A Reason to Build Outdoors

We came across this great blog post on Houzz and wanted to share with you in and around the Omaha metro area. We supply all the materials necessary to make your outdoor living dreams come to life. Gather ideas yourself or stop in for a designing consultation to get the party started.

There’s a Party in the Backyard, Says a Houzz Landscaping Survey

“Hey, did you see the weather report for this weekend? We should totally have a party in my backyard. Invite everyone you know! Bring comfortable shoes, though, because I don’t have chairs, and sitting on the rock-strewn ground kind of hurts. And wear 1,000 SPF sunscreen, because there’s no shade and it’s going to be scorching. Plus, everyone has to go home after the sun goes down, because there’s no lighting back there. But it’ll be great!

If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. Thousands of homeowners are faced with similar dilemmas, and they’re turning to landscape professionals for help with their yards. That’s according to Houzz’s new spring landscaping survey, which found that 56 percent of the 4,500 surveyed homeowners plan to update their landscapes to create a better entertaining space.

Huettl Landscape Architecture
Huettl Landscape Architecture

Every outdoor party spot needs a lounge area — or dance floor — so more than 80 percent of those surveyed said they will add a patio or deck. And who wants to go home just because the sun goes down? With outdoor hardscape lighting, no one has to. That’s why 70 percent said they will add this kind of lighting.

What else does an outdoor get-together need? How about food, fire and funk? Some 48 percent of homeowners will add barbecues, 48 percent will add fire pits, and 19 percent will add sound systems. Where’s my Evite?

“Most of my clients live in homes built 45 years ago, so the patios aren’t big and the backyard space never looked nice to begin with,” says Joe Andolina, the owner of and a designer at JPM Landscape. “They want something they can enjoy and show off, so every priority for them is to get more entertaining space for their family and friends.”

Problem Solving

More than half of homeowners said their landscaping updates will solve problems in their yards, including flooding (41 percent), sun exposure (25 percent) and privacy (23 percent).

Many homeowners in drought-stricken regions, like the western U.S., will compensate for a dry winter. In that region 30 percent said they are implementing landscape projects to solve water shortage problems. Maybe that’s why one in four homeowners in the West will completely rip out their current landscape and replace it altogether.

Going Greener

Environmentally conscious decisions are permeating homeowners’ choices, too. Of the 65 percent who will add or update lighting, the majority (58 percent) will choose LED or solar-powered lights (56 percent).

Shawna Coronado
Shawna Coronado

Meanwhile, a whopping 92 percent of homeowners who are adding plants to their yard will choose native plants to reduce maintenance, help the environment and attract butterflies, birds and bees.

And while the survey found that traditional lawns are still preferred over the alternatives, Andolina says he’s installed fewer lawns in the past six months than ever. “The No. 1 request I have is for low-maintenance, low-water landscaping,” he says.


The majority of homeowners (64 percent) plan to grow edibles, like vegetables and herbs, in their yards. “We get a lot of requests for vegetable garden beds,” says Sue Chan, a principal at Huettl Landscape Architecture.

Andolina, though, says he cautions clients on the maintenance involved with growing vegetables. “People don’t realize just how much time vegetable gardens take,” he says. “They sound great in theory, but most of my clients who have done a vegetable garden in the past don’t request them.”

Perhaps that’s why our survey found that 70 percent of homeowners planning to add a vegetable garden will be doing so for the first time ever. “I’d rather just enjoy my yard and relax,” Andolina says.

Right — and party!”

A Natural Invitation to Gather

Some of my fondest memories have been around this fire pit in the backyard of my closest friends.

4th of July celebrations, weekly s’mores roasting on Sunday evenings, and multiple guitars playing melodiously into long summer nights—this addition to the landscape has not only served for it’s functionality but it’s made the perfect focal point of the yard, located just below a cozy deck  and a vast area of green grass behind. The fire pit brings the whole backyard to life with it’s natural invitation for many friends and family to gather and feel like home.

DIY Network suggests that the foundation for your fire pit could look misplaced if the materials used don’t relate to the house and surroundings of the rest of the landscape. In this particular case, the color scheme of the fire pit echoes the natural elements used in the rest of the yard and the natural stone has a rustic and irregular look that ties the woodsy deck and surrounding trees of the backyard together.

While designing an outdoor living space that is both inviting and functional, you may also want to consider using products that remind you of your favorite vacation spot, like a cabin nestled in the woods or a garden off of the Cape Cod beaches. In this case, I always picture myself in the Pacific Northwest versus the quite suburbs of Omaha, NE.

Project Material List: All items are available at Antiquity Outdoor Supply

  • Colorado Red Flagstone

  • Moss Rock Boulders

  • Red Sandstone (Fire pit ring)

  • Cozy Adirondack Chairs

  • Natural Gas Fire Ring with Ceramic Campfire Log Set