Kitchens and bathrooms are established markers of luxury — without updated, high-end versions of these important rooms, a home is likely to quickly decrease in value regardless of how elegant its other elements may be. However, the most luxurious homes need more than just above-average indoor spaces to be considered grandiose.
An entertaining, opulent addition to a large backyard, outdoor kitchens have become popular staples among luxury homeowners. From small-scale pizza ovens accompanied by an understated seating area to a fully furnished kitchen tailored to outdoor cooking, having access to a means of preparing food in an outdoor space is crucial to high-end homebuyers, especially in warm
Arcadia White Pane. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.
Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography.
Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.
Russ Faulk, Chief Designer and Head of Product at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, says that one of the biggest outdoor culinary trends is cooking on a live fire.
“Live-fire cooking isn’t new; in fact, it is the oldest form of cooking,” Faulk says. “But more recently, people are re-embracing wood-fired cooking and its primal nature. It started with the chef community. Restaurant menus described dishes as wood-fired or wood-grilled steaks, seafood, vegetables, and even dessert. It was all about capturing the char, smoke and unique flavor that comes when you grill using wood. Now people can capture that same experience right in their backyards.”
Outdoor kitchen design used to capitalize on the novelty of the out-in-the-elements nature of the space, but lately, Faulk has seen homeowners transition their outdoor kitchens to mirror their indoor ones.
Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography.
“We’re seeing indoor kitchen trends move into the outdoor kitchen. That includes more transitional designs, more cabinetry drawers versus doors, and more color,” he says.
These spaces can serve as a poolside dining area made for entertaining, or more simply as a peaceful place to cook on a summer night. The versatility and unconventionality of an outdoor kitchen makes a statement even among the most luxurious of homes.
For years, the coastal town of Port Aransas, affectionately called “Port A” by its residents, has seen visitors from other areas of Texas and from all throughout the U.S. In fact, the amount of visitors so far in 2019 has exceeded last year’s numbers by 40 percent.
This influx of new visitors is only expected to rise with the new festivals Port A is involved in over the summer. The location has long been described as an ideal fishing destination, and the 84th Annual Deep Sea Roundup is a reflection of just that. As the oldest fishing competition on the Gulf Coast, the Deep Sea Roundup, taking place from July 11 to July 14, brings people from all over to enjoy fishing in this relaxed atmosphere. Also attracting fishers from across the nation is the Texas Legends Billfish Tournament, taking place from August 7 to August 11.
The Beachtoberfest is a seven week-long festival involving a 5K run, a music fest, fishing tournaments, chef competitions, craft beer tastings, an art walk and other events as well. Also located at Port Aransas, the festival is taking place from September 13 to October 27.
Port A’s underrated food scene will also be showcasing itself during the Texas Super Chef Throwdown Series, occurring from September 18 to October 21. Consisting of 30 chefs from all around the state, the event qualifies the winning chefs to the World Food Championships in Dallas, Texas, consisting of 450 chefs competing from around the world.
All these events, taking place in Port Aransas, are a reflection of the culture and lifestyle in this coastal town — one where breathtaking luxury meets a casual atmosphere and invites all families to join in on the festivities.
Photos courtesy of Cinnamon Shore
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Susan Macarz is a unique real estate professional in Toronto’s prestigious and upscale neighborhoods. From a young age, Susan honed her love of fine homes in a real estate family. Her dad — a successful real estate developer and builder of communities in and around the Greater Toronto Area — nurtured Susan’s flair for home decor and passion for fine home design.
With an enthusiasm for sales, Susan was soon redesigning model suites, giving a great perspective of how meticulous design works as a sales tool. As she concentrated on interior design and marketing, Susan worked closely with her father, absorbing real estate knowledge, sales strategies, and negotiating tactics. In the early 90s, Susan went for more, focusing her career on real estate sales and marketing. Not settling for the ordinary, she achieved her real estate broker license designation and has gone on to win Re/max awards of distinction: In 2005, she won the award for Top 3 Individual Transactions in a population over 150,000, as well as memberships in the 100% Club, Re/max Platinum Club, and Re/max Hall of Fame; and in 2015, Susan was presented with The Lifetime Achievement Award.
Susan has always looked for more innovative ways to lead, but it is her art of negotiating that has truly set Susan apart over the years. She has a knack for looking at a deal from all sides and finding inventive solutions to get it done.
Susan is a smart marketer and sharp negotiator!