With all of this lingering cold winter weather, I was needing a little spring pick me up. I discovered this outdoor furniture company called Sutherland and fell in love with, well, all of their stuff, but it's the "Plateau" line that originally caught my eye (to be continued...I'll share that one later!). Scrolling through their website I saw this "Great Camp" Muskoka chair re-make, (Adirondack for all you American folk) and placed them perfectly fireside and dockside for me to drool all over. Couldn't be more of a summer tease than that. And what's cool about them, is that even though they are sleek visual stunners, they can still fit right in to (or onto) my rickety old dock and still look sweet. Great Camp is offered in teak, in four different finishes, and powder coated aluminum frames, available in 20 standard colours. The countdown is on....only 45 days to go until cottage season. And the first thing I'm going to do is park my butt on the dock on one of these beaut's.
Composite decking has been around for quite some time now, as an alternative to the nuisance of maintaining real wood. Of all of my clients, 99.9% all request NO MAINTENANCE when describing their wish list for their property. I then explain that there is no such thing, and every property requires some sort of maintenance to keep it looking its best. Composite wood is one of those little gold mines when it comes to that low maintenance category. There are several different types of "composite" decking out there, but most clients don't know the difference. When I mention "composite" as an alternative to my clients, common responses are "I heard it gets really hot", or "it looks like plastic" or "I heard bad things about the structural integrity of it". All valid concerns.
But...a valid argument can be made against all these points....people don't realize that real wood can get just as hot as a composite material. I have to run off my deck sometimes when the sun is out in full force. And the beautiful thing about composite being around for awhile, is that they keep making it better. Original designs were tacky and boring, and definitely looked like plastic. The colours that are offered now are ten-fold, and Azek is one of those companies that is blazing the trail for the rest. Traditional, as well as many modern colours and textures are one of the features that make stand them apart. Their construction is paramount as well. They coat all four sides of the deck board and the groove, in a protective cap, protecting your board from the elements. It also resists mold, moisture and mildew, resists scatching and staining, and has superior heat dissipation. Azek also manufactures several other products, such as railing systems, trim, moulding, lights and even pavers to create a uniform look throughout.
And lastly, the final concern to address is the price. Yes, composite decking is pricy. But when you compare it to the cost of real wood, plus the yearly maintenance costs required (or your blood, sweat and tears....lots and lots of tears...) then looking at composite isn't so bad. It's sleek, slick and of course, tear free.
Ok, my ideal fire is always real wood. Always. Nothing beats the smell of a real fire burning. But with it come a few headaches. You have to find the wood. You have to chop the wood, hopefully without chopping off your digits at the same time. And you have to build the fire itself. Not everyone is able, or even wants to do this. And you need the perfect location of course. So when my clients ask me to include a fire pit in their design, a real fire isn’t always feasible. Most of us live within the city limits, and most cities are unwilling to allow you to have a real fire in your backyard. So what is the alternative? The mention of a gas fire pit isn’t always received well. “Its just not the same thing.”
However, when I show them the options and possibilities for a gas unit, they are pleasantly surprised when I show them Paloform. Crafted right here in Toronto, they make each piece made to order for each and every client. They have 8 different units to choose from, in various colours and finishes, and they top their ﬁre pits with honed basalt river rock or lava rock. You can choose from either propane or natural gas, and are supplied complete…all you need is a fuel source. Their burner systems are designed and manufactured in-house and ETL listed, certified to CSA and ANSI standards for the U.S. and Canada and have CE certification under the Gas Appliance Directive 2009/142/EC for Europe.
So for the fire snob out there like me, you may be convinced. These are beautiful units. I, myself would love to have one of these in my own backyard. A flick of a switch and you’re ready to go. No mess, no campfire smell, and all 10 fingers in tact.
Edgy, hip. These designs are so sweet. A variety of different colours, form and function, this furniture collection is for the modern lounger, or 'lollygagger' as they put it so eloquently.
Loll designs and manufactures durable, all season weather outdoor furniture made from 100% recycled plastic -- mostly from milk jugs. "Originally, we used recycled post-industrial plastic scrap (that has been diverter or recovered during the manufacturing process), but by 2007, we began sourcing post-consumer plastic (materials that has been used by consumers and diverted or recovered from waster destined for a landfill). This is when Loll, as both a product and a company, really started to take shape as a green company. An estimated 8 recycled milk jugs go into each pound of a Loll Adirondack Chair, which equals about 400 milk jugs per chair." Even better, their recycled material is 100% recyclable, so when you are done with your Loll furniture, they can be recycled and re-purposed into something useful again when the time comes.
Couldn't you just kiss them?!? 400 milk jugs per chair! That's huge....as huge as these designs are awesome. Every one of us (well...I hope so!) has every good intention to do something good for this good, green earth we co-habitate together...paper over plastic, walk instead of drive, use bio-degradable soaps, whatever little thing you can do in your day to make a teeny tiny diff. in the grand scheme of it all. I know I'm not re-using 400 milk jugs so I can sit down comfortably at the end of the day....wish I could say I was. But purchasing a sweet little piece from this company is the next best thing - hell make it a set of 4 while you're at it. I'll take mine in Blue.
How bad ass are these?!? What a cool, trendy way to ditch that pain in the ass umbrella you’ve been tripping over for the past 10 years. Inspired by the shade sails found in Australia and NZ, these canopies are made with high-density polyethylene that provides 95% protection against ultra violet rays. They can stay outside the whole season, are mold-resistant, and come in a variety of shapes and colours. Add one to your patio, or several for a sweet layered look. Check out Nesling for additional deets and ask me to help design you an amazing shaded area over your patio this year.