The Crescent Oaks - Custom Outdoor Pergola with Outdoor Kitchen and Living Space in The Woodlands, Texas

5 Secrets of Outdoor Design to Help You Create an Unbelievable Backyard

Is your backyard boring and just plain blah? Does your family spend more time inside on the couch rather than spending it outside in nature? Are you embarrassed to host outside get-togethers because your yard is unkempt and uninteresting? Don’t worry, your backyard isn’t a lost cause. In fact, it’s simple to transform your backyard from being dull to unbelievable with the right outdoor design!

Focusing on one area of your yard at a time allows you to stay focused, on task, and see the bigger picture. Find inspiration for your #backyardrenovation here. #Creekstone Share on X

An Unbelievable Backyard with Outdoor Design

Anyone can have an incredible backyard. To instantly transform your outdoor space, follow these five secret tips of outdoor design and you’ll be planning a party to show off your new yard in no time!

  1. Work from a Plan
  2. Plant for Seasons
  3. Lines & Edges
  4. Separate Spaces
  5. Secret Gardens

1) Work From a Plan

Working from a plan is the first step in creating an unbelievable backyard. Draw your plans out and then work in phases so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Be sure to include any hardscape items you will be adding to your space, like an outdoor kitchen, covered patio, or pergola.

2) Plant for Seasons

If you want an amazing backyard through all seasons, plant to make it happen! With a little research, you can find the best plants for the best seasons and have a variety in your yard so you have greenery and flowers blooming all year round.

3) Lines & Edges

Pay attention to the lines and edges in your yard. Make a natural edge with different grasses or plants, or use stones or other materials to make your garden more enticing. Additionally, pay attention to the lines and add character with sweeping curves throughout your landscape.

4) Separate Spaces

To begin, separate your outdoor space into several smaller spaces. This allows you to make each individual space distinct and fills your yard with interesting details. By separating areas in your backyard, you can delegate specific spaces for everything! Have a lounge area for relaxing, a dining spot for eating al fresco, or a play space for the little ones.

Pro Tip: Don’t let bad weather chase you indoors! Talk to your contractor about adding a pergola or patio cover to your hangout space so the party can go on, rain or shine.

5) Secret Gardens

Everyone loves secret hideaways and your backyard is the perfect place to sneak one in. Find a nice corner or an area between two trees and add a little seating area, water fountain, or even a fire pit. This partially hidden area will not only give you a private spot to relax and enjoy, but the half-hidden space creates the illusion of more space.

Create an Outdoor Oasis

Your backyard is a large part of your home and it should be used just as much as the inside–especially now that we are coming up on the fall season with cooler temperatures! By following the above tips on outdoor design, you will have an unbelievable backyard in no time! If you don’t have the time or just want some help in the process, consider contacting a landscape professional to assist in designing your outdoor living area.

Connect with us to learn more secrets of outdoor design to help you create an unbelievable backyard.

Custom Outdoor Kitchen with RCS Grill, Double Side burner, Refrigerator and Sink

Your Guide to Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen in Houston

An outdoor kitchen is a sizable investment of both time and money for most people. However, it’s worth it! Setting up an outdoor entertaining area gives you endless possibilities for parties, business gatherings, or even family nights in the backyard.

But before you can start enjoying your new outdoor cooking space, you need to decide how you want it to look, what you’ll be using it for, and what you’re willing to spend. Still in the brainstorming stage? Here are a few key considerations to help you figure out exactly what you want out of the newest addition to your backyard.

Designing a new outdoor kitchen? Have you finalized your ideas yet? Learn how to design your new kitchen here! #Creekstone #backyardlife Share on X


Like any type of home design, outdoor kitchen trends change with time. But certain stylistic choices, like stainless steel appliances, never quite seem to go out of style. And a refrigerator works just fine no matter what it looks like!

Two of the best recent trends for outdoor kitchens are built-in ice makers and kamado-style grills like Big Green Egg, grills that close completely over the cooking food to produce a deep, smoky flavor. And of course, the convenience of having freshly made ice right next to your outdoor fridge can’t be overstated. These trendy choices do more than just make your kitchen look great! They can also make your whole experience more convenient and simpler.


Of course, appearances aren’t everything. Since you’ll be cooking and hosting in your outdoor hangout space, you have to consider how well your design choices will work with what you’ll be doing. For instance, consider your outdoor kitchen’s countertops. Materials such as marble may look gorgeous, but without expert sealing and ongoing maintenance, they could be ruined by Houston rain or humidity. Most designers also don’t recommend them for kitchen use because marble is extremely porous, making stain prevention difficult. (Marble tiles, on the other hand, are specially formulated for kitchen use and are fine for an outdoor kitchen. Talk to your designer for details.)

The bottom line is simply that your kitchen must be equally functional as elegant. While you can certainly go for both–a completely utilitarian kitchen is boring, after all–you must take the time to consider how well your choices will work in an outdoor setting.

Pro Tip: As you design your outdoor kitchen, consider any potential future renovations you want to make and how to make them easier. You won’t want to have to pull up your new tile floor to install new pipes for a pool, for instance.


Finally, it’s time to look at your budget. This will vary depending on the materials you choose, the appliances you need, the square footage your outdoor kitchen will cover, and more. Consequently, you can’t simply estimate the base cost of an outdoor kitchen without a semi-detailed plan of what you want. The best approach to budget planning is browsing our gallery for inspiration and bringing your ideas to an expert to discuss cost options.

Enjoy Your New Outdoor Kitchen!

A lot of planning goes into designing the perfect outdoor kitchen and party space. But all that time will be worth it in the end. You can look forward to enjoying a brand new custom outdoor kitchen and making your friends jealous!

Join the conversation to find inspiration and more outdoor kitchen ideas.

9 of the Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

You probably already have a long list of things to consider as you design an outdoor kitchen. From appliances to running water, a lot of essential features go into your new hangout spot. But don’t forget the part of your kitchen that allows you to do any food preparation in the first place: countertops.

What sort of countertops are best for your outdoor kitchen? The answer depends on your backyard conditions as well as your preferences. Learn how to find the perfect outdoor kitchen countertops here. #Creekstone #backyarddesign Share on X

9 of the Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertops, Creekstone Outdoors, Spring, TX

Elegant Countertops for Your Backyard Kitchen

The warm Houston climate means that certain countertop materials either won’t last long or will be unpleasant to work with, especially if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. Fortunately, there are plenty of far more durable options for homeowners to consider. Here are some of the best countertop materials for Houston-area outdoor kitchens:

  1. Soapstone
  2. Metal (Stainless Steel)
  3. Granite
  4. Marble
  5. Quartzite
  6. Butcher block
  7. Glass
  8. Porcelain
  9. Concrete

1) Soapstone

Durable and maintenance-free, soapstone is a great countertop choice for homeowners who need style and ease of use. It’s a natural stone that can be easily cut, shaped, and installed. Compared to granite or marble, counters longer than seven feet may require several pieces since they’re usually found ins smaller slabs.

2) Metal (Stainless Steel)

Relatively costlier than other countertop options, stainless steel countertops are a great option for homeowners with a sleek, modern kitchen. Because of its metal nature, the countertop is nonporous, making it resistant to any stains or rust buildup.

3) Granite

Granite stone countertops have been a customer favorite for years, and it’s no surprise thanks to its range of pattern and color options. Unlike many other countertops, granite won’t etch, discolor or lose its shine. Touting long term durability and easy care, your outdoor kitchen will find the perfect balance of style and function with granite counters.

4) Marble

Unlike the marble countertops found indoors, your outdoor countertop can be furnished with marble stone tiles to fit your space. For added durability, outdoor marble counters usually have a slightly textured surface to withstand weather elements. Proper cleaning methods are required to keep your counters looking clean year-round.

Pro Tip: Keep your countertops cool and easy to touch year-round by choosing a light-colored countertop to withstand the heat of the sun.

5) Quartzite

Sometimes confused with quartz, quartzite is a separate, natural stone that is quarried in a process similar to granite. Quartzite countertops in your outdoor kitchen are a crowd favorite, especially if you like the look of marble, want year-round durability, and low maintenance.

6) Butcher Block

While certain wood species may not be able to withstand the weather elements, butcher block countertops are a great way to add functionality to your outdoor space. Suitable woods such as elm, white oak, maple, or chestnut can sealed and installed directly on your cabinetry. With periodic maintenance and premium finish, a nearby butcher block will make food prep a breeze.

7) Glass

A unique design choice for an outdoor kitchen, glass countertops offer a number of customized options, such as special textures, patterns, or embedded stones. While most glass counters can etch from acidic foods or drinks, many homeowners have found success with its durable subtype, white glass countertops.

8) Porcelain

Compared to the different types of stone countertops, porcelain is a great option for those looking for a durable countertop that doesn’t need sealing. With the ability to span a larger counter space, fit any design style, and require low maintenance, porcelain countertops are quickly becoming a top choice for outdoor kitchens.

9) Concrete

Usually poured during installation, concrete counters are a durable choice for many homeowners. With concrete, you can choose from a variety of stains to coordinate with your cabinetry and appliances. While they do require sealing, concrete counters are easy to clean and can withstand high temperatures.

Choose the Right Outdoor Kitchen Countertop

Beautiful, durable countertops are an essential addition to your backyard kitchen. While some materials or patterns may look appealing, remember that exposing them to the outside elements may result in damage. As you start making plans for your home improvement project, take the time to find the right material that matches both your aesthetic preferences and practical needs.

Connect with us on social media to see what completed outdoor kitchens with different types of countertops look like.

Latest Outdoor Kitchen Trends: 2020 Edition

Back when an outdoor barbecue consisted of a couple of picnic tables and a BBQ pit, not many people thought of their backyard as a living space. A majority of homeowners mostly ignored their backyard and simply tried to keep the lawn groomed. Today, installing outdoor kitchens as an extension of indoor living areas is becoming all the rage.

Looking for inspiration for your outdoor kitchen design? Stay fresh and functional with these top trends of 2020! Share on X

Hot Design Trends for 2020

Can you picture an outdoor kitchen in your backyard? With a drink in one hand and a book in the other, spending time in a new outdoor living space can become a reality. If you’re in the process of designing a new outdoor kitchen, keep your eye on the following design trends for 2020.

  • Kamado-Style Grills
  • Built-In Ice Makers
  • Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Attached Living Areas
  • Improved Functionality

Kamado-Style Grills

First popularized in Asia, the kamado-style grills are becoming quite popular in American outdoor kitchens. Compared to metal charcoal grills, the enclosed design of a kamado grill cooks flavorful meats and vegetables with ease. That being said, kamado grills are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of cooking methods including smoking, baking, roasting, and grilling!

Pro Tip: Upgrade your outdoor cooking with your own kamado-style grill from Big Green Egg. We have various sizes available to fit your space perfectly so that you can start cooking your next meal! 

Built-In Ice Makers

Why buy bags of ice when you can make your own ice cubes? This year, more and more homeowners are taking advantage of built-in ice makers in their outdoor kitchens. Whether you’re sitting by the pool or entertaining a large group, having ice readily available is a great way to add value to your outdoor space.

Stainless Steel Appliances

It doesn’t look like stainless steel will ever go out of style. Designed with weather-resistant surfaces and sleek features, stainless steel appliances are a must for any modern outdoor kitchen. Choose from a wide range of appliances including wine refrigerators, side burners, pizza ovens, and sinks to complete your updated kitchen.

Attached Living Areas

Outdoor kitchens have more than just counter space and cooking surfaces. Today, modern outdoor kitchens are a small part of complete outdoor living areas. Transform your backyard into a personal retreat by designing a dining space or lounge area nearby.

Improved Functionality

Instead of having to jump back and forth from your indoor kitchen, homeowners are designing outdoor spaces to be fully functional. By installing sinks, dishwashers, and even trash disposals, you can keep the party prep and cleanup contained in one area.

Modern and Stylish Custom Kitchens

Overall, we get to enjoy beautiful weather in Houston throughout every season of the year. That being said, entertaining outdoors is becoming a staple of every southern home. Whether you’re in the process of designing or about to consult the experts, it’s exciting to think of all of the new features that can be added to your outdoor living space.

Did one of these design trends catch your eye? Connect with our design team to find out how to include these features in your custom kitchen.

Pergola vs Patio Cover: Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen Roof

No outdoor living space is complete without some shade! If you’re designing an entertainment space in your backyard, installing a covering is a great way to add style and functionality. Between a pergola and patio cover, the two structures may sound essentially the same. However, understanding the differences will help you choose the right outdoor covering for your living areas.

Isn’t a pergola and a patio cover the same thing? Learn the differences and find out what kind of outdoor kitchen roof you need! Share on X

Pergola or patio cover? Which outdoor covering is right for your home? Where the pergola might add character with its open rafters, a patio cover brings functionality and protection. Both pergolas and patio covers have benefits, but depending on your lifestyle, there’s undoubtedly one that is right for you.

Pergola vs Patio Cover: Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen Roof, Creekstone, Outdoor Living, Spring, TX

What is a Pergola?

Interestingly, a pergola is usually not defined as a “roof”. Because it is built from a frame with open rafters, it can’t fully protect from weather elements. It can, however, bring shade to your backyard or garden area. A pergola can either be a freestanding structure or attached to your home, depending on the design. Choose from a wide range of high-quality wood stains or rust-proof iron elements to build a pergola with character and style in your outdoor living area.

What is a Patio Cover?

Compared to a pergola, a patio cover is essentially an extension of your home. The roof of a patio cover is usually covered with asphalt shingles to match the attached home or garage and is attached to the exterior siding. Patio covers range in design and customized features including stone, wood stains, height, and built-in light fixtures. To add shade and protection from the rain, a patio cover is a great addition to any outdoor kitchen or living space.

Pro Tip: Design a patio cover to bring your outdoor kitchen, living, and dining areas together under a single roof.

Deciding on an Outdoor Roof

Choosing between a pergola or patio cover depends ultimately on your use. How will you use your outdoor space? If you plan to spend time with your friends and family outdoors, shade is an absolute must but the outdoor roof can vary.

Pergolas are usually less expensive, can be customized for small spaces, and can even house climbing plants. A patio cover, however, is built to fully protect your outdoor living space and is a permanent addition to a home.

Outdoor Living in the Greater Houston Area

Whether you’re adding a covering over your outdoor kitchen or creating a defined space for hanging out, the choice of covering ultimately depends on you. Both a pergola and patio cover offer shade, functionality, and style to your unique backyard. Once you figure out how you’ll be using your back patio and which coverage works best, it’s time to build!

Connect with our team to design a customized and beautiful pergola or patio cover for your home!

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