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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.


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.


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!


Dreamscapes’ new website is now better, mobile responsive and secure.

In working to be the best pool designer and contractor in Orange County California Dreamscapes now has a new, better than before website and it represents our designs and work much better.

Importantly our new, safe website is optimized for all website visitors. Even users of mobile devices, such as the iPad/iPhone, Android and about all other smartphones and tablets. What this means is that website will reconfigure itself to fit the size of whatever device you are using and also keep the text a readable size and allow for easy use of any links, menu items and image enlargements. No matter if you are using your finger or a mouse or a keyboard.

It is always exactly the same website with all the same information, pages, photos and links. It just reshapes the layout to make it readable and usable on all devices.

Today it seems, most people often search the web using their smart phone or tablet. After all it also makes it easier to call or use an online map and get directions. And to help make sure guest feel comfortable in finding us, our shop’s address and store hours are prominent at the top of every page.

In addition the new website design, Dreamscapes by MGR also uses full HTTPS protocol to keep your visit your our website and any messages you send from our website private and secure.

Call or email us today!

Start Your Project Today With Our Online Form

We have been building pools, spas, outdoor living areas and landscaping in Orange County and Southern California for a long time and have learned the best way to begin is by “listening” to you telling us what you would like.

To help you identify and tell us the most important aspect of your “dreamscape” in the beginning we have added an online project form to our website. This allow you to tell us and even show us at the the start what you like and what you feel is most important in your project. Knowing this early on means we can understand better and develop more accurate ideas and estimates related to what you want.

If you are considering a pool, spa, outdoor living area, or landscape project please take a few moments, click the button below and share your ideas with us. We will contact you soon after and together we can develop a plan and estimate to fit your dream.

Douglass Drive, Coto De Caza, Orange County

This complete pool and backyard landscape was recently completed in one of Orange County’s oldest and most desirable planned communities, Coto De Caza.

Design and build projects like this truly demonstrate the value of working with an experienced company like Dreamscapes. Not only were we able to design to include and create all the features the owners wanted, we did it within the tight confines of their existing home and hillside lot while meeting the requirements of a rigorous home-owners association. This project included a pool, a raised spa with a view and a sweet outdoor kitchen and eating area covered with a comfortable pergola. This project shows the true benefit of custom pool design to maximize features and value within existing constraints and choosing experienced construction professionals to make it all possible with the least stress.

Dreamscapes by MGR Wins “Best Customer Satisfaction” from Houzz

The Dreamscapes team strives to give the best customer satisfaction possible to every one of our customers.  Whether it’s a landscaping project, a swimming pool design, or a big house remodel, we want to our customers to be happy with our work.  So, it’s with great pride and happiness that we announce that the home improvement website Houzz has chosen us as a recipient of their “Best Customer Satisfaction” award.  We couldn’t have won this award without our wonderful customers.  We love working with people to bring their “dreamscapes” into reality.

Several criteria must be met for the award.  This includes the number and quality of customer reviews.  We are happy so many of our customers rated us so highly.  Click here to read more about how Houzz determines the awards.  Read our profile and reviews by clicking here.

Houzz is a dynamic website, with user-generated idea books and reviews.  It’s a great place to start looking for ideas for your next big home improvement project.  Are you dreaming of a beautiful pool or a new landscaping concept?  Check out the Houzz Best of Idea Books, then call us to get the best customer satisfaction in Southern California.