Monthly Archives: May 2019

Best Ways to Care for Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

While learning how to protect outdoor furniture, it’s important you clean, preserve and protect, decorate and design, and store for the weather.


Let’s dive into the four tips on how to care for your outdoor patio furniture so it stays looking beautiful for years ahead.

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. As you prepare your house for warm summer days and backyard parties, don’t forget to give your outdoor furniture a little love.


1. Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture


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.


Mold and Mildew


Mold and mildew pose an incredibly common threat to outdoor patio furniture. Whether you live in a tropical climate with high levels of humidity, or you store your furniture indoors during the winter time, you run the risk of acquiring mold and mildew on all kinds of different materials.

If left untreated, mold and mildew can quickly spread across your furniture, covering your patio set in a layer of fuzzy, discolored fungi. Not only can this turn your outdoor oasis into a disgusting, unsightly display, but it can also affect the physical health of those who spend enough time around it.

Mold has the ability to cause a number of minor health complications, including painful migraines, frustrating allergies, inflammation of the joints, and impaired breathing. Mildew is also capable of inflicting negative health effects, such as headaches and respiratory problems. Use these key indicators to catch early signs of fungal growth so you can keep it from spreading.


  • Mold isn’t always easy to spot, as it starts out fairly thin and light in color. Look closely for patches of what looks like fuzz clinging to your cushions, pillows, and the underside of patio umbrellas.
  • Mold can grow in a variety of sickly colors, so be careful not to mistake discolored mold as a strange fray in the fabric or a stray clump of dust or lint. Mold can be found in varying shades of white, black, gray, brown, yellow, or green.
  • Mildew grows in flat patches of what looks like powder or a fluffy substance. It commonly grows on the furniture itself, as opposed to cushions and pillows.
  • Mildew starts out thin and white, making it a subtle threat that’s not always easy to discern. As it progresses, it can take on a different shade of gray, black, brown, or yellow.


Protect your furniture and your family from mold and mildew with these pro tips from RST Brands.


  • Frequently check your furniture for signs of mold and mildew, especially if you live in a humid climate.
  • Keep umbrellas covered and dry when storing, as their folds are a perfect place for mold to grow.
  • Use well-ventilated furniture covers to avoid creating a muggy storage environment.
  • Store furniture in a cool, dry area when not in use.
  • Clean your outdoor set regularly with patio furniture cleaner to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • Remove signs of fungal growth as soon as you spot it before it spreads.


How to Remove Mold and Mildew from Patio Furniture


If you come across a patch of fungi on your outdoor furniture or the inside of your patio umbrella, don’t panic. With the right treatments, you can effectively eradicate mold and mildew. We suggest you scrub the affected area with an ammonia mixture, mild bleach, or hydrogen peroxide to kill the growth and keep it from spreading. If you want to avoid using harsh chemicals on your furniture, you can scrub the area with a combination of lemon juice and salt.

In extreme cases, you may be better off ordering a set of replacement cushions. Once you’ve got your replacements, you’ll know how to prevent the same problem from occurring a second time. Preventative measures can also be made by using outdoor furniture covers during the wet and cold months of the year, or when not in use.

After discovering fungal growth on your patio furniture, you may be feeling uneasy about the effectiveness of your current cleaning habits. If you’d like to step up your game, you can always pressure wash your patio furniture from top to bottom.


2. How to Protect Outdoor Furniture


Now that you know how to properly clean your patio set with outdoor furniture cleaner and various treatments, it’s time to learn how to protect your furniture against all odds. Contrary to popular belief, snow and rain aren’t the only threats to backyard sofas, tables, and other patio set components. Extreme heat and sun exposure also have the ability to damage many different materials.

These tips will help you protect your patio furniture year-round so you can enjoy a beautiful, high-quality outdoor gathering place for many seasons to come.


  • Invest in high-quality furniture covers that are best for your climate. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and rain, choose durable covers that are resistant to moisture. If you live in a humid, tropical climate, opt for light-weight covers that are well ventilated to prevent mildew and mold.
  • Store all patio furniture indoors during seasons that bring a lot of snow and rain.
  • Protect your outdoor cushions and pillows from sun and water damage by keeping them in a dry, cool, indoor space when you’re not using them.
  • If your patio receives a great deal of direct sunlight, consider installing a form of overhead shelter that will protect your furniture from sun damage. A few examples of this would be a patio umbrella, an awning, an opaque patio cover, or a pop-up tent that you can put up and take down easily.
  • Make a habit of checking your furniture regularly for signs of rust and mildew. Make sure you eradicate these problems immediately before they spread and corrode your patio set. Keep an eye out for any minor cracks and fix them before they have the chance to grow beyond repair.
  • As a good rule of thumb, it’s always best to store your patio furniture, cushions, and pillows indoors whenever you’re not using them. If you only use your patio set for parties and gatherings, it may be worth the effort to move the furniture indoors until your next event. Otherwise, you run a much higher risk of damaged furniture by consistently exposing them to the elements.
  • If your patio set is much too heavy to transfer back and forth before and after every social gathering, use patio covers whenever you’re not using the furniture, and bring pillows and cushions inside.


Additionally, when looking to protect different types of outdoor furniture, here are some tips to help keep specific materials safe:


  • 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.


4. Storage For The Weather


Summer Furniture Care


When the weather unexpectedly turns for the worst, it’s important to care for your outdoor furniture so it keeps the great quality you currently enjoy. During the warmer months, there are a few tips to consider.


    • Close Umbrellas: close your patio umbrellas when they’re not in use to avoid accidental damage.
    • Move for weather: move furniture to an enclosed location if severe winds or rain pass through.
    • Storage: when the weather turns cold store away as much furniture as possible in a shed, garage, or under a tarp or furniture cover.
    • Clean and protect: all furniture should be cleaned and protected with sealant or fabric sprays to protect from the summer heat or rain, and before storage for the winter.


Winter Care for Patio Furniture


Sometimes, all it takes is one particularly harsh winter to cause permanent damage to your patio set. Whether you choose an outdoor dining set crafted from stone and glass, or a deep-seated love seat beside a lovely fire feature, you’re going to want to take the necessary steps to protect your furniture from the extreme temperatures and snowfall.

Without proper protection, you run the risk of shattered glass, rusted metal, warped wood, cracked acrylic, and more. As winter draws near, use these tips for outdoor furniture care to protect your patio set against the harsh weather.


  • If possible, store your furniture indoors during the winter season.
  • Remove fabric cushions or pillows and store them in a cool, dry area. Place them in a plastic sack if you’re worried about them getting dirty.
  • Make sure your indoor storage area isn’t susceptible to leaks or flooding.
  • Check for flaws in the structure that could allow rodents to seek shelter among your outdoor patio furniture.
  • Apply a water-repellent finish that’s appropriate for the type of materials you’re protecting.
  • Wrap glass pieces in thick blankets or towels to prevent shattering when you bring them out of storage.
  • Remove any signs of mildew or rust and repair minor cracks before storing furniture for an entire winter season.
  • Wrap your furniture in high-quality, water-resistant covers that are well ventilated for an added layer of protection.


With these care and design tips, you bring lasting comfort to your patio while also making sure it’s functional, safe, and inviting. If you’re looking to replace and/or protect your outdoor patio furniture, take a moment to browse RST Brands furniture collections and find the perfect (and stylish) set and covers for your lifestyle.

How to Make Mid-Century Design & Decor Work in Your Home [Expert Tips]

You don’t often see a home decorating trend that doesn’t end up on next year’s list of to-don’ts. Tuscan kitchens, nautical motifs, Ikat patterns. All of these concepts were fresh and popular in their day, but those days have passed and now the elements are clogging up thrift stores and yard sales everywhere.

So, when the industry is graced with an everlasting design concept like mid-century modern (MCM), it only seems right to incorporate it into your home’s decor. This expert guide will teach you how to do just that.

Not only will you become better acquainted with this transcendent style, but you’ll also learn how to blend mid-century modern design principles into every room of your home like a professional interior designer.

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


What is Mid-Century Modern Design?


Mid-century modern was a powerful design movement that is globally recognized for having a tremendous and lasting impact on home decor, architecture, and even graphic design. This movement was most prevalent between the 1930s and 1970s, but the echo of splayed wooden legs and the juxtaposition of materials continues to resonate with homeowners and designers to this day.

Mid-century modern is a unique result of the overlap between the Industrial Revolution and the Modernist Movement. Both of these influential time periods have left a permanent mark on the mid-century modern style, shining through the bold declaration of function before fashion and the raw appearance of materials.

While this style started blooming in the early 1900s, it wasn’t always so clearly defined and widely recognized. Author Cara Greenburg solidified and named the movement in 1984 when she released her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.

Shortly after publication, the book sold over 100,000 copies and the term “mid-century modern” began to appear in interior design catalogs, fashion magazines, architectural galleries, and a variety of other publications. Elements were defined, shapes and colors were assigned, and this 50’s style with a modern twist became an everlasting favorite.


Why Is Mid-Century Modern So Popular?



There isn’t any one reason for the popularity behind the mid-century modern movement. What’s not to love about a style that embraces open spaces, a myriad of patterns and textures, and an unapologetic expression of the past?

If we had to narrow it down, though, we’d credit the wide-spread popularity to these three key components of mid-century modern decor.


It Is Extremely Customizable

There are many interior design styles, like industrial design, that require a specific setting or certain architectural components in order to blend well inside a home. The beauty of mid-century modern design is that the core fundamentals can be stretched, picked apart, and applied to almost any decorating style.

You can blend the core concepts with other complimentary styles, adopt a warm or cool color palette, and add in your own personal mementos and keepsakes without disrupting the vibe.

Whether you live in a bare-brick loft or a modernized apartment complex, you can easily pull off the 1950’s vibe to whatever extreme you prefer. Go all out with geometric wallpaper behind a sunburst clock, or stick to a mellow base of core elements. However, you choose to decorate, remember the wise words of Kelli Ellis, Celebrity Designer & RST Brands Ambassador: “BUT YOU MUST ADD classic mid-century eye-catching accessories.”


It Caters to Bright, Airy, Open Spaces

Near the end of the 20th century, just as mid-century modern was gaining popularity, more and more residential developers started to embrace the open floor plan. Being that the new and improved 50’s-style home decor was considered “new and modern” in its time, it makes sense that the trend was designed to shine in the new-age open floor plans.

However, coordinating trends aren’t the only reason that mid-century designers were partial to open spaces. Mid-century modern is nothing if not intentionally functional. This decorating style gracefully and subtly turns away from needless formalities—such as having different rooms for different occasions. Instead, this style aims to create a comfortable, liveable environment.

Additionally, classic examples of mid-century modern furniture are often large and curvy, which makes them better suited for larger rooms. In a closed-off floor plan with smaller rooms, adding mid-century furniture could easily result in a cramped, stuffy setup.

If you’re trying to implement mid-century modern decor into a smaller living space, we suggest you stick with the smaller furniture pieces and bring it all together with 50’s-style accents like geometric shapes, sunburst mirrors, and funky lighting.


It’s Fun, Fresh, and Creative

If you keep an eye on the home decor trends that circulate through Pinterest and other binge-worthy design feeds, you can almost feel the steady rise of bright colors and bold shapes in trending design.

Take a closer look, and most of the time, you’ll find that those images contain at least a small handful of mid-century modern design elements. This decorating style employs a delightful display of colors, shapes, textures, and materials that can be fashioned effortlessly in a fun and creative way.

Mid-century modern decor appeals to the child-like wonder in all of us. At the same time, it allows us to create a mature and sophisticated space in which we can gather and entertain—like bonafide grownups.


Mid-Century Modern Design Elements


Mid-century modern living room set


While MCM decor offers a high level of personalization, it still adheres to a foundation of key elements. To achieve the perfect blend of modern accents and 50’s fashion, we recommend you keep in mind these 10 fundamental mid-century modern design principles.

1. A focus on functionality

2. Mixed textures and patterns

3. A contrast between natural materials and non-traditional materials (i.e. wood and vinyl)

4. Organic and geometric shapes

5. Sleek, clean lines

6. A lack of clutter

7. White walls and patterned wallpaper

8. A great variety of color

9. Unique, eye-catching lighting

10. Shapely, bold furniture


What Is Considered Mid-Century Furniture?


With so many different kinds of mid-century furniture, this topic can be a little tricky to define.

RST Brands Ambassador, Kelli Ellis, says, “There are specific design elements that make a piece mid-century. Splayed wood legs are the most prevalent and easiest to incorporate into a timeless design. Also, look for contrasting piping in cushions and pillows.”

Mid-century furniture comes in a variety of unique shapes that are either organic or geometric. Armchairs and sofas are often supported by wooden legs, either splayed or hairpin style. Cabinets, coffee tables, and other surfaces often integrate the same style of leg, which is usually the defining factor.

As you become more familiar with the curvy, retro furniture that plays on clean lines and colors, you’ll be able to easily identify mid-century modern pieces. Here are a few iconic examples of MCM furniture, all of which were imagined by renowned interior designers in the mid-century.


Mid Century Modern Living Room Furniture



Create a cozy, comfortable living room for your friends and family to gather in. Don’t be afraid to let a single piece of bright furniture steal the show, or keep to neutral furniture to allow other elements of the room to take center stage.

Opt for spacious living room sectionals, a mid-century coffee table, and swap out your TV table for a Nakashima-style cabinet with hairpin legs. Add an accent chair or two, a geometric rug, some retro lighting, and you’ve got a flawless combination of mid-century elements.


Mid Century Modern Kitchen


The kitchen is a perfect room to explore bold colors or patterns in a controlled way. You don’t want to create a cacophony of clashing colors, but rather, make a statement with a refined color palette.

Always commit to smooth, clean lines in the kitchen. Swap out ornate, curved cabinets for flat, wood options. Invest in stainless steel appliances and marble countertops. When it comes to flooring, the flatter and smoother the better.

Throw in an egg-shaped dining table surrounded with Eames Molded Plywood Chairs and a couple low-back bar stools to complete the modern 50’s feel.


Mid Century Modern Bedroom


Just because you’re decorating with funky furniture and pops of color doesn’t mean you can’t create a relaxing and comforting bedroom design. Opt for clean neutral colors for furnishings and bedding, limit your ornaments, and choose gentle colors for your accents, like soft shades of blue and green.

For a space that feels open and uncluttered, we suggest you stick with classic wood bookshelves, nightstands, and dressers. You can even add in a tufted armchair for a pop of color or a neutral addition.


Mid Century Modern Office



The office is a perfect example of how neutral colors and clean lines can create a perfect atmosphere. You can choose a thick, statement-making power desk like the one in Don Draper’s office, or you can go for a simple, lightweight desk made from light wood or plexiglass—with the hairpin legs, of course.

The sophisticated Eames lounge chair captivated the attention of designers during this period, but if it’s not your favorite, don’t be afraid to try something new. There are plenty of different mid-century chairs out there that would suit your new office design.

Just remember to stick with clean lines, uncluttered surfaces, and a mix of traditional and non-traditional materials.


What Are Mid-Century Modern Colors?


Because MCM is such a versatile design, it’s no surprise that the style is capable of incorporating a wide range of colors that complement one another in high contrast. For an iconic mid-century home, create an even balance of neutral shades and vibrant streaks of color.

To give you a few ideas, here are some classic color palettes for a mid-century modern home.

  • Bright orange and warm brown
  • Soft greens and blues paired with varying shades of gray
  • Cream, brown, and pops of teal
  • Stark white with deep brown
  • Varying pink shades with brown wood


How to Decorate Mid-Century Modern on a Budget


The versatility of this style makes it a great choice for budget-conscious decorators who can’t afford to redecorate their entire home in one fell swoop. You can add pieces little by little without getting stuck in that awkward in-between phase where everything clashes.

Here are a few more expert tips on how to pull together a mid-century modern design on a budget:

  • Focus on developing a good blend of patterns, textures, and colors.
  • Start with mid-century accent furniture, instead of splurging on an entire living room set.
  • Paint old pieces to adhere to your new MCM color palette.
  • Scour thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets for authentic vintage finds and antiques.
  • Add affordable mid-century style accents, like a sunburst mirror or a funky lamp.


What Patterns and Textures Go with Mid Century Design?


Mid-century modern design embraces a heavy mix of bold patterns and overlapping textures, which add a great deal of depth to any room. The style employs geometric and organic shapes, vivid prints, clean lines, and high-contrast graphics.

As far as textures are concerned, a picturesque mid-century modern home is often draped in the thicker, heavier materials, such as fur, burlap, and wool. Not only is this an indication of price and quality, but it also adds the perfect textural spread.


Mid-Century Trends to Watch For




Mid-century modern homes celebrate the beauty found in natural stone floors, including terrazzo. This year, the rest of the interior design fashion world has decided to join in the fun. Of course, terrazzo can be used in more than flooring. You can also expect to see it showcased in countertops, showers, etc.



Each of the major players in the color world releases a color of the year. While current color trends range from blue to red to black, they all have one thing in common: bold hues.

The trick to using bold colors in the mid-century modern design is using them as accents rather than backgrounds. For instance, a bold red door or piece of furniture can serve as an excellent focal point for a dining or living room.

An accent wall featuring patterned onyx wallpaper can add a bit of glamour to an otherwise neutral room. If you’re going to go with a heavy color like onyx, though, make sure the room has plenty of natural lighting to balance out the color choice.



Wood is back and better than ever. Mid-century modern decor has always capitalized on the use of contrasting materials in the home, and woods like oak and walnut are popular staples. While wooden wall panels might not make a comeback, the use of natural wood in design is returning to favor in the design world.

A chair, table, modern bookshelf, or headboard are all excellent options for incorporating wood into various rooms in your home.

The true fun of using mid-century modern decor is the freedom it gives you to truly make your home a reflection of your unique personality. Above we’ve discussed various ways to incorporate mid-century modern design elements to various rooms in your home. With a few guiding principles and your individual creativity, you’ll be well on your way to creating this timeless look for your home.