Community Lifestyle

Best Staycations Near Your Darling Homes Community

There’s nothing quite like a summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel far. These are our top picks for a fabulous and exquisite staycation near your Dallas or Houston community.

Dallas

Vacation close to home with amenities for all ages, including adults-only zones at the Hilton Anatole. Jadewaters, the hotel’s resort-style pool area, strikes the perfect balance of relaxation and luxury featuring Leisure Cove Pool that is adults-only on weekends as well as a swim-up bar, two water slides, a lazy river and a splash area for children. Elevate your poolside vacation with exclusive guest offers like picnic packages, cabanas, American Girl packages and more.

Situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, the Four Seasons Resort and Club showcases high-quality accommodations and offers a broad range of amenities including babysitting services. With indoor and outdoor tennis court options, access to an award-winning golf course, fitness classes, boutiques and a choice of three pools (must see: the Agave Pool & Bar), guests will have no shortage of options for relaxation and entertainment.

Houston

The Marriott Houston Marquis, near Discovery Green Park, creates a charming, luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. A rooftop infinity pool and lazy river set the scene for soaking up a Texas summer. Other hotel features include the PURE spa and multiple dining locations ranging from a coffee house to tapas and Mexican. The hotel’s central location is ideal for those looking to explore their city for a few days.

Hotel ZaZa, in the Houston Museum District, has unique room designs and services to delight its guests. With concept rooms including a Rock Star Suite, Fatal Charms suite, Soho Loft and Villa Champagne, guests may never want to leave their room — unless, of course, they want to head to the ZaSpa. The spa offers guests a choice of salon services, sauna, body wraps and exfoliation treatments. The Monarch restaurant, with views of the Museum of Fine Arts, has different menus of creative, fresh cuisine for every meal of the day.

Finding staycation options near your Darling Homes’ community is an easy and fun choice for you and your loved ones to enjoy a weekend away from home without having to travel far.

Community Fashion Lifestyle

Explore Local Texas Boutiques

Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston are known for their proximity to employment centers, restaurants and recreation options, but some communities are also close to charming, local boutiques and shops.

Dallas

Both Frisco and McKinney are home to local shops and artisans near incredible Darling Homes’ communities. From home decor to baby gifts and clothing, these boutiques have something to offer every shopper.

Frisco

The Charlotte Jones Collection at the Omni Frisco offers tourists and residents access to carefully curated goods including clothing for men, women and children as well as home goods. This shop, located by the Ford Center at the Star, also offers Dallas Cowboys merchandise.

The Blue Door Boutique, a Frisco favorite, gives shoppers a unique and tailored experience with stylists offering advice for customers sifting through clothing, jewelry, gifts and antiques.

McKinney

Update your summer wardrobe with a stop at Cotton Hearts in McKinney, where merchandise includes a beautifully manicured collection of clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find the perfect balance of elegant yet casual attire

For true Western Style, look no further than Orisons Boutique. From glittery cowboy boots to chic dresses and menswear, Orisons’ motto of “We Dress Texas” rings true.

 

Houston

The Woodlands

Residents of The Woodlands can stop by Marta’s, where jewelry, gifts, shoes, accessories, beauty supplies and more are well-stocked.

Diva Boutique puts a focus on women’s clothing, with tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories to find your complete outfit close to home.

Sugar Land

The summer season is in full swing at Anything Bling in Sugar Land. This boutique offers a mix of fun and classy sundresses, adorable tops and the accessories to compliment any outfit.

For a true Texas selection, head over to Fabulous You where you’ll find hand-selected items including unique tees, trucker hats, turquoise jewelry and boots.

Do you have a favorite boutique near your Darling Homes’ community? Let us know where you love to shop locally!

Community Lifestyle

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Texas style

In Dallas and Houston, near Darling Homes’ communities, residents are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July with live music, good food, parades and more.

Dallas Celebrations

July 3

Head to a Texas Rangers game against the Houston Astros on July 3 or 4 for an all-American good time. After the game, the audience will experience an Independence Day treat with a fireworks show.

In downtown Arlington, Light Up Arlington is bringing in live entertainment with a beverage tent, food and activities including train rides with fireworks starting at about 9:45 p.m.

Red, White & Boom fireworks will light up the Dallas skyline from the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, with the festival running from 6 to 10 p.m.

Fourth of July

Darling Homes residents in Frisco will have convenient access to the Frisco Freedom Fest at Toyota Stadium, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Live entertainment, local vendors and more fill the afternoon with fun before fireworks after the FC Dallas match is over.

In McKinney, another celebration titled Red, White and Boom! Starts at 10 a.m. with a parade followed by a block party in downtown. At Craig Ranch in McKinney, beginning at 5:30 p.m., live music, kids’ activities and other festivities will keep the party going until the fireworks show at 9:45 p.m.

Houston Celebrations

Celebrations of our nation’s independence continue in Houston, where the stars and stripes will be on display at a number of local events.

July 3

At the Miller Outdoor Theater, experience Independence Day with a free concert by the Houston Symphony at 8:30 p.m. followed by a fireworks show.

Residents of The Woodlands can catch the symphony’s show the day before at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion at 8 p.m.

Fourth of July

Looking to escape the July heat? Take your loved ones out to the Snow & Ice Celebration at Memorial City Mall from 1 to 4 p.m. and cool off while playing in 30,000 pounds of snow while indulging in frozen treats and enjoying live entertainment.

Missouri City is hosting its own series of events from 6 to 9 p.m., with activities, food and entertainment leading up to its traditional fireworks show at Buffalo Run Park, with seating available at Thurgood Marshall High School.

Keep your Fourth of July traditions and explore your community events by checking out one of the incredible opportunities to mark the holiday near your community.

At Home Food Lifestyle

Making the most of your Texas Garden

This summer, many Texans and Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas are planting gardens as a way to experience delicious homegrown food from their very own backyard.

Houston and Dallas are in different planting zones, meaning different types of produce grow better when planted at different times, but both zones grow a variety of fruits and vegetables well throughout the hot summer months.

In Houston, June and July create the perfect planting season for eggplant, melon, okra, peas, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon and pumpkins, according to the The Old Farmer’s Almanac planting calendar. For summer cooking, these Houston-friendly crops make great side dishes to any meal. Peas, watermelon and peppers are perfect for seasonal salads.  Harvest Green, a community in the Houston area, is labeled as an “Agri-hood” where residents have access to goods grown in a community farm, making agriculture a central theme of the neighborhood.

Similar to Houston, the Dallas planting calendar lists okra, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon, eggplant, melon, peas, peppers and pumpkin as ready to plant. Harvesting all of these in both Texas cities continue throughout the fall months as vegetables become ripe, though the growing time is different for each one.

To help your plants grow and increase your yield, there are a few tips and tricks for beginners that can help gardeners of every skill level. These delicious crops can be kept in separate pots or in one communal garden, depending on how many different plants you’d like to maintain throughout the year. Depending on how many different plants and what types you’d like to grow, creating a designated space for a garden bed for items such as watermelons or pumpkins, or planting in a series of pots for smaller items including herbs and peas, can create a manageable garden space in your backyard.

HGTV put together a list of tips for gardeners, including helpful guidance on cleaning pots, how to use garden tools and even how to get dirt out from underneath your fingernails after tending to the plants. From start to finish, gardening requires a lot of patience and care to produce healthy, flourishing plants.

Gardening can also have unexpected health benefits, including mood-boosting, decreasing risk of dementia and combating loneliness.  

Do you have a Texas garden or want to start one? Check out our list of Lone Star State-friendly recipes and garden spaces for Houston and Dallas and let us know what recipes you love to make with your home-grown food.

At Home Design

Creating the Perfect Guest Space in your Home

Now that you’ve found your Darling Homes dream home in Houston or Dallas, it’s time to create a space for visitors. From selecting a room to choosing decor and accessories, creating the ideal guest space takes careful selection and thoughtful touches.

Lee Crowder, Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager for Darling Homes, offered her advice to help create an impeccable space for visitors. In Darling Homes’ designs, certain plans include guest casitas or secondary suites, providing a set space for guests to reside.

In homes without a space created specifically for guests, Crowder recommends selecting a room for visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home. Choosing a bedroom away from children’s rooms or media and flex rooms can help to create a feeling of privacy within the home.

Crowder recommends putting in a queen size bed. “Make sure it’s soft and comfortable, with good linens and a beautiful throw available – prepare for a range of temperatures so your guests always feels at ease in the room,” Crowder said.

Key furniture pieces must include a place for storage – chairs, nightstands, dressers or benches can create space for guests to place their luggage or clothing to make themselves feel more comfortable.

“Know your guests’ needs. Do they take coffee or tea? Adding a coffee bar or an electric kettle can go a long way,” Crowder said, noting that leaving a basket of important items is a key element to crafting the perfect guest room.

A basket with snacks, small toiletries, spare toothbrushes, fresh towels and other items you think guests may need is a way to help them settle into the space and ensure they will be taken care of during their stay.

“It’s about creating a welcoming environment,” Crowder said. “Fresh flowers are a nice touch, and make sure to include the information for the WiFi, how to work the TV, and any other information your visitors may need.”

Crowder also recommends continuing the themes, color and decor that exist throughout the rest of your home. Consider the guest suite to be additional space to display your personality in your Darling home.

What makes you feel at home? When planning a space for visitors, think about what makes you feel at ease and incorporate those elements into your guest room.