Extend the Outdoor Living Season

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architecture and design

Fall is one of the best seasons to enjoy outdoor living. After the heat of the summer, the cooler temperatures that autumn brings are a welcome relief. As the thermometer continues its march down the degree markers, you’ll want to consider ways to extend the outdoor living season even longer.

One of the first things I recommend adding, if you don’t already have one, is an area rug. The warmth under your feet also provides insulation which holds in heat on a porch. Placed under the seating and dining groups, an outdoor rug makes those areas even cozier. It offers a place for kids to play and pets to curl up, keeping the family close and interactive.

outdoor area rug

Outdoor draperies look great and help make an outdoor room look more like an indoor room but they also pack a lot of punch when trying to keep an outdoor room comfortable. Make sure your drapery panels are easy to move so they can be opened during the day for the view and closed at night to hold in heat. When combined with a fireplace, patio heater, or gas fire pit, closed draperies can make a marked difference in the temperature of your porch.

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Pottery Barn

Adding a heat source, such as a fire pit or patio heater, will make a remarkable difference in the comfort level of your outdoor room. Patio heaters can be portable or mounted high in the room so they are not as noticeable off-season. Fire pits come in all sizes and shapes. Many can be used as a table when not burning. With a unit that runs on gas (propane tank or natural gas hookup), it is safe to use on a covered porch.

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Keeping blankets, lap shawls, or throws on hand invites people to linger longer even when a chill is in the air. There’s nothing like wrapping up in something warm and staying outside when most people would be heading inside.

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An outdoor living area is one of the best places to be at this time of year. In the autumn, the air is crisp and fresh. Air conditioning and heat are often in the “off” mode. With a little preparation, it is possible to make changes to your outdoor living area to get more out of your investment. Those who use their outdoor living rooms all, or most, of the year, know how special it is in each season. Your outdoor room is unique in your home and should not be relegated to the spring and summer months. Extend your outdoor living season by adding any (or all) of the above. You’ll find yourself spending more time outside and feeling good about it.

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Chicago Casual Furniture Market 2014

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International Casual Furniture Show Chicago 2014

Last week I attended the International Casual Furniture Market in Chicago. This is the show where buyers like me have the opportunity to view what is new in the industry and choose those things that we feel our customers would like to see on our floors in the following season. While I can’t say that things change radically from one season to the next, there are trends that emerge and visibly grow from one year to another.

New Introductions

Color is continuing to strengthen in its use on more than just . . . → Read More: Chicago Casual Furniture Market 2014

Joggle Boards

joggle board, joggleing bench

joggle factory

If you have had the opportunity to visit Charleston, SC, you have probably seen a long backless, kind of funny looking, wooden bench on porches throughout this historic city. Had you the opportunity to sit on one, you would have discovered that this is no ordinary bench. It moves—not in a rocking type motion that one might expect of something with the rocker-shaped runners often found at the bottom of the legs. With a little energy provided by those seated upon it, a bouncing motion results. If you have done this with another person, you will have . . . → Read More: Joggle Boards

Woodard Furniture, Always Classic

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Have you ever heard someone say that something “wears like iron”? The meaning is clear—that iron is a material that is heavy-duty and stands up to the test of time and, in the case of outdoor furniture, the test of Mother Nature. Many of us grew up with wrought iron patio furniture that our parents bought and kept for what seemed a lifetime. In fact, many of those wrought iron sets have made their way onto our patios and into our care today.

One of the names that stands out in the world of wrought iron furniture . . . → Read More: Woodard Furniture, Always Classic

Taking the Bed Outside



Take your bed outside! A comfortable place to nap outside is high on the list of things we want in our outdoor living space. As our awake time is subjected to increasing demands and stimulation from electronic gadgetry, Americans are becoming a nation of sleep deprived people. Napping is a good way to rejuvenate, clear our heads, and energize. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recommend an afternoon nap be between thirty and sixty minutes in length so as not to interfere with the more important, and longer, night time sleep. All you need to do is create . . . → Read More: Taking the Bed Outside