Spruce Up the Patio for Summer

Harris Beach Model

Summertime is the time to renew your home, inside and out. The goal is to clean it well and add pops of color, perfect for summer!  Find out how to freshen up your patio space and have your patio ready when the Arizona heat arrives.

Tip 1: Clean patio furniture thoroughly. Dust, dirt and grime can accumulate even when stored properly. In most cases, using a mild dish soap and warm water with a sponge will clean off all the buildup. Rinse them clean by spraying them down with the hose. A pressurized nozzle will work best for this. Always check with the manufacturer of your furniture before cleaning with any cleaning product.

Add a pop of color by adding brightly colored pots with succulents or vibrantly colored flowers. A helpful tip for potted flowers is to add crumple up newspaper to the bottom half of the pot. Next cover the newspaper with potting soil. This will make you planters lighter and easier to move, as well not using up a ton of potting soil.

You can also add color by purchasing some new indoor/outdoor accent pillows for the furniture. Accent pillows bring fun and color to the outdoor living space. Lay down an indoor/outdoor rug that has a fun geometric pattern or print. Outdoor rugs transform outdoor spaces into a comfortable place where you want to take your shoes off and relax. The best outdoor rugs are made from natural or synthetic fibers that allow water to drip right through. These rugs do not have a backing on them (as the backing would not permit water to pass through the rug). They may only last a season with the Arizona sun, so choose wisely when shopping.

Feel free to spray paint old planters for a bright new finish. This will make any old planters look new again. If you are using the typical white, plastic patio furniture, you may want to hit them with the spray paint as well. Make sure to clean them well before as paint can’t stick to dirt. Read and follow all furniture and paint instructions before starting your project.

Buy new cushions for outdoor furniture. Unless you have well-made indoor/outdoor cushions, most likely it is time to upgrade these items. The goal is to renew your patio space. This is achieved by cleaning and adding pops of color throughout!

Don’t forget the grill! You’ll be thankful in the long run when you take the time to properly maintain your grill!

Enjoy your summer on your Fulton Home patio!

Three Outdoor Seating Ideas for a Comfortable Spring

Is your outdoor space like your second family room? Is it an area where you spend a lot of time entertaining guests? Whether your yard is big or small, it is essential to give some consideration to an outdoor seating arrangement. No doubt, you want your outdoor space to be comfortable. The key to achieving that is combining functionality and beauty. In this article, we are going to share some tips for creating a seating arrangement that will accommodate your guests and family.

Shopping for outdoor furniture can be overwhelming because there are many different options. Whether your outdoor space is limited or plentiful, you can find the perfect outdoor seating that will work best with the available space. So, where do you start?

Built-in Seating

If you are determined to save on space, the best way to do so is by implementing built-in seating. In fact, in small landscapes, building a seating area into the deck or the wall on the patio can be a versatile, spacious option. All you have to do is push a table up against the area to get the full dining effect.

Building a bench on a low wall in the backyard that is approximate “18 to 30” inches in height. In a landscape that features stonework or flat natural boulders, you can add bolt-in seating, which is usually found at parks. Bolt-in seating can also be installed on high walls. This type of seating arrangement can accommodate large parties.

Suspended Seating Arrangement

Love the idea of a hammock or swing seats? You can achieve the same look in your outdoor space without having large trees to host them. In fact, manufacturers have produced hammock and swing seats to come complete with their own stand.

Take Advantage of the Garden

If you have a beautiful garden, there is no better place to install seating than in this area. Placing a seat under the arch can create a cozy spot that shades you from the sun during the hot summer months. Just be sure to position the seating so that you can take advantage of the fresh smell of the flowers.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks, and for more outdoor ideas, be sure to visit our blog hub here.

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!

Water Feature Makes a Yard Special

wBackyard-Sycamore-Warner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-057 - CopyIf you want your backyard to feel unique, consider a water feature. Take a look at this one from the Sycamore model at Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch. This water feature, and this yard, have much more going for them than the standard approach. Let’s take a look at the elements that make this space special.

Dramatic waterfall trio: By positioning the three waterfall fountains along the back of the yard, this space has a unique focal point. Living in the desert, we are naturally drawn to water, and this arrangement provides a cooling look and sound as well as a refreshing place to sit and cool off.

Pavers used in hardscaping: Pavers are versatile and attractive and hold up extremely well in Arizona’s tough weather conditions. They are also a cost-effective alternative to tile and stone.

Raised planter beds: Raised beds allow plants to stand out in a landscape and make it easy to plan a drip irrigation system. They also allow you to make the most of your water use, by planting in the richer soil that is used in raised bed gardening. They also create a sense of intimacy in a backyard.

Comfortable outdoor furniture: Thanks to the new outdoor fabrics and fillers, you can have cushioned furniture outside year-round. This arrangement invites guests to relax for an evening of conversation and fun.

Start with a significant water feature and continue adding elements until you have a backyard like this one – a place to relax, entertain and enjoy.


Cozy Outdoor Area for Two

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-067 - CopyMost people think about a table and chairs when planning outdoor areas, and that’s always terrific so that you’re ready for meals outside when our weather begs us to get out of the house. But this photo shows another delightful option, an opportunity for a special tete-a-tete in your own backyard.

This patio, right outside the master bedroom, provides the perfect place to relax in the morning before work with a cup of coffee. It’s also a great place for a rendezvous later in the evening. Imagine lingering here before bed, catching up on your day in the privacy of your backyard.

It doesn’t take much to make this idea a reality. Look for outdoor chairs with cushions so that you are comfortable enough to want to spend time there. The shared ottoman means that you can both put your feet up and relax. Other than that, a small table just large enough for a couple of cups of coffee or tea and you’re ready to go. All you need is a little time and an invitation.

So let the kids watch TV in the family room or play video games. You have a chance to get away from it all in peace and quiet, without ever leaving home.

Want to get a feel for this outdoor oasis for two? Visit our Sycamore model at Warner Groves at Morrison Ranch. You’ll be glad you did.

An Upstairs Balcony to Enjoy

Cooley-Station-093-webMost of us appreciate outdoor living. A front porch or back patio make spending time outside more enjoyable, particularly with an overhead roof to provide shade from the Arizona sun. But what about having an outdoor living space upstairs? Here are some of the advantages:

Privacy: Most people don’t look up. With this balcony tucked away at the corner of your home, you can enjoy outdoor time without drawing attention. There’s also just enough room for you and your spouse or significant other. Here’s a nice opportunity to get away together, just the two of you, for a few minutes in the day.

The view: Whether you’re facing East or West, you will be able to enjoy a birds-eye view of the sunset or sunrise every day. With a second-story balcony you have a vista when you’re outside. While this photo was taken during construction, soon the view will include a well-settled neighborhood with green belts and other amenities.

Morning coffee break: With a balcony just outside your master bedroom, it’s easy to step outside in the morning to drink a cup of coffee, maybe read the [paper, and plan your day. Everything is better when you’re outside.

Evening relaxation: Spending a bit of time outside before bed can help relax you and enable you to let go of the stresses of the day. No need to worry about daytime clothes. Instead get into comfy PJ’s and have a seat, maybe with a cup of chamomile tea, and breathe deep. You’ll feel better and more able to fall asleep.

However you use this balcony, it gives you another outdoor space – cozy and personal – providing another way to enjoy the best of Arizona outdoors.

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.

“Eating Out”

outdoor-entertaining2wIt’s hard to imagine with the cold weather we’re encountering right now, but we are probably only weeks away from the perfect time to eat and entertain outside. Here are a few suggestions to make “eating out” easier and more fun.

Choose comfortable outdoor furniture: Today’s outdoor fabrics lend themselves to plush cushions and pillows in bright colors. These new manmade materials can tolerate sun, moisture and dust and many just hose clean. That means that your outdoor dining chairs can be just as comfortable as those you have inside. Take a look at the furniture in the photo above. It’s hard to believe but those cushions can handle the great outdoors.

Prepare for the dust: We live in the desert and you can anticipate needing to wipe the dust off tables and chairs before you use them. To make your life easier, scout out some plastic or canvas covers for your furniture. You still may have some housekeeping, but it will be greatly reduced.

Invest in some stackable, lightweight plastic dishes and glasses. Bringing food and supplies in and out from the kitchen is easier if you can carry more at one time. Plastic also allows you to enlist younger children to help without having to worry about mishaps. And if you have a pool in your backyard, plastic is much safer.

Carry food in and out on trays, or have people serve themselves in the kitchen and bus their own plates back. Schlepping food back and forth should not be the job of just one person. Make a plan that will work best for the group and get people to stick to it. That way everyone can have a good time.

Outdoor Kitchen a Cook’s Alternative

outdoor-kitchen-cooks-alternativewEven the greatest kitchen can get tiring when you’re cooking dinner in it every day. So while the weather is nice, how about making dinner outside for a change? A simple gas grill is a great start, but if you really want to spoil yourself, how about an outdoor kitchen like this one?

This outdoor set-up, at one of the model homes in the Cooley Station community, has pretty much everything you need. The gas grill is built in, making it easy to set your food up both before and after cooking. Guests can chat with the chef while sitting at the comfy outdoor bar. All you need to add are a few barstools to set up for outdoor living.

There’s plenty of room for prepping food with the generous countertop to the left of the grill. How about adding a cooler along the wall so that everyone can help themselves to sodas and drinks?

Everything tastes just a little better when it’s cooked outside, and spouses who are hopeless in the kitchen suddenly find themselves amazingly skilled with dealing with an open flame. Even if it’s just burgers or hotdogs, cooking it outside still makes dinner special.

And there’s a perfect place for everyone to sit and eat – a nice table with comfy chairs – upholstery that can handle the elements. If it starts getting a bit warm, just turn on the ceiling fan to make it a bit cooler.

An outdoor kitchen – what a nice dinner alternative.

Merging Indoor and Outdoor Living

merging-indoor-and-outdoor-livingwLiving in Arizona, we’re lucky to be able to spend more time outside than in other parts of the country. That’s one reason why it’s nice to look for a home that allows you to merge indoor and outdoor living.

Whether you’re entertaining or just enjoying time with the family, it’s a pleasure to be able to move from inside to outside as you wish. It might be that your family enjoys breakfast outdoors once the temperatures drop enough to spend early mornings with doors and windows open. Some family members may just prefer to take their coffee and the morning paper outside.

If you have houseguests who come from the East, chances are they’ll take advantage of any time they get to spend out in the sun. How about a lunch of cheese and fruit on the patio? Or you could offer different cold cuts and potato salad or coleslaw. With this home it’s just a few steps from the kitchen to the back yard, so it’s easy for people to fill their plates and go back for seconds.

Maybe spending time outside gives some family members a chance to enjoy a little alone time, settling down in the yard with a good book or relaxing on a lounge chair for a nap. Have you considered putting up a hammock? It could become a popular feature in your yard.

With this generous sliding glass door that also includes two floor-to-ceiling windows, the outside is always calling and the inside is always near. So choose your spot. Going from one to the other is a breeze.