One all-important aspect of home design is storage. We all need extra space to put tools, toys, supplies, and more in the backyard. And while it’s simple enough to just toss everything into buckets or set up cheap shelves, why not make your storage look like a natural part of the backyard? It’s easy and fun to find ways to incorporate your storage into your overall design.
Creative Outdoor Storage
Why not get creative with your backyard storage? Find ways to integrate your storage naturally into your design scheme or make it subtler. Whatever you choose, the possibilities are nearly endless! Try one of these popular storage ideas:
- Firewood cubbies
- Hidden storage spaces
- Pool houses
- Outdoor bars
- Outdoor kitchen cabinets
1) Firewood Cubbies
A new wood-burning fireplace or firepit requires a decent amount of fuel for party nights. But who wants to constantly run to the store for more firewood or stack the logs in a precarious woodpile? Try a specialized cubby instead! You’ll keep the firewood out of the way until you need it. Plus, the cubbies are big enough to hold several nights’ worth of firewood! Just keep them full.
2) Hidden Storage Spaces
Certain pieces of outdoor patio furniture double as surprise storage spaces. For instance, a footstool might open to reveal a hollow space perfect for storing extra blankets. Some might even have a cooler hidden inside! And that’s far from the only option for outdoor storage. A chest could serve as a patio coffee table, for instance. Experiment with different furniture to find one with the storage features you prefer!
3) Pool Houses
Of course, a pool house is a perfect place to store all your pool supplies. Keep your swimsuits, floaties, pool toys, towels, and more in a nicely decorated storage space right next to your pool! Better yet, this gives you and your guests a private place to change for your pool party.
Pro Tip: Don’t settle for a simple storage shed. Use a pool house to hold all your pool supplies and give you a much more visually appealing storage solution!
4) Outdoor Bars
What outdoor dining room is complete without a bar? Besides the obvious benefit of being a great place to serve some wine, adding a bar to your backyard also gives you some unique storage space opportunities. Adding a small wine fridge lets you keep your beverages cold without taking up space in your primary outdoor kitchen fridge. And why store your glasses out of sight in cabinets when you can add a specialized shelf that’s equal parts practical and beautiful? Make your own bar as fancy as the one in your favorite restaurant!
5) Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets
Finally, this basic staple of kitchen design is equally crucial in both indoor and outdoor kitchens. Weatherproof cabinets will keep your cooking supplies and ingredients right at hand while keeping them safe from the elements. Save yourself the trouble of constantly running back and forth to bring out supplies from the house. Keep everything you need in your outdoor kitchen!
Get Clever with Your Storage Solutions!
Finding unique storage ideas for your backyard not only helps you organize all your outdoor necessities, but also gives you more potential designs for your backyard renovation. Make your storage system as elaborate or as simple as you prefer. And most importantly, make it fully suited to your preferences for the ultimate custom backyard!
Join the conversation to see how other homeowners incorporated storage into their new backyard designs.
Indoor home renovations add significant value to your home on their own. But why stop there? After all, a visitor’s first impression of your home won’t be what it looks like on the inside, but how appealing the front yard or backyard is. Investing a little extra time and money on backyard renovation could give your home significant resale value when it’s time to move.
Outdoor Remodeling Inspiration
Maybe your backyard has the best-looking grass in the neighborhood, but there’s nowhere to sit down. Likewise, even the fanciest outdoor kitchen doesn’t look appealing next to a brown, dying lawn. What kind of work does your yard need? Try one of these proven remodeling ideas:
- Patio space
- Hangout space
- Fire pits
- Eye-catching landscaping
1) Patio Space
Prospective buyers have a list of features they want in their new house. While everyone wants something slightly different, many people would agree that they’d love for their new house to have a patio. A brand new patio will certainly catch the attention of many potential buyers! And in the meantime, you get a great place to spend time outdoors or host parties in your backyard.
Is there a particularly scenic area behind your home that you’d love to look at? Maybe a see-through fence is best. On the other hand, a tall privacy fence ensures no one can peek at you while you’re in your backyard. Whichever style you choose, installing a fence of some type is an excellent way to secure your home and increase its appeal at the same time.
3) Hangout Space
Plenty of people love spending time in their backyard. Why not set up a permanent hangout space to enjoy the great outdoors? An outdoor kitchen, dining area, or even covered entertainment space gives you the chance to relax outside with family or friends. And better yet, this feature will definitely boost your home’s resale value.
4) Fire Pits
What’s the perfect addition to an outdoor cooking space? An open fire! A fireplace or fire pit gives you the opportunity to cook over open flames or just add a touch of atmosphere to your evening hangout. Light up the night and catch others’ attention with a customized fireplace.
5) Eye-Catching Landscaping
Finally, the yard itself needs attention. How healthy is your grass? Are your trees or decorative plants in good shape? Now’s the time to institute a lawn care routine to keep your plants healthy. The healthier they are, the better your yard will look, and the more curb appeal your house will have.
Pro Tip: Give your backyard a facelift! Plant flowers native to the Houston area that will thrive throughout the year.
Find Your Favorite Backyard Renovation
Even a few changes to your backyard layout or style can significantly increase what a potential buyer will pay for your home. Which idea appealed the most to you? Start planning your brand new backyard today!
Connect with us for an idea of what your renovated backyard could look like.
Does your living room not have enough space? Does it simply feel cramped or too small to be comfortable? While it may seem like the most logical solution is knocking out a wall, you can take less drastic measures to make your living room seem bigger than it truly is.
Don’t worry about rearranging your entire home’s layout to fix a too-small living room! Several strategic decorative choices will help you create a brighter, more open atmosphere for your living area. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Very light or very dark colors tend to give a room depth. Combining the two, such as painting the walls white and buying dark navy furniture, makes the space pop even more. Your eye is drawn to the contrasting colors that create the illusion of a bigger room. This also has the advantage of giving your living space a clean, elegant look.
Pro Tip: Decorating with pale or bright colors in a room with low natural light will accent the light it does have, making a compact space feel more open.
A few strategic decorative choices can help outline your space. Large rugs on the floor and large paintings hanging on the walls trick your mind into seeing the room as bigger than it actually is. A large mirror hanging on the wall also helps create the illusion of depth and makes a room feel more open.
Additionally, your choice of accessories comes into play here. Too many small decorative items can make your room feel cluttered and tiny. Buy a few larger decorative pieces instead to complement the room and mesh perfectly with your paintings and rug.
One excellent method of saving space is to find creative ways of storing necessary items. Plenty of homeowners accomplish this through specialized furniture. For instance, cushions on a window seat could lift up to hold extra blankets or pillows. A couch can fold out into a bed. A coffee table can expand into a standing desk. You can even find creative ways to incorporate shelves or drawers into your furniture plan. Whatever you choose, removing excess clutter without sacrificing any necessary things will definitely help your room feel more open.
Making Your Living Room Look Bigger
With an eye for color and decor, it’s not difficult to make a room feel larger without actually changing the floor space. It’s all about tricking your eyes! Experiment with different colors, decorations, furniture, and more to create your new ideal living room.
Join the conversation to see how other homeowners decorated their living areas.
Whether you bought your current home as an investment or not, the day will likely come when it’s time to sell. How valuable will your house be by then? Most homeowners look to increase their home’s value with time, and for many, that means performing renovations or adding new features.
Giving Your House a Facelift
The best part about home renovations is that you can enjoy the new features in the meantime. So why not go for something fun as well as valuable? Join hundreds of other Houston-area homeowners and start your home improvement project with one of these features:
- Backyard deck
- Swimming pool
- Outdoor kitchen
- Remodeled bathroom
- New flooring
1) Backyard Deck
A nice, open backyard may be perfect for parties, but only with a few renovations. One excellent addition to your future outdoor hangout space is a spacious backyard deck, with a patio cover for added atmosphere. Home Advisor reports that you’ll likely be able to recoup up to 80% of the deck’s cost when you sell your house later! Prospective homeowners love the atmosphere and potential a deck provides and are willing to pay extra to get it.
2) Swimming Pool
Adding a swimming pool to your home certainly increases your potential for hosting! Guests will love the chance to go swimming. Your return on investment may not be as significant, however. It all depends on how many other homes in your neighborhood have swimming pools too, as well as how in-demand pools are in your area. Do a little research before making this decision.
Pro Tip: Enclosing your pool in a pool house lets you host guests in the best way possible!
3) Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen and dining space is a winning combination for a luxurious backyard! Aside from making the perfect party hangout in the meantime, they can also provide a return on your investment ranging from 10% to 150%! The exact amount depends on the size, setup, and quality of materials used during construction.
4) Remodeled Bathroom
Nobody likes to use a messy, unappealing restroom. Why not give your bathroom a facelift too? From buying new decorations to installing newer plumbing, you can make your restroom look as good as new. An elegant bathroom will certainly look good to a prospective buyer in the future!
5) New Flooring
Is your carpet looking old and worn? How about the tiles or linoleum in your kitchen, indoors or outdoors? Upgrading your flooring could go a long way toward elevating the rest of your home. Match your countertops for an even more streamlined look!
Get an Excellent Return on Investment
Adding new features or completing a home improvement project does more than just make your house more valuable. It also gives you and your family additional ways to spend time together and enjoy your home. Do yourself a favor and start planning your home renovations today!
Connect with us to see what other homeowners’ completed projects look like.
As social distancing measures continue and people are stuck at home, homeowners are coming up with more creative ways to pass the extra time they now have. Some are learning a new language or taking up a new hobby. Others are reviving old hobbies or trying to get better at them. If you’re looking for ways to pass the time, why not practice your outdoor cooking skills? Fire up the grill and give these flavorful recipes a try!
What’s on the Menu?
The most commonly grilled dishes involve meat, especially beef, but your grill is far more versatile than that. You can serve up everything from standard beef dishes to seafood and even grilled desserts! Find your new favorite grilled dish here:
- Lemon grilled shrimp kabobs
- Chili rubbed ribs
- Salsa steak
- Java pepper steak
- Grilled pizza
- Cheesy potatoes
- Campfire cobbler
- Grilled fruit
1) Lemon Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lemon zest
- 1 lb shrimp
- Cherry tomatoes (as many as you’d like)
- Sliced onions (as many as you’d like)
Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest into a marinade, and let your shrimp and vegetables marinate for several hours or overnight. Thread everything onto barbecue skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill on each side for approximately 3 minutes.
2) Chili Rubbed Ribs
- 6 lbs ribs
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
Dry rub the ribs with all these seasonings and refrigerate covered for half an hour. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and grill over indirect heat for an hour and a half. Finally, mix together your glaze over medium heat for 6-8 minutes:
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2-3 cup ketchup
- 1-3 cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
Unwrap the ribs, rub them with the glaze, and cook over direct heat for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
3) Salsa Steak
- 4 portions of steak (size can vary)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- Half yellow capsicum, diced
- 4 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp seeded mustard
- Olive oil to brush steak
Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and sear each side, 2-3 minutes for boneless cuts and 3-4 minutes for cuts with bones. For a medium or well done steak, lower the heat to medium and leave for an extra 1-2 minutes. Once the steak is cooked to your preferences, remove from heat and cover for about 2 minutes to settle. While you’re waiting on the steak, mix up your salsa ingredients. Serve on the side.
4) Java Pepper Steak
- 1.5 lb tenderloin steak
- 4 tsp finely ground coffee
- 4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- Salt to taste
Preheat your grill and while you wait for it to heat up, place all ingredients in a freezer bag and seal it shut. Shake the bag until the steak is evenly coated in the seasonings. Grill the steak to your preferred level.
Pro Tip: For an especially flavorful steak, rub it with spices and let it sit in the fridge overnight before grilling.
5) Grilled Pizza
- Naan bread or pitas, one for each serving
- Olive oil to brush crusts
- Pizza toppings of choice
Brush both sides of the naan or pitas with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, add your pizza toppings, and return them to the grill until the cheese has completely melted.
6) Cheesy Potatoes
- 2 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion
- 5 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 slices American cheese
Mix all ingredients except the cheese together and spread over a large piece of foil. Fold the foil tightly around the potatoes and grill for 15 minutes on each side. Open the foil and lay the cheese slices over the potatoes. Cover again and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
7) Campfire Cobbler
- 2 cans of fruit pie filling
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ½ cup canola oil
Line a Dutch oven with aluminum foil and pour in both cans of fruit pie filling. In a separate bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, and oil. Spread the mix over the pie filling. Cook on the grill for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is browned.
8) Grilled Fruit
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 6 tbsp honey
- Handful of lavender flowers
- 6 figs, halved
- 3 large fruits: peaches, plums, apricots, etc., halved
- Olive oil to brush fruit
Brush your halved fruits with olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Grill the fruit until nice grill marks form. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla into a tangy sauce. Serve fruit with a dollop of yogurt, drizzled honey, flower garnish, and sliced figs.
Brush Up on Your Grill Skills
Few things are more comforting than a hot home-cooked meal prepared on your own grill. And what better way is there to stay fresh on your cooking skills? Give these recipes a try and serve up a great dinner tonight!
Connect with us for more recipes and cooking tricks for your grill.