Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fireplace Maintenance Tip - Cleaning

A fireplace has two uses, to provide heat to keep a space warm and comfy and can also be a gleaming focal point to a room or patio setup. But just like any other valuable things, they need some maintenance care to look and work well.

It is possible to have a fireplace in any home these days because there are compliant electric fireplaces and propane fireplaces and heaters available. It is a beneficial innovation for modern living and the designs become more and more attractive also. So now every household may have a traditional wood burning fireplace or the electric and gas fireplace alternatives.

However, each type of fireplace requires different maintenance procedure. A few handy tips would be helpful.

The best way to maintain the looks and even the functionality of a fireplace is to keep it clean. For the traditional fireplace, removing the ashes is a must but do not forget to wipe out visible soot from time to time because it may become harder to remove them once they thickened. Let your chimney inspected and cleaned for at least once a year.

Electric fireplaces and patio heaters will require cleaning of its interior parts. This is because most of them are fan forced which means they take air in and out. Dust may accumulate inside so they need to opened and cleaned. If you are not sure how to do it properly then a professional can handle it. You may observe how it is done so that you can do it yourself next time.

Propane patio heaters and fireplaces are easier to clean. You just need to wipe out all the dirt from its surface and fire screen.

Careful and frequent cleaning might also help maintain the mint condition for at least a few months and even a year.

For safety, before doing anything, turn off the unit or fire, unplug, and wait until it cools down completely.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Patio Design Styles and Tips

A patio design style is usually to be determined first before the construction actually begins. It all depends on what theme or look is desired or on how the outdoor space is to be used. Each homeowner has specific needs or wants for a patio and it becomes the basis of determining a patio design style.

Garden Patio
A garden patio is simply a patio with the addition of plants and other garden features. Keep in mind that a garden patio should stay a patio and not even a combination of a garden. There are just plants and other garden features added to it and are strategically arranged to keep the patio look with a garden feel.

Bistro in the Patio
Designing a patio with bistro is really easy. It can simply be done by adding a bistro table with chairs and a little decor fixes. An outdoor umbrella or a shade sail can be used if you need a sun cover. These are not just for sun shade but also for additional style of the little patio table setup.

A setup like this is great for break time, reading a book or magazine, and a little chit chat.

Tropical Paradise
Want to have a great time relaxing in a lounge chair with the warmth of the sun while sipping a cool drink without traveling? Well, a tropical paradise patio setup is right for you. It would be really amazing if you have a pool and just setup your patio nearby.

All you need for this kind of design is a lounge chair or other relaxing seating set, some sun shade, and some tropical plants. You may use a patio umbrella, a real beach umbrella if you like, or even a tiki thatch umbrella for a more traditional look. Then add palm plant species for a fresh tropical look and feel.

Outdoor Living Room
Outdoor living room design is not typically a closed room. It can be a patio that is an extension to a house with permanent roof. This outdoor patio room is designed similar to an indoor living room but the furnishings must be suitable for outdoors.

For the design, combine patio furniture items such as a wicker set, a center table, a rug, and a warm lighting. Add a fireplace to extend your outdoor room enjoyment during cold seasons and on cold nights. An electric fireplace is the best alternative for us living in an area where traditional wood burning is not possible or prohibited.

There are other styles you can find around the internet. You can try visualizing your desired style and make some experiments, maybe combining some of these styles with others.

Also, an existing patio can be redesigned to get the desired style. It would be a great update for a patio if you want some changes around your residence.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tips for Backyard or Patio Transformation

An old backyard or patio needs transformation to look fresh and feel new. Such goals can be achieved without a need to renovate the whole structure but with only few updates and addition. These are not labor intensive tasks, but need some effort however. So let us get started!

Spruce Up Your Space
Basically, to spruce up means to make your outdoor space neat and well arranged. So the first thing we just need for initial backyard transformation is clean the area and arrange the outdoor items. Take away unnecessary items that just fill the area. Save some space and add decorations that are just right for the season and occasion that you are preparing for.

New Design
A new backyard and patio design is a sure shortcut way of transformation. However, a new layout may require more effort and expenses. Well, there is a little technique that is worth a little labor and cost.

An existing setup design can be altered by introducing a new feature to it. A patio design would surely look different by adding a new centerpiece or a focal point for every season and occasion.
  • A fire pit or a fire bowl in the middle
  • A little artificial water fall to add freshness
  • A water fountain for spring or summer
  • A snowman for winter
  • An outdoor kitchen for those who likes cooking.

New and Renew Patio Furniture
Patio furniture set takes a bigger part and what completes a patio setup. If it looks old, a place would look outdated. Buying a new set is a quick solution, but refinishing old but still usable patio furniture items save you a lot of money.

Wooden patio furniture items can be repaired and refinished at home with simple steps. Clean, sand, and repaint.

Renewing metal furniture items can be done at home too but need a little technical know-how.

New and Renew Shades
Quality awnings and patio umbrellas such as made by Sunbrella last longer and maintain colors for years. What cause them to look old and faded are the dirt, bird poop, and stains. It only takes a wash to make then look new again. But if your outdoor shade is already faded and has wear-and-tear, replacing the fabric is your only best option.

For the patio design, adding a new shaded area makes a change. Even a small outdoor umbrella, paired with a table and a couple of chairs, is tempting for a quick break or relaxation. A shade sail is also a great option for backyard picnic on weekends.

Update Outdoor Lighting
After the transformation is done, think about when the sun sets. The new look will not be appreciated at night without proper lighting. So these too, deserve an update.

Lights have a life span, as they get old, the performance or brightness will never be the same as new. Lights will get weaker after long use. So it would be helpful to check and do some maintenance task such as cleaning or replacing old light bulbs.

Tips for Solar Lights
Outdoor solar lights will get weaker but it could be due to some reasons that do not need replacement. Check if the solar collector is not covered with dirt and cobwebs. Rechargeable Batteries can get weaker after months or years of use depending on the quality. No need change the whole item, just check if a new battery solves.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Benefits of Using Propane Patio Heater

Staying warm in the cold season and on cold nights is easy these days. Whatever chilly situation that you have problems, there will always be a solution near at hand. Each situation, location, and weather condition requires different approach. As for heating needs for your patio, there are many options like electric fireplace and heaters, infrared patio heaters, fire bowls, and propane patio heaters.

Which is the best choice from these types of patio heaters has been a question to many. Some say propane patio heater is the best. I can say, they all are great, it is just a matter of when, where, and how you need them.

Many people are satisfied with propane patio heaters and said it gives a lot of heat. Well, that is so true. Let us see the other factors that make them a good choice for having.

Highly Energy Efficient
We know that propane is a gas fuel used in many applications including cooking our favorite food recipe. It burns easily and efficiently providing the energy we need to operate machines and cook food. These characteristics made a propane patio heater useful. Even at lower fuel consumption, it can quickly heat a place and maintain the temperature. Thus, it keeps costs and energy consumption to a low level.

Heats Quickly
Unlike other options such as using electricity, propane burns quickly with intensity that heats an area faster. You do not have to wait longer for heat to build up or for a warmer air to flow. A propane patio heater today has a capacity to radiate enough heat to warm us quickly.

Portable
Modern propane patio heaters are portable which means there is no installation needed and no wires to keep. No need to hire professionals to install or to assemble it for you. You can just unpack the unit and follow simple instruction. Then enjoy the warmth easy.

There are table top versions in which you can enjoy the warmth anywhere you want with ease.

Automatic
Like an electric fireplace, a propane patio heater now also has automatic functions. It features automatic shut off when tipped over. This is the most important feature you should be grateful about for security purpose. It lets you sit back and relax while enjoying the moment. But of course, these heaters are still designed to avoid tipping over easily.

Lastly, modern propane patio heaters have designs to make them more attractive and useful at the same time. Designs that make them as good as a patio decoration to add to your patio furniture.



Some Useful Tips:
  • Most propane patio heaters are designed to radiate heat at its 360 degrees surrounding. Place it at the center of your setup to use all its heating potential.
  • Avoid placing it close to drapes or beside your patio umbrella, awning, or shade sails. The heat may cause damage to synthetic fabrics and materials.
  • Before you buy one, check the heating capacity and the area size it can provide heat. It has a specific limitation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tips on Preparing a Home for the Winter

Winter is not an easy season for most of us. We have to make certain preparations to make life easy and comfortable. Getting ready for this season does help us survive the harsh environment and would also be a wise move to getting ready for the next season change.

Our home is a sweet place during this season, and it can be sweeter when prepared by cleaning it up, decorate it, and warm it up. So here are helpful tips to get going.

Clean Up and Repair
Cleaning is a regular task, but sometimes there are little things we miss so we need to make a general clean up all around the house. Cleaning up in preparation for winter also includes removing and storing items that are not necessary for the season. Doing so allows you to check any damages so that they can be repaired early to avoid more problems.

Pay special attention to your roof and gutters. Unclog and remove debris so that melting snow and ice easily drains away. Make repairs even to just a little damage because water can easily find a way to enter causing problems.

Clean your chimneys and clear clogs so that it works smoothly and smoke flows up to the outside easily. Clear the immediate surrounding area of the fireplace to avoid fire hazard.

Do not forget to your patio or backyard items. Cover and store away your patio furniture items and sun shade sails to keep them safe so that they maintain a good shape for the next season. Wash and completely dry your patio umbrella before putting to storage to avoid molds. The outdoor chairs and outdoor cushions can be stored away but they can also be used to provide additional seats to your indoors.

Decorate
As your home becomes a safe and sweet haven for the winter, it deserves a makeover to make it even sweeter. Incorporate warm textured items for room decoration, it adds to the warm ambiance.

Christmas, which happens just in time of winter, is another reason to add more embellishment to your home. Traditionally we add a Christmas Tree as an attraction. We put wreaths and lights everywhere to make a joyful environment.

Warm Up
After cleaning and securing your fireplace as mentioned above, make sure you have enough stock of wood for the entire cold season.

Alternatively, you can use the modern way of room warming. Either you can use an electric fireplace, or a gas fireplace. If you need something that you can use outside the house, then you can also use a portable patio heater.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beautiful Backyard Privacy Tips

Privacy is our right. There are just things that we do that we do not want others see or know. In a backyard or patio, we usually want to relax privately sitting in a patio chair or lying down in a comfortable outdoor cushion.

Fences are our first line of privacy at home. But not all fences are made the same, some does not provide enough privacy, and some are too much that they make an area more like of a confined space.

However, there are solutions to these inconveniences and we can have a beautiful backyard.

Common short fences are about three to four feet. These heights are good enough for providing clear line of boundaries of your property and locking in children and pets. It makes you a good neighbor.

Fences as short as these may provide a little privacy and security. But if you want a more private space, you do not need to replace it with a taller one just for privacy. There are other ways to achieve it. You can do the gardening or buying privacy screens for a quicker solution.

Gardening plants such as shrubs and vines can help you get a natural and beautiful privacy.

Shrubs are shorter that trees and typically grow above six feet with multiple stems. Planting a layer of shrubs along fences makes a good cover for privacy. As a bonus, you have contributed for a greener earth and the shrubs also add freshness to the ambiance of your backyard.

Vines and climbing plants such as Climbing Roses also make a great addition to privacy. You can make trellises taller than the fences or as an extension to it. The plants grow on them and make a beautiful cover.

However, if you want a quick solution or planting is not even applicable to you, then you can buy privacy screens. You can find them in a patio umbrella and shade sails shops and the good thing is that you can get good designs for your backyard.

Typical tall fences are from six feet up to eight feet. These sizes are really best for privacy and security but staying in a place where all you can see are the corners of the fence is not even comfortable. It feels like you are in a confined space or imprisoned.

However, there are things we can do to alter the look and feel of an enclosed area.

Since the fence is what makes your space looked more of a confined space, you can change it by adding some decorations. In fact, fences can become a center of attraction in a backyard.

Again, climbing plants become useful in this task, however, hanging plants in a container has become more in practice these days.

Add some decorations to the fence that go well with the patio furniture items to add depth to the setup. Also, framed decorations are great items to hang in the fence because they will create an illusion of a window eliminating the feeling of a confined space.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Maximize an Electric Fireplace's Potential

A warm home is really the sweetest place we can have during winter and on cold nights. After the struggle in the chilly outdoors, nothing can be sweeter than to come to the comfort of a warm home.

However, a home is not naturally warm. We have to make it and the best companion for transforming our home into the most comfortable and warm-giving space is a fireplace.

Since the old times, we can enjoy the comfort of warmth by burning wood into the fireplace furnace. But modern living limits us from using this old trusted way. This is even prohibited in some residential areas or communities. But then again, just like the old saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

If you really need to warm your home and there are prohibitions or restrictions, there still are real solutions. You can choose to use gas heaters or electric fireplaces. These two offer warmth at differing rate with the gas heaters being the most powerful at giving heat, but the common option for indoors is the electric fireplaces because they are safer. Additionally, electric fireplaces have features that can mimic the look and feel of a real wood burning fireplace.

There are many ways that we can do to maximize the heating capacity of electric fireplaces though. Being the safest heating appliance for indoors, we have the flexibility to do anything to optimize its potential.

To maximize, it is not just done from the unit itself but also by how we prepare the room where it will be used. Check these additional tips.

Electric Fireplace Placement
Electric fireplaces and heaters are plug-and-play units. They are portable and mobile, can moved from one place to another, and all you need is an electric outlet. These features are very helpful in maximizing their potential. You just need to find the right spot where the heat can easily be distributed. It is recommended to place them facing to the direction where you usually stay to instantly enjoy the warmth.

Check the Unit’s Air Vents
Electric fireplaces are generally fan forced and disperse heat out through a ventilator or opening. The vents have screens or cover with little holes for safety purposes. Check and make sure these openings are not clogged or covered with dirt and dust.

Clear Blockage
Because electric fireplaces are generally fan forced, the heat generated is dispersed out to warm the room. Check to see if drapes or other furniture items block its front side. Make sure that the warm air freely flows out.

Room Leaks
Leaks can work in two ways, either warm air escapes, or cold air comes inside the room. Seal any leaks that you can find.

Room Insulation
Insulation is a general rule in building a safe room. Better double check and make sure that insulation is good enough against cold temperature penetration.

In addition to electric fireplaces, there are portable electric patio heaters. These little heater are great for outdoor heating but can also be used indoors.

Modern electric fireplaces have beautiful designs, from classical to modern. This is a big help in room decorating.

If you have more tips, we would be so glad if you share it by adding in the comments below.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tips on Patio Furniture Arrangement

A patio is not just an extra space where we can spend some time for relaxing and unwinding. It is also an important feature at home where we can receive guests, hold a party, celebrate occasions, and family get-together. That is why choosing a good design and decoration is important in creating a patio.

One simple thing that affects the patio design and decoration is the patio furniture arrangement. It can be done in many ways to make a relaxing, entertaining, and spacious outdoor space.

Visualize First
It is a lot easier to first visualize a layout and design for the arrangement of your patio before doing the actual work. It can be done by pen-and-paper, computer graphics, and with the imagination. Doing so gives many benefits such as the following.
  • Lessen the time and energy wasted.
  • Avoid furniture wear and tear which happens in rearranging.
  • Discover and avoid possible future patio design flaws.
  • Come up with the right patio furniture type.


Placement Tips
The key rule in placing patio furniture pieces is to make sure that people will face to the direction where the focal point is. This is very useful especially if you are creating your own focal point so that you and your guest will enjoy it.

A circling seat layout is great for highlighting a centerpiece such as a dazzling fire pit. This is also useful so that you can chat with everyone comfortably. It also helps you fully utilize a patio heater that warms up all direction.

Same as circling, an arching layout is also great where all can comfortably chat and enjoy a view at the same time.

Helpful Reminders
Keeping enough space is an important thing to remember when designing a patio. A patio is created for one purpose, that is, to have a comfortable and free outdoor place. Allow some space around and in between the items. It not only makes it easy for people to move around but also promotes better air circulation for a better ambiance.

If you are using a patio umbrella, do not be limited by the shade size and shape. Go with your arrangement because modern outdoor umbrellas are available in large sizes and in different shapes and styles.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ideal Ornamental Plants for a Shaded Patio

Adding plants to a shaded patio is not required nor is necessary. But most people really do exert some effort just to add greens and flowers. There are other reasons but the most obvious and usual purpose is for decoration. Aside from that, the benefits of plants and flowers are amazing.

Usually, patio places that are fully roofed or partially covered with awnings and patio umbrellas are not designed for planting or gardening but that does not mean you cannot get the benefits of having plants for your patio. But the type of atmosphere, which is vital for plants to live, is different within a patio setup. The solution is that you just have to select the right plants.

Here some plants that can be used inside a shaded patio.

Coleus
This ornamental plant is grown for its leaves. This perennial plant can usually grow up to 1 meter with multicolored leaves. These plants can live under a partial shade structure like awnings, shade sails, or outdoor umbrellas in a patio.

Caladiums
Commonly known as elephant ear, this is also an ornamental plant grown for their large and multicolored arrowhead-shaped leaves. Colors can be in combination of green, white, red, and pink forming a pattern like those in Coleus.  This plant, grown from tubers, is very easy to cultivate that can grow up to 2 feet in height. This plant prefers partial shade so they are well suited in a patio setup.

Begonias
Begonias are flowering perennial plants that can be grown on pots. They are easy to cultivate and can grow from six to eight inches in height. With a wide array of species and flower colors in different hues, these can be a great ornament for a patio or deck. Different species can live in a variety of environment conditions and many of them are well suited for partly shaded place.

Forget-me-not
One of the most famous ornamental plants, forget-me-not is a flowering plant that can live well in pots. This perennial plant can grow up to one foot only so you can easily add and incorporate them in a patio furniture setup and decoration. Because they can live in a partial sun and shade environment, they can be a charm to a patio.

Ferns
There are many species of ferns used for landscaping and ornaments. Usually, they are grown as additional accents to other plants especially flowers.

Some well known ferns:
  • Boston fern
  • Ostrich fern
  • Japanese Painted fern
  • Wood fern
  • Maidenhair fern
  • Asparagus fern
  • Cinnamon fern

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Warmth Contributes to a Happy Home

Warmth may not be an important essence of creating a happy home. But most probably it really contributes in the process by providing a cozy ambiance. Thus, making a home more livable and comfortable where everyone in the family would love to stay.

Seasons change and the natural temperature of our surrounding changes with it. As summer ends, the temperature starts to drop making the environment cooler. As days go by, it gets colder and colder outside and even inside our homes can get chilly. The time for enjoying the heat of the sun, under an outdoor umbrella while sipping a cool drink, is temporarily over.

It is our nature that we always seek the comfort of warmth when we feel cold. Our body is not suitable for colder temperature. Longer exposure makes us feel uneasy and would lead to illness sometimes.

There are many ways to get the warmth we need and every space and situation has its appropriate solution. Traditional wood burning fireplace is still widely used but the modern living tends to lead or require us to use electric fireplaces and gas fireplaces. If you have a limited space or want something that is more portable and mobile, indoor and outdoor patio heaters are the best option.

If building a traditional fireplace is not allowed in your area or it is just not suitable for your home, modern electric fireplaces can be the best alternative. You can still enjoy the sound and look of the traditional way of heating. More electric fireplaces today are built with real looking fire display that also crackles just like the real one.

There are easy alternatives for outdoors too if you cannot use a fire pit. Gas or propane patio heaters can give heat even on a very cold outdoor temperature.

Ever heard about infrared patio heaters? These too are very efficient for outdoor heating needs. It works very different from all other heater types. It warms people, patio furniture, and things directly and not the air so no heat loss. This type of heater has grown in popularity these days and is now available in many styles such as freestanding, hanging, and wall mount. You can also find one that can be attached to a patio umbrella so that you can enjoy the outdoors with warmth and with the protection of patio umbrella.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Indoor Preparation Tips for the Winter Season

Winter is the time when it becomes difficult to do some of our usual activities outside the house. The outdoor weather becomes unsuitable so we choose to store our outdoor patio furniture sets, patio umbrellas, and appliances to safety. Then we prepare our house so that if possible, we will be able to do inside those things we usually do outside. Some new tips would be helpful here.


 Preparing our house for the winter includes interior decorating and making the environment more livable. Changing the decoration is easy but getting a good result is a bit tricky. A good decoration must be visually in harmony with the house design and it would also be great to come up with a decor theme appropriate for the season. Winter is a very cold season that even indoors can get chilly too. So it is important to keep the room temperature at a comfortable level.

The Decoration
We always love to try something new and we do so even on our home decoration. Renewing the decoration to a fresh new look really have a big change in feel. It gives a fresher experience and excitement in the room. Even just rearranging the furniture sets have noticeable changes resulting into a better ambiance. Not all people agree on the same decoration theme, but most of us instinctively like the idea of a room design that feels warmer to keep up with the cold weather during winter.

Christmas, which also happens during winter, is another reason to make some new decoration. The usual theme is joyful and full of good tidings that celebrates the message of loving and giving. The best and usual decorating practice is to have a Christmas tree, ribbons, garlands, wreaths, and colorful lights that flicker.

This time of the year is also great for buying new set furniture. You can buy any type of furniture design just as long as it can go well the existing room design style.

But if you have no plans of buying a new set and your existing furniture still work well, then you can do simple things to make it look new. Even some type of patio furniture set such as wicker patio furniture sets can be used indoors. The set can be added with cushions, covers, and pillows to make it look new.

The Atmosphere
Keeping a livable indoor environment is relatively easy these days. With the advancement of heating technology, we can now have the comfort of warmth instantly and hassle-free. Using a modern electric fireplace or heater is much safer and healthier for indoors. Though traditional fireplaces are still great, most modern houses are not suitable for it and building one is restricted in some areas. However, modern electric fireplaces and heaters have special effects that can mimic the look and feel of traditional wood burning.

Set the warmth at a level that we can feel the most comfort or recreate the feeling of summer inside the house is the best we can do for celebrating the season.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Considerations Before Building a Fire Pit

Building a fire pit is another option to have the warmth so you can enjoy your time outside on cold nights. Aside from the cozy ambiance, this traditional heat source has additional benefits and uses. A beautifully built fire pit can add flair to your patio decoration. With the right wood fuel, it can also be used as an alternative furnace for cooking and roasting food and toast marshmallows.

Assuming, you now have time and budget to build a fire pit. You feel excited about it but wait; you have some last things to consider. These things will ensure that you will have no regrets in the future and avoid frustrations.

It is easy to get carried away thinking about what a fire pit can get you. But I suggest that you think again if you really need a fire pit because the work on having one does not end after you finished building it. As you use it, you have to take care of it and you have to haul wood for fuel. If heat is all you need then you have to consider that there are other outdoor heater alternatives such as gas patio heaters or portable electric fireplace.

Sure a fire pit can be a great feature of a patio design but you have to ponder on how often you need them. Remember that this is a permanent fixture in your patio that occupies a large space. There can be some other times that you will need the space for some occasions.

There are some components and items in a patio that cannot and should not be near a fire pit. The fire, heat, and smoke can affect them. Things like roofing, shade sails, fixed awnings, and the likes may deteriorate or even catch a fire. There will be no problems with retractable awnings and patio umbrellas because they can be closed when needed.

Also, the life around such as trees and plants can get affected.

Lastly, check with your local board or authority for restrictions and regulations in building a fire pit. Just be sure you know the rules to avoid future problems. Also, consult your insurance company if building at home does not affect your insurance. You should know the terms and conditions.

These are not discouragement but just some alternatives to make life easier and safer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ideas for a Greener Patio

A greener patio does not literally mean by painting it with more green color. It means by planting more naturally growing live plants. But you can do the painting too anyway.

Plants have a lot of benefits. In fact, we cannot live well without them. They gave us food and fresh air to breathe. Having some of these greens to the patio can enhance the ambiance and the design. They can add more life to it.

Success in patio decorating involves planning ahead. Determine how you want your outdoor place looks and feels. This time, our goal is to create a greener patio. This is simply similar to gardening but the steps are slightly different for your patio.

Patio Design
If you are designing your patio for the very first time or you want to completely start a new patio setup, it is better to start with natural stone pavers and use wooden materials for construction. If it is possible, leave a little space of ground soil and for a little pond. This type of setup is very suitable for various plants.

The Cover or Shade
Any type of shade or patio cover will work, but it is better if you have a pergola or gazebos in which it would be easy to add plants on them.

Depending on your patio design and space size, you can use a patio umbrella, shade sail, or awning. For a unique look that could match with the addition of plants, a tiki umbrella is great.

The Furniture Sets
Among all patio furniture types, wooden and wicker patio furniture sets are the best choice. Other types will also do too; it is just a matter of adding accessories to make them look more suitable for a garden themed patio.

The Décor Accents
Adding decorative accents improves patio design and the setup would become more interesting. As I have said earlier, you can add accessories to patio furniture set so that it can go well with the greener patio design. For example, you can add matching cushions or pillows to wicker patio furniture set.

The Greens
Now let us make our patio greener. We can this by doing some gardening. Although we can reserve some ground space for plants, it can also be achieved by using potted plants only and this way is best for patio decorating especially if you have an existing patio design.

There are so many plants that you can choose but you need to be careful. You need to determine what kind of plant is suitable for your patio design. Every other plant of its kind has a different level of sunlight, soil, and water requirement. Knowing these, you can pick which plant goes to the ground, to the pots, to the waters, and to be hung. And you can choose which will go well under the shade with less sun exposure.

Making a patio greener is easy. Using potted plants, you can easily and instantly convert a patio to enjoy nature’s goodness. These are just simple ideas tips. If you have some more to add, please share it by posting comments below.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Really is a Market Umbrella?

The definition of a market umbrella is somewhat confusing though many articles are made to provide information. Now let us try to describe a market umbrella in just as simple as it possibly can.

Patio Umbrella versus Market Umbrella
Let us do a little comparison between a patio umbrella and a market umbrella like most writers do. Many people are being confused by these terms yet they are easy to differentiate.

The name “patio umbrella” is a general term that refers to outdoor umbrellas specifically manufactured to be used in a patio or outdoor space. Other outdoor umbrella names just refer to styles and materials used and that include our subject, market umbrella.

Here are other styles of patio umbrellas:
  • Offset Umbrellas also known as Cantilever Umbrellas
  • Wind Resistant Umbrellas
  • Tiki and Thatch Umbrellas
  • Wood Umbrellas
  • Aluminum Umbrellas
  • Tilting Umbrellas
  • Wall Mount Umbrellas
  • Others are named according to their canopy shape.

Beach umbrella is also another style but it is not commonly referred to as patio umbrella.

Some people are properly naming these styles by appending the term “patio umbrella” to the style name, that is, “offset patio umbrella” or “aluminum patio umbrella”.

Just keep in mind that the name “market umbrella” is just another distinct style of patio umbrella. This helps to better understand the differences between a patio umbrella and a market umbrella.

Market Umbrella Distinct Features
The style of market umbrella is considered more modern than a traditional patio umbrella.  We will see it by its distinct features.

Wind Vent at the top – Yes it is modern. This feature adds a unique style to the umbrella and has advantages. It allows the breeze to pass through at the top to maintain a smooth flow. It serves as an escape vent for stronger wind blows to lessen the force.

No Valance – Yes it is modern because the valance looks a little old fashion. Without it, the umbrella looks sleek and modern. A market umbrella will be the best choice to use with modern patio furniture and outdoor decoration. By the way, a valance is a skirting at the edges of an umbrella canopy.

Market umbrellas were first known made of wooden poles and ribs. But today, they are available in aluminum, the more durable fiberglass, or a combination of these materials. Wood market umbrellas are still very popular though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Types of Patio Umbrella Bases and Stands Information

A patio umbrella base or stand is just one part of an outdoor umbrella. Yet, it is an important component that makes an umbrella usable. It holds the umbrella on the ground and keeps it standing still. That is why choosing the right weight and pole fitting is very important when buying.

Moreover, there is more to patio umbrella bases than just keeping an umbrella standing on the ground. Most of them have aesthetical qualities that are helpful in patio decoration. Choosing the right style, color, and finish that would match with the existing patio furniture makes a patio umbrella even more attractive.

There are several types of patio umbrella bases. Though they serve the same purpose, they are just made different for different types of applications and for convenience sake.

We already know a typical patio umbrella base which has a heavy weight. Some of these, especially the heavier ones have built-in wheels for easy mobility.

Here are the other types:

Table Clamp
Table clamp type umbrella base can be clamped on a table or any other hard surface. This can firmly secure and stabilize an umbrella using the weight of a bar table or a round table. This umbrella stand is very suitable to use in windy areas because it gains more strength by using the weight and stability of a table.

Sand Auger
Sand auger outdoor umbrella stand enables to use any outdoor umbrellas as a beach umbrella. Just screw it in the sand, voilà, a stable and secure umbrella base. Very practical, you do not have to buy a new beach umbrella, just use this with any of your existing umbrella and you are good to go beaching.

Fillable
The fillable umbrella bases are designed for convenience. It takes away the burden of carrying a heavy base starting from buying to transporting. Traveling an umbrella with base together to outdoors will be much easier by just emptying the weight of the base.

Also, there are umbrella bases made for special types of patio umbrellas.

Off-the-wall umbrella base is specially designed for off-the-wall outdoor umbrellas.

Offset umbrella base is specifically designed to meet the need of counter-balancing the weight of an offset umbrella.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Best of Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker patio furniture items are made of woven flexible plant twigs or branches. They are usually made from willow, reed, or rattan. However, synthetic wicker is now also widely used to manufacture furniture sets.
Built on frames, they are usually patterned to form different styles of furniture, from a simple chair to a luxurious furniture set. Design possibilities are numerous in which more design principles can be applied such as classic, contemporary, and minimalism.

The two material types of wicker outdoor furniture, natural and synthetic, have certain distinct qualities.

Natural wickers have been part of the furniture luxury for its beauty and comfort. They are also known for durability and strength. Though they can work well in an outdoor setup, they can be affected by the outdoor elements. That is why synthetic types are now in demand for outdoor applications. Synthetic wicker is usually made from resin material which is weather resistant that can be placed in most outdoor conditions.

Resin material is very flexible which is why resin wicker furniture comes in many designs including those that are hard to achieve with plant wicker. This material has a lot of characteristics applicable even for harsh outdoor situations. These include resistance to fade, ultra violet rays, heat, and frost.

Synthetic wickers are easy to clean and require less maintenance. To clean the dirt caused naturally, you can just wipe it out and hose it down even without the use of special cleaning agents.

The beauty of wicker patio furniture sets can add an attractive view in the patio. There are lots of designs, styles and colors to mix and match with any patio design theme. Wicker sets usually come with comfortable padding, but you can also add a matching outdoor cushion for additional comfort and style that help make a relaxing setup.

Adding a shade such as an outdoor umbrella or an outdoor awning is very helpful for your patio setup. Patio relaxing can be more safe and fun when you know you are protected. Also, a large patio umbrella will give an additional protection to the wicker set from the sun and rain.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Buy Customized Outdoor Umbrella

Another great way to choose the best outdoor umbrella that answers a need for a shade is to buy customized. Many online stores now offer the flexibility in choosing the most suitable umbrella parts, colors, and styles you need or want. You can visit Patioshoppers.com to try how it works and get to know more about other types of patio umbrellas. But if you prefer to buy from a real, brick-and-mortar store, this is very doable but you have to keep a list of important specifications to avoid mismatching of the different umbrella parts and components.

This style of patio umbrella buying has few advantages compared to buying a packaged one. With this buying style, you are free to choose which patio umbrella parts are best suited for your type of environment and setup.

Umbrella Canopy
The umbrella canopy or the covering fabric is the most important part of an umbrella. It gives protection against the harmful sunlight and the rain. There is now an umbrella fabric that can block the harmful UV rays of the sun. This UV protective canopy must be the choice for maximum sun protection.

However, the use of an outdoor umbrella is more than just for a shade but for patio decoration also. And the beauty of an umbrella is recognized mostly by its canopy or the covering part. So choosing a suitable canopy color, design, and style is also essential in achieving the desired patio design. Some patio umbrella canopies are uniquely made for a special type of patio setup. One example is a tiki thatch canopy which is best if you want a tropical outdoor setup.

Patio Umbrella Base or Stand Option
Choosing the most appropriate patio umbrella base or stand is crucial to the safety of the umbrella, the properties around, and the people as well. The base will hold the umbrella to keep it standing in place. Make it sure that base is heavy enough to hold the umbrella against wind blows.

Some umbrellas come pre-packaged with the base, but when it is custom ordered, you can select which is best for your patio umbrella. There are a few types of base or stand, the freestanding, sand auger, and the mountable. Choose free standing if moving the umbrella is frequent and choose mountable if you need greater strength. The sand auger is specially made for beach umbrellas.

Some outdoor umbrella bases, especially the heavier ones, have built-in wheels making it easy to move from one place to another. So you do not have to worry much about the hassle.

Additionally, the best way to choose the right umbrella is to start from the pole and frame type. Decide whether you need an offset umbrella, wall mount, or just a conventional umbrella. From there you can custom select the canopy and base.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Patio Furniture Cover Saves

There are many harsh outdoor elements that can cause damage to a patio furniture. These elements may create a small but noticeable blemishes or worse an irreversible damage. The threat of these outdoor elements can get more terrible especially when weather gets harsher during rainy and cold seasons. Almost all furniture types are vulnerable with the damaging effects of these elements which include wind, rain, and snow. Even sunlight can inflict some damage to the furniture.

There are several damages that start little and slowly but will surely ruin every part of the furniture if not taken cared of early. Iron patio furniture can get rust which acts just like a fungus that will consume the affected item little by little and without stopping until the whole item has decayed. Wooden furniture items can get mildew, molds, or fungus which will decay the affected part.

Patio furniture sets can get covered usually as we use them. Just like when we use a patio umbrella on hot summer days, the furniture set can get the sun protection too. But even outdoor umbrellas should also be protected which can be done by simply closing and storing them to safety. As a result the furniture sets will need another protective cover.

Providing a secure cover is the best solution to protect any patio furniture. Yes, we have to spend some money for this but will save you more by protecting your valuable investments. And as patio furniture sets are protected, you will also be able to maintain the safety and patio design. By the way, about protecting outdoor umbrellas, there are patio umbrella covers too.

Choosing a right cover is very important as they are made of different materials. It does not matter what materials and how these covers are made as long as they can provide the best protection to the furniture. The qualities we should look for in selecting the best cover includes the following;

  • Waterproof – to avoid water from entering the inside and into the furniture.
  • Well ventilated - to prevent moist buildup.
  • UV resistant – to ensure a lasting protection.
  • Wear and tear resistant – so that no chance for any drop of moisture to penetrate.

Definitely, every furniture type, design, and size have a corresponding cover to fit. Even the covers produced by manufacturers other than the furniture maker will fit because of somewhat standardization of patio furniture sizes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Useful Outdoor Umbrellas

Outdoor umbrellas these days are made into several forms, design, and style. Although a few of these outdoor and patio umbrellas can be used usually, there are just some that can be best for a specific type of environment.


The most common form is a freestanding umbrella with octagon shaped canopy. Other types can look so similar or very different. Each have a distinct characteristic based on how some of the common umbrella parts are modified.

  • Offset umbrella – also known as cantilever umbrella and has its pole on its side with the canopy hanging in a horizontal or slanting beam.
  • Tilting umbrella – the upper part of the pole is made to let the umbrella tilt to provide shade every time the sun shifts position.
  • Wall mount umbrella and rotating arm umbrella - similar to offset type but the canopy on the arm can be rotated and can have multiple canopies.
  • Half-canopy umbrella – its canopy is literally made half only.
 
These patio umbrellas can be used in several outdoor setups and situations including backyard garden, patio, outdoor leisure, and businesses. They provide a protection for the outdoor furniture sets and the people. To get the best out of an umbrella, one should know how to choose the best one for a specific environment. Here some situations and how to choose the best umbrellas for them. 
 
Home Exterior Decoration
Outdoor umbrellas can be used to decorate the exteriors of your house. The half-canopy and wall-mount patio umbrellas can be a beneficial feature to the house walls. You are not just adding a unique feature to your house but also an extra shade.
 
Backyard or Patio
A backyard or a patio place are some of the best place at home for an outdoor relaxation and a pleasant place for receiving guests. Creating this outdoor space is easy with patio umbrellas and with the help of an outdoor heater for some cozy ambiance when it is cold outside. A freestanding patio umbrella along with some comfy patio furniture can set the mood of the overall design. 
 
Outdoor Leisure
When it is summer and the sunlight is at its peak, do not go out in the open area without sun protection. Sun's rays can be harmful to the skin and may lead to serious diseases like cancer. Bring an outdoor umbrella with you especially when you go out to the beach to have a shade when the heat is not bearable. For a worry free relaxation and look for those resistant to wind and having a higher UV protection. A tilting patio umbrella will protect you at any time of the day.
 
Business
When you are planning or having a business like cafe, it is wiser to extend the area and use the outdoor space. All you need are sets of tables and chairs with an outdoor umbrella. These umbrellas will make your business look attractive from the outside. Commercial patio umbrellas are also a tool for advertising. This type of umbrella can be printed with logos, pictures, a text to advertise your business or cause. Offset patio umbrellas would be the best choice if you want a shade that is so open without the annoying center pole.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Common Patio Flooring Types

Patio flooring or pavement is basically one of the most important components of building a beautiful patio. It is the most laborious part to create that it requires planning and careful construction. A well built patio floor is required as it is the foundation of a safe outdoor space.

When it comes to designing and decorating an outdoor space, the floor will be the starting point in which the choice for patio furniture types will be based. Different flooring types will create different types of environment, from traditional to modern style. Some flooring types that can also be used to mimic the look of nature's landscape such as a tropical theme.

Concrete
Concrete cementing is the first option if we need a solid flooring that can easily be created in lesser time and labor. Building it is fast and inexpensive, either you prepare it yourself or hire an expert mason in your town. Adding an artistic quality to it is very simple. We can apply some stamps to create a tiled effect to the floor.

But before you build the patio with concrete cement, be sure that your design is final and you do not have plans soon to change the shape and form of the patio floor. It will be harder if not impossible to redesign a concrete flooring. There is no trial with it that once finished, it will always be in place unless you destroy it.

Tiled Flooring
Tiled flooring an elegant patio flooring that has been widely used since in ancient times. This classic flooring type allows you to create the floor with different color, shade, and design. Tiles can be easily arranged into any artistic styling like a mosaic. Basically, tiles can be natural stones, faux stones, and bricks. There are different colors and shapes you can choose.

Natural stones are the best options for most patio landscapers. This flooring type allows you to create a wide array of natural patio theme design. You may create themes like garden, tropical, natural landscape, and many other natural formations. There are several stones to choose from such as granite, slate, soapstone, marble, and limestone.

Bricks are another option for a tiled patio flooring that goes well with garden and house theme. Available from small to large bricks and with different shapes, the bricks can be easily arranged in the ground to create a semi-smooth flooring or jagged style surface. The design possibilities are endless especially with small bricks. It allows to create many floor shapes and mosaic artwork on the floor.


Different patio flooring types, styles, and design initially defines how you would want your patio looks and feels. However, the mood of environment can be altered with the addition of different outdoor furniture items. Like a patio cover, a patio umbrella, shade sail, and an awning provide a different shade look-and-feel compared to a permanent roof such as a pergolas or gazebos. The ambiance can also be altered with adding a fire pit or using a patio heater.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Patio Cover Styles

A patio cover provides protection for the patio furniture sets and people but its usefulness is not limited to just providing a protective shade. It also adds an interesting focal point to a patio design. So therefore, it is also important to choose well a patio cover type to use in patio decorating and designing.

Deciding on what type of cover and how it would look like is not so hard. You just have to choose a style that goes well with your existing patio design and the type of materials you have used. Let us look at a wooden patio deck as an example. Building a roof or pergola with wood is more appropriate than other materials. If you do not like a permanent cover, you may resort to an awning or an outdoor umbrella which you can open them when you needed and close to store them when no using. The key to get a good result is to choose a style and finish that goes well with the existing patio design.

Here are some patio cover styles.

Pergola and Arbor
The most common permanent patio covers are pergola and arbor. They are similar permanent structure with some distinct differences. A pergola has a flat top while an arbor has arched top. The framework is systematically designed to provide shade but maintain the typical outdoor ambiance. These structures can be built solely from solid wood, resin plastic, metal, or a combination of these materials. They can be provided with fabric covering for additional shade. These solid structures can also serve as support for climbing plants or vines that provide shade and cool environment.

Trellis

A trellis is also a permanent garden or patio structure but is lighter. It can be arched or flat and usually built from interwoven pieces wood or metal. This type of structure is often made as a support for climbing plants.

Awning
An awning is a semi-permanent cover for a patio. It may be fold-able or retractable to provide just enough shade whenever it is needed. Modern patio awnings have easy crank mechanism or motorized providing more convenience in opening and closing.

Patio Umbrella
Patio umbrellas are the most used type of patio cover. They are portable, stylish, and easy to use. This type of shade is a quick way to have a sun protection and a cover from the rain. There are so many design options you can choose such as offset umbrella, half-canopy, and specially shaped canopy that not just provide an easy access for a cover but also help in creating a beautiful patio.

Modern outdoor umbrellas have easy mechanism such as crank lift, automatic tilt, and built-in wheels making them more convenient and easy to move from one spot to another.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Benefits of A Roofless Patio

Some people built a patio with a permanent roof because they are practical and has more strength. With this permanently fixed roof, the patio and all patio furniture and fixtures will always be covered all year round. This type of shade is great against heavy rain and snow.


On the other hand, a roofless or open patio has a lot of benefits. It offers us an unlimited outdoor design choices for our patio and we can change it whenever we want it and need it. Most people would love sun bathing and we can do this at home in our patio. We can create a tropical theme in our patio during summer time. A nice tropical environment includes the bright sky and the beautiful sunshine plus a fresh breeze.

Staying under the sun can be lovely and enjoyable but not always. From time to time we need a shade to protect us from the harmful sunlight. We can use patio umbrellas, shades and awnings, and shade sails. The best part of this is that we can choose trendy and stylish designs that suits to enhance the design of our patio.

After a tiresome day, another great way to relax is to lay down and feel the cool breeze while gazing at the twinkling stars in the night sky. You can do this in an open area in your patio. All you need is a comfortable reclining bed or couch in the patio. If the night is a bit chilly just bring with you an outdoor patio heater to stay warm. Another exciting way to get the warmth with a bit of entertainment is to use a fire pit or fire bowl where you can enjoy the dancing flame in the dark. So if you love to watch a live show of stars at night, leaving a large space in you patio is great.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Outdoor Comforter in Cold Weather

The best outdoor comforter when the coldness of outdoors is unbearable is an outdoor heater. You need not wear uncomfortable and heavy clothing or jacket with an outdoor patio heater that gives a substantial heat. So the beautiful outdoor can still be enjoyable in the cold winter with less hassle.

Patio Heater

There are several types of outdoor patio heaters to choose to recreate a summer ambiance during winter and on cold nights. To get the best out of an outdoor heater, choose the one that suits best with your outdoor setup.

You may choose to create a traditional wood burning fire place but it may be a hassle before you get the warmth. The heat generated may also be not enough because it can easily be dissipated in the surrounding. The best choice is to use modern outdoor heaters which are available in gas or electric powered. These heaters are designed to generate a substantial and focused heat to warm a spot where you needed.

A gas powered outdoor heater works best for a very cold surrounding as it can generate a huge amount of heat. Some variants of this type of modern heater may be fueled with natural gas or propane. This particular type is great for providing heat to a large area or an entire patio setup.

An electric patio heater is a great option if you want warmth without any hassle. With the latest advancement of electric heating technology, most can now be operated with remote control, unattended, and automatic. The worries of overheating and unregulated heat output have diminished. Once you have it, just plug it in and enjoy a comfortable warmth instantly. Electric heaters are also available in different types such as halogen, infrared, and the classical convection heating using electrode.

  • Halogen and classic heaters are the choice for heating and creating an ambiance for a large space. They are usually fan forced to heat directly the direction where they are pointed to.
  • Infrared is the choice if heat is all you need. Best for spot heating where it directly heats persons and things and not the air in between.

Additionally, there are small portable versions of these heaters which you can use to enjoy the outdoors  alone or with a partner under an outdoor umbrella. In fact, there is one style of infrared heater as an accessory that can be attached to a patio umbrella.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Complement Outdoor Seats with Cushions and Pillows

Home outdoor places like patios, decks, backyard or gardens are commonly made for relaxation and leisure activities. In this place we find a good rest just right at the comfort of our own home after an exhausting day of work. It is also a great place for getting a fresh air to breathe after the pressures of indoor activities and for get-together parties.

The most important thing we need for setting up this relaxing outdoor place is an outdoor seat where we can stay and be relaxed. To achieve the setup goals we want, we need to get the best relaxing patio seats available such as an outdoor chair, lounge chair, or outdoor sofa.

To get the most of such outdoor relaxing or leisure, choosing a comfortable outdoor cushion is a must. There are modern cushions made for outdoors that last for several years allowing us to enjoy it longer. The cushion can help us sit comfortably even for a longer time without noticing it. Buy those that are designed to support comfortably our back and even to the legs for a deeper and calm rest.

Pillows are of great help when you want additional comfort. They are a great addition if you have a sofa set. These are helpful when you want something to grab and hold, place under your head, on your stomach, or between legs.

Aside from giving comfort, these outdoor cushions and pillows can add a nice look to the setup. You can choose from different styles, design, and color that can go well with your chairs and seats. The pillows can be placed as additional decoration to your patio setup.

There are cushions pre-made so you can get it sooner as you order them. Sizes are available as furniture items have standard sizes but you can order a custom size for your custom-made seats. Be sure that what you buy are resistant to weather because these can stay safe outdoors. But if you want an additional protection you can add a patio umbrella or any dynamic outdoor shade. There are large outdoor umbrellas today that can cover even a large outdoor seat. Choose your style from simple octagon umbrella to a unique offset patio umbrella style.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Enjoy the Summer with an Outdoor Umbrella


As the summer comes, the outdoor surroundings become more exciting and lively. This time of the year is the time for vacation and relaxation. Everybody seems want to have a great escape every time this season comes. This is the time to put those electric fireplaces and patio heaters to rest and have some fun under the warmth of the mighty sun. Some love to go to the beaches and some on the other part of the land. Wherever we may go, the sun is always there to bring a lively weather. But the sun is not always safe so here is a friendly reminder, better get ready with some sun protection.

There are lots of sun screen we can use such as sun block creams and lotions but when the sunlight becomes intolerable, a lovely outdoor umbrella is the best protection. Modern beach umbrellas now have revolutionary fabrics that not only give shade against the glare of the sun but also blocks harmful UV rays. We know Ultra Violet rays are invisible and these can penetrate through some fabrics. But some canopy fabrics are now specially weaved so that they can block most UV Rays that can be harmful to our skin. These fabrics also maintain a fine and vibrant look.

The beach umbrellas are not just for protection but also for decoration. You can achieve a great summer sitting or laying down on your patio seats under the luxury of a beach umbrella. Today umbrellas are not just simple umbrellas. Modern innovation makes them more fashionable and functional. Designers have brought the fashion and styles to the umbrellas for it to become more trendy. Modern designs such as a unique tilting feature makes the umbrella functional at anytime while the sun is hot.

When you buy outdoor patio umbrellas, make sure that this is suitable for summer getaway. Remember these important characteristics as your criteria for choosing the best.


  • Resistant to wind blows (important when used at the beach)
  • Protects Against Sun's UV Rays
  • Endures Hot Sunlight
  • Portable

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ceiling Patio Heater Advantage

It is very common to use portable and free standing patio heaters at home patio. A heater device or appliance can be at the front back or side of patio furniture setup just as long as the heat flow is directed to the persons in the place. Some designs can give heat at 360 degree direction which can be placed at the center of the setup including table top.

Another interesting patio heater style is the ceiling patio heater. This is outdoor heater can be uniquely hung or attached to the ceiling. This new outdoor heater style can be commonly seen in outdoor cafes, bars, and restaurants but can also be useful at home patio. Just like other outdoor heaters, this style can generate enough heat to give warmth and comfort on chilly days allowing you to have a summer feeling in winter.

There are many types of hanging heaters and usually are electric powered. Known as energy efficient, infrared heater type is the most prominent which can heat persons and objects directly, and not the air in between. Other types are halogen and gas powered outdoor heaters.

There are many advantages of hanging patio heater, and the reason of these is its strategic hanging position. With this position, the heat is directly focused below making the environment warm with ease. The generated heat is evenly spread around the patio furniture setup making the place warm and convenient. Your guests may not know where the heater is, but they can feel the comfort.

This design is also space-saving leaving more space for other patio furniture. This type is great for small patios and a suitable heater for a romantic outdoor dining.

A patio heater hanging on the ceiling is a wonderful display. The appliance is another great decoration to the patio. A versatile patio enhancement for any outdoor theme because it will not clutter the decoration. There are many design styles to choose from that have different suitable application.

For safety, it must be properly installed just like the other electric appliances. Be sure it will not get wet to avoid damage by electric shock. Install it in a safe spot away from water sources. It must be under a safe outdoor shade. There are handy version of this heater type which can be placed under a patio umbrella. Some are specifically designed for outdoor umbrellas.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What Makes a Wind Resistant Umbrella

Hailed as one of the best outdoor protection against the harsh beating of the sun, outdoor umbrellas provide shade protecting us from ultra violet rays. Aside from their main purpose outdoor patio umbrellas also adds decoration to a patio design and a primary cover for our patio furniture when it rains.

Outdoor umbrellas experience different types of weather condition during their lifetime. So there is a lot of elements affecting them. We cannot put all strength in one umbrella, though it is possible but performance will suffer. However, different types of umbrellas are made for a specific weather condition hence no tall different weather types exist at once in one location.

The most common challenging outdoor element of umbrellas is the wind, not just a breeze but strong wind blows. This is very common in coastal areas but will also come very unexpectedly in other places.

Because a strong wind is the element that puts an umbrella to the ultimate test, there are modern patio umbrellas constructed to endure this adversary. Such umbrella type is called wind resistant umbrella which is also known as high wind patio umbrella. This type is made of select materials that are strong and flexible enough to withstand strong winds.

Different parts are solidly crafted to ensure the strength and durability, yet, manufacturers are aims to maintain the flexibility and style of the umbrella.
  • The pole is usually made of solid thick aluminum and coated with different finish and colors. Metals are strong and the best thing about aluminum is that it is rustproof and cannot be affected by outdoor elements when it comes to deterioration.
  • The ribs that hold the canopy fabric takes the force of wind blows that is why this must also be durable. Fiberglass is the best choice for this because of its strength and flexibility, it may bend but will never be broken and keeps the umbrella in shape. When a strong wind blows, the ribs just flex and go back to shape.
  • The canopy can be made of different types but usually they are made of commercial-grade and marine grade fabric. Weather resistant so that it will not deteriorate as time goes by.

The base must also be carefully chosen because it is the part that keeps the umbrella standing and holds it to the ground thus keeping them safe. There are several types of umbrella bases, just be sure that it is heavy enough to hold the umbrella and is the right fit.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Creative Patio Design Using Patio Umbrella

A patio is purposely created for outdoor relaxation and other leisure activities at home. As part of our home and personality, we want to personally design it making a visually appealing place and to get the ambiance we want.

Designing a patio can be done in many ways and a patio umbrella can be a big help. They bring a lot of style and creativity. It is a beautiful decoration complement while providing a protection against the harmful sun rays and rain at the same time. Outdoor patio umbrellas these days come in many stylish designs such as offset umbrellas, half-canopy, and wall mount. So whatever design style you want, an umbrella can help you create an attractive place.

A large outdoor umbrella is the best shade you can have when you do not want a permanent roof. This can give you enough shade for your patio furniture setup which also makes an attractive patio focal point. You can also use outdoor shade sails as a protection from the sun, however, a patio umbrella is provides more protection against the rain.

A patio umbrella can be closed allowing us to enjoy the sun whenever we want. This is one significant advantage of choosing this type of shade instead of a permanent roof.

Smaller patio umbrellas can make an inviting patio setup. That is why they are a great choice for bistros and extending cafes to outdoors, they can add attraction to the business. In your patio, they are great in creating a festive patio design especially the colored ones.

For a romantic place for two and a cool place for get-together, offset outdoor umbrellas are the best choice. This unique and stylish type of umbrella is designed with its pole on the side so it will not become an obstruction to the sight.

Outdoor patio umbrellas has accessories that add functionality and creativity. The most used are the lights especially made for patio umbrellas. The lights have two purpose, for illuminating and for adding attraction at night. They can be solar powered, battery operated, or electric. And you can find that they are available in several light types such as LED's or Fluorescent and in single or string form. You have different options to choose that suits your needs.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why Build a Patio?

A patio is an open area located just outside the house. It is commonly used as an extra space at home for personal leisure and relaxation. A large patio that accommodates more guests can be a great place for holding a party or get-together at home. The place commonly extends from the house and is usually paved with stone, bricks, tiles, concrete, or sometimes wood. Commercial places can have outdoor patios also, makes a unique place for clients.

Outdoor patio areas these days are extraordinary, they are designed well with specific themes and styles. Creative designers and decorators can create several landscapes such as a garden type or a natural scenery in the patio. A set of outdoor patio furniture is usually added to create a comfortable place. Outdoor wicker sofa sets are the popular choice for its unique look that goes well with outdoor decor. Some would also love to add chairs and table for outdoor dining on weekends. Adding a roof or a pergola is not necessary but would be a great addition for sun protection and for creating a focal point. A patio umbrella is best for instant shade and is a popular choice by many because of its decorative nature and inexpensiveness. Great option if you need a quick and easy shade setup. An outdoor shade sail is another option, a very handy instant shade.

There are several reasons why we build a patio, i.e., for relaxation, home design improvement, and adding more space. And it becomes a trend where each resident get interested in building a patio no matter how small the area.

Some people just want to be relaxed in an outdoor place after a tiring work, or have a little picnic on weekends. Breathe and feel the freshness of outdoor breeze but without the hassle of traveling away from home. The most practical and applicable way to fulfill these desires is to create a patio for relaxation and leisure. The appropriate design would depend much on personal choice but a garden patio or something special like tropical paradise themed setup is popular. With the addition of real plants, this design will naturally bring the freshness.

Some friendly folks just frequently visited by friends and indoor can be boring and not so comfortable sometimes. Bringing the get-together at the patio can create a different type of experience. A personalized natural surrounding brings some kind of excitement with real at home feeling. The ambiance becomes smoother and the view becomes wider.

Another factor that encourages the creation of a patio is the occasions. Celebrating an occasion or having a party inside the house is not so comfortable and activities are limited. But in the outdoors, the breathing space is wider and everyone can freely move around. Exciting physical activities are very much possible to do.