3 Tips For Prepping Your Outdoor Furnishings

 

March is the time when Midwesterners daydreaming about Spring and all of the outside activities it brings. If you brought your aluminum or wrought iron outdoor furnishings inside for the winter, it’s take time to get them ready for their seasonal debut. Here are three things to do to be ready for the sunshine:

Step One: Clean

Wash and rinse aluminum frames with mild liquid detergent and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt left from last season.

Step Two: Protect

Apply a coat of automobile wax to aluminum frames with smooth finishes to help extend their life. For textured finishes, you can periodically apply mineral or baby oil.

Step Three: Check for Damage

To keep rust away, check your furnishings for chips and scratches. This is the most common cause of rust because it exposes the bare metal to the elements. Touch up any chips or scratches by first gently sanding the area with fine steel wool, then applying a primer and paint. Follow up with a topcoat of wax or clear sealer for added protection.

Outdoor Décor To Match Your Indoor Style

Outdoor furniture has evolved from picnic tables and folding chairs to sofas, sectionals and dining sets that beautifully mirror their indoor counterparts. That means you can effortlessly design a patio or deck space that reflects your great taste and sense of style. From casual to traditional and everything in between, here are five outdoor styles that will transform your backyard setting.

Casual

If your style is casual, then today’s comfortable wicker sofa and chairs would create the perfect atmosphere on your patio. This grouping features a cocktail table and ottomans that double as seating.

Contemporary

If your home is contemporary you will love this dining collection, which features sleek metal frames and striking white cushions. Straight lines and a contrasting palette are the hallmark of contemporary style.

Modern

If you love modern style, then you’ll love this stunning sectional. Its midcentury-inspired lines are simple yet sleek, while the light gray cushions are very up to date.

Rustic

Wooden furnishings can bring a wonderful rustic feel to your backyard, and this sitting area features a modern take. The cocktail table is made from teak boards that have a sense of energy from the wonderful grain, and the aluminum straps and casters add an industrial twist.

Traditional

If your style is traditional, you’ll set a beautiful table outdoors with a dining set that exudes charm. This grouping was inspired by the glorious French architecture of New Orleans, with beautiful detail work on the chairs and table.

Shopping for an Outdoor Rug

One of the best ways to turn your patio or deck into an inviting and cozy outdoor room is to add a rug. Whether it’s used inside or out, a rug brings color, texture and a sense of cohesion to a group of furnishings. When used outdoors, it also helps to protect the deck wood or patio pavers.

If you haven’t shopped for an outdoor rug recently, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by new designs and materials. In fact, today’s options are as colorful and stylish as the rugs you use inside. So how do you choose the right one? Outdoor Rug 1

Size and Shape

Outdoor rugs come in a variety of dimensions. To find the right size, consider the area you want to cover to determine the right size. Measure your patio, deck or porch and pay attention to any architectural details, like pillars or stairs. If you are adding a rug to a dining group, make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the chairs. The rule of thumb is that a rug should be at least two feet wider than all sides of the table. When using a rug with a seating group, make sure it’s large enough to allow at least the front legs of the furniture pieces to be placed on the rug.

Choose the shape by looking at how your furniture is grouped. A round patio table, for example, looks best over a round rug, while seating groups are best defined by a square or rectangular rug that mimics the layout.

Outdoor Rug 2

Material

Outdoor rugs need to hold up to a variety of weather conditions, and natural and synthetic materials are available that withstand the elements. Natural fibers, such as sisal, jute and seagrass, provide a bit of texture. They can mildew when exposed to too much moisture, so they do require extra care. Natural might be a good choice if your outdoor area is covered or if you are willing to bring the rug inside during the off-season or periodically hang it to dry. Synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene or acrylic, come in a wider range of colors than natural rugs and are extremely durable. They have the added benefit of drying quickly and are often less expensive.

Outdoor Rug 3

Color and Pattern

Outdoor rugs come in practically every color under the sun, and patterns are available that will enhance your style. When choosing a color, look to the surrounding area for inspiration. Choose a palette from your landscape, or pick shades that evoke the feeling you want to create. For example, bright yellow or orange will create a vibrant setting, while natural colors are more subdued and allow your furnishings to take center stage.

Create a unified feeling by choosing patterns that are similar to your indoor décor. For example, if your indoor style is traditional, you might go with floral patterns. Contemporary homes will look great with geometric or abstract patterns.

When you’re ready to add a rug to your patio or deck, check out all of the options available from Art Van Furniture by clicking here.

Caring For Your Deck

Lovin Woven

Summer is in full swing, and your deck is probably getting a workout. Keep the good times rolling with some maintenance. Here are three things to do this month to keep your deck in great shape:

1. Check the structure. Inspect your deck for cracks or rot, paying extra attention to areas that are close to the ground or sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.

2. If you see areas that look wet check for rot with a flat-end screwdriver. If you can push it into the wood a quarter inch or more, you probably have rot. Small areas can be removed with a chisel and treated with a wood filler and preservative. Larger areas may need to be replaced.

3. Check the railings. If any area feels loose, tighten the connections. You may need to use wider bolts if the wood has weakened and the current hardware isn’t catching into the grain.

 

Caring For a Fountain

leaffountainThere’s nothing as soothing as a backyard fountain. Not only is it beautiful to watch; the trickling sound creates a relaxing environment. Since it’s outside, this beloved accessory can also get its share of dirt and debris. Maintain its beauty by taking a few easy steps:

  1. Use a small net to remove debris, such as leaves or insects. This will help prevent clogging the pump. You can also attach a nylon stocking to the hose, to make sure debris doesn’t get inside the inner workings.
  2. Monitor the water level. On hot days, your fountain can experience evaporation. Since the pump can overheat if the water level is too low, make sure it’s full.
  3. Once a month, unplug the pump and drain the water. Remove buildup with a solution of vinegar and water and a stiff bristled scrub brush. Wipe clean and refill. Using distilled water in your fountain can help reduce mineral buildup.