Outdoor Environments Blog

Ideas for Incorporating Hardscaping Into a Landscape Design

November 15, 2013
Posted By : admin
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas, Tips
Tags : custom decks in Kansas City, decks in Kansas City, hardscraping in kansas city, outdoor design Overland Park, outdoor living spaces,
outdoor design

Source: FlickrQ

Hardscaping is sometimes difficult to envision as part of a landscape, but with the right design it can look seamless.


Using hardscaping in locations which have steep inclines is a great way to make movement easier and beautify the otherwise difficult area. One idea is to add stone stairs which are extensively bordered by plants and brush.


A patio poses the perfect solution to an expanse of land where it is desirable to have seating, even an outdoor kitchen or entertainment center. The hardscaping can be made to incorporate the needs of the family while complementing the home’s colors and plants throughout.


Adding a walkway to a yard is a wonderful way to add charm to a yard. Pathways can be lined with flower plants of many types to bring a personalized touch. Having a path which winds through a yard, perhaps circling a fountain, or leading to a seating area further away from the main building adds a ambiance that would otherwise be lacking.

Contact us at Outdoor Environments to learn how we can incorporate beautiful and functional hardscaping into your landscape.

Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner in Your Outdoor Kitchen

November 13, 2013
Posted By : admin
outdoor kitchen design
Categories : Events and Happenings, Tips
Tags : certified remodelers in Johnson County, custom decks in Kansas City, outdoor kitchens in Kansas City, outdoor kitchens in Overland Park, outdoor living spaces,
outdoor kitchen design

Source: Flickr

The chill in the air is no reason to shy away from using your outdoor kitchen. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to showcase the cooking skills you have perfected over the summer.

Second Cooking Area

If you have a large gathering planned, don’t hesitate to use your outdoor kitchen as a second cooking area. This is also a great solution for families living in warmer climates who dread the heat accumulation from the indoor oven.

Healthier Options

With an ever increasing desire to serve healthy foods, grilling has become a mainstay for cooking. Use your outdoor kitchen to provide tasty alternatives to the usual calorie dense and high fat Thanksgiving treats.

Gathering Spot

Entertain your company both before and after the big meal outdoors. Use your outdoor kitchen to whip up some delicious appetizers or bar friendly snacks to enjoy while everyone relaxes. The warmth from your cooking will serve as an added way to ward off the chill in the air, making sure to keep everyone comfortable.

Use your outdoor kitchen design to the greatest advantage, see our Facebook page for more ideas.

Stay in Touch With the Great Outdoors in Your Home

October 31, 2013
Posted By : admin
outdoor design ideas
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas, Tips
Tags : custom decks in Kansas City, decks and patios Kansas City, Kansas City patios, outdoor living spaces, patio design ideas,
outdoor design ideas

Source: DecorPad

Just because the temperatures are beginning to drop on patios in Kansas City, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up enjoying the great outdoors. Bring a sense of the outdoors inside with these innovative ideas:

  • Keep the view outside your windows inviting by adding gardens and foliage that have an aesthetic appeal in any season. A well-placed privacy or retaining wall can shield you from neighbors or roadways without blocking natural lighting or landscaping.
  • Whether opened or closed, your patio doors can allow interior and exterior rooms to flow seamlessly. Pull back the shades to reveal similar flooring materials and design elements on your patio or deck. You will feel a part of the landscaping beyond without leaving the comfort of your home.
  • Adding a fireplace or fire pit to your covered patio or deck extends the time you can spend outdoors and offers a cozy nook for relaxing or entertaining.

You can still enjoy your outdoor living spaces and patios in Kansas City no matter the weather.  Contact Outdoor Environments, Inc. for more landscaping and hardscaping ideas that will help you stay in touch with the great outdoors.

Create a Focal Point in Your Yard With a Beautiful Fire Pit

October 28, 2013
Posted By : admin
outdoor design ideas
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : outdoor design Kansas City, outdoor design Overland Park, outdoor entertaining, Outdoor Environments, outdoor living space,
outdoor design ideas

Source: DecorPad

Adding a fire pit to your Kansas City area backyard is one of the most popular outdoor remodeling trends. The fire pit extends the use of your outdoor living space from spring until late fall. Some people even enjoy the fire pit during the winter holiday season if there’s no rain or snow.

A fire pit can be any size or shape. It can sit in the ground or above on any size patio as long as the area is open and ventilated. A fire pit can stand alone or it can be part of a stone wall built around the patio. The fire can be gas, charcoal or wood.

A sunken fire pit can suggest a rustic campfire or it can be paved with stone or brick. Seating can be built-in with stone and decorated with colorful cushions that are removed during wet weather.

A raised tiled or stone fire pit can also be a welcome addition to the patio designed so that it doubles as a barbecue with a grill placed over the fire. Marshmallows and hot dogs can be roasted on a stick over any fire pit.

Contact Outdoor Environments for a fire pit for your patio.


Make a Compelling Pathway Through Your Landscape

October 23, 2013
Posted By : admin
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : home garden, outdoor design, Outdoor Design Ideas, outdoor design Kansas City, outdoor design Overland Park, Outdoor Environments Kansas City, Outdoor Environments Overland Park, outdoor living space, outdoor living spaces,

Backyards can significantly benefit from the addition of a pathway. In addition to keeping your feet warm and dry in inclement weather, they can also be used to heighten the aesthetic aspects of your property. Here are a few ideas on how to use pathways most effectively:

  • Have a Destination – Almost by definition, pathways should be functional. Still, if you do not really have anywhere you need to go, create a focal point at the end of the pathway with a sculpture or a particularly interesting plant.
  • Maintain the Décor – Don’t just throw down a concrete or gravel pathway. Instead, consider the décor and use slate, granite or even wood to complement the rest of the scenery along the route.
  • Consider the Walker – Not only should a path be wide enough with plenty of clearance from the surrounding shrubbery, it should also be comfortable to walk on. Keep yours relatively level – with steps as opposed to ramps – and lighted if necessary.

For more information on your particular paver options and for other landscape ideas, please visit us at Outdoor Environments. Find us online at OutdoorEnvironments.com or reach us directly at 913-897-2706.

Creating Attractive and Sculptural Garden Beds in Your Yard

October 16, 2013
Posted By : admin
outdoor remodeling trends
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : outdoor design, Outdoor Design Ideas, outdoor design Kansas City, outdoor design Overland Park, outdoor living, outdoor living spaces,
outdoor remodeling trends

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

One of the most popular outdoor remodeling trends is using hardscaping to create beautiful garden beds. They are a well-designed addition to any outdoor space.
The concept of raised beds has historically been used simply to create a raised bed on top of rocky, poorly drained soil and then filling it with rich garden soil. Today, stylish materials are available, such as stone, wood, concrete and masonry.

  • Stone makes an attractive raised bed, using any size or variety of rocks. It requires no mortar and is simple to build. Maintenance is required, as it is not a permanent structure.
  • Wood is common and well suited for raised beds. It is reasonably inexpensive, readily available, and easy to install. Line the beds with plastic to keep the weeds down and guard food crops from any treated wood residue. Although long-lasting, wood will eventually rot and need to be replaced.
  • Concrete has gained popularity and can take on a variety of creative designs. It is permanent if installed properly. The cost is reasonable and the look is chic.
  • Masonry can compliment the exterior of your home. Depending on the stone used, it can be costly.

For more outdoor remodeling trends, contact Outdoor Environments.

Mix Up Your Materials for a Beautiful Landscape Design

October 12, 2013
Posted By : admin
outdoor garden design
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : custom decks in Kansas City, outdoor design, Outdoor Design Ideas, outdoor design Kansas City, outdoor living spaces,
outdoor garden design

Source: Flickr

Outdoor spaces are quickly becoming a versatile extension of the home. Exterior remodeling ideas now include landscape design that incorporates outdoor kitchens, living and dining areas. This blending of the comforts of indoors with the great outdoors opens up a world of creative possibilities. Delve deeper into that creativity by mixing up the materials used in your landscaping design.

Don’t underestimate the versatility of gravel in your landscape design. For a more natural look in a wooded property, line paths with larger stones and fill in with gravel. In a patio area, pea gravel makes an ideal base for furniture and a sturdy, pleasant surface to walk on.

Cut slabs
Whether new or salvaged, cut stone slabs are a bold way to add topography to your landscape. Define grassy-topped steps down a hill with these easy to install choice for exterior remodeling ideas.

Irregular stone
Using irregular stone in your landscaping provides a sturdy surface with a less defined feel than traditional patterned flagstone. Allowing grass to grow up between the stones makes it seem as if they’ve always been part of the property.

Discover more ways to mix materials in your exterior remodeling ideas by contacting Outdoor Environments.

Enjoy the Weather and Stay Comfortable Outside This Fall

October 11, 2013
Posted By : admin
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas, Tips
Tags : certified remodelers in Johnson County, custom decks in Kansas City, decks in Kansas City, outdoor design, outdoor kitchens Kansas City, outdoor living, outdoor living spaces,

When cold weather arrives in Fall, many people pack up their outdoor furniture and don’t venture out again until Spring arrives. However, there are ways to enjoy the outdoors even during the colder seasons.

Add an Outdoor Fireplace

When it starts to get cold, sitting outside bundled in a sweater and jacket likely doesn’t sound too appealing. However, if you add an outdoor fireplace to your outside living area, you can make the space much more comfortable, even for prolonged outings. You’ll be surprised how much people love gathering by your outdoor fireplace, especially if it’s near a comfortable sofa and a cozy throw blanket or two.

Try Sheepskins

Sheepskins make great outdoor coverings for chairs and seating areas in the fall. Best of all, you can easily throw them over chairs and benches to keep your warm and comfortable, then pack them quickly take them inside for the night so they don’t get dirty. As an alternative to sheepskins, try using faux-fur blankets. They’re soft to the touch, warm and luxurious.

Contact Outdoor Environments for more information on outdoor living rooms and kitchens for your home.

Mix Hardscaping into Your Garden Design for More Visual Interest

September 26, 2013
Posted By : admin
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : certified remodelers in Johnson County, hardscaping, outdoor design, Outdoor Design Ideas, outdoor design Kansas City, outdoor living space,

If your garden needs to be refreshed,consider adding elements of hardscaping to create texture and visual interest. Garden transition, where each separate area of your yard has its own identity but there is a continuity that brings balance and flow to the entire space, is frequently used in outdoor design these days.


Design Style

Gone are the days when landscape was all straight lines and symmetrical flower beds. Now you see gently curved walkways, tiered terraces, serene ponds surrounded by comfortable seating, and creative use of yard art.

Mixing Materials 

Additional popular outdoor remodeling trends include using mixed materials. Create an interesting walk in a gentle zig-zag pattern. Fill the entire walkway with small earthy pea gravel. Let the gravel settle, then install flat river rock as stepping stones. Frame the entire walkway with short perennial plants or shrubs increasing size and height throughout  the remaining surrounding landscape.

Year Round Color 

Plan out your color in advance. There are many flowering perennials which bloom at different times throughout the year, so with a little planning it’s easy to have pockets of color no matter what the season. Then place planters full of flowering annuals throughout your entire yard during the warmer months for even more vibrant color.

Please contact Outdoor Environments for all your hardscape needs.


Create a Secret Enclave in Your Backyard for Privacy

September 23, 2013
Posted By : admin
Categories : Outdoor Design Ideas
Tags : backyard, certified remodelers in Johnson County, custom decks in Kansas City, decks in Kansas City, outdoor fire pit, outdoor living space, outdoor living spaces,

A backyard is a great place to relax, but if you have close neighbors your backyard might feel a bit more like a public park than a private enclave. Don’t worry, there are a number of ways to make your backyard space more comfortable and even a bit more private.

Build a Retaining Wall
A retaining wall can be used to create separate areas within your garden, but it can also give your yard privacy from nearby neighbors and keep them out of view.  Retaining walls can be covered with low trees, shrubs and plants, so you can easily transform a less-than-ideal space into a secret garden where it feels like your nearest neighbors are miles away.

Add a Fire Pit
A fire pit can make spending time in your backyard in the autumn and winter months possible. It’s also a great way to gather with friends and family. Another benefit, at night, the light and the shadows from the fire pit make your yard feel like a secret space.

Source: Houzz

Visit OutdoorEnvironments, Inc. for more exterior remodeling ideas you can use to spruce up your home.