Wrought iron furniture
Spring Sale on Patio Furniture Products
Huge Patio Furniture Savings for Warm Weather
This sale of the season includes all of the high-end, top-quality outdoor furniture brands that Patiofurniturebuy.com is known for. Buyers can choose from, wicker, aluminum, cast aluminum, wrought iron, recycled materials, wood and teak from best-in-class brands such as Meadowcraft, Woodard, Tropitone, Polywood, NorthCape International, Lloyd-Flanders and Homecrest and many others.
Consumers can find limitless options to outfit and update their entire outdoor living spaces. What’s trending for 2012 are fresh, vibrant colors, a new palette of neutrals and tailored details. This follows directly from what has been happening in indoor furnishings – homeowners are just moving these same preferences to their outdoor living and entertaining areas as well.
Fade and mildew resistant fabrics in bright grass green, cherry reds and sunshine yellows will be popular seating colors as will the blue green shades found in tropical seas. Homeowners can also refresh their existing Outdoor furniture with pillows and umbrellas in these updated color ways.
Consumers will find a wider selection of frame colors such as light driftwood shades and bronze hues which are particularly popular in transitional décor as well as a full range of greys. Sophisticated but light-hearted best describes the overall decorating trends for outdoor furniture.
The variety of designs for seating and dining has never been greater. From scrolls and medallions to quatrefoils and intricate woven patterns, consumers will find that they have as many options for personal expression in outdoor furniture as they do indoors.
Patio Furniture offers consumers innovative designs, artfully crafted with a strong emotional appeal to enable homeowners to entertain and enjoy their outdoor spaces now that Spring has arrived. These designs also come at great savings during the Spring sale going on right now on the site.
Specializes in custom made products, offering hundreds of finish colors, fabric designs, cushion trim options, selected table tops, chair ties and much more to tailor outdoor furniture to its customers’ personal taste and style.
Create an Open-Air Dining Room
An al fresco eating space should be great to look at and gracious, says Marian McEvoy, just like the host
By MARIAN MCEVOY
A GOOD GARDEN is a many splendored thing: Even we beginner gardeners agree that a symphony of flowering plants, almost weedless beds and thriving, super-green lawns, shrubs and trees are well worth the hassle. But a beautifully laid-out and maintained outdoor space—no matter how artfully clipped and formal, or bountiful and romantic—is merely decorative if it can’t be used by creatures higher on the evolutionary scale than groundhogs and Japanese beetles.
If you have no place to serve an outdoor coffee, lunch or dinner for at least two people, your garden won’t feel very relevant or friendly. I’m not talking about a patch of grass where you plop down a tablecloth and a cooler and call it a day, but a specific space kitted out with something stable underfoot, a couple of chairs, a table and a protective element up above.
I grew up in Southern California, where outdoor living spaces are as ubiquitous as Botox: People who live in temperate climates naturally gravitate to bringing the indoors out and vice versa, but it’s not always an uplifting process. Parking a flock of cafe chairs and tables around a swimming pool doesn’t qualify as a fantastic outdoor dining room. (Too noisy, too easy, too turquoise.) I think it’s more interesting to try the unexpected—pick an out-of-the-way outdoor room spot, and then make it memorable.
One of my favorite al fresco living/dining rooms was at legendary fashionista and decorator Chessy Rayner’s compact residence on St. Martin. Her home was a series of small, white wooden structures leading to a pool and a white cotton tented “deck” set up with enough chairs and tables to accommodate houseguests and neighbors who showed up regularly for lunch. The sheltered space wasn’t parked directly over the sea, but rather nudged back a bit: You felt protected, and yet somehow one with the waves.
Astounding views of oceans, mountains, grazing cows, vineyards and waterfalls are swell, but many of us have to contend with less lofty scenes, as well as neighboring buildings and landscapes that we don’t own, and hence can’t eradicate. Bring on the strategic planning. It’s like dressing or decorating—take advantage of the best features and downplay the rest.
I don’t have a panoramic perch over the Tuscan hills, like Massimo Ferragamo has, but I made an outdoor room by flanking my “gulch”—a tree-infested, barely gurgling tiny creek—with a 11-by-15-foot stone rectangle gussied up with two painted wooden benches and two small tables. I sited four big painted wooden planters at each corner and filled them with mounds of white salvia and veronica. Between the cool shade, the water sounds, a few croaking frogs and some pale flowers, it’s better than eating lunch indoors with no air conditioning.
In the interest of addressing them in a future article, I am eschewing screened-in porches for more exposed “rooms” with no more than one stationary wall. An outdoor room can be achieved in a folly or gazebo, in a tent opened on at least two sides or under a trellis or a big tree. Timing—and a “ceiling”—are crucial.
Nobody enjoys a late summer salade Niçoise bombarded with sun, wind or rain. Umbrellas that can be moved up and down, and side to side, are a must for daytime outdoor entertaining. The more natural you keep things, the more you’ll feel like you’re actually out in the great outdoors. I love the look and feel of outdoor rooms delineated by nothing but boxwood hedges—I’ll take walls made of thousands upon thousands of tiny evergreen leaves over Sheetrock any day.
As for food, easy does it. Four course repasts make better sense in winter or for those employing scads of help. As your outdoor room setting will probably be further away from your kitchen than your indoor dining room, a collection of big trays and a trolley come in handy. Large pitchers and carafes of water, wine and iced tea need to be refilled less often and look formidable on any table. An ice chest and an arsenal of hurricane shades that fit in with the rest of your furniture is a plus.
“A beautiful outdoor space is merely decorative if it can’t be used by creatures higher on the evolutionary scale than Japanese beetles.”
A few things I learned last summer:
1. Too many electric lights eradicate a sense of being outside, overpowering stars and fireflies. Plus, they attract insects.
2. A platform created of fine gravel, wood planks or stone helps define the boundaries and shape of your outdoor room and assures that your high-heeled (or nearsighted) guests won’t sink or fall through the cracks.
3. Outdoor “ceilings”—an awning, a covered trellis, a tent or an umbrella—help block out sun and rain.
4. Square- or rectangular-shaped outdoor rooms benefit mightily from hefty pots and planters placed at each corner.
5. Add poetry to sundown and evening outdoor cocktails and dinners by including white, pale lilac and pale blue flowers throughout your garden. They attract and reflect light better than deeper colors.
6. Do not use flowers on the table that don’t come from your own garden. I once bought a ton of fluffy pink peonies for an outdoor table bouquet when my garden was filled with the dregs of the last fading hydrangeas. It was pretty yucky. Better yet, don’t use any flowers on the table: Your garden is your best form of décor.
7. For those with limited winter furniture storage space, do not buy chairs, tables or benches that are not weather resistant. Wrought iron, teak and wicker look-alikes will last through umpteen cold snaps, deluges and blizzards.
Keep outdoor furniture in good condition with these cleaning tips
By CHRIS MAUTNER
But setting up your patio furniture and maintaining it are two different things. How can you ensure your nice furniture stays in tip-top condition?
Relax. You can make sure your wicker or wrought iron pieces stay in good shape for years to come.
There are three times you’ll want to clean your patio furniture: When you bring it out for the first time, once in the middle of the summer, and right before you store it away. (Of course, you might decide to give it a touch-up if you’re having company visit.)
When bringing out your furniture initially, make sure all the bolts and clips are tight and securely fastened, as the metal will expand and contract with the change in seasons.
Don’t use generic pressure washers to clean your furniture. “They are too rough on most furniture and they’ll take paint off or tear fabric,” Gehman said. So don’t take it to the car wash, and don’t dump it in the pool to rinse off either.
When cleaning wicker furniture, Gehman recommends to use a big sponge — the kind you use to clean your car. Soap it up using a gentle laundry detergent or dish detergent and then wash the piece.
Gehman also recommends using car wax to clean the exposed metal or aluminum sections of your outdoor furniture. Use a little bit, let it soak in and wipe it down so it doesn’t get brittle. Try not to do this on an overly hot day. Instead, shoot for a cloudy or overcast day, when the rain can help it set and soak in.
Are your wrought iron pieces scratched up and starting to rust? York suggests cleaning the area with a wire brush or medium sandpaper. Then paint the area with paint specially made for outdoor furniture.
When cleaning the upholstery, use a simple, nonabrasive detergent or cleaner that won’t stain the fabric. Gehman suggests using a baby’s hair brush as a scrubber.
If you want to go with a store-bought product, York says there are a number of patio furniture cleaners available, though they tend to work best with plastic furniture.
Avoid using cleaners and detergents that have a strong, sweet odor as they will attract bees and other insects.
Are your cushions covered in pollen and dirt? A good shop vacuum can suck up that up.
Flip your cushions over every so often to prevent one side from fading too much over time. You might want to invest in a good fabric cleaner, too.
Be wary of fertilizers and any other chemicals you use to treat your lawn. Those products can waft through the air and land on your furniture, degrading it over time. If you do treat your lawn, hose down your furniture occasionally to wash any chemicals off. This goes for pool chemicals as well.
Be careful when using your weed whackier. They can fling stones and other objects into your furniture that will chip paint and cause other damage.
Be sure to put away your furniture at the end of the summer season. If inside storage isn’t an option, York recommends purchasing a patio cover, a thick, canvaslike material designed to cover tables, chairs and other pieces and protect from the elements. Be sure to remove any cushions and store them away before you use the cover though.
If you don’t have a place to store your cushions, York suggests getting a deck box, a large plastic container that can keep the cold and wet away from your cushions and other materials.
Take your umbrella down before a big thunderstorm. Strong winds can lift an umbrella up in the air, which, if attached to your glass table, can result in the table falling over and shattering.
Creativity in the garden: Found objects, artworks can add whimsy, fun, beauty
“Aren’t those great?” asks Jim Honold as he ushers me through a forest of recycled oil drum statues at his Home & Garden Art store.
I’ve come to this Disneyland for gardeners seeking inspiration for easy ways to add whimsy to gardens, and Honold is giving me the rundown.
“Adding art to your garden is an extension of your identity,” he says as we brush past a murder of concrete crows. “You decorate the inside, why not the outside? Any personality, any hobby, can be represented — classical, funky, seasonal — you name it.”
Looking around, it appears he’s right. There’s the giant metal umbrella coat-stand for a classy infusion of humor; a multitude of hobby-inspired birdhouses; 4-foot metal lobsters for fishing enthusiasts with no attachment to subtlety; and an old tricycle planter box aimed at the nostalgic set. Everywhere, whimsy abounds.
But how do you actually start adding lawn art to an outdoor living space?
“Instead of throwing stuff in the attic or garage, put it out in the open,” Honold says.
He suggests displaying old garden tools, metal toys, or wine glasses and decanters. Chipped plates can find new life in concrete stepping stones, and wooden kid-size furniture always adds a nice touch.
“Focus on what’s readily available or representative of your area,” Honold adds. “Coastal areas might have fishing nets and glass floats, and places close to rural communities will have farm equipment.” In Washington state, he says, “people bring us old saws and ask us to laser-cut their name or address on them.”
For a big splash, Honold recommends an artistic gate. Whether installing custom wrought-iron doors with elaborate scenes on them or simply taking a can of bright red paint to a basic home-store model, gates can reflect personality and set the tone for the rest of the house.
“Think about all the things a gate can say,” Honold says. “’Stay out!’ or ‘We’re fun people!’” If the message you’re trying to send is “We’re magical,” find ways to add fairy elements to your garden. For kids and anyone with more than a passing fancy for Harry Potter, there’s nothing quite as charming as coming across traces of pixies in the yard.
Greenspirit Arts’ Sally Smith knows the power of a good fairy house. She creates high-end custom ones in her studio in Wadhams, N.Y., that have inspired a calendar and greeting card line.
While most of her houses aren’t made for extensive outdoor use, she says her calendars and online tutorial often serve as inspiration for people to create their own more durable models.
“Making a fairy house is something we all innately know how to do because of the child in us,” Smith says.
For a do-it-yourself fairy house that can stand up to the elements, Smith suggests working with stone as a base, and attaching a stick and moss roof and a wooden door. Decorations can be found objects — beach glass, pine cones, welcome mats woven from grasses or pine — even tiny dollhouse furniture.
to be continued
Soulpepper knocks it out of the park with David Storey’s Home
Jack is tall, elegant and carries a cane. Harry is stockier, florid and more casually dressed. And they make conversation about everything and nothing — their wives, people’s names, Christmas, the army and air force, canes, beards and moustaches, and much more besides.
Their speech is clipped, filled with clichés and platitudes and chock-a-bloc with heavy pauses and non sequiturs.
Welcome to the remarkable world of David Storey’s Home, a magical play that’s been revived far too infrequently since it made its debut in 1970 (with a cast that included John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.)
It’s not long before we meet two other characters (and I use the word advisedly).
There’s Kathleen, a flirty Cockney who is consumed by lust and aching feet and who giggles ridiculously at every possible double entendre. And there’s her friend, the sour, pugnacious Marjorie. Raucous and earthy, they are a sharp contrast to the men (and considerably less prone to tears).
Dissect the word “home” and you come up with a number of possible meanings. It’s your home and native land, your country. It’s the roof over your head, the place where you live with your family. And paradoxically, it’s a place where they put you when you are too old, dangerous or mentally ill to live with your family.
Only a Grinch would give much more away about this play. Indeed, much of the considerable joy of the occasion is the audience’s slowly growing comprehension of the Five Ws — who, what, when, where and (possibly) why.
It’s also a mirror in which we can easily recognize the reflection of ourselves and the world in which we live — our home.
And it’s a fabulous piece for actors, demanding both a tight ensemble and individual flair, and the Soulpepper cast delivers on both counts.
Just watch Oliver Dennis, the slightly stiff, dapper and assertive Jack, interacting with Michael Hanrahan’s sensitive, seemingly more placid Harry. Or Brenda Robins’ superb Kathleen joshing and jousting with Maria Vacratis’ formidable Marjorie. Sharp technique, subtle pacing, vulnerability, and honesty — it’s all there.
Director Albert Schultz is in no rush and has allowed the text to breathe — wisely so. The speeches and the thoughts they contain may seem random and unconnected but are anything but.