Welcome, Spring

Planning for outdoor updates this season

By Mariah Kline

Photos courtesy of Steepleton

With the arrival of spring comes the burden of yard work and home improvement projects but also the joy of soaking up the sun and revamping our outdoor spaces. To learn about this year’s backyard trends and what’s available, we paid a visit to Steepleton in St. Matthews, one of the area’s largest carriers of outdoor furniture and entertainment.

Steepleton Vice President Gunnar Graven runs the day-to-day operations of the family business along with his sister Allison. In recent weeks, the Gravens set up their massive showroom to display the latest offerings in outdoor leisure for homeowners making updates for the months ahead.

Steepleton Vice President Gunnar Graven. Photo by Kathryn Harrington.

“Derby is the biggest deadline in the city of Louisville,” he affirmed. “February is also when we get a lot of customers who started that construction project in the fall that’s now getting completed.”

Materials matter a great deal when it comes to pieces that remain outside year-round. The brands carried by Steepleton make furniture with high-density plastic, wrought iron, woven wicker and other sturdy substances. “A lot of our indoor products are starting to be made for outdoors,” he said. “Ping pong tables are now being made out of aluminum with a melamine surface so they will hold up, last long and can withstand the elements.”

Another standout item carried by Steepleton is the Big Green Egg, a ceramic cooker that utilizes lump charcoal. “It’s a healthy burning fuel, which gives a good flavor and taste to the meat or vegetables you put on there,” Graven explained. “You can do anything on the grill from 200 degrees – smoking temperature – all the way up to above 1,000 – which would sear a steak. It’s not just a grill, it’s an oven and a sear station.”

For the younger members of a household, Steepleton carries elaborate outdoor playsets, trampolines, basketball goals and other entertaining options. Whether a homeowner is using a contractor or drawing up plans on their own, correctly sizing and laying out a space to fit these items is crucial. Thankfully, manufacturers offer merchandise in many different sizes to fit small or large areas. The Steepleton staff also offers on-site inspections to help customers ensure they purchase the correctly sized product for the space allowed.

For lounging, the store carries a vast selection of patio furniture to help homeowners create their ideal “outdoor room,” a current trend in construction and remodeling. These spaces often receive the same amount of design attention as a room inside the home would, so having several options is crucial.

“We really enjoy the special order process,” Graven said. “Our patio furniture manufacturers offer hundreds of Sunbrella fabric choices and many different frame finishes. This allows customers the same design choices that they would have if they were buying interior furniture.” V

Steepleton is located at 282 N. Hubbards Lane. For more information, visit steepleton.com or call 502.897.7665.