Homescapes of Houston - Blog
Homescapes of Houston



Houston Kitchen Designers Shine With Contemporary Classic

 Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey did this Houston kitchen remodel, transforming it from an outdated, natural-oak paneled bachelor kitchen into a contemporary showpiece with industrial design influences. More at

Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey have done it again – this time with a timeless, yet contemporary remodel.

“The client wanted something homey with a comfy, family feel,” says Lisha, senior designer for Homescapes of Houston.

“They liked contemporary style,” adds Wayne, Homescapes of Houston’s owner. “But we couldn’t push it too far, since  the style of the home is so traditional.”

This Houston kitchen remodel hits all the right notes – staying on trend while keeping it neutral and classic for years to come!

The clean, contemporary, white-black-and-grey color scheme is just the beginning of this transformation from the previous kitchen:

Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey remodeled this outdated Houston kitchen into a contemporary showpiece with industrial design influences. More at


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.

Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey did this Houston kitchen remodel with an attached dining room. The new space features Restoration Hardware furniture and lighting, a white, grey and black color scheme, carrara marble, Absolute Black honed granite and a counter-turned table with custom milled legs. More at


“At first, we wanted to open up that section altogether, but then realized they 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.

Houston kitchen designers Wayne Franks and Lisha Maxey - of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston - offer interior design services as well. Here, you can see the remodeled dining room (off of the newly redesigned kitchen) and living room in a Houston home. More at



As you can see from the photos and video, 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, plus new window treatments and light fixtures from Restoration Hardware. Staining the top handrailing with the same Jacobean dark stain, however, made the look more contemporary.

The outdoor living space also got a revamp, with a new patio ceiling also stained Jacobean, as well as new outdoor furniture and an 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:


Does your kitchen need a revamp – inside or out? Just contact us! Wayne and Lisha can make it happen!


Outdoor Sitting Area in Houston Gets Fireplace Warm-up

Outdoor Sitting Area in Houston Gets Fireplace Warm-up

 This Houston outdoor sitting area gets warmed up in the cool season with this gas fireplace. This Houston covered patio addition was designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

Check out this great outdoor sitting area with a fireplace we just finished in Houston! (In fact, you can check out this awesome outdoor living space on Houzz!)

“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.

This view of a two-story stone and stucco home in Houston shows the view from a new outdoor sitting area designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. The area features an outdoor sitting area next to a cozy fireplace. More at

“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.”

This Houston outdoor sitting area contains a gas fireplace with bench seating, an outdoor ceiling fan, outdoor sofas and a coffee table. This is one of the many Houston patio covers designed and built by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

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.

This Houston outdoor sitting area is shown while under construction by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. When finished, it will contain an outdoor sitting area next to a cozy fireplace. More at

 This is an aerial view of a Houston outdoor sitting area with a fireplace built  next to a pool and hot tub. More outdoor living spaces like this from Houston outdoor designer Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at

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!







More Halloween Patio Decorating Ideas For 2014

This is one of the Halloween patio decorating ideas for 2014 shared by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston on its blog. This design is from The Home Depot's 2013 Halloween Style Challenge. More at

Here it is – more Halloween patio decorating ideas!

Our last installment was so successful, we decided to show you some more!

Mystery makeover

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.

Looking for Halloween patio decorating ideas in 2014? How about this Rumford fireplace decked out with gothic candlestick decorations, metallic pumpkins and playful banners? This Houzz ideabook is one of the Halloween outdoor living space decor ideas shared by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston on its blog. More at

Fun Fireplace

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.


screenshot halloween patio decor 5 bhg oct 13 2014


Boo-worthy buffet

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).

This Halloween patio decorating idea for 2014 - noted by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston in its blog - comes from More at



What are some of your favorite Halloween patio decorating ideas? Post a comment and let us know! 


4 Houston Patio Designs for Football Season

4 Houston Patio Designs for Football Season

 This Houston outdoor kitchen design has become a huge hub for watching football on TV outdoors during football season. This tropical themed cabana by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston features a flat-screen mounted to a cross-beam with an outdoor kitchen, bar and grill.  More Houston outdoor kitchens by Outdoor Homescapes at

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

This Houston outdoor kitchen design features a TV for football watching on end and an outdoor kitchen, bar and grill on the other. More Houston outdoor kitchens by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at

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.


This Houston outdoor kitchen design offers the ability to watch a football game from the hot tub or comfy chairs. It also has an outdoor refrigerator built on the side of the outdoor kitchen island facing guests, for self-serve cold drinks. More outdoor kitchens by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at

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.”


 This Houston outdoor kitchen design features a flat-screen TV for watching football and an ultra modern industrial look. More outdoor kitchens by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at

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!

You can also feel free to browse our Houston outdoor kitchen pictures on Houzz. Or, if you’re ready to get started with your own Houston outdoor kitchen project, just contact us!



Houston Modern Outdoor Kitchen: Heavy Metal

Houston Modern Outdoor Kitchen: Heavy Metal

 This modern outdoor kitchen in Houston features a metal roof with I-beam construction, stainless steel walls and appliances and a concrete table, floor and backsplash. More outdoor living space designs by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston at

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:

A metal roof with I-beam construction completes this modern outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

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:

This ultra modern outdoor kitchen in Houston features a full range of Fire Magic stainless steel appliances: an e790 Echelon grill, trash and warming drawers, refrigerator, icemaker, sink and storage. More Houston outdoor design projects can be found at Outdoor Homescapes of Houston's website at

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.”

A modern outdoor kitchen by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston was designed for this ultra modern Houston home. It included a pizza oven faced with stone matching that found on these exterior walls. More outdoor living spaces by this Houston outdoor designer at

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.”

Picture 003 (2)

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!



Houston Designer: Fall and Halloween Outdoor Decor Ideas

Houston Designer: Fall and Halloween Outdoor Decor Ideas

photo 3

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:


screenshot avignon cast iron lanterns restoration hardware

Hang lanterns – like these from Restoration Hardware – from tree branches with LED flameless candles in them for a spooky, yet sophisticated effect!


screenshot zinc finials restoration hardware

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!


screenshot janus et cie orange outdoor living color scheme

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.




2014-09-25 17_46_02-Outdoor Laboratory Cart _ Pottery Barn

 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!


 2014-09-25 17_55_37-Battery Operated Fire and Ice Lantern - Grandin Road

 What about these black-and-orange “Fire and Ice” Lanterns from Grandin Road?

2014-09-26 13_50_39-17 Outdoor Halloween Decorations - Halloween Yard and Porch Ideas - Country Livi

And here’s an easy way to change up your patio planters for Halloween – theis bottle-gourd scarecrow idea from Country Living!




Houston Outdoor Kitchens – A Concrete Idea Of Style


Houston outdoor kitchens have gone modern - like this one with poured-concrete countertops and a dark-stained pergola (Minwax Jacobean). More at

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!

 This is a before picture of a Houston outdoor kitchen project with concrete countertops, a dark-brown pergola and custom storage by Houston outdoor designer Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

 “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.

Houston outdoor kitchens with concrete countertops, like this one by Houston outdoor design firm Outdoor Homescapes of Houston, have a minimalistic, modern look. More at

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:

This image of outdoor track lighting by Restoration Hardware goes with a blog post on a Houston outdoor kitchen with upscale outdoor furniture, concrete countertops, custom bench storage and an espresso-brown pergola. More at

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!

Holiday Patio Decorating Ideas for 2014

Holiday Patio Decorating Ideas for 2014

 Holiday patio decorating ideas include running a length of evergreen garland along the length of the counter of your outdoor kitchen, as shown here in an outdoor design project by Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

Looking for holiday patio decorating ideas for 2014?

Here are some ideas from Outdoor Homescapes of Houston’s patio design projects:

Decorating your patio for the holidays or Christmas in 2014? Here are some ideas from Houston outdoor designer Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

If you're looking for holiday patio decor ideas, here's one from Houston outdoor designer Outdoor Homescapes of Houston: run a garland of greenery along the length of your outdoor kitchen island, and add some candles or lanterns. More at

Holiday patio decorating ideas for 2014 include running a Christmas garland along the length of a decorative shelf, as shown here by Houston outdoor designer Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

Houston Patio Design – Watching Football On TV

Houston Patio Design – Watching Football On TV

Houston patio design is increasingly incorporating outdoor TVs and other audio visual equipment for watching football on TV during football season. More at

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

Houston patio design trends for 2014 and 2015 include outdoor TVs for watching football outdoors or weatherproofed indoor TVs - often with outdoor heating like a fireplace as the season grows colder.

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.

Houston patio designs with outdoor TVs for watching football are increasingly incorporating comfy seating like an outdoor sofa with soft cushions for hours of football season game watching. More at

 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.)

 Patio design in Houston is often increasingly incorporating outdoor TVs, outdoor media centers and other outdoor audio-visual systems for watching football on TV. Such spaces also include outdoor heating like fireplaces, fire pits and outdoor heaters for game days during winter. More at

Outdoor heating

“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!

Sustainable Outdoor Design Gets A Boost in Houston

Sustainable Outdoor Design Gets A Boost in Houston

Sustainable outdoor design is a passion of Ashley Allen's. Allen is the newest Houston outdoor designer at Outdoor Homescapes of Houston. More at

With the addition of a new, up-and-coming designer to our team, we’re now offering sustainable outdoor design services in Houston!

Houston outdoor designer Ashley Allen was added to the Outdoor Homescapes team in September 2014 by owner Wayne Franks (pictured here). More at


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.

Outdoor Homescapes of Houston's senior designer Lisha Maxey (pictured here) was joined by designer Ashley Allen on the Houston outdoor design company's team. More at


“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.

Outdoor designer Ashley Allen of Outdoor Homescapes of Houston says green outdoor design offers cheaper, more durable materials - like this reclaimed glass counter and backsplash. More at

“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!