outdoor kitchens

Top Trends in Residential Hardscapes

Top Trends “Rocking” the Hardscape World

By: Lauren Liff for Dabah Landscape Designs


         Hardscaping has become increasingly popular as of late and the trends in hardscape design have shown to be primarily centered on outdoor entertainment. Homeowners are paying more attention to architectural details and materials when designing their outdoor space. Natural stone textures, eye-catching patterns and unique designs are being seen a lot more as homeowners want the exterior of their home to reflect the same atmosphere and functionality as the interior. Let’s discuss some of the current trending details in the hardscape world.

         It’s no wonder that fire pits are one of the top “must-haves” in any outdoor space. However, it is not just a simple fire pit design that is taking the hardscape world by storm. Homeowners are learning that built-in benches, seat walls and ledges made of natural stone, all surrounding a fire pit, do indeed make the space more elegant and more inviting than the fire pit alone. The popularity of this design displays the developing trend of multi-level seating as well as eclectic paver choices and designs.

         Outdoor kitchens also continue to grow in popularity especially with the technological advances in audio-visual equipment and Wi-Fi accessibility as well as a growing interest in sophisticated lighting. Another trend within outdoor kitchens is the desire for multiple cooking surfaces; homeowners now want their outdoor eating area to more than just a grill. Gas burners, convection ovens and brick ovens are now almost seen as a necessity when designing an outdoor kitchen.

         Aside from an outdoor cooking space, outdoor living rooms are also becoming a standard in new construction especially for the design of higher end homes. One of the newer trends in outdoor living rooms is the faux rug paver design. Homeowners are now turning their backyards into literal extensions of their home – the concept of “bringing the indoors out” is beginning to prove to be one of the more popular home improvement projects. Water features have always been a statement piece in a outdoor space, from ponds to fountains to man-made streams – they are showing a large increase in residential popularity as of late.

         With the shape the environment is in today, homeowners everywhere are looking for more ways to “go green”. Thus creating the new trend of permeable pavers. These pavers improve the quality and reduce the quantity of storm water runoff. With a cistern and a pump, the water that filters through the pavers can be collected and recycled for irrigation. Commercial and large residential developers have also found that with these pavers there is no need for a retention pond, thus increasing the amount of usable space.

         Years ago, when you thought of an outdoor space it consisted of maybe a pool and a grill. Slowly but surely times are changing and homeowners are now taking full advantage of the advances in design techniques, outdoor appliances and hardscape materials. A backyard has become so much more than what it used to be. Now you are able to design, create and totally enjoy your own oasis outdoors with every comfort of the indoors.



Why Should I Have an Outdoor Kitchen?

Outdoor Kitchens: What They Can Do For You and Your Property

By: Lauren M. Liff for Dabah Landscape Designs


There is no better way to spend a warm summer night than dining with friends and family on a beautiful stone patio, surrounded by the delicious smells of a home-cooked meal. Having an outdoor kitchen will let you do just that! Of course, you might ask, “Why spend the money on an outdoor kitchen?” The answer: An outdoor kitchen is a great investment, and one you will enjoy for many years to come.

The first (and most popular) reason for adding an outdoor kitchen is that it instantly converts a ho-hum backyard space into a breath-taking cooking and entertainment center. Imagine what it would be like to mingle with guests outdoors while dinner is on the grill, the sides are simmering on the stovetop, there’s more than enough space to move around, and the cook won’t have to miss out on all the fun!

Also, did you know that an outdoor kitchen could increase your property’s value? Experts agree that a homeowner who installs an outdoor kitchen can expect a return on investment from a low of 70% to a high of almost 200% percent. And that makes sense. Stainless steel grills and other modern outdoor appliances are easy to clean, and able to withstand the changing outdoor temperatures. So, your new kitchen will serve you well for many years and add to your property’s value, if—and when—you decide to sell. 


Often, the first thing that comes to mind when considering an addition is the disruption (and mess) that comes with construction. For an outdoor kitchen, the transformation takes place, well, outdoors. Building an outdoor kitchen gives you that desired extra living space by using the room you already have on your back patio. Outdoor kitchens can lead to quicker cleanups and healthier lifestyles. Strong cooking odors will no longer fill your home, and grilling beats frying any day because there’s no batter coating or dripping grease.

Everyone likes to save money, right?  Well, did you know that an outdoor kitchen may help you cut your utilities bills? When you cook up a storm inside, the temperature rises, causing air conditioning to work harder than it should. Cooking outdoors will help you save on energy consumption. Want to hold on to even more money? Having your own outdoor oasis may slash your restaurant budget, too; you can enjoy a “night out” experience in your own backyard and keep your wallet in your pocket.

When you consider the decision to build an outdoor kitchen, it’s clear to see that the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Building an outdoor kitchen truly is an investment and will prove to be more rewarding than costly. The design can be customized to your budget and your needs. When your project is completed, you can sit back, relax, and congratulate yourself on a decision well made.