Thursday, July 12, 2012

How To Choose Outdoor Carpet

Indoor/outdoor carpeting is gaining in popularity. It can really add a touch of warmth to any outdoor area. Indoor/outdoor carpeting has taken on a whole new life over the past few years and most are now totally care free. There are hundreds of different styles and colors of indoor/outdoor rugs to choose from. You may choose to use the first type of indoor/outdoor carpeting, which was like Astroturf, or dress your outdoor area up using something as classy as a Persian rug.

As your choices of outdoor carpeting are many, your decisions are many too. As with most things, you get what you pay for. However, if you're using the carpeting under cover you won't need quite as much durability as you will one used outside. As with any carpet purchase there are some basic things you'll want to know, and some basic questions you'll want to ask. When making an outdoor rug purchase ask to see the durability ratings. Ask what maintenance will be required. Can this rug be easily cleaned with a rinse from the hose? You'll want to be able to clean up spills simply with water. Ask what type of weather conditions will the rug tolerate. If you will be using the rug under cover, such as in a covered porch it won't need the same sunlight resistance rating as a rug you'll use in an outdoor area where it will be in strong sunlight all day. Ask if the carpet is made from polypropylene or olefin. These carpets will resist wear and staining and are superior in their ability to resist mold and mildew. Outdoor rugs are now available in many styles and colors. You won't be at a loss to coordinate colors and themes. From the well known "turf" carpeting to outdoor braided rugs, you'll be able to find the perfect rug to compliment your outdoor setting. While generally used outdoors there are also some inside areas where durable indoor/outdoor carpeting can be a smart choice. Due to the fact they tolerate water and resist mold and mildew a lot of homeowners use indoor/outdoor carpeting in basement areas. Due to the fact that they area durable and clean easily some homeowners use indoor/outdoor carpeting in playrooms and areas where there will be a lot of "kid" traffic.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Decorating Your Outdoor Space: Tips and Ideas

You don't have to limit yourself to decorating the inside of your home. Your patio and yard are extensions of your home, and have unique opportunities to allow you to express yourself and your sense of style.
Of course, they present unique challenges as well. Much of your outside decor will be seasonal. The furniture may have to be stored indoors in winter in some climates, and plants may die back. Start out by thinking of what you would like to do in your patio and yard. Perhaps you enjoy barbequing, or maybe you have pool parties with friends.

Maybe you just want a quiet sanctuary. Start out by figuring out what will require the most space. If you love to have friends over, you may need a great deal of seating. Or, if you prefer to barbeque, maybe that dream grill will be the focal point. Perhaps you would like to install a fountain. In any case, whatever the focus will be you will likely want to place first, to ensure that other elements do not get in the way. There are great options these days in outdoor furniture. Many are pretty much weatherproof, so you may not need to be so concerned with bringing it indoors in bad weather. Style is important too, and if you haven't shopped for outdoor furnishings recently, the selection available, in terms of comfort and quality, may pleasantly surprise you.

Outdoor lighting has become easier to install and quite functional. It used to be that in order to light up your yard you would have to install wiring, a tedious process, or hire an electrician. Now, however, solar lighting has become quite functional and affordable. All you have to do is put the light where you want it, and let the sun charge it up for use. Not all solar powered outdoor lights will last all night; it depends on the brightness, time of year and so forth, but they are sufficient for many needs.

One of the most difficult parts of planning your outdoor decor is figuring out what to plant. A basic green lawn works with just about anything, of course, but it doesn't express your style very well... unless basic is your style. You will want to learn how to pick appropriate plants for your yard and garden. You can plant both in the ground and in containers. Most often you will grow flowers in decorative planters, or perhaps a decorative shrub. The containers themselves can be a part of your decor. As you plan the natural parts of your yard, consider whether you would like to have any seating out there. A stone bench makes a lovely and durable addition, for example. Statuary might also fit your style. Small water fountains are very popular right now, and very relaxing to listen to. As with lighting, solar powered fountains are available and quite practical. They can be as simple as an urn spilling water into a container below to a series of small waterfalls. The sound of water splashing is a great way to mask noise from the outside world and most people find it very relaxing. Whatever you do, don't skip decorating your yard as you decorate your home. It's a great place for entertaining or relaxing in good weather, or it can be a quiet sanctuary.