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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.