Friday, March 28, 2014

But What Do I Really NEED?

So...you've been staring at your back porch or patio for the last few months, deciding what to do with it, and you've finally decided to re-do it altogether! Coming up with things you like is easy. But coming up with things you really need is a little different. Might we suggest a few tips?




Patio furniture can help you increase the functionality of your yard or porch, whatever you've got! To make the best choices, think about what kind of furniture might be suitable for the kinds of activities you and your family normally indulge in.


  • COMFORT! Plan ahead--you know already your grill will continue to get a workout, and you'll have company regularly, whether it's the neighborhood kids or grown-ups relaxation and entertainment time. And, that little corner over there is where you sit and have your coffee and read the paper every morning. So the first thing you want to consider is comfort for your established habits and routines! A few "low" deep-seating pieces which allow your guests easier access to chatting over drinks is perfect for that cozy, intimate feel. Sporty, sturdy and stackable vinyl or PVC is a good way to go for active kids, particularly when there's a pool nearby.
  • MULTIPLE SEASONS? If you're lucky enough to be using your patio all year long, you definitely want to incorporate pieces with weather resistant frames and cushions. Most good-quality outdoor fabric is made to withstand sun, rain, mold, mildew, and suntan lotion (ideally, you would want to look out for this anyway, but if you live in far northern climes, it might not be as big a deal if your furniture is out for only a few months every year). Consider newer wickers or coated aluminum frames-both are very resistant with minimal care needed. You can also purchase multiple sets of cushions to accommodate changes of seasons or holidays, if you're able to splurge. There are so many types and colors and designs of outdoor fabric for cushions and slings to choose from! The sky is the limit here.
  • THE TABLE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOU Do you dine a lot outdoors? Do the kids like to get crafty in between dunks in the pool? Tempered glass is great to top any table--it's shatter-proof and easy to clean. For the grown-ups only, or for that artful look, tiled tabletops are useful, too. A too-small table will drive you nuts. It's hard to be "too big", but if you've got the space, get a large enough table to accommodate a patio umbrella. It's practical AND decorative, and it will help protect you from the elements.
  • DON'T CRAM IN TOO MUCH! If you've got a small space, don't overdo it. Beware of clutter! Go for the stackable chairs. And Bistro tables are practical and decorative too.





    If you want to break it all down into a short list, it might look something like this:

    • Think "function" over "form"
    • Consider compatibilities.
    • Choose your materials wisely.
    • WORK that space!
    • Stay casual for comfort.
    • Be versatile.




    The most important thing at the end of the day, though? Enjoy what you have. That's what outdoor relaxation on your patio is all about!

    Next week, we'll take a look at some of the cushion types Chair Care Patio can customize for you, along with some of our favorite past work (and maybe a kudo or two from one of our happy customers, who send us their work, because it's so satisfying to repair and beautify your living space yourself!). We LOVE what we do and we're glad it's for YOU! 



    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Get Inspired!

    We happened upon an article from our local newspaper recently, of homes available in our area. Naturally, what got our attention right away were the patios--some of them are absolutely breathtaking. They really revved us up and made us want to decorate!  We thought perhaps they would do the same for you, so we thought we'd share :-)

    Here's a few to get you going--the remainder can be found at this link:




    This first picture is of a patio which is part of a 7,000 sq.ft. Mediterranean-styled home--the pool area is obscured here, but you can see the covered seating with an outdoor kitchen and a fireplace. Sweet! The cushions here are deep, too.

     




    Not one, but TWO covered areas! This is the backyard view of a French-inspired villa. Note the lushness of the surroundings, and the outdoor drapes surrounding the pergola. Imagine decorating this!
     






    This is a closer view of the pergola from above. We love the black and white motif, we've got the stripes for this already! 







    Finally, this lovely little corner of the city has an outdoor area with a kitchen, complete with a grill--and a saltwater pool! This is pretty wide-open, so you know that umbrella will come in handy.


    Ready to tackle your own patios yet? We are--we sure hope this little mini-tour was inspiring. Happy decorating!

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    Custom Cushions--We Live and Breathe Them!

    We want to share some of our recent creations here with you! We recently filled a huge custom cushion job for a local Dallas customer. The selections were well-coordinated Sunbrella fabrics, our customer really had a good eye for this and knew what they wanted. We're very happy with how they turned out :)





    We can do this for your patio, too! Check us out--the snow is melting fast and we are ready for you!


    Quality Cast-Aluminum Patio Furniture--More Versatile Than Ever!



    If you're gearing up to purchase some new patio furniture this year, or need to update a piece here or there, why not go with the newer cast aluminum models? Particularly if you're limited on how much to purchase and still get a quality product, this type of furniture might be your best bet. It's much more mobile than cast-iron, because it's lighter in weight. And it really looks classy, too!






    Here are three perfectly good reasons to consider cast-aluminum:

    Reason 1: Low Maintenance

    Good quality patio furniture needs TLC and sometimes, lots of it. It's an investment, and you get out of it what you put into it. And that can get costly, depending on the material used. If you've got pricey woods, they often must be sanded and re-stained with sealant every couple of years or so. If you've painted your wicker in the past, you know it has to be re-done every few years. Aluminum, on the other hand, needs far less maintenance than a lot of other patio furniture types. Typically, you only need to apply some soap, water, and "elbow grease" maybe once or twice a year to the frames, and it will look like new! Let's face it--the less maintenance time you have to spend, the more time you have for fun in the sun!






    Reason 2: It Lasts and Lasts

    Best reason of all, for any patio furniture--Well-made quality aluminum furniture can withstand the elements. Many are "powder-coated", which gives them a tough, resistant finish and makes them perfect for outdoors. This metal won't chip, splinter, crack, melt or get all saggy and limp, either--so if you've got rough-and-tumble kids or pets, this may be the answer for you. Better yet, if you already have some cast-aluminum patio furniture that is in dire need of new coating, Chair Care Patio also offers powder-coating services for better-quality patio furniture!






    Reason 3: Flexibility in Design and Decorating

    The sky is the limit these days, with styles and designs of aluminum patio furniture--there is surely one to fit your taste and budget, particularly with our fabric selections. If you're refurbishing some older cast-aluminum, why not consider new cushions and pillows? We can make something that we're sure you will find to be absolutely smashing. If you're really in the mood to splurge, you could even get a couple different sets of cushions and change out the decor during the season! Variety is the spice of life!

    Speaking of variety, next up, we'll show you the results of a recent customer with a keen eye for color and a need for a lot of cushions. Stay tuned!



    Friday, March 14, 2014

    2014 Season Highlights--What's New?

    We talked last week about a few new trends for the upcoming patio season, but we only covered a couple of big ones, like "outdoor kitchens" (which usually involve patio furniture table & chair combos), and "bright colors". There's a lot of different looks and ideas floating around for 2014! We can't possibly cover all of them, but we're sharing the rest of our current favorites. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to get started after you check out the pics and information below!


    MIXING IT UP
     
    This year, we're seeing a lot of "mix and match" styles, pairing newer types of furniture with older style looks, instead of having everything match precisely--in other words, it's okay to be a little adventuresome. Thing is, to do it tastefully (if not artfully), you may really need to experiment with different looks before you settle on something. One good example we found was pairing cast aluminum or wrought-iron furniture with wicker:




    CAST ALUMINUM

    Speaking of cast aluminum, this is a material that is producing some amazing patio furniture. The best thing about it is that it doesn't look like the old-fashioned, cheesy aluminum from the last century, it's really updated and fresh and is easy to take care of:






    FIREPITS

    Firepits may be one of the biggest trends going right now. What's nice about these is that you can build your own, and make it look great (and safe, and useful!), or you can buy a set of outdoor furniture with a firepit styled as a coffee table. SO cozy! Tommy Bahama has a beautiful combo table/firepit this year from their Island Estate line--just gorgeous:






    We also found a great link to all things firepit-related, and wanted to share it. Firepits are bound to be very popular for some time to come. Heck, with this spring seeing March coming in like a lion, ours has gotten a workout already!



    DEEP SEATING FURNITURE


    This is less of a 'trend' than it is just plain popular. But, it seems to really be taking off this year, as consumers are looking more than ever to move their indoors to the outdoors. They're looking for real comfort in their outdoor patio furniture. You never want to have your guests feel like they're sitting on a slab of wood! The deeper the cushion, the richer and more luxuriant the furniture looks. If you consider your patio furniture to be a good, longer-term investment, and plan on spending a lot of time sitting on it, you definitely want it to be as cozy and inviting as possible:




    AND--if you've got the furniture, but your cushions are looking a little flat or wilted (or worse), we've got you covered with our collection of patio furniture cushions. We custom make them for a lot of different brands and styles of fine outdoor furniture, and we have some terrific colors this year.

    We could do this trend-finding thing all day, and surely wouldn't cover them all. If you know of a trend you think you'd like to see us cover, or you have other suggestions for our blog, don't ever hesitate to drop us a line at info@chaircarepatio.com. We love hearing from you!