Author Archives: James

Winter Care Tips for Wood Furniture

As the seasons change and the temperatures cool down, you’re probably not spending much time lounging on your backyard patio. Rain, snow, and wind will eventually drive you inside, and then you’ll spend your evenings warming up by the fireplace rather than watching the summer sunsets outside.

Since your patio isn’t getting much use during the colder seasons, you may be wondering what to do with patio furniture in the winter. If you’ve invested in quality wood outdoor furniture, you’ll want to take the proper measures to preserve the quality. Harsh weather and moisture can damage your wood furniture if you don’t take the right precautions.

Learn what to do with patio furniture in winter and how to take care of wood furniture any time of year by checking out our tips below!

 

1. Keep furniture away from heat sources.

Exposure to sudden blasts of heat can warp or discolor your wood furniture. For this reason, store your patio tables and chairs away from heating vents and fireplaces.

 

2. Do not put hot drinks directly on furniture.

If you’ve decided to bring your patio furniture into your living space for the winter, remember not to place hot mugs of coffee or hot chocolate directly on the surface. Doing so will produce a ring that will be hard to remove. Use a coaster instead!

 

3. Keep the temperature steady.

Quick changes in temperature can warp your furniture and even crack the wood. Place your furniture in a temperature-controlled area where you can monitor the atmosphere. If you’re away for a trip, remember to keep the temperature steady to avoid damaging furniture.

 

4. Dust your furniture regularly.

Preserve the appearance of your furniture by dusting it with a damp cloth every few weeks. Treat the furniture as you would any other piece in your home, giving it a good cleaning any time you’re doing chores around the house.

 

5. Don’t put furniture in direct sunlight.

Even though the temperature may be cooler, your furniture can still be susceptible to sun damage. Don’t leave your wood furniture in areas that will leave them exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time or your wood may discolor.

 

6. Polish wood with lemon oil.

Give your patio furniture the care it deserves by wiping it with lemon oil on a regular basis. This will put moisture into the wood and revive its shine. Lemon oil can also act as UV protection for your wood, so be sure to coat the furniture in oil frequently if it is in an area with high sunlight.

 

7. Maintain humidity levels.

Dry heat will lead to cracked and dry furniture. Monitor the humidity in your home, keeping the moisture up to the 40-45 percent level. If your home is not at this level of humidity, consider purchasing a humidifier to place near your furniture.

 

Enjoy Your Furniture

Once the weather warms up, you can clean off your furniture and take it back outside for summer entertaining. By following these seven tips, you’ll be rewarded with years of enjoyment out of your wood furniture.

Backyard Patio Design Ideas: Simple Tips to Improve Your Yard

Your backyard is an extension of your living space, an oasis where you can unwind, entertain, and create memories. Best of all, you can tailor it to fit your lifestyle. Browse these backyard design ideas to create your very own little slice of heaven outdoors.

 

Entertaining in Your Backyard

The backyard has become a very desirable entertaining space. Outdoor kitchens, bars, and dining areas are great for gathering and entertaining. Capitalize on your outdoor space by choosing comfortable chairs with durable cushions so your guests will enjoy dining and socializing.

Use this Go-To Guide on Outdoor Furniture Brands to find the best patio furniture for you and your guests. Once you find the perfect furniture, be sure to make it last by using furniture covers during the wet or cold months. Then simply uncover your furniture as soon as the weather warms up.

Many homeowners are also adding additional entertainment features like TVs or outdoor sound systems. And don’t forget that the right outdoor lighting can add impact and extend your entertaining hours after the sun goes down.

Even if you have a small backyard, you can still entertain. Consider installing a Murphy Bar, which simply folds down to a table when you need it. Use the shelves for storage, and enjoy your small outdoor dining room anytime. Visit this DIY tutorial to build your own Murphy Bar.

 

Small Backyard Design Ideas

When it comes to your backyard, bigger isn’t always better. Small yards or patios can be just as nice as large ones—and often require less maintenance. Here are some small backyard design ideas on creating the perfect sanctuary, even when your space is small.

 

Choose Storage Options

Save space by using furniture or accessories that have room for storage, like a bench with a hinged lid that also stores toys, gardening tools, etc.  

 

Think Vertically

Use existing fences, walls, or posts to hang planters, storage containers, or artistic focal points. You can also add more vertical space with wood trellises.

 

Put Your Fence to Work

Your fence can be more than just a divider. Paint wooden fences to add a splash of color, and hang containers for herbs or other garden plants to free up lawn space.

 

Minimize Furniture

Keep furniture small scale, and your backyard will feel bigger.

 

Use Tiers/Levels

Tiered planters can maximize ground space. You can also create levels in your patio or backyard to help define spaces and make it feel like there are multiple outdoor rooms.

 

Garden in Containers

If you struggle with little actual space for planting, plant vegetables, flowers, and even trees in containers. Plus, you can easily move plants around your yard to create different spaces.

 

Give the Illusion of More Space

A faux-grass rug will give the illusion of a lush green lawn, making your patio space look bigger. Strategically placed outdoor mirrors can also add depth and give the illusion that your backyard is larger than it is.

 

Small Patio Design Ideas

What can you do with a small outdoor patio? Even a small patio can be converted into an outdoor living space with the right set up. Add some comfy seats, a colorful outdoor rug, and don’t forget outdoor lighting for the perfect final touch. Use a privacy screen to block a bad view or neighbors who are a little too close for comfort.

 

Don’t Count Out Apartments/Townhomes

Just because you live in an apartment or townhouse doesn’t mean you can’t have your own outdoor getaway. Potted plants and a slim hammock can transform a balcony into a fresh air retreat. Add a rug and some throw pillows or floor cushions for extra seating, and now there’s room for friends!

 

Large Backyard Design Ideas

More space often means more maintenance, but it also means more options. You can choose to do any one of these large backyard design ideas, or if your yard is big enough, you might be able to do them all!

 

Pergolas

Pergolas work great in large backyards, either close to the house or freestanding to create a shaded area farther out in the yard.

 

Walkways

Putting in a path can add shape to any backyard, and also provides guests with some direction. You can use large flagstones to create sweeping walkways that will wow just about anyone.

 

Water Features

Water is always a fun element to have in any yard. Add water features like a bird bath or a decorative fountain. The size of your water feature depends on the size of your yard.

 

Fire Pit

Everyone loves a good fire pit! Create a dedicated area for a fire pit or fire table and you and your guests can roast s’mores all night long.

 

Lawn Areas

Sweeping lawns give children and dogs plenty of room to run and play, and you can experiment with larger trees and shrubs to line the outer perimeter.

 

Add Some Kid-Friendly Fun

No matter the size, backyards should be a kid’s best friend. Entice kids to spend time outdoors with play structures like treehouses, swing sets, or a seesaw. Add some nearby seating and both children and adults can enjoy hours of fun.

 

Backyard Ideas for Your Canine Companion

You don’t have to choose between a yard that looks good and a happy dog. With some thoughtful planning and a few minor changes, it’s possible to have both!

Dog’s need space to exercise and spend time off their leashes. A fence will give your dog room to stretch their legs, and give you added peace of mind that they will be safe as they run and play. For a lower cost, you can also choose an invisible electric fence.

To avoid brown spots in your lawn from man’s best friend, consider switching your grass out for a dog-friendly ground cover like clover, synthetic turf, or a more durable grass blend (Kentucky Bluegrass and Buffalo Grass withstand urine better than others). Mulch is also a safe, inexpensive option.

NOTE: Choose your lawn care products with care. Some fertilizers and weed blockers can be toxic to animals. Consider using organic methods or a pet-safe lawn care service.

 

Other Backyard Improvements

The above tips are all a great start for improving your backyard and making it a place where you want to spend your time. For specific challenges, look through the list of questions below for even more ideas and answers.

 

How can I make my yard look good?

Whether your backyard is large or small, or needs a full makeover or just a little freshening up, here are some simple tips to improve your outdoor space.

Add color

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your backyard is to add a little color. It’s as easy as new cushions or pillows for your outdoor furniture, switching out your patio umbrella, hanging some outdoor art, or adding a fresh coat of paint on a fence or other structure.

 

Use an Outdoor Rug

A rug immediately makes an outdoor area feel more cohesive and welcoming. It not only pulls your seating area together, but also helps keep dirt outside and helps to protect your deck or patio.

 

Relax with Water Features

Fountains and other ornamental water features are not only striking focal points for a garden or backyard, their musical sounds delight the senses and promote relaxation.

 

Combine Shade and Style with a Pergola

Pergolas are outdoor structures with vertical posts that usually support a crossbeam or lattice roof. They provide structure and shade, while maintaining an open and airy feel. With a variety of materials and designs, pergolas are a stylish way to add to an inviting outdoor gathering space.

 

Upgrade Your Hardscape

The term hardscape refers to the manmade features used in landscape design. It provides needed definition and a sense of organization to your outdoor space. Some simple upgrades to your hardscape could include laying stone or gravel paths, placing an arbor or trellis, or adding some extra brick or tile to extend your patio.

 

Plant Bright Flowers

Adding colorful flowers to your backyard, whether in planting beds or flower pots, is like icing on the cake of your outdoor haven. Not only are they a feast for the eyes, but they can make your outdoor space smell wonderful too. Perennials will keep delighting year after year, while annuals allow you to experiment with variety and color.

 

Lounge in the Shade

If you need some shade, then waiting for a tree to grow can take a long time. A patio umbrella gives a short-term, quick solution for instant, mobile shade, which makes any outdoor space more inviting during the day. Use this Outdoor Patio Umbrella Guide to find the best one for your backyard.

 

How can I decorate my patio with flowers?

Flowers and interesting greenery add a bit of color and diversity to any patio or deck. Pots or containers are an inexpensive and versatile way to add flowers, and make your patio almost instantly more appealing.

TIP: Rather than a single pot, arrange pots in groups of three at varying heights to create a bigger visual impact.

 

How do I build privacy in my backyard?

When most people think of backyard privacy, they think of fences. But don’t forget about living fences of hedges or trees, which can keep your backyard sanctuary private—and give you something more interesting to look at when you’re outside.

 

How far does a fire pit have to be away from a house?

Whether you are installing a permanent fire pit or using a portable one, it’s important to put safety first. Fire pits should be a minimum of 10 feet from your house and neighbors’ yards.

 

Where should I put my fire pit?

Fire pits or fire tables are becoming more and more popular for homeowners. They provide a nice focal point for gatherings, and can be used year-round. Make sure that your fire pit is far enough away from your house (minimum of 10 feet), and double check that there are no overhanging branches, fences, or other structures that could easily catch on fire.

Don’t forget underneath your fire feature. Brick, stone, gravel, concrete, or other fire-resistant materials are safe surfaces; never place a fire pit on a wooden deck. Also consider the fuel and material inside your fire pit. Fire glass is an attractive and safe material for use with a natural gas fire feature.

 

How can I make my backyard beautiful on a low budget?

You don’t have to sink a lot of money into your backyard to make it a place where you love to spend time. With some creativity and a little elbow grease, no one will know you had a low budget.

For outdoor furniture, repurpose existing furniture or garage sale finds. A fresh coat of paint makes metal chairs look like new, and cushions and throw pillows can spice up less expensive plastic furniture.

To make your plant investment go further, opt for perennials. Reuse paint from other projects to add splashes of color by repainting planters or furniture.

 

With some knowledge and creativity, your backyard will soon become your own outside oasis.

How to Stain Outdoor Furniture [Our Expert Guide]

How To Stain Outdoor Furniture

Staining outdoor furniture can bring new life to weathered and worn pieces. Wondering how to go about it? Staining outdoor furniture requires cleaning and preparing, stripping the old finish, sanding, and then applying the new stain. Learn more about each of these steps for how to stain outdoor furniture in the guide below.

 

How Do You Stain Outdoor Wood?

As we mentioned above, staining outdoor wood furniture involves preparing the wood, stripping the old stain, sanding, and applying a fresh stain. But before you do any of that, it’s important to make sure you have the right supplies.

 

Supplies

A natural-bristle brush is best for oil stains, while a synthetic-bristle brush is ideal for latex stains. Buying the proper brush will ensure the stain goes on evenly.

 

Preparation

Once your supplies are all ready, take care in preparing for the staining process. Preparing the wood the right way takes time and patience, but it will be worth it when you see the final results. Likewise, a rushed job will be obvious when staining outdoor furniture. Prepare the wood by:

1. Removing parts you don’t want to stain (like metal bolts or nails).

2. Clean dirt and mildew off the wood.

3. Allow wood to dry.

 

Stripping

Stripping the stain requires a well-ventilated workspace. Set out a drop cloth and use a sander or chemical stripping solution to remove the old stain. Use a fine-grit sanding sponge to work around delicate or curved areas of the wood. If using a stripping solution, let it soak for about 20 minutes before removing the finish with a scraper tool.

 

Sanding

Sanding will allow you to clean off any remaining stain and smooth out the wood to prepare it for the new stain. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. Clean the wood with a dry rag to get rid of any sanding dust before proceeding.

 

Staining

Now it’s time for the main event. Choose your stain and then apply it by using the proper brush and a rag for blending each section. Start at the top of the furniture piece and work your way down.

 

How Do You Refinish Outdoor Furniture?

Outdoor furniture can be refinished in a variety of ways, including staining, painting, or waterproofing. Staining is one of the most popular choices for refinishing because it’s a natural-looking option that won’t chip and will stand up well to the elements.

Staining requires cleaning the wood, sanding off the old stain, and applying a fresh coat of the new stain. You can choose a similar stain or a completely new color.

If you choose to paint, be sure to apply at least two coats and an outdoor sealant as the final coat.

 

How Do You Weatherproof Outdoor Furniture?

Waterproof wood furniture as one of the best ways to protect your outdoor furniture pieces. To effectively waterproof your furniture, you’ll first want to research your options for sealant. Some stains come with a waterproof element, while others require sealant as a second coat.

The sealant can be applied by sanding down the wood and applying one layer of primer, followed by one layer of sealant. This will protect your wood from rain, wind, and sun damage.

 

How Do You Treat Wood For Outdoor Use?

Now you know how to stain wood on your outdoor furniture. But did you know you can also repurpose indoor furniture for outdoor use? Simply follow the steps in the previous section for weatherproofing your furniture, and your indoor pieces will be ready for use outside.

 

Do’s and Don’ts of Staining Outdoor Furniture

Even if you’ve never stained outdoor furniture, you can do the job right the first time with plenty of research and care in each step. Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember:

  • Apply your stain at room temperature. If the stain is too hot or cold, it will ruin the consistency. Most stains should be applied around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but make sure to check the label.
  • Use even and smooth strokes. This will produce a natural and consistent color once the stain dries.
  • Apply your stain in a dry climate. If possible, avoid applying the stain in a humid area, since this will make it hard for the stain to dry. In the case of rain storms or extremely humid days, delay your staining project until the air dries out.

 

Get More Tips

Is your outdoor furniture in need of a refresh? If you’re looking for a change, check out RST Brands’ collection of outdoor furniture. We offer high-end outdoor sofas, dining sets, and more to suit any backyard.

The Best Patio Umbrellas [Outdoor Umbrella Guide]

THE BEST PATIO UMBRELLAS GREEN

Outdoor Patio Umbrella Guide

 

A sun umbrella is an easy way to add shade to your outdoor gathering area and block harmful UV rays from the sun. In addition to providing you and your guests with shelter from the sun’s scorching rays, an outdoor patio umbrella can also make for a stylish accent piece to your backyard setup. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve included everything you need to know about choosing the right umbrella for your patio space.

 

The Best Patio Umbrella Types

 

Before you begin shopping for the perfect sun umbrella, it’s important to know the different types that are available for you to choose from. There are over a dozen different kinds, so for simplicity’s sake, we’ve included the three most popular designs.

 

Traditional Table Umbrella

Perhaps the most common choice is the traditional table umbrella. You’ve probably seen patio furniture with umbrellas set up outside your local home goods store during seasonal promotions; chances are those were traditional table umbrellas.

What makes these kinds of sun umbrellas such a common choice is that they’re lightweight, affordable, and a breeze to set up and take down.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of strong winds and unexpected storms, this traditional type of covering may be the best option for you since they’re simple to take down and move indoors.

 

Tilting Umbrella

Have you ever been to an outdoor gathering and you had to keep moving your seat to stay in the shade as the sun moved across the sky? The tilting umbrellas is the perfect solution!

The name of this outdoor patio umbrella is pretty self-explanatory. Unlike the traditional design, this one features an additional joint about a third of the way up the support pole that allows the user to adjust the angle of the umbrella. This flexible design is a brilliant way to provide shade any time of the day. The tilting umbrella is ideal for mornings on the patio and evening barbeques when the sun is low in the sky.

 

 

Offset Umbrella

The offset patio umbrella (also referred to as a cantilever) is primarily used to shade one specific area in your backyard. Because of the cantilever’s heavy base, this umbrella is not so easily moved around the yard. However, what it lacks in portability, it makes up for in upscale design.

Rather than placing this backyard feature near the center of the area you want to shade, you can place it off to the side and out of the way without exposing anyone to the sun’s harmful rays. Protruding from the heavy base is a long, curved arm that reaches away from the base and hangs the umbrella over your desired area. If you’re looking to add shade, intimacy, and appeal to a tea table, lounge chairs, or an outdoor dining set, this is a great way to do it.

 

What is the Best Material for Patio Umbrellas?

Whichever type of umbrella you choose to outfit your patio with, be sure to buy one that is made from durable materials to withstand various types of weather. It is also important to store your umbrella in a dry, covered area during the off-season.

 

Sunbrella

Sunbrella fabric is a popular product for outdoor items like sun umbrellas, awnings, and outdoor furniture cushions. This durable cloth is fade resistant, as well as easy to clean and maintain. It also repels water and provides some protection against harmful UV rays, making it a great addition to your patio in any climate. Sunbrella is the preferred choice of RST Brands and is used on our various types of outdoor umbrellas.

 

Polyurethane-Coated Polyester

 Polyester is lightweight and able to retain its color over time. Polyurethane is used as a protective coating, in this case, making the polyester sun umbrella water resistant. This type of fabric is flammable and should be kept away from candles and other open flames.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic fabric is synthetic, lightweight, and often treated with chemicals to make it ultraviolet-resistant and less likely to fade. Patio furniture with umbrella fabric of this type can last a long time if properly cared for.

 

Canvas

Canvas fabric is durable and long-lasting, particularly when coated with a waterproofing agent or acrylic paint solution. Uncoated canvas is prone to mildew if left unchecked, but can be cleaned.

 

Do Patio Sun Umbrellas Block UV Rays?

Yes and no. While your outdoor patio umbrella does provide a fair amount of shade, it is only able to block some of the harmful UV rays trying to reach your skin. The best approach is to utilize multiple sources of sun protection when spending time outdoors. 

You can rely on a sun umbrella to help keep you cool and avoid overheating, as well as block some direct sunlight, but you should always wear a generous amount of sunscreen when you go outside. You can also use clothing and hats to cover up, and try to avoid peak sunlight hours. 

 

What Size Patio Sun Umbrella Should You Get?

Once you know what type of sun umbrella you want, you’ll want to take extra care in selecting an umbrella of the proper dimensions. Otherwise, you could end up with half the shade that you actually need.

Patio umbrellas come in a wide range of sizes, which can make for a stressful selection process. As a standard rule of thumb, we suggest you choose an umbrella that is approximately two feet wider (on every side) than the area you want to shade. This will vary greatly, so grab your tape measure and step outside.

 

How do you measure a patio umbrella?

To measure a patio umbrella, measure the distance between the very center of the top to the outermost edge of the rib arm, and then multiply that measurement by two. Measuring the height of the pole is not necessary, but you may want to measure other areas. For example, if you are looking to buy an umbrella that fits a dining table, you will want to know the size of the hole it will fit into and make sure the pole of your umbrella will fit accordingly.

 

How Tall Are Outdoor Umbrellas?

Most standard sun umbrellas begin at seven feet tall and go up from there. Some even come equipped with the option to adjust the height as needed. If you are looking for something that will leave plenty of headspace above you, you may want to consider an offset/cantilever umbrella that can be positioned out of the way while still providing plenty of shade.

 

How Heavy Should a Patio Umbrella Stand Be?

More often than not, your new outdoor patio umbrella will come with a base heavy enough to support it, especially if you bought patio furniture with an umbrella as a set. However, if you find yourself needing to buy a base separately, you can do some simple math to make sure you buy one that can hold your umbrella.

All you need to do is measure the width of your new umbrella canopy as we described in the previous section and multiply that number by ten. Simple!

 

RST Brand Outdoor Furniture & Sun Umbrellas

Have you determined which type, size, and material are best for your backyard? View RST Brand’s fine selection of outdoor patio umbrellas to find the perfect one for you!

5 Essentials for Your Backyard Remodel [Plus July 4th Discount]

5 Essentials for Your Backyard Remodel

Summertime has finally arrived, and with it, longer days, warmer nights, and every reason to spend more time outside. Create a comfortable outdoor space for you and your loved ones to enjoy with these backyard remodel ideas.

 

Outdoor Dining

Pool parties, summer BBQs, family get-togethers–there are so many different occasions for which an outdoor dining set will come in handy. You could set up a couple of folding card tables before your guests arrive, or you could invest in a quality outdoor dining set that will serve you and your guests for many seasons to come.

Use these ideas for backyard updates to create the perfect outdoor dining area:

  • Design a space that can comfortably seat the average number of people who will be using it the most. You can store additional tables and chairs for bigger events.
  • Surround your dining area with pest-repelling plants to keep those bugs from impeding on your evening. Try petunias, lavender, marigolds, and other fragrant greenery.
  • Protect your dining set with outdoor furniture covers when not in use so you can keep it in prime condition year after year.

 

Fire Feature

Is there anything better than roasting marshmallows over a fire on a starry summer evening? Bring that joy to your own backyard by adding a brand new fire feature. You can buy a stunning fire table that will match the rest of your beautiful patio perfectly, or you can build your very own out of old brick!

Here are a few tips for adding a fire feature to your backyard remodel:

  • Plan your backyard design before you choose your fire feature, so you don’t end up with clashing color schemes or styles.
  • Replace those bland fire pit rocks with glass fire rocks for a lovely and affordable upgrade.
  • Choose a fire feature that comes with a cordoning ledge — like these fire tables — so you and your guests have somewhere to set your drinks, plates, and s’mores fixings. This also makes for a nice footrest that won’t melt the bottom of your shoes!

 

Shading

While summertime typically provides enjoyable weather, sitting outside beneath the sun’s beating rays can quickly become uncomfortable. Don’t forget to consider shade as you plan your backyard remodel. There are a number of different ways you can do this, so we’ve provided you with a few options below.

  • For quick and easy shade, opt for a durable patio umbrella that you can easily move as the sun strolls across the sky.
  • For a more permanent fixture, you may want to consider adding a patio awning to the structure of your home.
  • Plant some tree saplings around your patio for a long-term solution and a beautifully natural way to shade your backyard.

 

Comfort

If you want to create a space that people will actually make good use of, then you need to make it comfortable and hospitable. Forgo the cheap plastic lawn chairs and complete your backyard remodel with a high-quality outdoor furniture set. Use these tips to blend comfort and function.

  • Purchase a complete patio furniture set; that way all of your pieces coordinate with your overall design, rather than creating contrast between the mix-and-match.
  • Don’t be afraid to get soft, plush, deep-seated sofas, chairs, and loveseats. Not only will you and your guests thoroughly enjoy spending time outside, but you can keep the fine furniture protected with durable covers.
  • Measure your patio space and double check your measurements before you place an order for a brand new furniture set.

 

Little Details

Last but not least, don’t forget about all of the little details that complete a backyard remodel. It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference, so take these additions into consideration as you’re wrapping up your big backyard update!

  • Lighting
  • Landscaping
  • Entertainment options, such as a hot tub, in-ground trampoline, etc.
  • Accent pieces, such as table centerpieces, fire glass, or end tables.
  • Outdoor furniture covers to keep your new patio set looking gorgeous for years to come.

 

Save Big on Your Backyard Remodel

Are you looking for the perfect outdoor furniture set to top off your remodel? Save big with our 4th of July celebration sale! Between the 3rd and 8th of July, you can save up to 30% on fire features, dining sets, patio umbrellas, and more! Here’s the savings breakdown:

  • Save 20% on purchases of up to $1,499
  • Save 25% on purchases of $1,500 – $3,499
  • Save 30% on purchases of $3500 or more

We hope this article provided you with some useful backyard remodel ideas and tips! If you’re looking for more inspiration, browse RST Brand’s selection of comfortable outdoor furniture, stunning fire features, and more!

Outdoor Lighting Tips [How to Stage Your Backyard]

Outdoor Lighting Tips

 

No backyard design would be complete without outdoor accent lighting. This crucial component of outdoor esthetics is key to creating the perfect atmosphere outside your home for summer barbecues, late-night pool parties, and time together under the stars.

In this landscape lighting design guide, we’ll show you how the right lights can complement your patio furniture, create a cozy space for entertaining after dark, and also improve your home’s security.

 

Layout and Design

 

The first step to DIY landscape lighting is to plan your layout and design. Without a detailed plan, you could spend hours wandering through your local hardware store trying to come up with an idea for what you might need.

For this part of the process, it’s important to think about the purpose of the outdoor lighting. Is your objective to create a well-lit area for late-night pool parties and other entertaining events? Or would you rather create a secluded backyard sanctuary with just enough light to add a touch of romantic ambiance to the setup?

Either way, understanding why you want outdoor lighting will help you design the space just the way you imagined it.

Once you have a feel for your desired lighting, you get to choose which type of outdoor lights to install—this is the fun part. Nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to outdoor accent lighting. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Strands of lights draped overhead
  • Rustic battery-powered lanterns on coffee tables and ledges
  • Mounted outdoor wall lights
  • Mason jars stuffed with LED light strands
  • A stunning fire feature

What if you want to use your backyard for entertaining and romantic moments with your sweetheart? Get the best of both worlds by incorporating a variety of different outdoor lighting tips to set the scene for different occasions.

String lights overhead for a starry date night, install wall lights for family get-togethers where more light is necessary, and top it all off with a warm, cozy glow from a fire feature—just make sure you educate your guests on safety tips for fire pits.

 

Complementing Outdoor Furniture

 

Outdoor Lighting Tips

 

Choosing the type of outdoor lights to use is always fun, but selecting the design is even more so. As you flip through landscaping catalogs or scroll through outdoor accent lighting on Pinterest, try to find the type of lights that will complement your outdoor furniture set.

Pay attention to defining styles, such as rustic, contemporary, or mid-century modern. Once you’ve identified the style of your patio set, it will be a lot easier to find complementary lights that complete the look.

If you’ve turned to our landscape lighting design guide because you’re completely redesigning your patio, make sure to pick your new outdoor furniture set before you jump ahead to lighting.

 

LED Lighting

 

No landscape lighting design guide would be complete without the mention of LED lighting for outdoor use. LED light bulbs are, in our opinion, the best way to light your backyard. These lights last much longer than traditional bulbs, they’re far more energy efficient, and they deliver a higher quality of light.

In addition to these benefits, LED lights also provide you with more options to choose from, which means you can equip your outdoor space with soft, dim, intimate lighting and bright lighting for security purposes or those after-hours pool parties.

Perhaps the best use for LED lights is DIY landscape lighting—you know, those creative fixtures embedded in flower beds and decorative landscaping features, or the fixtures that light a walkway or stairs. With LED lights, you’ll rarely have to change the bulbs in these creative outdoor lighting solutions.

 

What Color Temperature Is Best for Outdoor Lighting?

 

One of the most important outdoor lighting tips is to choose your color temperature wisely. What is color temperature? Essentially, it determines how warm or cool the light is that the bulb emits.

The ideal color temperature range for outdoor lighting is anywhere between 2500k-4000k.

 

Is Warm or Cool Light Better?

 

2500k-4000k is quite a broad range. How do you know which end of the spectrum will make your backyard look just how you want it to?

For architectural elements, such as your patio setup, we recommend using warmer temperatures on the lower end of the scale. For outdoor accent lighting among plant life, such as trees and flowerbeds, cooler temperatures look the most natural, as they closely resemble the moonlight.

 

Can Any Light Bulb Be Used Outside?

 

Not every type of light bulb can withstand the outdoors. Extreme temperatures and various forms of weather can easily ruin a bulb that was made specifically for indoor use.

Before you begin screwing in light bulbs, make sure your bulbs are approved for outdoor use. If you’re not sure, check the packaging—it usually clarifies outdoor or indoor use right on the box.

 

Outdoor Lighting and Security

 

As we’ve mentioned, outdoor lighting can also greatly contribute to the security of your backyard. Just because there’s a fence around your property, doesn’t mean your outdoor items are entirely immune from theft and vandalism, nor does it make your back door burglar-proof.

With smart home technology today, you can install smart LED lights around your backyard that will automatically turn on when your motion sensors detect an unwanted guest. In addition to motion detection, you may also want to leave a semi-bright light on all night long near your back door to deter would-be criminals.

Without backyard lighting, you provide potential criminals with complete cover of darkness and uninterrupted access to your outdoor possessions, like patio furniture, equipment, and lawn toys. Pair your LED motion-sensor lighting with an outdoor security camera, and you’ve got a solid security setup to protect your home and yard.

 

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Outdoor Lighting?

 

We’ve discussed the optimal color temperature of your outdoor lighting, but what about the intensity? Lumens is how we measure a light’s brightness, and the last thing you want is to install blinding lights around your romantic outdoor loveseat and fire feature setup.

Depending on the purpose of the outdoor lighting, the ideal range would be between 100-300 lumens, give or take for different use cases. For example, lights that guide visitors up the steps or along a walkway should be on the low end of the scale at 12-200 lumens. Motion sensor lights and floodlights for security can be up to 1300 lumens for an effective spotlight.

For all other areas of the backyard, it should be fairly easy to find the sweet spot between 100-300 lumens. The less light you need, the lower you go. Distant accent lights can range from 12-100, while patio lights can be a higher lumen count of around 250.

 

How Far Apart Should Step Lights Be?

 

Step lights are a fantastic way to accentuate the depth of your backyard while also guiding visitors along a pathway in the dark. By installing step lights, you can prevent accidents wherein your guests could easily hurt themselves by tripping over obstacles they didn’t even see.

As a general rule of thumb, we urge you to place step lights at least six to eight feet apart. Of course, you can always shorten the distance between lights if you feel it isn’t enough, or you’d like to really add a visual effect to your outdoor pathways.

 

How Much Does It Cost for Outdoor Lighting?

 

After reading our outdoor lighting tips, you might be wondering how much all of this is going to cost. We wish we could give you an easy answer, but in reality, the cost is going to depend on the size of your backyard, your needs and preferences, the type of lights you choose, and whether or not you’re going to do any DIY landscape lighting made from scratch materials.

To give you a very general idea of how much outdoor lighting could potentially cost you, we’ve referred to a breakdown on Fixr.com. According to their data, the national average cost to light a backyard of 800 square feet with 20 light fixtures is about $3,800.

 

How Do I Choose an Outdoor Light?

 

So, let’s simplify and recap so you can choose the perfect outdoor lights for your backyard. Here are our top outdoor lighting tips broken down into a simple bullet list for your quick reference:

1. Define the purpose of your outdoor lighting (ambiance, entertaining, etc.)

2. Decide which types of outdoor lighting you would like (wall lights, accent lights, light strands, and so on)

3. Determine the style of your outdoor furniture so you can choose lighting that complements your design

4. Choose the right color temperature and lumens for different areas

5. Have fun with it!

Design the backyard patio of your dreams with RST Brands outdoor furniture, fire features, and so much more. Choose from plush sofas, comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining sets, matching coffee tables, end tables, and everything else you need to design a stunning space for you and your guests to enjoy for many years to come.

Browse our catalogue of top name brands to start planning your design today.

 

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

 

 

TERRAZZO SURFACES

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.

 

BOLD HUES

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

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.

How to Clean Your Outdoor Furniture [Expert Tips & Insights]

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. Keep in mind that even if you took the necessary steps in protecting your patio furniture against harsh conditions, the winter weather still might have taken a toll on it.

 

Oxidation, mildew, and other buildup can take a toll on even the finest furniture pieces. However, the following tips can help you to revive your furniture so you can enjoy a clean, functional outdoor living space all summer long. Check out the best way to clean patio furniture and how you can prevent future mildew or oxidation.

 

What Type of Furniture Are You Cleaning?

 

Outdoor furniture comes in a variety of popular materials, including:

 

  • Plastic
  • Wicker
  • Teak
  • Aluminum
  • Mesh

 

All of these materials are durable and offer their own unique benefits as outdoor furniture, but they must be cared for in different ways. Before you proceed with our cleaning tips, make sure you read up on your type of furniture. Avoid using any cleaning materials or methods that may permanently damage your outdoor furniture. Once you’re sure of what you need to avoid, you can start using the following cleaning tips and tricks.

 

1. Clean Your Cushions

 

Get rid of mildew, dust, and winter stiffness in your cushions by giving them a quick DIY cleanse. Cleaning up your cushions will make it much more pleasant for guests to sit down and relax without hesitation or worry about ruining their clothes.

 

How Do You Clean Patio Furniture Cushions?

 

You can clean patio furniture cushions with a simple solution, and you probably already have these supplies on hand. If not, you can find them at any drugstore or grocery store.

 

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 then let it sit for about 15 minutes. Proceed to complete the following steps:

 

  • Using a hose, spray off the solution and set the cushion on its side to air dry.
  • When the cushion is about eighty-percent dry, spray the surface with a fabric protector.
  • Remember to give your cushions a frequent vacuum or shake to remove built-up dust and debris.

 

Replacing Patio Furniture Cushions

 

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. Our premium outdoor cushions will stand up to the elements and look great for years to come. Add our high-quality pillows to amp up the polished look of your space and bring further comfort and enjoyment of your furniture.

 

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 washer and let your washer do the hard work. Here are a few tips for caring for your canvas seat cushions:

 

  • Set your washing machine to the cold setting to keep the color of your canvas as bright as possible.
  • 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.
  • Read tags and instructions to make sure you don’t damage the material.
  • Spot clean your cushions to maintain a clean look without having to throw them in the laundry as often.
  • Add a mixed solution of bleach, liquid laundry detergent, and water to get rid of persistent stains. The solution should be one part bleach and one-quarter part detergent, with up to one gallon of water.
  • Let stained areas soak in a stain-removing solution for a minimum of 30 minutes before adding them to the wash.
  • Check the website of your upholstery maker for further tips on maintaining and cleaning your cushions.

 

How Do You Clean Outdoor Furniture Fabric?

 

Wondering how to clean outdoor furniture cushions that can’t be taken off? 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. Trying to remove the cushions will only cause further damage, so it’s best to stick with a spot treatment method.

 

Can You Pressure Wash Outdoor Cushions?

 

A pressure washer is a great way to clean the exterior of your house and tackle other heavy-duty outdoor cleaning tasks, including the cleaning of your outdoor furniture. Pressurized water has the power to clean without the assistance of chemicals or soap, so it’s a handy and easy way to give your outdoor cushions a refresh. Here’s how to use a pressure washer on outdoor cushions:

 

1. Set a fresh tarp out on the lawn or deck to lay your cushions on during the cleaning process.

2. Remove your outdoor cushions from the furniture and place them on the tarp, one at a time.

3. Plug in the power washer and proceed to clean the front and back of each cushion. You can add a soap solution to the power washer if water alone doesn’t seem to be doing the job, but water should do the trick on its own.

4. Allow cushions to fully dry in the sun before putting them back on the furniture pieces.

 

3. Whiten That White Plastic

 

Plastic is often used for outdoor furniture because it’s easy to clean and durable to the elements. But plastic can also discolor in the sun over time. Luckily, we have an effective trick when it comes to whitening your white plastic furniture pieces.

 

1. 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.

2. Use a sponge or soft brush to apply this solution and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with a hose.

3. Be sure to use automatic dishwashing detergent, as this contains a bleaching agent that will whiten plastic without using harsh chemicals.

 

4. Manage Your Metals

 

Despite what it may seem, corrosion is actually a way of your metal furniture protecting itself from the elements. Corrosion preserves your metal furniture so it upholds its structure even after exposure to rain, snow, and wind. But, corrosion does ruin the appearance of your furniture, and can eventually cause pitting in the metal if it is not treated properly.

 

How Do You Remove Oxidation From Patio Furniture?

 

Here’s how to treat oxidized or rusted metal on outdoor furniture:

 

1. 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 for any scratches or nicks.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Let the paint dry completely before applying cushions or canvases.

 

How Do You Remove Mildew From Metal Outdoor Furniture?

 

Metal furniture can be prone to mold building up in the form of algae or mildew. To remove mold from metal outdoor furniture, you want to make sure to have the proper tools, including:

 

  • Face mask
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Water bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth

 

After gathering your materials, proceed to inspect the furniture from top to bottom so you know where the mold is located. Any untreated mold will continue to spread, so be sure to look under the furniture and in every hidden nook. Once inspected, follow these steps:

 

1. Scrub away mold by using the scrubbing brush and water. Hold the brush and use strokes that push away from you. Work especially hard on areas that come in contact with the ground, since mold is more prone in these areas. Wear a mask for safety.

2. Create a liquid solution using water and soap in the bucket. Put on gloves and dip a washcloth in the solution. Apply the cloth to the entire furniture set.

3. Wipe down and dry the furniture to get rid of moisture, which could cause mold to return. Be sure to look over the furniture and make sure you didn’t miss any areas that needed to be cleaned.

4. Prevent future mold by wiping down furniture soon after it gets wet from rain, snow, or the hose. Apply a mold-resistant sealant to further reduce the likelihood of mold returning.

 

Check Out RST Brands

 

With the tips above, you’ll know how to clean outdoor living furniture and make your space look as good as when everything was new! You can also prevent damage to your outdoor furniture with outdoor patio furniture covers from RST Brands.

Check out our selection of replacement cushions and outdoor patio furniture covers today. We offer high-quality furniture to enhance your living spaces, indoor and out. Whether you’re looking for a modern flare or classic look, you’ll find what you’re after at RST Brands.

Popular Living Room Colors [Expert Design Schemes, Tips & Tricks]

Home is your one haven from the outside world, and it should be a place you go to feel relaxed, safe, and happy. Color schemes can go a long way to create this ideal setting. But there are many options out there, and you’ll need to choose wisely if you want a cohesive look to your overall design. Check out this easy guide to learn more about popular living room colors and living room furniture color schemes.

 

What Colors Make a Living Room Look Bigger?

 

Most people strive to make their living room look bigger by optimizing the furniture layout or adding mirrors to the walls. Paint and color schemes can also enhance the space to make it seem bigger than it really is. Choose light, neutral colors to create the illusion of a bigger footprint.

 

Greige

 

Greige is a very popular color at the moment because it includes traditional beiges, as well as taupes and greys. These colors are easy to match and are a timeless way to decorate a room. Choosing beige sofas and chairs and grey living room furniture gives you a chance to decorate with colorful throw pillows that really pop. However, matching grey or beige on it’s own can be difficult due to different undertones. This is where greige comes in.

Greige tones are great neutral colors that can balance out other bolder colors used throughout the room.Since greige is a safe and popular color, you can play it up by choosing to mix in interesting patterns with the rug and pillow textiles. These colors also reflect a classy look that never goes out of style but still have a modern touch. Pick very light and warm greige paint tones to stay on trend for 2019.

 

White

 

White shades for furniture give the impression of class, organization, and elegance. They are a clean, quaint, and timeless color choice. Whites are also a popular color choice because they pair well with most other colors, even brown and neutral colors.

If you’re choosing whites, you can add interest to the space with a diversity of texture and layers in your decor. They are great colors to use in your decorating scheme to balance a lot of other bold colors in a room.

 

How Do You Add Color to a Neutral Living Room?

 

Once you’ve refreshed your walls and made the space feel bigger with neutral paint, it’s time to add to the depth of the room. Add color to a neutral living room in the form of layered accessories. Throw pillows, blankets, rugs, wall art, and other decor items are your chance to get playful and bring the room’s color scheme all together.

Choose one or two accent colors that have the same undertones as your paint. For example, a cool gray room would look great with blue and green accents, while a warm beige room might look better with pink and orange accents.

 

What is the Best Paint Color For a Living Room?

 

While neutrals help to make a space feel bigger, some people prefer to have a splash of color. If you’re one of those people, you may want to choose from one of these popular living room colors to give your space a facelift.

 

Yellow

 

Yellow is a bold and bright color that speaks volumes. Yellow furniture colors display a fun and energetic style. Yellow living room furniture brightens anybody’s day and is a perfect pick-me-up for you and your guests. Yellow is a color that often pairs well with grey and purple, and can be used as a furniture accent color.

 

Navy Blue

 

Navy blue is a furniture color option that is vibrant and daring. It displays sophistication and elegance, as well as being fairly easy to keep clean. A navy blue sofa or chair creates a strong focal point for your room which allows you to keep accent colors and decorations minimal and soft.

 

Green

 

Green as a furniture color sends an air of surprise and energy. When using green as a furniture color, it’s important you use other colors that are complementary, like certain shades of blue and yellow, that won’t compete. Green can be a fairly dominating color to decorate with, but if you pair it with a neutral color like white, grey, or black, you can have the perfect color scheme.

 

Red

 

Red is a dominant and bold furniture color choice that often demonstrates confidence. When you choose to go with red, you are choosing a strong decor style that is bold and beautiful. Make sure you choose your accent colors carefully, and consider going with grey and white, so that you don’t have too many strong colors competing against each other.

 

Purple

 

Purple furniture colors encourage fun and excitement, but still offer an air of sophistication.. Purple sofas, chairs, and decor add a strong color to the room and can be the focal point of your decoration. Purple can be a fun color option to brighten up any room, but still keeps things on the classy side.

 

Black

 

Black sofas and chairs are the epitome of modern, simple design. Black is a clean cut color that is fashionable and never goes out of style. It’s the perfect backdrop for any decor and can be paired with nearly any design element or color. Black furniture is striking, bold, classy, and pairs well with almost any other color scheme you might be using in the room.

 

Tie the Look Together With Your Living Room Furniture Color

 

 

Living room furniture color schemes are an important way to tie the whole look of your room together. Don’t just settle for any sofa or chairs for your home; find the best furniture colors that are just right for your decor and style. The most popular furniture colors for 2019 range from soft pastels to bold jewel tones. Ultimately, the colors you choose should reflect your personality and bring you joy every time you look at them.

Choose from modern accent chairs or overstuffed chairs to bring in more seating and a splash of color to the space. A bright or neutral sofa can totally change the look of a room and offers a great spot to gather and make memories with those you love. Whatever direction you go in, RST Brands can give you the perfect look to complete your space.