Best Outdoor Space

Moroccan Lights  |  That’s Haute
Nothing sets apart an outdoor space quite like a 26-foot-tall chimney. “I really love how the shape of the fireplace came together,” says home and interiors expert Ashley Moss-Black, co-owner of That’s Haute with mom, Donna Moss. “It was difficult when framing it because we had to adjust the height a few times and reframe that pitch to get the perfect slope. But it was worth it.” The stately fireplace anchors a comfortably appointed outdoor area for the custom European-style, new build home in Park Hill Place. “We sketched out the preliminary plans and designs then took it to an architect and had him fit it to the property,” says Ashley, who’s currently based in Southlake with a new Keller-based headquarters and design center slated to open early next year. For this particular client, she focused on modern Moroccan flair for the home’s interior and pulled subtle touches of the same onto the patio — from the fireplace silhouette to colorful lime green and navy accents like custom sofa pillows with Moroccan-style embroidery. Three sets of alder wood, eyebrow-top French doors open onto the patio from the main living room. Ashley chose natural travertine stone with Mexican lava rock for unique, durable flooring, which complements the home’s exterior in a dark taupe-hued Santa Barbara stucco finish. An outdoor terrace occupies the second floor, accessed by a staircase behind the towering fireplace. It’s kept simple with Saltillo pavers imported from Mexico and a cozy sitting area, which is exactly what the clients had hoped for — a comfortable, stylish space that brought the indoors out.

A River Hills Oasis  |  Paxton Place Design
"I think less is best,” says Stacie McCans, principal and interior designer at Paxton Place Design, which operates out of Fort Worth’s Monticello neighborhood. While she might be speaking about furnishings and distinguishing separate spaces, Stacie’s projects are certainly every bit “more.” This impressive backyard retreat at her client’s River Hills new build home — which Stacie designed from the ground up, even collaborating with both the client and the contractor on all the finishes and selections — involved accommodating a variety of outdoor areas. There’s a covered patio area, bar seating and grill space, lounge seating, a fire pit and the main attraction, a beautiful saltwater pool. Each of them needed to coincide with the home’s interior style. Stacie created a cool, contemporary poolside arrangement with outdoor-chic striped loungers, chairs and other seating, all from Paxton Place Design. Stone work was also important, and the mod poolscape touts pretty simulated bluestone decking from Techo-Bloc and a mix of silvermist flagstone and Oklahoma flagstone on the spa and outdoor kitchen. “The client loves French blue, so we incorporated hints of this hue throughout,” Stacie adds, which included a cheerful umbrella, accent pillows and even the ceiling of the covered porch space for an unexpected design detail. “Break up the space with different furnishings in each area that complement each other. Never overcrowd.” We’re pretty sure the only overcrowding here will be from enjoyable entertaining and impressed guests.

A Hill Country-Inspired Resort  |  Heritage Design Studio
The term “resort style” is certainly an apt description for this super-luxe outdoor retreat, created by Heritage Design Studio and Heritage Interiors. Based in Southlake, husband-and-wife team Chris and Angela Hough spent a great deal of time on Skype during the design process with their clients, who were still living abroad at the time. “They were relocating from London and looking for Texas Hill Country inspiration but with a transitional tone,” Angela says. The expanse of windows along the rear, north-facing side of the home enabled the family to capitalize on their scenic views, as did the slightly sloping hillside, tiered planters and negative-edge pool (created by J Caldwell Custom Pools). “We create a 3-D model with the existing topography of the land and design the house and basic pool layout in that 3-D model,” explains Angela. Both she and Chris ensured the materials spoke to the contemporary Hill Country vibe; travertine tiles were chosen for the flooring while the planters and pool wall matched the home’s stone exterior, comprised of Austin chalk. An expansive sun deck with Frontgate chaise lounges and Restoration Hardware side tables beckons. Various entertainment and dining areas make up the remainder of the generous outdoor space. On the left is a fête-ready living area with a full kitchen setup — “They like to have large parties,” adds Angela — and to the right is a more cozy dining place with a double-sided fireplace and a weathered concrete and teak dining table from Restoration Hardware and chairs by Frontgate. Above, a pair of lovely custom-made Italian glass chandeliers by Masiero hang from a cedar arbor — the perfect area to relax and enjoy the evening breeze and one heck of a view.