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6 Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Areas for Staycation Fun This Summer!

Archadeck of Southwest Houston asks, Could Your Back Yard Be a Vacation Paradise?

Vacation/Staycation! Archadeck of Southwest Houston wants to help you make the most of the outdoors at home this summer. With the right mindset and preparation, you can have the relaxing and invigorating break you need without leaving home. Wind down from the school year and wind up for summer outdoor fun!

Furnished outdoor patio

Want an outdoor living space that supports the activities your family loves? As your Houston patio and deck builder we suggest 6 ways to maximize your outdoor living areas for staycation fun:

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Whether you have a patio or deck, or a combination of the two, setting up entertaining zones requires looking at your space with the eye of an outsider. Think of hotels or resorts you’ve visited, or perhaps a friend’s backyard space where you felt like you were on vacation. When you look around your outdoor living areas, do you have several zones where people (including you) can relax or be entertained?

Be sure to have more than one entertaining zone.

You can establish entertaining zones in several ways. Arrange your outdoor furniture into what interior designers call conversation areas. A few chairs grouped around a cocktail table. Chairs positioned near the grill or smoker so guests can visit with the chef. Bar stools lining a high counter under your pergola or patio cover. Comfortable chairs around a dining table. The key here is to have more than one entertaining zone. Be sure to mount an outdoor TV in one of the covered zones. That way nobody has to forego outdoor fun to watch the big games live on TV.

Find creative ways to define your zones or conversation areas.

Grouping furniture is the easiest way to create zones, but what if your space is smaller and doesn’t accommodate more than a couple of furniture groupings? You can also use an outdoor rug to create the effect you want with less furniture. Archadeck of Southwest Houston can create a patio “rug” design by inserting an area of pavers or contrasting stones to mimic the look of a rug. You can also use container gardens, rectangular planters, and pergolas to define your zones.

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Pergola with outdoor kitchen


What outdoor living areas do you currently have? What structures do you need to add to make your home feel like the resorts you’ve visited? Does your concrete patio need to be refreshed with a new stain-and-stamp design? If your patio has seen better days, now is the time to remove it and start fresh with a new patio. Consider adding a patio cover over a portion of your space so you always have a shade option on sunny days.

Dazzle your guests with an outdoor kitchen or bar.

Nothing goes better with a patio than an outdoor kitchen and all the trimmings. A high backsplash on the back of an outdoor kitchen counter makes an excellent area where you can pull barstools up to the higher side. If you don’t have room for a full outdoor kitchen, what about a simple bar area? All you need is a bit of counter space, a sink, a refrigerator, and a freezer or cooler for ice. Patio designer and builder Archadeck of Southwest Houston can custom design a kitchen or bar area in perfect proportion to your outdoor space.

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Furnished outdoor shaded pergola with kitchen and fire feature


You may not need to add space for relaxing, entertaining, and watching TV outdoors if you already have room for those areas. Do you need to clean them up and make them more inviting? Could they be more comfortable? We’re still thinking in terms of zones here, and the focus now is on using space you already have. Trim overgrown shrubs or trees intruding into the space on your patio or deck. Pressure wash the patio if winter or spring weather has left residue.

Contain outdoor equipment and paraphernalia.

If gardening equipment has found a home on your patio, either move it out of sight or box it up right there. The easiest fix is to add bench seating that’s sufficient to double as containers for your equipment and tools. Painted bright colors and covered with matching cushions, these storage containers can enhance your entertaining zones rather than detract from them.

Address drainage problems to make your outdoor space more inviting.

If you have that one spot on or near your patio that always collects water, you have a drainage problem. Be sure to call a Houston patio expert like Archadeck of Southwest Houston to take a look at this. A professional patio installer will know how to eliminate the problem. Would a nice resort allow this condition to stand? Your staycation deserves no less attention to detail than your favorite resort receives each and every day.

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Shaded outdoor shaded seating area with two fire features


An outdoor fire feature will draw the attention of family members and guests surer than anything else. Hardscape designer Archadeck of Southwest Houston can create a winning patio design with as much fire as you want – either wood-burning or gas-burning. We can add a custom fire pit or fireplace to an existing patio with pavers or stonework to complement your current patio materials. Never underestimate the power of fire to create a relaxation zone and a conversation zone. Arrange comfortable seating with access to the fire. We can also create a low seating wall of stone or pavers facing your fire feature.

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Backyard pergola


Nothing works better than a pergola in your outdoor living space to draw the eye upward. Guess what else comes into view when you look up … the sky. No matter how large or small your patio or deck, adding a pergola will add dimension and will infuse your outdoor zones with a feeling of more space.

Archadeck of Southwest Houston designs and builds pergolas that are both ornamental and functional. While most pergolas provide partial shade, a covered pergola can provide even more shade. A pergola also provides a place to hang a ceiling fan for a much-needed breeze and lighting for nighttime use.

In the daytime, any plants or trees visible from your entertaining zones will draw the eye out across your yard and increase the feeling of spaciousness. Adding focal points in the yard will also contribute to that effect. Your deck and patio will feel larger than they really are.

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Furnished outdoor patio


Adding bright spots of color creates a sense of movement and again makes your outdoor living space seem larger than it is. You can easily use pillows and cushions for this purpose as well as placemats and glassware on tables. Add colorful flowers in your container gardens and planters. For temporary use of color, you can bring inside items outdoors to create the décor you want there. Take on the role of an interior decorator for your outdoor living space. If this is not your strong suit, ask a friend or hire a design specialist to create inviting conversation areas with accents in your favorite color scheme.

How can we help you turn your back yard into your own personal resort where you can relax and entertain effortlessly? We can design and build new outdoor structures for you or expand those you currently have to enhance and complement your existing outdoor space. Call Archadeck of Southwest Houston (281) 214-8299.