Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Patio Season: Think Before You Buy

Last summer, my husband and I had been using cute little citronella candles out on our deck at night.  We had a couple days of rain so when the rain stopped, I went outside and turned the candles over to drain out the water.  Then I had a flash of brilliance- why not leave them turned over all the time so rain doesn’t puddle up inside?!   I was pretty proud of that idea.  A week passed before we went back out there and one evening I was setting up to blog and watch the sunset from our deck.  When I took all my supplies outside, I noticed the tile table appeared to be wet (which was weird considering our never- ending wave of 90 degree days).  I ran my hand over it to discover it was candle wax.  My flash of brilliance came back to bite me!  Somehow, when turning over those candles, I forgot we receive direct afternoon sun on our deck.  The brightside of this story is that the tile table is now adequately wax-sealed.   

The purpose of sharing this with you is to remind you the importance of really thinking things through when it comes to your outdoor spaces!  Spring is coming (I think) and then Summer after that (hopefully).  The retailers are stocking their showrooms with patio table sets.  The catalogs are enticing you with poolside lounge chairs.  Before you give in to their advances think about your personal patio/backyard/pool deck.  What do you need?  What do you want?  Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself before you make your purchase:

1.       How much sun does the patio get? Those cherry red cushions look ah-may-zing in the store but what happens when they spend day in and day out under the merciless sun?  Are you okay with them fading to brown? 

2.       When rain showers hit, are the cushions going to be left on the chairs?  Are you okay with purchasing new ones each year if these rot out? If not, do you have a place to shelter them from the wet weather?

3.       How will the materials used to make your furniture weather (wicker, metal, fabric, wood, etc). Opting for a cheap metal over the more expensive wrought iron may seem like a good idea now, but you may feel differently in July when your rocker is rusted and squeaky.

4.       How much space do you have?  Remember to measure the area so you know for certain that your new pieces will be accommodated.

Taking just a couple extra minutes to ask these questions could save you some disappointments later in the season!

Happy patio season!

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