The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Designed Pergolas & Pavilions

Whether it’s to host events, get some quiet, or BBQ a pergola is a great addition to any space. These features offer owners an extension of livable space that can be fully customized to suit unique needs and style preferences. 

But, there are some key things to consider before installing. That’s exactly why we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to designing one below.

The Position

 It might seem obvious, but choosing a position for a pergola or pavilion is critical to its function. This is especially true if it will be added to a feature already in the yard (like a pool, dining area, outdoor kitchen).

Also, consider things such as privacy, and what the position means for it. For example, if you are looking for a space to get away, consider moving it further from the home.

Otherwise, installing the feature without thinking of its position can ruin the entire function of the backyard.

Building Materials

 There are a number of building materials that pergolas and pavilions can be built with. From something modern and sleek like aluminum to timeless and natural like timber; the material can have a serious impact on its appearance and longevity.

When picking a material, we always suggest figuring out the budget, intent of use, and weather concerns. All of these factors will likely have an impact on what material is chosen. For example, places with harsh winters and strong winds will likely need a more durable material to withstand the elements.

Lighting

 A feature of pergolas and pavilions that is often overlooked is the lighting. But, lighting can make a space seem more inviting, safer, and usable. So, consider adding features like the ground or overhead lights. These simple upgrades will really amplify the space and make it usable regardless of the time of day.

Roof Options

It’s not only the building material that you’ll need to think of when designing a pergola or pavilion but the roof of it as well. The roof is a key part of its design that cannot be overlooked. After all, roofs for these features come in all types of designs and styles.

For example, owners can pick a simple flat roof for a timeless aesthetic. Or, they can opt for a pitched roof with a more decorative and custom-edge to it. If neither of these seems like a good option, owners can even choose a retractable or fully open roof. That way, sunshine, and natural light can be enjoyed all year round.

Regardless, it’s best for owners to explore the many options that are available to them when it comes to the roof. Otherwise, agreeing to a design before scoping your options can leave you with serious buyers’ remorse.

Layout

One of the first things to do before selecting a pergola or pavilion is to think of what you want to use it for. For example, it might be intended as a dining area and used to host guests. Or, you might want to use it as a place to get some quiet and privacy.

Regardless of what you want it for, the intended use will likely alter the size and layout of the design. For hosting parties and dinners, it will need to be big enough to fit tables and chairs. Plus, you may even want to take it a step further by adding a BBQ or kitchen element to it. Whereas a pergola meant for privacy will likely be smaller in size with enclosed walls and a roof that is big enough to fit a single lounge chair and table.

Permits for Pergolas and Pavillions

The final thing owners should think of before installing anything on their property is if it is permitted. This means owners should be checking with their local building authorities to ensure that what they intend to build on their property meets the code. Otherwise, it could be in violation of local bylaws. This is especially true for owners who are installing a structure with electricity as these typically require a special permit. So, be sure to contact your local board to confirm if the pergola you want is allowed.

But, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of contacting the board on your own, consider partnering with a professional like us at State of the Art Landscaping. We can assess, customize, and build you the pergola or pavilion of your dreams.

If you’re interested in seeing how your property can benefit from one of our designs, consider getting in touch by contacting us today.

Why Shrubbery & Tree Trimming Should Be Part of Your Landscaping Routine

Regular trimming of your outdoor plants is crucial. Not only is it needed to maintain the property’s appearance, but it makes sure the space is accessible. Without it, debris, dead leaves, and plants can quickly pile up; resulting in a mess.

Plus, failing to trim can actually impact the overall health of your garden. It can prevent sunlight from penetrating and encourage the growth of diseased or sickly plants. All of which could be detrimental to the garden’s overall health.

Seeing as we understand how important shrubbery and tree trimming is, we’ve outlined the top reasons why it should be a regular part of your landscaping routine.

Tree and Shrub Appearance

The most obvious reason why it’s important to regularly trim your shrubs and trees is that it improves the overall appearance of the plant. Without regular maintenance, plants can quickly grow out of balance with the yard or their own growth pattern. This can result in the branches straying away and impacting other features of the space.

For owners with smaller areas, this is especially important as plants can quickly grow in size; imposing on others. Not only is the size an issue, but having stray and overgrown branches can ruin other areas by growing into it. All resulting in the space looking unkempt and uncared for; something that no owner wants.

But this issue can quickly be resolved with a regular trimming schedule as it ensures the growth pattern remains the same.

Impacts Health

Any dying, diseased, or injured branch should be removed from the plant immediately. That’s because a single damaged branch can impact the overall health of the tree or shrub. These branches take up valuable space and resources causing the healthier portions of the plant to struggle to get the nutrients it needs.

But, cutting off the portions of the plant that are diseased or infected with fungi stops the spread while encouraging sunlight and air circulation to impact the healthier portions.  

Encourage Growth

Pruning a growing shoot stimulates new production. So, for owners wanting some vigorous new growth on their plants, pruning is encouraged. Not only can pruning a growing plant be beneficial, but it will also coax growth spurs on flowering plants and fruit ones.

Growth spurs are important to plants, seeing as it is the area that produces the flowers and fruit. When pruning the plants regularly, the spurs encourage strong buds and air circulation; resulting in lush-looking beds and healthy fruit production.

Enhance Sightlines

It should come as no surprise that overgrown trees and shrubs are unsightly to look at. But, their large size can even impact sightlines to other areas of your property. That’s because they can block other features and be the only thing that people see.

Having trees or shrubs planted close to a property can even impact sightlines from windows. This results in a lack of sunlight entering the property and a blocked view from the interior. But regular pruning and tree trimming help to stop this issue. It spots potential problems and helps to open up views, ensuring that the entire garden is always in view.  

Safety

When trees and shrubs grow out of hand, it becomes a health and safety hazard. Added debris from broken trees or shrubs can fall, blocking walkways for pedestrians and vehicles. This can make it difficult for people to navigate around the property and to find the entrance. Plus, if branches break off they are at risk of falling and hurting those on the property.  

Overgrown features can even impact other buildings and structures. Heavy branches and overgrown trees can quickly impact things like fences, telephones, or power lines causing damage and a bigger headache down the line.

That’s why a regular pruning and maintenance schedule is needed to keep the growth of your plants on track.

 

Shrubbery & Tree Trimming with State of the Art Landscaping

At State of the Art Landscaping, we know the importance of taking care of your outdoor space. We believe that a well-kept exterior reflects the care and pride you put into the property. That’s exactly why our dedicated team helps. We maintain properties year-round; customizing trimming and pruning schedules to ensure your gardens are always looking their best.

So, if you’re interested in seeing how pruning and trimming can improve the appearance of your plants, consider getting in touch with a member of our team today by contacting us today.

Bring Your Past Time to Your Own Backyard: 5 Sports Court Designs You Didn’t Know You Needed

With so much time spent at home, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a rise in the number of people wanting to update their backyards. Of these updates, one of the most common is for sports.

Whether the hobby is tennis, basketball, hockey, or something else; people are getting creative with their spaces. And, for good reason. Sport court designs can be completely customized to a space. Making it accessible for anyone wanting to add a bit of fun to their home. 

Given how popular sport court designs are becoming, we’ve outlined the five designs you didn’t know you needed until today.

1. Concrete Courts

As one of the more ‘traditional’ designs, the concrete court is one of the more common additions we see at a home. Of course, this design uses concrete as the main building material and base; making it a perfect choice for basketball and tennis enthusiasts.

The process of installation for this type of court is actually pretty straightforward. All that homeowners should be aware of is to make sure that the court is fully dry before painting. For the paint job, you can always go with the game lines as a ‘court.’ However, you should also consider personalizing the paint-job to reflect a favorite team or design.

You will want to have the area assessed by a professional prior to installation, though. This person will be able to walk through the property and ensure that the court will be level and have sufficient drainage to not cause issues in the future.

2. Multi Use Courts

Another trend we’ve been seeing a lot of homeowners asking for is a multi-use sports court. A multi-use court is a great way for owners to get the whole family involved and participate in outdoor activities together. What’s meant by this concept is simply that the court is designed in a way that multiple activities can be used at once.

This can be done simply by painting over a concrete area. For example, to create things like a checkerboard, shuffleboard, and basketball court in one. Additionally, other things could be installed to maximize the space such as a net and tetherball.

Since this design allows owners to customize their court, any size yard will do. But, like any court, before choosing a multi-use one, consider speaking with a professional. That’s because someone like us can have a look at your space and suggest what would work best in terms of size and design. From there, you can begin brainstorming what games you’d like (bowling, basketball, chess, etc.) to turn it into a reality.

3. Rinks

If you’re in a cold climate – chances are you’re a fan of playing hockey. But even if you’re not, an outdoor rink is bound to be fun for the whole family. Although the installation process is quite easy, it can only be installed in homes during colder months.

Many owners also have the misconception that rinks need to be large. However, it can totally be customized to the space. So, whether it’s big or small, consider enhancing your backyard with a multi-purpose rink that can get everyone outside and enjoy the space.

4. Half Courts

 A half-court is exactly that – half of a ‘traditional’ sports court. This is a great idea for owners who are short on space but still want the added benefit of an at-home court. Of course, this design can be further customized to fit a space and activity. For example, it can be designed for basketball, tetherball, bowling, or more. As well, the court can be placed in an area that best suits your home in order to maximize the remaining space in your yard.

5. Alternative Base Options

If concrete or asphalt isn’t your thing, consider an alternative base surface option. This is a great option for those who can’t have a permanent base for a sports court. Instead, this gives owners the option to disassemble and remove the court when it’s not in use or if the weather changes.

These alternative materials usually come as interlocking tiles that are easy to install and provide shock absorption (to prevent injury). It is important to keep in mind that this type of court can be higher in cost for materials. However, it is lower in installation fees.    

At State of the Art, we specialize in outdoor living. This means we know how to maximize your outdoor space. So, if you’re thinking of installing an outdoor sports court, get in touch with us. We can walk you through the process, introduce you to new designs, help with things like land leveling, drainage, pricing, and more.  

 

If you’d be interested in seeing how these trends could be applied to your backyard, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

5 Deck & Patio Design Trends to Inspire Your Project in 2022

Deck and Patio Design Trends

Plan to spend more time outside than ever before. That’s because decks and patios are becoming extensions of the home in ways that we’ve never seen. From cooking to exercising, entertaining, relaxing, and more; there’s plenty to get excited about when it comes to deck and patio design. Given how excited we are to see these deck and patio design trends take over in 2022, we’ve outlined the top five deck and patio designs that are guaranteed to inspire your next project.

1. Outdoor Kitchens

Building on last year’s momentum, cooking outside has become an increasingly popular trend. And this extends to more than just your everyday BBQ. There are now multiple types of outdoor kitchens available.

For example, a satellite kitchen can enhance a smaller deck by adding things like a grill or pizza oven. These features can even be placed close to the outside door for convenience.

Another option is to include an independent kitchen. We’ve been seeing a lot of owners adding things like a prep space, sink, refrigerator, and storage.

Regardless of what you decide on, keep in mind that these added elements should first be discussed with a professional, like us, who can review your budget, space, and climate to determine what would be right for you.

2. Herb and Vegetable Gardens

We’ve also been seeing an uptick in people wanting to grow their own food. This comes as no surprise given how much time we’ve spent at home the past few years!

As such, many have turned towards gardening and ‘micro gardening.’ This has meant we’ve been seeing tons of flower beds, vertical gardens, and potters being added to spaces.

This trend is also great for people who might not have a tonne of deck or patio space as it can be customized. For example, you can pick from plenty of sizes, styles, and looks. All of which will make it easy to add to a space.

3. Privacy

Given that more people are making use of their deck and patio spaces, more are asking for privacy while out there. This means we’ve been seeing an increase in the demand for additional structures like pergolas, fences, and tall landscaping to create seclusion.

Depending on the space, owners may want to consider adding outdoor drapery to an overhead panel, an outdoor screen, tall planters, or even an umbrella that can give the feel of privacy. Doing this will not only add some style but some much-needed functionality to a space.

4. Outdoor Technology

With so much of our lives heading online, it should come as no surprise that we’ve seen a boom in outdoor technology. Whether you’re watching a movie outside or want to work from home that day; we’ve been seeing an increase of people wanting to optimize their space.

Some of the top requests we’ve been seeing are incorporating speakers, WIFI, and televisions into the area. There is also the option to change out older light bulbs to newer LED ones which can be automated, and connected to the remote control. This allows you to turn them on or off and even change their color.

5. Longer-lasting Items

We’ve also been seeing a rise in people looking for products that extend the outdoor living season. What this means is that things like fire-pits, heat lamps, misting systems, and fans have all been hot products.

These items are trending seeing as people want to extend the amount of time they can use their outdoor space. These are especially great additions to a patio or decks in areas that have colder winters as you’ll be able to use the space for much longer.

Another, more permanent, option would be to build things like a pergola with a covered roof. Or consider adding things like mounted heaters or a fireplace.

You should also consider furniture that’s made out of long-lasting materials like metal, aluminum, or concrete. These items are durable and can withstand even the harshest of elements. Making them great year-round choices for patios and decks.

 

At State of the Art, we specialize in outdoor living. This means we know how to transform your deck and patio spaces. We can turn underwhelming areas into modern, usable spaces that all will want to enjoy year-round.

If you’d be interested in seeing how these deck and patio design trends could be applied to your space, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

How the Right Outdoor Lighting Can Transform Your Backyard into a Luxury Experience

Outdoor lighting should be a priority when it comes to your home. That’s because the right lighting will make the space more functional, safe, and appealing at all hours of the day.  

This means that lighting should be placed around all areas of the property. Not just in its darkest corners, but its entirety should have ample features.

Since no one knows how to take care of an outdoor area as we do, we’ve outlined how the right outdoor lighting can transform a space below.

Upgraded Bulbs

Maybe you’re thinking that you already have outdoor lighting. But, the type of bulb you use impacts the look and feel of the space. That’s because outdated bulbs won’t be as bright or impactful.

That’s why we suggest upgrading systems to LED light fixtures. Most of these switches are simple as it just requires a bulb to be replaced (opposed to installing a new mounting).  But, the difference is notable. LEDs enable highlighted features such as walkways, entrance doors, and gathering spaces.

Being able to highlight these makes it safer (as there won’t be any dim corners) and much more appealing to guests.

Lighting Controls 

Outdoor lighting can also be customized to a space. For example, there is now lighting technology that enables owners to remotely control or automate its settings. These settings can then be programmed to switch on and off at specific times of the day.

This will mean that your outdoor space is appropriately lit, regardless of where you are. One example of this is dusk to dawn sensors, which will automatically turn off the lights during the day.

Additionally, there are also lights that have motion control. That way, it can help illuminate a space as it’s being used and switch off when it’s not.

Enhanced Appeal 

Lighting helps showcase the best features of a property. And, what owner wouldn’t want their most impressive areas highlighted for all to see? That’s why it’s so important to have bright, effective lighting to amplify the space.

Lighting can be used to enhance places like eating areas and tables (with things like solar floodlights). Additionally, adding smaller accent lights on things like potted plants, a garden, or a fountain can all capture its beauty and draw attention directly to it. 

Extending Spaces

Lighting can transform outdoor spaces into livable ones. That’s because proper lighting makes pathways and gathering areas bright and appealing. This encourages people to go outside to use it as they’ll likely feel like the space is welcoming.

Further, not having the proper lighting to guide people to the areas can make it confusing and leave them wondering what the space should be used for. But, proper lighting aims to solve this issue.

The right lighting features can be used to highlight pathways that will encourage owners and visitors to make the most of the space.

Customized Features

 With so many lighting options to pick from, customizing your space has never been easier. There are plenty of advanced and unique lighting ideas that can be integrated into a design.

This can transform a typical outdoor area into something unique, modern, and (of course) luxurious. Otherwise, using standard bulbs and lighting features could leave a backyard feeling dated and seem as if minimal care has gone into it. But, thoughtful lighting makes these concerns a thing of the past.

 Owners can now select from a number of designs such as path, accent, or highlighting additions. Lighting can even be used to create silhouetting or shadowing that will either illuminate a backdrop (such as a tree or garden) or create a shadow effect on it.

 Additionally, the position of the lights can be used to enhance the look of a space. Using up-lighting and down-lighting can create an impressive artistic touch.

For example, up-lighting can be used against the side of a wall to showcase things like sculptures, ivy, or mosaics. Alternatively, downlighting can be used to highlight an accent feature. For example, by placing a light high up and casting it downward, it can be used to feature stonework on a pathway or even a garden.  

 

At State of the Art, we specialize in landscaping. This means we know how to transform your backyard spaces. We can turn underwhelming and poorly designed areas into luxurious experiences that all will want to enjoy.

If you’d be interested in seeing how lighting could better your backyard, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

How to Create the Perfect Entertaining Space in Your Own Backyard

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, many people began flocking outdoors to enjoy themselves. Staying cooped up inside for a long period of time is challenging enough, so having the ability to entertain yourself outdoors is a great respite. 

Your backyard is the closest and most convenient way to benefit from all the outdoors has to offer. But how can you make your space a more entertaining space, whether it be personal or communal, like a family gathering?

If you’re wondering about how to improve your backyard space, here are 10 outdoor ideas to get you started. 

1. Patio or Deck

A patio is a perfect opportunity for backyard entertainment. Patios create endless choices for entertaining, no matter if it’s for a large or a small group. 

Your patio can be a flat pad, like stone or concrete, or a walk-out deck that connects to your house, allowing access to the interior of your home. Whatever you choose to decide, make sure you have a plan and a budget. 

2. Living and Dining Outdoors

One of the best ways to make a backyard entertaining is to provide a living room outdoors. Outdoor furniture like chairs, couches, swings, tables, and so forth can reflect the idea of having a living area outside. This is the perfect place for gathering, having drinks, hanging out, and just enjoying friends. 

If you love eating outdoors, consider investing in a large outdoor dining table. These tables are perfect for large gatherings and provide ample seating. Complete the indoor atmosphere with a TV and speakers!

3. Firepit

A firepit can be an amazing focal point of any backyard, and a source of entertainment! Not only can you roast s’mores and other foods, but cuddling up by the fire during the cooler months with friends and family makes many memories. 

You can purchase mobile firepits online, or you can have one built into your patio or backyard. Built-in fireplaces are typically permanent, so make sure you know exactly where you want them to go. 

4. Games

Do you love playing outdoor games like cornhole, ringtoss, or mini-golf? Why not have these available in your backyard for parties or get-togethers!

You can even create a game space in your backyard for all the outdoor games you love to enjoy. This makes it easy to use the games whenever you feel like it. 

5. Outdoor Kitchen

No doubt about it – having an outdoor kitchen is incredibly convenient, especially if you love entertaining outdoors with activities like grilling or making drinks. 

While many outdoor kitchens are impressive both in size and quality of materials, the truth is that you don’t need to spend a lot to have a functional outdoor kitchen. With a sink, grill, and a little extra countertop space, you’ll have a place to entertain and cook. 

6. Pool

While more on the costly side of backyard renovation, having a pool provides a wonderful opportunity to host parties or for relaxing. And with a variety of pool choices, ranging from inground to aboveground or even heating, you’ll find something that works for your family. 

Getting a pool can be a large investment because it requires labor, so make sure you’re staying within your budget. If you live in a warmer climate, it might be a great investment since you will get more use out of it. 

7. Garden Pathway

A garden pathway can be a tranquil space to visit and hang out. The best part of your garden landscaping is that you can fill it with anything you want: flowers, bushes, small trees, herbs, stones, sand, and anything you want. 

If you have the space, you may create a stone pathway to walk through and enjoy your garden. Vegetable gardens are particularly eye-catching and resourceful, though they do require upkeep. If you’re going to plant a vegetable garden make sure to plant vegetables that grow seasonally and in your climate. 

8. Hammock or Lounge Seating

Seating outdoors as a living room is nice when you have many people, but sometimes you may want a seat to yourself!

Hammocks or hanging chairs provide a calming space for reading, relaxing, or reflecting. Hammocks are fairly easy to install, especially if they’re mobile. Hanging chairs need an anchor from above, so they’re perfect for under a deck. 

9. Work Studio

Do you benefit from working outdoors? Setting up a workstation outside may not necessarily be thought of as entertainment, but if you have a hobby like painting or writing, it could be a place for inspiration. If you’re an artist, you could display some of your work outdoors to serve as decor for your space.

Your workspace should be covered in some capacity if you have tools or materials you use so they don’t get damaged by wind or rain. 

10. Movie Area

There’s no better way than enjoying a movie outdoors during the warm nights of summertime. Your movie area doesn’t even have to be anything fancy; a simple white sheet, along with a projector of sorts will provide everything you need to watch a movie under the stars. Pop some popcorn and cuddle up with a pillow to make it complete.  

Entertaining Space For You!

When you’re thinking about creating the ideal entertaining space, you have countless ideas and opportunities. The one thing to remember is to work the space so it’s convenient for both you and others. Your outdoor space will be a talking point for many years to come. 

Do you need assistance to create the best outdoor space? Our specialists are here to help! Contact us today to get started planning your outdoor entertaining oasis. 

 

Staycation Landscapes: Create a Resort-Style Backyard with Luxury Appeal

Rest and relaxation don’t always mean hopping on a plane and taking off. You can enjoy staycations any time, when you transform your backyard with resort-style features and ambiance. State of the Art Landscape specializes in backyard transformations with our comprehensive lineup of hardscape and softscape solutions. These include swimming pools, patios, outdoor kitchens, and more. In fact, you may love your backyard once we’ve transformed it but you might prefer to stay home more often. 

Swimming Pool

If you love your resort getaways, you can install a brand-new swimming pool into your yard, making it everyone in your household’s favorite palace to be. State of the Art Landscape installs custom swimming pools. We collaborate with our clients to achieve aesthetically pleasing designs that complement their property. Using 3D technology, we can map out each detail, ensuring that clients are able to bring their swimming pool vision to life. 

In addition to their swimming pool, our design-build team can install hardscaping around the pool or add decking and spa-like features to the design. We can create spa swimming pools that feature pool-hot tub combinations, plunge pools, and pools in virtually any shape. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain family and friends, an outdoor kitchen allows you to spend time with your guests while keeping cooking odors and messes outside. State of the Art Landscape designs and builds custom kitchen and dining spaces that are tailored to property owners’ needs. We can create spacious, open outdoor kitchens or outdoor roofed kitchen and dining spaces that offer protection from the sun. Tell us what outdoor kitchen features you want to include and we’ll create a functional and attractive design that suits your needs and budget.

Outdoor Bar

If you do a lot of backyard entertaining, an outdoor bar can become the focal point of your patio. State of the Art Landscape can help you design a bar and surrounding patio area that features a fun theme or complements the style of your home. After a long day at work, you can come home and relax in your backyard with drinks on your patio. We’ve constructed outdoor bars to fit both compact and open spaces. Like many outdoor features, an outdoor custom bar can enhance your home’s value. 

Outdoor Living Room

Why stay indoors when the weather’s so fair? Root for your favorite baseball team from the comfort of your outdoor living room, complete with sumptuous outdoor seating and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. An outdoor living room is perfect for people who like to relax outdoors but still enjoy creature comforts like plush cushions and Netflix. These spaces are ideal for people of all ages. They make great entertainment spaces that are popular with adults, teens, and even young kids. 

Outdoor Fireplace

Ensure that you can enjoy your backyard oasis even when the weather is chilly with the addition of an outdoor fireplace. These features not only provide heat for chilly days but also light so you can gather in your outdoor living space in the evening. State of the Art Landscape features custom fireplace designs. We can build one that suits your patio or outdoor living room’s layout. We can also build custom fire pits in a multitude of styles to enhance your backyard living space.

Sports Courts

If your ideal vacation includes some fitness or sporting fun, you can add features to your backyard that allow you to enjoy many activities. If you have tweens and teens, they’ll love spending time at home and inviting their friends over to enjoy these sportive backyard features. Our design team can make the most of your backyard space by filling it in with the features you love best. 

Outdoor Structures

Add visual interest to your backyard with backyard structures that make use of the vertical space. Outdoor structures like pergolas and gazebos provide shade and focal point flair. Fortunately, there are many styles to choose from. We can add custom structures to your backyard setting that embody a certain architectural style. Whether your home is Mid-Century, traditional, modern, or cottage-inspired, we can design outdoor structures that blend seamlessly with your overall setting. 

Professional Landscaping

Resorts invest substantially in their landscaping to create the ambiance that vacationers are looking for. You can do the same with help from State of the Art Landscape. We landscape special features like swimming pools, patios, and pergolas, and can design an entire backyard landscape that suits your preferences. For instance, you can create a modern, upscale landscape with single-color plantings for a designer look. Or, you can create a relaxing Zen-inspired space, a hacienda-style garden, or a French-country-inspired setting completed with pots of lavender. 

We create highly personalized landscapes filled with plantings that complement your backyard and your aesthetic style. Our designers can incorporate shade features or privacy plantings that help divide the space. We can install water-savvy landscapes, low-maintenance landscapes, fragrant gardens, and more. 

Why Create a Luxury Getaway at Home?

Investing in your landscaping and exterior home features can actually add value to your home. In fact, did you know that a well-landscaped patio can actually boost your home’s value by 12 percent? Installing other features like an outdoor fireplace, pool, and outdoor kitchen can enhance property value even further. But value aside, how much enjoyment could you and your gain from a backyard that’s custom-designed with vacation-worthy features? When you partner with State of the Art Landscape, we can create a backyard home-resort that’s perfectly tailored to your perfect staycation! 

Contact State of the Art Landscape to discuss your backyard makeover plans. Please peruse our portfolio of completed projects. We create custom designs and feature a team of talented and experienced landscapers, masonry specialists, designers, and more. We can’t wait to help you transform your property into the backyard oasis you crave. 

How 3D Renderings Can Help Your Landscape Design Process

The landscape design process can be complicated, time-consuming, and exhausting. However, that doesn’t mean that the experience will be the same for homeowners and designers. While landscaping workers might have a tough time designing a backyard or patio space to fit the vision of a homeowner, it’s virtually a guarantee that the experience will be an exciting one for whoever owns the property being developed. That’s because, at the end of the ordeal, homeowners know that their backyard, outdoor kitchen, or whatever outdoor addition they’re making to their home is something that they’ve always wanted!

At State of the Art, it’s our aim to provide homeowners with a visualization of their dream landscaping outcome that’s as close-to-perfect as possible. We do this using 3D renderings, which will allow both homeowners and our own employees to see precise measurements and images of what we’re going for through our construction efforts. This is especially useful when building complex structures, adding onto existing construction pieces or removing/grading land for new projects. Below we’ll talk a little bit more about what we do and how we do it.

Designing & Building Dream Landscapes

Once scheduled for a consultation session, our experts will arrive to get a firsthand view of a homeowner’s property. This will allow us to fully map out an area, examine elevation changes, and take into account all areas that will be affected by construction. Once this information has been gathered, we’ll take it into account when designing homeowners their own unique 3D customized conceptual layout of what the area will look like after we’re all finished.

Not only does this give homeowners the ability to see their vision fully realized before construction even begins, but it gives us the opportunity to identify any possible issues with construction. Maybe the placement of a swimming pool isn’t ideal due to elevation, or an outdoor oven might be placed too close to neighboring property – whatever the problem, we’ll work to fix it so that homeowners are fully satisfied with whatever result occurs.

There are a number of issues that can arrive with different types of landscaping efforts. Below, we’ve listed the kinds of services we provide, along with some of the complications and workarounds that occur with them.

Hardscape Construction

Hardscaping refers to the practice of installing stonework into a natural landscape. This can be in the form of adding stone walls, stone patios, brick ovens, and staircases. Hardscaping can drastically raise the profile of your backyard or patio, but the downsides of it are that it is an expensive process, and it’s quite easy to blunder during installation. Shoddy masonry and unsafe builds are some of the main problems that occur during installation. However, both can usually be avoided by careful planning and the hiring of qualified professionals.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are often underestimated as simply being dug holes filled with water, but they’re quite a bit more work with that. The excavation and construction process is a detailed effort that requires intensive knowledge of the soil composition, location of pipes and power lines, proximity to the sewer and neighboring electric structures, and much more. Plus, once construction begins, expenses can quickly mount up depending on the chosen material to construct the surface and deck of the pool. Furthermore, if heating is required then that’s an entirely different issue that requires an electrical engineer, fuel supplier, and even more hands-on deck.

Decks

A quality deck can drastically elevate a landscape, and many modern homes are adding them into their landscaping plans. They can be constructed using a wide variety of materials, including elegant hardwoods, masonry, and brickwork. Their construction obviously needs to take into account the space they’re working with, along with safety as a priority. Load-bearing decks might need to be able to support 10-15 people at once, which is something that the design team will be inquiring about throughout the design and installation process.

Pavilions and Pergolas

What can be a whimsical and practical addition to any home can also be a tedious endeavor for designers and construction workers. Pavilions and pergolas can be an immersive way to enjoy the outdoors, providing only the barest shelter from the elements. These are usually quite simple to construct, but depending on homeowner specifications, can be made to be quite complicated and intricate structures.

Sport Courts

Homeowners looking to incorporate more exercise and team play into their lives may wish to install a sporting court for basketball, tennis, or shuffleboard. All of these courts can be constructed to match the exact regulatory standards of the sports themselves, and incorporated into the existing environment as naturally as possible.

Fire Pits

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a bonfire with friends and families once the weather starts getting a little bit chilly, or on summer nights once the day’s heat has passed. Fire pits can be constructed in a number of shapes, sizes, and materials, and designers at State of the Art will work with homeowners to identify their dream fire pits so as to make those dreams an exact reality.

Boulder Work

Pre-existing boulders on a home’s landscape can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. Depending on perspective, homeowners might see them as a natural wonder or a random obstruction. At State of the Art, we incorporate boulders as naturally as possible into a landscaping vision if possible – otherwise, we’ll do our best to remove them from the picture entirely.

Fencing

Whether it’s more room for the pets or kids to run around safely in or just more privacy overall, we can work with homeowners to address all fencing needs that might be required.

Outdoor Kitchens

Every dream outdoor setup as an outdoor kitchen, complete with a floor of stone or wood, a brick oven, roasting pit, etc. Whatever amenities you could want in your outdoor kitchen, at State of the Art we’ll work to make it happen.

10 Ways to Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space All Year

As of 2014, outdoor living spaces have emerged as the most popular “special function” room among homeowners. Since then, ways to improve upon and create further uses for any outdoor living space have increased greatly, and are more accessible for homeowners—no matter their price point.

So, as nights become longer and the colder months set in, how can you work to create an outdoor living space that works for you year-round? Read on for 10 ways for you to enjoy your outdoor living space.

1. Weatherproof Furniture

If your outdoor living space is uncovered, or subject to a lot of rain, it’s crucial to invest in weatherproof furniture. Even if your backyard usually remains dry, having weatherproof furniture on hand is going to reduce the risk of colors fading from sun exposure.

Weatherproof furniture, whether it’s a lawn chair or couch complete with throw pillows, is going to last a lot longer outside than any other furniture you might consider putting outdoors.

2. Cover It Up

Creating cover not only helps you define areas when you have company over but it also protects your outdoor furniture. Pergolas are also great for this and provide a defined space for any purpose you see fit, but they don’t come with the protection of a cover.

Coverage also allows you to sit outside at any time and not have to worry as much about wet seating or slippery surfaces.

3. Add Heating

For the cold months, adding heat is an easy way to enjoy your outdoor living space. You can do this with a fire pit or outdoor heater. Some deck floors even come with heating, and heat lamps are always a great option as well.

A heating element also creates a gathering space in your backyard and serves as the focal point for any gathering or get-together. 

4. Create Definition

If a heating element isn’t in your budget, or you already have one, there are other ways to create defined areas in your outdoor living space. Creating defined areas help break up your backyard and make it feel homier.

Use outdoor area rugs and other landscape features to create defined spaces. String lights can also help.

Some ideas can include a fire pit area, kitchen area, game area, or a pool area. Seating is also a great, affordable option (and highly necessary if you have guests over often).

5. Invest in Lighting

Several sources of lighting allow you to stay outside longer in the fall and winter months when the sun goes down sooner.

Outdoor LED string lights work best to create a cozy ambiance. Path markers and string lights work to create walkways in your outdoor living space. Get creative with solar lights or different colored bulbs depending on the season.

6. Outdoor Cooking

It’s no secret that food brings people together. Why not bring the power of your kitchen outdoors?

It can be as beautiful and grand as you’d like—complete with cabinetry, refrigerator, wine cooler, grill, and even a sink. It can also be as simple as acquiring a grill, outdoor table, and chairs for everyone to gather around and eat at.

7. Grab Some Games

No matter the weather, games can be enjoyed for seasons upon seasons without ever going out of style. You can even get creative and make your own game pieces.

For outdoor games of cornhole and Jenga, it’s as simple as finding a how-to guide and spending a weekend with some wood, tools, and paint. Sourcing the materials for soccer, outdoor bowling, or even horseshoe are great ways to keep family and friends outdoors for hours.

8. Keep Things Cozy

Maybe you already have a fire pit, but there are more ways to keep things cozy. Get throw blankets and cuddly outdoor pillows so everyone can stay warm late into the evening, whether huddled around a fire or not.

Throw blankets, pillows, and outdoor rugs are also easy to keep seasonal. You can switch them out depending on the holiday or time of year. Keep different materials, designs, and thicknesses in mind.

9. Get Your Feet Wet

Water features are another thing that can be enjoyed year-round if you have the right materials. Heated pools or water features are perfect, but so is a hot tub. 

They’re inviting and can be enjoyed alone or with friends!

10. Clean up Often

While you should pick up your belongings and keep your outdoor living space clean, this tip is aimed at the weather.

Particularly in the winter, it’s important to keep up with snow removal. This helps keep your outdoor furniture and appliances in the best shape possible. Sweeping regularly and wiping off surfaces in the fall and springtime keeps pollen and bugs at bay.

Depending on your climate, Summer can bring rainfall or intense sunshine. No matter the case, this season is probably going to be the easiest in keeping your outdoor living space clean. Especially if you’re using the area often!

Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space Year-Round

Using these tips is sure to allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space year-round. Get creative with the ways you choose to utilize them and customize them to fit your needs and wants.

Also, keep who is going to be using the space in mind! Children and pets are going to have different needs from older guests in friends. There are options for everyone out there, and it’s important to make sure everyone coming into your space enjoys it!

If you’re wanting to take on bigger outdoor projects, don’t be afraid to let the professionals lending a helping hand.

Contact us today with any questions or ideas. We’re happy to help you create the outdoor living space of your dreams.

8 Fall Firepit Ideas to Heat up Autumn

Having friends and family gather around a fire is about as natural as it gets. People have been doing this since the dawn of time. It’s relaxing; it’s a great way to build community; it provides the basic necessity of warmth when you want to spend time outdoors. 

If you’ve been considering this addition to your outdoor space, we have a few firepit ideas that’ll set your nights to blazing and invite family and friends to stay just a little while longer. 

Whether you want to roast marshmallows, retell stories of old, or simply burn the midnight oil, we’re sure one of these fire pit ideas below will tickle your fancy. 

1. Fire Pit & Pool

We’ve all seen luxurious pools with an attached hot tub or sauna. But, how about mixing a little fire and water? This is, without question, one of our favorite fire pit ideas.

In lieu of the hot tub (or in addition to it), you can frame out a fire pit and nestle it into one of the corners of the pool. Or, you can position it beside the hot tub. Makes sense, right? 

Few things in life are more relaxing than lounging on a float or looking into a fire at night. Combining the two is a surefire way to light up your nights and make everyone feel at home. 

2. In-Ground Fire Pit

This one you have to be careful with, especially if you have a lot of kiddos running around. But, just like your swimming pool, you can actually go above ground or below with a fire pit. 

If you’ve installed some magnificent tile flooring in your outdoor space, you might want to maintain those lines. In which case, you can install a fire pit below ground and gather your outdoor sofas or benches around.  

3. Perimeter Fire Pit

If you like the idea of a gas fire pit, this may be a great option for you. You can create a perimeter, or a divide, to your seating area. One consideration is creating a small perimeter wall between the seating area and your pool. 

With one flick of a switch, you can set the flames to dancing as some guests lounge in your seating area and others take a dip in the water. Either way, everyone gets to enjoy the show. 

4. Sunk-In Seating Area with Firepit

The fire doesn’t have to be the only thing in the pit. What if you were to create a circular three-foot wall, line the interior with Adirondack chairs, and build a stone fire pit in the center? 

Now, you’ve created a dedicated space. You can hang blankets on the back of the chairs, set out small side tables, and even position footrests for each chair. Perhaps you’ll build some speakers or a sound system into the wall and let the beat go on. 

5. Fire Table

This one you’ve probably seen. It’s practically a staple. Instead of a coffee table in the middle of a designated seating area, people are opting for a fire pit that blends seamlessly into the environment. 

With fire tables, there can still plenty of room along the perimeter of the fire to set down appetizer plates and glasses, but there’s no mistaking what’s at the heart of it all.

Fire tables come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made of stone pavers, wood, metal, and even glass. They can be circular, square, or rectangular. If you can dream it up, it can be built and showcased.

6. Fire Bowl

This is just as it seems and utterly fantastic. Like any other option, fire bowls come in all shapes and sizes. They’re circular, made of a multitude of materials, and nestle neatly into any open space.

These, too, can continue in the same vein as the pavers on your patio. Or, they can be constructed out of stacked stone, flat stone, limestone, or any other natural stone that matches your overall motif. 

7. Reflective Fire Pit

Speaking of endless building materials, let’s discuss one of the best ways to amplify your fire. With the right glass or tile, you can create a reflection of your fire, doubling the size and effect of your flames.

If you create a circular pit and layer the top of it with black tile, you’re going to enjoy a magnificent reflection in the evening hours. This will enable to flames to dance at the center of your party in a most show-stopping way. 

8. Concrete Fire Pit

Concrete is, in our opinion, one of the most underappreciated materials. It’s not just for roadside crews to pour out on a sidewalk. 

Concrete can be stained, scored, and polished to create modern, clean lines. Whether you want a circular pit or a square pit, concrete can be dressed up to create an impervious, neat, and tidy arrangement that’ll last a lifetime. 

Firepit Ideas to Light Up Your Fall Nights

What do you say? Will it be a firepit nestled beside your pool? A perimeter pit? Or a sunken seating area that makes it all about the fire? Whatever your desire, now’s the time to set yourself up for all those fall evenings under the stars. 

Here at State of the Art Landscape, we can bring all your dreams to life. We offer top-quality pool building, landscaping, turf, and landscape maintenance. 

Come take a look at our portfolio to browse our gardens, masonory projects, swimming pools, decks, outdoor kitchens, and more.

Which feature do you dream about bringing to life? Allow us to pair it with the perfect pit to set your autumn nights aflame.

And we won’t leave you high and dry once we’ve created the backyard of your dreams. We’re also here for year-round maintenance and snow removal. 

As you enjoy your hot tub and fire pit, we’ll keep your land clear and safe throughout all the winter months.

If you live in Northern Virginia, feel free to schedule a no-obligation on-site appointment today. We’ll be delighted to come by and continue to make your backyard an extension of your home.