, and pink moments, Ojai has gained some fame in recent years. Though one weekend isn’t enough time to explore all that Ojai has to offer, you are sure to have a relaxing and tranquil visit. Choose from quaint B&Bs, an Airstream resort, or a luxury resort and spa to book your accommodations. Visit the various wine tasting rooms, explore miles of hiking trails, or wander through Ojai’s unique art galleries. With many spa and health studio options, you can schedule a much-needed massage, or drop in on a yoga class. Be sure you’re around at sunset and look East towards the Topa Topa mountains to catch the famous “Pink Moment,” when the entire valley seems to blush.
3 | Eat your way through a Danish village in Solvang, California
Solvang is a charming Danish village located about an hour away from Santa Barbara and is known for its Danish bakeries and wine tasting. Full of boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, and tasting rooms, Solvang is the ultimate in themed weekend getaway destinations. Enjoy the slow pace of this village as you make your away around town indulging in wine, beer, and bites. Head just 10 minutes up the road to Ostrichland for a one-of-a-kind experience feeding ostriches and emus!
4 | A coastal escape in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel is a small beach town on California’s Monterey Peninsula. Visit Carmel to experience the gorgeous views, surrounding nature, and delightful boutiques. Explore the shops and cafes on Ocean Avenue, wander the courtyards, and visit the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. Head down to Carmel Beach, relax in the sun, and take a walk on down the coast—this is the spot to be, come sunset!
Thursday, June 20 2019
If you live near a busy road with lots of traffic, you might be experiencing a lot of street related noise in your outdoor space and inside your home. These sounds can be loud and distracting, especially if you’re trying to take a nap, focus on a work project, or host guests for an outdoor dinner on the patio when the sound of engines and horns keep interrupting the conversation. There are ways to help reduce street noise and make your outdoor space feel a bit more private and serene.
Invest in dual pane windows and doors
Investing in dual pane windows and doors will help to filter the sound of passing cars and provide you with a quieter indoor space. In addition to noise reduction, dual pane windows better insulate your home and will keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you plan on replacing windows and doors, now is a good time to consider creating a large indoor-outdoor living space with a folding door system.
Hang window treatments
Curtains, blinds, and shutters can also help to reduce loud noises and create a more peaceful living environment. Even with dual pane windows installed, sounds can still travel into your home, so adding another protective layer over the windows to filter the noise is a good tactic. Moondream offers soundproof curtains in a variety of colors and backed by hundreds of great reviews.
Install solid fencing
When installing a fence around your property, it is important to consider a style that will provide a solid barrier between your space and the road. Instead of a chain link fence that has many openings, opt for a solid wood fence or stone wall that can look beautiful and help block some of the noise.
Plant lush greenery
Trees and shrubs significantly reduce noise from traveling into your backyard and home. Some of the best privacy trees are: Giant Green Thujas, Leyland Cypress, and Spartan Junipers. The more barriers between the street and your home, the quieter it will be.
Create water features
Creating a running water feature in your backyard and front yard can help cover up the city noises. You can run your waterfall or fountain to create a tranquil space and eliminate those bothersome sounds. You can check out Home Depot, or your local hardware store to find plenty of fountain designs. You may also consider hiring a landscaping and water feature professional to design a custom water feature for your outdoor space.
Hang bird feeders
If you hang feeders full of seed outside, chances are you’ll have plenty of birds visiting your home. If birds are visiting regularly or nesting in nearby trees, their song calls will help to cover up the sounds of traffic and create a more relaxing indoor and outdoor space. You can find beautiful bird feeders on Wayfair.com