Outdoor Home Living, Landscape Contractors, Mesquite, TX

Archive for the 'Decorating' Category

7 Things to Consider When Adding a Fence in Dallas

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

tips-fence-dallas

As a Dallas home owner, you may be considering a fence to add value, beauty, security and privacy to your property. Before you do, consider these important factors, ranging from practicality of materials to current fence laws in Dallas, when it comes to your fence installation needs.

1. Type:

Why do you want a fence? If it’s strictly for function — say, to keep your pets in the yard — a chain link fence would be fine. But if you’re going for privacy or aesthetics, perhaps something taller, made of cedar, with solid panels would be in order. Yes, a fence can achieve many things, but the first step is to consider your primary motivation and work outward from there.

2. Material:

A white picket fence is the dream of many a homeowner. While it may look gorgeous with your cute little ranch or Colonial, you should think about the time commitment involved with maintenance. Are you prepared to seal, paint or stain it every few years to guard against peeling paint and rot? If you still insist on the charm and natural beauty of a wooden picket fence, that’s great. But if you know you won’t have the time or patience for upkeep, perhaps a vinyl option would be more suited to you. You’ll still get the great look without all the hassle.

3. Research the neighborhood:

Before installing a fence of any kind, check with your homeowners or neighborhood associations. Many of these organizations have contracts in place that dictate the look, height, and material of any fences installed within the neighborhood.

4. Check with town hall:

Likewise, your town or city may have rules regarding how far a fence must be set back from sidewalks and property lines. You’ll also have to find out if you will need a building permit. For example, in Dallas, a fence permit is required when installing a fence or wall that exceeds four feet in height in a front yard, and more than six feet tall elsewhere on the property. There may be other requirements if your home sits in a flood plain area, conservation district or historic district. Be sure to check with your town before starting your project.

5. Don’t forget entrances:

A fenced-in area should have at least two entrance points. One should be large enough to fit bulky equipment such as patio furniture, garbage barrels and lawn mowers. Use stepping stones, pergolas and decorative stone pathways to indicate these entrance points.

6. Accents:

Once your fence has been installed, it’s time to consider how you will dress up the area. Usually, just a fence alone can look plain. Consider adding decorative posts, finials, archways, flower beds, gardens and shrubbery to accent the fence and really bring out your style.

7. Cost:

If you can’t afford the cost of outfitting the entire perimeter in cedar, for example, you may consider using this material for the front and sides, and chain link for the back yard portion that may sit against the woods or some shrubs. This will save you on installation costs, as well as maintenance tasks because you won’t have to stain or paint as much material, points out Better Homes and Gardens.

<adding-fence-tips

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how Outdoor Home Living can help you install the perfect fence for your needs in Dallas. We can answer all your questions and give you a free estimate as well.

 

Glass Pool Fencing and Railing: Daydreaming About Your Dream Pool

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

glass pool fencing backyard

Do you find yourself daydreaming about the pool and surrounding landscape you’d like to have someday? Well, why put it off? Now’s the prefect time to start planning your glass pool fencing and railing.

Glass pool fences and railing systems

make a luxurious addition to your pool area. They pull double duty: they keep children and pets out of the pool area when not in use but they also provide a beautiful fencing option that allows for an unobstructed view. There are many reasons why you would install a glass fence:

  • To protect your garden from animals
  • To provide a railing around open decks or patios
  • To add a barrier around your property without blocking the view

This elegant safety barrier solution enhances the beauty and value of your home, reflecting the latest trends in design. For example, this type of fencing would complement a modern home the best. You can choose from fences that are mounted to concrete, pavement, tiles, wood, or grass. Whether for new construction or renovations, glass fences are built for performance, even though they may look fragile. Typically constructed from premium 1/2” thick tempered safety glass and stainless steel hardware, you don’t have to worry about your fence weathering the storms that come through Dallas regularly.

Benefits of Glass Fencing

There are many benefits to installing glass fencing around your pool area, including:

  • Ability to stand up to the most extreme weather
  • Resistant to water spots and corrosion
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Able to maintain beauty for many years
  • Ability to mount to a variety of materials, from concrete and tiles to wood and grass
  • Uninterrupted view

Perhaps the best for family fun, glass fences allow you a nice view of your backyard and surrounding landscape, which means you can also easily keep an eye on your kids if they decide to leave the pool area and hop on the swing set or picnic table. Glass fences have panels that are climb-resistant, usually available in four- or five-foot heights. Glass pool gates comes with self-closing hinges and latches for added safety. So, if you assume just because you have kids and pets that you’re stuck with mesh, chain link or white vinyl fencing, think again. Glass fencing is just as safe, if not more so.

Balconies and More

Frameless glass fencing isn’t just for pool areas. You can install them anywhere you want to maintain a consistent style and view, such as on a balcony, patio or deck. In these instances, you can choose from a spectrum of glass railing systems that meet stringent guardrail safety requirements and building codes, such as:

  • Fully Frameless Railing
  • Aluminum Post Railing
  • Stainless Steel Post Railing

Costs

Because you’re getting a highly weather- and rot-resistant product that offers you a slew of benefits as discussed above, you’ll pay more than you would for wood fencing. However, glass fencing is designed to last a lifetime, with no replacement costs. There are many things that factor into cost, such as the thickness of the glass. The thicker you go, the more expensive the materials will be, says Improvenet.

Another factor that ups the price tag is how many gates you want to install as part of your fence. The more gates, the more money. That’s because the gates require special materials and hardware.

Labor also plays into the cost. Don’t try to save a few bucks and hire someone who’s not licensed and insured. It’s best to pay a bit more and make sure the work is backed up by someone who knows what they’re doing. Ask about warranties that come with the glass fence too.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Still daydreaming about those glass fences for your pool? Choose Outdoor Home Living to do the work, as our licensed and insured contractors are well versed in this type of fencing system. Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how we can bring your daydreams to life.

5 Benefits of Water Features to Your Landscape

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

custom pool and pergola dallas

Running water can have a calming effect. You know this if you ever spent time near a pool with a fountain, or a waterfall, or the ocean…you get the idea. Well, you could incorporate a water feature into your own yard and it wouldn’t cost a fortune. You can get as simple or elaborate as you want — no trip to the waterfalls of Hawaii required! It’s time to add some natural features to your backyard to truly turn it into the oasis you’ve always wanted. Here are some benefits to adding water features in your landscape.

1. Sounds of Nature:

You work hard all week. You just want to come home and sit in your backyard with a cold drink and a good book. You don’t want to have to travel all the time to witness the awe of nature. So why not make nature come to you? Relax with the soothing sounds of nature to reset your body and reduce your stress level.

2. Ecosystem enhancement:

Water not only attracts humans, it attracts animals as well. When you install a water feature in your yard, you’ll start to see some visitors coming by for a visit. Local wildlife like deer and birds will be attracted to the sound and temptation of drinking or bathing water. Your yard is now a haven for beautiful wildlife, which enhances your local ecosystem. Get out your camera and get ready to snap some pictures of your new friends. Plus, use this as an educational opportunity for your kids, says Gardenerdy. In addition to wildlife, your plants will flourish too.

3. Low maintenance:

Compared with other backyard enhancements, such as swimming pools, pondless water features give you all the benefits of natural surroundings without the hassle and stress of cleaning and maintenance. Perhaps you would like a wall fountain or maybe a cascading, rushing waterfall is more your speed. When you have water features that are constantly circulating, bacteria has a very tough time growing and accumulating. These types of water features are also safer if you have pets and small children who could otherwise fall in and drown with a stagnant pool of water.

4. Unique Landscape:

Water features ensure no one else in your neighborhood offers quite the same experience as you do. By designing your own system, you can get as creative as you want and it won’t look like everybody else’s. You can design hand-carved rocks, for instance, to complete your waterfall, or add natural stepping stones to complete your serene water garden.

5. Adaptation:

Even if you don’t have a large backyard, you can still make use of the space you have with an adaptable water feature. When you have a professional on your side who can design a unique pondless water element, you can make a big impact in a small area. You can tuck it away into a corner of your property as part of your garden, or you can have it front and center near your patio and pool. Got an awkward space? A water feature can be adapted to fit just about anywhere. And if you have always wanted to make better use of a poorly-used area of your yard, this is the perfect solution.

Glass Fencing Dallas, Texas

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Does a water feature sound like a great idea? Contact us today at 214-328-5296. From swim-up bars to waterfalls, we can custom design anything to your unique needs from concept to completion.

3 Summer Landscape Design Trends

Monday, August 21st, 2017

landscape-design
It’s summer in Dallas and you’re looking to spice things up in your front yard. How can you stand out and do something a bit different than everyone else? It’s time to incorporate some trendy summer design residential landscaping ideas into your property. Here are three helpful tips.

1. Color Blocking

We’ve been seeing this trend in women’s fashion for the past two seasons. It seems natural to make the cross-over into landscape design. At the heart of color blocking is the ability to utilize bold blocks of color to turn nature into an eye-catching piece of art. You can achieve this with anything from backyard fences to concrete patios — basically anything that creates visual interest can transform a ho-hum yard into an amazing modern outdoor space. Backed by detailed craft work and over-sized motifs, you can achieve color blocking in a myriad ways. Color-blocked patio walls are all the rage right now, all part of a movement to frame or highlight a specific plant or area. Even a simple splash of color on a wall can provide the perfect backdrop for a row of potted plants or form the backdrop for an outdoor sofa, says Garden Design Magazine. Don’t have a wall to paint? Throw down a solid-color outdoor rug or porch curtains to achieve the same effect.

2. Go Hyperlocal

Locally sourced plants are hot in garden design, not just with native plants but endemic plants as well — also known as plants native to a particular ecosystem. More and more garden designers in Central Texas say they are planting more and more of these hyperlocal plants, which can be hard to come by in local nurseries. This necessitates the transplanting of existing plants and the sourcing of building materials hyperlocally. Put simply, you can use existing rocks and create posts from on-site junipers in a pinch. This regionalistic approach to landscape design takes into account the surrounding climate, particularly as it relates to climate change. The challenge here is to achieve a balance between natural elements and human use.

3. Using Plants That Thrive

Dallas can go a long time without seeing rain, which can really put a damper on your landscape design. By using drought-resistant plants, you can ensure a beautiful-looking yard throughout the year. Even when the rain is scarce and the heat is relentless, plants like Black-Eyed Susans, Zinnias, Madagascar Periwinkle, Portulaca and blanket flower can brighten up your outdoor decor. Edge your lawn, top your retaining wall or fill your window boxes with vibrant purple verbena or Mealycup Sage, which is not only native to Texas but also attracts beautiful butterflies to its long blooms, says Southern Living.

In terms of the lawns themselves, more and more Dallas homeowners are forgoing the traditional neatly manicured lawns that are so dependent on rain in favor of grass mixes that don’t require mowing. Even native turfgrass and taller, prairie-type mixes are being seen on lawns across the area. Artificial turf is also making the scene for its easy maintenance.

design-landscape-summer

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

For more ideas into the latest summer landscape design trendscontact us at 214-328-5296 or email us at info@outdoorhomeliving.com. Look to us to transform your boring outdoor spaces into residential paradises through our landscape design and maintenance services in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

How to step up your Dallas landscaping this summer

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

As a homeowner, you know you’re facing a long summer of watering and mowing the lawn. That’s all well and good, but there are other things you can do to step up your game this summer in terms of landscaping. Once you’ve got the lawn down pat, make your yard realize its potential with a few structural additions, stone pathways, gardens, and other visual pops of interest that are sure to add value and curb appeal. We can help you be the envy of your neighborhood with these tips.

Make a Path

Whether meandering or streamlined, pathways add a clearly defined structure to your yard. It doesn’t have to lead to anywhere special. It could guide guests to your front door or maybe to a side-yard garden area with bench. Or maybe down to a babbling brook in your backyard. It could even lead to a patio area or hammock for restful summer reading. Country Living suggests lining your pathways with lavender, which is virtually indestructible, is available in several beautiful shades, and is resistant to the curiosity of nature’s creatures such as deer.

Another way to welcome people to your home is to add a white picket fence with country garden gate. Go one step further and add fragrant star jasmine over the top as a climbing vine. A rustic looking patio off to the side completes the look. Add thyme in between irregularly shaped stones for a cottage country look. Boxwood hedges add even more charm to your pathways, whether you want them rounded, squared off, or snaked through other types of borders.

Add Accessories

Even a lush green lawn needs something to help it stand out against the expanse of your yard. Arbors, pavilions and pergolas are a perfect way to complement your yard and add visual interest. It’s easy to dress up your home and outdoor living space with these items while expressing your personal style. Add value to your property as well as curb appeal with a custom-built arbor structure, pavilion or pergola. They all provide some degree of shade. Which one you choose will depend on your lifestyle. If you want partial shade, a pergola or arbor is wise; if you want full shade, go with a pavilion. A pavilion offers you more entertaining space because of the shade provided, so it’s perfect for adding a full patio set, outdoor furniture or picnic table under. As such, pavilions are more functional.

On the other hand, an arbor or pergola offers more of a visual appeal that doesn’t provide much recreational space but can certainly make for beautiful pictures. Intertwine vines and flowers around these structures for a charming way to welcome people to your garden, small sitting area, bench or pathway.

Gazebos are another option to consider. Best for larger spaces, gazebos are the ultimate destination for family photos through all seasons. From circular to pentagon, you can choose one with a roof and open or screened-in sides. Make it your personal retreat at night to have a glass of wine and socialize with the neighbors.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Want help sprucing up your outdoor landscape this summer? Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how Outdoor Home Living can help propel your Dallas landscape to the top of the neighborhood’s trendy list.

Kick your grilling game up a notch with outdoor kitchens

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Outdoor Kitchen

With summer just about here, you’re probably spending more and more time outside near your pool and patio. If you’re lucky enough to have the space, it’s time to invest in an outdoor kitchen. If you entertain a lot, you likely get tired of cooking inside, missing all the good conversation, and carrying all the food and condiments outside to the patio area — then do it all again in reverse when everyone’s done. By the time you get to the party, everyone’s ready to leave!

Keep up with all the action when you put an outdoor kitchen in your backyard. Prep, grill, serve and enjoy all in one spot with your family and guests. Check out these cool ideas to kick your grilling game up a notch this summer.

Pool, Pergola and Pizza

A wood fired grill partially shaded by a beautifully crafted pergola, backdropped by your crystal clear pool makes the perfect backyard scene. Incorporate an authentic wood-fired pizza oven that gives you the power to make your hand-made pizza just the way you like it. In fact, it’s the perfect excuse to have a pizza party with friends. They can add their cheese and toppings, you can place it in the oven, then serve up the cheesy goodness as you enjoy the view of your pool.

Go with the Flow

The trend right now is to extend the living room or family room into the backyard, with a flowing transitional concept that ties indoor and outdoor spaces together as part of a seamless atmosphere, says the LA Times. And, advances in technology allow you to keep things cold outside so you don’t have to run back and forth for ice or other cold items. Refrigeration units that would fail five years ago if the temperature got above 90 are now able to thrive in 115-degree conditions.

Year-Round Comfort

For those chilly nights where a sweatshirt is in order, no need to head inside if you have built-in heaters overhead or even in the floors. For even heat distribution, you can’t go wrong with luxuries in heating so that no night is off limits outside when Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate.

Versatile Grilling Options

Sometimes you just want to try a different way of grilling. For that, incorporate a cast-iron flat-topped grill that mimics the ease of a teppanyaki grill. Nothing falls through the cracks and you get an even grilling surface every time. When you want to get back to basics, do it with a modern twist. Invest in a wi-fi smart grill so you can control your cooking while you sit and enjoy a drink with friends. Not only can you fire up the grill remotely, you can also check the temperature, keep track of time, and monitor sensors — all with an app from your smart phone.

Consider layout of your outdoor kitchen, too. You want to incorporate areas where you can sit and enjoy the food you cook, as well as rest a drink or plate while you socialize. What good is it if you have a grill, pizza oven, and beer on tap if you have nowhere to set things?

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

For convenience and comfort, choose Outdoor Home Living as your premier provider of comprehensive outdoor kitchens that truly complement your life. Contact us at 214-328-5296 to learn how we can make your backyard kitchen ideas come to life.

Fire and Water: Features That Enhance Your Backyard

Thursday, April 13th, 2017


From fire pits to waterfalls, there’s no better way to incorporate two opposing yet complementary elements in your yard. When looking to enhance the comfort, aesthetics and functionality of your backyard, not to mention the relaxation factor, you may want to consider adding water features and fire features to your property. Merge the elements of fire and water to create a backyard paradise that your whole family and all your guests will enjoy year after year.

Fire Features

From sunken fire pits to traditional custom stone work, you’re sure to boost the satisfaction of your outdoor entertainment needs with a fire feature. Take this natural stone fire pit on HGTV that features a fire brick interior capped in bluestone. The wide nature of the fire pit rim allows for additional  seating. Speaking of stone, here at Outdoor Home Living, we can create custom stonework to contain your fire feature, whether you’re looking for a fire bowl, table, or insert. The material you use to harness the power of your fire is important for safety reasons. That’s why stone works so well.

Whether you use your fire feature for grilling food in the warm months or you just want to create some ambience, the type of fire feature you choose says a lot about your lifestyle. Recessed fire pits are great for modern patios, preferably with no children running about. A stacked stone fireplace is a rustic, kid-friendly addition to any patio, or perhaps even a table-top four-unit pit that shows off your contemporary image.

Water Features

From waterfalls to decorative ponds, water features are a welcome addition to any backyard because they’re relaxing and calming. Not only do they look great, they sound even better, adding to the tranquil nature of the space. Depending on how extensive you want to get, water features provide a focal point and can even attract wildlife in the case of ponds. Your water feature can even go beyond the functional and double as an art piece, like this stacked stone wall. You can get really intricate with a water feature that features varying levels of water spilling over a brick wall, encircling the patio, flowing underneath a decorative bridge and emptying into a fish pond.

Just for a few examples, take a look at what Outdoor Home Living can do with water features:

  • Swim-up bars
  • Built-ins
  • Pool Finishes
  • Decking and Coping
  • Water Features (fountains, waterfalls, jets, etc.)
  • Lighting
  • Hot tubs
  • Spillways
  • Water troughs
  • Bird baths
  • Garden streams
  • Bubblers
  • Add-ons (slides, diving boards, etc.)

Blending the Two

Fire and water: two opposing elements yet complementary in so many ways. How do you bring them both together aesthetically, functionally and safely? Try a combined fire put and waterfall in one. A circular stone fire pit surrounding a large basin of overflowing water featuring a fire in the center is an amazing sight to behold. Or, try something grand like this with a modern horizontal waterfall flanked on both sides by giant tiki torches set in stone bowls. The key behind blending the two features is to hire a professional skilled in water and fire feature design.

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas TX

If any of these ideas sounds good to you, call us so we can come up with a unique plan for your yard. Contact us now at 214-328-5296. We are based in Mesquite TX but serve all surrounding areas of Dallas.

Decorating Your Yard For Fall

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Autumn is a beautiful time spent outdoors. The weather is cooler, signaling the end of summer. The blooms are fading, replaced by hay bales, scare crows, pumpkins and mums. Think bright yellows, oranges, and reds to complement the symbols of the season, from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Get creative with some of these proven ideas that are sure to make your home stand out in seasonal brilliance.

Create a Focal Point

For some homes, this is the front porch; for others, it’s a walkway or garden out front. Whatever your focal point is, make it stand out in fall colors. Got an old wagon, wheelbarrow or bushel basket sitting around in the shed? Haul it out, stock it with different colored mums and Indian corn, with various sizes of pumpkins and gourds arranged in front as seen here in DIY Network. Stagger the height of your display with hay bales. Add a touch of color to orange pumpkins by painting them and adding gauzy bows to the tops. You don’t need a colorful display to make a statement, though. Stick to one color, such as white, to get an unexpected reaction. Add pine cones, cinnamon sticks and acorns around them and you have a versatile display that will make its way into winter.

A pumpkin planter is another alternative, taking its rightful place at the top stair of your front porch. Try this terrarium comprised of a bell jar and a shallow terra-cotta bulb dish that creates a fall-inspired terrarium highlighting your favorite natural elements like miniature pumpkins, pine cones, Spanish moss and leaves.  

decorate for fall

Backyard Getaway

If you love to spend time in your backyard in fall, deck out your patio in warm autumn colors and decor. Pepper it with seasonal flowers that fit your color scheme, matching your patio furniture and throw pillows for a cohesive look. Add a permanent fixture that will last through all seasons, such as a pergola, that gives shade yet offers a beautiful accent to any backyard. Dark wicker furniture with rusty orange padding works great for the fall season. What about a string of outdoor lights in fall colors to accent your porch? Those little twinkling lights aren’t just for winter! They can illuminate your backyard space and give it a touch of whimsy at the same time.

Outdoor Living

 

Add a Custom Firepit

There’s no better way to spend a crisp evening in the backyard than sitting around a crackling fire pit bundled up in sweatshirts and telling stories. Incorporating a custom stonework fire pit surrounded by cozy chairs can help you boost the character and atmosphere of your outdoor living space. But why stop there? Pair it with a full outdoor kitchen so you can entertain and cook for friends and family without missing out on the conversation. The designers at Outdoor Home Living can help you create a design plan that works with your yard, existing outdoor living space, budget and lifestyle.

New Fire Pit Installed in Dallas

Contact Outdoor Home Living in Dallas

Based in Mesquite Texas, Outdoor Home Living offers a wide variety of landscaping, landscape design and lawn care services in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to bring your home to the next level. Please contact us at 214-328-5296 for more fall decorating ideas and estimates on our services, or fill out our online contact form today.