Backyard Living

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Begin the New Year with a New Dallas Backyard

Dallas is known for its inclement weather, with some nights dipping below freezing while daytime temperatures may soar up to 80 degree or more in the dead of winter.  You can make sure that no matter what the weather is outside, you have a cozy and comfortable outdoor living area to enjoy.  All it takes is making some changes and adding features to create a new backyard.

Use Lighting to Add Pizzazz to Your Dallas Backyard

A dark outdoor area is foreboding and unwelcoming, while one that is well lit exudes a sense of warmth and togetherness. An inviting backyard will have friends and family grabbing their jackets and heading outdoors no matter how chilly the weather may be.

The first and most exciting way to incorporate lighting to add excitement and enticement to your outdoor living space is to add fire features.  Outdoor fire features like fire pits and fireplaces can be operated through the use of natural gas burners, or you can have natural fire wood log burning units installed.

LED pool lighting is another way you can transform your outdoor living space while also enhancing your family’s experience in and around the pool.  Not only does LED lighting create sparkling effects on all of your night-time water surfaces, but these lights add vibrant colors which can set an alluring tone for your new backyard.

Ideas For Incorporating Fire and Light

When adding fire features to your backyard, make sure that there is also comfortable seating nearby.  You may want to have two or more fire features set in different areas of your new backyard to create more than one spot for friends and family to chat and relax.

LED lighting in and around the pool can be used in a number of ways, including:

  • To illuminate backyard and pool features such as fountains, spas, and baja shelves
  • To enhance poolside safety
  • To add beauty and mystery to your poolscape

 

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

Create Your Own Backyard Wonderland

Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Environment

The cooler temperatures and frightful winter conditions other areas experience at this time of year may be enough to chase some people indoors.  But with proper preparation and planning, you can create a backyard wonderland and make the most out of your outdoor living space this holiday season. Here are a few tips from the professionals at Riverbend Sandler to make a Texas winter wonderland.

Follow the Dress Code

As those who spend a lot of time outdoors during this time of year will attest to, there is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing choices.  If you have the right attire to keep you warm while out and about, you can discover just how fun it can be outdoors on even the chilliest of days.  Here in Dallas all you may need on an average wintry evening is a sweater, a blanket and a pair of mittens, but with temperatures easily dipping below 40 degrees on the coldest of evenings, be sure to bring a jacket with you.

Stoke Some Flames

There is no better time to get a roaring fire going than in the wintertime.  Place comfortable seating around your fire pit or outdoor fire place and enjoy classic fireside activities like making s’mores, cooking up hotdogs and grilling up some corn on the cob.

Heat up the Pool and Spa

If you plan on having guests over for a swim, make sure that the pool is heated to a swim-friendly temperature and that your spa is warmed up.  Here are some tips to make sure that your water is bather-friendly:

  • Start heating up your pool a couple of days in advance, with the temperature being between 75 and 80 degrees
  • Use a pool cover to retain heat
  • Heat spa water to between 100 and 102 degrees

Turn on any in-pool lighting to set the mood while also increasing the safety of your poolscape.  Also consider stringing white or colored LED lights around seating areas and other backyard features.

Enjoy a Cocktail or Two

Nothing warms the body faster than a shot of cinnamon whiskey or another delicious adult-friendly beverage, which your friends and family are sure to enjoy.  Experiment with new and festive drinks like a retro rum punch or a holiday cosmopolitan.

Have a Warm Meal Waiting

One of the best parts of spending time outdoors is knowing that when you step inside you will have a hot, stick-to-your-bones meal waiting for you inside.  You can easily make a number of winter classics in your crock pot including a pot roast, chili, and pasta.

For more ideas on how to get the most out of your outdoor living area this winter, chat with one of the pros here at Riverbend Sandler Pools.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

 

Irresistible Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

gingerbread-hot-cocoa

Nothing says Christmas in a cup like a mug of gingerbread hot cocoa.  As Erika, the creator of this sumptuous beverage who runs the blog The Hopeless Housewife says, this drink is like “drinking a chocolate gingerbread cookie.”

Creamy, chocolatey, and absolutely decadent, this is the perfect drink to warm up with while curled up under a blanket by the fireplace on a cold wintry night.  Treat your friends and family to something new and delicious this holiday season, and give this recipe a try!

Servings:

4 servings

Preparation and Cook Time:

8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 C milk (any kind)
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C white sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Whipped cream

How to Make Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

  1.   Heat milk in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2.   While the milk is being warmed, combine your favorite cocoa powder with the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger in a small bowl.
  3.   Whisk the milk until it is hot, taking care not to overheat or scald it.
  4.   Pour the cocoa into each mug and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Quick Notes

Serve this drink with miniature gingerbread men to make it even more fun and festive.

You can sprinkle nutmeg on top instead of cinnamon.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

Heating Up the Outdoors

Fire Pits

A little fire goes a long way, and incorporating fire pits and fireplaces into your backyard space creates an inviting, and warm, space for family and friends to gather around on crisp autumn evenings.

Fire pits and fireplaces are two popular outdoor features often used to create a warm ambiance in your outdoor living area. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also some important differences that need to be considered in deciding which one will meet your needs.

FIREPLACES

  • Limited seating and usually in only one direction
  • Usually has furniture such as chairs, tables and couches which can be an additional cost.
  • A larger structure that may be considered a positive for hiding areas, or a negative by blocking pretty views
  • Creates a sense of privacy from neighbors
  • More expensive
  • May require permit or inspection depending on local code
  • Becomes a feature point of your outdoor area

FIRE PITS

  • Seating for more people and usually in a circle so facing each other
  • Can build benches as part of area or use lawn chairs easily
  • Smaller structure
  • Less expensive
  • Come in multiple shapes

Look into local ordinances when deciding. Some communities don’t allow outdoor wood burning so you may want to consider other heat options for your fire feature.

No matter the type of fire you decide it incorporate, it will be perfect as the soft and warm glow of the fire embers will sure calm your soul.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

Hosting the Perfect Pool Party

Fourth of July is right around the corner, making your pool the perfect backdrop for an Independence Day celebration friends and family will love. So what does it take to be be a “Hostess with the Mostest?”  Here are a few tips to create a patriotic pool party everyone will enjoy.

Decorating 101

No need to run to the store, you probably have the perfect decorations right around your home. Grab a basket or large bowl, fill with sunscreen and bug spray, and place towards the entrance for guest to easily grab and apply as needed. Place a laundry basket filled with towels near your door letting people dry off before entering. Your kids small plastic pool makes the perfect cooler for drinks, while plastic pails are ideal for chips, salad and fresh fruit. Place some glow-in-the-dark sticks in empty water bottles to safely illuminate your pool after dark.

Poolside Dishes

When planning a menu, remember you want to have fun, too. Skip a large meal, instead opting for a  variety of appetizers and finger foods. Fresh fruit kabobs, chips and dip or salsa, veggie trays and finger sandwiches are filling and easy to grab. Lawn chairs, beach towels and inflatable rafts not only add a festive feel your yard, but also provide guests with comfortable places to sit and eat.   

Finishing Touches

Download a couple playlists from music apps such as Pandora, Spotify or Apple Music that can run consistently during the party, with a couple bluetooth speakers set up around the pool for the final touch of background music. Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun.

 

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

Bringing the Kitchen Outdoors: How to Turn Your Backyard into a Chef’s Paradise

kitchen outdoors

Outdoor kitchens are becoming a hot new trend for outdoor lovers, especially in areas like Dallas and Plano, Texas where the weather begs to be enjoyed. Now, your household chef can make themselves at home outside the home by having a convenient and enjoyable outdoor kitchen space.

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Stylish Ways to Accessorize Your Outdoor Oasis

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Now that you finally have the custom swimming pool and outdoor space that you have always wanted, brought to you by the best Dallas pool builders, it is time to create an oasis in your backyard. There are a lot of great outdoor spaces in the area, but the ones that really impress guests have one thing in common—perfectly placed accessories. Yes, accessories: the word that stops many homeowners in their tracks. How do you take your backyard from being simply functional to being something stylish? Don’t worry! Decorating your outdoor spaces is much easier than you might initially think.

These are the additions that really make a space standout. Whether you have a patio, porch, deck, spa area or outdoor kitchen beside the pool, it can be enhanced with beautiful accessories. With a few simple touches, you can have the backyard oasis of your dreams in your Dallas, Frisco or Plano backyard.

For more inspiration and ideas, click the link below!

Follow Riverbend Sandler’s board Stylish Ways to Accessorize Your Outdoor Oasis on Pinterest.

Outdoor Cushions

You might be surprised by just how much matching outdoor cushions can enhance your space. Your lounges, chairs, ottomans and swings can all be brought together with this simple solution. The great thing about cushions is that they are perfect for showing off your unique taste. If you love bright colors, go all out with beautiful blues, greens and shades of orange or yellow—this will create the illusion of a tropical paradise.

Do you want to get festive during the many holidays throughout the year? Not a problem: simply switch out your cushions, and you are instantly ready to throw a party for any occasion. Don’t forget to grab some color coordinated towels to go with your set.

Lights

Christmas is not the only time that you can use lighting to decorate the outdoor spaces around your house. There are a multitude of elegant and stylish lighting options that you can purchase to turn your backyard into an enchanting scene. Lights can be made into virtually any color, and more advanced systems are available to create inspiring light shows or control the settings.

A Fire Pit

Many people are opting to have a fire pit as an addition in their outdoor space. This makes a great addition that is also very functional. Fire pits are perfect to use at parties or when you simply want to enjoy a relaxing night with your family. You can cook over a fire pit too, mimicking the feeling of camping under the stars.

Vintage Pieces

People are going crazy over unique vintage pieces these days, but they really do make excellent accessories. Stop by your local antique shop or thrift store and be on the lookout for items that might go well with your theme. Keep in mind that you might have to do a bit of refurbishing to whatever you might decide to buy. Some examples of great pre-loved accessories that are perfect for your outdoor spaces would include wicker baskets, unique glass containers and old lamps. Most things can be repainted to match your other accessories. This is a fun way to bring your space together.

Outdoor Plants

Fresh flowers are a great way to add a pop of color to any outdoor area. If your oasis is feeling a bit bland, bring it to life with a potted plant. Plants are also great centerpieces on outdoor dining tables, or the perfect finishing touch on serving bars, such as ivy, a plant that is both easy to care for and elegant when guided to grow down and around the right objects.

Clocks

Outdoor clocks are often bold conversation pieces that draw attention with their uniqueness. Many clocks that were meant for the outdoors are quite large, requiring a bigger wall to mount, but they are perfect for filling any empty space or making your outdoor areas look well put together.

Outdoor Accessories in Dallas, TX

Outdoor accessories will bring your backyard spaces to life and turn your dream of owning an oasis into a reality. If you would like more information on creating a beautiful outdoor space for yourself, your family and your friends, visit our outdoor living page or contact a representative with Riverbend Sandler Pools today.

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ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.

The Health Benefits of Hot Tubs

The Health Benefits of Hot Tubs

Looking to have a hot tub or spa installed in your home? You may be considering it for relaxation or entertaining guests, maybe even as a feature for your back yard patio. Did you know that owning a spa can also be good for your health? Here are some of the reasons that adding a spa to your home can actually improve your health.

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Outdoor Living Ideas from Riverbend Sandler Pools

What is better than spending a great evening with family and friends? When you have the chance to have get-togethers with those that you love, you want to make sure that you have the perfect place to do it. You might not realize it, but the perfect place to have a get together or spend an evening relaxing might not be as far away as you think.

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Outdoor Lighting Trends for Long Winter Nights

Outdoor Lighting

There is nothing that sets off a new design quite like a great set of lights. Outdoor lighting has the ability to pull a room together while completely transforming the overall look and feel of a space. Having the right lights in your backyard space is as important as choosing the right furniture or even the right water and fire features. The lighting that you choose will tell a story about your space and your taste. Have you given much thought to the type of outdoor lighting that you would like to have?

One of the most popular lighting features is the accent light. This type of lighting is not meant to shed copious amounts of light, but it is instead designed to merely showcase the property and the landscape. Accent lights are great around sidewalks, flowerbeds, and swimming pools, or for showcasing a specific feature in your yard such as a flag, a statue, or a water feature such as a waterfall.

Another great lighting feature that looks amazing in the winter is the torch. Torches can be run on propane gas or with oil and a wick. The great thing about torches is that they are very versatile, meaning they can be used as the main lighting source or as accent lighting. If your torches are fed by gas, they will be fixed in place and thus rendered stationary.

If you are looking for something a bit more subtle, then rope lighting might be the right option for you. Rope lighting can be placed in areas that hide the rope but not the light, so it is a great option for trestles and archways. It is also a great way to light an arbor without having gaudy fixtures displayed. Rope lighting is relatively inexpensive and adds a bit more elegance to your area.

Regardless of the direction that you take with your outdoor lighting scheme, always remember that the right lighting will make the difference. Take the time to study your outdoor space so that you will be better suited to make the right decision regarding your outdoor lights.

An outdoor lighting would give emphasis to the beauty your pool is possessing, so why not considering putting one? Like our Facebook page or check out our website for updates related to this.

Visit our Pinterest account for more Outdoor Living Tips!

Follow Riverbend Sandler’s board Outdoor Living Spaces on Pinterest.

 

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Riverbend Sandler is a Dallas pool builder, remodel and service provider, serving Plano, Dallas and surrounding areas for over 30 years. Riverbend Sandler is an award winning pool builder providing quality construction and excellent customer service for over 30 years.

With the mission of “Creating Lifetime Pools for Lifetime Customers”, Riverbend Sandler Pools remains a family-run company dedicated to the ideals that only a personal commitment can uphold. Through award-winning design, high-tech construction processes, conscientious customer care and on-going support, we pride ourselves on keeping customers for life!

For more Dallas pool builder tips, subscribe to their blog and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. For pool design photos and inspiration, visit the photo gallery on their website, and see what Riverbend Sandler’s pool design and construction team can do for you.