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August 2020

The Importance of a Seating Area

by Erin Crespo / August 4, 2020

Having a place to sit is a pivotal part of creating an outdoor living space. It is an unspoken invitation that it's okay to relax where you are, to be there, to stay. 

Imagine having a living room with no seats or a kitchen table with no chairs. You would have questions right? Do I sit...on the floor? Do I sit...somewhere else?Chairs and benches are welcoming. Not only for guests, but also for yourself - to be in an area and be comfortable for longer periods of time.Seating ushers in choices. Morning coffee, evening tea, watching the sunrise or the sunset, an impromptu picnic, a conversation, an outdoor writing space, or another quiet cove to just be. All of these opportunities open up with the arrangement or installation of a seating area.The nice thing about adding seating to a space is it is completely customizable. If you're working with corners or slimmer pathways, consider building seating into the plan. Sometimes this can be the most efficient use of your space with the added bonus of a custom build.A good tip for exploring your options while planning is to just stand out there. What do you want to do? What is missing? Find the place where you instinctively hover and mark that spot in your mind. If you find yourself standing in the same location over and over again, you've probably already found your seating area!Once you've found your "spot" now comes the fun bit. Do you wish there was a bench, a bed, a swing, a bistro table? Consider the sun, the shade, and your natural instincts. Do you want to lie back and stretch out or prepare a courtyard to host your friends and family? Don't shy away from multiple options, versatility is welcome! Design intersects with purpose, planning, and personal aesthetic. The space you already have is a canvas where you can paint the picture you've been holding in your mind.Find your outdoor living space, and take a seat!
Can you see the outline of your future seating area? Let us know!For more images and seating options check out these portfolio projects:Crestview Modern CraftsmanBarton Hills Modern XeriscapeBrentwood Family EscapeModern Family Entertaining SpaceDreamy Crestview DuplexNative Modern MuellerZilker Native Chic  

Let it Pour: Harvesting Rainwater

by Erin Crespo / August 4, 2020

harvesting rainwater is great for your landscape, your environment, and your wallet

I'm sure plenty of us can remember the traffic detours, rerouted trail runs, shuffled outdoor show plans, or the last time our smart phones all went off in harmonious unison because...flooding. Mother Nature literally gave us a raincheck.So let's work that natural cycle to the betterment of our landscape and our environment.Harvesting rain water is a great opportunity for homeowners to supplement natural rainfall and contribute to reducing erosion and flooding caused by seasonal rains in our area.
Have gutters with a downspout? Great, you're almost there! Rain barrels capture water from your roof and hold it for later release. An added financial benefit is rain is provided by nature, complimentary and free of charge. You can use your collected rainwater on the lawn, garden or your indoor plants.[gallery columns="2" ids="18162,18165"]For those keen on conservation, it can be a quick adjustment with a visible impact on your home landscape. Rainwater is great for plants because it has a slightly acidic pH and is naturally soft, lacking the salts and treatment chemicals often found in other water sources .Cities and states (including our own) offer rebates to encourage implementing changes that can help with both stormwater management and water conservation. This is another key part for environmental change - slow the flow down.The more rain barrels, cisterns, and rain gardens we have in our area help reduce the likelihood of rains overwhelming our stormwater infrastructure.
Interested in getting started? Let's do it together!For more information on harvesting rainwater visit the links below:Rain Catcher Pilot ProgramCity of Austin Rebates & GrantsTexas A&M AgriLife Rainwater HarvestingTexas Water Development Board: Water for Texas