5 Tips to Enjoy Your Backyard in Winter

backyard

Winter is here and no matter how much you are dreading the cold weather, there are always ways to continue to enjoy your backyard in winter.

For many homeowners, the backyard is a staple of summer living that may fade away once the snow starts to hit, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Winter takes away the daylight, the warmth and replaces it with a whole lot of snow. The key to enjoying your backyard in winter is to make up for what Mother Nature took away while making the most of what she provided.

Here are 5 Tips to enjoy your backyard in winter

FIND A NEW SOURCE OF LIGHT

In winter, the days are short and daylight is very hard to come by. A practical way to address this issue is by going with a neutral holiday light set and using it all winter long. Permanent lighting in your backyard is a great option to add extra light.

FIND A NEW SOURCE OF WARMTH

With temperatures plummeting, you need heat to make your backyard more hospitable. There are a variety of options on the market that can address this concern. These options include purchasing patio heaters, having a fireplace installed or even getting a hot tub, which is more affordable now than ever before. These pieces are well complemented by other winter-friendly additions such as wooden furniture and gazebos. You can enjoy the still peace of nature while thawing out by an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit. Bring the blankets and the hot chocolate for a relaxing time with your family or friends.

ENJOY THE SNOW

When it snows, you often dread shoveling your driveway, cleaning off your car and dealing with other drivers on the road. Why not take a break from shoveling and go have some fun in your backyard? You can build a snowman, construct an igloo or snow fort and have a snowball fight.

Therefore, you might as well make the most of the winter by enjoying the one gift it provides that many people don’t actually mind, the snow. The opportunities for fun are limitless, whether you want to make snow angels, a snowman, or even have a snowball throwing contest (where you aim at targets, not at each other!).

One great thing you can do year-round on your patio is grilling. Don’t let the bitter cold and snow stand in your way from eating delicious steak, chicken, and burgers. Just remember to prepare and make sure that your grill has fresh dry charcoal or a fresh tank of gas.

RELY ON WINTER PLANTS

Spring is the season of blooming for most plants, but there is still some plant life out there that can survive and thrive in winter. So head over to your local nursery to learn more about cold-resistant and winter-blooming plants, shrubs and perennials that can add some much-needed vibrancy to your backyard this winter. Look out for Red Osier, a red winter shrub, and Purple Coneflower, a perennial, two options that will compliment any winter garden.

WARM UP WITH A HOT-TUB

Why leave the hot tub to the ski resorts, when you can have one in your own backyard? Your hot-tub can provide a warm relaxation station in your backyard. Be sure to wear a winter hat in the tub. A hat will actually help you regulate body temperature in the tub, and will protect your head from any winter air.

Have any questions about getting your backyard ready for winter? Then contact us here!

Preparing Your Outdoor Furniture For Bad Weather

outdoor furniture

OUTDOOR FURNITURE

This time of the year is perfect to prepare your outdoor furniture for winter. While most furniture nowadays will stand up to the harsh winter elements, there are some things you can do to make sure it will look its best next year. After all, the happier you are with your furniture, the more likely you are to use your outdoor space for entertaining!

Before you jump right in and accept that summer is over, keep in mind that some of the best temperatures for spending time in your outdoor space have yet to come. You may find yourself outdoors more now than during those hot afternoons.

Here is our list of what you should do to prepare your patio furniture for cold weather.

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR OUTDOOR FURNITURE FOR BAD WEATHER

Storage

Depending on what is in your outdoor living arrangement, you may want to consider storing some of the furniture or at the very least store the cushions. Having space dedicated to your outdoor living furniture or lawn ornaments in the offseason may help in protecting your investment.

Know what choices you have for storing outdoor furniture. Whether it be a garage, shed, or storage unit, knowing how much space you have ahead of time will make things easier for you when it comes time to store it.

Give it a coat

After your furniture is clean, a protective coating will help keep it looking good for next spring. Aluminum or plastic pieces can be covered with a thin coat of car wax to protect them and use a coat of paste wax for wicker furniture. Check metal furniture for any signs of rust and remove with a wire brush, then spray metal furniture with a silicone sealant.

Wash it!

The most important step in preparing furniture for storage is to get it clean. Moisture and dirt left on outdoor items can cause mold or mildew to grow in the winter months. Mold can grow and spread quickly, leaving your furniture in bad shape by the time you are ready to use it again. Pieces made from wicker, wrought iron, mesh or plastic can be cleaned with a simple dish soap and water solution.

For wood furniture, you can use a wood cleaner (such as Murphy oil soap) and water, then rinse and let dry. If there are stains that are difficult to remove, make a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1-gallon water. Use a soft brush to work on the stains, then rinse and let dry completely. Take time to work on stains now, to prevent problems in the spring.

Cushions also need to be clean and dry before you put them away for the winter. If you have cushions covered in fabric or canvas, prepare a solution of 1/2 cup Lysol and 1-gallon hot water and use a soft brush to scrub them clean. Rinse cushions thoroughly and let dry. More serious stains may respond well to a solution of 1/2 cup bleach and 1-gallon water but test first on a small area.

Cover Up

Even if you’re planning on storing your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage, you need to cover everything up to protect it from dust, moisture, and all those other things that are best avoided. You can either buy designated furniture covers or make your own using drop sheets or other large, protective fabrics. If you’re leaving everything outside, you need to ensure that the covers you choose are weather resistant and can withstand the elements. It’s worth noting that some materials (like plastic and natural rattan) don’t fare very well outdoors for extended periods so try to avoid leaving them out for the season.

Plan ahead.

It’s not always possible to predict the weather. But, if you know extreme weather is about to hit your area (including a heatwave), go ahead and cover up your furniture or move it into a storage shed. Furniture covers won’t do much against the wind, but they will protect against damaging UV rays and torrential rain.

If you need any help with your outdoor furniture or backyard living, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

How To Protect Your Patio Furniture

protect your patio furniture

How To Protect Your Patio Furniture

The heat is on and the summer sunshine is upon us! Although we love this beautiful weather, the summer sun can be damaging to patio furniture. To avoid fading paint and other sun damage, here are some tips to protect your patio furniture from the weather:

1. Get a Patio Umbrella

Investing in a good umbrella is among the best tips to protect your patio furniture from the sun. One of the best features of a patio umbrella is its versatility. It can be moved from place to place or angled, depending on what needs to be protected from the summer sun.

2. Store your cushions and umbrella!

Cushions and umbrellas are easily damaged during storms when left outside. So if a storm is coming, take them inside or store them in a heavy-duty outdoor storage container. Umbrellas can get sun and wind damaged as well. So if you are not using your umbrella, make sure it’s secured in an umbrella base and covered with an umbrella cover or store it away inside.

3. Try a Pavilion

Pavilions are another great way to stay protected from the sun. Not only does it help hide you from the sun’s harmful rays, but it can also turn your outdoor space into a private oasis. When it comes to tips to protect your patio furniture, you can’t go wrong with a pavilion.

Pavilions are a fantastic way to provide large areas of shade. They’re large enough to cover a complete patio set and hide your summer picnic or family BBQ from the summer elements. A pavilion can transform your backyard space into a separate outdoor living area that provides ample shade for the whole family.

4. Cover your Furniture!

It’s the BEST way to keep your furniture dry and free from any debris or scratching during a storm. And make sure to find the right fit for your chairs, tables, and umbrellas. Measure your furniture before buying your furniture covers or if you’ve purchased with American Sale, remember your set name and we can help you find the proper fit for your seating group. We sell individual covers for pieces, but we also sell covers for chairs and tables together.

5. Powder coat it.

Powder coating your patio furniture is the equivalent of covering your skin in sunscreen. It creates a layer of protection between the metal item and the harsh UV rays, slowing the progression of the damage caused by the sun. Though it won’t last forever, powder coating can help your furniture resist fading and rust, giving it a great finish for longer than any other wet paint product.

6. Get a Tent

If a pavilion is too large for your outdoor space, consider a tent. Tents are a great way to provide a shaded area that can be placed over seats, a children’s sandbox or a kiddie pool to protect the little ones from the harmful rays the sun brings.

One amazing thing you can add to your tent (or your pavilion) are water misters. While sitting in your protected space you can get a cool-mist amongst the heat. If you’re looking for tips to protect your patio furniture, adding a mister will also make cleanup easier by spraying down your tables and chairs.

7. Trim Your Trees!

Large tree branches hovering over your patio furniture can pose a threat to damaging your set. It’s a good idea to make sure any tree branches that are overhanging your set are either trimmed or removed. Also, if you have an awning, make sure it’s closed or secured before a storm just to make sure your patio furniture doesn’t get damaged by it.

8. Weight your furniture!

Weighing down furniture with sandbags or weights can also be a good idea if the storm is going to be particularly strong. This depends on the weight of your furniture itself as well. If you have a sling, aluminum, resin or wicker patio furniture, weighing down your table and chairs is a GREAT idea. If you have a cast iron or aluminum set, you may not have to do this. Chairs should also be tucked in under the table and umbrellas should always be placed in a heavy umbrella base like below to keep it from blowing away.

9. Protective cleaner

When it comes to protecting furniture from the weather, umbrellas, and covers are the go-to resource. Do not forget that protective cleaners can go a long way in keeping your furniture safe during the times there is no cover. The sun moves all day, so chances are at some points throughout the day, your furniture will be exposed. Using a protective cleaner regularly prepares your furniture for any exposed time and keeps it safe from permanent damage.

Enjoy the Summer

However you choose to catch a break from the sun this summer, Cincinnati Pool & Patio has a plethora of options to best suit your space, budget, and outdoor decor. Make sure you have fun and stay protected this summer.

Contact us today with any questions you have today!

Patio Furniture Basics

patio furniture basics

Patio Furniture Basics

Patio furniture can turn your backyard into the perfect entertainment space, but maintaining that new look of outdoor furniture is difficult when facing the elements. Whether hauling out your tired and true patio furniture basics or shopping for new pieces to add to your backyard for any season, here are some ways to help keep your patio furniture looking new.

FURNITURE COVERS

Furniture covers are a great way to extend the life of any outdoor living set. Covers protect your furniture all day and night from sun or storm. The fear of fading will no longer be a problem with a furniture cover since it protects from the sun. Covers also come in a large variety of shapes and sizes to fit any backyard piece.

REGULAR CLEANING

By cleaning your furniture on a regular basis you are able to not only extend the life of your furniture but also keep it looking new. For the most part, basic cleaning for outdoor furniture can be soapy water, but any wicker pieces should be washed with water alone.

STORING PATIO FURNITURE BASICS

Winter can take a toll on patio furniture. The cold can cause furniture to crack and if it gets wet mold and mildew can be a major problem. Finding storage for your pieces during the winter can allow them to last many more seasons. If you are unable to find storage, use a furniture cover, but make sure it is waterproof to prevent mold and mildew build-up.

Using these steps will help keep your patio furniture looking spotless giving you a beautiful outdoor space to relax and entertain all summer.

Clean and comfortable patio furniture helps you create a relaxing spot for your family during warm weather. Preparing your patio furniture is fairly simple and is an easy way to refresh your outdoor living space.

Before you clean your patio furniture basics, assess it. Look for stains, mold or missing parts. Replace any lost foot caps or tighten loose screws. If a piece is too wobbly or damaged to be safely used, discard it and buy a replacement.

VINYL IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Vinyl covers should be used during foul weather or the off-season. Water-resistant patio table covers with UV protection to help prevent fading are optimal when protecting your outdoor table. Covers that protect both chairs and tables are available, so check the size for what you might need.

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PATIO FURNITURE

Depending on what type you have, you will have to use a different method to clean it.

Metal requires very little cleaning. You can simply spray with a bit of water or mild soap and you should see a clean surface.

Hardwood can last longer once you clean it with penetrating oil to help resist moisture.

Wicker is probably the most difficult material to clean: Spray it with a hose, and for more difficult cases, use a soft brush and mild soap to work out stubborn areas of moss or mildew.

Cushions, canvases, or vinyl covers also require cleaning — make sure you allow enough time for it to dry before storing.

If your outdoor furniture is in bad shape and needs to be replaced, contact us. We have a wide selection of many different types of pool and patio furniture by the finest manufacturers.

Need help preparing your patio furniture basics or looking for a new set? Contact us here!

10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Backyard for Spring

backyard

10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Backyard for Spring

Spring has arrived and it’s time to bring the indoors out with cozy features. Your backyard is a continuation of your home which showcases your style and personality. Extend your time in the fresh air with outdoor seating areas that feel as cozy as your couch.

Here are some of our favorite tips to freshen up your backyard in time for spring.

Define Your Backyard

Deciding what spaces you need—dining area, cooking area, shady lounging area, play area—and clearly defining them can make a big visual impact on a yard. Your design is reliant on the space of your backyard, but you don’t need a large backyard to have a great outdoor space.

Even in the smallest backyard, you can update your space in a fresh and easy way. Doing this can be as inexpensive as repositioning the furniture you already have. Or reupholstering new fabric on your outdoor lounge and chairs.

Create an Outdoor Living Room

A living room forms a gathering place in your home, so why not have the same outdoors? Outdoor loveseats, chairs, and a coffee table are simple elements that are generally inexpensive.

Whether they’re looking for a place to eat or a comfortable spot to unwind, a mix of seating options will keep everyone happy. When you have a variety of comfortable seating choices, it adds flexibility and openness to your space. A pergola acts as a roof to create a defined space, just as your walls do indoors. With the addition of brick flooring, comfy furniture, and a warm fireplace, you’ll feel right at home.

Effortlessly blend your indoor and outdoor space with an open-air living room. Comfortable seating, an outdoor bar, and floor-length curtains will make space feel like an extension of your home.

Focus on Color

Your backyard is a continuation of your home, so your outdoor design should be too. A coordinating color palette allows your design to flow both indoors and out with accent colors making each space unique.

Create a welcoming outdoor retreat by incorporating accent pillows to your backyard design. Mix and match patterns and colors to perk up your outdoor furniture. Don’t be afraid to go bold, pillows are easy to change.

Add Some Heat

With beautiful views and a custom outdoor space, your deck is the perfect place to enjoy the spring air. Add a free-standing hot tub to stay warm on those chilly nights or enjoy time with family and friends. Or get a grill so you can enjoy some sizzling food in the spring sun.

A fire pit surrounded by comfortable seating creates a great spot to gather with friends and family. There are fire pit designs for every possible taste and preference – from bricks and concrete to metal.

Secluded Paradise

We all need a getaway from time to time. You can create a secluded area that feels warm and cozy in your own backyard. Natural landscaping creates the perfect backdrop for your backyard. You can add a few wicker chairs and a matching end table that mimic the surrounding landscape to enjoy your peaceful retreat for hours.

Plants are a flexible, quick, and budget-friendly way to update your outdoor design each season. Adding vines to a pergola or fence softens the space while adding variety and interest. For a splash of color, consider potted plants that give you the flexibility to replace depending on the season or your color palette.

Utilize fencing.

A fenced-in backyard gives you privacy from street traffic and neighbors. Instead of a solid fence, choose a style that is more open. It will make your backyard seem larger. A lattice fence is perfect for small backyards.

Think Small

Pieces with thin frames and petite bodies make a small space feel roomier. Compact bistro sets are perfect for a garden corner or porch. Built-in benches will maximize seating and storage in minimal space.

Light It Up

Lighting plays a major role in how space feels. So incorporate both task and ambient lighting to create the mood you want and to provide the amount of light you need.

Create Ambience

Now that your backyard is looking like it should, take the extra steps to turn it into a place you will want to spend time in. If you don’t have appropriate garden lighting, there is cheap solar lighting that is easy to install.

A water feature adds good feng shui and if you don’t have appropriate garden furniture, there is attractive plastic garden furniture that is virtually maintenance-free, resistant to the elements, and easy on the pocket.

Also, comfy outdoor living requires shade, so make sure to include a sun umbrella, canopy, or pergola above any seating area.

Have any questions about creating your perfect backyard? Contact the experts here.

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The Early Bird Tent Sale Extended

patio

We’ve extended your chance to grab the best deals of the season at Cincinnati Pool & Patio! 

Find 75% off all patio furniture, all clearance items, and scratch-n-dent items April 2nd through April 8th! 

EXTENDED EARLY BIRD TIPS

COMFORT

Comfort is important — very important. You may want steel or wood construction in your patio furniture for stability and longevity, but don’t forget that without some homey comforts like soft, plush cushions, your outdoor furniture will go largely unused. Avoid pancake cushions. You know, those thin, puny little cushions that aren’t plush or even very pliable. Opt for chubby cushions that feel light when you pick them up. Look for cushions with polyester filler, too. The more lightweight and springy the filler is, the more quickly it will dry out after exposure to moisture. That means it will resist mold and mildew and stay comfortable and sweet-smelling longer.

TEXTILES

You can’t grab a pillow from your family room and expect it to adapt to life outside on the patio. Most textiles designed for indoor/outdoor use are made from all-weather materials that repel water or encourage moisture to evaporate quickly by remaining porous.

Fabrics designed for use outdoors are usually fade resistant and UV protected, too. They’ll look good and feel soft and comfortable for at least a couple of seasons. When you’re evaluating fabrics for outdoor furniture, check cushion seams for heavy-duty thread and consistent, even stitches. Choose cushions with vents that encourage airflow and quick drying.

Invest in furniture with cushions that can be unzipped and taken apart for periodic airing, repair or replacement. It’s also a good idea to buy outdoor furniture outfitted with cushions you can turn and flip. This will help them retain their shape, dry more quickly and fade evenly. Acrylics, polyester, treated canvas, and the cotton duck is all comfortable, durable fabrics used in the construction of outdoor furnishings. Look for them in upholstered items, cushions, pillows, curtains, blinds and umbrellas.

CONVENIENCE AND QUALITY

From sloppy welds to cracked casters to amateurish paint finishes, a close inspection will expose that great outdoor furniture bargain for what it is — a bad buy that probably won’t last until next season. There are a couple of important lessons here: It’s easy to think of outdoor furnishings as somewhat less important than the stuff you buy for indoor use. The reverse is often true. What you buy to use outside has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. Inspect every piece you’re considering for flaws, especially if the deal sounds too good to be true. This is one area where a higher price is often a good indicator of better quality.

Check out our list of patio furniture here! 

If you have any questions about patio furniture or the sale, contact us here!

11 Tips for Arranging Patio Furniture

arranging patio furniture

Don’t try arranging patio furniture without reading these tips! Tired of rearranging your furniture over and over again? We’ve put together this list of patio arrangement tips to help you get it right the first time.

11 Tips for Arranging Patio Furniture

No more asking wondering “how do I arrange my patio furniture.” Just make sure you follow these simple rules to create the perfect patio layout.

1. Make it Feel Like You’re at Home

Bring the resort-style feeling to your backyard! Use end tables, side tables, and ottomans to add convenience to your patio. These additional outdoor pieces provide a spot to place loose items, drinks, and snacks.

2. Decide on a Focal Point

Create a focal point that will anchor your outdoor space. This will serve as the primary gathering point and the heart of your patio arrangement. The remaining decor will build off of this area.

3. Accessorize

Don’t be afraid to accessorize with throw pillows, area rugs, greenery, and lighting. Adding in accessories can give your patio the look that people utilize the space.

4. Placement of Outdoor Furniture

Place the longest piece of furniture along the longest wall, facing the focal point. This will add to the area instead of detracting attention. Typically, the longest piece will be a 3 seat sofa or a love seat. Adding several individual chairs will encourage guests to “pull up a chair” and enjoy a good conversation!

5. Find a Purpose for Your Patio

Symmetrical patio furniture arrangements create a formal living space while asymmetrical arrangements are a bit more quirky and have a much more lax, casual feel. Pick which one you intend on creating

6. Consistency vs. Mix-and-Match

When figuring out how you want to arrange your patio, you should decide early on whether you want to have all your furniture from one set, or if you want to mix-n-match your patio sets.

Having your furniture come from one set or color can give your patio a sleek and modern vibe. While mix-n-matching will give your backyard a more rustic and homey feeling.

7. Divide and Conquer

By separating the space into smaller sections, you create a dynamic and functional living area. In this way, you have multiple areas of entertainment instead of one large patio with too much open space. By adding occasional chairs, an outdoor fireplace, or patio heater, you can craft an engaging outdoor living space.

8. Design Like a Traffic Conductor

When deciding on the layout of your patio deck, make sure you direct the flow of traffic in a way that eases congestion. Think about the way that guests will enter and travel through your outdoor space. Is there a clear and unobstructed path to the entrance and exit? Are there areas that will likely become crowded? You should allow 30″-48″ of space for high traffic areas. You can cut this measurement down to 24″ for areas that receive less foot traffic.

9. Organize!

Arranging patio furniture is just one step in the equation, you need to keep it organized as well. You want to keep things tidy just as you do inside the house. Especially if your neighbors can see over your privacy fence. A cluttered patio is one that your guests might not want to sit on.

10. Separate the Outdoor Kitchen

Keep the outdoor kitchen away from your dining area. You want to have some form of separation to differentiate between the two spaces. This also addresses safety concerns associated with the grill. Keep your outdoor kitchen close to the door to make food prep easy.

11. Fill the Perimeter First

On the other hand, if your patio is small, it’s wise to keep your furniture arranged around the perimeter of the space. This opens up more room for you to move through and can visually create the illusion of a bigger space. A fun outdoor rug in the center ties it all together.

Keep in mind that you can always rearrange your patio furniture.
By adjusting with the seasons, you’ll have a new perspective on your furniture that will make you appreciate it and make you feel like it’s a whole new set!

Have any questions about arranging patio furniture or your backyard? Contact us here!

The Early Bird Tent Sale

early bird

Grab the early deals of the season at Cincinnati Pool & Patio’s Early Bird Tent Sale!

Find 75% off all patio furniture, all clearance items, and scratch-n-dent items now through March 25th!

To help you take advantage of this great deal, here are our tips on how to find the best patio furniture for you.

Early Bird Tips

Quality over Convenience

The adage “you get what you pay for” is true for patio furniture. Plastic resin chairs or side tables look great on the shelf and will keep their good looks for a year or two out in the sun. Though, in time they will become brittle and lose their vibrant coloring. The same is true for some wood products and wicker pieces. Shop with care, checking consumer reports and reviews, before making a big purchase.

Think About Storage

Add years to the life of your patio furniture by storing it in a protected location. Such as a garage or basement during the offseason. Even the toughest furniture, such as teak chairs or a wrought-iron settee, will last longer if it is placed in storage when not in use. If your storage space is limited, look for patio furniture that folds or is easily taken apart for compact storage.

Comfort over Style

Take a seat before you buy. Comfortable patio furniture, just like interior furniture, will be used regularly as opposed to uninviting patio furniture, which might have good looks but not-so-good comfort.

Check out our list of patio furniture here! 

If you have any questions about patio furniture or the sale, contact us here!

Patio Furniture: How To Prepare For Spring

furniture

Patio Furniture: How To Prepare For Spring

Clean and comfortable patio furniture helps you create a relaxing spot for your family during warm weather. Preparing your patio is fairly simple and is an easy way to refresh your outdoor living space.

Before you clean your furniture, assess it. Look for stains, mold or missing parts. Replace any lost foot caps or tighten loose screws. If a piece is too wobbly or damaged to be safely used, discard it and buy a replacement.

Vinyl is your Best Friend

Vinyl covers should be used during foul weather or the off-season. Water-resistant patio table covers with UV protection to help prevent fading are optimal when protecting your outdoor table. Covers that protect both chairs and tables are available, so check the size for what you might need.

How To Clean Your Patio Furniture

Depending on what type you have, you will have to use a different method to clean it.

Metal requires very little cleaning. You can simply spray with a bit of water or mild soap and you should see a clean surface.

Hardwood can last longer once you clean it with penetrating oil to help resist moisture.

Wicker is probably the most difficult material to clean: Spray it with a hose, and for more difficult cases, use a soft brush and mild soap to work out stubborn areas of moss or mildew.

Cushions, canvases, or vinyl covers also require cleaning — make sure you allow enough time for it to dry before storing.

If your outdoor furniture is in bad shape and needs to be replaced, contact us. We have a wide selection of many different types of pool and patio furniture by the finest manufacturers.

Need help preparing your patio furniture or looking for a new set? Contact us here!