Amenities Increase As Outdoor Living Areas Evolve

This entry was posted on September 28, 2016 by Jeniffer Bello.

The list of amenities that have been added to patio furniture sets in recent years have grown as people spend more time on their patios and decks. Some are purely practical and others are decorative enough to become focal points. From outdoor fireplaces to market umbrellas, patio decor continues to evolve.

One of the most practical amenities for a patio, deck or poolside area is an outdoor shower. For years, people who live in coastal states like Florida and California have had hook-ups for a quick spray after a day in the surf. Now, portable models are available for homeowners who want to add this feature to their outdoor spaces.

For family members or guests, having an outdoor shower is a welcome convenience. The shower can be a simple, open style for a quick rinse. Or, if privacy is desired, homeowners can build a fence around the fixture with soap and shampoo holders and nearby hooks for towels, according to Sunset Magazine.

The best location for an outdoor shower is off to the side of the main area so it doesn't interfere with patio dining sets or other furniture. Some homeowners prefer to locate them near the steps to a deck or entryway into the home, several feet away from the rest of the patio.
A simple shower apparatus can be hooked up to an outdoor hose and spigot. For a bit of luxury, homeowners can connect the water source to a heating appliance for both hot and cold water.

Fireplace Decor
Outdoor fireplaces, chimineas and fire pits are among the most popular outdoor features. Arranging outdoor chaise lounges or a bistro table and patio chairs near a fire feature plays up its impact as a patio focal point, which can be decorated as if it's indoors.

For a natural look, decorating the fireplace mantel - or the area around a fire pit - with wood items or large terra cotta vases as accessories is a good complement to greenery and flower gardens. They are particularly effective in a design scheme with a southwestern, rustic or Mediterranean theme.

As a general rule, using a symmetrical arrangement of objects will create a formal touch. For a more casual look, choosing items that don’t match is acceptable as long as they complement each other in color, texture and size. Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggests using one large object with smaller pieces on either side. They don't need to match, but should be related. For instance, similar pots in different shapes would look like they belong together.

Versatile Umbrellas
Market umbrellas have been a mainstay of outdoor dining areas for a number of years, but now come in many models that homeowners can add to their patios and decks for a classic look.

Offset (freestanding) umbrellas are good choices for a variety of situations. They can be moved to different locations in an outdoor living space or at poolside. They may also be used to cover patio dining sets for tables without umbrella holes. A major advantage of offset umbrellas is their ability to tilt and rotate in all directions to keep an area shaded as the sunlight shifts.

PatioFurnitureUSA states that larger market umbrellas remain popular because of their ability to shade a sizable area, but now with a stylish twist. Instead of just solid colors, more umbrellas are coming out with patterns, stripes and border trims that add character to a design plan.

Some styles in home decor last for generations because they have a timeless beauty. The style of market umbrellas and their functional appeal combine into an ideal patio accessory.

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