Backyard Barbecue Essentials


Food on a picnic table

 

Grilling season is upon us! As summer approaches and vacations begin, so does the peak time for entertaining outside.

 

Whether you’re enjoying a casual get together with family or an extraordinary backyard soiree, here are a few must-haves for hosting an amazing barbecue.

 

1_west elm table

Portside Expandable Dining Table + Chair Set | $2,673

 

2_ws grill

Caliber Thermashell Charcoal Grill | $2,475

 

3_room and board umbrella

Pacifica Square Patio Umbrella | $2,399

 

4_RH bocce

MVP Leather Bocce Ball Set | $415

 

5_yeti cooler

Yeti Tank 85 | $249.99

 

6_frontgate lanterns

Solano Lanterns | $229 to $329

 

7_pottery barn dispenser

Bleecker Bar Drink Dispenser | $149

 

8_cb2 tiki 2

Brass Tiki Torch | $49.95

 

9_home depot grill set

Mr. Bar-B-Q 18-Piece Grilling Set | $49.66

 

10_amazon eco ware

Eco-Friendly Compostable Palm Leaf and Wood Dinnerware Set | $47.99

 

11_crate and barrel lights

Vintage Edison Bulb Outdoor String Lights | $44.95

 

12_slt garlic roaster

Cast-Iron Garlic Roaster | $24.95

8 Outstanding Outdoor Spaces


With more sunny days and warm evenings ahead, the opportunities for outdoor entertaining are endless. Especially when your paradise is worthy of sharing.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard soiree or dining alfresco with family, these eight listings are sure to cause outdoor-space envy.

1 palm

4370 Palm Drive | Caney City | $7,580,000

2 indian creek

6312 Indian Creek Drive | Fort Worth | $5,200,000

3 brookshire

6614 Brookshire Drive | North Dallas | $2,199,000

4 spanish oaks

5300 Spanish Oaks | Frisco | $1,966,000

5 bison

1739 Bison Meadow Lane | Heath | $1,675,000

6 province

1212 Province Lane | Southlake | $1,150,000

7 san juan

1112 San Juan Court | Arlington | $899,000

8 leblanc

6201 Leblanc Drive | Plano | $798,000

To view all the stunning outdoor spaces available across North Texas, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly Ebby.com.

Tips for Flawless Outdoor Entertaining


Candle and string lights outdoor dinner

 

Summer will be here before we know it, which means longer nights and warmer weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips that will help things run smoothly.

 

Prepare your yard

Tidy up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses or toys.

 

Choose the right seating

Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.

 

Keep guests comfortable

Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. Have ample shade coverage and consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab — think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans and iced spray bottles.

 

Plan a simple menu

Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and will withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.

 

Add lighting

Outdoor globe lights, lanterns and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.

 

Play relaxed tunes

Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Create a long enough playlist to avoid repeating songs too many times while guests are there.

 

Display fresh cuts

Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.

 

Offer activities

Providing lawn games like cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.

 

Keep pests away

Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.

 

Create a beverage station

Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and plenty of ice.

 

Opt for melamine

Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce waste and also keep the area clear of lingering paper cups and plates.

 

Visit ebby.com to view all of the extraordinary outdoor patios on the market that are begging to have you as a host.

9 Outdoor Paradises


With more sunny days and warm evenings ahead, the opportunities for outdoor entertaining are endless. Especially when your paradise is worthy of sharing.

 

Whether you’re hosting a backyard soiree or dining alfresco with family, these nine listings are sure to cause outdoor-space envy.

 

14 Via Contrada Isola

14 Via Contrada Isola | Rome | $6,000,000

5700 Imperial Ct

5700 Imperial Court | Plano | $2,750,000

400 Windwood

400 Windwood Court | McKinney | $1,395,000

2944LynnDellDr-351.jpg

2944 Lynn Dell Drive | Tool | $1,250,000

809 silverton st

809 Silverton Street | Southlake | $1,129,000

922 Independence Parkway

922 Independence Parkway | Southlake | $999,999

5616 Gillum

5616 Gillum Drive | Plano | $899,900

1014 Creekwood4

1014 Creekwood Drive | Garland | $725,000

1848-trinidad

1848 Trinidad Lane | Allen | $614,900

 

To view all the stunning outdoor spaces available across North Texas, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly Ebby.com.

Outdoor Entertaining Tips (+ the Perfect Homes for Hosting)


Some vegetable and meat skewer and some pieces of pork meat on a flamy grill in a garden. XXL size image.
 
Summer will be here before we know it, and that means longer nights and warmer (okay, much warmer) weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips and tricks that will help things run smoothly.
 
*Prepare your yard
Be sure to clean up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses, or toys.
 
*Choose the right seating (and have enough)
Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.
 
*Keep guests comfortable
Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. In addition to having ample shade coverage, consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab (think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans, and iced spray bottles).
 
*Keep the menu simple
Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and can withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads, and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.
 
*Add lighting
Outdoor globe lights, lanterns, and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.
 
*Keep music relaxed
Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Make sure your playlist is long enough as not to repeat too many times while the guests are there.
 
*Display fresh cuts
Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.
 
*Offer activities
Providing lawn games such as cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.
 
*Keep pests away
Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light up citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.
 
*Create a beverage bar
Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and PLENTY of ice.
 
*Opt for melamine
Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce your waste and also keep the area clear of all those lingering paper cups and plates.
 
Now that you know the tricks for a perfect outdoor party, here are some outdoor patios currently on the market that are begging to have you as a host.
 
Outdoor Entertaining6413 Old Gate Road | Plano | $6,999,000
Outdoor Entertaining
1750 Trace Bella Court | Westlake | $4,995,000
Outdoor Entertaining5701 Arcady Place | Plano | $1,999,999
Outdoor Entertaining
5003 Horseshoe Trail | Dallas – Bluffview | $1,998,000
Outdoor Entertaining11111 Eastview Circle | Dallas | $1,960,000
Outdoor Entertaining
5001 Pinehurst Drive | Frisco | $1,350,000
Outdoor Entertaining1300 Lincoln Court | Allen | $1,140,000
Outdoor Entertaining2803 Edgewood Lane | Colleyville | $995,000
Outdoor Entertaining712 Basilica Lane | McKinney | $885,000

Harold Leidner Talks Outdoor Living


Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.31.32 AM

 

Stunning outdoor living areas create an ideal backyard spot for dining al fresco, lounging poolside, enjoying conversations and cocktails, or indulging in quiet time. The layout and features of an outdoor space are as unique as any home, however each one shares a common thread: they were created to be comfortable, functional, relaxing retreats that bring the indoors out.

 

In the brand-new summer edition of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living magazine, the luxury home publication of the Ebby Halliday Companies, we sat down with renowned landscape architect Harold Leidner to learn about current trends in outdoor living, and how to design the perfect space. Leidner’s comments offer insight into how landscaping and outdoor amenities will often distinguish a property from others and allow it to sell faster.

 

GV: In your opinion, what does the perfect outdoor living space include?

 

HL: Whether it is a simple patio for outdoor dining or an elaborate pool and cabana, if it attracts friends and family it will likely be considered a great space and will add value to your property. Sure bets for Texas would be a shade structure with an outdoor kitchen and dining area adjacent to a luxury pool with mature planting and trees.

 

GV: What tips do you have for someone designing an outdoor living space?

 

HL: We would suggest taking a realistic look at your lifestyle and how you would like to use the garden and outdoor space. Find the things that will draw you and your family into the outdoors for both active and relaxing times.

 

To read more of our recent conversation with Harold Leidner, click here.

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.27.48 AM

How-To: Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New


How-To: Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New

Though outdoor furniture is meant to be just that, outdoor, it’s still susceptible to aging because of all the elements to which it gets exposed. Since it’s the time of year get outside and enjoy the weather, it’s also time you get your outdoor furniture back to a presentable state.

 

Here are some tips on how to get your pieces in shape before all the pool parties, backyard barbecues, and warm weather festivities begin:

 

Cushion Care: If your dirty cushions are removable, simple throw them in the wash to brighten them back up. If they’re not, start by dusting off the surface, then use a sponge or brush to apply a cleaning solution (1/4 cup mild detergent diluted in 1 gallon of water). After, rinse thoroughly and let air dry.

 

Washing Wicker: Use the same cleaning solution mentioned above to wipe down your wicker with a cloth. You can get the more stubborn grime off with a bristle brush and a little more elbow grease. If your wicker is drying out and starting to show splits, wait for a windy day, sprits the affected areas with a garden hose, and allow to dry in a shady area.

 

Touching Up Teak: Ramp up the above cleaning solution to a one-to-one ratio for cleaning teak, since it’s even more susceptible to mildew. A good scrub down once a year with a bristle brush should do the trick.

 

Mending Metal: Most metal furniture will be extremely durable thanks to the protecting coating that it’s typically covered in. If you see the varnish bubbling, rusting, or wearing away, though, use sandpaper to remove the damaged area and then apply new paint or varnish to it. To keep metal furnishings tip-top, give them a wipe down whenever you notice bird droppings or thick spills.

 

Photo: 8545 Midway Road, Dallas

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring


Spring has sprung! And all the wonderful weather and cheer this season brings with it is finally here. With fresh memories of cold temperatures behind us and the knowledge that we, no doubt, have a hot summer ahead of us, now is the time to enjoy warm sunny days outside! In the spirit of spring we’ve rounded up seven spaces ideal for celebrating spring. And guess what? They’re all on the market, so one of these spaces could become yours!

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^3441 University Blvd., University Park

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^498 Ferguson Road, Whitesboro

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^8643 Groveland Drive, Dallas

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^905 Tranquility Drive, Fairview

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^3809 Long Meadow Drive, Flower Mound

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring^4551 Ashford Drive, Dallas

7 Spaces to Celebrate Spring

^10233 Drop Tine Court, Fort Worth

To get a closer look at today’s featured homes, click the images and/or links above!