Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Outdoor Living Ideas | Key Residential

The clocks have been set forward an hour, the days are slowly becoming progressively longer, and slowly but surely the cold of winter is hopefully on its way out. Before we know it, summer will be here, which mean s it is time to start thinking about how you want to spend those months of sunshine and warm temperatures. And what better way to do that than in the comfort of your own home with the perfect outdoor living space. What makes the perfect outdoor living space? Check out the ideas below and then let us know which you would include in your dream outdoor living space.


An outdoor kitchen can allow you the freedom of cooking in ways that you might not normally be able to do inside (think excess smoke or mess). And who doesn’t enjoy the smell of barbeque? Outdoor kitchens can range from something as simple as a grill with a table and chairs to a fully functional kitchen complete with not only a grill but other specialty cooking equipment (smoker, pizza oven, deep fryer) with plenty of counter space and other standard kitchen amenities (sinks, dishwasher, refrigerator).

Design Idea: The clients for this outdoor kitchen are avid cooks, and as such wanted a fully equipped kitchen, including a pizza oven. The oven surround was designed to match the ledgestone features throughout the living space. A chimney was added to allow for proper ventilation and designed to match the existing full masonry cast stone chimneys of the property.


If you live in Texas like us or any other area where the summer heat can get close to unbearable then you know how useful a pool can be, especially one in your own backyard. Pools can be fun for all ages and can offer copious amounts of family time. But most importantly, they can provide relief from the summer sun. If you have younger children or want to be able to easily lounge in the pool with a good book then think about adding an extended wet deck. And if you want to be able to enjoy the water year round then you can add a hot tub to help you enjoy the outdoors during the colder months.

Design Idea: If you have a smaller back yard and want the privacy of a fence but still maximize your space then try adding mirrors to the fence. They will create the illusion of extra space and add an interesting focal point to a fence that would otherwise be plain and ordinary.


The entertainment options outdoor are unlimited, even within the confines of your own backyard. A pool is an obvious choice. A TV with an adjacent seating area would be a nice touch, especially if you’re someone who enjoys watching the big game while grilling up those burgers. A larger seating area would also come in handy for any parties you may host. If you’re an avid golfer, or even just a fan of mini golf, you could add in your own putting green. A basketball hoop is a classic, yet useful, touch. And you can’t forget about the kids. Their own outdoor playground would be just the thing to keep them entertained during those summer months away from school.


An outdoor living space can be an excellent area to express your own individual design style. Whether you want something rustic, traditional, contemporary, or any other style, an outdoor living area is your at home retreat where you can relax and have fun. And what better way to do that than in a style that speaks to you.

Design Idea: Find a few signature pieces to base your style around. In this remodel the homeowners provided many of the antique pieces. These pieces not only help complete the rustic look but are also their own, unique items.


When creating an outdoor living area don't forget about the landscaping. It will help set the mood of whatever style you are going for and will give you something pleasant to look out while you are outside enjoying nature. How much grassy area do you want? What kind of plants do you want: something that requires a lot of care but looks very well put together, such as shrubs or small bushes, or something less planned that’s allowed to grow as it will, like  trees? Or do you prefer something with less plant life? Stylish rock formations can help contribute to an interesting landscape if that is more to your tastes.

Design Idea: Include a fire pit. That way the fun can continue into the evening hours. And you can make s’mores.


Outdoor living areas don’t have to be limited to use just when the temperature is warm and pleasant. Add in some heaters or retractable shades and you can provide yourself with some protection against the cold while still enjoying the outdoors. Synthetic turf grass can keep your yard looking bright and green year round, even when the other plants have gone dormant for the winter. The outdoor living area pictured includes both heaters and fans to provide comfort throughout the often temperamental Texas weather.

See more photos from these projects and others on our Houzz page.