Ways to Enhance Your Sunroom

A sunroom is a great addition to any home! Sunrooms allow you to enjoy the natural lighting from the outdoors in the comfort of your home. These seasonal rooms are perfect for people who want to spend more time outside. It is the perfect hybrid of interior and exterior home living. If you have a sunroom or are looking to add one, there are some simple ways to help enhance your space. Let’s take a look!


Every great sunroom will incorporate a type of seating. These rooms typically use furniture that can withstand the elements of nature. While your sunroom may not get rain inside it, it can experience more humidity and exposure to some of nature’s harsher elements. Consider patio furniture with cushions or some whicker seating. You can also add some more outdoorsy details such as a hammock or a suspended chair.

Throw Rug

A way to add some style to your room is by getting an area rug. A rug can help add comfort to your outdoor flooring. Most sunrooms are not fully finished and can experience some moisture. Make sure your rug can handle moisture. Typically, indoor/outdoor carpet is preferred. You can also invest in turf or composite tile to give your room a little extra styling.


Sunrooms are the perfect place to incorporate plant life! There is no spot better in your home for more sun exposure. Adding plants and herbs can help add life to your atmosphere. This perfect blend of indoor and outdoor living will feel more balanced with a little more greenery. Just remember to water your plants because they will not experience rain!

Whether you plan on just reading out there or enjoying the sounds of nature, sunrooms are a terrific place to unwind. With a little love, these rooms can become your favorite place to spend your morning or afternoons. What do you love about your sunroom? Let us know below in the comment section!

Preparing for an Outdoor Get-Together

Just because summer is officially over and your friends may stop hosting backyard barbecues and pool parties does not mean that you cannot take advantage of Arizona’s gorgeous fall weather with an outdoor get-together. Get ready for your company to come over with five easy outdoor updates. All you need are these five easy steps to transform your yard into the perfect outdoor getaway.

Prep the Yard

Before you begin, make sure you wipe down your patio furniture, clean up any the leaves from your fruit trees, mow the lawn, sweep the patio, and trim any outgrown bushes. 

Disinvite Bugs

Bugs can be a real party crasher on outdoor gatherings. Eliminate bugs in a safe way by purchasing citronella candles. You can even make your own by using citronella oil in your custom candles. 

Light up the Night

Get-togethers can run late into the middle of the night; therefore, you should be prepared by hanging some stringed lighting. String lighting looks beautiful and is an inexpensive way to light up your backyard. 

Deep Clean Your Grill

Between each cookout and party, your grill can take a beating from food and grime. Make sure to deep clean your grill with these steps:

  1. Turn on your grill to begin warming it up. 
  2. After the grill is warmed, take a heavy-duty grill scraper and begin removing all grime on the cooktop.
  3. Take a wire grill brush and scrub the heated grates.
  4. Let the grates cool down then put them in a bucket with warm, soapy water. Have them sit for 2-3 hours then using a scouring sponge wipe away any remaining grime. 
  5. Using a degreaser, wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp sponge. Afterward, you will want to dry it off with a microfiber cloth. 
  6. Using a microfiber cloth and stainless-steel cleaner, shine off the exterior of the grill. 

Provide Warmth

Arizona nights can get pretty cool, so if you plan on hosting well into the evening, you will want to provide some heaters or blankets. By adding warmers, you will be able to continue the party even when the sun drops.

We hope you enjoyed these simple tips for preparing your yard for a get-together. Let us know how you host guests outdoors in the comment section.

Outdoor Entertaining

outdoor-entertainingwThe weather will be warming up shortly and we’ll be rolling right into outdoor party season, so here are a few ideas to make your outdoor events shine.

Seating: Look for ways to provide plenty of seating. From large tables that encourage groups to gather to a scattering of a few chairs here and there for smaller conversational opportunities, be sure to make seating available. Take advantage of your current outdoor furniture, but consider bringing out folding chairs or buying some less expensive resin outdoor pieces that can be stacked out of sight when not needed. Notice also that the water feature and planter provide plenty of room for guests to perch on the edges, a nice bonus from this lovely focal point.

Food and Drinks: People don’t realize that the sun can dehydrate them even in cooler weather. Be sure to provide plenty of food and various types of drinks. Consider offering spring water with slices of lemon and lime or a favorite combination of cucumber and mint infused water to make it even more tempting.

Shade: Many people can handle only a short time in the sun before they start to burn, and once again that’s easier to forget in cooler weather. Provide plenty of shady areas for people to retreat to before sunburns become an issue.

An Indoor Alternative: Some people would rather not spend much time outside due to allergies or other reasons. Be sure to open some of your home for those people who would rather gather indoors. Also make sure people know which restrooms are available for guests.

Your home’s outdoor area can really expand the square footage available for your next party. These steps will help make your outdoor event a success.

Plan Your Next Outdoor Event

Patio-fire-PitwIt’s fun to plan parties and get togethers for family and friends. This time of year it’s tempting to plan an outdoor event. This backyard, one of those visible at Fulton’s Cooley Station, makes entertaining especially inviting.

First, you have an interesting water feature along the back complete with sculptural pots and edges made for sitting. Then the elongated fire pit encourages guests to enjoy the flames, either cooking up marshmallows for s’more’s or just sitting along the edge and warming in the heat.

Outdoor areas make better party places when they offer various centers for attention so that different groups of people can enjoy either fun activities or quiet conversations. This space has a number of sections, allowing guests to self-select the group that suits their style and mood.

Notice also the comfy upholstered outdoor furniture. Having chairs with ottomans rather than one-piece loungers gives your guests more seating options and leads to flexibility as different pieces can be moved around the yard. The warm earth tones of the upholstery fit well with all of the stone hardscaping in place, and plants and fabric soften the feeling of the yard.

Finally, the table in the foreground – the dining chairs are just visible at the front of the photo – provides a place for appetizers and drinks. Consider adding a few side tables to enable guests to set their plates and drinks down as they wander around the yard. The potted geranium is a nice touch on the table, and you could also add fresh flowers and greens to the décor.

Just by incorporating food and drinks, this yard is ready for company. What do you need to change in your yard to set things up for your next event?

Outdoor Entertaining in Winter

DSC_0038Although winter in the Southwest is nicer than in many other parts of the country, there are still plenty of chilly days and evenings. When you want to plan an outdoor party, there are things you can do to keep your guests warm and happy even when the weather is a bit nippy. Here are a few suggestions.

Set up a windbreak. Often the cold is worse when there is a strong breeze. Most of us don’t have an indoor courtyard like this one in Fulton Home’s Basha model at Legacy, but you can use fencing, foliage or even canvas to help protect your guests from the brunt of the wind.

Build a fire: If you have an outdoor fireplace you can just add wood or turn on the gas. But even if you don’t have this option, consider building or purchasing a fire pit. The flames add immediate warmth and provide a cozy place for people to gather. To take full advantage, offer the makings for s’mores along with some toasting forks for marshmallows. People will be much less likely to mind the cold.

Serve hot beverages or soup. When people are warm inside they will feel toastier outside. Plan your menu and any appetizers accordingly. Soup or chili makes an inviting cold weather entrée and hot cocoa, tea, cider or coffee helps keep the warm feeling even after the meal is over.

Make indoors an option. Some people have a hard time dealing with cold weather. Be sure to include some indoor seating and choices for those who simply can’t get comfortable outside.

With a little planning, you don’t have to let colder weather keep everyone indoors. Take advantage of an opportunity to throw a chilly but fun party.


The Basha: The Power of Hardscaping your Home’s Exterior Spaces

Legacy Models 112Would you enjoy the luxury of an outside area in your home that is completely private and secure? The interior courtyard offered in Legacy’s Basha model creates a lovely outdoor setting that is accessible from several parts of the home and invites the outdoors in with charm and grace. When it comes to a courtyard, it’s the hardscaping that makes this area a natural continuation of the home’s interior.

Hardscaping refers to all of the permanent architectural features offered in an exterior space. In this case, it includes the stone flooring, which uses a pattern of large squares with dark borders to contrast it with the interior flooring while still making a connection. The outdoor fireplace, another effective hardscaping decision, provides warmth in design as well as extending the season for using this outdoor room.

While the lights strung along the ceiling area aren’t technically considered permanent, they provide the sense of a roof while creating a festival atmosphere within your home. Whether you are enjoying the evening outside under their canopy or looking out from inside as they light up the courtyard itself, those lights are just the right touch to make the space special for you and your family. Imagine a party on a clear night when all you need to do is throw open the doors to provide an indoor-outdoor event that takes advantage of the best of both worlds.

Would a courtyard like this add to your home’s appeal and flexibility? Why not visit the Basha model at Fulton Home’s Legacy community and experience its charm for yourself?


Dual Levels Adds Charm to Patio

Once upon a time, many years ago, when people built a home they would have a rectangular slab on concrete poured outside their back door to serve as a patio.

Sometimes the homeowners would ask for a larger slab, or put a cover or awning over it. They might buy a redwood picnic table for eating outside, and maybe even a charcoal grill.

Well, that was yesterday, and today people have a different perspective on their outdoor space. It is often seen as an extension of the home and used for entertaining and family events. Even something as simple as having morning coffee and reading the paper outside warrants additional attention.

Fulton Homes offers options that create the outdoor space you want for your home. Take a look at this model-home yard from the Oasis at Freeman Farms community. Several design choices make this arrangement particularly appealing. Let’s look at a couple of them.

Varying levels: The second level adds the sense that there are several rooms to this yard. The upper level could hold a conversation area or just a comfy lawn chair and a table for afternoon reading. This option adds interest without a lot of additional expense.

Different surface textures: Using pavers makes the space feel finished and special. By separating some paver areas with gravel, including a grassy section, and creating a place for plants along the block wall, the yard has a planned, interesting presence.

Additional yard elements: The brick column, stone bowl with plants, and the low wall bring the outdoor space together even before furniture is added. Design elements such as these turn a standard yard into something different. Think about what you would like to do to add personality to your yard.

Getting Ready for Fall, Arizona Style

In other parts of the country, September is a reminder that winter is coming and people will be spending more of their time indoors. For those of us who live in Arizona, though, September is just the start of temperatures  that invite more outdoor living. As the heat diminishes, it’s time to prepare for the beautiful weather that’s just around the corner. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of fall.

Look over your outdoor furniture. During the summer, the sun, heat and chlorine from post-swimming use may have caused some damage. Now is the time to stock up on new cushions or consider spray-painting to revive your current furniture. Visit a good hardware store to get insights into what kind of spray paint can perk up your outdoor look.

Consider adding lighting. Does your backyard have the lighting you want for entertaining? How about stringing lights in a tree for a year-round festive look? Inexpensive paper lanterns with LED votives in them can be hung anywhere to add interest and an inviting ambience.

Plan an outdoor party. We’re lucky not to have to worry about bad weather in the fall. In the next few weeks as the weather cools we’re all likely to enjoy getting outdoors again. Host a potluck at your home and pull out some outdoor games such as croquet, bocce ball, or badminton to play.

Include al fresco dining as part of your regular plans. Eating outside is one of the best features of fall in Arizona. Pick up an inexpensive tablecloth and start scheduling some meals outside. At first breakfast may be your best choice but as we reach the end of September almost any meal is more enjoyable out-of-doors.

Take the time to get ready for fall Arizona-style. No leaf turning yet, but the weather we’ve been dreaming about all summer long is just around the corner.