Get your patio ready for summer


With the first days of spring already behind us, now is the time to start planning your outdoor decor. Just the idea of sitting in the sun on beautiful lawn furniture brings joy to my heart.


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Take a look at your patio furniture. Does it need to be replaced or refurbished? If your furniture is metal or wood, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. Teak can be power-washed and preserved with a coat of tung oil, which when dry creates a durable, water-resistant finish. If your furniture is plastic, a mild solution of bleach and soapy water can rid it of grime and mold.

But there comes a time when the age or condition of the furniture means all these DIY cleanup tricks just don’t work. Eventually you’ll have to replace each piece and start over.

Start looking around now. It’s fun to explore some of the exciting new collections available this season.

If color is your thing, look no further than Brown Jordan’s paint box of fresh new colors for its Tamiami collection. A marvel of simplicity and grace, Tamiami made its debut in 1961 and immediately struck a chord with midcentury designers and the public. Featuring a streamlined aluminum frame and vinyl straps in a cross-lace pattern, the Tamiami collection is available in 12 vivid colors. Mix and match those colors to create your own custom look.

If white is more your color, consider Connexion by Brown Jordan. Its elegant, contemporary, powder-coated aluminum frame is tautly upholstered with Versatex mesh fabric. Cushions and pillows are covered in Suncloth fabrics. You can stay all white or select from a myriad of captivating color and pattern combinations.

Looking for more traditional styling? Check out the Chippendale collection from David Francis Furniture. This classic design is interpreted in white powder-coated aluminum frames featuring deep cushions. The cushions are available in a rainbow of colors from Sunbrella fabrics. This set looks right at home on a brick patio, in a sunroom or by the pool.

Edgy and fun is the best way to describe the St. Tropez collection from David Francis. Curvy loops of all-weather Cyroplene and Viro fiber woven together create an interesting twist on the more traditional look of wicker. It’s a good choice for an urban or midcentury modern setting.

Before you make your final selection, take the time to measure your patio to make sure the pieces you want will fit. Don’t purchase a chaise if you don’t have the space for it. Consider instead an armchair and an ottoman. The ottoman can double as an extra seat when needed.

Choose end tables instead of a coffee table if space is tight. Colorful ceramic garden stools also can become end tables. You can find these at discount home stores and garden shops.

When it comes to outdoor cushions, buy quality outdoor foam cushions with zip covers made of sun-safe fabrics that will last three to four seasons.

A second option is to buy inexpensive cushions to use one season and replace next year. I think the cost averages out to be about the same. If you don’t want to be bothered with bringing in your cushions every night or if you love to have trendy colors each season, go for the latter option.

Start looking now so you can find the right furniture collection and cushions for your backyard paradise.

Designer and home improvement expert Vicki Payne is host and producer of “For Your Home,” available on PBS, Create TV and in national and international syndication. Reach her at


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Gravina’s Window Center Blog
Home and Garden
Denver, CO

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