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.
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 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.


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.

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.