Monthly Archives: April 2016

Make Your Outdoor Space More Cozy with These 5 Fun Tips

In the upcoming spring and summer days, enjoy peace and relaxation every time you head outside to your porch, deck, patio, or grassy yard. Whether you have only a few square feet or a large expanse of space, when you follow these 5 design ideas, your outdoor space will be welcoming, cozy, and a place your family will enjoy every day.

 

1. Lazy Lounging

Sometimes an afternoon of lazy lounging is just what is needed in today’s busy world. Take some time to recenter and enjoy life.

Pull up a chaise, a hammock, some floor cushions, or a big blanket and take some time for yourself to unwind. Optional and welcome additions include a little bit of shade, a cold drink, a good book, or some tunes.

Encourage yourself into deeper relaxation by listening to a running water fountain, a wind chime, or just the sounds of nature around you.

 

2. Comfortable Conversations

When you make your outdoor space comfortable, you give friends permission to linger a little longer and enjoy wonderful conversation. To achieve this, your space needs plenty of outdoor chairs, sofas, foot rests, and and accent table or two to place drinks. Make it a little more fun when you add a rocking chair or bench swing into the mix.

On chilly evenings, keep your guests warm with throw blankets, a wood-burning fire, or a propane-powered patio heater.

 

3. Delectable Dining

There are many ways to enjoy dining outside. It can be as uncomplicated as throwing a blanket down on the grass or as fancy as a formally dressed dining table with room enough for eight guests.

Other fun dining adventures include having a drink at an outdoor bar table, roasting marshmallows over a fire pit, grilling up steaks on a charcoal grill, or cooking up a pizza in an outdoor wood-fired oven.  

Make sure you provide a comfortable place to sit, sturdy plates and utensils, and plenty of drinks to go around. When you do that, you and your guests will enjoy a delectable dining experience in the comfort of your own backyard.

 

4. Accumulated Accents

Beautify your space when you place fun accents throughout your yard. Flowers lining walkways, in hanging pots, and tumbling out of window boxes add a wonderful scent. Houses, feeders, and baths bring birds. Throw rugs add softness underfoot. An unexpected color on your door brings fun.

Outdoor lighting is not only functional, but adds another layer of charm. Light candles for an intimate evening, turn on twinkle lights for a sweet effect, or hang lanterns in trees for a festive gathering. Don’t forget decorative uplights for trees, solar stair lights, and motion-sensor spotlights.

There are so many ways to show your personality and style through your garden’s accent pieces. Whether it be minimalist and modern or bold and eclectic, just go for it!   

 

5. Protected Privacy

Enjoying your space in peace and privacy is important. Here are a few ways to block undesirable views, traffic noise, and noisy neighbors:

  • Plant shrubs around your chain link fence or railings, trees around the periphery of your property, and vines over your pergolas.
  • Hang outdoor drapery around your porch or deck.
  • Open large umbrellas, hang shade sails, or install retractable awnings to block others’ view of you from above.
  • Build an outdoor privacy screen.
  • Add height to existing fences.
  • Enclose your porch with screens.
  • Employ water features or hang a windchime to block out noise.

 

When you use the above 5 cozy outdoor design ideas, you’ll more fully enjoy your extra square footage and your outdoor property will become your oasis.  

For more outdoor furniture design ideas and a wide selection of styles to shop, visit RST Brands.

Throw a Great Backyard Party This Year With These 6 Tips

On a warm evening, there’s nothing better than entertaining close friends in the backyard. Just being outside makes for an enjoyable event all by itself, but with a few added touches you can elevate the party to new heights.

Make sure your backyard party this year is one for the record books with these 6 tips.

 

Tip 1. Prep your porch and backyard

You’ve got to make your backyard look good, and that’s most likely going to require a little prep work. Start by mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes, and making sure the landscaping is looking its best.

To prepare your backyard deck, first make sure it is in excellent shape structurally, with no broken railings or nails poking out causing a safety risk. Additionally, check for rotting or warped wood, especially if it’s part of your deck’s support system.

After you’ve inspected your deck, sweep it off and spray off any remaining debris with a hose.

 

Tip 2. Make sure there’s plenty of shade

Even in the evening when the sun is going down, direct sunlight can make your guests uncomfortable and overly hot. To ensure everyone is comfortable, put up an extra awning, canopy, or umbrella. In addition to the added shade, these coverings can add a lot of character to your backyard and improve the overall feel and design.

 

Tip 3. Have comfortable seating, and lots of it

Compared with indoor furniture, outdoor chairs and benches can sometimes be little less comfortable. You want your guests to have plenty of comfy seating options, so bring out some extra cushions and pillows for your outdoor furniture, as well as some throws and blankets. Consider utilizing some of your indoor chairs as well, so there are many options for guests to sit and mingle.

For a less formal atmosphere, put some blankets and pillows down on the grass as another option for seating. Or if you plan on having a fire pit, incorporate some fun camping seating such as tree stumps and logs.

Check out some more outdoor dining options from RST Brands.

 

Tip 4. Decorate around a specific theme

There are so many ways you can make your backyard party fun and special. One great way is to choose a theme and base all your decorations around it. For example, throw a backyard luau and incorporate tropical decorations, or go with a fiesta theme.

Choosing a theme for your party will also help you decide on what food and refreshments to serve. Margaritas will be great for your fiesta, and Mai Tais or coconut drinks are perfect for your backyard luau.

 

Tip 5. Have lots of water

No matter what drinks you serve, be sure to keep your guests safe from dehydration and heat exhaustion by providing them with lots of water. Have a big cooler full of ice cold water bottles, or keep several pitchers of water continuously filled to the top. Those hot summer nights are always more enjoyable with a glass of ice water, and good conversation with friends.

 

Tip 6. Make your own custom music playlist, or have guests contribute to it

The soundtrack to your backyard party will have a big impact on the atmosphere, so be sure to set up a speaker or two and provide music for your guests. Are you planning on high-energy with possible dancing? Customize your own upbeat playlist. Or if you’re looking for something more relaxing, choose some mellow tunes to play throughout the evening that will be great background music without interfering with conversation.

You can also create a shared, collaborative playlist (Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services have great ways of doing this) so guests can “make requests” throughout the night. This adds some spontaneity to the proceedings, and is great at sparking conversation and adding extra fun to the party.

 

For more ideas for entertaining in your backyard, read our latest blog post, 5 ways to make your yard an extension of your home.

How To Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

Rising temperatures, longer days, and more sunshine indicate that summer is right around the corner. After a harsh winter, chances are you’re ready to get your patio prepped for a fun season of outdoor entertainment. However, even if you took the necessary steps in protecting it against harsh conditions, the winter weather still might have taken a toll on your patio furniture. Such damages include:

The following tips can help you revive your furniture so you can have a clean, functional outdoor living space.

1. Clean Your Cushions

Get rid of mildew, dust, and winter stiffness in your cushions by giving them a quick DIY cleanse. Combine the following in a bucket or spray bottle:

  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1 tablespoon Borax

Spray or soak your cushions on both sides with the cleaning solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Using a hose, spray off the solution and set the cushion on it’s side to sun-dry. When the cushion is about eighty-percent dry, spray the surfaces with a fabric protector. Also, remember to give your cushions a frequent vacuum or shake to remove built up dust and debris.

If your cushions have simply seen better days, it might be time to replace them with a fresh, comfy new set. RST Brands has a variety of outdoor replacement cushions that are long-lasting and easy to clean.

2. Care For Your Canvas Seats

Thankfully, most canvas is machine-washable, meaning if your canvas is removable, you can simply stick it in the the washer and let your washer do the hard work. Note, however, that in order to keep the color of your canvas as bright as possible, set your machine to the cold setting and don’t put the canvas in the dryer. Instead, put it back on the furniture while it’s still damp so it will maintain its shape.

If the canvas is not removable, use the cleaning solution in Step 1 and a scrub brush to give your fabric a fresh, rejuvenating clean that is both effective and won’t damage the quality.   

3. Whiten That White Plastic

Combine one gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of automatic dishwashing detergent to create a solution that is perfect for cleaning white plastic furniture. Use a sponge or soft brush to apply this solution and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with a hose. It’s important that you use automatic dishwashing detergent as this contains a bleaching agent that will whiten plastic without using harsh chemicals.

4. Manage Your Metals

Using a detergent-soaked sponge, give your aluminum furniture a thorough cleaning. Be sure to rinse away any remaining suds or debris, and inspect your furniture over for any scratches or nicks. If needed, touch up any blemishes with car paint of the appropriate color and follow with a coat of automotive wax for extra protection that will last throughout the summer.  

Remove any rust that’s accumulated on wrought iron furniture by using a wire brush or steel wool and follow with a coat of exterior spray paint that’s created for wrought iron. Let the paint dry completely before applying cushions or canvases.

With the four tips above, you can make your outdoor living space look as good as when everything was new!