10 Outdoor Living Concepts for 2023 and Beyond

Drew Henry

Cordillera Ranch Preferred Builders take full advantage of stunning Hill Country landscapes with fabulous outdoor spaces to match.

Sweeping vistas, relaxing evenings under starry skies, glorious morning sunrises and sunny days are cornerstones of Hill Country living. So, take advantage of Cordillera’s captivating natural setting by integrating the latest outdoor living designs into your hillside retreat. The following elements stand out among our Preferred Builders — and their clients — for year-round enjoyment.

1. Ancillary Structures as Primary Focal Points

Paul Allen Custom Homes says their clients are looking for the complete luxury outdoor experience. Incorporating a secondary structure that marries principles of classicism and your home’s architectural style results in a beautiful backyard focal point with multiple purposes. Pool houses with attached outdoor kitchen and living spaces can expand a pool terrace, creating additional space for entertaining or giving your family more room to spread out and unwind. 

2. Water Features for a Zen Experience

There is no denying the visually stunning Hill Country views from Cordillera Ranch so why not appeal to all the senses with the relaxing sounds of a water feature? In another nod to classical design, waterfalls, fountains and spillways built within poolscapes create another form of focal point. The Pasadera Builders team let panoramic views frame a pool ledge with water spouts, while Burdick Custom Homes incorporated a water feature right into the design of a sleek and modern infinity edge hot tub that spills into the pool, creating a beautifully relaxing patio experience. 

3. Front Courtyards for Welcomed Receptions 

The front yard isn’t just for show anymore. Anterior courtyards make curb appeal functional and create additional private space for welcomed receptions and hanging out with the neighbors. A Lifestyle by Stadler home features a peaceful front courtyard, complete with a serene fountain, modern Adirondack chairs and a paved patio. Why shouldn’t you enjoy the front yard just as much (if not more) than the backyard?  

4. Multiple Pools for Lounging and Exercise 

When designing a pool space, it’s important to consider areas for swimming, lounging and socializing. So, why not have multiple pools for each? Lifestyle by Stadler and Todd Glowka Builder both recently built homes with multiple separated pools, including hot tubs, lap pools, tanning ledges and social pools. With multiple pools, each family member can cool off how they prefer without worrying about surprise cannonball splashes. 

5. Separate Areas for Multiple Outdoor Activities

You shouldn’t have to center your backyard design around entertaining or relaxation when you can have both. Garner Homes recommends dividing the backyard into distinct areas for conversation, lounging, sport, dining and private escapes. Consider adding an alfresco dining patio adjacent to the kitchen or a private courtyard off the primary suite. Accessorize these spaces accordingly. Garner Homes is a big fan of creating comfortable and unique lounge spaces, such as porches complete with oversized lounge swings. 

6. Putting Greens to Practice Your Aim 

Pasadera Builders says today’s homeowner demands an elaborate outdoor oasis that is tailored to their lifestyle. They’re seeing additions such as beverage centers and advanced technology, but move past the patio and putting greens are the new norm. Since Cordillera Ranch offers the premier Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, you can work on your swing in the comfort of your own backyard before hitting the Club.

7. Outdoor Kitchens Outfitted with Pizza Ovens 

Outdoor kitchens have become a standard feature for many homes, but Cordillera Preferred Builders are taking things to the next level. Elements of a true chef’s kitchen are mirrored in outdoor accessories that expand beyond a customary smoker and grill. Pasadera Builders has an authentic take on the Tuscan staple, designing a two-in-one outdoor fireplace and pizza oven for that crispy smoked crust. 

8. Year-Round Enjoyment 

Fire pit designs, whether traditional or streamlined in design, illuminate and warm patios for intimate late-night entertaining and offer a flexible gathering space for wine tasting or s’mores. The Todd Glowka Builder team sought to maximize an outdoor living space by positioning a fire pit remotely, creating yet another outdoor room. If you’re not drawn to the flame, the Garner Homes team recommends opting for gas or electric heaters. For the summertime, invest in shaded overhangs, motorized shades and Big Ass Fans® that can keep you cool and protected from the hot Texas sun and pesky critters.

9. Natural Hardscaping that Mimics the Hills 

Today’s homeowners are looking for hardscape features to blend with the landscape rather than work against it. Popular items include dry stack boulder retaining walls, native limestone accent pieces and river rock dry creek beds. Together, these elements mimic the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, which is what the Cordillera lifestyle is all about, and are designed in ways to complement more refined patio surfaces and furnishings.

10. Maintenance-free Native Plantings 

Unanimously, Preferred Builders agree that native foliage works with the existing Hill Country terrain to keep the views unobstructed and pristine. Low-maintenance native plantings are popular for their drought resistance, beauty and practicality, thriving in the Texas heat, which results in greener sustainable summer landscapes. Flowering plants add a splash of color and also attract butterflies, birds and bees, and small herb and vegetable gardens near the kitchen also support a sustainable lifestyle. 

For more Hill Country outdoor living ideas from the Cordillera Ranch Preferred Builders, browse the following websites:

Burdick Custom Homes, BurdickHomes.com
Garner Homes, GarnerHomes.com
Lifestyle by Stadler, LifestylebyStadler.com
Paul Allen Custom Homes, PaulAllenHomes.com
Todd Glowka Builder, TGBuilder.com
Pasadera Builders, PasaderaBuilders.com

Paul Allen Custom Homes: Strategically located near the main house and along the water’s edge is a covered bar, pizza oven, living lounge and a dedicated pool bath with storage.
Burdick Custom Homes: Our clients love disappearing slider doors that open to the outdoor living area. They can enjoy the peaceful ambiance of water trickling from the negative edge spa with retractable sun/bug screens.
Pasadera Builders: A formal pool design constructed of native limestone is an excellent example of Hill County elegance.
Todd Glowka Builder: Designed for entertaining, this outdoor living area boasts a unique fire pit surrounded by lush landscaping for privacy. Positioned between the main patio and a separate private patio, the area provides ample gathering space for friends and family.
Pasadera Builders: Just beyond two elevated patios and a waterfall with plantings for privacy, a custom putting green is the final element in a back yard oasis designed to accommodate a homeowner’s personal lifestyle.
Todd Glowka Builder: To take full advantage of the surrounding views, this sleek poolscape features an infinity edge and raised overflow spa. Floating step pads, ledge loungers and steel fire features perfectly complement the modern design.
Garner Homes: Custom metal porch swings, motorized shades to protect from mosquitoes, and patio heaters and fans create the ideal outdoor living space for year-round enjoyment.
Lifestyle by Stadler: Positioned at the entry of this organic-modern designed home, the courtyard offers the homeowners another place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine next to the peaceful sounds of a natural stone fountain.
Pasadera Builders: A combination fireplace and pizza oven, and surrounding stone patio convey a Tuscan vibe in the Texas Hill Country.
Lifestyle by Stadler: Why build one pool when you can build three? Featuring a hot tub, infinity pool and lap pool, this backyard landscape is one-of-a-kind and accommodates all kinds of family fun.
Burdick Custom Homes: Unique steel frame columns, a stained patio ceiling and stone flooring support a sprawling covered patio with an oversized outdoor kitchen, shaded by a motorized screen, and an exterior serving bar links to an indoor bar area through a slider window.
Garner Homes: The sleek pool with a soothing water feature, and the covered patio with multiple Big Ass brand ceiling fans provide cooling comfort. For colder weather, the elegant hot tub and custom 8-foot-long fire pit is a welcome respite from the chilly Hill Country night.
Paul Allen Custom Homes: The natural stone pool decking provides an integrated transition between indoor and outdoor living, and multiple entertaining spaces surrounding the pool are designed with resort-like quality.

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