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.
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.
Are you ready to transform your backyard into the ultimate getaway? Whether you use your backyard to host an awesome pool party or BBQ cookout, the options are endless to make your outdoor living area come to life. If you’re looking for inspiration to design your custom backyard, take a look at these renovations from homes in the Greater Houston area.
Designing for the Houston Area: Top 5 Custom Backyards
Since 2009, our team has been able to design and build hundreds of beautiful backyards in Houston’s surrounding areas. Check out our five favorite backyard renovations to help you brainstorm which outdoor features to choose for your home.
- Backyard Oasis
- Texas Retreat
- Outdoor Charm
- Upscale Resort
- Cottage Hideaway
1) Backyard Oasis
Designed to impress, this backyard oasis has all of our favorite features including a fire pit, custom swimming pool, dining area, and covered patio. By choosing neutral stone colors to match their siding, the homeowners were able to add value and character to their beautiful home.
Pro Tip: To accentuate your existing home style, our design consultation includes an onsite tour of your existing space. Start the design process by scheduling a consultation today!
2) Texas Retreat
If you want to turn your backyard into a retreat, you can install a custom-designed patio cover like this home. By combining warm wood stains with natural stone, these homeowners were able to create a space that complimented their rustic style. The rock waterfall addition to their pool was a special touch that brought a warm feel to their Texan retreat.
3) Outdoor Charm
If you want to make your home the talk of the neighborhood, install an outdoor fireplace to spark interest and create an outdoor meeting place. By adding a hot tub to their pool and large fireplace on the side, these homeowners are now able to entertain all throughout the year.
4) Upscale Resort
Who says you can’t have a stay-at-home vacation? By installing a custom patio with luxury lighting and a pool with water features, this home’s backyard was transformed into an upscale resort for everyone to enjoy.
5) Cottage Hideaway
When your outdoor living space becomes an extension of your home, you’ll know your custom backyard is on the right track. These homeowners chose to coordinate the red brick from their home into their outdoor kitchen by installing a custom island. With ambient lighting and a pool steps away from the patio, this backyard is a cottage hideaway unlike any other.
Living Spaces Designed for YOU
Are you ready to design your outdoor living space? From the initial design consultation to the completion date, our designers are available to assist you in building your customized backyard. Our pool builders and landscape designers look forward to making your space an outdoor retreat your whole family will love.
For more backyard design ideas, connect with us on social media!
Designing a dream backyard has to include an inground pool. But not just any inground pool. It has to include features that will be functional and loved by your family. Make your outdoor space stand out with these must-have pool features to add to your design plan.
Make Your Pool Extraordinary
Are you ready to design your pool layout? Whether you have an existing pool or are breaking new ground, don’t forget to customize your pool with add-on features. If nothing else, start with these 5 features to make your pool extraordinary!
- Tanning Ledge
- Jump Rocks
- Swim Up Bars
- Pool Heater
- Seating Benches
1) Tanning Ledge
Why settle for the traditional lounge chairs and pool deck? Tan comfortably in the water with access to a tanning ledge from your pool. With customizable shapes and sizes, you can design your pool with a tanning ledge to fit in any space!
2) Jump Rocks
Make your pool kid-friendly with a jump rock any age could enjoy! Instead of a diving board, pool owners love the idea of a jump rock. Whether attached to a rock waterfall or placed along the side of the pool, the natural stone look is a great way to enhance your pool’s character.
3) Swim Up Bars
Take your entertaining to a new level without ever leaving the pool! With a swim-up bar, you can serve food and drinks at a bar built into your pool’s infrastructure. Instead of having to get out and dry off for dinner, you can keep the party going in the pool water.
Pro Tip: Use different color bulbs in your LED lights to set the mood and plan the perfect nighttime pool party for your friends and family.
4) Pool Heater
No pool is complete without a heater to maintain functionality year-round. Install a pool heater in your pool or hot tub to keep the water temperature at a comfortable level no matter what weather has been forecasted.
5) Seating Benches
Why not have seating built into your pool structure? Instead of buying outdoor furniture, install a seating bench to attach along the edge of your pool for your guests. With a wide range of options, you can artfully design the bench materials to match your pool and backyard style.
Best Pool Design in Houston
When designing an inground pool, there are a number of water features to make your pool unlike any other. Our pool builders provide exceptional knowledge and innovative ideas to help you create the best pool in Houston.
Did we forget to mention your favorite pool feature? Share with us on social media!
Make your backyard the talk of the neighborhood with exceptional outdoor kitchen appliances. Instead of being stuck inside, you and your guests can bring the party outside with all of your necessary equipment within arm’s reach.
How functional is your Houston outdoor kitchen?
How are you going to use your outdoor kitchen? The goal is for you to have a fully-functioning kitchen so that you keep all of your food preparation in one place. Make sure these 5 outdoor kitchen appliances are on your list:
- Ice Maker
- Wine Cooler
- Vent Hood
Besides countertops or a sink, a refrigerator is a top feature to have in your outdoor kitchen. Keep your drinks and fresh veggies cold with a fully-functioning fridge installed within your cabinets. Depending on the size of your space, you have the option of choosing a refrigerator/freezer combination or a two-drawer fridge to suit your needs.
Pro Tip: If you’re a lover of wine and regularly entertain guests, consider installing a wine cooler for extra convenience in your backyard.
2) Side burners
When you’re outside entertaining your guests, cooking is a great way to bring everyone together. Be sure to add side burners to your outdoor kitchen for increased functionality and flexibility. Whether you need a double burner or a single side burner, there are multiple models to choose from to customize your kitchen however you’d like.
3) Ice Maker
There’s nothing like having a drink that’s lukewarm. Have ice readily available with an ice maker installed in your outdoor kitchen. Instead of having to run to the store, you can have up to 55lbs of clear ice available year-round.
4) Outdoor Grill
Instead of having a separate charcoal or gas grill on your back patio, install an outdoor grill directly within your cabinetry. From built-in griddles to grills with rotisserie, there are a number of options to make your grilling experiencing fit your appetite.
5) Pizza Oven
Take your outdoor cooking to a new level with a pizza oven that can be fully accessed outside. From pool parties to weekend gatherings, your guests will love the authentic pizza taste that comes from cooking in a pizza oven.
The Difference that Counts
When you’re designing your outdoor kitchen, don’t forget to choose appliances that will work for your family. There’s nothing worse than having an appliance that takes up space and isn’t being used. Instead, choose appliances that will give your outdoor kitchen the functionality it deserves.
Did your favorite appliance miss the list? Connect with one of our outdoor kitchen designers for more information.
Freshwater chlorine pools have been the gold standard of swimming pools for multiple decades. However, the trend of saltwater pools is beginning to challenge the notion that chlorine is automatically the superior choice. Is a saltwater swimming pool ever equal to or even better than a traditional chlorine pool?
In the debate of saltwater vs. freshwater pools, neither option is strictly “better” than the other. The answer depends on the price you’re willing to pay, your commitment to ongoing maintenance, and the effect both pools will have on you when you go swimming. Before you make your choice, educate yourself on both types of pools and their pros and cons.
Contrary to popular belief, saltwater pools are not chlorine-free. Instead, the drastically lower levels of chlorine are produced through electrolysis, where the water passes through mild electrical currents to produce just enough chlorine to disinfect the pool. This is in contrast to a typical pool where the chlorine must be manually added and maintained at a higher level. For the most part, the level of chlorine in a saltwater pool is low enough that swimmers won’t notice any dry skin or bleaching on their clothes.
Pro Tip: Are you considering a saltwater pool to get around a chlorine allergy? Saltwater pools still contain some chlorine! Make sure the levels are safe for yourself and your family.
It’s difficult to estimate the exact costs of both kinds of pool and contrast the two. However, there’s no question that a saltwater pool is a more expensive investment initially. The chlorine generator and its power usage can also add up quickly. Additionally, any custom features or pool additions will need to be salt-proofed in order to be used without damage. Because of the complex system, any repairs or extensive maintenance will need to be performed by an expert rather than the homeowner.
Maintenance & Damages
Speaking of maintenance, saltwater pools require slightly less ongoing work than conventional chlorine pools. Because of the electrolysis process, a saltwater pool does a pretty good job balancing its own pH and chemicals without intervention. Chlorine pools require periodic chemical checks and rebalancing.
However, if something in your pool breaks or needs extensive work, the job is far more straightforward and affordable in a chlorine pool. Saltwater pools’ specialized fixtures cost far more than their conventional counterparts and should only be handled by experts. A leaky pool or broken pipe will cost far less time and money for the owner of a chlorine pool.
A Different Swimming Experience
It’s impossible to say that a chlorine pool is better than a saltwater pool, and vice versa. However, different homeowners may have different preferences or requirements that make one the clearly superior choice. Don’t make this decision lightly. Consider the initial and ongoing commitments both types of pools will require before you decide.
Connect with us to learn more about the debate of saltwater vs. freshwater pools.