Category Archives: Industry News

Tips for creating a sustainable garden

These days, every part of your home can be more eco-friendly, even your backyard! Design your private retreat that is sustainable as well as a place your family and friends can pull up a pair of outdoor lounge chairs to relax and enjoy the view. Read on for some inspiration on how to do this:

Opt for less lawn and more edibles and low-maintenance succulents in your backyard. Many succulents you can find to include in your garden are drought-resistant, so you don't have to worry about watering them as much. This will help cut down on the amount of water you will need to keep your yard looking fresh all summer long. You can still create a comfortable backyard oasis by replacing the grass with islands of multi-purpose trees, shrubs, ground cover and mulch. Use ferns in areas under trees for a lush, healthy yard.

You can also arrange your outdoor dining set so it's nestled into a grouping of native plants that will provide a beautiful backdrop for gatherings outdoors. Plants that are native to your area are already used to the seasonal changes and periods of drought or flooding. They are also hardier and require less maintenance time than imported exotic plants.

Purchase quality outdoor pieces
Choose outdoor furniture for your backyard that is made from quality materials to avoid breakdown in harsh weather conditions. The entire RST Outdoor line of dining sets, chairs, lounges and accent tables offers the perfect options that will provide you and your family with beautiful and durable pieces that will last, with little maintenance but tons of style. You can customize your sets based on color and needs, whether you like to relax under a patio umbrella or enjoy an intimate dinner at a colorful bistro table.

Reign in the rain
Conserve rainwater that you can use to keep your garden healthy. There are different ways to do this. You can find attractive rain gardens, French drains and rain barrels or cisterns that will blend into the style of your backyard. For example, if you have created a Southwestern motif, opt for a clay cistern. Or, if you have sections of your rain gutters where a rain spout won't work, try an attractive and decorative rain chain. Keeping rain water on-site will help you prevent flooding in your yard.

Inject some color into your backyard design

After a long, cold winter, you want to step into your backyard oasis and be energized by the fresh new life that's growing there this spring. Take it up a notch by making an outdoor design trend your own and adding color for a fresh new look that just begs you to spend some time outside enjoying your space.

Sittin' pretty
Inject some color into the landscape with a new bright, bold outdoor furniture set. Colorful and lively outdoor pieces are a great way for you to make a statement. Opt for a fabric set in a vibrant colored mesh like the Sol Sling line of chaise lounges and chairs, or choose a more compact steel Bistro set in a fun tone. This will add personality and style to your deck or patio, as well as create an attractive place to relax with family and guests. Don't forget to invest in some outdoor furniture covers to keep your pieces looking great year to year.

A new patio umbrella is a quick style changer you can try too. Set up a sun shade to keep everyone cool and comfortable in a bright yellow, brick red, or Tuscan orange.

Hang your plants
An attractive, quick and easy way to add color to your yard is to include a few hanging baskets of blooms. They are easy to care for, and take up very little space. You can position several hanging planters flanking your patio door, or add hooks throughout your yard to add interest and bursts of color across the landscape. Plants with brightly colored leaves are a great option, like Coleus, Croton, or New Zealand Flax.

Potted pops of color
By just adding a few colorful pots to your backyard design – with or without plants – you can easily inject some zest and energy into your yard. Choose colors that will pick up the tones in your patio furniture for a finished look. Group several pots in various sizes together for a mini display. Or position them around your yard for dimension.

Touches of textiles
To create a cohesive vibe, include some brightly colored outdoor rugs in the design of your patio or desk space. An outdoor rug can add color and give your outdoor spaces a more finished, room-like look, which will encourage your family and guests to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Toss some outdoor pillows on your lounger or outdoor sofa to instantly upgrade its style. Pillows are easy to change if you want a different look and they're a fun and funky way to express your creativity.

Top outdoor furniture trends for 2014

Good news! The outdoor entertaining season is just around the corner. Homeowners from across the country will be revamping their patio spaces to include the best lounging amenities as they prepare for this season of backyard barbecues and cocktail parties. If you want to have a contemporary backyard, check out these trends for 2014:

Outdoor furniture market news
According to a report released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), outdoor living spaces are one of the most desirable types of special function rooms. These findings are the result of homeowners wanting to expand their usable living space. Twenty-two percent of the study respondents chose patio space as a desirable feature in their home in the second quarter of 2010. Additionally, according to Global Industry Analysts, the United States market for outdoor furniture is projected to exceed $5 billion by 2017. With the overwhelming interest in this type of living space, it's best to outfit your patio now to stay in line with trends.

Custom spaces
As people spend more time designing their homes, they are selecting custom furniture layouts that fit their style aesthetics. So when revamping your own outdoor living space you can choose what patio chairs you want along with the right table. Or if you prefer a different setup you can select decorative bar stools to go along with your cocktail area. The point is that you can design a space to fit your needs and entertaining style.

Eco-friendly materials
Sustainability is a trend that is sticking around for 2014. These days people prefer to purchase outdoor furniture sets that have been built with eco-friendly materials or construction practices. The use of recycled materials, in particular, is often a popular feature in outdoor furniture. The AIA report also indicated a high interest in energy efficiency in the home. Spending time in an outdoor living space can help you reduce your electricity use.

Large patio spaces
Patio spaces used to be small 20-by-10-foot squares where homeowners were supposed to set their outdoor furniture and grill. However, people are rebuilding their outdoor areas to expand these limitations so there is space for multiple entertaining areas. For example, you can set up one of the popular fire pits so your friends can gather around it on a chilly night. Also you can having a dining room set for meals.

Performance matters
Another trend involves people wanting their furniture purchases be smart ones. For example, it's vital for outdoor sectional sets, individuals sofas and chairs to be made from quality materials. Additional desirable features include furniture that is resistant to fading, scratching and other abuses that might happen from being stored outdoors.

Survey shows upscale backyards are on the rise

Nowadays, a home's living space is being extend to the backyard. Simple patios are being revamped to feature upscale accommodations that focus on entertaining and comfort. According to MSN, 48 percent of 600 residential architecture firms questioned in a survey revealed upscale landscaping is on the rise, in a study conducted by the American Institute of Architects.

"When you extend your living space outside, suddenly you have so much more space for living in general," Michelle Kodis, author of "Ultimate Backyard," told the source. "If you want to raise the value of your home, start thinking about ways to add structural interest and comfort to your backyard, patio, deck, side yard – you name it."

Here are some must-have features for a modern outdoor living area:

Summer kitchens
Outdoor kitchens aren't a fad, they are trend that is here to stay. Kitchens are a natural gathering space in any home, and you add extra entertaining space by creating this outdoor cooking area. Go further than just bringing a grill into your backyard – have a contractor install a sink, counter and bar area. Then all you need are patio dining chairs and a table to complete your outdoor kitchen.

Water features
The sound of running water can be therapeutic for many people. Additionally, the look of a water feature adds more style to your backyard. So consider adding a fountain or pond in your outdoor space. A waterfall fountain will add lavish touch to your a garden space while a pond can be home to a variety of exotic fish. It can also be a conversation starter when you have guests over for dinner parties.

Lounging zones
Don't limit yourself to one lounge space in your backyard. Create different seating areas outside your home to mimic the flow in your indoor living space. Outdoor sectionals can be added to your main gathering space while a smaller patio bistro set is perfect for a cozy nook in your backyard. Place a patio hammock near your flower garden for a space to unwind after a long day. You can install a patio umbrella near a sunny spot for some coverage.

Outdoor fireplaces
It can be chilly in the evening, so add an outdoor fireplace keep your guests warm. Firepits can be installed in the center of your backyard space for a communal gathering spot. However, opting for a fireplace that is built into your home provides a luxurty element and saves space in your backyard.