The Great Outdoors

Spring has sprung and summer in St Louis is just around the corner. In anticipation of warmer weather and outdoor gatherings, today we share a few Srote & Co Architects outdoor living space designs to get you inspired.

Modern Villa custom home design

Custom home outdoor living space design with pool in St Louis MO
Home Builder – Monterey Custom Homes | Pool – Distinguished Contracting

Kingsbury Estate custom home design

Multi level outdoor living space design with pool and hot tub
Home Builder – Bozich Construction | Pool – The Pool Specialists

Huntbridge Forest custom home design

Custom home design with covered outdoor living space and pool
Home Builder – The Kemp Homes Co. | Pool – Prestige Pools and Spas

Rittenhouse custom home design

Custom home design in Kirkwood MO with outdoor living area
Home Builder – Tegethoff Homes | The Pool Specialists

Corner Coalesce Retreat custom home design

Custom home with rear courtyard pool terrace design
Home Builder – Rafferty Company | Pool – Pool Tron

Ladue Grand Rue Estate custom home design

Home design with covered outdoor living area and pool deck
Home Builder – REA Homes | Pool – The Pool Specialists

Warson Grove custom home design

Custom home design in St Louis MO with outdoor living space
Home Builder – Freeman Homes | Pool – The Pool Specialists

Preparing for Overnight Guests

Do you have guests in town for the holidays? Read these tips for creating a warm and inviting space for your guests to enjoy!

Spend the night as your guest.

This will allow you to note and fix any issues you come across. Is the room temperature okay? Always make sure there are enough blankets and that the pillows are comfortable. Another thing to note is the morning light! Do your curtains sufficiently block the sun?bed with white fluffy pillows and bedding

The Essentials

Make sure to have key emergency items readily available. You don’t want to make your guests feel embarrassed having to ask for certain items! This should include extra toilet paper, feminine products, air freshener or matches, and a plunger.bath vanity stocked with toiletries

Other items to have ready in the room or nearby should include:

  • wi-fi password
  • water carafe and glass
  • remote control instructions
  • waste basket
  • spare key and/or garage code
  • easily accessible outlets
  • fresh towels
  • clear space in your closet with plenty of hangers
  • extra toothbrush
  • lint roller
  • contact solution
  • assorted medicine
  • hair dryer
  • iron and ironing board
  • luggage rack

Go Above and Beyond

  • Find out what your guests like to eat/drink for breakfast and snacks and have those items on hand.
  • Get the coffee ready ahead of time so all they have to do is hit the power button!
  • Leave a stack of magazines or a favorite book for your guests to peruse.
  • Compose a list of favorite activities, shops and restaurants for your guests to check out!
  • Place a vase of fresh flowers on the bedside table.

These little touches can go a long way in making your guests feel welcome! I hope you find them helpful and please share in the comments if you have any additional suggestions!

Outdoor Entertaining

Outdoor parties are one of the best parts of summer.  The vibe is relaxed and the focus is on enjoying the nice weather while creating fun memories with friends and family.  Read our 5 tips for getting your summer soiree just right, and let us know, what are your tricks for a successful party?


In the Midwest, outdoor entertaining can be difficult to enjoy with the amount of mosquitoes that linger outside. Adding lanterns with citronella candles add ambiance while deterring bugs.  Arm your backyard with bug deterring plants.  Planting garlic, basil and peppermint in your garden bed and strategically placing potted plants of lavender, lemon balm, and marigolds around seating areas will do double duty adding color to your patio while keeping your guests safe from bug bites!  Also having plenty of insect repellent on hand is a must! potted lavender on a brick patio


On hot summer days it is essential to keep food fresh for your guests.  If your kitchen is close to the back door, set up a buffet inside on the island.  If not, set up the food table near the door to keep temperatures stable and remember to periodically replenish ice.  Room temperature snacks are also great to have around seating areas. indoor food buffet


Planning separate stations for food, drinks and activities combats potential jams and helps maintain a nice flow. Also, creating various seating areas allow guests to easily move around and engage in smaller, more intimate conversations. outdoor seating area with table and floral


String cafe lights around your patio or along your fence to add instant charm to your backyard. Position a seating area around a fire pit and roast s’mores.  Don’t forget the tunes!  For those who do not have outdoor speakers, have a Bluetooth speaker ready with your perfectly curated playlist.  When decorating your outdoor space, treat it like a room.  Adding indoor elements like a rug, pillows, throws and a mirror will create a cozy and inviting place for your guests. outdoor family style dining table with string lights


Having activities ready creates an enjoyable atmosphere. Whether it’s a round of cards or tournament of bags or washers, games always ensure that guests are having a great time.  If you have a pool, make sure to keep extra towels, sunblock, and floats for guests.outdoor foosball table game