Category Archives: Outside Design

6 Tips For Creating An Authentic Southern Patio Design

Creating the perfect Southern-inspired patio is about so much more than worn-wood, refurbished antiques, and lush greenery; it’s about soul, memories, and comfort. A Southern patio should be crafted in such a way that even a quick glance at it evokes nostalgia, comfort, and the ability to leave life’s troubles at the door.

In this article, our experts will teach you how to create such a patio with a variety of  Southern-inspired decorating tips for your outdoor space.

Cozy Furniture

Comfort is the most important factor when it comes to creating the perfect Southern patio. You should provide your family and guests with ample room to kick back, relax, and share their stories. Classic Southern patio furniture is mainly comprised of five different factors:

  1. 1. Wicker
  2. 2. Soft cushions
  3. 3. Mixed patterns
  4. 4. Knitted throws
  5. 5. Overstuffed pillows

Keep these design tips in mind as you assemble the perfect collection of Southern living outdoor furniture. Create the ultimate place of comfort and relaxation with a deep-seated loveseat or sofa dressed with pillows and a large knit throw, a couple of luxurious loungers, wicker end tables to hold glasses filled with iced tea, and a wicker coffee table adorned with plants and trinkets. You can even take your patio to the next level of comfort by adding an outdoor hammock.

Meaningful Accents

No Southern-inspired home is complete without meaningful collections, trinkets, and memorabilia. Add a personal touch to your patio space with items that bring you happiness and peace. While this will make your patio feel more personalized and true to your sense of style, these trinkets are also great conversation pieces. Add items that you’ve collected from your travels, treasured gifts from your closest friends and family, and those oddball decor pieces that have accumulated over time.

A Dining Area

Achieve the full effect of Southern living outdoor furniture by providing guests with a comfortable place to enjoy their meals. The right outdoor dining collection will serve as a welcoming place to create lasting memories with your family for many years to come.

And, don’t forget to dress the table with mismatching dishes, mason jars, and a nice centerpiece to tie the whole thing together.

The Right Colors

Colors play a massive role in achieving a patio space that feels both relaxing and inviting. Deck your Southern-inspired patio with warm colors like chestnut brown, deep cherry red, or a rich olive green. Once you’ve laid the warm foundation, add pops of bright, cheerful colors like yellow, turquoise, blue, and bright red. The combination of warm and bright colors will create an environment that is soothing and welcoming.

Lush Greenery

Potted plants, trees, bushes, flowers, vines—all of it is amazing. Surround your outdoor patio with lush foliage to provide a place of seclusion and beauty. Add a stout, patterned vase of hydrangeas to your wicker coffee table, hang pots of English ivy from hooks overhead, and decorate any remaining surfaces with your favorite foliage.

If you don’t have the gift of a green thumb, don’t worry. There are plenty of low-maintenance plants out there that can survive almost any condition including philodendrons, coral bells, and the ever-so-dainty common daisy.

Plenty of Detail

The final trick to achieving authentic Southern decor is to add an abundance of detail. These details can be found in the tassels of the rug, the trinkets on the end tables, the floral pattern of the tablecloth, the hand-painted flower vases, or the trim around the door. Southern decor is nothing if not intricately detailed with memories and darling patterns. If you feel your Southern patio is looking a little bare, all you need to do is add a few painted vases, mugs, dishes, or pillows to complete the effect.

We hope you found these Southern patio decorating tips useful, and that you enjoy the process of designing this new lovely space for your home.

Best Rocks For Inside Your Fire Pit [Expert Insights & Safety Tips]

Fire pits are great for spending a cozy night by the fire with your family, entertaining with friends, or just providing a relaxing evening for two. While there are many reasons to add a fire pit to your backyard, one of the best reasons is that a well-built fire pit can add value to your home and improve the usability of your backyard landscaping.

Before starting construction on your fire pit you will need to consider a few things like local ordinances regarding fire pits, location, what kind of fire pit you want, how to build your fire pit, and even what to put in the bottom of your fire pit. Learn about the best rocks for inside your fire pit, including how to use lava rocks for a fire pit, and how fire pit glass rocks can add an extra touch to your backyard feature. Then light a fire, grab a book, pull up some outdoor furniture, and enjoy your new backyard addition.

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

 

 

1. Research Your City Code

 

Different cities will have different building ordinances when it comes to backyard fire pit construction. Make sure you know the local requirements before you build or you will end up wasting time and money when you have to move your fire pit to a new location in your yard.

Depending on where you live you may not be allowed any kind of open fire pit at all. Check your city code to find out if all open flames are banned or if using some kind of cover or screen on your fire pit would make it possible to comply with regulations. You can call your local fire department or Google fire requirements for your area to learn if there are restrictions on the size and location of fires as well.

If you’re going to build an in-ground fire pit, a quick 811 call before you dig can save you the headache and expense that would come with disrupting underground utilities. Also, make sure the pit is built at least 10 feet away from any trees, overhanging branches, fences, bushes, or flammable structures on your property.

 

2. How Are You Going To Build?

 

The first thing to consider when planning a fire pit is to decide how portable you want your fire pit to be. If you want it to be a permanent fixture in your backyard landscaping, a traditional in-ground fire pit is the perfect option. However, if you want to move it around, you might consider purchasing a pre-built portable fire pit or a fire table. You will also need to decide whether you want an above-ground or below-ground fire pit, and how you are going to build it.

Once you’ve decided on the type of fire pit you’d like to build you can start purchasing the materials you’ll need. You’ll need to know the best rock for inside a fire pit and how deep to make it. Most DIY fire pits are below ground because they are the most basic and easiest to build.

Some tools and materials you’ll need to build your fire pit are:

      • Wheelbarrow
      • Shovel
      • Garden rake
      • Tape measure
      • Work gloves
      • Hand tamper
      • Garden hose
      • Level
      • Firebricks
      • Retaining wall blocks
      • Lava rocks for the fire pit
      • Construction adhesive

There are great guides on DIY construction for backyard fire pits, with step-by-step instructions to help you get started.

If you prefer an extravagant fire pit design or want something more complicated, a contractor is a faster and easier option than building a fire pit yourself. Hiring a contractor to build your fire pit is also a great idea if you’re looking to add more value to your home, because of the quality of the craftsmanship.

 

3. Does A Fire Pit Need A Liner?

 

Fire pit liners have several benefits, such as preventing underground root fires, and providing essential structure and support if you want your fire pit to be permanent. A good liner will give your fire pit the structure it needs to last for years to come. There are different kinds of liners such as stainless steel, mild carbon steel, concrete, tile or stone, copper, and cast iron. The most common fire pit liners are made of stainless steel or fire-rated bricks and are designed to withstand high temperatures.

 

4. Fill Your Pit With The Right Materials

Learning what to put in the bottom of your fire pit takes more planning than you may have considered. Some materials like hard rock, gravel, or sand weren’t meant to reach high temperatures and can spark and explode if your fire gets too hot. Instead, use lava rocks for your fire pit or lava glass beads as a filler for your fire pit. They are a safe way to create drainage and make your fire pit look nice.

While some people choose to forgo a fire pit filler and simply use a concrete or stone base, filler adds a nice aesthetic to your fire pit that can enhance your backyard landscaping. Place a thin layer of sand on the bottom of the fire pit and add the recommended 2-6 inches of filler on top of it. If you don’t have a preference for what kind of filler to use, irregular crushed lava rock or small volcanic ash tends to cost less overall.

Sandstone, river rocks, natural rocks, and gravel are not ideal fill for fire pits because they are more likely to crack or explode under high heat. No matter what type of fill you use, make sure the fill is dry when you light the fire. Rocks can absorb a lot of water, especially river rocks, and rocks that get too hot near a fire can (and sometimes do) explode. Even wet lava rock can explode.

 

5. What Kind Of Rocks Explode In Fire?

 

Nearly any kind of rock has the potential to explode—especially if it is porous and wet. When wet rocks heat up the trapped air and water expands very quickly, and forcefully breaks the rock apart, or makes it explode. Some of the most common rocks that should be avoided in fire pit construction include sandstone, limestone, pumice, gravel, and river rocks because of their porous nature and tendency to hold water.

Hard rocks like granite, marble, or slate are much denser, and therefore less likely to absorb water and explode when exposed to heat. Other rocks that are safe to use around and in your fire pit include fire-rate brick, lava glass, lava rocks, and poured concrete. This is one area where you can use lava rocks for fire pit safety.

If you have rocks in or around your fire pit, be cautious when lighting fires after it has rained. Wet rocks are much more likely to explode than dry rocks. If you frequently use your fire pit, you may even consider covering your fire pit in adverse weather to keep it dry and keep yourself safer.

 

6. How Deep Do Fire Pits Need To Be?

 

For in-ground fire pits, it’s generally recommended that you dig down 6 to 12 inches. Make sure the ground is as level as possible before adding in your layer of lava rocks or fire pit glass. If you decide to dig a deeper fire pit, make sure you have some kind of ventilation so your fire gets enough air to burn. You may need to use a fire bowl on top of your stonework to keep the fire elevated.

Higher walls around a fire pit can be especially handy if you have small children or pets and want to keep them protected from the flames. Of course, a higher wall is no substitute for a watchful eye, but it can certainly create an extra level of safety for families.

 

7. Distance Your Fire Pit From Possible Dangers

 

Fire safety is of paramount importance when selecting the location of your fire pit. You should always keep your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any trees, overhanging branches, fences, bushes, or flammable structures on your property. Clear away any dry brush around the fire pit and always make sure your fire pit complies with local regulations before building. Also, be sure to call 811 to check for underground utilities before you dig.

One of the most common dangers to watch out for is root fires. While you might think you’ve built your fire far enough away from a tree, it’s important to remember that the roots of a tree spread out, and building a fire too close to a tree can cause the roots to burn long after the embers in your fire pit have died.

If you decide to keep your fire pit on your deck you will need to purchase a fire pit specifically made to be used in a patio setting. You may even want to consult with a contractor to prepare a fireproof surface under your patio fire pit, and you will need to keep a screen on your fire pit as often as possible to prevent sparks from causing any fires. Wherever you place your fire pit, make sure it works well with the flow of traffic in your yard so it’s not a tripping hazard for guests and family members.

When enjoying your outdoor fire pit you should always keep safety in mind. Keep your fire contained and always keep a bucket of water nearby so you can put out any stray flames. Always make sure your fire is cold before you leave it for the night.

 

8. Gas vs. Wood

There are benefits to both gas and wood fires, and while you won’t enjoy the classic smell of a campfire, a gas burning fire makes it easy to start up your fire pit and enjoy a night outside, whereas gathering and lighting wood every time you want to use your fire pit is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

However, you should also take into account what you intend to use your fire pit for. If you plan to cook, a wood fire is hotter and helps food cook faster. If you simply want a warm area to chat with friends or enjoy a night outside, a gas fire has a consistent flame and heat level, without smoke blowing in your face or your fire dying down. You can easily enjoy a full evening of entertainment with a simple 20 pound tank of propane that will fuel your gas fire for up to 4½ hours. Gas fire pits can also be more decorative and use fire pit glass rocks that won’t be faded by smoke and soot.

If you can’t make up your mind you might consider a dual-fuel fire bowl that can use both gas and wood. Keep in mind that they tend to cost more and require a complex construction to build. Whether you go with gas or wood, always keep safety in mind and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Regularly check gas fires for leaks, make sure you add the best rock for inside your fire pit, and to keep you and your guests safe, never add additional fuel to a gas fire.

 

9. Size Up The Space

 

After you’ve found the perfect place for your fire pit and decided what materials you would like to use in its construction, you will need to decide how big of a fire pit you want. Keep it proportional to the size of your backyard or porch so it doesn’t feel like it’s taking over your space. Your fire pit should suit the design of your backyard landscaping, and you should provide enough space for the type of outdoor furniture you want to use around your fire pit.

When it comes to the size of the fire pit itself, it’s typically recommended to plan for a bigger fire pit, rather than a smaller one. Small fire pits are usually around 3 feet wide, whereas large fire pits are up to 6 feet wide. Fire pit dimensions are measured from the outside of the ring, so keep in mind that the interior of the fire pit will be smaller than 3-6 feet, depending on the thickness of your fire pit ring.

Whatever kind of outdoor furniture you use around your fire pit, you will want to make sure you have at least three feet of space between the seating and the fire. Sitting too close can be unsafe, because of sparks and flames. Leaving extra space and planning for a larger fire pit also allows you to upgrade your furniture or pull up a few extra chairs when visitors come over.

 

10. Prepare For The Cost

 

The type of fire pit you decide on will have a great impact on your wallet. Complex designs built by a contractor can run into the thousands, whereas portable fire pits typically run between $50-$200. However, if you’re really looking for a high-quality design at low cost, a DIY fire pit is your best option. There are even fire pit kits you can purchase for around $100-$200 to make your job easier.

To keep up the value of your outdoor fire pit make sure you fill it with fire pit glass or fire pit rocks and surround your fire pit with good quality outdoor furniture. Although good quality outdoor furniture can cost more, it’s worth the investment because it lasts longer and maintains its value.

 

11. Can You Put A Fire Pit On The Grass?

 

Temporary fire pits can easily move from one place to another. If you intend to move yours frequently, you don’t want unsightly dead patches of grass all over your lawn or the danger of dried grass starting a fire. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your grass protected from portable fire pits.

Before you start your fire, you will need to prepare the ground underneath and around the fire pit. Clear away any dead grass or vegetation within 10 feet of your fire pit and wet down the grass underneath the fire pit. Once the grass is wet you can start your fire, and the water will protect your grass—to a degree. If your grass needs additional protection you can simply place brick pavers on top of your grass as a heat shield. They will help protect your grass from high temperatures and keep your grass from drying out.

 

12. Get That Added Value

 

A beautiful, well-built fire pit adds a lot of value to a home and backyard. Patios with a fire pit are especially valuable because they create a beautiful space for entertaining and visiting with guests—especially if that space is not available inside the home. Fire pits remain popular with home buyers and really don’t cost much for the value they add.

To get the most value from your fire pit, make it a central feature of your backyard and invest in quality landscaping and outdoor furniture, that adds to the overall design of your space. There are even stand-alone fire tables and fire table and chair sets that create a quick and easy focal point if you prefer a more temporary option. If you want your outdoor space to feel like an extension of your indoor space, make sure to use similar design elements as you make the transition from inside to outside. It will make your home feel larger, especially when entertaining guests.

 

13. Complement Your Fire With Ambient Lighting

 

Create the perfect entertaining space for your backyard with ambient lighting. While it might seem like your lovely fire pit provides sufficient light, after the sun goes down you’ll wish you had another light source. Additional light allows you to check on the status of your marshmallows as you make s’mores—unless you like them burned to a crisp.

Simple string or bulb lights are the perfect accompaniment to a deck entertaining area. If string lights don’t suit the style you’re looking to achieve, you can always opt for torches or light posts instead. Remember that a good light source will also increase safety for your family and guests because they are less likely to trip over something they can’t see.

 

14. Find The Right Furniture

The outdoor furniture you choose really helps dictate your outdoor design. To make your home feel larger, make sure the design from inside the home flows over into the design of your backyard furniture. This will make your space feel more cohesive and more like one large space from inside to outside.

You should also consider the quality of materials your furniture is made of. By far the best (and most popular) material is aluminum. High-quality outdoor furniture will last you for years to come. No matter what kind of outdoor furniture you purchase, make sure it is safe for use around fire and is non-flammable. Remember to keep all furniture at least 3 feet from your fire pit for added safety.

 

15. Don’t Forget the Extras

 

It’s the extras that really make a fire pit area special and a great place to relax. If you live in an area with lots of bugs and mosquitoes, citronella candles are great for keeping them at bay. A couple of roasting sticks on hand at all times makes whipping up some s’mores a breeze. For safety purposes, you should always have a fire extinguisher and fire pit cover on hand to tame any adventurous fires.

Wood fires require a fire stoker to safely move logs without risking burns, and you should keep a cleaning broom on hand to clean around gas fires. Once you’ve compiled the basics you can kick back and enjoy your firepit in safety.

 

16. Conclusion

 

Your backyard fire pit is a great addition to get-togethers, parties, and family events. Some proper planning on how big to make your fire pit, the best rocks for inside your fire pit, and what kind of outdoor furniture to use around your fire pit, can help you fire pit add a lot of value to your home. Don’t underestimate how fire pit glass and fire pit glass rocks can impact the look of your outdoor fire pit.

Now that you know what to put in the bottom of your fire pit you can enjoy the outdoors year-round and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to add in some high-quality outdoor furniture from RST Brands to complete your outdoor landscaping look and environment.

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Backyard Sport Court: Design Tips For The Most Fun

Bocce ball and croquet are great, but have you ever thought about taking backyard fun to the next level with a backyard sport court or green? Backyard greens and sport courts can add an extra dose of fun to an already relaxing and amusing backyard. When you build a sport court, you don’t just want to plop it in the middle of everything; learn how to design your backyard around your sport court with these tips.

Choosing Your Sport

The first sport most people think about when it comes to a backyard sport court is basketball. If you’re passionate about basketball, this is a great option for your yard. There are several different kinds of basketball courts you can put in your backyard: half court, full court, concrete, sport surface, fenced, etc. But basketball isn’t the only kind of court you can put in your yard. Many people enjoy tennis and volleyball courts too. You can even get a sport court where you could play all of these sports.

Is golf more your speed? Backyard greens are more prevalent than ever. With a putting green, you can design it to look however you want. You can put as many holes in the green as you want, and you can make it any shape or size to fit the space you have for it. However you like to golf, you can hone your short game in the comfort of your own yard with a backyard green.

Placing Your Court

Once you’ve decided what kind of sport court or green is best for your yard, you need to decide where to put it. In hotter climates, you may want to put your court in the shade of some trees, so you and your guests don’t overheat when you play. If sports are the main event, find a place front and center, so even people who don’t participate can be part of the fun. Take safety and maintenance into account as well. Design your backyard around the court to provide shade, rest areas, and a pleasant aesthetic effect. When you put a court or green in, your yard is your canvas.

Getting Courtside Seats

So you’ve picked your court and you’ve found the perfect place for it. Your yard design still isn’t complete. You need seating so everyone can enjoy the game, even if they’re not playing. Do you need some comfortable individual seats? Loungers are a great outdoor seating option. For a more group-related approach, try adding an outdoor sofa or sectional to your viewing area. Whatever your outdoor furniture preferences, a relaxing viewing area can go a long way in making your sporty backyard fun and enjoyable.

Outdoor Hammock: 10 Patio Hammock Tips

If you already have the perfect backyard setup, but you feel like it’s missing just one final piece, an outdoor hammock can be an extra touch of comfort to an already luxurious patio. Your patio hammock can provide extra seating, a spot in the shade, a napping nook, or even a secluded space where you can get away from it all and be alone with your thoughts.

Whatever your reasons for getting one, a hammock is an essential element of a comfortable and elegant backyard. Read on for some tips on choosing, installing, and enjoying your patio hammock.

#1 Picking an Outdoor Hammock

There are many different kinds of outdoor hammocks. Look at materials like rope, nylon, and canvas. You should also consider different setup variations like a stand, hooks, or straps. See what you like and pick the best hammock for you and your lifestyle.

#2 Finding Shade

See where the house and trees cast shadows for most of the day. If staying in the shade is your priority, that’s where you should keep your hammock.

#3 Making Shade

Planting trees, installing canopies, and draping tarps are all great ways to create extra shade for your perfect patio hammock placement.

#4 Keeping It Green

Plant life is a great relaxation aid. Find a spot with lots of greenery to place your hammock, like a clearing in your garden. If you don’t have many plants, get new ones.

#5 Staying Cool by the Pool

Nothing helps you stay cool quite like water. If you have a pool or a pond in your yard, a place next to them is a perfect cooling off point for your outdoor hammock.

#6 Lighting It Up

The daytime can get too hot, even in the shade. If you like to kick back outside with a good book at night, lighting your backyard area is essential. You can find good outdoor string or other lights at your local hardware store.

#7 Installing Your Hammock

Securing your hammock is a must. No one wants to have their hammock come out from under them when they’re trying to have a good time.

#8 Adding Accents

Some outdoor accent furniture, like a coffee table or a side table, can give you a place to rest your book, drink, or snack when you don’t want to hold them anymore. When you find the perfect hammocking spot in your yard, consider arranging tables around it to maximize comfort.

#9 Staying Safe

Practice safe entry and exit of your hammock. Set anything in your hands down before getting in or out. Adjusting your hammock to the right height helps you remain safe as well. Ensure that the area around your hammock is free of sharp objects that could become a danger.

#10 Take Care Of Your Hammock

Now that you’ve found the perfect place for your hammock, make sure that you take care of it. If the weather is supposed to be bad, like a rain or wind storm, ensure that you take your hammock down and store it temporarily. This can help avoid unnecessary wear and tear of your hammock and enable you to enjoy it longer.

Our best hammock advice is this: take it easy. Whatever kind of patio hammock you get, it will help you get the backyard leisure you are looking for.

Patio Shade Options: How to Shade Your Yard

Depending on what part of the country you live in, summers can get really hot. It’s almost enough to make you want to stay inside your house with the air conditioning on full blast. Sitting outside on summer afternoons and evenings is one of the best simple pleasures life has to offer. Since you probably don’t want to spend your entire summer indoors, there are a lot of ways to keep your backyard cool and beat the summer heat. Read these patio shade ideas to get the most enjoyment out of your yard this summer.

Umbrellas

The easiest of our patio shade ideas is putting up some umbrellas in your yard. You don’t want to get just any old umbrella, though. You want the best patio umbrella you can get. A high-quality umbrella will do a better job of keeping the heat off of your patio furniture. Make sure the patio umbrella you get is made of durable materials. If your umbrellas can’t take wind, rain, and other nasty weather, then they won’t give you good shade for very long. Umbrellas that you can easily adjust make for great sun cover, too. Being able to switch your umbrellas’ positions at a moment’s notice will help you keep yourself and your guests shaded as the sun moves toward the horizon.

Plant Trees

One of the best sources of shade for your yard is a natural one: trees. If you don’t have good trees in your yard, you can always plant new ones. Planting new trees means that you get to decide where the trees go, so you can put your shade exactly where you want it. Some of the best-known shade trees include oak, maple, elm, and sycamore. Even if you put in your own trees, though, you can’t always shade a large amount of patio underneath them. For these situations, a hammock can be the perfect seating solution. Not only are hammocks perfectly comfortable, but they are small enough to fit underneath most shade trees. With one or more hammocks, you can enjoy your shade in ease and luxury.

Under Canvas

If you’ve got umbrellas and trees and you’re still lacking in the shade department, draping a canvas is a simple and easy way to put more shadow onto your patio. If canvas is hard to come by, a tarp or any other cloth can do the trick, too. You can easily use these kinds of materials to cover any area of your patio. Configure your canvas and patio furniture in any numbers of ways to get the optimal amount of shade.

Pergolas & Gazebos

If you have the time and resources to build one, pergolas and gazebos are perfect patio shade options. Build your structure, place your favorite backyard furniture underneath it, and voilà—you’ve got shade. The number of configurations is as large as your imagination. If you’d like even more shade under your pergola or gazebo, consider growing some wisteria on the wood. These vines grow out and provide even more shade, keeping you cool from the sun’s rays.

No one likes feeling like they’re burning up in the summer. Enjoy your yard with class and comfort by augmenting its shade. Whether you choose to add umbrellas, trees, hammocks, canvas coverings, or even shady structures to your yard, these patio shade ideas will help you keep your cool this summer. To learn more about creating the perfect patio, read about extending your living space on our blog.   

Best Outdoor Furniture For Hosting A Wedding In Your Backyard

Everyone who dreams about their future wedding day tends to imagine perfect, sunny weather and a magical outdoor setting. Something about greenery and fresh air heightens the romance of the day and makes for a perfect wedding backdrop. If you’re hosting a wedding in your backyard this season, you’re right to start planning months in advance to make sure the setting is just right for the big day.

Below we discuss tips on hosting a wedding, along with helpful tips on placement of decor, achieving the right aesthetic, and managing large crowds with ease.

Start Planning Early

With such an important event coming up, you’ll probably want to improve your landscaping in some ways to really wow the guests and make for a beautiful occasion. Consider planting flowers that coordinate with the wedding colors, adding outdoor potted plants to patios and gazebo areas, and even adding some trees to bring more shade to the landscape.

Make Guests Comfortable

Whether you’re planning for a wedding ceremony or just the reception afterward, you’re going to need room for a crowd to comfortably enjoy themselves for several hours. To do so, make sure you create several grouped seating areas around the yard that allow your guests to socialize and kick their feet back. You’ll want the seating arrangements to face inward and have a mutual focal point, which makes an outdoor fire table and seating set a great option. You could also choose outdoor accent tables to center patio chairs and patio sofas around and keep the guests engaged with one another.

Set The Mood

Creating a magical, romantic atmosphere is vital to making the wedding day special for the bride and groom. The couple should establish a theme to guide the decorations for the backyard. This will allow you to create a cohesive design for the event and direct the general feel of the space.

Almost any wedding theme can make a more impressive impact by incorporating decorations that hang from trees, tea lights on the sidewalks, and plentiful backyard lighting. The lights shouldn’t be too harsh, but instead cast a warm glow on the shrubbery and wedding party. Consider globe string lights around the perimeters of an area and LED fairy lights for an accent on table centerpieces.

Use The Right Equipment

Once you’ve found the right outdoor furniture pieces, planned decor, and tended to the landscaping, you’ll still need to figure out the logistics of hosting a large group of people in your backyard. Consult an event rental company for ideas on everything you may need, including party tents, a dance floor, and even portable bathrooms. Attention to these details will help your guests feel comfortable, so they linger and enjoy themselves all night long.

No matter the style or theme of the wedding, we have the outdoor furniture to complete your backyard decorating. Use the tips above to help you get started planning the perfect backyard wedding with ease.

Stylish Backyard Decor: 5 Fun Ways To Extend Your Living Space

If designed the right way, a backyard patio can extend your living space and create a tranquil oasis you’ll fall in love with.

With the right elements, you can transform your patio into a gathering space that is also an oasis from the outside world. It’s the perfect place to curl up with a book on a warm summer day, enjoy a glass of lemonade while you watch the sunset, or a place for family and friends to celebrate life. Here are 5 patio ideas that will help you create a functional and beautiful space, as well as some backyard privacy.

1. Quality Patio Umbrellas

A good quality patio umbrella is a backyard must have. Pick a patio umbrella that provides an ample amount of square feet of coverage while still being manageable. Patio umbrellas are a great option for those who don’t have a covered patio. Consider getting a patio umbrella that swivels so you can adjust it as the sun moves. Although they can cover a lot of space, patio umbrellas are easy to adjust and move around your backyard.

2. Ample Seating

Comfort is an essential part of privacy. You need enough seating on your patio so your guests can be comfortable. A variety of seating styles is also a good idea. Pairing a dining table and chairs next to a sofa and club chairs is a great way to allow guests to enjoy your patio. You can create one area with seating or break it up and create several comfortable seating areas around your backyard.

3. Plants & Flowers

Although your patio is probably surrounded by foliage already, adding some living elements to your backyard can provide patio privacy and help to create a cozy atmosphere. Look for small trees, bushes and flowering shrubs that are suitable for outdoor planters. As they grow, they help give your patio more privacy and look great. Small pots filled with fragrant herbs are also great to have scattered around to decorate with and use during outdoor meals.

4. Dining Outdoors

When the weather is nice, there is nothing like enjoying a meal outdoors in an intimate setting. A dining table and chairs provide a place for you to enjoy a meal or just gather together with friends and family. No matter what your style preference, the right outdoor dining table could be a great addition to your patio. If you position it correctly with umbrellas and surrounding trees, you can easily create a nice, private space for you to dine with friends and family.

5. Fire

Adding a fire table to your patio is a great way to encourage people to gather and draw together for intimate conversation. There are a variety of fire tables you can choose from, so it’s important that you keep in mind the amount of seating you will need around it. Fire tables are a great source of light for your backyard, and when positioned correctly can become a private haven for you to have great conversation.

When it comes to decorating your patio and adding privacy, the sky’s the limit on what you can do. Consider adding patio umbrellas, greenery, and different seating arrangement to increase the privacy and comfort of your backyard. By following the tips above, you can easily create a warm and inviting space you’ll never want to leave.

Strategies For Outdoor Patio Maintenance & Safety

Quality outdoor furniture can turn a backyard into a gathering place no matter whether you want to dine, play games, or simply relax. Use the following strategies to make sure your patio stays safe.

Install and Maintain Safety Rails

Safety first. You don’t want a calm evening of family or friends enjoying each other’s company on your outdoor patio sofa or eating on an outdoor patio dining set to be interrupted by accident or injury. Your deck, particularly near the stairs, should be lined with the proper safety rails to prevent perfectly avoidable accidents from occurring.

When installing your deck, check with local building codes to ensure your railing meets the requirements. Requirements may vary between residential and commercial properties as well. Railing will help keep children, pets, and even adults safe while enjoying their time on your patio.

Of course, you can’t simply install adequate railing and ignore it for the rest of your life. Regularly inspect the railing for any signs of deterioration. Once in awhile, push lightly on the railing around the deck to make sure it is still steady.

Use Proper Lighting

Outdoor lighting is an essential part of patio safety. Without proper lighting, it’s too easy for someone to trip, slip, or fall—especially around stairs. It’s also difficult to enjoy a night with friends gathered on outdoor deep seating when it’s too dark to see everyone’s faces.

First, make sure your lighting of choice is approved for outdoor use. Not all lighting fixtures can stand up to the elements of the great outdoors. Rain, wind, snow, and even long-term exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on the bulbs, wiring, and electric system of light fixtures that are not prepared to face the rigors of outdoor use.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the placement of the lighting. Ideally, you should have lights both close to the house and throughout your yard to maximize visibility. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor light fixtures to choose from such as sconces, string lights, lamps, etc. If you choose to include ground lighting, avoid placing lights in grassy areas, as it’s easy to damage both the wiring and the fixtures while mowing. Don’t forget to childproof all wiring and outlets.

Perform Regular Cleaning

If you want to enjoy your quality lounger and table set for years to come, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to regular cleaning and maintenance.

Simple, daily cleaning can include sweeping, wiping up spills, etc. Don’t allow leaves or other organic debris to pile up as that can attract insects and lead to infestations and rot.

As needed, mop the deck as well. However, before you start power cleaning your deck, it’s important to make sure the tools and/or chemicals you use are safe for your patio.

Choose Safe Outdoor Patio Furniture Placement

Believe it or not, the placement of your quality outdoor furniture can have a significant impact on safety, especially if you have a lot of children around.

Outdoor furniture should not be placed near the edges of the patio. It’s too easy to lean back too far or scoot a chair out too quickly. Additionally, small children and pets can climb on the furniture and over the railways if the furniture is placed too close to an edge.

Inspect for Rot, Rust, and Other Issues

Even the best cared for deck can develop rot or rust over time, which is why inspections should be a regular part of your patio maintenance plan.

It’s important to understand what you’re looking for during these inspections. Look for the following signs of potential problems:

    • Sawdust or small holes, as this can be a sign of an insect infestation.
    • Loose, warped, cracked, discolored, or soft wood. This can be a sign of water damage or rot.
    • Discoloration around screws, fasteners, other metal. This can be a sign of rust and/or corrosion.

Outdoor patios can be a great addition to your home and your backyard. It can give people a space to gather around at parties and social events you hold in your home. However, like we discussed above, it’s important you regularly inspect your deck for maintenance and arrange furniture in a way that will help facilitate safety.

5 Ways to Incorporate Spring In Your Patio Decor

Don’t let the long months of winter get you down, Spring is right around the corner. With these five patio decorating ideas, you can spiff up your personal outside space and have it ready and waiting for the first warm day that comes along.

1. Clean or Refinish the Surfaces

No one wants to hang out on a dirty porch or patio. Giving your door, walls, and floor (making sure to get all the corners) a good spray-down with soapy water is usually enough to get your space ready for redecoration.

If you want to add a better backdrop, there are plenty of ways to enliven the area and make it easier on your feet:

    • Paint your door a welcoming color such as poppy or robin’s egg blue
    • Seal or paint your concrete with a high-gloss finish
    • Lay down slate tile
    • Install wood planks
    • Throw down an outdoor rug
    • Use high-grade turf

2. Add Soon-to-Bloom Plants

Nothing says spring more than early blooms. Place some woven planters around your patio, and consider arranging some on top of outdoor accent tables, to add more color and cheer from live plants. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are incredible and will never go out of style. If you want to experiment with some less-expected varieties, why not give winter aconite, double rock rose, or puschkinia a try?

For an easy way to show off your flowers, all you need to do is grab whatever variety that catches your eye (when it looks like the buds are about to burst open). Just slip the plastic container they come in into a colorful pot.

If you want to go the extra mile and have a show-stopping container, remove the flowers from the original plastic pot and plant them into your own larger pot. You can even plant a few varieties together. Then fill up any pockets with container soil, arrange moss on top of the soil, and water thoroughly. Place in a sunny spot on your porch or patio.   

3. Refresh Your Patio Decor

Sometimes all you need are some fresh patio decorating ideas to get the ball rolling. Patio decor styles run the gamut. From tropical to desert and urban to country, there is a look for every personality. Add the following for an almost-instant update:

  • Outdoor pillows to brighten a dull corner
  • A water feature or wind chimes to create a serene scene
  • A hanging clock or thermometer to add visual interest
  • Updated lighting that will complete your look

Remember, it’s the details that truly make an outdoor space feel like an extension of your home.

4. Buy New Porch Furniture

There are times when a completely new set of outdoor porch furniture is exactly what you need. A outdoor dining table set that will seat an intimate gathering of friends or family is a must for those warmer nights that are begging you to dine al fresco. If the weather is still a little too cool for that, an outdoor fire table surrounded by comfy chairs extends the outdoor season by keeping everyone nice and cozy. If lounging in the spring sun is more your style, a couple of outdoor chaise lounges will do quite nicely.

5. Adopt an All-Weather Use Policy

Even if the weather isn’t sunny and warmer yet, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. Crisp, cool weather can actually be good for you. It’ll wake you up and give you a chance to catch some much-needed Vitamin D, even when the sky is overcast.

All you need to do is bundle up a bit, take a blanket and a warm drink with you, and unwind for a few minutes. A comfortable patio hammock is a perfect place for this mini-break. You’ll return back inside happy to have experienced a bit of revitalized relaxation.

Use the tips above to start thinking about ways to decorate your outdoor patio. If you break it down into smaller tasks you will realize you can accomplish it in no time. Here’s to a lovely, warm welcome to Spring on your newly decorated porch or patio.

DIY Backyard Design Ideas: Tips For Lighting Your Space

We’ve all seen those outdoor spaces that take our breath away. A truly beautiful backyard with attractive outdoor patio furniture is what takes a nice house to the next level, making it a destination for friends and family to gather and make memories all year long.

However, it can be tricky to know what goes into making the perfect backyard if you’ve never done your own landscaping. If your yard is lacking a homey, inviting feel, we have some tips on how to transform your space with the help of backyard lights.

1. Patio String Lights

Most people would agree that there’s nothing better than dining al fresco on a warm summer night. If you want to bring the high-end restaurant feel to your space, the first thing to do is add patio string lights to your yard. Patio string lights come in a variety of styles and price points. They’re sure to wow your guests, making them the first on our list of backyard design ideas.

2. Outdoor Fireplace

A fireplace is a great way to immediately change the ambiance of your backyard. We love the idea of tabletop fire pits which provide a more modern, sophisticated fire feature.

3. Space Heaters

In most parts of the country, backyard activities are a seasonal affair. But if you’d like to extend the season a bit, space heaters are a great way to do it. Space heaters add a soft light glow and will keep your friends and family warm in the early spring and late fall. With a few strategically-placed space heaters, sitting around your patio on your comfortable, high-quality outdoor furniture can be something you enjoy year-round.

4. Light Pole Stands

If you don’t have an overhang or gazebo to string lights on, light pole stands are a great way to achieve the same effect. These stands can be installed for permanent placement or put up for special occasions, making them a great, versatile option for any home.

5. Illuminate Pathways

One of the most important outdoor design ideas is understanding the powerful effect of illuminating pathways in your yard. Using simple tea lights or other forms of lighting is a great way to draw people into different parts of the yard and highlight the dynamic elements of your landscaping.

6. Tree Spotlights

Trees are a gorgeous way to add dimension and a secluded feel to your backyard, so make sure they don’t disappear when the sun goes down. Tree spotlights can be used in bold or softer styles to draw attention to your greenery.

7. Water Feature Lights

Lighting waterfalls, pools, ponds, and streams is a great way to bring a peaceful, calming vibe to your backyard. Water lights are a chance to get creative with different colors and light patterns as well.

8. Mounting Lights For Plants

Even if you don’t have massive trees in your yard, you can illuminate your smaller shrubs and vines for a similar effect. Mounting lights are a natural choice for drawing the eye toward your landscape.

9. Artisan Hanging Lights

Make a statement to your gazebo or pergola design with some creative ideas. Artisan hanging lights are a great way to make a statement to your outdoor patio and gazebo. You can also string classic Chinese lanterns along your yard to add magic to your outdoor space.

10. Led Lights

LED lights don’t provide a huge amount of illumination, but they’re a popular trend for those wanting a subtle, modern lighting effect in their backyard.

By taking a few of these DIY backyard design ideas into account, you’ll be roasting marshmallows on an outdoor fire table, wining and dining with friends, and thoroughly enjoying yourself in your backyard before you know it.