Family life in New England has long centered around two special gathering places - the sunny patio and the inviting hearth.
A chill is in the air now, and the trees have shed their verdant colors. As we snuggle indoors, thoughts of spring are never far. Picturing a new patio as the perfect start to the warmer seasons? Now is the time to put those daydreams in motion.
There’s one local team that works through the cold months to make the warm ones the best time of your year. The crew at Family Hearth and Patio is in full outdoor mode right now and according to founder Paul Dumaine, winter is actually the perfect time to start planning outdoor areas, whether you’re contemplating a simple new patio, or an entertainment space complete with outdoor fireplace and grill. Family Hearth and Patio helps their clients through the whole process — from design to laying the final brick and potting the final plant. They also handle groundcover, whether it be mulch, crushed rock or anything else you prefer.
“Outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, along with a well-designed outdoor area give people an opportunity to enjoy the seasons longer and stay outside later,” Paul explains. “Whatever you want — anything from a rustic to classic setting — we can do it. And we work with you every step of the way. We work together as a team to make it happen,” he says, adding that customers take pride in selecting materials and guiding their projects from start to finish.
Family Hearth and Patio is an official dealer of Regency fireplace products — the first name in custom-built fireplaces. The company offers only high-quality products and materials, and is very strict about the professionals it chooses to represent them at the retail level.
And Family Hearth and Patio is unique in the region as it offers clients the peace of mind that comes from one-stop shopping; dealing with one collaborator who attends to every detail, including gas and electricity installation, pavers and walkways, decorative appliances, plantings and other touches.
As soon as weather allows construction to begin, the project is is motion.
Things have come a long way since the days of wire lawn furniture. As outdoor spaces have grown in popularity in recent years, so have the accessories that allow families to extend their seasonal times together.
Family Hearth and Patio carries a full array of outdoor accents, including lighting, heating, sound and related appliances. From fire pit tables to patio heaters to Tempest Torches and other gas lamps, these special touches make weekday dinners special, and weekend events, outstanding.
“We can really help you create the perfect outdoor space right from the ground up,” Paul says. “We handle everything from laying tile to landscaping.”
And when he says they do it all, he means it. Today’s outdoor spaces can now be designed to accommodate refrigerators, storage and disposal areas and generous countertop work spaces.
Today your outdoor experience can include a stereo sound system and all the amenities to make your guests comfortable from cocktails and dinner to conversation in a relaxing setting.
But it’s talking about design that really makes Paul's face light up. There’s nothing he loves better than facing a blank space and creating a work of art. Family Hearth and Patio uses personalized and detailed computer renderings that really show how a design will look at your home. And the New London showroom itself is an excellent place to start and a great place to gather inspiration for design ideas. The fireplace showroom is a sight to be seen, with warm hearths greeting the visitor all around. The company also is transforming a section of their large building into a patio showroom with several style samples, complete with fire tables, furniture and fabric selection.
“The community response has been excellent,” says Paul.
The Family Hearth and Patio showroom is located at 571 Broad St. in New London, just off Interstate 95 at Exit 82. Services include full installation by certified installers, fireplace cleaning, maintenance and repair. Showroom hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit their website at familyhearthandpatio.com.