Monthly Archives: April 2014

How to create a dog-friendly yard

Your dog likes to spend as much time outside on warm summer days as you do, so create a space that invites it to romp and relax with you in your backyard! Here are some tips to guide you in creating a pooch friendly patio for your furry pal: 

Cool canine
Make sure to include plenty of shade for your pup. A great way to provide some shade for both you and your dog is to opt for a patio umbrella. An articulating umbrella is a gorgeous addition to your yard's design, and you can move it around to cover any part of your deck or patio you choose. Roll the umbrella around your yard to take advantage of your space on sunny days, and provide your pooch with a cool place to relax. Large trees are another attractive option for offering shade (and creating some enviable landscaping).

Safety first
You'll want to make sure your pup is as safe as possible in your yard, so plan to fully fence in your space or create a dog run that it can securely play in. As an alternative to unattractive chain-link fences, try choosing a fence style that fits in with your backyard's theme. If you have a more traditional, cottage design, go for a picket fence. For a more modern look, opt for fences made from horizontal boards. That way, you don't have to worry about keeping your dog on a leash while you enjoy the outdoors.

Doggy drinks
Your dog will need plenty of water flowing in your backyard to make sure it stays comfortable and hydrated. So why not add a water feature to your landscape that you and your dog can enjoy? You can choose a splash fountain or stream, depending on the landscape of your yard, or perhaps a small pond or pool.  Arrange your outdoor dining set around your new water feature so you and your friends and family can enjoy it too! Just make sure to design a gently sloping side or easily accessible shallow steps for doggy safety.

Protect paws
Choose materials for your backyard landscape that are paw-friendly. Concrete, flagstone, brick, smooth rocks and pebbles are all good choices because they don't get too hot on summer days.
Mulch and bark chips are very dog-friendly and they won't heat up too much and hurt your pooch's feet. Your pup might dig up your lawn if you go the grass route, but artificial turf is gaining popularity.

Create the ultimate kid’s room with RST Outdoor

RST Outdoor isn't just the perfect place to purchase outdoor furniture, you can use its products to furnish the inside of your home as well! The next time you need home accessories like storage bins or an artisan chess table, check out RST Brands' website. You can also create a colorful kid's room with RST Brands' collection of matching twin bed frames and dressers from Legare. There are a variety of colors and motifs to choose from, so your little one's personality will be represented in the design.

First, you need to choose the theme that fits in with your child's favorite color. Select from blue, purple, green, pink and red bedroom sets.

Red Bedroom Set
If your little one's go-to hue is race car red, then check out RST's Racer Child's Bed and Desk Set. The race car bed comes complete with graphics on the side and a spoiler that doubles as a shelf. This set also has a desk with matching graphics. The four-piece set features a bookshelf and storage bin. The five-piece collection has everything including a matching dresser.

Purple Bedroom Set
Does your child like purple? Then the Flower Power Children's Bedroom Set may be the perfect room decor for her. It comes with a flower power car bed, a study desk, dresser, a storage bin and a bookshelf. The set is decorated with two tones of purple and graphic flowers on the sides of the car and desk.

Green Bedroom Set
Frog lovers rejoice, there is a bedroom set with a special green motif! The Frog Child's Bedroom Set has a desk, bed frame, dresser and a bookshelf, all fitting the theme. The bed is a frog itself, as the headboard makes up the eyes and the footboard serves as the amphibian's feet.

Pink Bedroom Set
What girl doesn't love princesses? RST's Princess Children's Bedroom Set has a unique crown bed with a matching dresser, bookshelf and desk. Additionally, the word "Princess" is written on the footboard in Old English script, so your little one can always feel like royalty.

Blue Bedroom Set
Lastly, there is a bedroom set for young surfing aficionados. The Surfer Child's Bedroom Set has multicolored waves on the headboard and footboard. Like the other sets, it has bed, dresser, desk and bookshelf. Your little one won't miss the real waves with this bedroom motif!

Eco-friendly ways to clean your patio

There are a variety of things you need to do to get your outdoor space ready for spring and summer. In addition to making sure you have adequate outdoor seating and decorative storage, ensure you have the proper cleaning tools. If you purchase high-quality furniture from RST Brands, a variety of the options have been treated to resist mold and mildew. That cuts down on your cleaning time, but there are other patio features that still need to be taken care of. Here are some eco-friendly tips to consider when cleaning your patio:

Sometimes the most eco-friendly product is water and a towel. Don't wait until your windows are filled with dirt and grime to give them a good wipe-down. Instead, clean them regularly and you won't need harsh products to get them looking shiny and new. All it takes is a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap detergent and 2 cups of water mixed up and added to a spray bottle to keep your windows spotless.

Concrete flooring
Concrete flooring is a popular choice because of its durability. Instead of using chemicals that are harmful to the environment to clean this surface, go green. First sweep up debris and set your patio bistro sets and other furniture to the side so they will be out of the way while you are picking up. Then use a pressure washer that is filled with plain water to blast away the dirt from the concrete.

Just like with your windows, it's best to use water and a small towel to clean your patio table sets. Stay away from paper towels, because while they are made from a renewable resource, trees need to be cut down to produce them. To keep your cleaning routine eco-friendly, opt for a washable cloth rag instead.

Create a tropical oasis in your own backyard

You can create a resort-style destination for your family and friends right in your own backyard with help from RST Brands! The Sol collection of bright, bold outdoor seating and dining sets will transform your backyard into a tropical oasis that a toucan would envy! Here are some tips for design inspiration:

Relax poolside
Design your exotic garden to fit perfectly within the overall landscape. You can allow it to envelop the entire yard and include all the amenities you’d find in a resort. Use your pool as a focal point, because on hot summer days, most of your time will be spent in or around it. Create a space for lounging poolside with Sol Sling Chaise Lounges in bright blue, vibrant green or bold melon orange that will pick up the tones in your tropical plant life.

Make sure there is also space for outdoor dining and relaxing, along with lighting that just begs you and your guests to stay outside when the evening arrives.

Let the plants take over
The cheerful hues of your outdoor furniture are just the beginning of how you can fill your space with color to create an exotic retreat. Tropical gardens are overflowing with plant life: climbing vines, plush and leafy ferns, brightly colored flowers and verdant moss. Don’t worry about giving each bloom its own spotlight position, rather, allow the greenery to fill all the space and overlap one another. Adding vines to grow along a fence or even up a tree trunk will also contribute to the jungle effect.

Invite in bright blooms
Some examples of tropical blooms include bird-of-paradise, hibiscus and heliconia, and each of these can contribute to a stunning display in your backyard. You can also include flowers that welcome butterflies and hummingbirds to really make an impact. Plant purple Mexican salvia and yellow bulbine in sunny, open areas to create a colorful habitat that attracts pretty flying friends.

Just add water
Every tropical garden needs a water element and your pool can really create a resort-like feel. It is great for recreation and also acts as a beautiful backdrop to the foliage and flowers that surround it. Rather than positioning your dining set poolside, opt for a smaller bistro table on which to rest your beverage, suntan lotion and book while you take a dip. Or enjoy a little snack next to the pool while your kids play. Either way, RST Brands’ selection of Sol outdoor furniture will provide the pop of color you are looking for in a backyard-turned-tropical-paradise.

Using Spanish-style elements in your backyard remodel

With the summer season quickly approaching, many homeowners are looking for different ways to beautify their backyards, patios and pool areas. Spanish-style and Hispanic-influenced additions can be one of the most attractive elements you apply to your backyard environment. Here are three ideas to inspire your next backyard remodel:

1. Apply Southwestern characteristics
In hot climates like the ones found in New Mexico and Arizona, the pueblo-style backyard has reemerged as a homeowner favorite. In these domestic spaces, owners showcase windows trimmed in a blue hue, believed to protect against evil spirits. They also incorporate a traditional rock stem wall that borders their adobe courtyards. Within these spacious outdoor areas, you can place a variety of outdoor furniture sets and patio umbrellas, which your guests can take a break from the heat.

2. Use hacienda-style tiles
If you have a chance to visit villages in Spain or Mexico, you will see a flurry of vibrant colors spread across the floors and staircases leading away from the backdoor entrance which is the typical placement for hacienda-style tiles. These colorful hues come in many different forms that you can experiment with in your home. Consider placing colorful tiles at the base of each step of your patio. You can alternate different styles, like sea life and traditional Mexican tribal designs, or opt to mix and match bold, solid-color tiles like warm yellows, earthy reds and vibrant blues. You might also want to apply stone mosaics and line the floors heading toward your open pool deck with beautiful depictions of agricultural life. Place patio bistro sets where you and your guests can drink cocktails and talk about the mosaics for a relaxing intimate summer night.

3. Integrate courtyard arches
An element that stands out in Spanish architecture is the use of courtyard arches in the backyard. If your land has a beautiful view of nature, consider utilizing courtyard arches to frame the landscape in a unique way. Traditionally, these arches are made of limestone, which features a creamy, cooling hue. Create an aesthetically appealing contrast by adding concrete and brick flooring to your courtyard, enhancing the elegance of the arches. To avoid a static feeling, try creating a dynamic environment with a flowing rectangular pond serving as a focal point. Introduce a variety of luscious, leafy plants around the border of your courtyard to complete the Spanish-influenced look.