Category Archives: Outside Design

How to Choose the Best Patio Furniture to Fit Your Backyard

Does it ever feel like decorating your outdoor spaces requires a lot more time and effort than your interior spaces? Perhaps the reason for this is the size and shape of the space you’re working with. Whether you have several acres, or a few square feet of patio, the outdoor patio furniture you choose should be based around the vision you have for your space to keep it functional and beautiful.

Large Spaces

There are many benefits to having a spacious yard. However, someone with a lot of space can find themselves struggling with backyard landscaping ideas just as much as someone with a small space. Depending on the purpose you’d like your outdoor space to serve, consider breaking up your yard into several areas that are more manageable. If entertaining is your goal, consider a large dining set for an outdoor patio, some comfortable outdoor chairs or chaise loungers to surround a fire pit, or bright, oversized loungers for around your pool.

Small Spaces

Small backyard design is actually a lot of fun. While you may not be able to allot different furniture pieces to several different spaces, you can be more creative and choose pieces that are functional and compliment the space.

To create an inviting space for guests, consider a small seating area or raised bar table with stools. Ottomans are excellent for adding extra seating and storage, while less bulky furniture will allow the space to feel more open and not so cramped.

Awkward Shapes

Perhaps the most daunting space to face off against is one that is awkwardly shaped. When you have a space that is broken up in an odd way, or not balanced in the size and shape, your creativity can really take over. Choose outdoor furniture that you love, and break the space up into several smaller spaces, or maybe consider one larger space that’s multi-functional.

Just like with a smaller space, functionality is key when it comes to an awkwardly shaped yard. If it suits your style, consider furniture pieces that are just as unique as the space you’re working with, and you’re bound to create something that’ll make everyone else wish they had an awkwardly shaped yard too.

Whether you’re looking for help with a large space, or on the hunt for landscaping ideas for a small yard, we can help you find the best pieces to suit your space.

2017 Outdoor Patio Trends are Bold, Yet Simple

It may seem a little cold outside to be thinking about patio furniture and backyard decorating ideas, but winter is the perfect season to begin perusing the upcoming patio trends to ensure your summer patio set is on point. Think spirited silhouettes, chunky wicker weaves, bold patterns mixed with vibrant colors, and outdoor dining tables while mixing and matching your 2017 patio furniture.

1. Spirited Silhouettes

Patio pieces should make a statement with your use of shapes, materials, and colors. Gone is the day of uniform and sameness; you want pieces with different depths and shapes to stand out from the rest. High-backed chairs, chaise lounge sofas, tall canopies, innovative sling chairs, and punched steel designs can all add dramatic silhouettes to your sunbathing set of furniture.

2. Upholstery, Wicker, Teak, Iron, and Stainless Steel

Experimenting with new materials and textures will be a popular outdoor furniture trend in 2017. Though black and brown finishes are always fan-favorites, multi-step finishes and hand-woven resin wicker allow for different colors and finishes that will bring more texture to old styles.

Weave designs within the furniture will also bring flair to future patio sets. Open weaves and braiding will continue to flourish in the design scene and the introduction of thicker and even multi-colored weave creations will add incredible accents for the new year.

3. Vibrant and Energetic Colors

The design innovators at Behance say “scenes from life” will be the color trends of 2017: “cityscapes, island getaways, and lush countrysides”. Green and blue hues such as Aqua, Sea Foam, Drab Green, and Indigo will create calming, spa-like vibes. Coral, Sienna, Pink, Orchid, Melon, Bubblegum, Custard Yellow, and Butterscotch will add pops of vibrancy that will pair nicely with more subdued tones such as Mushroom, Buff, Khaki, and Tailored Grey.

“Use a Use a vibrant outdoor rug to set the tone. Whimsy or traditional, you can create the vibe and style you’re going for with an outdoor-friendly rug easily changed next Spring.” – Kelli Ellis, Celebrity Designer and RST Brands Outdoor Living Brand Ambassador

4. Cushions Galore

Cushions and pillows are the best way to add color and personality to your patio set. Bold prints and patterns with contrasting colors and abstract geometric shapes will surely be trending in 2017. A textured dark chair or couch with solid cushions will pair nicely with patterned and striped pillows for a modern look.

Be sure to select a resilient fabric for your outdoor design that will withstand the elements, both rain or shine, while maintaining comfort and style. A sunbrella fabric will avoid fading in harsh sunlight and is layered to allow for quick drying after a moisture-filled day.

5. Mixed Styles

Design styles in the new year will vary from simplistically modern to bohemian chic. Simple, elegant lines with spunky features will create a welcoming oasis. Mixing and matching materials such as wicker, wood slat, concrete, and upholstery transform a classic style into a fresh new look. With millennials continuing to gain interest in travel and embracing culture in their decorative style, textured artisanal patterns and eclectic textiles will be making their way to your patio in 2017.

6. Outdoor Entertaining

Your patio is no longer just a place to sunbathe or sit, it is your best place to entertain. Patio furniture needs to be prepared to seat various-sized groups of guests in a comfortable fashion for next year’s garden and patio parties. Guests need to feel relaxed and have multiple seating options ranging from single chairs to large patio sectionals.

7. Blending Indoor with Outdoors

Who says eating dinner and warming up by the fire has to take place indoors? Blending your indoor furniture style with the outdoors is gaining a lot of attention. Repurposing old indoor furniture to withstand outdoor temperatures can really add pizazz. Adding an outdoor table for dining al fresco or a flickering fire pit is sure to impress your guests.

8. Accessories

“Outdoor floor lighting is HAUTE! Creating the outdoor living room is easy with on-point outdoor lighting that’s cordless and fashionable.” – Kelli Ellis

Developing your budding outdoor living design goes beyond furniture. By accessorizing your space you can set the tone for your backyard retreat. Lighting, art, and potted plants can all be used to set your patio apart and create the ambiance you want your guests to feel upon first glance.

It’s never too cold to think about your outdoor living ideas. Update old furniture with fashion-forward patterns, embrace bold colors, and repurpose old items for unique furniture pieces that will keep your guests talking.

How to Prep Indoor Furniture for Outdoor Use

Outdoor Furniture Frame

If you’re interested in a unique approach to choosing outdoor furniture, consider adding style to your patio by incorporating updated indoor furniture or repurposing your indoor furniture pieces for outdoor use.

Outfitting your patio with indoor furniture may seem difficult, but with these tips you can repurpose and achieve a versatile outdoor set.

Prep and Prime Wood

Indoor materials such as wood are not often prepared to face the elements of outdoor weather, but with a little physical work and help from the local hardware store, those pieces can be prepared to endure even the harshest of climates.

  • Sand the piece down first. Since most indoor pieces are not made of treated wood and use glue and finishes made for indoor temperatures, a better coat of protectant must be applied. In order to do that, you must sand the furniture to bare wood so that the finish you select will adhere.
  • Prime and paint. Most clear finishes do not protect against UV rays as well as paint. Start with a quality primer, followed by a thick coat of exterior latex or oil-based paint. Multiple coats of spray varnish with added UV blockers is your best option to maintain that natural wood look.
  • Seal every nook and cranny. No surface of the wood should be left uncovered. Thoroughly encapsulate every joint, leg, and crack with a thorough coating of sealant to provide ultimate protection.
  • Recoat every year. Furniture constantly exposed to the elements needs to be recoated often, once every 1-2 years, in order to stay protected. A fresh coat of paint and sealant will also keep your furniture looking new and clean.


Resist Rust on Metals

Metal, though a strong material, can still fall prey to the different types of weather on your patio.

  • Scrape off any existing rust. Use a metal brush to scrape off rust and prepare the material for coats of paint. Sand off any remaining rust and hand sand any crevices or curves.
  • Clean the surface. Properly clean the surface of the metal with a solvent to ensure there is no dirt or debris preventing your coats of paint or primer from adhering.
  • Spray on primer and paint. Spray paintF is the best way to coat metal furniture. Stick with a high-quality white primer under light colors and a darker grey under darker paint colors for uniform coverage. Use a clean chip brush to fix any drips.


Have Fun with Fabrics

Indoor fabrics are vulnerable to fading in the sun and battling mildew from wet weather, but fabric furniture can still be used outdoors.

  • Replace cushion and pillow covers with outdoor fabric. Visit your local craft or fabric store to pick up some outdoor fabrics and materials with which to recover your outdoor cushions and pillows. Utilizing a fabric created specifically for outdoor weather will help your fabrics last longer and avoid accumulating mold and mildew.
  • Waterproof unchangeable fabrics and pillows. Pick up some spray-on waterproof fabric sealant and evenly cover all fabrics for moisture and sun protection.

No matter how sturdy the furniture or how much weatherproofing is done, furniture will eventually wear down from the elements so be sure to cover or remove furniture from heavy rains or snows as much as possible.

If you’re looking to add more accessories and fabrics to your patio/dining set, check out our outdoor furniture offerings.

How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space for the Fall Season [Infographic]

Fall season is here and that means cooler temperatures and the change of colors outside. It is a time to enjoy the beautiful change of colors before the cold and snowy weather comes. What better place to enjoy the crisp Fall weather than your own backyard! If your own outdoor space leaves much to be desired, check out our infographic and learn how you can create the perfect outdoor space for the Fall season!

The tips and ideas for this infographic was inspired from our blog post, The Complete A-Z Design Guide for Backyard Patio Design Ideaswhich featured a number of contributions from design experts, Dina Gibbons from Rubber Mulch, Craig Jenkin-Sutton, Isabelle Larue, and Alice Chiu!


Create the Perfect Fall Outdoor Space

Ready to create the perfect outdoor space for your backyard for the Fall season? Check out our stylish and durable outdoor furniture today!

Like what you see? Share our infographic with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

10 Tips to Make Your Patio Pop

With the weather warming up you may find yourself spending more and more time out on your patio. This is the perfect time of year to evaluate your outdoor space and find affordable ways to spruce up your furniture and bring a little more ambiance to your outdoor retreat. Kick that dilapidated patio chair to the curb and transform your patio space into the perfect place for entertaining and rejuvenating with these 10 tips.

1. Furniture

The easiest way to make improvements to your patio is to get a classy and durable set of patio furniture. Invest in a heavy-duty, corrosion-free set with fade resistant cushions that dry quickly and are easy to clean. Don’t be afraid to add a table and chairs for an outdoor eating space as well.

2. Curtains/Pillows

Make your space more intimate by surrounding your space with outdoor curtains. Add a little comfort and design with coordinating pillows.

3. Lighting

Ditch the floodlights and look into adding lights that contribute to the outdoor vibe and overall feel of your space. Strings of holiday and outdoor lights can be hung to add different levels of light. Go big by installing drop-down pendant lights with a dimmer switch so you can control your lighting any time of the day or night.

4. Shade

The majority of time spent on the patio is during the sunniest and hottest months. Keep your skin safe and your guests comfortable by offering shade options such as large umbrellas and canvas coverings, or consider building a pergola.

5. Pops of Color

Brighten up your space by adding a little color. Vibrant colored or patterned throws, brilliant art pieces, and even brightly colored garlands can bring life to your patio.

6. Fire Pit

Create the perfect patio entertainment with a fire-pit or fire table. Add that bonfire feel with a place to warm up and roast marshmallows with a fire table to fit your patio decor.

7. Plants

Lush greenery and colorful flowers can really spruce up any backyard. Look for unique planters to add intrigue to your patio, or plant succulents in fish bowls and place them on tables within your space.

8. Outdoor Kitchen/Bar

Ultimate outdoor entertaining revolves around food and drinks. Think refrigerators, grills, burners, drink carts, etc. Create a space for cooking food and preparing drinks to add real flair to your patio.

9. Statement Rug

Maybe all your patio needs is a statement piece to lighten up a drab area. Choose a sturdy outdoor rug with bold colors and beautiful designs to impress guests.

10. Hammock/Day Bed

Fully take advantage of your patio by creating a place to really rest. Hang a hammock for breezy afternoon naps or construct a daybed using pallets and a mattress for serious lounging and day reading.

For more ideas and furniture options, see how RST Brands can spruce up your patio.


The Complete A-Z Guide for Backyard Patio Design Ideas

What do you see when you look out at your backyard? Is it a fully-functioning space where you can entertain guests, relax after a long day, and spend time creating memories with your family?

Or do you see only potential?

If your outdoor space leaves much to be desired, and you’re looking to updating its design and functionality, then you’ve come to the right place! We asked several outdoor and patio design experts for their insights into making the most of your backyard–no matter what shape it’s in right now, or how big or small.

Instead of giving you a complete step-by-step guide, we’ve arranged our insights alphabetically, in addition to a short introduction on getting started. This is because every outdoor space is unique, and your approach will likely be different from anyone else’s.

Now let’s get started!

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

Getting Started – First Steps

1. Decide how you will use the space

Figuring out what you want to do with your backyard space is no easy task, and it’s not to be taken lightly. To really create the ideal outdoor design, you need vision. The following tips from Accessorize to Zen will help, but here are some insights from design pros on choosing the perfect path.

Your #1 priority is deciding how you want to use the space. If you don’t design for how you want to use it, you won’t use it. Do you have kids or dogs that need space to run around? Do you want to be outside at night? Do you want a vegetable garden? Design a section for each activity you want. Make it yours!– Jessyca Frederick, Water Wise Now

When designing outdoor spaces for clients I first ask them what the space will be used for and then lay out the space accordingly. If the client is planning to use their garden areas for large gatherings I try to incorporate more built in seating with seating walls, seating boulders and other architectural design elements with lots of open space for movement. For more intimate outdoor living areas we may incorporate cozy chairs near a fire feature and a smaller dining area set amongst more densely planted gardens.– Morgan Vondrak, Argia Designs

It all comes down to how do you want to feel in the space– indoor or out–and what image do you want it to convey.– Pablo Solomon,

2. Remove the clutter

The simple act of removing excess items that have naturally accumulated in your backyard will give it new life, and give you a fresh palette to work off of.

One of the easiest ways to get a fresh look is to ensure that your outdoor area is neat and orderly. Tidy up pool toys and floats by getting attractive outdoor storage that won’t attract pests.– Amy Wolff, Amy Wolff Interiors

3. Clean up

Your backyard may already have a lot going for it, and giving everything a thorough cleaning will help you see that. You don’t have to start from scratch, according to the following expert insight:

Hose off all the frames of your patio furniture and vacuum the cushions if you have a shop vac. Inspect to see what condition everything is in! If the furniture frames aren’t quite perfect, there are many ways to repair these from re-painting, waxing, or by calling a professional – depending on the amount of wear or damage, and the quality of the furniture.– Amy Wolff

Keep your outdoor furniture looking its best with these tips and tricks.

“A” for Accessorize


To make your deck and backyard space as unique as you, you’ve got to accessorize!

Just like indoor rooms, outdoor “rooms” need some jewelry, too!! Candles, placemats, and plants are the obvious choices. For the more ambitious, you can upgrade to a cool new ceiling fan, add outdoor rugs and wall art – there are even outdoor table lamps available!! Almost anything we have indoors is now made for outdoors!– Amy Wolff

My favorite outdoor space accessory is pots painted in glow in the dark paint! They’re an easy and inexpensive DIY project.– Tracy Kay Griffin, Express Homebuyers

“B” for Base

When incorporating patio design into your outdoor decor, you’ve got to think about it from the base up.

All great outdoor areas start with a good base, whether it’s a deck or patio flooring. Today there are so many choices that it can be overwhelming. If you don’t have an existing deck, concrete is an affordable and design-worthy choice. Concrete can be made into any pattern and color, plus you can score, stamp, and stain it.-Dina Gibbons, Rubber Mulch

Learn how to make your outdoor space more cozy and create a space you enjoy relaxing in.

“C” for Color

Alice Chiu, of Miss Alice Designs, recommends using color to make your backyard come to life:

Use a mixture of warm & cool colors in your outdoor space-2-3 color combinations is the perfect amount. Examples of warm & cool color combinations: purple (cool), orange (warm), and white, or blue, yellow, and gray. Include accents in vibrant colors and bold prints such as cushions, stools, sculptures, or throw pillows. Adding layers of colorful flowers, foliage, planters, and bright vines at different levels creates depth and texture to your outdoor space. Another way to add a splash of color to your outdoor design is to paint landscape structures such as fences, garden sheds, & pergolas. You can select a paint color that goes with your outdoor color palette or one that highlights your garden colors.

Make boring patio furniture pop with these tips:

Most patio furniture comes in neutrals and lacks color and personality. Give your patio furniture’s cushions and pillows a pop of color with vibrant fabrics. Think bright greens and bold oranges.– Dina Gibbons“


Make a splash with pattern – Once everything is clean and in good shape, go get some fun outdoor pillows!!– Amy Wolff

Learn more about choosing accent colors for your backyard decor.

“D” for Dining


A backyard patio without dining isn’t much of a patio at all. To truly make the most of your outdoor space, incorporate a dining table, bar area, or other dining option. First, ask yourself if you want to put on full-blown meals outside, and how often you expect to eat outdoors. If the answer is yes and a lot, then consider investing in a nice, large outdoor dining table and comfortable seating options. Even if you don’t plan on eating outdoors that often, a small table, coffee table, or outdoor bar will definitely come in handy while entertaining friends.

Keep a simple storage bench on the patio for storing necessities for an impromptu patio party. When the mood strikes, you’ll have unbreakable wine and beer glasses, paper plates and plastic silverware at the ready. Add in an ice bucket, bug spray, sun screen, and wireless speakers for your iPod playlist.– Dina Gibbons

“E” for Enclosures

Your backyard is your space, so you want to block out the distractions of the surrounding world. To do that, you need some enclosures. There are many ways to make your backyard space feel secluded and enclosed, even if you live in a city. Here are some ideas:

  • Tall stone wall adorned with vines and shrubs
  • Barriers that separate your patio, dining area, or secluded zen garden
  • Use plants, trees, and shrubs to enclose the space

Learn more about creating a stylish, yet private backyard retreat.

“F” for Furniture & Fire Pit

Your outdoor furniture serves two purposes: function and aesthetics. Make sure they excel at both with these insights:

When you don’t have a lot of room to work with, which is typically the case with balconies, your choice of furniture is really important. Double duty furniture like a bench that also incorporates storage is helpful to give you a place to store cushions or gardening supplies.– Isabelle LaRue, Engineer Your Space

A homey, comfortable seating area is a must-have for entertaining in your outdoor space. Whether you pick up a matching patio set with oversized chairs and big cushions at a home store or collect unique, unmatched pieces from flea markets and antique shops, as long as you feature great seating you’ll be set.” – Dina GibbonsA fire feature is a backyard staple, whether it’s a fire pit or a fire table.

Fire pits & chimineys are an ideal investment—there’s nothing quite like a summer night spent outside with friends or family in the backyard around the fire with cold drinks in hand, marshmallows roasting, and stories being told. Great memories are always made around a campfire. You can easily build your own with a simple DIY tutorial online or pick one up at your local garden center.– Dina Gibbons

Stay safe this summer with these important outdoor fireplace safety tips.

“G” for Green

Plants absolutely must be integral to your outdoor space, and thankfully our design experts had many great insights on how to go “green” in the backyard.

Select plants based on your appetite or budget for maintenance. If the last thing you want to do is prune and fertilize your garden on a Saturday morning, select plants that are the right size at maturity for the space you’re planting them in, and choose low-maintenance plants or native plants that like your soil without amendments.– Jessyca Frederick

Outdoor patios call for a little green. Pick up some flowering perennials and small bushes or trees that can thrive for years in a single container. They add so life much to your outdoor space. You can also include herbs in containers placed around seating. Herbs such as lavender, basil, and lemongrass add a lovely scent to the summer air.– Dina Gibbons

Contain yourself – or at least your plants. Use containers to add texture and height in the garden. Don’t be afraid of larger containers and big colors – make the container a feature. Containers also allow you to provide good soil for your plants. Just make sure that you keep them watered! Plants may need to be watered 2 or more times a day when it is really hot. A simple drip irrigation system can be a real plant saver.– Craig Jenkins-Sutton, Topiarius

One of the best ways to transform an ordinary yard into a true outdoor living space is by installing artificial grass. Not only will you save both water and money, you’ll have a lush, green lawn year-round that requires no mowing, no fertilizer, no pesticides and minimal maintenance.– Chad Vander Veen, Purchase Green

“H” for Harmony

The ideal backyard harmonizes well with its surroundings. Here are a few key insights from design experts on how to make it all “come together.”

Come up with a simple, balanced and functional design that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and if at all possible has a harmonious relationship with the natural surroundings and with your interior.– Pablo Solomon

A great outdoor design is pleasant to look at, pleasant to experience and creates great views to be enjoyed from the interior.Good exterior design should look and feel as if it is not only part of the natural setting, but also part of the overall architecture of the your home or building.– Pablo Solomon

“When you’re designing the perfect outdoor space, it makes sense to choose furniture in the same style as the rest of your home and coordinate it throughout the area – the same way your formal living room and dining room would coordinate. So if your home is traditional, use traditional exterior furnishings in your favorite finish, such as iron, wood or metal. Place them in a way that allows for easy traffic flow within the space.– Tracy Kay Griffin

Learn more about bringing harmony to your backyard by incorporating elements into your design.

“I” for Illumination


Backyard lighting is a must for crafting the perfect ambiance–here are some tips for illuminating your outdoor space:

For lighting, I like to use lanterns and candles, but my personal favorite are smart LED outdoor lighting that can be changed to any color to suite the mood.– Isabelle LaRue

Great outdoor spaces need lighting. Adorn your backyard trees, fencing, and deck with indoor/outdoor string lighting. They also look great whether you’re simply hosting an outdoor meal or a more formal party. Toss in a few candles for additional lighting and to help keep the bugs away too.– Dina Gibbons

Lighting doesn’t have to exactly match what you have inside. You can get a little creative here. There are always the traditional wall mount lights that go on the back or side of your house. But there are also lamp posts, hanging lanterns, and solar lights that stick into the ground.– Tracy Kay Griffin

Learn about additional tips for lighting your backyard patio.

“J” for Jacuzzi

OK, we had a little trouble coming up with a “J” word, but wouldn’t a jacuzzi for your backyard deck be an awesome idea? There are many cool ways to incorporate a hot tub or swim spa into your backyard deck design. Think about blending your jacuzzi setup with plenty of seating options, so you can enjoy company with guests in and out of the water.

“K” for Keep it Simple

In the midst of planning your new backyard space, you may be tempted to go overboard and incorporate too much stuff. Instead, go for minimalism and a “keep it simple” attitude.

Keep it simple. Limit your plant pallet to avoid a haphazard look. Use color, but be careful when using really loud colors. That bright orange planter will make a big enough impact; you don’t need to paint the fence the same color. Keep furniture in scale with the space. That huge 6 piece sectional looks great on the website, but make sure you have enough room to walk past your garden.– Craig Jenkins-Sutton

“L” for Local


When accessorizing your space, the best way to make it truly unique is to go local:

Depending on the style that the client is looking for I try to find accent pieces and furniture at local import shops or work with contractors or local furniture designers to design pieces that are unique and compliment the overall garden themes. Import and antique shops have a great selection of items that can make wonderful accent items or focal points and aren’t widely available. For a recent modern ranch style garden we used reclaimed chicken feeders in a vertical herb garden and planted wooden feeding troughs with lavender, both items found at a local import shop.– Morgan Vondrak

“M” for Music, Movies, and More

A movie night under the stars, backyard dance party, karaoke night on the deck—these can all become a reality if you so desire! There are many options for installing outdoor speakers or even a complete movie projection setup. These elements help enhance the ambiance of your backyard, complementing lighting and decor, as Julia Falk-Mann of Toparius explains:

Find audio or visual aids . Whether you’re using ambient lighting, safety (directional) lighting or entertaining lighting, the ambiance of your space is important. Lighting can be hard-wired and incorporated into the whole design or accomplished through usage.-Julia Falk-Mann

“N” for Netting

Depending on your location, bugs and pests can be a big deterrent from spending time enjoying your backyard. Thankfully, netting can be an effective, and even attractive, solution to keeping mosquitoes at bay. Nets can hang down from an awning over your deck, or you can have netting incorporated into an umbrella or gazebo that is detached from your house.

“O” for Oasis


Your backyard doesn’t have to be seamlessly connected with your house—there are benefits to creating an oasis that is secluded and separate from your main living space.

Create a destination. Your deck should be a place you enjoy spending time with friends and family, so it’s important that it’s a relaxing, inviting space—not a half-finished project that’s too cluttered or too stark.”– Julia Falk-Mann

“P” for Privacy

If your outdoor space is fully visible to neighbors and passersby, you and your guests will never be able to fully relax and enjoy it to its fullest potential. Here are a few ideas for giving your backyard the privacy you deserve:

Plan for privacy. Privacy is at your fingertips,you just have to be creative. Plants and containers provide a lush, gaFrden feel, while also enclosing the deck.– Julia Falk-Mann

Another key component I always like to include in my designs is sense of privacy and custom lattice panels are a great way to achieve that. They make any outdoor space feel more cozy and they are also great at hiding unsightly views.– Isabelle LaRue

“Q” for Quiet

If you live in a neighborhood with a significant amount of noise from traffic or nearby industry, there are plenty of ways to reduce sound levels. For example, trees, shrubs, and all kinds of plants have a dampening effect, since all those leaves, twigs, and bark absorbs sound like a sponge. Additionally, textured barriers and tall walls can effectively lower the noise level, creating a quiet and secluded backyard space for you to enjoy with friends and family. Already have your quiet backyard space?

Check out how to create a reading nook in your garden.

“R” for Rugs

An outdoor rug for your patio or deck can provide a nice splash of color or a pattern that really makes your backyard shine. Search for a rug that complements your patio furniture, and that is designed to withstand a wide variety of weather conditions.

“S” is for Sustainability


Sustainability is continuing to grow as a theme in garden design as education grows on the impacts our gardens have on the wider environment. When designing patio areas we try to make sure to use permeable or semipermeable surfaces to allow water to soak into the ground and reduce runoff. Poured concrete pads or large flagstone pavers with pebble between, interlocking pavers set into sand, and decomposed granite are all examples of permeable or semipermeable surfaces that can help reduce runoff pollution and incorporate well into almost any design style.– Morgan Vondrak

Light Pathways with LED Solar Lights – These energy-efficient lamps, such as these brown solar pathway Lights, add a warm hue to lawns at night and range from disposable (so you don’t need to fret about accidentally hitting it with your mower) to high-end. These lights provide a perfect amount of light… not too overpowering but enough to find your way around the garden at night.– Danyelle Kukuk, Batteries Plus Bulbs

Learn how to make a compost pile with these excellent tips from Earth Easy.

“T” is for Trees

A big shade tree can cool down your backyard space and make it much more inviting.

Consider where your yard has sun and shade throughout the year. Do you need shade in the summer? Plant a tree or build a pergola to create it.. Choose the right plants for sun and shade preferences for those areas and remember that plants that fruit or flower generally require full sun (there are always exceptions).– Jessyca Frederick

Here are some extra tips for adding instant shade, without having to plant a tree (and wait for it to grow):

Find shade/shelter. By placing something overhead, like pergolas or an umbrella, you can enjoy the outdoor space rain or shine.– Julia Falk-Mann

“U” is for Up

If your backyard isn’t what you’d call “expansive,” then think about taking advantage of vertical space.

Go vertical. Build up, not out, to make the most use of you’re the space you have.– Julia Falk-Mann

Choose plants that do not grow too wide as they will eat up a lot of space. Work with your landscaper or local garden center to choose varieties that have a narrow growing habit. Using lattice and climbing vines is another way to create a lush garden without taking up a lot of horizontal space.– Craig Jenkins-Sutton

“V” is for Views

Ask yourself, what are the best views from my backyard? Arrange seating so guests get to enjoy them the most. Also consider the view from inside your home—the one looking out into the backyard. This is the view you’ll see more often than any other, and it’s likely the first impression you’ll give your guests when they see your outdoor space.

“W” is for Water Features

Water Features

While you want your backyard space to be quiet, a little background noise can actually enhance the ambiance and make it much more peaceful. Water features are ideal for this, because they create white noise from the flowing water, and lend your backyard a more natural feel. Go big with a pool incorporating a fountain, or something smaller like a bird bath. Check out these additional tips on choosing the right water feature for your backyard.

“X” is for eXterior lighting

Consider adding exterior lighting–or lighting that accentuates your home’s exterior as well as walls, trees, and other structures.

Light Up the Night—Exterior lighting is an easy and cost-effective way to add beauty and security to your home, plus it highlights your beautiful landscaping. Think about adding lighting to the landscaping and walkway, a hanging pendant light to the front doorway, and additional lighting near the garage.– Dina Gibbons

“Y” is for Yellow-hued Light Bulbs

Here’s a handy tip you might not have considered:

Use Yellow-Hued Light Bulbs – Do away with bug spray! For lighting outdoor entertaining areas, choose yellow bulbs—they do not attract bugs like white lights. These are ideal for outdoor barbeques!– Danyelle Kukuk, Batteries Plus Bulbs

“Z” is for Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Adding a zen garden to your outdoor space helps it feel more harmonious with nature as well as secluded. When designing your zen garden, make sure it maintains a feeling of separation from your main living space, as well as the outside world. You can achieve this by surrounding the area with plenty of plants, trees, and shrubs, or by building a dedicated gazebo separate from your home where you can go and meditate for extended periods of time! Dream of taking a more minimalist approach with your backyard design? Check out our article: How To Bring Minimalism To Your Outdoor Design.

Make Your Outdoor Space Your Own!

Don’t get overwhelmed by the infinite number of possibilities available to your for designing the perfect backyard space. Simply choose 3 or 4 ideas from this guide, consult with a professional designer or landscaper, and get started creating the space that is as unique as you are! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share!

15 Outdoor Design Ideas

Your deck is a reflection of your home and your lifestyle. To achieve a truly unique look, and provide optimal entertainment for your guests, check out these 15 outdoor design tips and ideas:

1. Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor rugs can be just as elegant and tasteful as indoor rugs, and be the finishing touch you’ve been looking for to complete your patio.

2. Fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces, specifically upright fireplaces, are making an appearance on the deck and patio scene, adding coziness and elegance to your outdoor lounging area.

3. Bar area

Keep the party going outside with a full bar area, equipped with all of the equipment and storage you need to keep your guests happy.

4. Incorporated garden

The garden has made its way onto the patio, and can be as simple as potted plants or built-in plant boxes that function as the back of your bench seating.

5. Minimalist

Your patio design does not have to be extravagant to be tasteful. Simple white furniture against a wood deck is a calming combination. Keep it simple, and you can’t go wrong.

6. Elegant

Choose furniture and décor with clean, straight lines and neutral colors with subtle patterns for an elegant patio look. Use soft lighting from carefully chosen fixtures to create a high-class ambiance on your patio.

7. Lounge furniture

Transform your patio into a sunbathing and relaxing veranda, rather than simply an outdoor dining room. Use reclining chairs, foot rests, and furniture with ample padding. An outdoor screen will complete your outdoor lounge room, and make your patio the go-to for neighborhood movie nights.

8. Outdoor kitchen

No longer does barbecued food dominate the outdoor food scene. Add a full outdoor kitchen to your patio to prepare anything from sushi to pizza, and impress your guests with your wide range of outdoor cooking.

9. Beach style

Sand boxes are not just for the kids. Create a sandbar surrounding your deck or patio to allow your guests to bury their feet in the sand while lounging in the sun. Of course the kids will want to play here, so make sure to have a suitable cover to contain the sand and keep out the unwanted furry residents.

10. Oversized garden chess set

Entertainment is an important part of any outdoor deck or patio. A new emerging trend in outdoor games is oversized chess sets. Use grass and concrete to create your contrasting squares, and purchase oversized pieces for a fun and memorable game of wits enjoyed in your own backyard.

11. Soft outdoor furniture

Wicker and metal aren’t the only options for outdoor seating. Think poufs, bean bag chairs, bean bag lounge chairs, etc. Outdoor lines of soft furniture are usually UV and fade-resistant and weatherproof, and also fold easily to simple storage, so there are no excuses to skip the comfort for outdoor seating anymore.

12. Eclectic

Mix and match textures, use bright, contrasting colors, and combine the use of wood and metal to create a quirky and eclectic space where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves. If you have a knack for creativity, consider using your own designs and creations for some of the décor and furniture to round off this look.

13. Privacy wall/screen

Unwanted onlookers can be prevented by adding a privacy wall or screen to keep your party private and secure. Privacy walls can serve two purposes as they can also complement your décor, creating a beautiful architectural accent piece as well as containing the events of your party.

14. Built in hot tub

There’s just nothing like the relaxation that comes with slipping into a hot tub at the end of a day, but the large, bulky design can make many hot tubs an eyesore. Consider creating your patio or deck with a hot tub in mind, using a built-in hot tub design so your patio stays open, and your hot tub is easily accessible but also not an intrusion.

15. String lights

A popular feature in modern deck and patio designs are string lights, and rightly so. There’s a sense of wonder and magic when a dark night is lit by overhanging globe lights. You can even use different colors for the bulbs to customize your party.

To add a modern touch to your deck or patio, check out the line of modern outdoor furniture and décor from RST.

8 Small Patio Design Ideas

Even the smallest of patios can be used to make a big and bold statement, but if a simple setting is more your style that’s easily accomplished too.

Here are 8 charming ideas to help you put together the perfect small patio for your family. The best part is that each idea is fun, functional, and affordable!

1. Keep it Simple by Adding a Solitary Rustic Bench

There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple when it comes to small patio design, especially if you’re starting from scratch. A single rustic bench is a nice, neutral piece that, when left alone, looks natural and unassuming. This will allow you to search for other affordable rustic-themed pieces to make it more cozy and functional as your time and money permits.

2. Old is the “New” New

When your old patio furniture is looking tired, don’t throw it out, freshen it up! With a little light sanding and some spray paint, you can make anything look like new. Just add new cushions or a few pillows and your old patio set will be transformed without costing you an arm and a leg.

3. Details that Pop

Incorporating fun details often makes all the difference when it comes to creating a warm and inviting small patio design. Adding colorful throw pillows is always an easy fix, but you can take it one step further and find or paint a brightly colored side table, put down a funky-patterned rug, or group vibrantly colored pots together.     

4. Pavers

Every patio needs a good foundation to make it functional, and pavers are a timeless and budget-friendly option. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are fairly easy to lay with a little bit of prep work done beforehand. The best part about using pavers is that you can create fun patterns to make it all your own.   

5. Take advantage of Vertical Space

Just because your patio is small doesn’t mean it can’t be functional. Start thinking of ways to optimize your space. For example, use wall space for a vertical garden as opposed to crowding pots and planter boxes on the ground. It’s more efficient when it comes to space and also serves as a fun design element!

6. Light it Up

Hanging a simple string of lights or adding some fun outdoor lamps is one of the best ways to make your small patio feel cozy instead of cramped—and extends the time you can use your patio beyond daylight hours.

7. Small Gardens

Every outdoor space should have some “green.” A patio is the perfect spot for growing and tending to flowers, fresh herbs, and vegetables with the right containers. And with a little research, you can find plants that will deter a number of bugs and pests—making your time outdoors more enjoyable.

8. Big and Bold

Though your patio might be small, it can still be bold! Fill your space with funky furniture in brilliant colors, nestle together groups of hanging baskets or pots, and have fun! Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns, styles, and colors. If you love it, everyone else will too!      

For more fun patio design ideas, check out these patio furniture selections from RST Brands.

5 Ways To Make Your Yard An Extension Of Your Home

Choosing a great grill is an important part of outdoor dining.

What does your backyard say about your lifestyle? Does it reflect your passion for entertaining or your love for cooking? Is it filled with colorful plants and lush grass that encourage relaxation and invoke serenity?

Whether you’ve already made your backyard a special place or are looking for ways to create a unique, inviting space, these five tips can help you design a welcoming yard that enhances your lifestyle and upgrades the quality of your home.

1. Build An Outdoor Kitchen

The kitchen is the nerve-center of your home; it’s where guests gather and mingle at parties and where your family connects after a long day. Whether you want a simple snack or are eager to try out a new recipe, the kitchen is your go-to spot. However, by creating an outdoor kitchen, you can upgrade the quality of your “nerve-center” immensely.
Building an outdoor kitchen requires much more than simply propping up a few plastic chairs and a flimsy table – to do an outdoor kitchen right, consider incorporating the following items:

  • Grill: gas, charcoal, or a hybrid of the two
  • Sink
  • Small refrigerator
  • Roof/shelter
  • A fire table with seating
  • Ample counter space
  • Substantial lightning
  • Storage for tongs, grill brushes, hot mitts, etc.

When building your outdoor kitchen, first decide on the architectural style you want so you can select materials and design items that pull the entire look together. Rustic, traditional, and modern styles are typically the most common, simply because they can blend in as an extension of your home. Also, be sure to choose a surface that is grease, fire, and stain resistant and durable enough to withstand the elements.

2. Have Plenty Of Seating Options

Comfy benches, deep chairs, sturdy stools: the more seating options you can incorporate in your backyard, the better. Custom seating helps to create a space that everyone can enjoy and adds an element of comfort to your backyard. Consider including both stationary and movable benches and chairs. Not only does this allow you to arrange your area, but it also gives visitors the freedom to slide chairs together for a chat, or pull a bench over to join a conversation.

Check out RST Brands’ wide variety of outdoor seating and patio furniture options.

3. Enhance The Visual Appeal

Small accents can make a big impact on your backyard. A unique sculpture or a captivating water feature can make your space special, welcoming, and relaxing. Visit your local flea market or nearby architectural salvage shops for items that can enhance your backyard without breaking your bank. Similarly, consider using pots, vases and containers to add pops of color and texture.

4. Own Your Zone

Even if you have great seating, fashion-forward furniture, and colors and textures that reflect your lifestyle, your space can still feel “off” without proper arrangement. By simply arranging your furniture in a clever arrangement that works within your space, you can create an outdoor living space that enhances the quality of your home. Small spaces, for example, might  benefit with a bench or dining table in the corner, while larger areas can be broken up with different rugs or textures.

5. Protect Your Privacy

Lastly, if you want your backyard to be more of a private area, consider incorporating elements that help enhance that privacy. Simple shrubs or dwarf trees might be all you need to make your space special. You can also plant containers with vines that scale a trellis, or add a sheer sliding curtain to maintain a truly personal space.

Subtle Simplicity: How to Bring Minimalism to Your Outdoor Design

Minimalism has always existed as a design theory, but it’s really taken over in the 21st century, with brands like Apple and rising niche products embracing the simplistic style.

Regardless of its current popularity, minimalism is more than a passing fad. Minimalist design is gender neutral and provides a clean marriage between male and female styles as the genders mix and mingle more in the modern age. It also highlights art and creativity, which are rising priorities as millennials climb up the socioeconomic ladder.

To help you embrace this rising trend with your indoor and outdoor furniture, alike, we’ve compiled a list of best practices in minimalist design. Keep in mind, you might have to fight some of your natural inclinations to over-crowd or multi-color your space while your eye adjusts to the simple design. But stick to these basic principles and you’ll have an outdoor patio worth Pinteresting about in no time.

7 Commandments of Outdoor Minimalist Design

1. Define Your Color Palette

Minimalist design isn’t about getting rid of color and replacing it with empty, white spaces. Color actually plays a very important role in minimal design.

Before you start redecorating, define your color palette. A minimal space will have a lot of neutral colors, and an accent color that defines the space. Obviously, you can have more than one color in your minimal space, but keep all colors from the same family.

Choose tonal variations of your main accent color that add visual variety to the space, but keep your use of color tight. To do this, forget the notion that accent colors are reserved for small decor pieces like pillows and vases and use color for larger items like the sofa, with neutral colors taking over those accent pieces.

2. Replace Color with Texture

Introducing a rigid color palette to your space means you need to establish variety in other ways to keep it from looking like a boring showroom. In minimalist design, this is often done through textures.

Although your colors are few, you can add variety with velvets, corduroy, and fur. These textures come in singular colors so your design stays simple, but the various textiles draw the eye from piece to piece, keeping the design interesting without over-burdening it.

3. Eliminate Ornate Detail

Unlike shabby chic design where colliding chaotic details create an odd calmness, ornate details just equal chaos in a minimalist design. Be careful with vintage pieces featuring intricate patterns in your minimal space.

Instead, opt for simple lines and shapes. This doesn’t mean your design needs to be rigid and boxy, but the eye should be able to easily move from object to object without getting too caught up in tiny details.

4. Less Is More

We don’t mean to be cliche, but this adage is especially true in a minimalist space. To keep your outdoor space from being busied by knick-knacks, make a rule that you need to remove an element every time a new one is introduced.

If you get a new rug, eliminate some throw pillows. If you add a piece of art, replace those three flower pots with one. A minimal space needs to breathe, so don’t over-design it, no matter how cute that old vase is.

5. Embrace Art and Plants

It might feel silly at first to bring art outside and add plants when there is a lush backyard just beyond the deck, but these two design elements are essential to balancing the minimal space in your backyard design.

Eradicating color and detailed patterns gets rid of pieces that are probably bringing personality to your current space. Replace them with art that has personal meaning and introduce curated plants around the patio.

These pieces add a whimsical element to stale, minimal designs and re-introduce those personal touches that really make the space your own.

6. Consider Lighting

Minimal spaces really shine in bright, natural light. If you need to, trim the branches that block the sun over your patio and do what you can to open up the space as much as possible.

To keep your patio from looking busy, get rid of small Christmas lights and replace them with large, vintage bulbs to illuminate the area. When it comes to outdoor lighting and minimal design, bigger is often better.

7. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

The true key to unlocking an outdoor minimalist design is consistency. Bring design elements from inside your home to your outdoor decor in an obvious way.

Instead of limiting your design vision to the patio, think bigger. Apply minimalist principles and decor to the whole backyard or your entire home. When you find a signature tick that really suits your style, it will be easy to pull it into all aspects of your home design.


Have fun experimenting with this hip design style. Once you’ve mastered the basics, embrace minimalist design because of all the benefits it offers: gender neutral, clean, and happy spaces.

What motivates you to try minimalist design?