Add fresh elements to your outdoor spaces

OUTDOOR LIGHTING SETS THE MOOD

As a cost-effective way to change the mood in your outdoor space, lighting options can help illuminate an evening of conversation, socialization, or even quiet meditation. With many different options to spruce up and control the ambiance, here are a few lighting scenarios you can put into play this spring.

In-ground lights

Energy efficient in-ground lights offer directional information in regards to walkways, pathways, patios, and other outdoor features. With LED-friendly options, in-ground lighting is a way to increase the functionality of your outdoor spaces in the evening hours. Not to mention the dramatic visual effects possible when interplay happens between lighting and your landscape design!

String lights

Always a classic when it comes to lighting, string lights bring a warm glow that delivers a soft and aesthetically pleasing light on all parties. In all your property’s outdoor spaces, string lights can enhance the scene and set the stage for great memories.

Paper lanterns

A truly unique lighting option, paper lanterns are fun for special occasions. These large paper lights give off a festive illumination that can help set the right tone for your guests’ outside evening activities.

Water feature lighting

A great way to showcase the features in your landscaping, shine a spotlight on key items such as fountains, waterfalls, grottos, boulders, and more. Highlighting certain items can provide depth and diversity to the aesthetics in your space.

Information courtesy of Creative Environments Design & Landscape.

CONSIDER A GAZEBO
CONSIDER A GAZEBO

The addition of a gazebo can add many benefits for your outdoor environment. Gazebos are a natural venue for outdoor gatherings, parties, and more. The aesthetics and function of the gazebo are up to you, but here are a few popular design ideas to consider when deciding what type of space you want to create.

Tiered roof gazebo

Depending upon the style of your property, a tiered roof gazebo lends an air of beachside relaxation to your space. This open-air style can provide the perfect nook for small gatherings to sit and enjoy being outdoors.

Outdoor dining gazebo

A specialty gazebo can serve as a setup for the perfect outdoor dining area. A small footprint gazebo provides enough protection and shelter to invite a cozy atmosphere for late night snacking or early morning coffees.

Open-top gazebo

With a distinct bell shape, an open-top gazebo provides an airy roof that’s ideal for warmer environments. A nice breeze allows for great airflow but with enough shelter and shade to make any type of weather enjoyable.

Design considerations

When selecting the type of gazebo you want to add to your outdoor space, it’s important to plan ahead so that the structure blends with the rest of your landscaping and design elements. As an outdoor destination other than a patio, a gazebo space can provide a focal point or help capitalize on a great view.

When selecting a site on your property, you will want to avoid low-lying areas where water collects in order to keep the gazebo dry. You will also need to check with local building departments to ensure your structure complies with code.

Another thing to consider is whether you want electricity available in your gazebo. This depends on what you plan to use the space for. Depending on your area’s climate, you may wish to install a fan or misting system to help you maximize the use of your space.

Information courtesy of Creative Environments Design & Landscape

FIRE PITS ARE NOT JUST FOR THE BACKYARD ANYMORE
Architecturist Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Architecturist/ Wikimedia Commons

With myriad options now available, here is a quick primer on choosing a fire pit for your pool or bar area.

Fuel Source

Probably the most important question to ask yourself when considering which type of fire pit to go with is what will your fuel source be. If you are thinking about going propane or natural gas, you will likely have to do something above-ground. There are great propane or natural gas pits that simulate the look and feel of a wood burning pit and there are even contemporary table top options with sleek designs to fit your outdoor decor.

Location

Location is a huge factor that will determine what type of fire pit you will be able to go with. If you do not have much space, an inground fire pit is most likely out of the question. Chimineas are great for narrow spaces though and come in both synthetic and natural burning options. They are essentially a small fireplace on a stand with a round bottom body and fluted top. They can be easily moved from one part of a patio or deck to the next without too much trouble.

Users

Who will use your firepit and how often are two important considerations when it comes to selecting your type. While wood burning pits are authentic and bring along a broader sense of outdoor ambience with the smell of wood smoke, they are not as user friendly and require regular clean outs of spent ash and other debris. Synthetic fuel options can be turned on and off by almost anyone, but the fuel sources are typically more expensive and require some care and precision in hooking up and installing lines and tanks to ensure safety.

Now is the perfect time to get a fire pit set up and lure your guests outdoors with a welltended fire.

Information courtesy of Creative Environments Design & Landscape.

OUTDOOR LIVING STYLE TRENDS
OUTDOOR LIVING STYLE TRENDS

Barclay Butera collection by Castelle Image courtesy of Castelle.

It’s all about the choices Adding your personal style to your outdoor living is a matter of choice. Making choices in color, style, fabric, and finishes allows you to ultimately define the outdoors you want to live in. Interlocking elegance In design, indoors or out, bold graphic elements are trending. Lines and angles to intertwined curves, graphics allow for signature looks. With cast aluminum, iconic shapes can be highlighted across outdoor furnishings.

Mixing elements

Across nature, there is a mixing of elements—wood and minerals, soil and sun. In the Elements by CASTELLE, a mixing occurs just as naturally with aluminum, all weather wicker, wood, and resin to create signature outdoor looks.

Double detail

For a classy style on durable outdoor furnishings, the use of two tone finishes is trending. You’ll want to create a fresh experience and a highlight to your furnishing in multiple ways.

White and waves

The nautical look is trending outdoors from tabletop to furnishings. Crisp white and navy blue are making waves with a nautical color story.

Wooden wow

Creating natural elements in durable metals takes craftsmanship, but the results are trending. Weathered woods, live edge, or ingrained surfaces, all are ways wood is coming to life across outdoor decor.

Information courtesy of Castelle.

OUTDOOR FURNITURE CARE GUIDE
OUTDOOR FURNITURE

By its very nature, outdoor furniture will quickly start to show some wear. Whether from prolonged exposure to the hot sun or just a spike in use from multiple daily swims and frequent parties, it is important to take measures to extend the life of your fixtures.

Gentle cleaners

Use gentle cleaners and gentle cleaning techniques at all times when dealing with outdoor furniture. Find a soft-bristled natural broom that you can dedicate only to that purpose, and be sure to brush off any dirt or debris as you notice. It is important that you do not allow loose debris to sit for prolonged periods of time on your furniture to prevent staining.

If you do notice some stuck on dirt or grime, mix together a solution of mild dish soap (1 cup) and water (4 gallons) and scrub all surfaces thoroughly. Rinse the furniture then pat dry with a lint free or microfiber cloth. Try to avoid using harsh cleaners that are not only bad for your furniture but bad for the environment too.

Protection

It is critical to protect outdoor furniture as best you can when it is not in use. Canvas drop cloths can be used to cover all furniture if there is ever a time when it is not in use. Preventing the elements from coming in direct contact with your furniture whenever possible will prolong its life.

For wood furniture, consider sanding any rough edges and applying a water resistant sealant each year to keep the material from rotting. If you do notice signs of mildew, mix together a solution of hot water and bleach and gently scrub the affected areas. Outdoor throw pillows can be particularly difficult to protect year after year. If you notice their water repellant abilities dwindling (water no longer beads on the surface,) apply a fabric protector. This is a good idea to do at least once per year, especially if your outdoor furniture sees a lot of action.

Storage

Once the summer finally comes to an end, consider putting some of your furniture items into storage where they can be kept clean and dry and ready for the next season. Items like throw pillows and even umbrellas can be thoroughly dried and put away in dry storage to prevent year-long exposure to the elements.

Information courtesy of Creative Environments Design & Landscape