Author Archives: James

Outdoor Entertaining Ideas For Your Backyard This Summer

 

Make the most of the warm weather by hosting a fun and memorable outdoor party. These seven outdoor party ideas will establish you as the king or queen of outdoor entertaining, and your parties will be remembered and talked about for years to come. Make sure to start planning well in advance to make your party an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Ice Cream Social

Kick off the summer season with an ice cream social block party! Start by planning the food, arranging for home-made ice cream, a buffet of self-serve toppings, and tasteful bowls and dishware appropriate for all ages. Make sure you have proper seating for your guests, and keep the ice cream cool by serving it and the toppings under a patio umbrella and/or in a cooler.

If you don’t already have an outdoor umbrella, it’s a smart backyard patio idea to purchase at the start of the summer, because the cooling shade and protection from the elements can extend the fun and preserve the food for your outdoor parties.

Tropical Luau

Bring out the tiki torches and flower leis for a taste of the tropics at this intimate party. Serve fruity cocktails in coconuts and set out your loungers for your guests, allowing them to relax in the sun as if they were on the beach. Plan fun beach-theme games, such as a limbo or hula contest, and serve luau-themed food, such as roasted pork and grilled pineapple.

After-dark Soiree

Hire a babysitter for this party, because the after-dark soiree is best kept for the adults. Outdoor seating around a fireplace or fire table can help set the mood for this elegant party. Send invitations requesting semi-formal attire for this event, and create stylish table settings and decor with an eclectic, exciting menu. Hang solar string lights for an energy-efficient yet attractive ambiance.

Red Carpet Movie Premiere

Go all out with a fun red carpet movie premier party. Invitations should include the dress code of “red carpet, dress-to-impress,” and you can even lay down an actual red carpet to lead your high-profile guests to the main event. A fun idea for this party is to create a photo backdrop like those at red-carpet events, and set up a camera for your guests to take pictures.

Set up a large movie screen and play a movie that will please a large group of people. Consider setting out hammocks and plenty of pillows for your guests to watch in comfort as they sit for the length of the movie.

All-American Party

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a classic BBQ bash for your neighbors, friends, and family. Choose traditional red, white, and blue for your decorations and dinnerware, and use patriotic flags and banners to accent your outdoor seating furniture, patio, and yard. Fireworks and sparklers will enthrall the children and, let’s be honest, even the adults. Serve traditional Fourth of July food, such as hot dogs, burgers, lemonade, and ice cream.

Summer Olympics Party

Bring out the competitive side of your friends and family with a summer Olympics party! Upon arrival, assign each person, or team of people, a country to represent. Prepare team uniforms in advance, or you could send invitations in advance with country assignments, instructing each person to wear a particular color. Purchase or make trophies and medals for each winner, and display them on an outdoor accent table to motivate the competitors.

Create a Home Away from Home with Your Guest Room Design

 

It’s easy to miss the comforts of home when traveling—particularly when accommodations are anything but comfortable. When you play host, take a moment to ensure your guests feel right at home by creating a warm and welcoming space. With a little extra effort in your guest room design, you can arrange a wonderful, cozy space for your friends, family, and other guests enjoy during their stay in your home.

 

The Bedroom

When it comes to the guest room, the bed can make or break the room. No amount of decorations or amenities can make up for uncomfortable sleeping accommodations. Of course, no two people are alike, and most guests will have their own preferences for bed firmness, temperature, and so on.

It’s best to pick a high-quality mattress which is neither particularly firm or soft. Instead, choose a medium-firm mattress (paired with a softer mattress topper guests can use if they’d like) which allows your guests the luxury of a choice between the two options.

Remember to cover the bed with high-thread-count sheets to maximize the comfort level. Cotton sheets paired with a cotton coverlet and a down duvet allow your guests to adjust according to their temperature preferences. It’s always a good idea to provide a couple of additional blankets in a basket or an easy, accessible drawer just in case they need some extra warmth.

Top it all off with an assortment of pillows (functional and decorative) to accommodate your guests and pull together the guest bedroom design. Some of your guests will like flat, firm pillows, and others will prefer soft, fluffy pillows.

 

Bookshelves

Provide your guest with a selection of books for them to check out to help them unwind before bed or to enjoy whiling relaxing during the morning or afternoon. As you build your guest library, try to feature a wide variety of books and authors to match your guests’ varied interests.

Even if your collection isn’t especially large, bookshelves are a great way to tie a room together with pictures and decor adorning the shelves. Our modern wall bookshelves provide a stylish way to house your book collection, decor, or whatever else you’d like to display.

 

Sitting Area

A guest bedroom should be more than a bed, nightstand, and alarm clock. Ideally, your guests will be able to use the room as their own private home away from home and will enjoy the option of some alone time beyond sleeping hours.

A proper sitting area will allow your guests to rest and relax somewhere other than the bed. Pick a high-quality arm chair such as the Astra Arm Chair or the Victoria Wingback to create a relaxing space for your guests to read, respond to their emails, or simply rest throughout the day.

Consider investing in a side or accent table to go in the sitting area for added convenience. To avoid water stains from cups, either provide coasters or choose a table with a glass top.

 

Lighting

Proper lighting can enhance or ruin your guest bedroom design. If your guest room is an area where natural light can come in, you might consider hanging blackout curtains over the windows in guest rooms. This could be especially helpful if the room faces a busy street or the rising sun. During the day, your guests can let in as much light as they’d like. At night, they can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without interruption from an early sunrise.

In your own home, you might be able to walk around with your eyes closed without running into anything. Your guests will not likely share that level of familiarity with your home. Guest rooms can benefit from sconces or lamps near the bed so your visitors won’t have to fumble around a dark room after shutting off a light. Localized lighting is also often less harsh than overhead lighting.

Be sure to also check out our outdoor furniture collections to create a relaxing outdoor space to relax and entertain guests while they are staying at your home.

Cool Room Ideas: Freshen Up that Stale Room In Your Home

 

Science has repeatedly shown that keeping your home clean is beneficial to your health in many ways: you sleep better, you feel happier, you’re more likely to exercise, and it boosts your feeling of accomplishment.

But for some of us, the thought of keeping our home clean evokes long-buried feelings of resentment and rebellion surrounding undesirable chores of childhood. “Clean your room before you go outside!” – Bring back any memories? So how can you make the thought of keeping your home tidy more appealing?

The answer: make it a space you love! It’s time for a home makeover. If you love how it looks when it’s put together, you’ll be more motivated to keep it that way. So here are some easy ways to update your home and turn your rooms into a place you’ll want to entertain.

Add Some Color

Keep your walls and larger furniture pieces in neutral, nondescript colors and include pops of color to make the room stand out. This also makes it easy to swap out whatever color you pick for some new hues if you get bored with it. Choose a couple of colors you love and show them off in vibrant accent pieces, artwork, throw pillows, and blankets. If you need help deciding on which colors to use, take a hint from your wardrobe.

You will probably see a trend in the colors you tend to gravitate towards and wear the most – it’s what you feel the most comfortable in. So, dress your room in the same way. If you feel your best in deep jewel tones, feature some artwork with bold plum or emerald. If you feel your best in bright, spring-time hues, look for citrusy throw pillows and decorative accents.

Set the Tone with Accent Pillows and Window Treatments

They’ve been mentioned above, but the versatility of accent pillows can’t be overstated – especially in the bedroom where the bed draws the most attention. They let you quickly change the personality and overall feel of your bedroom by adding volume to your bed, variations in texture, and pops of color.

Window treatments also play into this because of their large size, and because they are framing a light source they naturally draw the eye. Incorporate them into the color scheme that you’ve chosen from your room. Go with gauzy, flowy curtains for a light, airy feel. Use patterned curtains for an informal look, and blinds if modern is more your style.

Incorporate Personalized Artwork

Your home is a personal spot – which makes it ideal for displaying personal photos. Surround yourself with images of people and pets you love. Determine a hanging layout by tracing the frames you intend to use onto paper, cutting out the shapes, and arranging them in different ways until you find one that works. You can also look up common gallery wall configurations online.

Move Things Around

This is quite effective for making your room feel like a whole new place, and the best part is that rearranging furniture costs nothing but can give your large or small design space a different feel. For a funky new arrangement, try angling your furniture from a corner instead of the typical wall placement.

Mix Up the Textures

Sight isn’t the only sense that plays into a feeling of comfort – touch is important too. It’s an easy fix also – swap out a furry accent pillow from winter for a linen one when the weather warms up. Consider your tastes and the style you want to convey when choosing textures. If your bedroom has a modern feel, look for smooth, crisp lines like leather and stainless steel. If it’s more of a romantic vibe, consider velvet or furred throw pillows, embroidery, and lace.

5 Tips to Help You Create the Perfect Space Around Your Pool or Spa

 

Choosing the layout and design for your backyard should not be taken lightly, especially when you have an intended purpose for the space. Whether you’re looking to create a space that is simply usable, one that’s party-ready, or one that’s aesthetically pleasing (or perhaps one that fits all of these requirements), these 5 backyard design tips will help you create the outdoor space you’ve always wanted.

 

1. Incorporate a Dining Area

No backyard design is complete without an area for eating. Whether you are looking for small backyard ideas, such as a bistro set, or something larger to accommodate all of your friends, a table and chair set is a must. Choose something comfortable people will be fine sitting around for the recommended 30 minutes before re-entering the pool.  

 

2. Have a Place to Lounge

When you have a built-in pool, you really must have a place for people to lounge poolside, whether it’s a set of chaise loungers or a comfortable set of chairs. Having chairs around your pool gives your kids a place to lay their towels to dry while they swim, and you a place to sit while you watch them. Choose something neutral to maintain a natural outdoor feel, or use a more beige seating area as an opportunity to add an extra punch of color to your yard.

 

3. Add a Fire Pit

Fire pits are a welcome addition to any backyard when you want to keep the party going long after the sun goes down. Whether you desire to use your outdoor patio as a place for making s’mores, or are hoping to add an artistic element to your garden landscaping, adding a fire pit will give that extra bit of warmth, lighting, and ambiance you need to extend your backyard’s usability even after summer’s over.

 

4. Keep It Zen

If your backyard pool ideas include turning your space into an outdoor oasis, keeping things Zen is a must. Choose neutral colors and modern seating designs to create a calm and soothing atmosphere. Shoot for a minimalist design with natural design elements like flowering plants and pebbled pathways.

 

5. Make It Party-Friendly

Having a pool means your house will inevitably become the go-to party house, so why not embrace that idea? Make sure you have ample seating to accommodate guests, create seating areas where friends and family can mingle, and choose furniture pieces that are both comfortable and welcoming. When the layout is playful and provides ample opportunities to sit, relax, and enjoy conversation, your guests will inevitably stick around for the entire party.

 

Make Your Backyard Fun!

Each of these 5 pool patio ideas, alone or together, will help you create a backyard that not only revolves around your pool or spa, but is ready for quiet nights sitting by the fire pit, or parties with friends and family. With the right furniture and design, you can achieve the yard you’re hoping for.

10 Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room

Is your living room a combination of mended pieces passed down from your parents or leftovers from your college days? If so, it may be time to reconsider a makeover. Kick that hand-me-down, brown and orange floral print couch to the curb and re-design your perfect living space to match your trendy, adult tastes with these living room ideas.

 

1. Identify Purpose

Identify the purpose of your living room space. Do you intend to host multiple guests? Additional comfortable seating is a must. Do the kids mostly use this area? Choose furniture pieces that are safe and sturdy. Deciding how you want to use this space will help you make specific transformations to fit the needs of your family.

 

2. Lighten Up

Remove dark paneling, paint, and trim to lighten and open up the room. Darkness can cause your living room to seem small and dingy. Painting over dark surfaces or removing dark fixtures not only make your room seem bigger, but can create an airy freshness to the environment.

 

3. Organize Seating

Draw seating closer together to make the room warmer. For small living room ideas, ditch the bulky loveseat and choose an L-shaped couch for ample seating. Add a streamlined accent chair and lightweight coffee table to increase functionality while using minimal floor space.

 

4. Update

Updating decor and furniture can be a great way to transform your living space. Select some modern furniture and pair it with funky fixtures for a more urban look. Tear down or replace old wallpaper with a more contemporary patterned wallpaper. Coffered ceiling treatments can offer a blend of old sophistication and modern design. Make old sofas look brand new with fresh linen covers.

 

5. Pair Colors

The quickest way to revamp your living room is with a splash of color. Experiment with color palettes that bring in a mix of shades that can be paired with your furniture and accessories. Deep wall colors can be accented with lighter solids and bright patterns. Can’t paint? Keep your walls tepid and spice up the room with daring furniture color choices.

 

6. Embrace Art

Spruce up your walls with interesting art. Turn simple things like game boards and old maps into works of art when framing them on your wall. Make your own art by turning a wall in your home into a chalkboard or dry-erase board for guests to contribute to your design.

 

7. Add Statement Pieces

Make a focal wall with reclaimed wood for a rugged, trendy look. Don’t overload bookcases; use them to display various statement pieces. Installing vintage fixtures like Edison lighting can create a hip, industrial type feeling to your living room.

 

8. Accessorize

Accessorize with stylish and frugal home decor ideas like refurbishing antiques or sprucing up dollar store finds. Cover naked windows with treatments and curtains containing bold patterns. Decorative mirrors do double duty by being beautiful art pieces while making small spaces look larger. Add funky throws and pillows to bland couches to maximize style without sacrificing comfort.

 

9. Don’t Forget Floors

Save money and add charm by refinishing hardwood floors. Replace tattered and stained carpet with an alternative flooring like bamboo, concrete, cork, or wood-look tile to create a clean surface. Moroccan Berber rugs and rugs with geometric designs can add a lot of depth to your living room area.

 

10. Go Techy

A modern transformation is not complete without technology upgrades. Improve your living room’s look and efficiency with smart solutions like remote control shades, intelligent thermostats, and app-controlled lighting and appliances. Improve air quality and grow your own herbs with a Smartpot.

Donate your old dorm furniture to a new college student, and redo your living room with stylish pieces for an updated trendy look.

Backyard Movie Night: How To Create Your Ultimate Outdoor Space

 

There is something magical about sitting under the stars to watch a movie together as a family. And setting up an outdoor movie screen is easier than you might think! You don’t need a lot to create a great setup. With a few supplies, most of which you already have on hand, you’ll be ready to host a movie night in your own backyard.

You’ll need:

  • King- or queen-sized white sheets
  • Projector
  • Speakers
  • Clothespins
  • Comfortable outdoor patio furniture (maybe even a fire table)
  • Pillows and blankets (some you wouldn’t mind if they got a little dirty)

A simple white sheet works beautifully as a movie screen, and you can double them up for better picture quality. If you have a clothesline, simply drape the sheets over it, secure them with some clothespins, and anchor the bottom with bricks or rocks to hold it in place in case of a breeze. If you don’t have a clothesline, string some rope between two trees, or deck posts, or something else have on hand. You might want to iron the sheets first to get rid of any creases.

There are more higher-quality outdoor screen ideas you can look into, but sheets are easy to store, you probably already have them on hand, and the picture is still decent.

The projector will be one of your bigger investments if you don’t already have one, but you can usually snag one for under $200. As for sound, some external computer speakers will usually do the job just fine. Set it all up on a tripod, or perhaps a sturdy nightstand if you don’t have one, and you’re good to go.

If you need ideas for the best outdoor movies, here’s a list of some great classics like The Goonies, to Ghostbusters, to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Don’t forget comfy seating

Keep things cozy by arranging your patio furniture around the movie screen. If you’re in the market for some patio furniture, an outdoor movie night is a perfect opportunity to showcase your new additions. People often think only of price, but there are many different aspects to consider when you’re looking for outdoor furniture, such as the size and shape of your yard, the climate where you live, and how much use it will see. You also want to be sure to stock up on some comfy and durable cushions for the furniture you land on.

For kids or just extra seating in general, throw some blankets and pillows on the ground in front of the patio furniture.

Add some sparkle

Are you hosting a party and want to snaz it up a bit? Consider hanging twinkle lights from trees, bushes, and porch/patio railings. They are great for turning an ordinary space into a fun, enchanting atmosphere. If kids are involved, you could set up a snack stand. Make the sign with a small decorative chalkboard, and set out bowls of candy, popcorn, and other typical movie treats. For drinks, an outdoor flower box is a fun idea for holding soda pop and water bottles. Retro soda (in the glass bottles) and paper straws are always fun.

Now sit back and enjoy the show!

Know When to Fold Up Those Patio Chairs & Choose A More Modern Outdoor Furniture Set

Spring cleaning means prepping your outdoor space for entertaining which can entail a thorough analysis of your current outdoor furniture. Will your current patio set last another scorching season with a little TLC and DIY, or is it time to upgrade to more modern outdoor furniture? Check out these tips to determine whether some repairs will do the trick or if it is time to purchase new patio furniture.

Normal Wear and Tear

Even the best outdoor furniture is bound to show signs of normal wear and tear from being exposed to the harsh elements and frequent use. Instances of average aging and deterioration can often be repaired with a little elbow grease which is both budget-friendly and helps your furniture withstand another summer. Some common wear and tear includes:

  • Dirt & Debris. It is common for dirt and leaves to accumulate on furniture while exposed. A quick sweep with a soft-bristled brush or a good vacuum can eliminate debris.
  • Stains. Water, mud, and even food spills can leave ugly stains on patio chair cushions. Use a detergent, dishwashing liquid solution, or even invest in an outdoor furniture cleaner to gently scrub out stains and pat dry. Avoid harsh chemicals and consult the manufacturer’s care labels before cleaning.
  • Mold. Fabrics can accumulate mold, especially in very moist climates. Always wear gloves to sand or scrub out the mold and dispose of used supplies.
  • Chipping Paint. No need to throw out furniture losing its color, make it brand new furniture with a coat of spray paint. If you’re tired of the furniture or if it’s outdated, now is the time to invest in a more modern outdoor furniture set which is certain to enhance and revitalize your outdoor space.
  • Faded and Torn Fabric. Solar rays can fade fabric and years of breakdown can lead to holes and tears. Reupholstering old chairs with new fabric is made simple with new fabric and a staple gun.  

Taking care to preserve and protect your furniture every year will prevent initial damage and expand the life of your furniture.

When it is Time to Replace

Though the internet offers a plethora of videos and solutions for fixing damaged furniture, sometimes it is beyond repair. Some aspects to be aware of:

  • Safety Hazards. When broken mechanisms, sharp metal edges, and splinter-laden areas are too much to repair, it is time to ditch the furniture. Safety should be a priority for you, your family, and your guests.
  • Quality.  Cheap sets from big-box stores that need repairing, which happens often due to their mediocre quality, may not be worth the time and effort the repairs required.
  • Cost of Repairs. When the cost of restoring your patio set costs close to or more than a new set, it is time to let it go and invest in a new set.

Best Time to Purchase Patio Furniture

When it comes time to upgrade worn out furniture, now is the time to update your furniture. Create an outdoor space which is inviting and fun, space where you want to hang out and entertain guests in.

Remember whether you’re looking to start designing your outdoor space or just wanting to upgrade your patio, investing in quality materials and taking measures to protect your furniture from the elements can help your set avoid damage and last longer.  

Tips For Designing Your Dream Patio

 

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

Tip #1: Determine Your Patio Goals

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

Tip #2: Create A Compatible Area

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

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

Tip #3: Make A Plan

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

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

Tip #4: Add Design Elements

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

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

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

Tip #5: Bring Your Design to Life

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

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

Best Ways to Care for Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

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

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

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

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

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

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

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

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

2. Preserve & Protect

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

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

3. Decorate & Design

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

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

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

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

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

Materials

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

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

Overall Quality

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

Sizing

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

Additional Features

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

Aesthetics

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

Textures

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

Consider Warranties

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