Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Size Is Your Patio?

There is no size requirement when creating a patio but there are certain advantages and disadvantages between a large and a small sized outdoor area.

A large area is best for preparing a patio with a pool, a space for get-together and party, and a place for leisure at home. However, you need to provide larger patio furniture, outdoor shade, and a lot of stuff to use in patio design. Decorating and maintaining will consume more time, effort, and money.

A small patio area on the other hand is good for just a place to relax and unwind at home for a small family. What is best in it is designing will be a lot easier and expenditure is lesser. You can have a lot of design options and you can change the theme easily.

The choice of a patio size will depend on the purpose of your outdoor patio design and on your budget. But generally most people landed on smaller patio design even if there are more space left to make. These are due to several factors.

Available Space
Especially for residences in urban and suburb areas, where extra residential space is somehow limited, residents cannot spoil themselves to create a larger patio. But somehow, a patio can still be built as an extra space for personal and family outdoor relaxing. Commonly it is built as an extension of the house from the doorstep to the sides. The patio shall also serve as a beautiful outdoor place to welcome the guests.

Available Budget
Building a patio requires a substantial amount for the materials. Several materials required in building a patio are needed to be purchased. These includes flooring materials, woods for roofing, paints, and other decorative add-on. Sure there are ways to build a patio at lower cost but just be sure the result be safe and that you are satisfied with it which is more important.

Useful tip! It is better to design the patio that can easily expand when you are able. Non-permanent fixtures and flooring are a way to go.

Another important thing regarding the size of your patio is how big the space left for people to roam around. Be sure not to over-populate the space with add-ons such as outdoor furniture and choose those having space-saving design. If you want to use a patio umbrella use offset patio umbrella or wall mount patio umbrella.

In the end, it is not just the size that is essential, satisfaction is the most important thing to consider.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Benefits of Adding Water Features

Adding water features to the patio or garden is great for both decoration and ambiance. This is a great idea if you want the look of wonderful nature in the home backyard or lawn. With the lovely rhythm and beautiful motion of the water that freely flows, it naturally stimulates the ambiance of the outdoor setup. Water itself is the essence of life, so adding this to your beautiful garden or patio makes the place lively.

Creating water features require a lot of effort and need some expertise, but, you can have some of these wonderful features in no time. There are ready-made water features you can buy or order for your patio. Miniature types are readily available to buy at local shops or online stores. Once you have one, installation will be just as easy as ABC. Most of the pre-made just require you to find a suitable place, add water and power supply required, and turn it on. Voila! You have a water feature.

There are many types of water features in miniature form such as falls and the ever popular water fountain. Do-it-yourself items are available in the patio furniture shops and may come as little as table top or larger. Table tops are also a beautiful accent to the patio furniture setup. If you want a customized one with a unique landscape, there are experts that you can hire to create it for you.

Waterfall is the popular choice of many home owners for small home garden or patio. Usually placed on the walls and on corners. This can be a center of attraction that one can enjoy while relaxing on the outdoor wicker under a patio umbrella. Larger versions of this water feature is usually incorporated with a pond with colorful fishes, this setup is known to bring good vibes to the surrounding.

The ever popular water fountain is a great centerpiece in a patio, garden or lawn setup. It makes the place so inviting that even birds will visit every time. Aside from the artistic form of the fountain structure, the interesting movement of water from the spouts excites. Fountains are also available as wall mounted and come in different artistic design with sculpture, a nice addition if your patio or garden is surrounded with walls.

Summer is the time when water feature works best. They make outdoor cooler while enjoying the colorful landscape under the outdoor umbrella. Grab one now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Safe Patio Umbrella Installation

Patio umbrellas are made to provide shade for us and our outdoor patio furniture. Most of these outdoor  shades does not just block the burning sunlight but also protect us from harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Outdoor patio design is just the secondary purpose of investing in a patio umbrella though.

Patio umbrellas now become an important part of the patio or deck that is why they deserve some safeguard. Safe installation is the most effective care we can give. Improper and poor installation can lead to problems that can be disastrous. Flying and falling umbrellas are dangerous that may ruin properties and hurt people.

However, every type of umbrella and every outdoor environment would require different installation type. Here are installation types and tips to keep everything safe.

Free Standing Base
The common option for installing a patio umbrella is to use a weighted free standing patio umbrella base. When buying one,
  • make sure that it is heavy enough so that the breeze will have a hard time to lift it up, and
  • make sure that the base dimension or diameter is wider to keep it standing.

You can always go beyond what is recommended. Go for heavier base or stand because outdoor elements such as wind blows can come at an unexpected rate. Select the one that has a hole that is almost a perfect fit with your umbrella pole to keep a strong grip.

By the way, you can find bases and stands that are elegant and stylish to add to your patio or deck design.

Mountable Base
This is much stronger provided that the ground or the spot where it is attached to is solid. Some mountable bases also allow you to mount the umbrella on a heavy duty patio furniture. You will only need to make sure that the joint is strongly fitted. Some free standing base can also be mountable to the ground.

Affixed to a Table
A table that has a hole at the center to insert the umbrella pole is also effective to keep it standing. They are commonly used in outdoor cafes and bistros where it makes a convenient setup and a beautiful design. The strength will depend on the table's weight and grip.

Auger Base
If you want to use your outdoor umbrella in the beach and it does not have a pointed pole, auger base is you best option. This base can be easily screwed into the sand then attach your umbrella. This style provides a strong grip on the ground so that your umbrella will not be pulled out easily by strong wind blows. Easier to carry than other base types.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas

Outdoor umbrellas these days are available in several different types named according to the characteristics and purpose. Moreover, each type also come in many styles and designs which help us to choose the most applicable, in every detail, to our outdoor setup.

To better understand these umbrellas and know how to pick the best one for a specific environment, patio furniture setup, and outdoor design, we better know what are the attributes of each. Outdoor patio umbrellas can also be categorized according to their frame components used such as aluminum, wood, or fiberglass. Strength and shape are also used as classifications. Here is a short list of most used main categories.

Patio Umbrellas
Designed to be used in outdoor areas at home specifically at backyard, patio or deck. They are also made of different types of materials. Because the weather at home is usually moderate, this umbrella type is made light with features that help for ease of use. Useful features include tilting, crank lift, and others that opening and closing a patio umbrella becomes easy. Home owners can enjoy the sunny outdoors under a patio umbrella with less hassle.

Wood Market Umbrellas
Patio umbrellas and market umbrellas are actually the same. The only difference is the style. But it is common to most that market umbrellas are usually made of wood so I will use this category. Wooden types are undeniably great in design because they can be styled in different ways. From post to ribs, wood umbrellas really stand out. Though made of solid wood, the joints and fittings are made of metal to secure locking.

Beach Umbrellas
The unique features of beach umbrellas are their portability and resistance to strong wind blows. The design is also different especially the canopy, commonly the umbrella has a valance or part of the umbrella canopy that extends and hangs to the sides. Some beach umbrellas also feature an auger designed pole base to secure it in the ground against heavy winds.

Commercial Umbrellas
Commercial umbrellas are literally manufactured for business and other commercial applications. Made with solid pole such as metal or fiberglass and the canopy is made from durable fabric, they are made to endure the rigors of outdoor use on a day to day business use. Another feature that is very unique on some of this type of umbrella is that a logo text and photo can be printed on it that serves as a way to promote a business or a cause.

Offset Outdoor Umbrellas
This is made much like the other types of outdoor umbrellas except wood. One thing that sets it apart from other umbrellas is how the pole is constructed. The pole is made to stand outside the canopy so you can have a shade without the obstruction of the pole. They are also known as cantilever umbrellas or side-post umbrellas.

Wall Mount Umbrellas and Rotating Arm Umbrellas
Similar to offset type but the canopy on the arm can be rotated and can have multiple canopies. The rotating arms have a secure pole to stand while the wall mount gains the strength from the wall. These umbrellas are best for outdoor cafes and bistros.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Patio Chairs and Seat Cushions Make a Better Patio

Relaxation and unwinding are our primary purposes why we create a place where we can stay during break time and weekends. We usually design a patio or deck to make our best leisure not far from home.

A beautifully designed patio or deck is never complete without chairs and sofa sets. In fact, a comfortable seat is the most basic requirement of a patio relaxation aside from a patio umbrella. However, we need to choose the best style that meets this goal.

We have several styles of outdoor chairs to choose from. The design can be classic, contemporary, and minimal. These patio furniture can be made solely or in combination of different materials such as wood, metal, fiberglass, and plastics. There is just one purpose of all the designs of these seats, to create a wonderful setup and a comfy piece to sit on or lay down. Several of these popular seats include sofa sets, love seats, reclining chair, and ottoman.

Choosing the best one should be easy. If you only need a chair or a sofa set, any design type is okay as long as you are comfortable using it. However, if you have other patio furnishings and fixtures such as a patio table or outdoor umbrella, select styles match or designs that go with other patio items.

The comfort of these seats can even be improved with the addition of outdoor cushions. Outdoor seat cushions bring additional comfort to chairs in the first place. But the purpose of these comfortable pads are more than just that. These comfy cushions are also a plus to the design and style of the chairs.

Outdoor cushions can be made of different materials. The form and shape depends on the style of the seat or as needed. A seat cushion is aimed to support the bottom, the back, and even the legs and feet for a greater comfort.

These cushions can be easily bought from your local stores or online. Each chair style probably has a matching cushion because they are made for standard furniture sizes but if none you can also order custom sizes from the manufacturers.

The patio chairs and cushions are really a perfect combination to give comfort and style to your patio, deck, or backyard setup.