Monthly Archives: April 2017

Tips For Designing Your Dream Patio

 

Summer is the best time of year to entertain and catch up on rest and relaxation. Do both in comfort and style by creating an outdoor patio that everyone will love. By following these helpful design tips, you can bring to life the patio of your dreams.

Tip #1: Determine Your Patio Goals

Before you can start the design process, you have to determine how you’ll use the space and what your goals are for the final product. Remember, the more specific you can be with your wants and needs, the better your final product will look. Sit down with your family or housemates and decide what you each want in an outdoor living space. Are you wanting to make your patio an extension of your living room or do you envision having an outdoor kitchen? Will your space be used more for personal or entertainment use? Once you’ve determined how your outdoor area will be used, you can start nailing down more specific design aspects.

Tip #2: Create A Compatible Area

If you don’t already have the patio or area on which you’ll develop your outdoor living space, you might consider hiring an architect, designer, or landscape specialist to ensure your project is safe and sound and meets all codes and regulations. Hiring a professional can also help you avoid common mistakes or problems by providing creative solutions to common missteps.

If you have a pre-existing patio or deck that you wish to makeover, be sure you prepare the area before adding any design elements. If the building materials are in relatively good shape, you might be able to get away with a thorough cleaning and a few coats of stain or paint. However, if your area needs a significant facelift, consider completely re-doing the area to ensure longevity and satisfaction.

Tip #3: Make A Plan

Get out your papers and crayons: it’s time to sketch your design plan. This will help you develop your ideas and work them out in a scaled, proportional manner. Be sure to also include elements that will add convenience to your area like electrical outlets, fans, entrances and exits, landscape features, etc. By having all of these ideas sketched out (even if your two-year-old could have done a better job) you’ll be able to better communicate with architects, contractors, designers, or even friends (if they are helping with the project) what you’re trying to achieve. You should sketch two views of your space:

  • A plan view is how your space will look from above. Here you’ll include how the space will be arranged, how much space will be between furniture, traffic patterns, and where your space is in relation to the house, yard, and surrounding environment.
  • An elevation view is a sketch shown from the side and should give you an idea of the scale of your vertical elements like railings and privacy fences.

Tip #4: Add Design Elements

Whether you’ve been collecting furnishings for your patio for months or haven’t even started, it’s important to have most of your design elements purchased and ready to go in order to really bring your patio to life. When shopping for your outdoor living area, consider these must-have pieces from RST Brands:

  • Outdoor chairs: Outdoor chairs are essential to your design. Choose from relaxing chaise loungers, sectionals, barstools, and club chairs to add unique seating in your space.
  • Outdoor Sofas and Sectionals: Sofas, loungers, and sectionals add style, class, and comfort to any outdoor living space and offer inviting seating options for you and your guests.
  • Outdoor dining: No party is complete without an outdoor dining set. Make yours stand out by choosing from unique options like a small, 4-person outdoor dining set or a large 9-piece set.
  • Fire tables: Add a spark of excitement to your outdoor living area with a stunning fire table. These tables enhance your area no matter if you’re having a nice, romantic evening for two or a neighborhood gathering for dozens.
  • Loungers: If R&R is what you’re after, a set of loungers is a must for complete relaxation.

Once you’ve covered all the bases, have fun adding accessories and personalized elements into your design. Consider things like patio umbrellas to add optimal style and shade or hammocks for added luxury and relaxation. Remember that your outdoor decor not only represents your personality, but it also defines your space and helps it achieve the look and feel you’re after, so have fun with it!

Tip #5: Bring Your Design to Life

After you (or your team of builders/designers) have created the foundation for your outdoor space, it’s time to bring in all of the design elements that make your dreams come to life. From the paint to the pillows, every design choice you make should be with the end goal and vision in mind.

Include natural elements like planters, trees, branches, and flowers to avoid the “showcase” look and make sure your landscape accentuates your design. More than anything, however, remember to have fun when designing your outdoor living space and make it yours.

Best Ways to Care for Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

Warmer weather, longer days, and budding trees signal spring and summer are just around the corner. As the whispers of winter give way to the smiles of spring, you probably have a long list of to-do’s in order to get your home and yard in tip-top shape for summer. When making your spring to-do list, be sure you don’t ignore your patio or outdoor living space.

As one of the most valued summer spaces, your patio is often the heart of relaxation, entertaining, friendly gatherings, family dinners, and romantic evenings. Thus, ensuring your patio furniture is clean and functional, is key. Similarly, by exploring fresh patio and backyard design ideas, you can have the most welcoming outdoor living area on the block.

These three tips will help you care for your outdoor furniture and achieve a patio design that you love.

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

One of the best ways to keep your outdoor furniture in tip-top shape is to give it good, regular cleanings. Similarly, starting with a clean patio will help you to better create a space that is both comfortable and welcoming. So before you set up your patio furniture and get it summer ready, be sure you give the surrounding wood, stone, or brick a good cleaning and make any necessary repairs.  Follow following tips to make your outdoor patio furniture shine:

  • Wicker and teak: Clean and moisturize by using a soft-bristled brush, water, and a mild oil-based soap. Rinse with water and maintain shine by hosing down every two to three weeks.
  • Plastic and wrought iron: Mix water and a mild dishwashing detergent and wipe all plastic and wrought-iron furniture with the mixture and a damp cloth. Hose down to rinse and repeat every three weeks.
  • Aluminum: Wipe aluminum furniture with a damp cloth and mild dishwashing detergent. Use a Soft Scrub brush to remove any scuff marks and rinse with a hose.

– Fabric and canvas cushions: Vacuum all cushions and saturate all sides with a mixture of 1 tbs. dishwashing detergent, 1 tsp. Borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Let the mixture sit for 30 to 45 minutes before using a soft bristled brush on stains. Rinse well, let dry, and repeat every three to four weeks.

– Patio Umbrellas: Use a bristled brush to remove any loose dirt. Mix ¼ cup of laundry detergent with 1 tbs. of Borax or baking soda and warm water. Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes and rinse well with a hose or bucket. Allow the fabric to dry partially before opening entirely.

2. Preserve & Protect

Hot summer sun, torrential rains, and regular use can be hard on your patio furniture. And while typical wear-and-tear is inevitable, there are several steps you can take to preserve and protect your outdoor furniture and ensure it stays in mint condition for as long as possible. After cleaning your furniture and patio, consider these quick preserving tips:

  • Wooden wicker: Choose a matching outdoor paint or shellac and allow it to dry at least two full days before using. You can also apply a thin coat of furniture wax for added shine and protection.
  • Fabric: Use a fabric protector like Scotchgard to protect against spill stains and make cleaning easier. Apply this fabric protector after each and every cleaning.
  • Teak: Although durable, Teak should be kept stained, varnished, and weather treated to prevent it from rotting and turning gray and weathered.
  • Metal: Remove any rust spots with mineral spirits and a damp cloth. Apply a coat of Rustoleum Paint or primer and paint to improve and repair the metal.

3. Decorate & Design

After you’ve cleaned and treated your furniture, it’s time for the fun part: decorating. If you’re looking for fresh ideas that will give your patio the facelift it needs, check out these backyard design ideas.

  • Notes of nature: Trendy planters and natural accessories are today’s hottest design elements. Choose hardy plants like boxwood, grasses, and evergreens for optimal privacy and design, and enhance the look with branches, shells, rocks, water features, and festive lighting.
  • Invision vintage: Make old, new by mixing modern accessories with vintage elements. Check out your local flea market or salvage store for unique pieces that help you avoid the showroom look and make your space more personalized.
  • Feature flooring: Summer is all about being barefoot, so make sure your patio design includes a flooring element that is safe and feels good on the feet.
  • Heat is neat: Include an outdoor fireplace, fire table, or several large pillar candles to make your patio the ideal place for warm, welcoming entertainment.
  • Add ambiance: Overhead canopies, trees, and arbors make your patio inviting while unique lighting can add fun and flair to essential elements.

With these care and design tips, you bring lasting comfort to your patio while also making sure it’s functional, safe, and inviting.

Pick the Right Cushions for Your Outdoor Furniture for Lasting, Beautiful Results

If you’ve invested in outdoor furniture for all your summer barbecues and backyard parties, you’ll want to make sure your chairs and tables don’t get damaged by rain, sun, or snow. One of the best things you can do to protect your furniture is to choose the appropriate furniture covers and cushions. Here are some things to take into consideration before buying:

Materials

Outdoor furniture cushions are typically made out of more durable material than the standard sofa. Vinyl and plastic are popular materials for covers because they are inexpensive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best option for long-term use. Vinyl and plastic have to be replaced every couple of seasons due to their inability to hold up in extreme temperatures.

Your best bet for long-lasting, protective cushions and covers is to choose materials that are durable, UV resistant, and waterproof (not simply water-resistant).

Overall Quality

It’s tempting to find the least expensive cushions and just go with those, but outdoor furniture cushions are not the place to scrimp. The cushions that cost the least are typically those that will not be able to go the distance, which will result in more money spent in the long run.

Sizing

The very best cushions are custom made to fit the unique curves and dimensions of your furniture. Though it might cost more to get cushioned that were designed for your specific furniture set, the results are great looking chairs, benches, and tables that will also be well covered, protected and comfortable. When your cushions match not only the measurements of each piece of furniture but the overall style and color scheme of your outdoor furniture, you can enjoy a cohesive, beautiful look for years to come and be proud to use your furniture time and time again.

Additional Features

There are many features available in outdoor furniture cushions. Some of these extras include leg ties, elastic hems, storage pockets, zippers, and various other closures. These extra features can add both aesthetic appeal and convenience by keeping cushions securely fastened despite the weather.

Aesthetics

Outdoor furniture cushions can look just about any way you want them to look. There are many pattern and color options to suit any and every taste. Some people prefer a more neutral color so furniture blends in better with the surrounding landscaping, and others want their outdoor furniture to stand out with bold colors or various patterns and designs.

Textures

The texture of your cushions should be durable and strong but not uncomfortable or unappealing to look at. Abrasive cushions can damage the furniture they are meant to complement or make sitting on them downright unbearable. However, some extra fluffy cushions may not be able to withstand multiple uses without wearing out, so look for a good middle ground in texture and durability.

Consider Warranties

The best companies offer warranties when you purchase outdoor furniture cushions and covers. Hopefully, a warranty will never be needed, especially when buying a truly high-quality product, but it’s reassuring to have furniture cushions covered should some unexpected damage occur that would otherwise leave you with the cost of repair or replacement.