Outdoor Living Gift Guide for the Woman in Your Life

May 4, 2014 Outdoor Living

As our focus turns toward mothers this month, we want to stop and honor the women in our lives. Her job is never done and she does it with such love. She deserves a chance to take it outdoors and relax in a beautiful space. We chose this collection of gift ideas for her to give her even more enjoyment in her own back yard.

Outdoor Pouf

Price: $229

Why we love it: This gift says, “relax and put your feet up” all over it. It’s both stylish and durable for outdoor use. Sometimes she simply needs permission to take a break. You’ll give her permission to rest and a comfy spot to do so.

Sur La Table® Outdoor Stemless Wine Glasses, Set of 6

Price: $39.95

Why we love it: These wine glasses are shatter resistant, but they are designed to look like traditional glassware. Whether it’s a family dinner on the patio or a gathering with her girlfriends, these BPA-free stemless glasses are perfect for Outdoor Style entertaining.

Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit

Price: $100.00

Why we love it: It’s a green gift in more ways than one! The kit comes with plenty of succulents and instructions for planting. The frame is handmade from recycled wood and designed to either hang on a wall or fence or lay on a table as a living centerpiece. Succulents are easy to care for and ideal for busy people – like mom!

Cedar Wood Doormat

Price: $99.99

Why we love it: It’s made of cedar which happens to be one of our favorite materials for building custom patios. Cedar is weather resistant, so this mat will stand up to the elements. The doormat is well-crafted so it will also stand up to the foot traffic. You can customize the message for a unique and thoughtful gift.

Wine of the Month Club Membership

Price: Starts at $21.95 monthly

Why we love it: She’ll have two new bottles to enjoy on the patio each month hand selected by a connoisseur who tastes 400 varieties of wine each month. They take the guesswork out of choosing a good bottle of nice wine, freeing her up to enjoy the fruit of the vine with family or friends.

Big Blue Party™ Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Price: $299.99

Why we love it: She loves to throw a good party and music is essential for setting the mood. This bluetooth speaker requires no wires, so it’s easy to set up in an instant. It pours out music 360º around for massive sound on all sides. It has a subwoofer built right inside. And bonus, it’s water-resistant. If she’s the coolest mom around, this is the Outdoor Style gift for her.

 

Cotton Hammock $109/$119

Cotton Hammock

Price: $109.00 large / $119.00 extra large

Why we love it: L.L. Bean says this hammock has been a customer favorite for over 30 years. No doubt! There is a certain type of relaxation that only happens in a hammock. It’s almost as if a nap is a requirement. She works hard. She deserves it!

Stylish Monogrammed Hat and Tank Set

Price: $38.00

Why we love it: She’ll look cute and be cool and comfortable on the patio in this personalized hat and tank set.

 

Drink Dispenser + Wood Stand

Price: $103.00

Why we love it: She’ll be able to serve up a cool and refreshing beverage all summer long right on the patio with this drink stand. Fewer trips to the kitchen = more outdoor style relaxing and talking.

 

Wood Slat Double Lounger

PRICE: $599.00

Why we love it: She’ll feel glamorous when she reclines on this double-lounger. She can’t help but nap, read or soak up some rays on this chaise lounge… which is exactly the kind of Outdoor Style living we were looking for!

 

Solar Light Garden Stake

Price: $42.00

Why we love it: Hand-blown from 100% recycled glass, these orbs each contain a solar-powered LED light that allow her to enjoy the enchanting swirls after dark. It’s a beautiful addition to the garden surrounding her patio.

Which item in this gift guide would the woman in your life most want? Tell us in the comments below!

How To Properly Maintain Your Patio Furniture

October 25, 2012 Patio Design

How can you make sure your patio furniture stays in tip-top condition when it’s always exposed to the elements and their associated dirt and debris?  While popular belief may convince you that a good rainstorm will clean the furniture for you, it’s not true.  Soap and water never fall from the sky together, and so patio furniture cannot get cleaned by merely sitting in a rainstorm.  In fact, rain can cause dust particles to float around in the air and can make furniture appear even filthier.  Instead, try to your patio furniture a good wash down once a week or so, inspecting for any lawn chair repairs that might need to be done at the same time.  You can expect some wear and tear on patio furniture over the years, but the condition can save you the embarrassment of having it fall apart when you’re entertaining.

Patio Furniture Maintenance According to Material

When it comes to repairing patio furniture, it’s important to take the building material into consideration.  The best way to maintain the furniture depends on what it is made from:

Aluminum

Aluminum furniture can have either a painted or an unpainted finish.  Cleaning both varieties is done in the following way:

  • Use warm water and add a mild detergent to it.
  • Scrub the entire surface of the furniture with soapy water.
  • Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue.

Once the furniture is clean and dry, you can apply metal polish to aluminum that has not been finished with paint.  It shines it up nicely and will keep the furniture clean longer.

Plastic

Many people own plastic patio furniture.  It’s easy to clean, it’s affordable, and it can be fairly durable.  Cleaning plastic furniture can be done the same way you might clean aluminum, minus the metal polish.  Use warm, soapy water and then scrub the furniture clean.  Rinse with clear water and either let it dry in the sun or towel dry.  To keep it in good shape for years to come, move plastic furniture indoors during winter months.

Wood

Some enjoy the natural look of a solid piece of wood furniture.  Wood can be an especially attractive material used for pool deck furniture, and if it’s properly maintained it can last a lifetime.  Clean it with soapy water, rinse, and dry it.  You might want to treat the wood with a protectant of some sort a few times each year.  It’s also a good idea to store wood furniture indoors during the winter.

As you clean the furniture weekly, you might notice some damage that will need to be repaired.  Usually individuals are capable of performing minor repair work, the kind that you might anticipate on a piece of patio furniture.  If the furniture is plastic, however, you’re out of luck.  There really is no way to fix a broken leg on a plastic chair. Wooden and aluminum pieces, on the other hand, might be repairable and something that you can do yourself.

Favorite Products and Personal Style: Q&A with the Outdoor Living Bloggers

March 27, 2012 Interview, Patio Design

Do you ever wonder what outdoor decoration experts buy for their own homes?  So do we!  We asked the bloggers at Outdoor Living Blog to answer a few questions about their favorite products and personal style so that we could share their tips with you.  Read their answers below to learn about their recommendations for cleaning patio furniture, eco-friendly products, and DIY patio decorations.

Texas Custom Patios (TCP): What are your favorite new patio products this year?

Outdoor Living Blog (OLB): I love the growing availability of outdoor kitchen products. The number of grilling options alone has increased a lot over the past few years.  There are charcoal, electric, and gas grills to fit almost any budget now –  and lots of appliances.  Another fantastic new patio trend is the patio day bed. They are so comfy, and a great, relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors.

TCP: Your blog has a lot of tips for being more eco-friendly.  If someone wants to start making their yard more eco-friendly, what’s the first thing they should do?

OLB: Go solar! I think this is by far the easiest step to becoming more eco-friendly. There are so many great solar products now; there are solar fountains, solar lighting and even solar wind chimes. The best part is that these eco-friendly products will save you money on your electricity bills!

Solar fountain from Outdoor Living

TCP: It’s spring cleaning time.  Do you have any tips for keeping patio furniture clean?

OLB: The great thing about patio furniture is that most of it can be easily cleaned with a wet rag and a little soap. To keep your furniture protected from the harshest elements, patio furniture covers are a great option. To keep your cushions and pillows looking like new, be sure to put them away when they are not in use. Outdoor storage benches or chests are a great place to hide and protect them.

TCP: What’s the most useful item you’ve ever bought for your patio/backyard?

OLB: The best investment I made for my yard was the grill. There is nothing worse then having to heat up the oven on a warm summer day. It’s great to just fire up the grill and enjoy the outdoors. Some people find the menu options for a grill limiting, but the possibilities really are endless. You can grill vegetables, fruit, pizza, and even desserts!  (Read about their favorites here.)

TCP: You have a lot of DIY projects on your blog.  What’s the best beginner project for someone who wants to make patio decorations?

OLB: I think the easiest, most fabulous DIY project I have found is from In My Own Style.  Using a tuna can, old paint stick and a glass vase, you can create an amazing (and cheap) outdoor torch.

TCP: How have you decorated your own backyard/patio?  What’s your personal style like?

OLB: My backyard is still a work in progress. But my ultimate goal is to create a tranquil sanctuary.

I absolutely love the outdoors. That being said, I’m not what you call an “outdoorsy” person. I want my backyard to feel like an extension of my home, not like a campground. I want casual, relaxing furniture like patio sofas and chaise lounges. I would also love to have overstuffed cushions, toss pillows and a large, colorful outdoor rug. My dream yard would also have a large, wood pergola with soft, flowing outdoor curtains on all sides.

Outdoor Furniture Trends and Tips: An Interview with Mike Voyles from Home Infatuation

March 19, 2012 Interview, Patio Design

The Home Infatuation blog is full of great patio decor photos and inspiring design tips, and the Home Infatuation online store sells luxury patio furniture and outdoor living products.  We recently had the pleasure of talking to the owner of Home Infatuation, Mike Voyles, and asked him to share his knowledge about outdoor furniture and accessories.

Texas Custom Patios (TCP): What are some new outdoor furniture trends for 2012?

Mike Voyles (MV):  We tend to specialize in contemporary furnishings, whether it’s outdoor lamps or furniture.  Throughout the industry as a whole, you tend to see a lot of wicker, metal, and contemporary things.  Outdoor daybeds have become popular in the last few years too.

The trends aren’t changing that dramatically, but they’re shifting towards certain niches.  A lot of people are doing balconies and rooftop gardens.  There are more products aimed at urban living and smaller patios.

Also, there’s been a trend towards better quality.  Outdoor furniture keeps getting better—almost looks like something you can put in your house.  For example, there’s furniture that looks like leather, but can be used outdoors.

Another trend is lighting.  Outdoor lighting has gotten much better – more stylish.  You see furniture and accessories with LED lights.  Something that’s popular on our website is the furniture with lighted planters.

TCP: What’s the best way to protect patio furniture from wind, rain, and other weather?

MV: Everything we sell is durable and weather-resistant, but if you can afford to put a patio cover over your furniture, then definitely do it.  A patio cover will keep you from needing to clean your furniture all the time, and protects it from birds.  A lot of manufacturers make covers that are suited for their own pieces.

TCP: What’s the best way to clean your outdoor furniture?

MV:  Mild household cleaners are fine for the frames.  Most of the fabrics can be spot-cleaned with household cleaners.  Nowadays, there are plenty of cleaners out there, so it’s pretty easy to do.  The hardest material for people to take care of is stainless steel – mostly because they think they don’t need to clean it at all.  You need to wipe it down, especially if you’re in a coastal area where you might get salt spray.

TCP: We loved your recent blog posts on outdoor curtains.  They’re beautiful, but do they tend to get dirty?  How do you keep them clean?

MV: They’re machine washable.  Not only our brand, but all of them out there are made of machine washable fabric.

TCP: Can you hang them from most patio covers?

MV: Most people put up something to hang them, like a wire clothesline.  If they have a loop at the top, you can just put up a rod.  You can buy support poles and rods.

TCP: What are your favorite accessories for the patio?

MV: Pillows and rugs.  They have really come a long way in terms of their quality.  The pillows we sell can be used indoors and outdoors and look very nice.  They’re extremely durable and UV resistant.

Lighting is another favorite accessory.  There are lots of choices now and you can get electric or rechargeable.

TCP: How have you decorated your own backyard?  What’s your style like?

MV: Definitely contemporary, with a monochromatic, black and white scheme.  Not just contemporary furniture, but rugs, pillows, and lighting.  Also, you’ve gotta have an outdoor tv.  We sell them up to 55 inches now.  They’re weather-resistant and work well in the outdoor light.  They even work down to temperatures of zero degrees…if you want to be outdoors in that weather.

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

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