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The Essential Pre-Party Checklist for Your Outdoor Kitchen

The Essential Pre-Party Checklist for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Hot, humid Houston summers aren’t always the most pleasant times to be outdoors. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the fresh air and gentle breezes by adding a few features to your backyard to protect yourself from the heat. You can even have outdoor parties during the summer! All you have to do is make sure your outdoor kitchen and hangout spots are ready to provide comfort during the hot weather.

Don’t let the high summer temperatures trap you indoors! Get your outdoor kitchen ready for fun backyard hangouts with this party planning checklist. #Creekstone #CreekstoneOutdoorLiving Click To Tweet

Getting Your Backyard Ready for Summer

With strategic designs for your outdoor kitchen and hangout space, you can create a backyard ready for any summer day. Here are just a few ideas to spruce up your yard for warmer weather:

  1. Tidy up the yard
  2. Cover your dining area
  3. Upgrade your appliances
  4. Style outdoor furniture
  5. Add a bar

1) Tidy Up the Yard

Nobody wants to party in a dirty, overgrown yard! Mow the grass and haul away any trash. Consider pressure washing your patio and any concrete surfaces for a brand new look. In general, just take the time to make your yard look appealing and ready for when guests arrive.

2) Cover Your Dining Area

An outdoor dining room may sound appealing for backyard parties of any kind, but if it starts to rain or the sun gets too hot, your guests will have to run indoors again. Prevent this issue by installing a new patio cover over your dining space! Let the party continue, rain or shine, and enjoy a shady spot all year round.

3) Upgrade Your Appliances

Whether you have an entire outdoor kitchen or just a grilling station in the backyard, you likely enjoy the ability to cook fresh food for your guests. Why not upgrade your appliances to make your experience easier? Swap your old grill for a more efficient model or see what your outdoor kitchen still needs. A few new cooking appliances could make a big difference in your party hosting experience.

Pro Tip: Hosting parties after dark? Hang string lights or install solar pathway lights for an elegant touch and to let everyone see in the dark!

4) Style Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor dining areas or hangout spots need comfortable seating for all your guests. Of course, it’s equally important to make sure that the furniture you choose can withstand the elements. Find outdoor-safe furniture to match your design scheme and furnish your backyard to get the party started!

5) Add a Bar

Finally, add the finishing touch to your summer party space: an outdoor bar. A nearby wine fridge or full-sized refrigerator can keep drinks cold and produce ice for everyone. A well-designed, comfortable bar is the perfect addition to a summer evening spent with friends outdoors. Give it a try!

Enjoy Your Summer!

Upgrading your backyard relaxation spaces goes a long way toward making summer days that much more enjoyable. Try throwing a family cookout or moving a planned party outdoors. Take full advantage of your newly refurbished space!

Connect with us for more backyard inspiration.

Is Your Backyard Paradise Missing These 4 Elements?

Is Your Backyard Paradise Missing These 4 Elements?

Your newly refurbished backyard may have all the room for parties and relaxation that you want, but something’s not quite finished yet. Anyone can renovate the yard. But why not make your backyard party space unique to you? Don’t settle for a simple renovation.

Does your backyard paradise need a few finishing touches to make it personal? Find inspiration for outdoor decor here! #Creekstone #backyarddesign #outdoorlife Click To Tweet

Personalized Accessories

Brand-new appliances and shaded spots certainly add a lot to your backyard, but they can also feel a bit “standard” on their own. Every homeowner decorates their house’s interior with personal artwork and furniture–why not give the exterior the same treatment? Try personalizing your backyard with one of these ideas:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Outdoor pillows
  3. Fire pit
  4. Decorative lighting

1) Entertainment

What’s more fun than a movie night under the patio on a beautiful night? A patio cover with large enough walls provides the perfect spot to mount a large TV or even a projector screen. Build an outdoor home theater to host movie nights in your own backyard!

2) Outdoor Pillows

If you’ll be spending a fair amount of time outside, you’ll likely want to include weatherproof furniture. But many weatherproof materials aren’t exactly comfortable to sit on. Outdoor-safe pillows, however, can fix that! Add a splash of color and comfort to your backyard furniture.

Pro Tip: Cushions made of outdoor-safe material require different care than indoor pillows. Make sure not to damage them when you clean outside.

3) Fire Pit

Anyone who loves cooking over open flames will love having a fire pit in the newly renovated backyard! Aside from its functional purpose, fire features add an exotic atmosphere to your backyard space and keep parties going well into the night. Some homeowners even add fireproof glass fragments known as diamond nuggets to give the flames a magical effect. Customize your fire pit to complement your new private party space!

4) Decorative Lighting

Finally, as nice as a fire pit is, it can’t provide as much light as some late-night parties will need. That’s where other types of outdoor lighting come in. Stake lights situated along the sidewalks will show your guests where to walk, for instance. Lanterns provide a soft, ambient light for a relaxing atmosphere. And brighter lights mounted under the patio cover let you keep working in your outdoor kitchen. Just like any feature, you can customize your lighting choices to your heart’s content.

Customize Your Outdoor Space

A brand new outdoor kitchen and dining room can do wonders to add appeal to your backyard. But why stop there? Add your own touch to make the space truly your own! Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of an awesome, personalized backyard.

Connect with us to see how some of our clients decorated their completed backyard paradises.

5 Clever Backyard Storage Ideas

5 Clever Backyard Storage Ideas

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.

Have too much stuff to store in your yard? Try out these backyard storage ideas for design inspiration! #CreekstoneOutdoorLiving #Creekstone #homedesign #outdoorliving #homedecor Click To Tweet

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:

  1. Firewood cubbies
  2. Hidden storage spaces
  3. Pool houses
  4. Outdoor bars
  5. 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.

How to Make a Small Living Area Look Bigger

How to Make a Small Living Area Look Bigger

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.

Making a tiny living room seem bigger can be as simple as adding a few new decorations and rearranging old ones. Find inspiration here. #Creekstone #homedecor Click To Tweet

Color Choices

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.

Space-Defining Decorations

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.

Specialized Furniture

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.

5 Home Renovations to Increase Your House’s Value

5 Home Renovations to Increase Your House’s Value

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.

Adding a few new features to your home could increase its value significantly! Looking for inspiration? Check out these 5 home renovations. #Creekstone Click To Tweet

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:

  1. Backyard deck
  2. Swimming pool
  3. Outdoor kitchen
  4. Remodeled bathroom
  5. 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.

5 Secrets of Outdoor Design to Help You Create an Unbelievable Backyard

5 Secrets of Outdoor Design to Help You Create an Unbelievable Backyard

Is your backyard boring and just plain blah? Does your family spend more time inside on the couch rather than spending it outside in nature? Are you embarrassed to host outside get-togethers because your yard is unkempt and uninteresting? Don’t worry, your backyard isn’t a lost cause. In fact, it’s simple to transform your backyard from being dull to unbelievable with the right outdoor design!

Focusing on one area of your yard at a time allows you to stay focused, on task, and see the bigger picture. Find inspiration for your #backyardrenovation here. #Creekstone Click To Tweet

An Unbelievable Backyard with Outdoor Design

Anyone can have an incredible backyard. To instantly transform your outdoor space, follow these five secret tips of outdoor design and you’ll be planning a party to show off your new yard in no time!

  1. Work from a Plan
  2. Plant for Seasons
  3. Lines & Edges
  4. Separate Spaces
  5. Secret Gardens

1) Work From a Plan

Working from a plan is the first step in creating an unbelievable backyard. Draw your plans out and then work in phases so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Be sure to include any hardscape items you will be adding to your space, like an outdoor kitchen, covered patio, or pergola.

2) Plant for Seasons

If you want an amazing backyard through all seasons, plant to make it happen! With a little research, you can find the best plants for the best seasons and have a variety in your yard so you have greenery and flowers blooming all year round.

3) Lines & Edges

Pay attention to the lines and edges in your yard. Make a natural edge with different grasses or plants, or use stones or other materials to make your garden more enticing. Additionally, pay attention to the lines and add character with sweeping curves throughout your landscape.

4) Separate Spaces

To begin, separate your outdoor space into several smaller spaces. This allows you to make each individual space distinct and fills your yard with interesting details. By separating areas in your backyard, you can delegate specific spaces for everything! Have a lounge area for relaxing, a dining spot for eating al fresco, or a play space for the little ones.

Pro Tip: Don’t let bad weather chase you indoors! Talk to your contractor about adding a pergola or patio cover to your hangout space so the party can go on, rain or shine.

5) Secret Gardens

Everyone loves secret hideaways and your backyard is the perfect place to sneak one in. Find a nice corner or an area between two trees and add a little seating area, water fountain, or even a fire pit. This partially hidden area will not only give you a private spot to relax and enjoy, but the half-hidden space creates the illusion of more space.

Create an Outdoor Oasis

Your backyard is a large part of your home and it should be used just as much as the inside–especially now that we are coming up on the fall season with cooler temperatures! By following the above tips on outdoor design, you will have an unbelievable backyard in no time! If you don’t have the time or just want some help in the process, consider contacting a landscape professional to assist in designing your outdoor living area.

Connect with us to learn more secrets of outdoor design to help you create an unbelievable backyard.

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