Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey have conquered another remodel – and this time, it’s their own!
“We wanted a contemporary, somewhat commercial look since we’re expanding into interior kitchen design in Houston,” says Lisha, Wayne’s senior designer – and fiancée. “But we also wanted something homey with a comfy, family feel – and we couldn’t go too contemporary, since the style of the home is so traditional.”
Well, the Cypress duo has pulled it off – with this stylish update hitting all the right notes.
The clean, contemporary, white-black-and-grey color scheme is just the beginning of this transformation from the previous kitchen:
The revamped 20-by-15-foot kitchen and adjoining dining area also features new stainless steel appliances by Maytag, lighting and furnishings by Restoration Hardware and countertops in white Carrara marble and Absolute Black honed granite.
The paneled oak cabinets are now painted a crisp, bright white and finished off with polished nickel pulls. The center island is now a cool grey a few shades darker than the warm grey on the walls. On top of the grey on the new sheetrock, previously covered in a camel-colored textured paint, is Sherwin Williams’ Faux Impressions sparkly “Striae Quartz Stone.”
Ho-hum 12-inch ceramic floor tiles with a western motif border have been replaced with grey tile “planks” resembling distressed wood. An oak-paneled flush-mount light fixture has given way to recessed lights and barn pendant lamps in oil rubbed bronze from Restoration Hardware. And the section housing clunky upper and lower banks of cabinets between the kitchen an dining area now has a sleek counter-turned-table with custom-milled legs.
“At first, we wanted to open up that section altogether, but then realized we needed more counter space,” explains Lisha. “The table – a continuation of the granite countertop – was the perfect solution. Plus, it offered space for extra seating.”
The black, high-back and low-back bar stools, she adds, are also from Restoration Hardware – as is the new round chandelier and the dining table over which it hangs.
As you can see from the photo and video above, Wayne and Lisha also took out a wall between the kitchen and living room and remodeled the adjoining living room as well. A decorative cedar beam stained Minwax Jacobean now spans the ceiling where the wall once stood.
The oak paneling and stairway railings in the living room, meanwhile, also got a coat of white paint and new window treatments and light fixtures from Restoration Hardware. Staining the top handrailing with the same Jacobean dark stain, however, boosted the new contemporary look even more.
Wayne and Lisha’s outdoor living space also got a revamp, with a new patio ceiling also stained Jacobean and new outdoor furniture and outdoor area rug from Restoration Hardware. The furniture is from the Klismos collection, in weathered zinc, with Sunbrella fabric in the color “Smoke.”
Here’s a video of the new living room and patio:
“We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” says Wayne. “And it definitely shows our capabilities when it comes to interior and commercial kitchen design.”
Does your kitchen need a revamp – inside or out? Just contact us! Wayne and Lisha can make it happen!
“In Houston, outdoor living space designs typically match the house exactly – but this one couldn’t,” says Outdoor Homescapes of Houston owner Wayne Franks. “The homeowners’ association restrictions ended up shrinking the outdoor sitting area from 20-foot-square to 15-foot-square, so we couldn’t make the arches the same size as they were on the house.”
After a bit of math and an adjustment in the thickness of the arches, however, Franks’ crews preserved the proper scale and proportion.
Especially problematic was the half arch connecting the free-standing structure to the back of the house – since a gutter had to be added for sufficient drainage.
“The wood-burning fireplace will provide heat and definitely cozy up this patio addition as we head into fall and winter – especially with vents that push the heated air directly out into the sitting area,” says Franks. “But since this outdoor living space was built for all seasons, the large outdoor ceiling fan will also help keep it cool in summer.”
Built at an angle that faces the back of the house at the far end of the pool and hot tub (see early construction photo and aerial view, below), this outdoor living space design definitely fulfills its mission to blend in with the existing house. Its light-colored stucco and Western Austin Limestone with bluish-grey accents, for instance, echoes the contemporary home’s stone and stucco exterior.
The 10-foot-high ceiling under the hipped roof, meanwhile, features a dark stain matching that of the existing covered patio ceiling along the back of the house. The addition’s Rosa flagstone patio is also an extension of the existing patio, and the Oklahoma wister flagstone bench seating is a perfect match to the coping on the existing pool.
Similarly, the black lantern light fixtures on the support columns of this outdoor sitting area are the same style as those on the house.
“They wanted gas light fixtures, like they have on the house,” says Wayne. “We could only find electric fixtures that matched, but we were able to convert them into gas fixtures with a conversion kit from Cunningham Gas.”
The Restoration Hardware seating and coffee table, meanwhile, will suit the client’s desire to entertain guests in style after dinner while enjoying a cigar.
“The project was a challenge, but it turned out beautiful,” says Franks. “And it really does look like it was built with the house.”
Question: A dining table for six was originally planned for this space instead of a seating area. Which would you prefer – a dining table or seating area? Post a comment and tell us why!
Either way, if you’re interested in outdoor furniture for your outdoor sitting area, we’re offering a special limited-time promotion: $500 off an outdoor furniture consultation when Outdoor Homescapes of Houston designs and builds your outdoor living space!
Interested? Just contact us!
Or feel free to check out our pictures of other Houston outdoor sitting area designs on Houzz!
Here it is – more Halloween patio decorating ideas!
Our last installment was so successful, we decided to show you some more!
Among the Halloween patio decorating ideas we found is the one above. It’s from Home Depot’s blog, The Apron, in a Sept. 23, 2013 blog post entitled “Halloween Decorations Create Luminous Holiday Décor.” In the post, holiday decorating expert Melissa Valeriote took on Home Depot’s Halloween Style Challenge with this Halloween-themed patio makeover.
The challenge involved decorating a neglected corner of her patio with Halloween items mailed to her in a mystery box by Home Depot. The items, all available from the home improvement chain, included eight 12-inch, orange, foam “Harvest Pumpkin” decorations and a couple strings of orange pumpkin lights.
After painting the orange foam pumpkins a rustic cream, Valeriote then hung them off of shepherd’s hooks and used them as luminarias along the back perimeter of the patio. After cutting star shapes out of the pumpkins, she then inserted battery-operated candles and hung them from the hooks with 14-inch wire twine. Copper star string lights strung hook to hook helped to further illuminate the patio.
This is a great Halloween patio decorating idea captured by Houzz writer Sarah Greenman. Entitled “My Houzz: Color and Heirlooms Combine in a Welcoming Bungalow,” it features a Halloweened-up Rumford fireplace on a Dallas “man porch.”
The fireplace not only features fun gothic candlestick decorations on each end of the mantel, but a black Halloween banner and metallic pumpkins. The custom reclaimed-wood TV cabinet above lends an additional creepy touch (perhaps unintended?) with its rope-and-pulley system used for opening and closing.
Many Halloween patio décor ideas we found revolved around throwing outdoor parties. We especially liked this black-white-and-metallic one for kids, featured in a video on Better Homes and Gardens’ website, features black-and-white paper fans, overlapped over each other to dress up table legs. White compotes and a vintage metal scale do double duty as Halloween décor and candy holders. A cloche covers a moving, mechanical hand for a few surprises and copper buckets hold ice-cold beverages.
For a more grown-up take, you can chill wine and beer in rustic-looking copper ice buckets (below) or punch spooked up with fog from dry ice? (Just put the punch in a bowl nested in another bowl, then add dry ice and hot water between the two bowls).
What are some of your favorite Halloween patio decorating ideas? Post a comment and let us know!
How ’bout this for an outside kitchen design idea: Houston outdoor kitchen designs with TVs for football season?
After all, outdoor living spaces always become huge hangouts when the game’s on. Cold drinks, hot steaks off the grill and catching the game with friends are all more fun in the shade of a covered outdoor kitchen or patio.
But a cabana with a TV, outdoor kitchen, bar and grill – like the one shown above – is just one of many designs you can choose.
Here, we’ve got four more football-season-friendly Houston outdoor kitchen designs you’ll like – from family-friendly digs to straight-up man caves. All these covered outdoor kitchens were designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston - which, by the way, is offering a football season special: Free outdoor TV installation ($800 value! Interested? Contact us for details!)
Want a complete walk-through of one of our
Outdoor kitchen for football and family
The large, 55-inch flat screen TV in this Houston outdoor kitchen design allows you and your guests perfect sightlines to the TV while you’re taking care of food and drinks and they’re watching the game.
The TV and comfy seating are in a 12-by-8-foot outdoor living space with a custom audio-visual cabinet faced with Western Austin Limestone (components, remotes and DVDs are hidden behind the stainless steel doors at the bottom). Behind this outdoor living room is the L-shaped, 8-foot-long outdoor kitchen island with a built-in commercial grade RCS grill and outdoor refrigerator and an outdoor icemaker. The counter’s raised back also creates a bar where stools can be added for additional seating.
When not in use as a football-watching hangout, this Houston outdoor kitchen allows the kids to watch movies and TV on one end while the parents entertain guests on the kitchen-and-bar end.
Backyard kitchen with accessible fridge
This Houston outdoor kitchen design not only offers football game viewing from the built-in hot tub, but easy access to cold drinks and food.
“In this case, we put the outdoor refrigerator on the exterior of the adjacent outdoor kitchen island so guests can get drinks for themselves,” explains Outdoor Homescapes of Houston owner Wayne Franks. “Usually, all the appliances are built into one side of an outdoor kitchen island – the side facing the host – so they can fetch drinks for guests if needed. And usually, the setup also enables guests to get drinks themselves if they want. But the placement of this kitchen actually created a barrier to the fridge, so we put it on the outside of the island to make it easier for everyone.”
Outdoor kitchen meets man cave
This Houston outdoor kitchen features a huge 55-inch flatscreen TV, slab concrete table, stainless steel walls and a killer e790 Echelon Fire Magic commercial grade grill. It’s about as manly as an outdoor kitchen can get. And why not? In the Saber Grills 2014 Outdoor Living Survey, 30 percent of male homeowners said they’re solely responsible for decorating decisions in their outdoor space. And just over half (53 percent) of outdoor decorating decisions are made by men among first-time homeowners.
And - since this homeowner likes to play sports as well as watch them – this yard also has volleyball and basketball courts. Players can cool off afterwards with drinks, thanks to the built-in refrigerator and icemaker. Meanwhile, pizza made in the outdoor pizza oven or wings, ribs and burgers from the grill can be kept in the warming drawer underneath the grill.
Check out this video of the football-friendly Houston outdoor kitchen project:
Summer kitchen that goes beyond summer
This Houston outdoor kitchen is perfect for catching the football game – especially when the weather gets colder. Super comfy cushions and pillows warm up this space functionally and visually. And a built-in fireplace below the TV adds extra heat in the coldest part of winter.
“As you can see, a football-season-friendly outdoor living space isn’t just limited to your typical man cave,” says Franks. “After all, this is a multifunctional space usually getting used by an entire family. This may also be the room where Mom holds her book club, the kids watch movies with friends or the couple entertains some business clients.”
The outdoor kitchen counter to the right also has a bar where stools can be pulled up for extra seating.
QUESTION: Which football-friendly Houston outdoor kitchen do you like best? Post a comment and let us know!
This modern outdoor kitchen in Houston pulls off the industrial look perfectly – especially with its I-beam metal roof design!
This 400-square-foot, triple-ribbed, trapezoidal metal roof – and its grey, galvanized steel I-beam - proved to be the perfect outdoor living space idea. “I mean, what’s more industrial than an I-beam?” asks Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s owner, Wayne Franks. “It also matched the metal roof on the existing house, and we always want to make our Houston outdoor living spaces look like an original part of the home.”
Here’s a better view of the I-beam construction:
In addition to the metal roof, the use of concrete and stainless steel help complete the look of this modern outdoor kitchen. The table, floor and backsplash are concrete and the walls roof, and appliances steel.
“An ultra-modern outdoor kitchen calls for ultra-modern appliances,” says Franks. “So we outfitted it with a full line of stainless steel, commercial-grade Fire Magic amenities.”
Here’s a better view of all the appliances:
In addition to an e790 Echelon Fire Magic grill, these components included a power burner, warming and trash drawers, a range hood, sink, icemaker, fridge and storage. Balancing out the ultra modern look, however, is a beautiful, rustic-looking pizza oven.
“It’s faced with a Mountain Valley natural stone,” explains Franks. “The stone matches an exterior wall of the house.”
For an even closer look at this modern outdoor kitchen project, here’s a video tour by Franks:
“The client is a prominent Houston homebuilder in the Memorial area of Houston,” explains Franks. “They found us on the web, saw our projects and felt we could do the best job matching the ultra modern architecture of their house. I think it turned out pretty great, myself.”
The warm, red tones of western redwood balance out the cooler tones of the concrete and stainless steel, he continues. Stained with a clear polyurethane to show off the color, the wood can be seen in the tongue-and-groove boards on the 10-foot-high ceiling. Redwood boards serve as facing on the kitchen cabinets, too.
This modern outdoor kitchen, of course, also includes a 55-inch flat-screen TV mounted to the pre-existing stainless steel wall with perfect sightlines to the concrete slab table. (Outdoor Homescapes is offering a special promotion right now: free TV installation when you have your outdoor kitchen, covered patio or other outdoor living space project designed and built by us. Interested? Just contact us!)
“And since the house is on a hill above the outdoor kitchen, we’re actually pumping the water from the sink back up into the house to the sewer,” says Franks. “That’s pretty neat.”
Question: What do you think of this ultra modern outdoor kitchen in Houston? What would you add or take away? Post a comment, and let us know – we’re always looking for feedback and opinions!
Or, if you’re interested in your own outdoor kitchen in the Houston area, just contact us! We’ll be glad to help you get your project started!
Also – feel free to check out our modern outdoor kitchen projects on Houzz!
Looking for fall and Halloween outdoor decor ideas? Outdoor Homescapes of Houston has ‘em!
After all, outdoor living in Houston is a year-round affair! The fall arrangement above is from one of our Houston covered patios. The sunflowers and dried flowers in a rust-colored vase work perfectly for autumn when paired with lanterns, a rustic wooden bowl of dried botanical spheres. Distressed, weathered wood – as seen in the console table here from Restoration Hardware – is also a good choice for fall and Halloween outdoor decor.
Here are some more ideas for 2014:
Hang lanterns – like these from Restoration Hardware – from tree branches with LED flameless candles in them for a spooky, yet sophisticated effect!
These garden finials from Restoration Hardware look good year round in outdoor living spaces - but provide a nice Gothic look for Halloween decorating on your patio or porch!
Fall or Halloween décor doesn’t have to mean a graveyard look or cheesy inflatables. You can work in the theme with color – as seen in this Janus et Cie outdoor furniture collection with orange-colored throw pillows and a matching tray.
Of course, if you want to have a little fun with a spooky theme, we really like this “outdoor laboratory” cart from Pottery Barn. Perfect for the mad scientist!
What about these black-and-orange “Fire and Ice” Lanterns from Grandin Road?
And here’s an easy way to change up your patio planters for Halloween – theis bottle-gourd scarecrow idea from Country Living!
Among our Houston outdoor kitchens, this one is unique because of its concrete countertops, pergola with stucco wrapping and custom storage.
It’s a vast improvement. Just check out this “before” picture!
“It’s not one of our biggest covered outdoor kitchens in Houston,” says Outdoor Homescapes of Houston owner Wayne Franks. “But it’s unique, and it looks really nice, too!”
This client, a young family, wanted an outdoor kitchen with a more minimalistic, modern look, explains Outdoor Homescapes senior designer Lisha Maxey.
“They’re both doctors and very much attuned to detail,” she says. “Their primary goal was to create a space where they could lounge while the children played as well as an area to entertain family and friends while cooking and dining outside.”
Like a growing number of people wanting small outdoor kitchens in Houston, this client expressed interest in using concrete as a surface material: “The look is contemporary and is easily paired with any type of outdoor furniture – from wicker to teak to iron.”
Here’s a closeup of the concrete countertops. You’ll notice that they’re glossy and smooth like glass, thanks to special sealers and a topcoat of UV-resistant resin that prevents the countertop from yellowing.
Since these particular clients lean toward the minimalistic side of contemporary design, she continues, “the standard granite countertop of many Houston outdoor kitchens would not work, since it typically has a lot of movement and can be busy.”
Lisha sees the use of concrete as a growing outdoor design trend for Houston outdoor kitchens: “It’s easy to maintain and again, leans towards a more modern look for outdoor.”
All the furniture and lighting is from Restoration Hardware, says Lisha, who’s offering $500 in free outdoor furniture consultation services as a special promotion right now. (Interested? Contact us!) The dining and lounge chairs are from the Antibes collection in cast aluminum with a bronze finish. The table is a Belgian Trestle weathered concrete and teak round. Simple track light was used on the pergola in keeping with the minimalist look of the space:
The pergola is a treated pine, stained a Minwax Jacobean, which appears almost black. “This client chose a pergola over a roof extension off the house because they wanted it to still seem light and airy in their outdoor space for their young children,” explains Lisha. “They wanted a certain degree of sun and shade protection, which a pergola does provide, but they wanted it to seem a bit like a park for the kids to play in.”
“The seating/storage bin was not a part of the original design,” says Lisha. “As the project progressed, the client expressed interest in some sort of chest for the new outdoor furniture cushions to be stored in.”
The design for the storage bin was developed to accommodate this request: “It eventually evolved into a seating area as well. And to keep the look consistent with the new kitchen, it was agreed that the stone be carried through the design. The wood top was necessary so we could design a hinged access for storage.”
Looking for ideas and inspiration? Check out our pictures of Houston outdoor kitchens on Houzz!
Looking for holiday patio decorating ideas for 2014?
Here are some ideas from Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s patio design projects:
In the fall, Houston patio design often centers around allowing clients to watch football on TV outside.
So much so, says Outdoor Homescapes owner Wayne Franks, that patio designs in Houston with outdoor audio-visual systems are an extremely popular choice at this time: “Clients wanting outdoor media systems – especially for watching football in fall – have doubled in five years.”
In fact, Franks would say eight out of 10 Houston patio design customers now want an outdoor TV, with football game watching a major motivator.
That’s why Franks is offering a special promotion to those wanting Houston patio design with TV. From now till the end of football season, get your outdoor TV installed for free ($800 value). If you’re interested in this special offer, just contact us!
So, what do you need if you want a Houston patio design to watch football on TV?
Here are three essentials from Franks. Also feel free to check out our Houston patio design pictures on Houzz!
Houston Patio Design - 3 football-friendly tips
Big, weatherproofed TV
The larger the screen the better, says Franks, because people are viewing it from farther away outside. Houston patio designs are also going to need an outdoor-rated TV or a weather-proofed indoor TV.
“I personally don’t advise paying for an outdoor TV, since they typically cost more than $4,000,” says Wayne. “An indoor TV costs about $600 and usually lasts clients about two to three years here. So I just say keep on buying indoor TVs.”
An indoor TV, however, should be placed in a weatherproof cabinet or enclosure – to protect it from dust, moisture and theft. Prefab outdoor TV enclosures start at about $600, although you can make your own out of Plexiglass if you’re handy. “At the very least, patio designs in Houston with outdoor TVs should include some sort of roof to put the TV under,” says Franks. “You should also provide some sort of weatherproof cover for the outdoor TV when it’s not in use, like a grill cover.
Comfortable outdoor seating
“When it’s game day, people will be watching football on TV for several hours – sometimes with multiple games in a row,” explains Franks. “This means your patio design should include an actual couch or wide chairs with cushions – not just a few plastic patio chairs.”
If you’re looking for the right outdoor furniture, Outdoor Homescapes’ patio design team can help. In fact, we’re offering a limited-time special promotion right now – $500 off all outdoor furniture consultations. (Interested? Contact us.)
“In Houston, it starts getting cold in November,” says Franks. “But long before that, people start using their fire pits, fire places and portable heaters.”
Such fire features, he explains, not only provide extra heat as the season grows colder – they also provide extra light as the days get shorter. Portable propane heaters start at about $80.
Question: If you have – or would like to have a Houston patio design with outdoor TV – what other amenities would you include? Outdoor kitchen? Kegerator? A commercial-grade grill? Comment and let us know!
With the addition of a new, up-and-coming designer to our team, we’re now offering sustainable outdoor design services in Houston!
Ashley Allen, an-award-winning, young Houston designer with loads of sustainable outdoor design experience under her belt, just joined Outdoor Homescapes this week. And she’s already hitting the ground running with fresh, smart ideas.
“Ashley is definitely an important addition to our list of outdoor living design services in Houston,” says Outdoor Homescapes of Houston owner Wayne Franks. “She has an impressive background and portfolio that touches several areas where we design and build.”
Senior designer Lisha Maxey is equally pleased:
“I feel strongly that if any business wants to grow, new and creative ideas must be introduced,” she says. “How better to achieve that than to hire a current design student whose specialty is green design – focusing on recyclable and sustainable products?” More and more, she explains, consumers – including Outdoor Homescapes’ clients – are demanding sustainable, responsible products and practices.
“With Ashley in place, our customers are happy, our business grows and the world’s a better place,” says Lisha. “What’s not to like?”
Ashley, for her part, is eager to be putting her design talents to work outdoors in Houston.
“I’m very excited about joining the team,” says the 25-year-old interior design student just finishing up her studies at the Art Institute of Houston. “I’m not only passionate about green design, but about repurposing local materials and using local artisans – so I’m happy to be offering these choices to clients.”
Sustainable outdoor design, she explains, isn’t just a warm and fuzzy concept for tree huggers. It also offers many practical benefits: “The cheaper cost of many reclaimed or renewable materials can often make outdoor design projects in Houston – or anywhere else - less expensive,” she notes. “Plus, you’re designing and building something in a way that’s going to last a lot longer and require little to no replacements or maintenance.”
Ashley’s also working on other design projects in Houston. One’s the renovation of a commercial space in the city to make way for a pizza kitchen. Another is the design of an outdoor “beer garden” concept at a bar named Wooster’s due to open in October 2014. (The image at the left is lighting created by local artists called ReCoop; the center image is a wall at Wooster’s made of reclaimed wood from razed Houston houses).
Ashley’s awards and credentials are impressive. She served as an outdoor designer for Restoration Hardware in Houston, for one. She also won first place in an American Society of Interior Designers contest in Houston (beating out 30 other local designers) for the sustainable outdoor design of a community center (bottom right image).
Realistically, Ashley realizes sustainable outdoor designs might not be for everyone – and has no plans to force it on anyone.
“I’m just here to offer the knowledge and help people make smarter choices,” says Ashley, who will be helping with design planning, whether or not projects are “green” or sustainable. (Specifically, her responsibilities will include design collaboration, luxury outdoor furniture procurement and placement and assistance with the selection of finish materials.)
“Many people just don’t realize that they can save money by using LED lights or energy-efficient outdoor appliances,” says Ashley, “or that by using reclaimed materials, they can pay less and get a look that’s unique.”
In Houston, for instance, since many older homes are being torn down to make room for new construction, many of the materials can be pulled from those homes and used for sustainable outdoor living space designs. Wood, for instance, can be used for building arbors or pergolas and glass can be crushed up and used for backsplashes and countertops.
“Ashley brings both a confidence and a down-to-earth mentality to our organization,” says Lisha. “Clients will easily be able to discuss current trends and trust that she’s on the cutting edge of what’s new and now. As they say, knowledge is power, and Ashley has the knowledge to lead us in a very powerful, new direction.”
Question: What do you think of sustainable outdoor design? Do you – or would you - use it for an outdoor living space design? Post a comment! Let us know!
You can also find more sustainable outdoor design images on Houzz!