Garden furniture

Tips to select outdoor furniture

There’s something really nice about the idea of turning part of your landscape into an alfresco family room during two or three seasons of the year. It’s certainly a less expensive option than adding another room to your home. Who needs walls, anyway? Open air living has “green” appeal. It gets you back into nature — and nature you can control with a flick of the garden hose or a sprits from a can of bug spray.

Making the transition to outdoor living requires a judicious reallocation of resources, though. If you’re outfitting an outdoor living area this season, finding comfy, long-lasting furniture may mean the difference between hanging out on the patio for a while to enjoy the fresh air and heading indoors after a few cramped, uncomfortable minutes parked on a cheap patio chair.

Patio décor has to be more than merely attractive to withstand the elements and provide good value for your outdoor decorating dollar. Let’s explore 10 things you should keep in mind when shopping for outdoor furnishings.

DIY Landscaping Project 1: Garden Fountains

Ever considered installing a water feature in your yard? Decorative water garden fountains add immediate impact to a yard. In this DIY landscaping project, I show you how to turn ceramic planters into decorative water garden fountains. I also show you how to take the design to another level through an artistic use of copper pipes.

  • View DIY Project: Decorative Water Garden Fountains

DIY Landscaping Project 2: Rock Gardens

Don’t think that you need a large space to build rock gardens. In this DIY landscaping project, I use rocks of a moderate size to build, in essence, a small raised bed. My pictures illustrate not only how to construct the raised bed, but also how to arrange plants within it. Special attention is paid to color selection in choosing the plants to build this rock garden.

  • View DIY Project: How to Build Rock Gardens

DIY Landscaping Project 3: Portable and Conventional Raised Beds

Another twist can be applied to the “raised bed” concept: make it portable! This DIY landscaping project tutorial tells you how to build what amounts to a large container garden on wheels. Building a portable raised bed is an idea that will be especially attractive to those seeking landscaping for small yards. But for more conventional raised beds, I offer a separate tutorial.

  • View DIY Project: Landscaping for Small Yards — How to Build Raised Beds

DIY Landscaping Project 4: Winterizing Flowering Bushes — The Natural Way

If you live in a region with snow and ice, you should consider protecting flowering bushes from the elements during the winter. Winterizing flowering bushes via a rustic shrub shelter is a fairly straightforward DIY landscaping project if you have access to the woods, and it will also save you money. City slickers may be unable to find the needed materials and will have to spend the extra money to buy lumber for a conventional shrub shelter.

  • View DIY Project: Winterizing Flowering Bushes

DIY Landscaping Project 5: Installing Landscape Fabrics

Weeding is nobody’s favorite gardening activity. The best defense against weeds is prevention, and the modern landscape fabrics can be a key component in a preventive weed-control strategy for folks who are “on the go.” They’re not for everybody, but landscape fabrics do offer a high-tech solution to weed control that some people will find appealing.

  • View DIY Project: How to Install Landscape Fabrics

DIY Landscaping Project 6: Planting Flower Beds

Once you know how to use landscape fabrics, apply your knowledge by using landscape fabrics in a planting project! This project, which incorporates landscape fabrics, shows you how to plant flower beds. If you don’t care for landscape fabrics, just skip the steps that call for their use. This project is a good beginner’s lesson in installing a perennial bed, offering observations on such issues as choosing color schemes and establishing focal points.

  • View DIY Project: How to Plant Flower Beds

DIY Landscaping Project 7: Planting Hedges

A defined area catches the eye more readily than does one that is “open-ended.” This accounts, in part, for the popularity of fences in landscape design. But for plant-lovers, hedges may be preferable to fences as a means of defining a property. Learn how to grow a hedge in this tutorial.

  • View DIY Project: How to Plant Hedges

DIY Landscaping Project 8: Trimming Hedges

Okay, you’ve followed the advice above, and your row of shrubs is planted. But how do you trim it now, transforming a mere “row of shrubs” into a true “hedge?” Trimming hedges is fairly easy, if you start when they’re young and set up “guides” to follow as you trim. Using pictures from my own hedge-trimming DIY project, I show you how to put a nice, straight edge on your hedge.

DIY Landscaping Project 1: Garden Fountains

Ever considered installing a water feature in your yard? Decorative water garden fountains add immediate impact to a yard. In this DIY landscaping project, I show you how to turn ceramic planters into decorative water garden fountains. I also show you how to take the design to another level through an artistic use of copper pipes.

  • View DIY Project: Decorative Water Garden Fountains

DIY Landscaping Project 2: Rock Gardens

Don’t think that you need a large space to build rock gardens. In this DIY landscaping project, I use rocks of a moderate size to build, in essence, a small raised bed. My pictures illustrate not only how to construct the raised bed, but also how to arrange plants within it. Special attention is paid to color selection in choosing the plants to build this rock garden.

  • View DIY Project: How to Build Rock Gardens

DIY Landscaping Project 3: Portable and Conventional Raised Beds

Another twist can be applied to the “raised bed” concept: make it portable! This DIY landscaping project tutorial tells you how to build what amounts to a large container garden on wheels. Building a portable raised bed is an idea that will be especially attractive to those seeking landscaping for small yards. But for more conventional raised beds, I offer a separate tutorial.

  • View DIY Project: Landscaping for Small Yards — How to Build Raised Beds

DIY Landscaping Project 4: Winterizing Flowering Bushes — The Natural Way

If you live in a region with snow and ice, you should consider protecting flowering bushes from the elements during the winter. Winterizing flowering bushes via a rustic shrub shelter is a fairly straightforward DIY landscaping project if you have access to the woods, and it will also save you money. City slickers may be unable to find the needed materials and will have to spend the extra money to buy lumber for a conventional shrub shelter.

  • View DIY Project: Winterizing Flowering Bushes

DIY Landscaping Project 5: Installing Landscape Fabrics

Weeding is nobody’s favorite gardening activity. The best defense against weeds is prevention, and the modern landscape fabrics can be a key component in a preventive weed-control strategy for folks who are “on the go.” They’re not for everybody, but landscape fabrics do offer a high-tech solution to weed control that some people will find appealing.

  • View DIY Project: How to Install Landscape Fabrics

DIY Landscaping Project 6: Planting Flower Beds

Once you know how to use landscape fabrics, apply your knowledge by using landscape fabrics in a planting project! This project, which incorporates landscape fabrics, shows you how to plant flower beds. If you don’t care for landscape fabrics, just skip the steps that call for their use. This project is a good beginner’s lesson in installing a perennial bed, offering observations on such issues as choosing color schemes and establishing focal points.

  • View DIY Project: How to Plant Flower Beds

DIY Landscaping Project 7: Planting Hedges

A defined area catches the eye more readily than does one that is “open-ended.” This accounts, in part, for the popularity of fences in landscape design. But for plant-lovers, hedges may be preferable to fences as a means of defining a property. Learn how to grow a hedge in this tutorial.

  • View DIY Project: How to Plant Hedges

DIY Landscaping Project 8: Trimming Hedges

Okay, you’ve followed the advice above, and your row of shrubs is planted. But how do you trim it now, transforming a mere “row of shrubs” into a true “hedge?” Trimming hedges is fairly easy, if you start when they’re young and set up “guides” to follow as you trim. Using pictures from my own hedge-trimming DIY project, I show you how to put a nice, straight edge on your hedge.

  1. Outdoor
  2. Space Planning
  3. Beyond Interior Space
  4. If it often the case in interior space planning that the designer takes advantage of the placement of architectural details like windows, doors and skylights and glass walls to “bring the outside in”. This merging of interior and exterior to create a stronger sense of shared space is a good approach. I think this concept can also work the other direction. There are times in interior space planning when it’s beneficial to “bring the inside out”.
  5. You can take advantage of attached outdoor spaces like patios, porches and decks to effectively increase the living area of your home. A partially screened patio is, in my opinion, a great way to do this. It’s not that difficult or extremely expensive to do. I consider it an extension of interior planning techniques.
  6. I designed a simple patio for my small home that added about 240 square feet of living space during the summer months. The exterior room integrates with the interior through a connection to my kitchen. It’s a great place to host summer parties in a way that my main interior space could not support.
  7. First, the area next to the house was leveled. Then basic concrete tiles were installed to create the floor.
  8. I painted the standard gray, concrete tiles a warm beige hue using concrete floor paint to keep the color scheme inviting, yet light and natural.
  9. The unsightly embankment was screened off with easy care, vinyl fence panels that act as the walls of the space.
  10. I completed the scheme with natural, teak-toned, wooden furniture and accessorized with faux bamboo planters. The surrounding natural green of the plants and foliage complement the terra cotta and teak reds. It’s quite an enjoyable little “room”.
  11. For some additional ideas on how to make your outdoor living spaces more exciting and inviting I recommend checking out the landscape ideas page at home-and-landscape-design-ideas.com. (Note: Link opens a new window)
  12. In your interior space planning efforts, don’t forget to consider ways of expanding your interior design approach to the outside.

Written by :  About.com Interior Decorating

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