Solana Outdoor Living featured in Arizona Daily Star

Solana Outdoor Living was recently featured in an article by Elena Acoba of the Arizona Daily Star. Highlights include our Award of Distinction for Residential Redesign at the Gschwendtner-Bertram residence.

Click the link below to read the full article:
2 award-winning Tucson landscapes contain lessons for homeowners

Stefan Gschwendtner and Solana Outdoor Living Designer, Allen Denomy. Photo by: Mike Christy- Arizona Daily Star

Best of Houzz 2017

Solana Outdoor Living
Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

travertine pavers, swimming pool, tucson, landscaping, landscape design,

Custom design and install by Solana Outdoor Living- Marana, Arizona

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World 

Solana Outdoor Living has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Outdoor Living Specialists were chosen by the more than 40 million users that comprise the Houzz community of over one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016.

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Solana Outdoor Living was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow Solana Outdoor Living on Houzz:

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit

What Goes Into an Award-Winning Outdoor Space?

The Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association (ALCA) “Excellence in Landscaping” Awards are Arizona’s preeminent awards celebrating excellence and beauty within the contracting industry. Each year, exceptional projects and companies are recognized with the Award of Distinction, Judges Award, and others. As such, we at Solana Outdoor Living are extremely happy to announce our recent receipt of ALCA’s Award of Distinction!



The Award of Distinction goes to our project on Lot 64 at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. The design process began with the idea of extending the rustic, Hacienda-style architecture of the home into the outdoor environment. To create a central focal point in the yard, we designed a spool-style spa overlooking the beautiful desert to the south. We then installed Belgard La Fitt pavers with a brown-clay border to integrate the rustic-style patio with the architectural elements of the home. Next, a stone fire-pit with ceramic logs was added, creating a relaxing space to enjoy the striking sunset views. Synthetic grass was then integrated to add a visually cooling effect, and to create a space for children and pets to enjoy. Lastly, low-voltage lighting was installed throughout the space to showcase the various outdoor features, including beautiful sculptural plantings and large saguaros that we brought to the property.


For your own award-winning backyard, contact the expert team at Solana Outdoor Living. We have the expertise and vision necessary to design and install any project—from the most simple to the most complex. Let Solana Outdoor Living make the outdoors the most comfortable room of your home.  Contact us now at 520.789.7147 or at

3 Easy Ways to Welcome Autumn in the Southwest


Timeless and simple touches can turn even the most minimal of outdoor designs into a seasonal pleasure each year. This year, consider heralding in fall with one of nature’s most iconic figures. Pumpkin luminaries give a unique touch of autumn to your corner of the Southwest. 100% rust free, powder coated steel and two-tone coloring allows these pumpkins to reflect the glow of either soft candles or brilliant LED lights, all with little to no maintenance. Available in both tall (12” W x 18” H) and short (14” W x 15” H) versions, these luminaries offer a simple way to celebrate the season for years to come.

Continue reading for three easy ways to welcome one of the desert’s most beautiful seasons:

1. Create a Striking, Illuminated Centerpiece

Add a bit of festivity to your outdoor furniture by creating a beautiful, illuminated centerpiece. Available in both tall and short, pumpkin luminaries are a striking way to add fall decor and low-level lighting to your outdoor dining area. Lit with a candle, they provide an autumnal glow to wow family and friends alike.


2. Light a Desert Pathway

Spice up your exterior lighting by illuminating a pathway with pumpkin luminaries. When lit with bright LED lights, these luminaries offer a fun and festive way to safely traverse your yard. These pumpkin luminaries are handcrafted specifically as outdoor accessories, and are designed to withstand the elements, allowing you to set them and walk away. Guaranteed not to rust, these steel pumpkins are a simple way to decorate your desert.


3. Add an Unexpected Element of Fall

Create an air of whimsy among your outdoor accessories by decorating with these unique steel pumpkins. Retire the typical fall accessories, and play with the unexpected. Pumpkins luminaries easily combine the iconic and the individual.

Solana Outdoor Living makes the Southwest simple: for a limited time only, we’re proud to offer 15% off all steel pumpkin luminaries when you pre-order on or after September 10. Please inquire at 520.789.7147 to place an order via phone, at
to order online, or visit us at 12090 N. Thornydale Road, Marana, AZ 85658 to see the luminary display at our Design Center!


How Fire and Water Can Transform Your Backyard Space

Throughout time, fire and water have proven to be emotion provoking elements. Fire has had the ability to instill fear in the hearts of brave men and hope in the hearts of weaker ones. It has been carried throughout centuries on the Olympic torch. It has warmed homes of families since the beginning of time. Water is an element with just as much clout. Water has replenished the bodies of soldiers, it has bathed the children of great nations, it has relaxed chaotic souls, and soothed distressed minds. These elements are utilized in our designs in the hopes of appealing to the emotional nature of all who encounter them.

Our unique designs are created in the image of the client. When a design is in its foundation stage, we focus on the image the client would like to portray. What does the client want any individual who encounters the space to feel? What does he want them to think? To see? The desert has a certain contrast of color and texture. Which, we are able to barrow from and enhance with our creative genes to compile a finished product that sends the viewer to an alternate place; one with a different experience and view to offer. We take into account many alternate scales. For a client who desires a large scale fire feature, we implement many different elements to achieve that. How big should the fire pit be, what is the best way to utilize the space given to us as designers? In addition to these things, we also take into account the amount of individuals who will be enjoying the space. The goal is to have the client leave raving about their dream made a reality.

The allure of fire and water is not a foreign concept. I do not think I have ever met an individual who does not enjoy a fire on a cool evening or a beautiful stone fountain radiating sun off ice cold water in the mist of summer. Fire and water features have the ability to alter a dull, open space into a inviting, hospitable space. A water feature has the ability to turn a hostile conversation into one in hushed tones which ends amicably. Many clients we have worked with add these features for the sole purpose of entertaining guests. Have you ever sat down under your porch while it was raining and just closed your eyes? The sound of the rain dropping onto the ground is perhaps one of the most intoxicating sounds there is. Implementing water features that mimic nature’s most alluring sounds, allow the client to produce a space that provokes certain emotions.

In addition to all the wonderful clients we value and take into account, the notion of safety is not lost on us. We create designs that allow safe, visually appealing, and emotionally charging spaces. We build with approved material and ensure that the client is satisfied with the finished product. Every piece material we use is carefully chosen and the process is thoroughly thought through.

Emotion is perhaps one of the most powerful things we as humans possess. It allows us to view elements through a different circuit that may have been lost on us otherwise. The ability to appeal to an individual’s emotions through design is an extraordinary gift. It is one of the greatest allures of creating element features in the desert. Whether a client wants a calming space, a raging fire pit, or an adventurous infinity pool with a fountain; we can create it all with all of the emotion provoking features.

How Flagstone Can Compliment Your Outdoor Design

Designing with flagstone requires more than simply laying the paving outdoors and walking away. Before you can actually lay the flagstone, you need to make a number of design decisions, including choosing between irregular and cut stones, selecting a color, and deciding on a pattern. After deciding to use flagstone outdoors, the next step is to consider how the material will complement your outdoor landscape design.


Your design will largely dictate the flagstone thickness that you will want to use. If you have decided to go with flagstone around your pool, normally referred to as coping, you will want to go with a thicker stone, at 2 ½” to 3”. The thicker stone will be strong enough to handle the cantilever over the edge while also give a substantial visual to the edge of the stone. The same thickness of stone should be used on any other areas in which you will see the edge of the stone. Projects such as stepping pads, seat walls, outdoor kitchen counter tops, steps etc. are all areas in which you will see the edge and will want a thick stone. When laying a field of stone you can save money and time by going with a thinner stone 1 ½” or so will work perfectly. As the edges are not seen in the field why not save a few dollars and the time it takes to cut the thinner stone? Once you have picked out the thickness of the stone you will want to talk to your designer about the shape of the stone. When it comes to laying the field the flagstone must be cut and it can be cut into a wide variety of patterns. Most flagstone is cut into an organic shape but don’t be afraid to cut it into specific geometric shapes. A pattern of 18″ square pattern flagstone gives off a very elegant look.


Flagstone colors can range from near-black to blue and red. Your choice of flagstone color will mainly come down to preference, but you should also consider the color of your pool and environment. For example, light-colored flagstone pavers are excellent in a poolside patio, as they blend against the light bottom pool and complementary blue colors. This can enhance the water line of your pool while cooling down the warm hues of the desert heat. Another get design element is to play with different grout colors. Most flagstone is grouted with cement color or light color. No need to be like everyone else. Take a look at black, brown or red grouts to further customize your project.


Using different flagstone color variations in your outdoor steps is a great way to signal changes in elevation. Your guests and family will naturally detect these color changes, so it will be safer for them to navigate the area outside of your house. It’s more difficult to use irregular flagstone shapes because the different cuts will be difficult to fit on steps. However, you can use precisely milled flagstone, which is easier to install in these tight spaces. Be sure to use the thicker stones on treads and get the edges chiseled so that they appear completely natural

If you are interested in improving your Tucson landscape design, contact Solana Outdoor Living at (520) 789-7147. We work with each customer to develop a landscape plan that incorporates his or her preferences with the natural beauty of the Southwest. We can install Tucson outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and water features.

We Won Best in Show at the SAHBA Home and Patio Show!

We at Solana Outdoor Living are extremely happy to announce our receipt of the “Best in Show” Award for this year’s Spring SAHBA Home Show. Twice a year, the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) hosts the largest home and patio show in Tucson, AZ. Of the thousands of vendors participating in the home show, only one display booth is awarded “Best in Show.”

When we first set out to design our display booth, we knew we wanted to highlight the custom outdoor design services Solana Outdoor Living has to offer. To that end, we created a display incorporating spillover outdoor water features, recycled granite pavers, decorative walls made of stone and rebar, also known as gabion walls, and a pergola featuring a rooftop garden. Our display booth also featured a custom outdoor kitchen made of rammed-earth—a technique where dyed local soil and stabilizers are combined and formed into a decorative wall—and contained both a Caliber Crossflame Grill and a Caliber Thermashell Pro. In only three short days, we were able to install a display booth that demonstrates Solana Outdoor Living’s rank as one of the top landscape contractors in Tucson, AZ.

We would like to sincerely thank all the SAHBA community members for their continued support of Solana Outdoor Living. We are truly honored to have received the “Best in Show” Award, and will continue to uphold the hard work and dedication that makes Solana Outdoor Living one of the best luxury outdoor design companies in Tucson, AZ.