Monthly Archives: March 2017

5 Patio Lighting Ideas to Make the Most Out of Your Space

 

Lighting is everything, even on the exterior of your home. Are you rethinking the current lighting setup on your patio? If all you’ve got are a few floodlights out back, it’s definitely time that you consider some new patio lighting ideas to turn your backyard into a place you love to be, even when it’s dark outside.

Here are 5 outdoor lighting ideas you should seriously consider for your backyard to give it some style, some ambiance, and create your own little piece of nighttime paradise.

1. Pathway Lights

Walkway or pathway lights should especially be considered when you’re looking for garden patio ideas. Although they won’t offer enough light to be your primary light source, walkway lights are an excellent option to use as a way to provide some soft lighting to your patio, while highlighting elements of your yard.

2. White Twinkly Lights

While it may seem cliché, your backyard and patio really aren’t complete without strings of white twinkly lights. An excellent idea for patio party lights, these lights can be strung across your patio, used to light up your trees, or even to wrap around your deck to add a beautiful soft glow to any get-together, or just an evening relaxing on the patio. You really can’t go wrong with twinkly lights.

3. Fire Table

Stop thinking about the small fire pits that are only good for roasting marshmallows, and consider installing a fire table in your backyard. Not only are these stylish and beautiful, but they can easily give off enough light to help you see on your patio at night.

4. Lamp Posts

Lamp post lights can be used solely to surround your patio, or scattered around throughout your backyard, adding a homey, welcoming feel to your outdoor spaced. An excellent consideration when coming up with small patio ideas, or just outdoor patio ideas in general, lamp posts look classic and timeless in any yard.

5. Moon Lighting

Imagine your backyard lit up by the soft glow of the moon—is there anything more magical? No matter how well the moon usually lights up your patio, using this type of lighting will leave your yard bathed in a soft glow, creating an excellent backdrop for a dinner with friends, or setting the mood for a romantic evening on your patio.  

Feeling Inspired?

Are you ready to get out there and get your outdoor spaces lit up properly with one or more of these lighting ideas for patios? Decide the mood you’d like to set in your yard and turn your patio into the magical space of you’ve always wanted.

Best Material for Outdoor Furniture & How to Protect It

 

When you purchase outdoor furniture, you expect it to withstand all of Mother Nature’s elements. If you buy the right materials and fabrics that are designed for use in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions (including salty and chlorinated), then it will!

For standing the test of time, here are some great examples of materials and fabrics that you should look for in outdoor furniture.

Sturdy Materials

Cast Aluminum is created when molten metal is forced under high pressure into a mold cavity. It is lightweight which allows for easy moving.

Powder-Coated Aluminum is created when a dry, powdered paint is applied to aluminum. This produces a relatively hard, abrasion-resistant, and rust-free coating in any color.

Extruded Aluminum is so strong and stable (yet lightweight) that it is even used for components on the International Space Station!

Teak is a hard timber native to tropical south and southeast Asia. It is resistant to insects and warping and has such great natural water-repellent properties that it is often used in shipbuilding.

Synthetic Resin Wicker such as SolarFast is made from resins extracted from plant matter and is much more durable than natural wicker.

Molded ABS, Faux Wood, Stone, and Faux Stone with Synthetic Fibers are also sturdy outdoor materials.

Long-Lasting Fabrics

Sunbrella is a brand of outdoor fabric in which the woven fibers are 100% solution dyed acrylic. It is UV protected, great for all weather, fade resistant, breathable, quick to dry, and easy to maintain.

Polyurethane Coated Polyester is a highly resilient, supple, attractive fabric. It is also stain resistant and will remain cool on the surface even after sitting in the hot sun for long periods of time.

Vinyl is made of ethylene derived from natural gas and chlorine. It is plasticky which wears well and repels water under the most severe weather conditions.

Cleaning and Protecting

Although these outdoor fabrics are tough and able to withstand pretty much any weather Mother Nature can throw at them, it is still important to keep up on your furniture maintenance. When you properly clean and protect your furniture materials and fabrics, they will last for many seasons to come.

When not in use, especially during high winds, close your garden and patio umbrellas and put on their covers to keep them from getting damaged.

Regular rinsing with water is usually all that is needed to clean your furniture. When it is time for a deeper clean, use a mild soap or, even better, a multi-surface cleaner or patio furniture cleaning spray. Make sure you use the right one that will work on your specific surfaces.

A fabric guard spray will restore water repellency to cushions, pillows, and rugs and an outdoor protectant will repel smudges, dust, and stains.

Covers

Using covers when your furniture pieces are not in use over an extended period of time (such as during the winter or while you are on vacation) will keep them dry and looking vibrant. Covers will also help your furniture last as long as possible.

When looking for patio furniture covers, be sure the fabric is UV protected and also offers UV protection to the furniture they are covering. Also, air vents or mesh panels sewn into the design is very important in preventing mold and mildew from growing.

Look for covers that have secure velcro or elastic straps to keep them in place, even in windy conditions. Heavy-duty zippers will keep the water from leaking in.

With the right materials, fabrics, maintenance, and covers, your outdoor patio furniture will be hardwearing and comfortable for years to come!

Prepping for Spring: Your Perfect Yard & Patio

 

Check out how to prep your yard and patio so you can head outside and enjoy them the minute the weather turns warm!

Clean and Wash Surfaces

It is surprising how much outdoor debris can accumulate over the course of a winter. Now that the snow is melting and the ground is drying out, you will want to get everything all cleaned up. Pick up trash and rake up decayed leaves. Be sure to get all the corners and underneath the shrubs where stuff tends to accumulate. Other places to check are the rain gutters and window wells.

You can use a high-pressure nozzle on a garden hose to wash down all the hard surfaces in your yard. This includes walls, fences, rails, decks, and patios.

Aerate and Prune  

Core aeration allows water and air to penetrate the root zone of your turf, resulting in better development and growth. You can call a lawn care company to do this for you or you can easily do it yourself with just a couple of supplies from the hardware store. The important thing is that it’s done before the soil temperature reaches 55-60 degrees. Otherwise, the voids in the ground will invite aggressive weed seeds to settle in.

Your trees and shrubs will reward you with a wonderful display through the rest of the year if you do a proper pruning before new growth begins. Remove the following from trees:

  • Dead or dying branches
  • Branches that rub together
  • Branches that grow back toward the center of the tree
  • Branches that are spaced too closely on the trunk
  • Branch stubs and suckers
  • Hazardous branches or trees
  • Branches that interfere with parking and walking areas or the entry to your home

When it comes to pruning shrubbery, go lightly to help them grow fuller and bushier.

Fertilize and Kill Weeds

A good spring fertilizer will wake up your lawn and give it a good jump start on its growing season. It will also provide nutrients for the strength needed to withstand summer heat and stress.

Applying a pre-emergent herbicide is very important in your fight against crabgrass, clover, dandelions, and all sorts of other pesky weed seeds that can remain viable for years. Be sure you buy the correct killer for your specific problem plants and know exactly how to use it. Otherwise, you won’t be doing any good.

Check and Reset Sprinklers

When the soil is frost-free to at least twelve inches below the surface, it is time to check your sprinkler system. If your system isn’t equipped with air pressure relief valves, remove the sprinkler heads at the highest point in each zone before you do an initial system start-up. This will prevent a surge of air pressure from bursting the fittings. Then, test each zone separately for leaks or breaks.

After everything appears to be in good working order, you can open the main supply valve to its full operating position. Last of all, check your timer programs and reset them if appropriate.

Furnish and Decorate

What’s the point in having a spiffed-up yard if you don’t have any furniture to use for enjoyment out there? So now comes the fun part!

Create a cozy spot for two with colorful, comfortable loungers or seat your entire extended family on a deluxe sectional. Host an intimate al fresco dining experience or a crowd-pleasing bbq with outdoor dining tables of any size. When the sun sets, unwind while gathering around a fire table or keep the party going with an open bar.

Don’t forget the details! They are what adds whimsical fun or a sense of sophistication. Outdoor pillows, rugs, umbrellas, and lighting are what really makes your backyard come alive.

Relax and Enjoy

After waiting patiently through the winter months and performing all your hard work, it is now time to sit back, relax, and reap the rewards of your beautiful outdoor living space!

Small Space Design: Everything You Need To Know To Get The Most Out Of Your Interior Design

 

Just thinking about decorating your house is probably pretty exciting, right? Whether you’re just moving in, or have finally decided to follow through on that redecorating job you’ve been meaning to get started on the past few years, doesn’t it feel like the possibilities are endless? Well, that is until you realize you’re working with a tiny space, and perhaps an even tinier budget.

Given the current downsizing trend and the fact that a bigger home just might not be in the cards for many new homebuyers, here’s a guide to decorating for small spaces. Whether it’s just one tiny room you’re unsure what to do with, or an entire apartment, with the help of these tips and tricks, you’ll feel like you’re living big in your small space.

 

Browse a specific category by clicking on any of the quick links below:

 

Getting Started

 

Before you start shopping for furniture or make a purchase of any kind, you need a plan.

Have you set a budget yet? It’s important to address the money aspect before you head to the store or start pinning dream rooms on Pinterest. Set a budget and stick to it—you’ll feel much more satisfied at the end of your project when your house is beautifully decorated, and you aren’t staring at a credit card bill that will take years to pay off.

 Evaluate Your Space

 

Once a budget is set (and you’ve pinkie promised you’ll stick to it), it’s time to walk your house and evaluate your space. Measure each room you want to decorate and keep those numbers handy while you shop for furniture—the last thing you want is to find a piece you love, only to get it home and realize it’s way too big.

It’s wise at this point to at least get an idea of the purpose you want each room to serve. If you know you want your living room to be more of a social sitting area than a TV-watching space, you’ll want to make sure you choose seating that will fit your needs. It’s much easier to stick to your budget and shop with purpose when you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.

“Lots of people have the idea that they need to buy super-small furniture in a small space. I like to do the opposite. I like to normal-size furnishings that just fit within the space, maybe even push the limits just a little bit (within reason). Placing small furniture in a small space can have a dollhouse effect, making everything look diminutive. It is amazing how a room can visually expand to accommodate well-chosen contents, and you will be so much more comfortable.” – Christoper Kennedy

 

 Get Painting

 

If your walls are anything but a light, neutral color right now, you may want to consider changing that. While painting each room a different color sounds fun, it will actually make your house feel smaller.

Choose a great neutral color like beige, gray, or even white, and use it throughout your home to help unify the space. The darker the color is, the smaller it will make your rooms feel, so choose something light, and watch your space open up.

 Master Bedroom

 

Consider using cinder blocks (or investing in a nice new frame) to raise your bed frame slightly to allow for more storage space under your bed to accommodate bins for out of season clothes, socks, paperwork, books, shoes—really anything that might be cluttering up your space. A storage headboard is an excellent way to add style and storage to your space (you can even go the DIY route).

Consider creating a modular storage system in your closet to help store and organize your clothes and personal items more efficiently. Sure, you can buy a fancy, customized closet organization system, but why not build one yourself?

Also, make sure your bedroom furniture fits properly in your room. A king sized bed is good in theory, but isn’t the best idea if it’s the only thing that will fit in your room. Even if you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you can use bright, textured pillows to decorate your space and make a statement.  

 Kids’ Bedroom

 

Kids’ bedrooms are meant to be fun, brightly colored, and full of youthful decorations, but working with a small room can be challenging. Use posters, pictures, and décor that gives you the most bang for your buck, but doesn’t leave the room feeling cluttered.

Bunk beds are the best option to make extra space in the room. If you must keep toys in the room, make sure they’re stored away out of sight—open boxes and cluttered shelves will make any small room feel like it’s closing in on you.

 Office

 

Whether your office is located in your living room, jammed in the corner of your kitchen space, or a portion of one of your bedrooms, the most efficient use of space is a wall-mounted desk—think of a hideaway bed in desk form.

If you have a little more space, choose a small, streamlined desk—although something bigger could offer more workspace, it would likely just dwarf your room and look out of place. Wall-mounted shelves take up less space than bookshelves, making them a much better option.

 Bathroom

 

You may not think you can efficiently decorate your bathroom, but there are a few tips to gain storage and make it feel bigger. To increase space and improve small space design, install a pedestal sink to make the space feel more open and skirt a decorative sheet around it to allow for extra hidden storage space. Install a curtain rod in your shower that curves out, giving the feel of a much larger tub or shower area.

 Living Room/Family Room

 

Here are a few of our favorite tips on how to decorate a small living room or family room space:

 

  • Use a behind-the-couch console table instead of a coffee table to save floor space.
  • Add a rug to infuse style without taking up any extra space.
  • Mount your TV to the wall to save space.
  • Purchase a storage ottoman for extra seating and hidden storage for blankets, DVDs, remotes, etc.

Kitchen

 

If you entertain often, you know what a difference an open, organized, kitchen and eating area can make. Open shelving makes even the smallest kitchen appear more spacious and eliminates the need to constantly open and close cupboard doors. A magnetic strip is a great option to attach knives or spice containers to your wall to keep them easily accessible and free up space.

 

 Dining Room

 

Choose a small table with a lot of character to keep your eating space stylish, yet functional. Surround your table with clear acrylic chairs to give the illusion of more space, or create a built-in banquette to eliminate the need for some seating. If possible, choose chairs for your living room that can double as extra seating for your table when you have guests over.

 

Decorate with Purpose

 

The best small space design living ideas are the ones that infuse style into the space while helping the room function more efficiently. Make sure that the decorative elements you add in your home do not leave it looking cluttered—there’s a fine line between a well-decorated home and one that looks tacky. With the help of properly placed statement pieces and brightly colored furniture, you won’t need much more to make your home look beautiful.

 

 Apartment Living

 

In addition to the above, some excellent small apartment decorating ideas include adding in a strategically placed mirror to make your space look bigger, and utilizing the natural light in your apartment. Let’s face it—apartment living isn’t always glamorous, especially when you’re renting and can’t really personalize the space.

Give the illusion of built-ins with the help of a few bookshelves, lay down rugs in every room, and hang curtains. All these design elements, when carefully chosen to match your own style, can open up your small apartment and make it feel like a home.

“Most of us have far too many possessions. I recently downsized slightly, to accommodate my busy work and travel schedule, and it made me really rethink everything I own. Do I love it? Does it enhance my life? Does it bring joy? If not — get rid of it! One of the tenets of modernism, to me, is surrounding ourselves with fewer things, but things that have utility and meaning.” – Christopher Kennedy

Tips to Remember

 

The most important thing to remember when considering all of these small space design living ideas is to keep things organized and ensure you have ample storage space. Decorating small rooms is difficult, but when done right, can take even the tiniest space and make it look bigger.

Did you find our article helpful? Be sure to share the piece with your family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Did we skip something you think we should have talked about? Share you comments and ideas with us on social media.

RST Brands™ announces Kelli Ellis as Brand Ambassador for Outdoor Products

 

Salt Lake City, UT Feb 24, 2017—

RST Brands is pleased to announce the signing of celebrity designer Kelli Ellis as its new outdoor living products Brand Ambassador.

The award-winning designer will be featured in a number of social and digital marketing campaigns, create styled outdoor spaces with RST Brand’s collections and represent RST Brands at select high profile industry events.

For years RST Brands has focused on bringing quality, comfort, value and style to market by launching a number of best-selling outdoor collections. “Our strategy has been focused on telling our story through the promotional vehicles with our retail partners,” said Lenny Vainberg, co-founder and RST Brand’s chief marketing officer. Vainberg added, “Kelli will help establish a strong presence within the design community, position RST Brands as the leader in quality, comfort, value and style for outdoor living in the online marketplace, and drive end user brand awareness.”

RST Brands outdoor collections include the popular Portofino™ available at Costco, Deco™, Cannes™, Knoxville™, and Barcelo™ modular outdoor collections which allow customers to quickly personalize their frame style and footprint with RST Brand’s patented fabric options. The collections also include RST Brand’s Resort Collection™ used for light commercial applications.
“I am delighted to be working with RST Brands, I have used its products in my designs for years! I am not only a fan but an owner of several pieces – the quality and style cannot be beat,” says Ellis.

ABOUT KELLI ELLIS

Kelli Ellis is an Internationally recognized Designer, Artist, Licensee, Speaker, a founding partner of Design Campus, and Author of the best-selling Design Psychology Coaching book, Do I Look Skinny in this House? Kelli has been highlighted in national publications showcasing her design and collections in outdoor, furniture, fabric, lighting, rugs, tile and art.

Kelli has been featured in numerous publications, online and starred on television across the globe including BBC, SKY, LUXE, Elle Décor, Modern Luxury, Angeleno, Vegas Luxury, CA Homes and Design, Dwell, Domino, O Magazine, and Traditional Home Magazine. Beginning her career on TLC’S Clean Sweep to starring in HGTV’s Takeover My Makeover, Move or Improve, Celebrity Holiday Homes, and House Hunters Renovation. Kelli stars in her own show on The Design Network, Design Therapy. Working with many top names like HARPO, Dr. Oz, HGTV, TLC, Bravo, NBC, Clorox, AT&T, Ziploc, 3M, and many others as their Lifestyle Expert, Kelli is asked to speak around the world.

ABOUT RST BRANDS

Launched in 2004, RST Brands is a designer, producer and direct fulfillment supplier of home and lifestyle products through the online marketplace.

RST Brands has evolved as the true market leader in online for outdoor living and home organization with its distinctive user-friendly Flow Wall® product line. Combining market leading design, style and value with successful methods for online sales, fulfillment and customer service, RST Brands is uniquely positioned to meet the strong customer demand from online industry giants, including: Costco.com, Wayfair.com, ATGStores.com, Lowes.com, Houzz.com, Homedepot.com, Target.com and Overstock.com. RST Brand’s technology and operational infrastructure supports high velocity growth and unique fulfillment needs of the e-commerce channel.

Although best known for delivering curated designs for outdoor living and home organization—with an emphasis on modern design, quality, comfort, value and style—RST Brands recently expanded to encompass a broader portfolio of home and lifestyle collections that are marketed and sold to the end customer through its direct and e-commerce partners websites.

For more information about RST Brands please visit our website www.rstbrands.com.