Top Three Tips For Choosing The Right Patio Furniture For Your Home

Making your patio more inviting is a great way to add character to your home, especially during the spring and summer months. The pieces you choose choose match your personal style and can even coordinate with the way you’ve decorated the interior of your house. Patio furniture should be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Here are a few tips that will help you get started.

Jot Down Ideas

Write down some details about what you’d like the patio to look like after you’ve added furniture. Consider the function of the patio. Do you want a cozy place to read on warm evenings? Will you be hosting barbecues? Are there particular colors you want to include in the patio furniture? This will help you decide what type of furniture to adorn your patio with. For instance, a combination of neutral shades in patio sofas and chairs can easily be more eye-catching with interchangeable patterned throw pillows. Or, you can choose pieces with a tropical print to make the patio look like a vacation getaway. If you like being outside during all times of the year, be sure to leave room for an outdoor heater or fire pit on the patio to keep you warm during the fall or winter months. It’s also helpful to measure your patio to get an accurate idea of how large or small the furniture needs to be in order to fit in the space comfortably. You should be able to walk behind the furniture without bumping into other furniture pieces or the door that leads to your patio.

Test Out Furniture

After you’ve got your ideas for your patio setup in writing, it’s time to go shopping for pieces that will go well in the space. Test out patio furniture in the store to make sure it will be comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Be sure to ask the sales associate about the quality of the furniture, and do some quick research on the company that manufacturers the furniture to see if you can pull up any positive reviews before you make your final purchases. Choose patio furniture that is pleasing to the eye, but is made of material that is easy to clean and maintain.

Decide on Storage

Once you decide which patio furniture pieces you’re taking home, come up with a plan to store the furniture properly. If you have a spacious place to keep your furniture when it’s not in use, your pieces will look like near for much longer. Your garage or the attic usually make great places to store your patio furniture. It’s also wise to search for outdoor furniture pieces that can provide storage for you. For instance, a wicker ottoman with a lid is the perfect place to store items like a tablecloth and napkin holders for an outdoor party. You can also store oversized sitting pillows or small outdoor lamps underneath a wooden bench you’ve chosen for the patio area.

Select a Weatherproof Rug

After all your patio furniture chairs, love seats and tables have been selected, don’t forget to purchase an all-wether rug that will keep all the furniture in place. The rug will also give the patio area a more welcoming feel and truly makes the space look like part of your home.

Alissa Young works as a writer and a part time blogger. Her subjects are mainly about home and home improvement and in this article, she is giving us tips on how to rearrange your patio.






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The 4 Things To Know About Perennial Garden Design

Our last hurrah

When it comes to designing are garden it can be difficult to know where to even start. Even if the garden already has a rough layout, it’s difficult to say which plants go where, how they should be planted and what combinations will work.

Over time you’ll develop an instinct for this kind of thing, but here are a few things that you should bear in mind until those instincts kick in.

Make Your Flower Beds Wide

It’s a basic fact of garden design that a skimpy flower bed is nigh on impossible to make look good. Give those beds plenty of breadth, ideally at least a foot of width for every three feet of length. If you’ve got a fifteen foot perennial flower bed it should be at least five feet wide. That said, you don’t want beds any wider than ten to fifteen feet wide, otherwise people will have trouble seeing the flowers at the back of the bed!

Plant Thickly

Do you enjoy looking at dirt? Of course you don’t, nobody does. It’s dirty, it’s brown, it occasionally has worms crawling out of it, it’s not anybody’s idea of an aesthetic treat. So why make the visitors your garden look at it Pack those perennial flower beds so that there is barely an inch of soil visible between them. If there are bare spaces it looks like the plants are too young, or you’re too cheap to get enough plants.

Make Sure the Garden Reflects Your Tastes

Like anyone who does anything creative, a gardener’s work should tell you a little about his or herself. It’s an expression of their tastes and personality. So bear that in mind when planning your garden. Take a look at the surroundings – if you’re creating a garden for a rickety cottage in the Cotswolds, there’s no point trying to go for the same regal atmosphere of a stately home.  But at the same time, always remember, this is your garden, and at the end of the day the first person you need to please is yourself.

Step Back

Gardeners spend an awful lot of our time on hands and knees, barely a nose’s distance away from the ground, working on all the hundreds of tiny details that make up a garden. But every so often it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the garden as a whole. There are essential questions you need to ask yourself about the garden, such as: What is the experience like when you walk through a garden, how do the opposite ends of the garden react to one another when they are  both in your eye line at the same time? Does this look like someone was creating it with a plan or just making it up as they went along? What’s the first emotion you feel as you step through the garden gate?

Getting the answers to these questions right can make the difference between a good gardener and a truly great one.

Featured images:

Rob Whitehead is the principal of the Pickard School of garden design.

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Painful Plants: Five Houseplants That Can Cause Injury

It’s not something that you hear about on the news all that often, but your houseplants might be a serious source of injury and illness for you, your family and your pets. Though most of us aren’t going around trying to ingest the flowers and plants growing in our gardens and homes, a curious cat or a child that leaves your sight for a minute can seriously injure themselves by touching, picking or eating a plant. While most of these plants won’t lead to death, knowing the potential dangers that might be lurking in your home is a great preventative step to avoiding a trip to the hospital or vet.

Chrysanthemum

These beautiful flowers with a very long name can be a great addition to your home’s garden or a vase at a dinner table. They’re also a great way to keep vermin such as rabbits from digging in your garden, and have insecticidal properties too. However, chrysanthemums can be potentially dangerous to children and curious pets wandering around in search of something to play with or munch on. The flowers, which are toxic, can cause irritation to the skin and lead to condition known as dermatitis if left untreated. Though not terribly injuring, chrysanthemums can lead to a need for allergy medication and cause severe inflammation of the skin.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea are incredibly alluring to children. To the young boy or girl with an active imagination, the puffy, colorful, bush-like plant can look appear quite similar to cotton candy. Hydrangeas, however, are anything but edible. Those who ingest the flowers of the plant can suffer from itching, sweating, weakness and vomiting. In severe cases, the plant can lead to even more severe conditions such as coma and blood circulation problems, and someone who ingests the plant may not experience the symptoms for several hours causing confusion to a less-than-knowledgeable parent. For pets, ingestion can lead to an unfortunate death. Though there is an antidote, preventing any negative side effects in the first place is obviously much easier and less nerve wracking for a concerned parent.

Aloe Vera

Though we usually associate this plant with its healing properties, and thus think it’s relatively safe to keep in our home, Aloe Vera can be a hidden danger in your home. Though the clear gel inside can be beneficial and soothing to burns are painful injuries, touching or ingestion of the outer skin and inner layers of the plant can lead to irritation of both the skin and intestines if swallowed. Thus, be careful when thinking this sometimes-beneficial plant can’t cause any harm to your child or pet!

Mistletoe

That’s right, the plant we typically associate with excuses for embarrassing kisses around the Christmas and Winter holidays can pose a significant harm to humans. Though usually hung far out of the reach of pets and small children, the berries of mistletoe are actually poisonous when ingested. Again, though most of the time the plant is far from prying and curious pets or children who might want to eat the berries, parents and pet owners should be careful when decorating their home not to leave the plant unattended and in reach of those vulnerable to its allure.

Daffodils

The Narcissus family of plants, which iare more commonly known to most as daffodils, are some of the most dangerous plants you might have in your garden or vase at home. Though they have a beautiful, cheery appearance and are often seen as the early signs of spring, their innocent appearance belies more serious potential dangers. Ingestion of their bulbs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, and even tremors. In some cases, ingestion of the bulbs can lead to a fatality if untreated. While a great addition to your garden, ensuring the safety of your children and pets is crucial when choosing to plant daffodils in your yard.

Meredith “Shelly” Troberman is a co-founder and lawyer at Carroll Troberman Law, an Austin, Texas based law office that represents clients in cases of criminal defense, injury and DWI cases. Though she’s never gone to court against a hydrangea, Troberman is serious about preventing all injury — big or small, and cares for the safety and well-being of everyone whether you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, or simply have a child who loves to explore and try the taste of the leaves of a houseplant.

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