Five Tips for Designing a Small Patio

Small spaces can be cozy and quaint, but designing a small patio can also be a challenge. You don’t want to overwhelm you space and make it feel cramped. Instead, follow some design rules to keep it feeling charming—like a secret hideout away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Here are five tips:

designing a small patio

Go All In With Color

Small patios can feature bright colors that might overwhelm a large space if used in a similar proportion. Bold primary colors, like red, yellow and blue can also give your space a rich feeling. Mix bright blue and green for a seaside feel, or use pastel or ice cream colors for a whimsical sense of fun.

designing a small patio

Find the Right Scale Furniture

Choose furnishings that look more streamlined and won’t eat up your floor space. You can find chairs, sofas, dining tables and even sectionals in a smaller scale. Or consider a backless settee or ottoman that can be used as seating as well as a table. Furniture with sleek frames are visually lighter and create a more open feel in your patio.

Choose Bench Seating

For dining, select a table that has a bench, which will take up less floor space and will tuck under when not in use, providing more area to walk. You can also use a bench with a back against a wall, which has a similar feel and benefit to banquette seating that saves space in a small kitchen.

Include a “Ceiling”

Make the space feel cozy and intimate by creating a ceiling. You can use a large umbrella, especially one that is on a cantilever that frees up floor space. Another option is a pergola. Or simply string lights from one side to another.

Add an Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug help define a space and in a small patio it can give the impression of more square footage. Stripes lengthen a space, or choose a light neutral color.


10 Things You Need to Know About How To Choose the Right Pillow

A high quality mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep, but an equally important step is in knowing how to choose the right pillow. A pillow has the important job of supporting your head and neck, providing proper alignment for your spine during sleep. In fact, 30% of the comfort of your sleep rests in your pillow.

So how do you pick the right one? Here are 10 things you need to know about pillows so you can make the best choice:

choose the right pillow

Get Support

Your pillow needs to support head and neck so they remain level with your upper back and spine. The goal is to have you lying in bed with the same posture you use when you stand. If you find it more comfortable to put your arm under your pillow when you sleep, your pillow probably isn’t providing enough support.

Be Firm

Fluffy pillows seem like a great choice, but the weight of your head can displace the stuffing material, leaving little support. Choose firmer foam or materials that press back and support the head.

choose the right pillow

Side Sleeper

If you sleep on your side, you need a firm, full pillow that fills the space between your ear and shoulder. Look for one that will maintain its shape to eliminate neck pain.

Stomach Sleeper

If you’re a stomach sleeper choose a thin, almost flat pillow. Experts say you might not even need a pillow for your head, but you can tuck one beneath your stomach to avoid lower back pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes strain on your lower back and has the potential for causing neck pain.

how to choose the right pillow

Back Sleeper

If you sleep on your back, you need a thin pillow. Look for one with extra loft in the bottom third to provide cradling for your neck. You can also place a soft pillow under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your spine.

Pillows Should Work With Your Mattress

Your pillow also needs to work in tandem with your mattress. If you have a plusher bed, choose a lower profile pillow. Firm beds should be paired with higher profile pillows.

how to choose the right pillow

Chill Out

If you wake up during the night because you’re too hot, know that the pillow you choose can affect the temperature of your bed. Poly-filled pillows are known for heating during sleep. Choose a ventilated pillow that’s designed to move hot air out at night or a gel pillow that provides the perfect sleep temperature.

Pillows Need to Be Regularly Replaced

How old is your pillow? If you don’t know, it’s probably time to replace it. The editors of Prevention magazine suggest that you change your pillow once a year. If you use a protective pillow cover, they say you can double its life.

Know the Material

Your pillow material can prolong its life. The experts at Art Van PureSleep give these general guidelines: fiber- or poly-filled pillows are usually good for 6 to 18 months depending on quality. Wool or goose down pillows will last for two to three years. And latex or memory foam pillows are good for up to 5 years, depending on quality. Always use a pillow protector to maintain and prolong the life of your pillow investment.

how to choose the right pillow

Get a Pillow Protector

Finally, a pillow protector is a smart investment. Your pillow can become filled with fungi, dead skin, dust mites and drool – all of which can aggravate allergies, asthma, sinusitis and respiratory disease. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that exposure to these allergens is a significant risk factor for the development of asthma and hay fever.


How to Use Indoor Furniture Outside

The trend in backyard living is creating spaces that look like they belong indoors. Materials for outdoor furnishings have come a long way, and look like they belong inside. However, if you have a covered patio, it’s possible to use indoor furniture outside. Mixing indoor and outdoor pieces will create an eclectic look that expands your home’s square footage with the feel of an outdoor room.

Here are some ideas to get your started:

Use indoor furniture outside
Pinterest/House Beautiful
Use wingback chairs

Place them in your seating group or on the end of your outdoor rectangular table, mixing with your regular outdoor dining chairs. This will instantly update your patio or deck with a traditional twist, adding color and perhaps pattern to your space.

use indoor furniture outside
Pinterest/Gardenista
Bring your sofa outdoors

Create the ultimate space to unwind by using your indoor sofa or loveseat on your covered patio or deck. Deep cushions will add the ultimate in comfort, and it will make your space inviting and luxurious.

use indoor furniture outside
Pinterest/Dream Garden
Add a decorative chest

Create a storage spot by using a decorative chest or nightstand as an outdoor end table. You can keep things like sunscreen, bug spray, towels and candles inside drawers. If you choose a colorful piece, you’ll add a pop of color, as well.

use indoor furniture outside

Decorate with ceramic accents

Make sure to accessorize your space just as you would your indoor rooms. Ceramic accents can weather the elements, so choose decorative pieces as well as bowls or trays that can also be used for serving.

Protect your pieces

It’s important to know that indoor fabrics are at risk of fading as well as harboring mildew in damp conditions. Make sure your pieces are protected, or replace cushions with upholstery that is meant to be outdoors. In addition, wood pieces that are left outside should be treated with a weatherproofing sealant to prevent fading, splinters and rot. You can find a sealant at your local hardware or home improvement store. You can also choose a weatherproof paint that will protect wood or metal furniture from the elements.


Celebrity Home: Will Arnett’s LA Prefab

Actor Will Arnett is known for his sharp sense of humor and willingness to be different, and his new Los Angeles home reflects his personality. He hired architect Suchi Reddy, who studied in Detroit, and prefab company LivingHomes to design a 3,975-square-foot steel-frame custom home.

Arnett says his home is reminiscent of his Canadian upbringing. “Growing up in Toronto, we had these great ravines, and there was one house in particular that was very modern, with a lot of glass,” he told Dwell. “I remember people saying, ‘That place looks weird.’ And I remember being like, it’s not weird, it’s rad.”

We love the modern and airy feel of his living room, and if you like Arnett’s style, we’ve got the look.

Here’s What You Need

Celebrity Home

Start with a pair of charcoal gray sofas. Our Sidney Road Truffle Sofa from the Cindy Crawford Home Collection is a great choice, and it features the added detail of nailhead trim.

Celebrity Home

A Mid-Century inspired chair adds to the modern feel of the room as well as a wooden element. Our Rocky Arm Chair is a great choice, and it ships to your home for free.

Celebrity Home

Arnett’s room uses three coffee tables to connect his seating collection. Not only do they provide plenty of surfaces for beverages and books; they can easily be moved to the side if he’s entertaining and needs the floor space. Our Leeds Coffee Table provides the same lines, which complement the design and style of the room. The square base helps keep the line of the room open.

Celebrity Home

A black round side table sits next to the accent chair, holding a few accent pieces. Our Acton Black End Table would be a good choice, as its pedestal base keeps the room feeling open.

Celebrity Home

Finally, Arnett has an oversized rug with an abstract print to anchor his living room. The light gray colors are calming and add a subtle pattern. Our Torrance Slate Rug would be a great choice. The soft colors provide a nice contrast to the charcoal sofas, and they help marry the marble top of the coffee tables.

What do you think of Arnett’s living room? Check out his entire home on Dwell.


How to Choose an Outdoor Rug

One of the best ways to turn your patio or deck into an inviting and cozy outdoor room is to add an outdoor rug. A rug brings color, texture and a sense of cohesion to a group of furnishings. It also helps to protect the deck wood or patio pavers.

When you shop for an outdoor rug, 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?

how to choose an outdoor rug

Size and Shape

Outdoor rugs come in a variety of dimensions. To find the right size, consider the area you want to cover. Measure your patio, deck or porch and pay attention to 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. For a seating group, make sure the rug is large enough to allow the front legs of the furniture 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. 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’re 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 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 neutral colors 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.