By John McGee
With the Texas summer heat beginning to burn off, what better place to relax and enjoy fall than an outdoor living space?
While it’s important to create a unique space, it’s also important to look at recent trends to maximize your backyard’s potential.
One of the biggest trends right now are backyards that are fully covered, almost like a full outdoor living space, according to Trent Thomas, partner at Glenn Thomas Homes.
Brian Windham, owner of Sunspace Texas, agrees. “A lot of people are still wanting to either have some type of covered patio, pergola, or cabana,” says Windham. “They want a shaded area where people can sit and gather and be protected from the sun and the elements. … The trend just seems to be that people want to spend more quality time outdoors.”
Many people are taking this trend one step further by incorporating electronic accessories into their space.
“That’s probably the main trend, home entertainment systems outside,” says Dale Christian, owner of Jefferson Christian Custom Homes. “Speaker systems, intercoms, home controls, and of course televisions.”
Another big trend is transition spaces from the inside of the house to the outside.
“On outdoor living spaces, we really want to keep a strong sense of connection to the house,” says Christian. “When people are entertaining others, there’s always a lot of activity still in the house that people still want to be a part of. So they don’t want to feel separated from that,” he says.
With the Texas heat, pools are a great way to cool off. Rather than trends, pool design is personal to the customer’s needs. “Pool designs are all across the board, it just depends on the customer,” says Gary Mobley, owner of Mobley Pool Company. “Every job becomes its own specific entity.”
For those who want to create a personal backyard paradise, the outdoor living experts offer some advice.
“Do your research, and find a good-quality, reputable contractor,” says Windham. “Make sure they’re not a fly-by-night outfit, because if there’s ever any issues down the road, companies like ours will come back and take care of the problem.”
It’s also important to keep money in mind before going in on a big project. “Start your budget first, because it can get out of hand really quickly,” says Thomas. “And know what you want before you start getting into it.”
When it comes to building a pool, Mobley’s advice is simple. “The structural integrity of the pool is the most important thing,” he says. “All the bells and whistles in the world won’t cover up a cheaply built pool.”
From pools to pergolas, a backyard is no longer just a backyard – it’s a unique outdoor living space!
About the Jefferson Christian Custom Homes Cover Photo
The main focus of the project was to provide a transitional living space from the main inside area of the house to the true exterior spaces around the house with the focus on keeping a strong sense of connection between the two. The goal: dual spaces where no one feels separated from other guests whether they are inside or outside.
The homeowner frequently entertains many guests, sometimes up to a dozen at a time for team building and conferences. The large spaces outside include homey features like an outdoor living room with oriental rugs.
The clients wanted an outdoor living space for all seasons so they have the pool with a swim up bar for the summer and the fireplace and televisions for the winter. There is a full compliment of appliances to make entertaining crowds easy no matter the occasion, including multiple televisions for watching Aggie football games.