Friday, June 20, 2014

Outdoor lighting Tips

There are many types of light which are intended for different purposes. There are, for illuminating so it is easy for you to see things especially during outdoor activities. There are, for ambient lighting especially useful for setting a mood or ambiance. Others are for adding decorative accents to your patio or deck design.

Aside from the types of light, lighting fixture or form also come in several variations. Their form is intended for different purposes and application.

Ceiling Lighting
This type of lighting is usually hung or fixed above the center of a patio or deck. There are two main purposes of a ceiling light fixture, for illuminating and for ambient lighting.

Wall Lighting
Wall lights are primarily intended for highlighting some spots in your patio or deck. These are usually placed at the entrance and at some architectural features you want to highlight.

Path Lighting
Path lights are for illuminating or highlighting pathways, steps, and stairs. In the garden, they serve another purpose which is to highlight plants and fences.

Some types of light are made for special purposes such as the following:

String Lights
String lights can be made of many color combinations. They are specifically made for adding decorative accents to the setup. Special occasions at night can be very colorful at night.

Patio Umbrella Lights
Patio umbrella lights can come in many different forms such as string, series of bulbs, and even single bulb. Of course, they are specifically made for patio umbrellas and other types of outdoor umbrellas.

Spot Lights
Spot lights are usually used for emphasizing trees and plants at night. It greatly enhances your backyard making your plants visible at night, and in different but amazing way.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Top Outdoor Cushion Fabrics

Outdoor cushions are made for comfort. It makes a great place for relaxation and an impressive space for your guests. Because of their fine and colorful covers, they are also made to help decorate your patio or deck setup.

An outdoor environment is very different. There are elements that are hostile to your cushions, especially their covers. Make sure you get the best cushion fabric so you can be assured that the cushions on your outdoor furniture would still look great in the long run.

There are many types of fabric for cushions, but only a few are recommended for outdoor use and not all are created equal. Before buying a new cushion or cover, do some research and analyze which one is right for you and your budget. Spend some time to figure out so that you don’t fall for the wrong type of fabric and see them fading and tearing in just weeks or a few months of use.

To help you get started, here are the top fabrics for outdoor cushions.

Cotton Canvas
In general, this is a popular fabric for cushions. This fabric is relatively cheaper, but is very durable and will stand up to excessive wear. Although naturally water resistant, it retains water that will cause mold and mildew problems if not taken care of immediately.

This fabric is not recommended to be left in an open outdoor area. But surely, you can take necessary measure to prevent them from getting wet. You should not have any problems in outdoor space with a roof or cover.

A woven polyester with PVC coating, this type is specifically made for outdoor use. It can be seen used in sling seating, sun shades, and other outdoor furniture. It can be used in an open area and poolside because it is guaranteed waterproof and fade resistant. Another best thing about it is flame retardant.

Olefin is a synthetic fiber, also known as polypropylene. This type is also famously used in outdoor furniture. Well known because it’s a weather resistant fabric in fact, it is considered a plastic fabric.

Vinyl also known as Polyvinyl chloride or PVC, is a very common material found in many products. This type is the least expensive among the fabrics and is very easy to clean, easy to acquire and easy to maintain. However, it does not stand up to heat well and may face in the long run. Well, a sun shade will be just enough to save it from the sun. It can be safe under a shade sail or a patio umbrella.

Solution-Dyed Acrylic
A solution-dyed acrylic fabric is usually soft, breathable, durable, and water resistant. This fabric dries fast when got wet, so it prevents the growth of mold. These superior characteristics make it the top choice for outdoor applications including sun shades and patio umbrellas.

Marine-Grade Fabric
A specially made acrylic fabric to be used in heavy outdoor use. It is made to withstand sun, wind, and salt water. Made with a tighter weave and heavier finishing, it is primarily made for seat cushion on a boat.

Sunbrella is a popular fabric, but it is more of a brand. It is 100% solution dyed acrylic and made from a variety of synthetic and cotton blends.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Easy Guide To Build an Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace is one of precious additions to homes. It makes a great ambiance for your backyard or patio. A well designed one will add an eye-catching focal point to your outdoor setup. Aside from these interesting benefits, you can also design your outdoor fireplace to function in cooking something.

Regulations and restrictions
Building a fireplace has some regulations in some places and conditions. You have to consult your local community and government before building. Get to know the ordinances and acquire permits if necessary, it is for your safety also.

Also, check with your insurance agency if it has effects and restrictions on your policy.

Determine the Location
Determining to perfect location is not only for the sake if your backyard or patio design but also for your safety. Make sure your fireplace is at a safe distance from combustible and non-heat resisting things like wooden parts of your home, patio, or deck

The fireplaces  should also be at a safe distance from barns, animal coop, trees, or plants.

Design and Style
Fireplaces are not only for creating a great ambiance, but can also make a beautiful spot. The basics of making a nice focal point is to make sure its design goes well with the design of your outdoor setup or with the existing patio furniture. You can search for design inspirations in the internet.

Traditional wood-burning fireplace can also function for outdoor cooking, from roasting mallows to grilling. You can stylize it to serve as a barbecue station, a pizza oven, and other outdoor cooking activities.

Building and Materials

An outdoor fireplace is nothing more but just the same as an indoor fireplace. Basically also it consists of a hearth, a chimney, and a mantel. But it should be built suitable for outdoors. The materials to use should resist the beating of outdoor conditions like sunny, rainy, and snowy days.

First, build the platform in which the fireplace sits on. The platform should be made of concrete and built on the ground. It’s size should also be larger than the desired size of the fireplace hearth.

Next, build the hearth. There are a few materials that a fireplace hearth can be made, but the popular choice are bricks, stacked stones, and stucco.

Then, optionally add a mantel and other decorative finish.