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Outdoor Backyard Design Strategies

Exterior Worlds takes a very systematic and strategic approach to outdoor backyard design.
Activities and personal tastes form the underpinnings of the landscaping plan. Great care is taken to understand the expectations of the client in order to construct outdoor structures that transform the backyard into a realm of entertainment and comfort that rivals public entertainment. At the same time, we are equally mindful of the natural setting in which we are working, and labor at all points to create a unified aesthetic between human architecture and organic landscape elements.

To a very great extent, the outdoor landscaping is designed to accommodate entertainment needs. The majority of our clients prefer to avoid the traffic, road work, and massive crowds that typify any given Houston weekend event. They would much rather host events in the privacy of their own backyards. In their minds, it is top priority that our team creates a sophisticated, customized outdoor living experience specifically developed in accordance with the homeowner’s preferred forms of entertainment

This requires that we spend considerable time in the beginning working in close partnership with our clients. During the consultation phase of our design process, we ask many questions so that we may learn which events clients are intending to host. We want to gain a strong sense of the client’s personal lifestyle, and acquire a better understanding of their circle of family and friends. This allows us to we can create an outdoor backyard landscape that is a true representation of the mindset and values of all parties ultimately in attendance for any given outdoor event.


The actual structures that we construct in any given backyard with therefore vary considerably from neighborhood to neighborhood, and from residence to residence. People who love to spend their summers by the water, for example to want to expect more than a single swimming pool on premises. Wall fountains, natural swimming pools, and perhaps even a purely decorative koi pond, create special areas of interests for guests who would otherwise have to drive up to four hours to get to a lake or prime spot on a beach. With a carefully designed landscaping, however, people can now spend an enjoyable evening beside multiple, professionally illuminated bodies of water simply by visiting the home of an Exterior Worlds client.

Outdoor buildings are always constructed with two frames of reference held simultaneously in mind. The first of these is a feeling of what we at Exterior Worlds like to call calm repose. When groups of people begin forming in a backyard, they immediately seek out places to comfortably stand, sit, or recline so they can mingle at will. We must be very mindful of the fact that every person has a slightly different definition of comfort, so it is rare that we ever design an outdoor area with one type of amenity. Instead, we look for ways a blend of standing and seating areas in the backyard so there is always something inviting and comfortable available for anyone who steps on premises.

Even home-based events often get exciting as the night goes on, so it is equally important for us to approach outdoor design from a second standpoint as well, and that standpoint is the need to accommodate safe and simple movement to any point of interest in the backyard. For instance, it makes little sense for us to build a construct a swimming pool and waterfall at the rear of a property without also creating a comfortable and safe means of getting to the pond. This requires more than carving out a dirt pathway through the trees. Houston frequently experiences heavy rains that turn even the most beautiful properties into mud pools. Outdoor design professionals must therefore develop sophisticated hardscape solutions, such as custom walkways, and specialized drainage systems that keep the backyard from becoming rain laden and temporarily uninhabitable.

Once outdoor amenities, comfort zones, and safe transit passageways have been created, backyard design takes on a more deliberately aesthetic focus. After all, we are creating a living experience in the midst of a natural setting, so it is necessary for us to devote a considerable amount of our time and energy toward integrating manmade structures into their organic settings. This includes outdoor buildings, such as summer kitchens, and custom hardscapes such as decorative walls and garden patios. Our goal is not so much to make these structures appear less manmade, but rather to strategically position them in harmonious relationships with trees, gardens, and hedgerows.