Small Backyard Hardscaping Ideas

Backyards range in size and shape and some have smaller areas to work with but here are some ideas to maximize your backyard footprint while adding functionality.

OUTDOOR KITCHEN
Having a kitchen outside makes entertaining company a breeze. This added luxury has quickly become a desired feature for people wanting an extension of the indoors. An outdoor kitchen patio creates an inviting ambiance that enhances your open-air experience.
This can include a range with oven, countertop with bench seating, a custom BBQ, or even a wood-fire pizza oven.

SEATING AREA
When an outdoor kitchen does not fit the budget, another option would be a seating area. This could be a designated area next to a water feature or garden area. Gatherings around a firepit are perfect for bench style seating with oversized pillows. Make sure that you don’t make the mistake to forget to include a place to sit. Whether it’s for a family gathering or hosting a birthday party, having adequate seating that it is comfortable and functional.

WATER FEATURES
There is a soothing ambiance to the sound of water. That is why water is often used in backyard projects. This is a versatile element that can be used in many ways. Raised spas by means of their dam walls, return filtered water back to the pool from the raised spillways. This gives the added feature of moving water and sound. Decorative pots with overflowing water are another popular design element.

FIREPITS & FIREPLACES
A firepit or outdoor fireplace can add another element to the backyard. These structures not only create an area to entertain or relax but also providing warmth, beauty and functionality to the backyard.

PATIO COVER
Adding a patio cover to the backyard creates the perfect area for a table and some comfortable chairs. Patio covers can be attached to the home or can be constructed as separate structures.

Pool Coping Materials

When it comes to pool coping there are many different materials and options available. In this article we are going to focus on coping materials. Coping the term for the perimeter cap of the pool that is on top of the pool shell wall. One of the purposes of coping is to direct water away from the pool edge while providing a finished look. Here are some types of coping materials:

Natural & Cut Stone – Flagstones, marble, granite are examples of natural hard stones that can be laid into the coping in its natural form or cut to shape and brings a natural beauty that is very durable. In contrast, there are softer and more porous stones available like limestone, or sandstone that may require sealant to improve longevity. There are also sheer stones like slate or flagstone that might have a tendency to flake or sheer. Natural Stone is more expensive that other options like pavers or brick. Understanding the look, feel, strengths, texture, and weaknesses of the stones you are considering will help to ensure the correct selection.

Precast & Pavers – Pavers come in many different finishes, sizes, and shapes. They are made from molds so the material lines are very straight. There are some standard curved shape but others need to be custom made depending on the shape of the structure. The front edge of some precast and pavers are round (bullnosed) while others have a flat facing or custom edge.  The width of each piece can vary as well. Because of these options and durability pavers are not only popular for coping but also provide a beautiful accent for wall caps and planter walls.

Brick – Brick choices are similar to the wide range of sizes and colors of concrete pavers. Along with the traditional shape of brick it can also be installed with a bullnose or safety grip edge. A safety grip edge is designed for a more secure handhold. This is achieved by slightly angling the rounded lip at an upward angle to help from sliding off a flat surface.

Poured in Place (formed concrete) – This coping type is made of concrete and it is made on site. Concrete coping can be formed to achieve certain shapes and it can be colored and textured as well. This is a good choice if you want the concrete areas around the pool to match.

Tile –Pool tile is very resilient to pool chemicals. It is widely used as a transition between the pool interior and the coping at the waterline. It has become more popular to ditch traditional coping and substitute the look of tile instead. Tile also offers the largest selection of options like size, texture, pattern, mosaic, glass, etc.

With Dreamscapes, you can rest assured that our team will guide you through every part of the process and ensure proper selection of pool coping materials for your new dream pool or backyard hardscape project. Give us a call today to get started!

7 Gift Ideas to Enjoy Your Custom Landscaping This Holiday Season

You’ve spent the time and the money working on your dream landscaping design, and now it’s a reality, just out your back door.  We’ve put together our top picks for furnishings and games for you to get the most enjoyment from your custom landscaping in the coming year.

Pool accessory for pool life, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County
  1. Invest in a sturdy outdoor table and chairs.  Look for materials that are specially treated to be able to hold up under the California sun, wind, and rain.  There are many lovely options, from reclaimed wood, to powder coated metal and attractive new plastics that have the charm of wicker but better durability.
  2. Find some outdoor lighting.  It may be a pretty string of twinkling lights or an elegant chandelier hanging from the covered patio.  
  3.  If you enjoy playing games with friends and family, invest in a quality set of croquet mallets, badminton rackets, or bocce balls.
  4. Enjoy a meal outside using nonbreakable dishes.  More and more stores are stocking plastic ware that looks as stylish as traditional place settings.  Vintage metal dishes are another cute choice.
  5.  Add another layer of beauty with outdoor tablecloths, napkins, and placemats.  Get a variety, for quiet family suppers, summer parties, and even more formal gatherings.  Al fresco can be just as classy as indoors.
  6. Get a tasty variety of drinks.  Fancy chocolate mixes, new teas, and fine wines all taste better outside!
  7.  Find some cozy blankets and quilts for curling up with when it gets chilly.  A hot drink, a good book, your favorite people, and a gorgeous sunset are a perfect mix to enjoy custom landscaping all year round.

New Year, New Landscaping: A Few Ideas to Inspire You

Open beam patio cover with stone paver hardscape, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County

The new year brings a feeling of possibility and new beginnings.  Let this be the year you take your yard to the next level with the new landscaping you’ve been dreaming of.  There are so many possibilities.  For people who love to cook, consider starting an herb garden or even growing a few veggies.  California’s weather makes starting a garden possible almost any time.  Rosemary, thyme, and lavender can double as drought-tolerant ground cover, too.  A few attractive pots for growing tomatoes beautify a patio, as well as providing fabulous produce for new recipes.  While you’re dreaming, dream big and think about an outdoor kitchen, to bring together a love of cooking and socializing.

New landscaping can also include adding hardscape or sculpture elements to your yard or patio.  A Japanese-inspired rock garden can be a soothing choice.  Consider investing in an outdoor sculpture and build a design concept around it.  An outdoor fireplace with built-in seating gives you another place to entertain guests, relax as a family, or find some alone time.  Homeowners who enjoy games might consider a bocce ball court, a sturdy croquet set, or even a foosball table.  Once you get brainstorming, the possibilities are endless.  2016 should be the year you really enjoy your home’s outdoor spaces.  Contact Dreamscapes by MGR to set up an appointment to bring your ideas to reality.

Orange County Landscape Design Idea: An Outdoor Fireplace

Stone veneer outdoor fireplace and sitting area, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County

With the beautiful weather Southern California enjoys, Orange County landscape design can encompass many outdoor living configurations.  Most of the year, using the patio or porch as a main living space is a great idea.  While a fire inside the house can make things too hot, an outdoor fireplace allows you to stay outside when the temperatures dip.  A fire has a way of gathering people and creating a sense of coziness.  Light a fire at the end of a dinner party and allow everyone to linger over drinks or dessert.

Fireplaces outdoors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to go with many architectural styles.  They can be as simple as a free-standing wood stove.  Or go big and create a statement with a fireplace that incorporates classic herringbone brickwork or elegant white stucco.  Install a baroque mantel piece for a quirky contrast of outdoors and indoors.  Artwork, like mosaics or bas-relief, both work well outside and can stand up to sun and rain.  Those who enjoy cooking outside might consider adding a pizza oven to a fireplace.  Stay in and make real brick oven-fired pizzas. 

Plan an Orange County landscape design project to really make the most of your property.  Contact Dreamscapes by MGR to help bring your ideas to life.

 

Ideas for Water-Wise Orange County Swimming Pool Design

Stone tile veneer bond beam and custom pool, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County

Many people who would like to put in a pool or do a swimming pool remodel are questioning whether it makes sense with California’s drought.  In fact, some studies have found that swimming pools use significantly less water than watering a typical lawn.  Additionally, Orange County swimming pool design can accommodate many water-conserving elements.  Here are a few ideas.

  1. Put in a pool cover.  Pool covers can prevent 90% of water evaporation.  While the old school bubble covers were pretty ugly, newer covers take aesthetics into account.  The new designs are also safer, too, and are made without gaps.
  1. Extend the lip of the pool coping.  If you are planning on new coping, extend the edge by an inch and a half to two inches to help prevent water from splashing out.  
  1. Don’t install an overflow.  An overflow is built in to a pool to prevent water from splashing out and getting on the decking.  It prevents a pool or hot tub from overflowing by siphoning off excess water to the cub.  However, it also creates a lot of waste.  Consider an Orange County swimming pool design without an overflow to reduce water runoff.
  1. Skip autofill.  This feature is meant to keep the water level of a pool constant.  However, it tends to overfill the pool, leading to water waste.  It can also cover up the signs of a leak, leading to further waste.

Get in touch with us to discuss a water-wise pool design or remodel.  We’d love to help you get the pool you’ve always wanted.

Make Your Outdoor Space An Extension Of Your Indoor Space

Do you do a lot of entertaining in the summer? Or would you like to do more? Dreamscapes can help you put in the outdoor space that will help you transform your backyard into the ultimate getaway. There are so many options to add to your yard to turn it into an extension of your indoor entertaining space. Here’s a look at a few of your options.

 
Swim up bar and tile pool, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County

Cooking

When entertaining guests, one of the first things that comes to mind is food. How are you going to feed your guests in your outdoor space? A lot of people spend time running back and forth between their indoor kitchen and their outdoor seating because all of their supplies are inside. What if we told you that there was a way to bring the cooking outdoors? Add on an outdoor kitchen! Now all the food can be outdoors with your guests. No longer will you have to make the choice between cooking a meal indoors and missing out on all the conversation You can cook right at your own outdoor kitchen center and never miss a beat.

Drinks

Another very important part of entertaining guests is beverages. You’ll want to be able to offer your guests a cold beverage in the hot sun, and the best way to do that is by adding a bar to your entertaining space. You can add a bar with seating, or even a swim up bar right in your pool. Make it a sports bar and add TVs to watch the big game together. Whatever your dream, we can put it together for you.

Poolhouse

Are you constantly cleaning your house because guests are dripping water all over your floors? There’s a solution for that too. Add on a pool house. You can include a bathroom, changing areas, storage areas and more in order to keep all the wet and muddy feet out of your home. If the kids bring friends over, you can keep them completely outside. Send them to the outdoor kitchen for food and drinks and have them change in the pool house, and you will never see their wet footprints in your house again. They’ll be so happy outdoors that they will never want to come inside again.

These are just a few of the ways that we can transform your backyard space into the ultimate entertaining space. If you don’t already have parties and guests over all the time, they will be lined up around the block for a chance to relax in your new backyard space. Give us a call today so we can get started on your plan!

 

Landscaping Your Property

Have you ever driven past a home and noticed how fabulous their landscaping looks? A home that has had professional landscaping usually stands out from the ordinary home, but it also has other benefits as well. Dreamscapes by MGR is also a landscaping company and will be happy to help you get your yard in tip top shape this season.

Landscaping your property front yard, Dreamscape by MGR leading pool contractor in Orange County

Beauty

A yard that has been landscaped has some character to it, instead of just a vast area of grass. Flower beds, rock walls and more can add dimension to your yard and provide a something for guests to look at. Adding features to look at will make your house the envy of the neighborhood, and people will think that your house is very well kept.

Add Value

A home with professional landscaping can increase in value. The Gallup Organization reports that your home value can increase by up to 15% with a professional landscaping job. It can also increase the sale value of your home, bringing you a bigger return on your investment. When buyers are looking for a home to purchase, they are drawn to homes that look like they have been well maintained. Landscaping is a way to draw attention to your property right off the bat.

Ease Of Maintenance

A professionally landscaped yard will be very easy to maintain. No longer will you have to spend hours fixing up spots in your yard. Let the professionals handle it for you. Mulching along the edges of garden beds and under trees can help cut your mowing time in half. You won’t have to worry about cleaning up your yard every year because it will already be done for you. Save yourself the hassle and let Dreamscapes by MGR take care of it for you.

Give us a call today so we can get started on your free estimate. Your dream yard is waiting for you. Start enjoying your outdoor space this year and get a jump start on adding value to your home. Your neighbors and your whole neighborhood will thank you.

Designing Your Pool With Dreamscapes

Dreamscapes has been designing pools since 1993. We started out as subcontractors and have become a full-blown company. Our pools have even been featured on HGTV. We have lots of exciting options to offer you, and the state of the art technology to help you design it. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why you should build your backyard oasis with Dreamscapes.

Quality Work

Dreamscapes prides ourselves on the quality work that we provide. Each project is given the care it deserves from the moment you walk into our office to the day we finish your project. Our attention to detail is like no other and will make your pool a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Excellent Customer Service

We strive to provide the best customer service possible. We work with our clients to design their vision for their outdoor space. We can take a dream and turn it into a reality. There are some considerations to make when planning out a large project, and we will be happy to share those with you and our suggestions to help make your space the best it can be. Our staff is friendly and professional and you will enjoy working with us.

High Quality Products

We stock a wide variety of products because our clients’ tastes vary so much. But we only stock the highest quality products in order to deliver maximum satisfaction from our customers. It is important to us not to skimp on the quality of your project, so we do our research to bring you the best in the business. Ask us today about all the products we have available.

3D Modeling Software

Our design team uses state of the art 3D modeling software to provide you with an idea of how your finished product will look. We can plan out what will go in the space and how it will look when it is finished all on the computer screen. This gives you an idea of what we are talking about without all the guesswork. You can now have a final picture of how things will turn out before we even start on your project.

Give us a call today for your free estimate. We’d be happy to sit down with you and figure out what would work best for your outdoor space. Turn your yard from boring to exciting this season.

Designing Your Dream Pool

Are you in the market for a pool this summer? Are you tired of being envious of everyone else’s backyard oasis? Let Dreamscapes by MGR help you out by designing your dream pool. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be kicking back and relaxing with your entire family.

Create Summer Memories

A pool can be a great place to create summer memories with your entire family. Everyone can have fun in your pool. Babies who love to splash all the way up to grandmas and grandpas will be able to find something to love about your new pool. Add in a water slide for maximum entertainment. Or a fire feature for backyard s’mores. The possibilities are endless and the choices are up to you!

Relaxation

Add features to your pool that will encourage everyone to kick back and relax. Add in a bench for seating right in your pool. A backyard spa is a great way to soothe tired muscles at the end of a long day. Add massaging jets and you’ve got the ultimate retreat. Put in a bar, and you’ll never want to leave again. But proceed with caution because all your friends and family may never want to leave either…

Exercise

A pool can be a great source of exercise. You can swim laps, dive, or even just take a walk. Water sports are easy on your joints while still promoting a boost in metabolism. There are lots of forms of water exercise from zumba to aerobics, as well as the regular strokes that we learned so long ago.

Adding a backyard pool this year will guarantee you years of fun and memories. Your kids will have a place to hang out with their friends, and you’ll have a place to hang out with yours. We can help you plan out the best features for everyone in your family and make the fun last for seasons to come. Give us a call today so we can get started on your free estimate.