Category Archives: Outside Design

Creative Ways to Decorate Your Gazebo

 

Do you own a gazebo or pergola that is in serious need of a facelift? One of the quickest ways you can give your space a fresh, updated look is to add new furniture. No matter if you want to create an edgy space with modern furniture, or a cozy place to entertain family and guests, RST brands can help you find the style that fits all your wants and needs. Check out the following six design styles to make your gazebo furniture dreams come to life.  

 

The Bohemian

Transform your gazebo into a calm, serene outdoor bohemian oasis by incorporating natural outdoor decor elements like potted plants, a comfortable hammock, and a deep outdoor sofa or sectional.  When choosing your gazebo furniture, try to stay away from plain and neutral colors and instead opt for vivid patterns, and mixed colors. Also, utilize warm elements such as cushions, pillows, blankets, and curtains.

 

The Outdoor Greatroom

An outdoor greatroom is the perfect use for patio gazebos or pergolas that are connected to the home. Make this space another great place for lounging with the family or enjoying a relaxing afternoon by implementing furniture pieces like outdoor club chairs, ottoman slings, multi-piece couch sets, and much more. A fascinating focal piece such as a waterfall or a fire table can set your outdoor greatroom apart.

 

The Entertainment Zone

Give your guests a unique place to gather by transforming your backyard gazebo into a welcoming entertainment zone. Along with statement pieces like a fire table or hammock, you should also consider bringing in a variety of different seating options to accommodate your guests. In addition, be sure to include fun decorations like patio string lights, a surround sound system, television, and other elements that make your space as welcoming and enjoyable as possible.

 

The Dining Den

Put a new twist on the way you and your family dine by creating an inviting outdoor dining room in your gazebo. Whether you want a small, high-top table for four or an expansive table that can seat all your friends and family, RST Brands has stylish, high-quality, durable dining sets to fit your needs.

Give your space your own unique touch by choosing from a variety of cushion colors, material types, and more. And finish off the space with soft lighting, plants, and subtle decor.

 

The Bar Star

Design a welcoming outdoor bar in your pergola or gazebo and let the fun begin. After selecting the type of bar you want, whether it be a wet or dry bar, bring in bar stools and other comfortable furniture. When you set up your seating think of how you can situate the furniture to create a great space for socializing with your guests.  Be sure to incorporate additional elements like music, lighting, and decor to really bring your gazebo bar to life.

 

The Lounge

What’s better than having a go-to place to relax and unwind? Make your gazebo this place by bringing in high-class, loungers and accent tables. Create a relaxing atmosphere with additions like plants, water features, umbrellas, and more.

Don’t let your gazebo or pergola suffer from neglect any longer. Start designing your dream space today and discover the benefits of having a unique, outdoor space with top-of-the-line furniture and thoughtfully chosen decor.

Ideas for Designing Your Perfect Backyard Getaway

 

There are so many components involved in designing your perfect backyard. Some are large and invasive projects such as pools and water features, or terraced retaining walls. But bigger isn’t always better, and the addition of tasteful and elegant outdoor furniture and accessories is a simple way to transform your backyard into a space you can’t wait to come home to.

 

1. Define the Dimensions of the Outdoor Area

Measure the area of the space that you are designing so you know what you have to work with. At this point, a sketch of your backyard will be very helpful throughout each step in the design process.

 

2. Identify the Function of Your Backyard

Start the design process by identifying the primary use and goals for your outdoor space. Will it be for outdoor cooking and entertaining, kid-friendly use, lounging and relaxation, sunbathing, or patio gardening? Think of your backyard or patio as a part of your home that can function as another room.

 

3. Choose a Style

As an extension of your home, you may choose the same design style that you have in your home for your outdoor living space. Are your tastes modern and contemporary, traditional, transitional, eclectic, or more French Country? Furniture frames come in a variety of styles, and outdoor fabric color and print options are nearly endless.

Choosing design style will drive all of your purchases including furniture, fabric selection, and accessories such as rugs and pillows. Be sure the style will flow well with the rest of your existing backyard landscaping.

 

4. Use an Online Design Tool

Online design tools are beneficial to help you figure out how you would like to layout your furniture and accessories. It’s a good way to visualize exactly how everything will fit in your space. Your furniture and accessory layout should be cozy but still flow well without feeling cluttered. This step is essential in knowing exactly what you will need to purchase.

 

5. Go Shopping!

After you’ve gone through the steps above to thoroughly plan the design of your backyard retreat you’re ready to buy everything you need for the project. You will be amazed at how dramatically just a few outdoor furnishings will transform a concrete patio into an inviting living area.

Here are some options for you to consider when shopping for outdoor furniture.

 

Outdoor Patio Furniture

Be thoughtful with furniture purchases—you will get what you pay for. Outdoor furniture needs to be sturdy and well-crafted from high-quality materials so it is able to withstand outdoor weather conditions. Don’t forget to consider outdoor furniture covers to protect your investment and keep the furniture clean.

 

Tables

Choose the type of tables that will be appropriate for the function of your outdoor living space. Large rectangular tables are ideal for dining and entertaining, but not if your patio is small and will be used as a sitting area. Coffee tables and end tables function well in sitting areas.

 

Seating

Chairs, sofas, chaise lounge, benches, bar stools…oh my! There are many options for seating—you’re sure to find exactly what you need in a design that you love. The size and function of your patio living will determine the type of seating you choose. A chaise lounge or chair and ottoman are good options for relaxation, and a sofa and chairs are ideal for sitting areas.

 

Patio Fire Pits

Nothing creates a warm, intimate, and even romantic atmosphere quite like a fire table. The kids will enjoy roasting marshmallows, and you’ll love how your fire table lights up the night and provides heat when it’s cold outside.

 

Leave Room for Planters

Be sure to include plenty of space for plants when designing the layout of your outdoor retreat. Potted plants add color, texture, and warmth to an outdoor living space. A fully-landscaped yard can still benefit from including plants into the patio design.

Planters are the ideal accessory to include if your backyard is in an urban area with wall-to-wall concrete. Plant trees, vegetables, flowers, or an outdoor herb garden.

 

Accessories

Rugs, decorative pillows, and garden lighting are components that personalize your new patio oasis. Add pops of color and warmth with these accessories. Garden lights contribute to the mood and atmosphere of your space when the sun goes down. Be sure to include any lighting accessories in your online layout.

 

Patio Umbrellas

Shade any area of your yard with a patio umbrella. Outdoor umbrellas are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes to help you enjoy your backyard oasis even more. The height and angle of outdoor umbrellas are easily adjustable so you can get the most shade at any time of day.

Designing your new backyard retreat is an exciting process. Hopefully, you’re excited to get started! When you thoughtfully plan out your design you can be sure that your outdoor living space can be used any time day or night and in any kind of weather. Enjoying your new outdoor area for entertaining and relaxation is just a few steps away.

Extend Your Living Space By Creating the Perfect Patio

 

It’s not unusual to have a deck; most single-family homes have some kind of deck or back patio that leads into the backyard. A good majority of homeowners, though, don’t do much more with their deck other than set up a grill and a patio chair or two and call it a day. This tendency to do very little with the deck is a sad waste of valuable space—space that can be a valuable extension of your living area, and a great spot both for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Your deck and patio area can become the perfect place for hosting summer parties, for enjoying time as a family, for eating meals on a beautiful evening, and so much more. That’s why we’ve gathered up these helpful tips for transforming your deck into the best place to escape to.

Family Fun

Want to take the hassle out of planning spring and summer activities? Look no further than your own backyard for endless entertainment. With a little bit of help, your deck can become the ideal family hangout spot. Just check out some of the following ideas:

  • A large patio table can offer plenty of comfortable seating when combined with colorful cushions and pillows.
  • To keep the party going on into the evening, add some brightly colored lanterns and strings of lights for a cheerful ambiance.
  • Keep a collection of games on hand outdoors so your family can come together for a game of Jenga, Tic-Tac-Toe, chess, Twister, or any other family favorite.
  • Take the exercise outside with a backyard gym on deck or a yoga patio for encouraging fitness while having fun together.
  • A built-in firepit can turn an otherwise boring spot into a place to gather night after night to roast hotdogs and make s’mores—something every family member can appreciate.

Another great addition is the increasingly popular outdoor movie screen so the whole family can gather together for backyard movie night with buckets of popcorn, patio chairs and a sky full of stars as you all enjoy a favorite summer flick.

Relaxation Station

Turn your back patio into a private oasis where you can retire each evening to dine, talk and relax with someone you love. Essential pieces for a truly envious deck include a wide and durable outdoor umbrella for providing plenty of shade and comfortable outdoor chairs where you can spend hours reading or kicking up your feet. Take the appeal up a notch by adding an inviting hammock or two, and you won’t need to leave your backyard all summer long.

Creative homeowners look for backyard design ideas in which they can incorporate a meditation garden with their favorite plants and fragrant flowers, shady trees and lounge chairs for transforming a simple deck into a zen patio unlike any other. Add the soothing sounds of a built-in fountain or other similar water feature and watch all your daily stresses simply melt away.

Hosting Others

Impress your friends and neighbors with an outdoor party unlike any other on your luxurious patio complete with stylish, comfortable patio furniture (like our stylish Bloom Collection) made with entertaining a larger group in mind. If you love eating outdoors from spring through fall, you might want to consider the many benefits that a backyard kitchen can bring. A special countertop for food prep, a simple sink and an outdoor refrigerator can transform your backyard into hub for summer festivities.

Make your party feel more like an exclusive, VIP event with plenty of privacy thanks to the help of lots of enclosures such as detailed garden walls and fences lined with fragrant flowers and green vines. For those who really want to host a great outdoor party, the addition of a hot tub on the deck will boost the summer party experience and can still be enjoyed solo or for a romantic evening as a couple without leaving home.

Best Outdoor Furniture for Stargazing

 

Imagine coming home on a Friday night after a long week of working hard, gathering with friends and family on your back patio, and gazing up at the night sky at one of Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces: the stars. Not only is stargazing a universal activity, but it’s also one that doesn’t require much planning or advanced technology to truly enjoy.

When you’re ready to unwind, instead of turning to the TV, computer, smartphone or video gaming system to give you instant entertainment, consider grabbing some snacks, gathering up your family, friends, and/or neighbors, and making a fun evening out of watching an all-natural, awe-inspiring star show. With these helpful tips, you can transform your backyard or patio space into a comfortable, functional stargazing paradise.

Set Seats for the Stars

It’s important to have enough comfortable, adequate outdoor patio furniture. Instead of simply putting out some lawn chairs and hoping that they do the job, consider investing in quality, versatile seating pieces that give guests options of how and where they can settle in. Check out these star-friendly patio seating options:

  • Luxury chaise lounge chairs: Sophisticated and contemporary lounge chairs with five-way adjustable backrests and fold-out feet allow you to set up a perfect laid-back, stargazing sanctuary.
  • Club chair settings: Comfortable, plush club chairs that have swivel and rocking capabilities are ideal for gazing up at the night sky.
  • Club & ottoman sling chairs: These versatile, practical, and durable sling chairs and ottomans are built for offering leisure outdoor living and can be a great addition to a stargazing-friendly patio set.  
  • Full patio set-ups: Get an all-in-one patio seating option with a plush, luxurious the Resort Outdoor Furniture set or a seating arrangement from the Portofino Collection. A timeless style and quality construction make these sets beyond ideal for stargazing.  From couches and club chairs to sectionals and loungers, you can create a unique, customized seating set-up that fits all your wants and needs.

Don’t Skip the Snacks

What is stargazing without some yummy snacks on-hand? Spice things up a bit with some fun, star-special treats like meteorite Krispie treats, constellation cookies, solar system fruit kabobs, and full-moon sandwiches. Other go-to snacks include things like chips, granola bars, peanut M&M’s, Oreos, and crackers.

Add Fun Accessories

In order to truly create a serene place for fun star-gazing, you should incorporate some fun accessories to make your backyard unique. Some pieces to consider are:

  • Hammocks: What’s better than sitting in comfortable patio chairs and watching a meteor shower? Rocking in a plush hammock and watching a meteor shower. Plush, quilted hammock beds are supported by a cypress wood frame that just summons you to lay back and watch the stars unfold.
  • Fire tables: Fire tables are a must-have piece for fun evenings with friends and family. These pieces help to create a focal point for your backyard and can create a beautiful design element for your space.
  • Pillows: By incorporating decorative outdoor pillows in your patio set up, you’ll be adding a bit of flare to your space while also providing guests with a comfortable place to rest and enjoy mother nature.

Don’t Forget the Star-Gazing Staples

With comfortable seating options, fun accessories, and enough snacks to keep tummies happy, you’ll also need to make sure you have all the staples in order to create a successful night of stargazing. Make a checklist for the following options and keep it handy when you’re preparing for a night under the stars.

  • Telescope and accessories: If stargazing is something you and your family plan to enjoy for years down the road, consider investing in a high-quality telescope for stargazing and accessories like a dew shield, a Barlow lens, Moon filter, or nebula filter.
  • Binoculars: A decent set of binoculars is a great tool to have close at hand while star-gazing and can truly enhance the entire star-gazing experience.
  • Laser-pointer: As you know, it’s virtually impossible to successfully point to a particular star or constellation with your finger. Laser-pointers, on the other hand, make it easy to point out things for everyone to see.
  • Added comforts: Make sure you include items that will enhance the overall stargazing experience. Some staples include blankets, bug spray, music, hats and gloves, information on stargazing for beginners, and any other things that you think your guests might enjoy.

By following these helpful tips, you’ll be able to create a backyard oasis that’s perfect for enjoying star views with friends and family.  

 

 

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.

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.

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.