Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

The concept of outdoor living spaces has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Stretching your living space beyond the confines of your home’s four walls adds an incredible value to your investment and your lifestyle. By bringing the indoors out, whether it be onto a deck or patio, you can maximize the potential of your new home.

Imagine propping up your feet after a long day, wine glass in hand, taking in the stars above. Or grilling steaks for a crowd on Saturday night. Or scoring big in your favorite board game on Family Game Night in summer. This lifestyle can be yours with special attention to designing an outdoor living space that serves as a destination, an oasis from the trappings of everyday life.

Designing the Space

So, you’ve decided an outdoor living space is worth the investment. How do you make it happen? First, you’ll need to decide whether you desire a front-of-the-home space or an extension off the back of your home (or maybe you want both!). Next, determine the physical characteristics of your space. Will you erect permanent walls (or half walls), or does a more whimsical structure such as a pergola better match what you envision? Will it be open air or screened-in? Do you desire the shelter of a roof or the shade of a vigorous grapevine? Scour the web for ideas and jot down possibilities as they inspire you. 

What Is Your “Why”?

Once you’ve got some ideas, it’s time to pin down your purpose for the space, as this will significantly guide the final layout. 

What is your top priority for your outdoor living space? 

  • Will it serve as an extension of your kitchen, featuring a built-in grill, prep surfaces, and other elements that will transform your warm-weather cooking routine? 
  • Will it be a space for entertaining guests, featuring abundant seating and room to mingle?
  • Or will it be a tranquil haven for self-reflection and cozy communication (think intimate chats by the fireplace)?  

Answering this question of purpose will deliver clarity and direction for your space design.

Decorating Your Outdoor Space

You’ve created your space; now it’s time for the truly fun part: decorating. Your personal style will shape the vibe of the space. Do you have a mood or theme in mind for the space? Consider the following elements and how they may complement each other to achieve your desired style for the space. 

  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Textiles
  • Accents/decor
  • Color

Your choices will place your ultimate stamp of style on the outdoor living space, so move forward with a clear vision. 

With warm months ahead, there is no better time to dream up your ideal outdoor living space. What will such a place do to boost your everyday life?

Ready to elevate your lifestyle? Bill Roberts Custom Homes has been Edmond, Oklahoma’s, trusted custom home builder for more than 40 years. From design to move in, our knowledgeable team guides new homeowners on their journey to dream-home ownership through a thoughtful, communicative, and time-tested process. Contact us today to get started; we look forward to making your dream home a reality.

Should I Build a One- or Two-Story Home?

Planning to build your dream home? Before you begin designing your new home, you must first determine whether a one- or two-story floor plan is more suited to your lifestyle. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks.

One-Story House Pros and Cons 

Once a symbol of the American dream, one-story, ranch-style homes have held fast in the neighborhood landscape. Read on to discover this timeless, energy-efficient floor plan’s many advantages. 

Pro: Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance in a one-story home is more localized and therefore tasks such as the following are more manageable (and less costly) in the long term:

  • Exterior painting 
  • Window washing
  • Roof repairs
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Vacuuming
  • Laundry

Pro: Safety

Families with older members or children will value the absence of stairs in a one-story home as a distinct advantage. Slips and falls can happen to anyone, but a single-level living space inherently prevents such risks, allowing homeowners of all generations to age safely in their own homes. Bonus: one-story homes are also easier to evacuate in case of emergency.

Pro: Sound

A one-story home is a quieter home, free from noise that naturally occurs with the presence of a second story. 


As one can see, single-story homes certainly have strong positives going for them, but they are not without disadvantages, such as:

  • Privacy – By the nature of their situation at ground level, one-story homes can project a sense of exposure to the outside world.
  • Security – With all entry points at ground level, extra consideration should be given to closing windows and locking doors as an added security precaution.
  • Upfront costs – Though owning a one-story home typically saves money long term in the form of lower heating and cooling costs, the upfront costs of building a structure with a larger footprint must be taken into account.

Two-Story House Pros and Cons

With more design options, greater square footage for one’s dollar upfront, and potential for higher resale value, two-story homes have grown in popularity over the last fifty years. Here are some reasons why:


Pro: A two-story home’s second level has a built-in layer of security. After all, ill-intended burglars aren’t apt to set up a ladder and make off with a flat-screen from the second story.

Pro: Privacy

Pro: A two-story home’s privacy advantage is twofold. A second level brings a sense of seclusion from the outside world. Additionally, two-floor layouts offer flexibility to separate private from public spaces within the home, and even distance a master suite from other bedrooms. 


But no floor plan is perfect. Two-story homes also contend with certain disadvantages, such as:

  • Sound – Whether it’s footfalls from above or muffled acoustics from an upstairs television, the potential for greater noise in a two-story home exists, although the issue is not as pronounced in a newly built home versus an older home.
  • Maintenance – Upkeep of a two-story home requires slightly elevated effort and costs. 
  • Safety – With a second level comes stairs, which pose potential risks, particularly for youngsters and the elderly, who may be prone to slips or falls.

Personal Taste Is Paramount

With distinct pros and cons for each floor plan, it boils down to personal taste when choosing a one- or two-story layout for your new home. Which floor plan is most suitable for your family?

Ready to build the house of your dreams? With over four-decades’ experience, building a new home with seasoned builder Bill Roberts Custom Homes is a wise choice. Specializing in both one- and two-story homes, the knowledgeable Bill Roberts team employs a time-tested process to ensure your dream home design becomes a reality. Don’t delay; contact us today and get started on your journey to custom home ownership. 

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