Outdoor Living Spaces; Ideas for Yearlong Houston Living

06:15 Nov 2023
Outdoor Living Spaces Houston

Planning outside living spaces in Houston adds value to your home and enhances your quality of life.

The process of planning can be intimidating to many home owners and requires a comprehensive and collective planning approach before spending any money.

If planned and executed well, outside living spaces become an extension of the interior living space and visually brings the outside indoors.

This makes the house feel larger than it actually is and naturally draws one’s eye to outside interest points that have been strategically developed.

One of the important benefits of well-planned outside living spaces is that it provides a natural relief for overcrowding during entertaining.

The more welcoming these spaces become the more guest are attracted to the area. The flow between the interior and exterior should be a natural passage for guest to gather.

We will briefly discuss the most effective process of planning Houston outside living spaces and then we will introduce the most impactful ideas to incorporate into your outdoor living space.

Learn about the best in outdoor living spaces in Houston

Outdoor Living Spaces Houston


The key to successful planning is visualizing the finished project. It takes being in an imaginative state of mind while sitting calmly and studying your outdoor space.

What do you see? What types of features are important to your family’s lifestyle?

Are there water features or is there an outdoor kitchen area?

Are there existing landscape features such as old trees or an existing swimming pool? Where is the best location for your outdoor kitchen?

Let your mind flood with different ideas and designs. At this point there is no urgency to disqualify any idea.

Developing a list of features that are important to you is the objective. There is plenty of time to prioritize and qualify the ideas feasibility at a later point in the planning process.

The major expense items like the outdoor kitchen and a swimming pool location should be given priority.

Placement in your yard for your outdoor living spaces key features should be the priority and placing the features that are central and high use should be available for general access.


Once you have identified the special features that you have visualized their general placement, it is time to begin compartmentalizing the outdoor living features into a balanced and functional layout.

Blocking out various compartments for your outdoor living spaces is very similar process as developing a floor plan for a home.

You want your principal points of interest to be balanced strategically to enhance the use and visual appearance of each area.

The proper space compartmentalizing also enhances the functionality of each of the features. Take the strategical placement of the outside kitchen.

If the placement of the outside kitchen is not accessible to a covered area or an immediate eating area, the functionality reduces the practical enjoyment of the space.

If an attached covered space is not practical or architecturally feasible, an independent covered structure such as a pergola or gazebo will suffice.

Design Theme

The design theme should be consistent with the design theme of interior. Just as a good home designer wants continuity from one interior living area to another, the transition flow between interior to exterior should be consistent in carrying the design theme.

Although the textures and materials used will likely be different, colors and architectural design binds the two areas.

Outdoor living space design has many common factors as any home remodeling project.

When designing the outdoor kitchen ideas, the designer is faced with attempting to incorporate into any area that can be covered from the direct elements.

Other challenges that effect the design theme is the overall space size available to work with. Small overall spaces present more restraints than larger areas.

Outdoor Living Spaces - Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

There are many options for outdoor kitchen ideas that can fit near any space. Your outside kitchen idea should be personal.

It should reflect your family’s lifestyle as well as the way you entertain. In addition, these personal needs should be intertwined with the dedicated compartmentalized area for the outdoor kitchen.

Although Houston is a great climate most of the year for regular use of an outside kitchen, it is still the outside.

Outdoor kitchen ideas should be designed around sustainable materials. They are either directly or indirectly exposed to higher levels of moisture and humidity then materials associated with inside finishes.

The materials that are selected should be conducive for the climate and environment they are exposed to.

Outdoor Living Spaces - Swimming Pool

Swimming Pools and Water Features

Although a significant investment, swimming pools and other water features add a stunning center piece to the outdoor living spaces.

The not only add a functional improvement to your outdoor space, they create an eye drawing feature that adds crowd pleasing aesthetic importance to the outdoor living spaces.

The architectural design of the pool and any water features contribute substantially to the architectural style of the house.

For instance, a traditional style house would be compliments by a formal dramatic appearing long rectangular shaped pool, while a contemporary house design would be fitted well with a freeform shape with a waterfall placed as an exciting accent piece.

Another important decision to consider is the pool deck surface. There are many options that are available these days from interlocking pavers to stamped patterned concrete decks. In addition, there are cost effective solutions like sprayed texture finishes directly to concrete and using tape and color sealers to create designs.

Deciding what surface, you want as a pool deck involves taking into consideration the look, the use the maintenance required. An important thing to remember is that although stamped concrete is a beautiful finish, it can be slippery when it gets wet. 

Outdoor Living Spaces - Landscaping


The selected landscaping materials are as important to the outside living space as the furnishings and accent pieces are to the interior space.

The use of the properly selected plants can enhance the space with color and textures.

The well-planned use of planting bed areas and planting containers can nicely complement hard cold materials such as brick, stone and concrete.

The location, wind and sun exposure can have a impact on the selection of various planting materials used.

Planning for the sun exposure and naturally protective properties of different species is also an important consideration when planning your plant selection.

For instance, the use of tropical vegetation is very popular in Houston due to the subtropical climate we enjoy.

Although the use of certain tropical plants is very sensitive to freezing conditions that also happen in Houston several times during the winter season.

During freezing conditions, the damage to plants can leave your exterior unsightly for months at a time.

Outdoor Living Spaces - Covered Exterior Living Areas

Covered Exterior Living Area

An exterior covered living area like a gazebo or pergola can add a quant and intimate area anywhere in the yard.

It can be attached directly to the house or it can be freestanding. The ideal location is to cover a dining area so that weather does not impact most scheduled events.

If you are planning on placing the structure as an independent structure you should put a lot of thought into the placement in relation to its visual site line from the interior of the home.

While these types of outdoor living spaces are ideal for outdoor kitchens, they also are ideal for fireplaces, televisions and well furnished.

These types of buildings can also double as a bathhouse in the summer by adding a bathroom to the structure.

Develop Construction Budget Priorities

With a well-defined outdoor living space designed it is time to finalize the construction cost budget.

When complete with the construction budget the owner can make some hard decisions regarding the financial feasibility.

If the entire outside living plan is outside of the owner’s financial means, it is time to prioritize.

Depending on the magnitude of the budget overages, the owners most effective strategy is eliminating certain features by prioritizing their choices.

The planning process of the outside living space as discussed can save you many headaches and a lot of money by being diligent about thinking your project through.

Well-planned outdoor living spaces can have a favorable impact of your homes market value when you sell.

The personal satisfaction of spending a quite night in reflecting or enjoying your loved ones is one of those experiences that is priceless.


Outdoor living spaces add immeasurable aesthetic value to a home and contribute substantially to the interior living space enhancement.

A carefully developed landscaping plan will guide you through the placement of the outdoor features and the ability to optimize bringing the outdoor beauty to the interior space of the house.

One of the great advantages of planning and developing an optimized landscaping plan is that you can execute the improvements over a longer period of time as your financial resources allow without losing your plan direction.

With the right landscape plan for your outside living spaces your property will increase in value and bring you a lifetime of pride and enjoyment.

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