Outdoor space is one of our greatest luxuries in Texas, but exactly because it is so plentiful all too often it goes to waste. Yet, with a few well-selected and well-placed design features it’s easy to sculpt your backyard into something unique, personal, and highly livable for your family to make the most of our amazing weather.
Take a look at 5 features to help you create an awesome backyard…
Patios serve as a launch point for the rest of your yard and succeed largely based upon layout and material choice. Sophisticated patios conform to the needs of your family’s lifestyle, such as grilling and dinning. Many new patios mix materials to form stylish patterns and break the traditional rectangular layout to merge into lawns and landscaping more naturally. Next to your house, they can bridge outdoors and in; further into the yard, they can become a focus point for larger yards or help to enclose grassed areas in more urban plots.
Pergolas provide an excellent option for creating some exterior architecture that can define and enclose the space between them and your house. More than that, combined with sophisticated awnings and curtains, they can create a sheltered but open-air environment for outdoor furniture to lounge or host dinners and parties. Pergolas are flexible design features that can be scaled up or down to suit your needs; they can even be as small as an archway to frame your yard and grow vine-based plants like wisteria.
Water Features and Planters
Another great way to define or partially enclose an outdoor space like a patio is with a raised planter or a water feature. This helps make a space more comfortable by giving it an edge and making sure it isn’t too open. Planters also help green a space and add color based upon what is grown inside. For a more rustic edge, planters can be laid in brick or stone in any variety of coursing and patterns. Many opt for the natural atmosphere brought by planters with wood siding. Often intermixed with planters are small water features like cascading fountains that bring both visual and acoustic beauty to space with the sound of water.
Outdoor Kitchens and Living Rooms
Amongst the hottest features to hit the scene in the past decade is the concept of outdoor living. In temperate and comfortable climates like northern Texas, outdoor kitchens and living rooms are a natural fit to our architecture and help to keep our families focused on the outdoor, active, and Vitamin D lifestyle that keeps us healthy and more connected to nature. Essentially, they take our indoor activities and utilities they depend on and place them outside in a transitional space from home to yard. Typically, outdoor rooms are sheltered to protect these elements (like televisions and fabric furniture) from the elements that have traditionally kept them inside.
Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Often a part of outdoor rooms or stand-alone features on patios are outdoor fireplaces and pits. There’s really no better feature to extend your use of your yard past dusk as family and friends are easily gathered around a good fire. As they have become popular, designs for outdoor fires have become increasingly luxurious status symbols across climates suited to them with fixed seating, landscaping, and carved stonework marking out the fireplace as a focal point for a home’s exterior design.