Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Things to Consider Before Buying Patio Furniture

Chances are, you own some patio furniture. And if you own furniture, you know that you have to take care of it in order to keep your furniture looking like new. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase as high a quality furniture as you can, right from the get go.

  • Here are a few things to consider when you’re shopping for the furniture that will be gracing your outdoor living area:
  • Have your budget in mind when you’re shopping. Purchase furniture as high a quality as you can afford..
  • Keep in mind the type of weather your area of the country is faced with. Will you want furniture that can withstand a lot of rain and wind? High sunlight?
  • Also look at what kind of wear and tear will your furniture will undergo. Will you be doing a lot of entertaining? Will your children be on and off the furniture regularly?
  • Consider protecting your investment as well. Be sure to consider patio furniture covers as you look at sets.
  • You’ll also want to know what type of “feel” you want for your backyard. Rustic? Contemporary? Modern? Do you want metal or wood patio furniture? Wicker or plastic framed?
  • Look for furniture with sturdy frames that will help you make certain your investment will be with you for many seasons. The cushions you choose for the furniture are usually less expensive to replace and you can also spruce up the look of any furniture by simply slipping on new covers.
  • If you have an outdoor living area, chances are you have a barbecue pit or barbecue grill. It’s important to purchase a barbecue grill cover as it will keep your grill from becoming rusted and from being continually exposed to the elements.

Taking care of your patio furniture by using patio furniture covers and periodic cleaning will help your furniture not only be serviceable whenever you need it, but also make your backyard (or front!) look great.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why Should You Cook Over a Fire Pit?

Why should you consider cooking over a fire pit? Why not! Actually when you’re cooking over the open flame of a fire pit, your food gets that beautiful grill mark and flavor. Because some people are looking to simplify their lives, they are talking to landscape designers to have fire pits built in their backyard living areas. There is no reason to give up your gas grill when you have a fire pit constructed, but a fire pit does add a certain ambiance to your outdoor entertaining that you simply can’t get with grill cooking.

Fire pits, formerly known as charcoal cookers, began as charcoal structures typically made of metal with metal legs that could move from location to location in your yard. Today’s fire pits are permanent structures. Everyone knows that propane grills are fast lighting and heating and are convenient, but they don’t offer the delicious flavor that comes from cooking on the open flames of a fire pit.

Using a fire pit has been inspired by the myriad cooking shows that offer grilling ideas, not to mention that recipes are bountiful on the Internet. From brick and mortar styles with chimneys to open flamed table top type fire pits, you need to decide what kind of fire pit is best for your family’s needs. Regardless of the type of fire pit you decide on you will definitely want to purchase a fire pit cover. These fire pit covers keep dirt and debris from falling onto the rack and into the wood and charcoal. One of the good things you’ll find about cooking on a fire pit is that people tend to linger longer after the meal is over around the warmth of the fire pit – not many people linger around the warmth of a propane grill, do they?

The main difference from cooking on a gas grill to a fire pit is that it will definitely take longer to cook on a fire pit, but what you may give up in time you will make up for in the delicious flavor of the charcoal or wood over which you cook your meat, vegetables or even grilled fruits. Using various woods can add to the flavor of your mean – consider using cherry wood to cook salmon!

You can even consider having the kids cook hot dogs or roasting marshmallows over the fire pit – as long as adults are in strict attendance to keep them safe. You will also find that if your fire pit is constructed next to your swimming pool, you will add exponentially to your outdoor living enjoyment.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5 Must-Have Pieces of Patio Furniture

Credit: Shutterstock
The point of having patio furniture is to allow you to enjoy the outdoors, and to create a peaceful, comfortable place to unwind. With that point in mind, comfort is key when choosing your new patio furniture. Consider what you will need to entertain guests comfortably out on the patio. For instance, do you plan on having many large parties on your patio, or will its main use be reserved for your family?

With those questions in mind, here are five pieces of patio furniture that will make any patio a better, more comfortable place!
  1. Couch or sectional. If you have the space, use it! These pieces will extend the homey feeling out onto your patio while offering guests or family members a comfortable place to sit, and even stretch out if they so desire. Invest in a good quality outdoor couch or sectional and you can preserve it for many years with an outdoor furniture cover. Furthermore, it will stay clean and ready to serve when kept covered up.
  2. Umbrellas. Having to option to open an umbrella up and offer shade on a bright, hot, sunny day can make all the difference in your time outside. Umbrellas can also serve to shield you during a light drizzle if you are one who enjoys the rain without becoming soaked.
  3. Barbeque grill. While the chef is at work on the barbeque, the rest of the party can enjoy drinks and still converse with the grill master. This will allow for food to be served outdoors right away, while it is juicy and hot and cooked to order. A great barbecue is not cheap, so look for barbeque grill covers to keep yours in tip top shape and protect your investment.
  4. Hammock and porch swing. Both will bring a little fun into your patio set. Porch swings are perfect for long talks, watching children play in the yard or rocking a baby to sleep. Hammocks are inviting for a peaceful outdoor catnap or cuddling up with a loved one under the stars. Either piece will give a patio set a bit of originality and undoubtedly house many cherished memories.