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Outdoor Living Space Design
 



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This Houston Covered Patio is Perfect for Football Season

This Houston Covered Patio is Perfect for Football Season

This Houston covered patio by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston is perfect for watching football on TV outdoors during football season. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Take a look at this Houston covered patio! Isn’t it the perfect place to watch football on TV in fall?

“In my opinion, this outdoor living space contains the essentials of a great football season hangout,” says Wayne Franks, co-owner of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

These basics include:

  • A large-screen TV
  • A large coffee table for holding drinks, food, remotes
  • An outdoor kitchen nearby for streamlined cooking and serving of food (no in and out of the house)
  • An outdoor refrigerator for easy access to cold drinks
  • Buffet-style serving off the outdoor kitchen
  • Lots of comfy seating
  • A heater and fireplace for extra heat and light going into cooler weather (this gas fireplace has vents that shoot the heat straight out into the room)

This 400-square-foot covered patio in Houston is perfect for watching football on TV outside. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“You also want to allow enough space for good traffic flow,” adds Wayne. “You don’t want it to be too crowded.”

This is where a Houston-area covered patio designer like Wayne is so important. Whenever he designs a covered patio in Houston, he knows how to seamlessly integrate proper space planning with beautiful design – so the space looks and functions the way the family wants. For a proper TV viewing height and distance, the TV was placed atop the gas fireplace insert. (The fireplace and wall go up about 5 feet high, and then the TV is built into the 6-foot-high section of wall above that).

Speaking of outdoor TVs — from now until the end of the football season, Outdoor Homescapes of Houston is offering free installation of outdoor TVs (an $800 value).

Those interested in the promotion can contact us for more information.

 “Another important point to consider is that this still needs to be a versatile space – good for football fans and non-fans alike,” continues Wayne. “This client, for instance, was a big football guy and so this covered patio was set up for football season. But he, his wife and two young kids also wanted a year-round space for family time and movies, so there’s plenty of visual and functional softness built in.”

Houston covered patios like this one designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston offer shade and heat protection for outdoor TVs used during football season. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“Softness,” he explains, is not just a literal, tangible thing achieved with cushions, throw pillows, area rugs and throws. It also comes from the organic forms of plants, the curving lines of the wicker sofas and the decorative spheres in a bowl used for decoration. “Every space needs curving or imperfect shapes and forms to offset the hard lines of manmade materials.”

Even  the “hard lines” that come with all the outdoor structures that have given “hardscaping” its name can be balanced out with the use of natural materials. Stone – with its uneven edges and rustic, natural appeal – is an overwhelmingly popular choice for Houston covered patios. The stone used here on the fireplace, walls and outdoor kitchen island is Austin Western Limestone.

Houston patio covers like this one by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston offer the ideal spot for watching football on TV outside in fall. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Houston covered patios also provide shade and heat protection for outdoor TVs, says Wayne. This 400-square-foot hex-shaped hip roof extension also shelters the TV and audio-visual system from rain. “The 18-foot-long privacy wall the fireplace is built into also helps block the light.”

Want your own covered patio in Houston for enjoying football season outside? Just contact us, and we’ll hook you up!

Or, just check out our Houston covered patios on Houzz!

 

 

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Houston Designer Shares Outdoor Decorating Ideas For Your Patio

Houston Designer Shares Outdoor Decorating Ideas For Your Patio

Houston designer Lisha Maxey says the latest outdoor decorating ideas include distressed finishes (like on this wood console table by Restoration Hardware), seasonal touches (like the late-summer/early fall sunflowers in a rust-colored vase) and accents that invoke a sense of timelessness - like groupings of lanterns, weathered wood bowls and ancient-looking pottery pieces. More outdoor decorating ideas like this by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Outdoor decorating ideas? We have plenty here at Outdoor Homescapes of Houston!

Outdoor décor is important because it allows us to put our own personal stamp on our patio or other outdoor living space design, ” says Senior Designer Lisha Maxey. “It’s what makes this part of our house feel like home.”

So here’s her quick-hit list of outdoor decorating ideas and images. Feel free to look around! Steal an idea or two!

Think “weathered” and “timeless”

Outdoor decorations like these ancient-looking pottery are a popular trend in 2014 outdoor living spaces, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“Outdoor decorating accents that mimic cast iron and ancient stone are super popular right now,” says Lisha, noting the pottery above in one of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s many outdoor design projects. Cast stone (concrete or another masonry product cast into molds made of real stone) is a more accessible, less expensive option than real stone, she explains. And zinc-coated steel offers a lighter, more rust-resistant version of cast iron.

“Popular outdoor décor objects right now include finials, spheres, trays, candle holders (with LED candles,) pedestals, lanterns and oval bowls or troughs” says Lisha.

Much of today’s outdoor furniture also features this “weathered” look, with distressed finishes and aged-looking patinas.

You can find a lot of this kind of outdoor décor and furniture, she says, via upscale furniture manufacturers like Restoration Hardware and Janus et Cie (Lisha is an established trade partner with both). In fact, Outdoor Homescapes is offering $500 worth of outdoor furniture consultation to each new outdoor living space, covered patio or outdoor kitchen client.

Outdoor decorations that mimic the look of ancient stone are a popular 2014 outdoor living space trend, says Lisha Maxey, a senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More by this Houston outdoor designer at www.outdoorhomesapes.com

Outdoor decorating ideas for 2014 include lanterns and candle holders (with LED candles) like these designs by Janus et Cie. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

 

 Don’t forget the plants and flowers!

Outdoor decor always gets a boost from the colors and organic, curvy lines of plants and flowers, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More outdoor decorations and backyard designs by this Houston outdoor living space designer at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

 “The organic, curving forms of flowers and plants soften the hard, straight lines of manmade structures,” explains Lisha. “So your outdoor decorations should definitely include them – even if it’s just a vase of flowers.”

Topiaries (like the ones below from Restoration Hardware) are popular (especially when you want to incorporate a more formal or classical look). So are container gardens, terrariums and climbing vines (the latter is especially great if you have an arbor, pergola or trellis).

Outdoor decorating ideas for patios and other outdoor living spaces include topiaries like these from Restoration Hardware, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More outdoor decor ideas from this Houston outdoor designer at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

 Celebrate the seasons

Marine outdoor decorations by Janus et Cie.

 

 “Switch up your outdoor décorating to reflect the time of year or season,” says Lisha. “The idea of summer can be expressed with nautical objects like shells, coral or driftwood, and see-through, airy objects made of glass. Breezy materials like sheers and linen and colors like sky blue and sand also do the job.”

Fall, says Lisha, can be easily brought it with sunflowers, pumpkins, bowls of apples and the addition of more candles and more golds, reds and oranges. Darker accents, heavier materials and more fall-like botanicals (like dried seed pods, grapevine and bittersweet) can be brought in as it draws closer to winter. “Since fall is also grape harvest time, anything involving wine and vineyards will also play well.”

And of course, winter calls out for outdoor decorations like evergreen branches, candles and winter holiday touches. The owners of this outdoor living space by Outdoor Homescapes pulled this off beautifully:

Outdoor decorating ideas include changing it up for each season, as these homeowners did with evergreen boughs and candles in winter, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More outdoor decor ideas for your patio or outdoor living space by this Houston outdoor living space designer at www.outdoorhomescapes.com 

Go bold with little pops of color

Outdoor decorating ideas include adding pops of color with moveable, changeable "props" like seat cushions, rugs, throws, or even a towel or tote, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“Throw pillows, seat cushions, umbrellas, rugs and throws are all ways to make color changeable and mobile,” says Lisha. “You can also change up the hue or shade of upholstery or pillows with slipcovers and cushion covers.”

For instance, Lisha notes how the patio (above) didn’t need a ton of outdoor decoration: “The bright red seat cushions, which echoed the red of the brick and contrasted perfectly with the greenery of the environment, added just the right pop.”

This is another area where plants and flowers come in handy – especially those with colorful foliage coordinating or contrasting with your outdoor décor.

And don’t discount the color of functional items you’re using anyway.

“Something as simple as a beach towel, tote or organizing bin not only adds another shot of color,” notes Lisha. “It it has a way of making the space homey – like it’s actually used by humans – and not like a display room or magazine page.”

 

Question: What are some of your favorite outdoor decorating ideas? Post a comment and let us know!

Our professional design team would also be happy to help you coordinate your outdoor décor in a new outdoor living space. Interested in getting started? Just contact us!

 

 

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Houston Outdoor Living Spaces Fun for Football Fans, Non-Fans

 

Houston outdoor living spaces like this with a TV and bar area are prime real estate for fans wanting to watch the game during football season. High-end covered outdoor kitchen with dishwasher, RCS 30" grill, double burner, refrigerator, sink, bar and trash drawer. Built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, an outdoor living space design company in Cypress, TX. More projects like this at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Houston outdoor living spaces like this with a TV and bar area are prime real estate for fans wanting to watch the game during football season.

 

Houston outdoor living spaces enter a precarious time during football season.

For football fans, this means gathering around the outdoor TV or media center, enjoying the cooler weather without the hassles of watching the game indoors.

For non-fans, however, it can become an extension of life indoors – exclusion from the TV and resident football fans’ time.

Whichever group you’re in, we’ve got tips for enjoying your Houston outdoor living design during football season – whether or NOT you’re a fan!

For fans

“Watching football in an outdoor living space offers many benefits – enjoying the weather, more seating, the kids can play, easy cleanup” says company owner Wayne Franks. “So the  first thing we’d like to do for the fans is offer a promotion to help those who don’t have an outdoor TV get one.”

That’s why, from now until the end of the football season, Outdoor Homescapes of Houston is offering free installation of outdoor TVs (an $800 value).

Those interested in the promotion can contact us for more information.

For those who already have a media center in their Houston outdoor living spaces – or want to install one – so they can watch the games outside, Franks offers the following tips:

  • Make sure the TV is in a shaded area (perhaps under an eave), so you can see the screen better.
  • Invest in an all-weather TV and/or movie screen
  • Put your TV in a weatherproof TV enclosure when you’re not using it.
  • Make sure to provide lots of weatherproof, comfortable seating with a good sightline to the TV screen, (this is why it helps to have a professional outdoor space planner like Outdoor Homescapes).
  • Plan for food and beverages. A nearby outdoor kitchen and grill island (also with a sightline to the TV) comes in handy for grilling up steaks, burgers, wings and hot dogs. This island can also house a bar with stools, an outdoor refrigerator for cold beers and even a Kegerator beer dispenser.
  • Provide for quick bathroom breaks. If a bathroom isn’t easily accessible for half-time pit stops, you can build one into a covered patio:

Houston outdoor living spaces can offer a quick outdoor bathroom break during football season, as shown in this outdoor design by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

  • Offer nightlighting and pathlighting. At the end of the season, it gets darker earlier, and you’ll want guests to be able to find their way around. Outdoor Homescapes specializes in outdoor lighting and nightscaping systems.
  • Banish bugs. You can defend your space by putting out citronella candles, keeping food covered and hanging bird feeders (since birds eat bugs). Outdoor Homescapes also specializes in MistAway mosquito systems.
  • Provide outdoor heaters when the weather gets cold.

For non-fans

To those who don’t watch football in their Houston outdoor living spaces, Outdoor Homescapes designers Lisha Maxey and Gretchen Kliafas offer the following advice:

“Let’s face it,” says Kliafas. “During football season, our backyard retreats kind of get taken over by the men as they watch football, grill burgers and relax with some beers. Our backyard sanctuaries start to feel more like man caves or sports bars.”

Prevent yourself from feeling sidelined, she says, by planning a girlfriends’ get-together. “You can plan it for the same night, enjoying wine and hors d’oeurves by the pool while the guys watch the game. Or, you can institute your own Girls Night a different night the same week, in which you and your friends get to watch what YOU want and dominate the outdoor media area.”

You can also offset the Guy Factor of your outdoor living space, says Maxey, by adding some feminine touches with outdoor furniture and décor.

“Furniture and accents with organic shapes or curves balance out the hard, masculine lines of a space,” says Maxey. “Soft accents like decorator pillows, drapes and throws will also achieve the same effect.”

Houston outdoor living spaces can have their straight, hard masculine lines softened with outdoor furniture collections offering curves. This is suggested in a blog post by Outdoor Homescapes at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

The Ibiza furniture collection by Restoration Hardware offers feminizing curves.

screenshot janus et cie orange outdoor living color scheme

Curved coffee table, decorator pillows and throw by Janus et Cie.

 

Of course, you may also want to consider just joining the crowd, since NFL statistics show that 40 percent of the football season’s fan base is women. 

“Instead of fighting against football season, you can try to learn more about the game along with your significant other,” says Kliafas. “You never know – you might find a new common interest – or impress him once you’ve gained a little knowledge.”

 

 

 

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Outdoor Furniture Transforms Houston Outdoor Design

Outdoor furniture transformed this outdoor living design by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. 

Outdoor furniture from Restoration Hardware really made this Houston outdoor living space design project shine.

“It really went well,” says Wayne Franks, owner of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. “It’s not a huge space, but moving the existing two columns about four feet and bringing the roof out only three feet made all the difference in the world.”

Outdoor furniture transformed this outdoor living space design by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“This particular client wanted a larger space to entertain,” says senior designer Lisha Maxey, who served as an outdoor furniture consultant while managing construction for the project.

The original space, Lisha explains, had two oddly placed columns blocking a clear view of the beautiful pool area from inside the home. “We removed those columns and gave her three more feet of roof, which extended her living area while also giving her the view she wanted.”

 Outdoor furniture transformed this Houston backyard design by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Since the client – a woman in her mid-50s with grown children who visit frequently – only wanted a small outdoor kitchen island with a 30-inch RCS grill Outdoor Homescapes closed up a French door that led from the master bedroom (which she never used) and created a new stucco wall for the kitchen.

Outdoor furniture transformed this covered patio with an outdoor kitchen island in Houston. More on this outdoor living space design at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“I would definitely call the style of this space ‘transitional,” says Lisha. The client is a very eclectic world traveler and a collector of art, yet wanted her outdoor living space to feel like a warm, homey living room once we placed the furniture and décor. In the end, her finishes centered around rustic stone, detailed columns and furniture leaning towards the contemporary.”

Much of the warmth in the space, she says, comes from the colors of the dry-stacked Sunset Canyon ledgestone. “It looks just like it sounds – like the sun setting in a deep canyon!”

“The columns are unique – decorative and fluted,” adds Wayne.

Outdoor furniture and decor from Restoration Hardware transformed this Houston patio makeover designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More on this backyard design at www.outdoorhomescapes.com.

The client, who’d received five free hours of outdoor furniture consultation as part of an ongoing promotion, also wanted Lisha to help her select, buy and help place furnishings.

“I believe that now – more than ever – consumers are looking for turn-key operations in any type of service industry – a ‘one-stop-shop,’ so to speak,” says Lisha. “It gives us a more personal touch with the client, as well as an edge in the industry in terms of selling our designs, as the client is reassured that we’ll work with them in every aspect to give them the outdoor living space of their dreams.”

Outdoor furniture like this distressed credenza by Restoration Hardware helped transform this Houston outdoor design by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More on this covered patio and outdoor decor project at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

The client ended up choosing the Biscayne collection – including a chair that rocks and swivels – from Restoration Hardware. They also went with a lower, unique teak coffee table from the Belvedere collection.

“We mixed wicker with teak for an equally soft and hard look and added pops of color to bring out the beautiful art collection inside,” says Lisha. “The neutral gray wicker, by the way, was the perfect match for the distressed teak coffee table and credenza. The grays of the Key West granite countertop also echoed this color palette.”

For the fabric, Lisha helped keep it neutral with a Mocha linen and popped the color with royal blue throw pillows matching the area rug: “To make the space truly her own, we added some unique copper pots from her collection and a few items she’s collected abroad.”

Ready to let outdoor furniture transform your living space? Contact us, and we’ll get your outdoor design project started!

 

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Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014

Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014

Houston outdoor designer Wayne Franks loves coming up with inventive solutions to design dilemmas.

“It’s about finding the perfect blend of function and aesthetics,” says Wayne, owner of the outdoor living space design company Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. “That’s why you need a professional outdoor space planner – someone with a design background – so these solutions can blend into the existing environment.”

Here, the Houston outdoor designer shares five such solutions from Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s outdoor living design services.

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas From 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. This Houston outdoor design features an outdoor bathroom doubling as one of the supports for the covered patio's roof extension. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog

Bathroom doubles as roof support

Although this outdoor bathroom didn’t end up in the final outdoor design, Wayne likes how this one also served as a support for the roof extension.

“This family wanted a streamlined design, but also a place where guests could quickly and privately use the bathroom or change in and out of swimwear,” explains the Houston backyard designer. “Since we were already supporting the roof with brick columns that matched the exterior of the house, it made sense to just widen one of these columns and turn it into a small room.”

 

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog

Throwing a curve at outdoor design

“This outdoor kitchen island is unique because of the shape,” explains Wayne, who saw the need for such space-saving on other Houston outdoor designs.  “We used a special galvanized steel track stud that’s fastened to the concrete. It’s segmented and pivots to follow the radius shape of the existing deck.”

A “skin” of HardiePanel (fiber cement siding, which can handle the high-heat of grills better than wood) was then put over top of the frame. This creates a cabinet for appliances and storage.

“The curve helps this kitchen meld into the outside border of the flagstone walkway, for optimal traffic flow,” says Wayne. “And I really love the look of the limestone. For a smaller kitchen, this outdoor design really shines with style.”

 

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog. Flat screen TV hangs on horizontal beam in Houston cabana with outdoor kitchen.

Beam me up!

“This was a creative way to answer the question: “Where do we put the flat-screen TV?” says Wayne, who’s been incorporating TVs and other outdoor audio-visual systems into Houston outdoor designs since 2004. “Since this was a freestanding cabana, hanging it on a wall was out of the question, and there was no fireplace or other high structure we could use.”

One of the high horizontal beams connecting two of the columns, however, offered the perfect sightline for those wanting to watch a game or movie from the opposite kitchen island or outdoor furniture grouping.

“I love this outdoor design idea – and plan to use it a lot more!” says Wayne.

 

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, TX at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog. Here, you can see how an outdoor refrigerator is built on the side of an outdoor kitchen island that faces the outdoor furniture grouping and patio seating area - for easy access.

Cold drinks – on the flip side

“Most outdoor kitchen islands have all the appliances and storage built into one side – the one facing the person providing the food for everyone else,” notes Wayne. “The way this outdoor kitchen was designed, that put the refrigerator on the side opposite the seating area, where the guests were.”

Building the outdoor refrigerator and wine cooler on the side next to the guests, explains the Houston outdoor designer, gives them easier access to a cold drink when they want one. This also frees up the person using the kitchen for cooking and socializing, since they don’t have to keep fetching drinks.

 

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog. In this Houston outdoor design, kids get what they want in the outdoor media room and the parents get their outdoor kitchen and grill area while being able to watch the kids.

Image from "Houston Outdoor Designer Shares 5 Creative Ideas from 2014" blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog. In this Houston outdoor living space design, one end of this covered patio is devoted to kids and their movie watching, while the other (an outdoor kitchen and grill area) is for the grownups while they watch the kids.

Kids and grownups - side by side

“The kids wanted an outdoor audio visual area to watch TV and movies,” explains Wayne. “The grownups wanted an outdoor kitchen, bar and grilling area where they could enjoy themselves while watching the kids. Both groups wanted a covered patio where they could hang out between dips in the pool.”

But there was very limited space between the house and the pool, and no room for anything in the side yards, either. The answer for this Houston outdoor living space design? A 40-foot-long, 11-foot deep roof extension off the back of the house. At one end of the covered patio below is a 12-foot by 8-foot outdoor living room with a custom audio-visual cabinet. At the other, an L-shaped, 8-foot-square outdoor kitchen island with a built-in grill, refrigerator and icemaker.

“By dividing this long, narrow area lengthwise into two different – yet integrated – components,” notes Wayne, “we were able to make the overall space less awkward while giving everyone what they wanted!”

 

Question: Which creative solution by this Houston outdoor designer do you like the most, and why? Post a comment, and let us know!

If you’d like to incorporate any of these features into your own outdoor design in Houston, just contact us, and we’ll get you started!

You can also get more ideas from all our Houston outdoor designers at our “Projects” page. Or, visit our Houston outdoor designs on Houzz.

 

 

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Outdoor Furniture Trends 2014 – Houston Outdoor Designer Dishes

Outdoor Furniture Trends 2014 – Houston Outdoor Designer Dishes

Outdoor furniture trends 2014: think wicker, lanterns, cast iron and much more, says Houston outdoor designer Lisha Maxey of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston in a blog post at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Outdoor furniture trends 2014: Think wicker, lanterns, cast iron, custom fabrics and more, says Houston outdoor designer Lisha Maxey in a blog post at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Lisha Maxey

Outdoor furniture trends 2014: What are they in Houston?

Wicker, cast iron and so much more, says Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

“Design-savvy, yet durable, outdoor furniture is now the rule, not the exception,” says Lisha, who’s offering $500 worth of outdoor furniture consultation free to Outdoor Homescapes clients. “That’s especially true in Houston, which is now outpacing many American cities in median household income, upscale housing development and year-round good weather.”

Outdoor furniture trends in 2014, she explains, have moved toward styles that look creative and carefree but that hold up against the elements and trendy decorating phases. “We’re demanding better-performing materials while gravitating toward timeless simplicity,” explains Lisha. “At the same time, we’re looking for ways to personalize our outdoor space and make it unique.”

But the end result can end up looking like a cluttered hodge-podge – unless a designer helps tie it all together.

“Many upscale outdoor furniture manufacturers give you a great start, with smartly designed collections you can customize.” A trade partner with upscale outdoor furniture brands like Restoration Hardware and Janus et Cie.

Here are some specific outdoor furniture trends for 2014 she’s noticed:

Wicker

Wicker is among the top outdoor furniture trends for 2014, says Houston outdoor designer Lisha Maxey in a blog post for Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“I would say that wicker is still number one for most clients,” says Lisha. And indeed, wicker’s new all-weather appeal (thanks to a mix of wicker and resin that allows it to be kept out in the rain) was cited among HGTV’s top outdoor furniture trends for 2014.

Cast iron

“Cast iron is also making a big hit,” says Lisha, noting these Avignon lanterns from Restoration Hardware:

Outdoor furniture trends 2014? Think cast iron lanterns like these ones from Restoration Hardware, says Houston backyard design expert Lisha Maxey of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston in a blog post at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

 

Custom fabrics

When it comes to outdoor furniture trends for 2014, custom fabric is also on the top of the list. Restoration Hardware, Lisha notes, offers more than 132 choices for upholstery, drapes, patio umbrellas and pillows. And the dizzying textiles collection at Janus et Cie can be specified by color, grade, weave and pattern:

Outdoor furniture trends 2014? Try custom fabrics, like these textiles by Janus et Cie, says Houston outdoor living space designer Lisha Maxey of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston in a blog post at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

The breezy look of draped linen sheers is especially popular in 2014.

Flameless candles

“With record drought and heat causing widespread wildfires the past few years, flameless candles have become even more popular in 2014,” adds Lisha.

Outdoor furniture trends 2014? Try flameless candles, like the ones featured on the counter of this outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, says Lisha Maxey, a Houston outdoor designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

 

Interested in incorporating the latest outdoor furniture trends into your outdoor living space? Just contact us, and we’ll get your project started!

 

Question: What outdoor furniture trends have you noticed in 2014? Write a comment and tell us about it!

 

 

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Outdoor Living Color Schemes – Houston Designers Offer Ideas

Outdoor Living Color Schemes – Houston Designers Offer Ideas

Outdoor living color schemes help establish the personality, mood and style of an outdoor living space, say two designers with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

Here, Gretchen Kliafas and Lisha Maxey share some ideas on how to effectively use color in your outdoor living space.

“I truly believe in the 60-30-10 theory of color,” says Gretchen, who joined the Houston outdoor design company in April 2014. “If you balance your colors and underlying color tones in this ratio, your outdoor living color schemes will always look pulled together.”

Take, for instance, the color palette in this outdoor living space designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes:

Outdoor living color schemes help establish the personality, mood and style of outdoor living spaces, say Houston outdoor designers Gretchen Kliafas and Lisha Maxey in a blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Outdoor living color schemes are a subject touched upon on by designer Gretchen Kliafas in a blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Gretchen Kliafas

“In this outdoor living color scheme, the red was definitely the 60 percent,” says Gretchen, noting the red brick home exterior, columns and pavers as well as the fiery-red seat cushions. “The dark brown of the furniture and pergola represent the smaller 30 percent, and then I believe the cool silver of the appliances brought the last 10 percent – for just the right pop.”

The red seat covers, she continues, coordinate with the client’s existing red patio umbrella. “They also had a strong, underlying warmth in their existing brick and flagstone, so it was a natural transition to continue the red and terra cotta colors. I also think red is a natural choice for outdoor living, since it’s opposite on the color wheel from the green of the outdoors.”

But color options have grown in the past decade as designers have gotten bolder and looked to personalize outdoor rooms. In fact, bright and cheery colors are right on trend for 2014.

Outdoor Living color schemes are a subject touched upon by Lisha Maxey, senior designer with Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, in a blog post at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Lisha Maxey

“The colors have gotten very happy, because we’re all feeling better,” says outdoor living expert Susan McCoy, crediting the recovering economy, in the National Hardware Show’s report on 2014 outdoor living trends.

“And many of these colors can be brought in with outdoor furniture and décor,” adds Outdoor Homescapes’ senior designer Lisha Maxey, who’s offering $500 free in outdoor furniture consultation when you get an outdoor living space by Outdoor Homescapes.”That’s where my partnerships with design-savvy brands like Restoration Hardware and Janus et Cie come in.”

Both brands, she says, offer a variety of decor options that make color moveable and changeable. Think customized upholstery fabric for furniture pieces, area rugs, drapery, throws, planters, patio umbrellas, seat cushions and throw pillows.

Here’s an outdoor color scheme with pops of orange, for instance, by Janus et Cie:

Outdoor living color schemes  help establish the mood, personality and style of an outdoor living space,  as seen in this orange themed collection by Janus et Cie. From a blog post on using color outdoors by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Blue is another popular choice for outdoor living color schemes. Here’s one including mostly Restoration Hardware pieces that was featured in Colorado Homes and Lifestyles magazine.

 Outdoor living color schemes help establish the mood, personality and style of outdoor living spaces, according to a blog post by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Looking for more outdoor living color schemes? Check out our outdoor color palettes on Houzz. You can also browse our outdoor color scheme ideas on Pinterest. And here’s a great HGTV slideshow on “Bold and Colorful Outdoor Rooms.”

Or, just contact us for a consultation. Our designers will be glad to help you out!

 

Question: What are some of your favorite outdoor living color schemes? Post a comment and let us know!

 

 

 

 

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Houston Patio Designers Satisfy Budget, Style, HOA

Houston Patio Designers Satisfy Budget, Style, HOA

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Gretchen Kliafas is a project manager, salesperson and project manager for Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

Gretchen

Houston patio designers Gretchen Kliafas and Kristy Buel Franks made this beautiful covered patio with an arbor and outdoor kitchen what it is — an extraordinary example of style, affordability and adaptability.

“We had to overcome some major hurdles on this project — the property had a no-build line all the way to the back door and the client had a very, specific, conservative budget in mind,” says Outdoor Homescapes of Houston owner Wayne Franks. “And we certainly couldn’t have done it without Gretchen and Kristy.”

Gretchen, he notes, “did an incredible job for a boatload of reasons” in her first stint as project manager for Outdoor Homescapes.

“The project had a different size, dimension and selection projection than what was approved by the homeowner’s association four months later,” says Gretchen, who was hired as a Houston patio designer in April 2014. “I guess you could call it my trial by fire!”

Houston patio designers Gretchen Kliafas and Kristy Buel Franks worked on this covered patio with an arbor and outdoor kitchen. More at www,outdoorhomescapes.com

"Before" picture of covered patio project with arbor and outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

“Before” shot

Kristy Buel Franks is a graphic designer for Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

Kristy

After meeting with the clients several times, Gretchen quickly put her 12 years of construction design experience to work, re-creating the project on a much smaller scale while maintaining its design integrity. The clients chose their design and functional elements for the most part, but Gretchen guided them through surface and finish selections like granite, stone, paver color and stain.

“Often, clients fall into one of two categories – those who want A LOT of input and want to meet at every supplier or go over multiple choices of details,” she explains. “Then there are those who want turn-key design services — more of a presentation style — which is what I did with this client. They’re busy … hectic schedules … so I presented all the elements together in their space, giving them multiple options.”

Also instrumental in the success of this project was graphic designer Kristy Buel Franks.

“She continually worked with Gretchen and the homeowners’ association to make it happen and conform to HOA covenants,” says Wayne.  “As usual, her floor plans, elevation drawings, 3D graphic renderings and virtual video tours also helped the client really see the entire project before it was built.”

screenshot antonio project rendering 1

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 “A lot of times, it’s hard to tell what the finished project will look like from black-and-white, 2D drawings,” says Kristy, who’s been a Houston patio designer with Outdoor Homescapes since 2010. “I think the ability to do the renderings in color — with materials chosen by the homeowners — helps give the project a finished look.”

This, she explains, gives the client that peace of mind that there aren’t going to be any surprises when the construction is over. “They don’t have to wonder, ‘Is this stone going to go with the counters?’ or ‘Will the stain on the stain on the ceiling look OK with the existing brick?’”

But it’s 3D virtual video tours, she says, that really distinguish Outdoor Homescapes from its competitors – and rank Kristy up there with some of the most cutting-edge Houston patio designers.

“Even though I’m able to create graphic renderings from many different angles, it’s the video that truly shows the finished project from every perspective,” says Kristy. “It’s that realistic walk-through that clinches it for clients — and that keeps the buzz building about our design capabilities.”

Check out more of these Houston patio designers’ work on this project on Houzz.

Looking for Houston patio designers yourself? Contact us, and we’ll get your project underway!

Or, feel free to browse our patio designs on Pinterest or covered patio projects on Houzz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Favorite Patio Addition Designs: High Ceilings and Fab Finishes

This covered patio addition by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston features high wood ceilings, a gas fireplace with a TV and seating area and an outdoor kitchen. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Welcome to the latest installment of Our Favorite Patio Addition Designs.

This latest project is perfect for anyone looking for high ceilings and luxurious finishes.

As you can see, a beautiful, dark-stained patio ceiling rises high over this patio addition design. Here’s the “before” shot of the white Hardie panel ceiling before we replaced it with the dark tongue and groove boards:

 This "before" shot of a patio addition shows a Hardie panel ceiling, which was later replaced with dark-stained tongue and groove boards by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com

Atop this wood patio ceiling is a 210-square-foot hipped roof extension off the existing house, with red brick, white trim and grey composite shutters matching the existing house. Underneath the patio ceiling sits a new outdoor kitchen and a fireplace with a seating area:

This gas-burning fireplace features a mounted flat-screen TV, drystacked ledgestone walls, a wooden mantel and a flagstone hearth. Designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog

The outdoor kitchen island includes a raised countertop with bar seating for six and the following Renaissance Cooking Systems (RCS) stainless steel appliances: drop-in cooler, horizontal door, sink , single access door, trash door, 30-inch Cutlass Pro grill, double drawer/door and lowered power burner:

This outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston features RCS appliances and stainless steel storage: a drop-in cooler, 30-inch grill, power burner and sink. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog

The gas-burning fireplace features a mounted flat-screen TV, a wooden mantel and a flagstone hearth that matches the pool coping. The family’s existing wicker patio furniture was placed in the new seating area around the fireplace.

We really love the finishing materials in this patio addition design. The fireplace and exterior walls of the kitchen island are dry-stacked Chardonnay ledgestone. The countertop is Spectrus granite.

As this 3D graphic rendering shows, the new stamped concrete patio features a Versailles pattern with a contrasting border. The 645-square-foot patio under the roof addition is a lighter tan and the 1,580-square-foot patio around the pool and firepit is a darker tan, visual distinction between the two areas:

This 3D graphic rendering of a patio addition by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston shows the contrasting patio colors used to define different areas. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com/blog

Question: What kinds of elements do you like best in patio addition designs? Write a comment and tell us about it! You can also browse our patio addition designs on Houzz.

Or, contact us and we’ll help you get started on your own patio addition!

 

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Small Outdoor Kitchen Throws Style a Curve in Houston

 This small outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston features a curved design along the flagstone walkway that allows for optimal traffic flow. More small space kitchens at www.outdoorhomescapes.com.

This small outdoor kitchen is big on function – and style.

“This compact outdoor kitchen island has a really nice look, with materials I haven’t really used before,” says Wayne Franks, owner of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston.

The exterior walls, he notes, are a dry-stacked Tuscan Valley limestone. The countertop is Normandy granite.

“It’s unique because of the shape,” explains Franks.  “We used a special galvanized steel track stud that’s fastened to the concrete. It’s segmented and pivots to follow the radius shape of the existing deck.”

A “skin” of HardiePanel (fiber cement siding, which can handle the high-heat of grills better than wood) is then put over top of the frame. This creates a cabinet for appliances and storage.

Here’s how this small outdoor kitchen came to life:

A unique small outdoor kitchen required this curved metal frame and segmented tracking from Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. The Houston outdoor designer has other such projects on its website, at www.outdoorhomescapes.com.

Galvanized steel frame with segmented track

This small outdoor kitchen in Houston has a Hardie panel covering over a segmented, galvanized steel frame before stone walls are built on the exterior. Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, the Houston outdoor living space designer who designed and built the project, has a gallery of its other outdoor kitchens on its website at www.outdoorhomescapes.com.

A HardiePanel “skin” covers a segmented, curved metal frame before stone walls are built on the exterior.

 This small outdoor kitchen with a curved back, built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, needed a galvanized steel frame, covered with HardiePanel and then drystacked limestone. More at www.outdoorhomescapes.com.

Tuscan Valley limestone is drystacked into exterior walls. Finally, built-in appliances and stainless steel storage are added.

Built into the small outdoor kitchen island are a 30-inch RCS commercial-grade grill with a double burner and outdoor refrigerator:

“The curve helps this kitchen meld into the outside border of the flagstone walkway, for optimal traffic flow,” says Franks. “And I really love the look of the limestone stone. For a smaller kitchen, this one really shines with style.”

Looking for small-space kitchen designs in Houston? Check out our photos of small-space outdoor kitchens. You can also browse the small outdoor kitchen photos on Houzz.

Or, if you know what you want and are ready to get started, just contact us! We’ll get the ball rolling!

 

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