Tips to improve the quality of your outdoor space and patioWritten by Nicole Martins
It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out just how to bring an outdoor room together to make it a peaceful spot to relax or enjoy quality time with friends and family. But if you think of it as yet another room to decorate and furnish, space will come together more easily.
Measuring and a simple site analysis
Just as you would for a room inside your home take measurements of your patio or outdoor room area. This most important step is essential for scaling in comfortable sized outdoor furniture, patio accessories, planters and such. The next step is to conduct a simple site analysis. For this you will want to jot down factors such as direction (north, south, east, west) your patio is facing, prevailing winds, if any; areas in sun or shade and any other relevant observations that will impact quality of people spending time in that space. Now for fun part, create a realistic wish list beginning with how you would like to use your patio: to relax, to entertain friends, to grill/barbeque, to eat outdoors, to hang out with friends and family, to converse, etc. Now go back to your site analysis and determine, if applicable, where you can start staging pieces to your outdoor room. But before you do so, here are some tips and ideas for you to consider.
Arrange patio furniture and elements thoughtfully
In order to create a comfortable space with pleasant atmosphere it is important to consider these details: Circulation – how will people walk through space; Seating – where will people be sitting; Views - what will people be looking at when sitting. For circulation, you want to position a sitting area in a location where circulation will not pass directly through, making space distracting, unless you have no choice. For creating comfortable seating for conversation, orient chairs, sofas, and gliders towards each other, 6 to 8 feet apart; this is a comfortable distance for talking without feeling too close. For views, you can create focal points with trees and shrubs in distance, or planters and ornaments closer by. Dealing with wind and sun
From your site analysis you have discovered information about how wind blows. By knowing direction of prevailing winds you can make some good decisions about placement of certain items. First, if you are going to include a grill or barbeque be sure to locate these accessories in a location in which wind will carry smoke from cooking fire away from outdoor space; there’s nothing more irritating than uncomfortable sting of a smoky grill. Also, if you have an area with cold wind, you can block it by creating vertical planes; this can be done by planting trees or shrubs in ground, or by placing them in planters within or around a part of patio. Fences and walls can also help. As for sun, these same vertical planes can screen hot, late afternoon sun. For overhead sun, retractable awnings can be a very effective way to minimize both sun and heat. These awnings are designed to extend (open) or retract (close) to create shade or sun options. Other ways to create shade from hot sun: patio umbrellas and trellises, pergolas, or arbors.
Home Furnishings and ShelvingWritten by David Kunstek
Its spring time and that means we start working on our homes. Cleaning, organizing, purchasing new things to spruce place up are just some of home furnishings we do. Why do we go to all this effort? Well, that's simple! We want our homes to be comfortable, clean, and beautiful so that we can enjoy it! One way to add extra storage or a great touch to a room is to add some shelving.
Adding shelving to a room can do more then create a place to store books. It can be a great focal point as well. Imagine walking into a room and being drawn to a wall of shelving displaying your favorite treasures? Of course, shelving does have some great advantages. It allows for a place to display your items, store a multitude of things, or so many more functions.
Home furnishings, like shelving are easy to find and install. It does not have to be something that causes panic. Many times we worry