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Andy Wallgren at Fisher Wavy wants you to start preparing for outdoor living

Fisher Wavy offer tips on setting up the perfect space for outdoor “chef-ing”

Ten years ago, the prospect of designing your backyard with as much attention to detail as the home’s interior would have come as a surprise to most people.

But Andy Wallgren, product specialist at Sudbury’s Fisher Wavy, said the upward trend is to make outdoor living spaces – complete with kitchens, fire pits, and seating areas – just a few inviting steps from the back door.

It could be a result of the pandemic, with a renewed focus on small, simple pleasures, but Wallgren said the demand for outdoor kitchen appliances and fire pits has skyrocketed in past years.

And he’s telling homeowners it’s not too early to begin planning for next summer.

“The first thing we're going to figure out is who you are, and what you want for your outdoor space,” Wallgren said.

“Are you ‘chef-y?’ Do you want to go outside and cook a spectacular meal for 20 of your closest friends and family?”

“Or do you just want some space where you can go and light a fire and sit and enjoy an evening with a hot dog on a stick?”

How you plan on using the area will go a long way into deciding the layout, and what products you need, Wallgren said.

That’s where Wallgren, and Fisher Wavy, come in,

For the last 87 years, Fisher Wavy has been known across northern Ontario for helping decorators create the perfect outdoor living space with paving stones, curbs and steps, enviro pavers and brick masonry.

Their teams can help construct an outdoor brick pizza oven, or lay the groundwork for an inviting lockstone patio. They’ve now branched out into supplying complimentary products for these environments.

For the epicure, or the “chef-y” type, Wallgren suggests a clean layout that focuses on seating around the cooking surface.

“Keep your people close enough so that when you're chef-ing they're not on the other side of the yard away,” Wallgren said “That's not enjoyable. You become their cook, not their friend that likes to cook.”

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the experience – surrounding yourself with good friends on the patio for a dinner party on a warm summer evening, water fountain trickling in the background – is really the centrepiece of outdoor living.

Walgren says he sits somewhere between cheffy – he’s built an “outstanding” outdoor kitchen at his Manitoulin Island property – and just a guy who likes to cook s'mores over his fire pit.

So he recognizes the different needs for different lifestyle.

As for the larger, outdoor kitchens that are popping up across Sudbury, he’s already helped several customers source out steel quality-made pizza ovens by Kings Union. They take a while to warm up, but once heated, these ovens can bake a pizza in minutes.

But if your preferred setting is a little more camp-oriented, Wallgren suggests investing in one of many available fire pits from some local manufacturers like A-10 and Stainless Steel Technologies.

To that end, he’s put together a few different types of fire pits to display in the Fisher Wavy showroom, including a hanging fire bowl from Harth.

Those particular fire bowls are supported by three metal rods or stakes, and the 350-lbs bowl hangs from chains supported through the middle.

Again, Wallgren said, it’s all about the atmosphere.

“The technology with the Harth isn’t obvious when you look at it, but when you build a big fire in the fire bowl, but because of the cone-shape to the structure, it actually creates a bit of draught, which actually holds your smoke closer and lifts.”

“The smoke isn’t going wide right off the bowl and going into people's eyes and everything,” Wallgren said. “So in theory, you can sit a little closer to your fire, and your friends.”

But what if your outdoor living space is a little more crowded? Or if your neighbours may be upset by the smoke from a crackling fire?

The solution for “modern suburban outdoor living”, Wallgren said, is to invest in a smokeless fire pit.

Made from stainless steel and constructed in Canada, the Coulee Go is a perfect option for backyards, and especially for weekend campers destined for one of Ontario’s provincial parks.

“You take a smokeless pit along with you, because you don't always want to use the pile of rocks that they give you,” he said. “Or even people that just go camping in the bush. It doesn't weigh a lot and it comes in a case so just pick it up and carry it with you.”

“It's perfect because you don't have that fear of your fire getting out of control and burning into the ground.”

Whatever your choice of fire pit, and whichever type of outdoor living style you prefer, Wallgren said it’s a good time to start shopping.

“In the last few years, if we’ve learned nothing else, it's that all products aren't available at all times,” he said.

“We've been very lucky with the stainless steel units, they’ve been very available. But the actual stones and the colours and everything…the last couple of years have been really tough.”

“So now is the time to start thinking about it, if you're going to do it.”

Learn more about how Fisher Wavy could transform your yard by visiting them online here.