Preparing Your Backyard Patio for Winter

Winter is here and it is on in full force. As the temperatures drop and the trees shed their leaves, one thing becomes clear: it’s time to prepare for the cold weather. Regardless of the materials your outdoor furniture is made of, be it wood, wicker, metal, or plastic, it’s important that you store your patio set in a dry place where the snow and rain can’t get to it. Leaving your furniture out all winter is a surefire way to ruin it.

Now is the perfect time to either enjoy mother nature at her coldest, or pack up the patio furniture for the coming months and stay inside. Whether you are the type to bundle up and enjoy the winter on your patio or are more inclined to hibernate for winter, we have all the information you need to prepare you patio space for the cold weather ahead. Below is our best advice for making the most out of your patio space in the cold weather, followed by our top tips for safely securing your until next season.

Embrace the Cold Weather

As the saying goes, “some like it hot”. I’m sure Marilyn would agree that this logic would also imply that “some like it cold”. If you are the type of person who loves a hot beverage on a cold winter’s day, then this section of the article is for you. Too many people give up on enjoying their outdoor space in the face of a little cold weather or rain. Here at All American Outdoor Living, we believe you should enjoy your patio all year round. Grab your blankets.

In order to enjoy your patio in the cold weather, you’ll need to consider some weather appropriate additions to your patio space. If you don’t already own a fire pit or a fire table, now would be the time to consider investing in one. A fire pit can warm you and your family on the warmest of winter nights and can add a magical ambiance to your patio.

Imagine spending Christmas Eve roasting chestnuts over a literal open fire. That magical moment is within reach if you install a fire pit. Fire pits are also great all year round. You may be investing in one because of the cold weather, but you’ll still be reaping the benefits of it come summer time. I can smell the s’mores already!

If you don’t have the outdoor space that can accommodate a fire pit, consider an alternative in a fire table. Fire tables are the hot new trend in the backyard furniture game. Small, lightweight, affordable, efficient, and magical are all terms that accurately describe fire tables. You can even get coffee table sized fire tables so you can start your day off with a cup of java next to a warm fire.

Hibernate for the Winter

If you fall into the other camp of people who would prefer to hide away from the cold weather, we can’t blame you. No one truly loves to be cold; some just prefer to bundle up in spite of it. Here is all the information you need to properly prepare your patio for the long winter.

Clean Everything:

Arguably the most important and most often overlooked part of patio maintenance is to simply clean everything. This goes double for packing up your furniture for the winter. It is important to scrape off any mud, dirt, mold, mildew or grime that has built up over time. There’s no sense in covering and storing your furniture if it is dirty, as it will still take wear and tear damage from the dirt over time.

It is also important to inspect any metal furniture you have for rust and oxidation. Addressing these issues before storing them will greatly reduce the odds of the problem getting worse over time. Use steel wool and paint to clean and refinish any areas that might have succumbed to mother nature’s elements.

Patio Covers:

Properly form fitted patio covers are the most important factor for keeping your patio furniture safe this winter. Most manufacturers offer custom fitting covers for their products and are always considered a good investment if they don’t come with the initial purchase. If you can’t get a set of custom covers, invest in a general set of covers that will fit your pieces. Look for covers that offer high quality fabrics made of synthetic fibers.

All American Outdoor Living outdoor patio covers are constructed of top-grade fabrics and fibers, made of solution dyed acrylic and nylon fabrics. Our outdoor patio furniture covers are durable and breathable, water resistant, and will not crack or peel like vinyl. The patio covers are beige in color and have a variety of sizes that fit table and chair covers, individual covers like an outdoor sofa, or love seat; also available are fire pit covers, chaise lounge and umbrella cover.

Our outdoor patio covers will fit aluminum furniture companies such as Tropitone, Mallin, Brown Jordan or Castelle, as well wicker manufacturers like Ebel, NorthCape International, and Lloyd Flanders; along with outdoor wrought iron companies like O.W. Lee and Meadowcraft.

Stack It Up:

One way you can approach you patio shutdown is to think of it as way challenge to save space. In doing such, you’ll find that stacking matching chairs can save space and make it easy to cover with a single large tarp or cover. You can also flip small tables upside down and stack them on each other. Wrap any glass pieces in blankets and/or towels to keep them from getting too cold and shattering when you bring them back out the following season. Also, check the storage area for potential leaks and flaws in the structure that might allow rodents or water to get inside.

Wicker Weatherproofing:

Here is a great tip for owners of wicker furniture. Use a bleach and water solution to brush over the surface of your furniture. In doing so, you will prevent mildew from growing which can occur even with a cover over it. There also solutions you can purchase to repel moisture on the legs of wicker chairs and tables. Apply a water-repellent finish to reinforce furniture and protect it from any moisture that might find its way into the storage space.

Wash Your Fabrics:

If your patio featured furniture with lots of cushions, you’ll want to remove those and take them inside for cleaning and storage. Pay attention to the specific cleaning and care instructions provided with your covers as not all materials can simply be thrown into the washing machine. Use a color safe bleach to kill any mold or mildew that may have grown while outside.

If your patio cushions cannot be taken apart, use a mild detergent and soft brush to clean the exteriors. You can then leave them hanging to air dry, which should happen rather quickly in the cold weather.

Hide Your Plastic:

If you have any furniture or decor that is made of plastic, consider moving it inside for the winter. Plastic furniture is extremely resistant to the rain and snow, but the cold it becomes, the more brittle it is. Plastic furniture can be covered, but doing so will not guarantee that the structural integrity of the piece will stay intact. Move your furniture somewhere warm and dry or you might accidentally shatter the furniture into pieces the next time you go to use it. Also, fix any cracks you find in plastic furniture however minor or the cracks will likely spread until they’re too large to repair.

Wax Your Aluminum:

It might sound odd, but good old fashioned car wax is the perfect defense for your aluminum furniture against the cold harsh weather. Wash down any aluminum furniture you have and completely dry before apply a layer of automotive wax. This will help keep water off the aluminum and protect the paint from inclement weather.

If you experience any paint chippings, you can also use car touch up paint to fix any unsightly blemishes on your furniture. Who knew automotive products would be so handy for protecting your patio!

Seal Your Wood:

If you have any furniture that is made out of wood, you’ll want to consider using a sealant to protect it from moisture and rain. Sealing the wood will prevent the wood from expanding and becoming misshapen. If you have teak furniture specifically, this might be less of an issue for you. Teak is naturally full of resin and oils which prevent winter from permeating the surface. Considering teak is the most popular wood in outdoor furniture, this may apply to you. Either way, double check your wooden furniture and see if adding a coat of sealant might just extend the life of your patio furniture.

Stop in one of our All American Outdoor Livingv locations or shop online to find the best outdoor products to protect your outdoor living room!

Deep Seating Patio Furniture Done Right

There is nothing better than relaxing in your personal backyard patio in a deeply seated piece of outdoor furniture. Whether it is sleeping on a warm summer night or sipping a hot beverage on a cool winter’s morning, lounging in a deep seating chair or lounge can be done all year if you buy intelligently. Now with people spending more time at home than ever before because of the pandemic, it is the perfect chance to upgrade your patio space for maximum comfort. Don’t miss out any longer on getting the most out of your outdoor patio space.

Materials Matter

The important thing to remember when it comes to outdoor patio furniture is that materials matter. Depending on where you live and what the weather is like, this may be truer for some than for others. Weather and lifestyle can play a big factor in what materials are best suited for your outdoor space and it’s an important factor to consider when investing in quality outdoor furniture.

Choosing the right material can be the difference between long-lasting furniture that requires minimal upkeep and furniture that needs to be replaced within a couple of years. Let’s take a look at the most popular materials used for outdoor deep seating and which environments they are best suited for.

Metal:

Back in the day, outdoor patio furniture of quality was often made of wrought iron. This furniture was great because it was heavy and would not blow around in the wind. On the downside, it rusted very easily and required constant maintenance. Nowadays, we have evolved into using much more efficient and durable metals that will last for years.

The two main types of metals used in deep patio furniture seating these days are steel and aluminum. Steel is hands down the strongest material, the heaviest, and most expensive metal available. This makes steel furniture a great choice if you live in a very windy area or experience hurricane weather on an annual basis. On the other hand, aluminum is an incredibly lightweight and versatile metal that can be shaped into any design imaginable.

Aluminum is perfect for homes near the beach or bodies of water as it stands up to rust like no other. Aluminum also stands up to the sun’s rays better than other metals. If you live in a windy city, aluminum is not the choice for you as it will certainly blow away at a moderately strong gust of wind. Aluminum is also more affordable and easier to clean.

Pro Tip: If you decide to go with a steel frame for your deep seating patio furniture, make sure to choose a steel that has been galvanized or is labeled as “stainless”. If you don’t you will end up with a steel frame that is going to rust at the slightest hint of moisture in the air.

Wood:

Wooden outdoor furniture is pure class. Nothing screams luxury like finely crafted wooden furniture, especially if it is made of high-quality wood. The most common types of wood used in outdoor deep seating patio furniture are eucalyptus, cedar, and teak. Each type has its benefits, but in terms of durability and strength to stand up to mother nature, one wood stands above the rest.

Even though teak itself is a rarer and more expensive wood, it remains the most popular choice for wooden outdoor deep seating patio furniture. Teak is so prevalent because it can withstand very hard environments and weather. Because of its naturally high resin and oil content, teak is essentially waterproof, if not extremely water-resistant. You will never run into water permeation and wood expansion issues if you select a teak deep seating option.

Pro Tip: Teak will change color over time if left untreated. The strength and durability of the wood will not change, but you may want to invest in a quality wood sealant to prevent the wood from becoming a pale gray color. There are several great quality wood stain and sealant combos available so you can get the perfect color for your furniture while keeping it protected at the same time.

Resin and Plastic:

A very modern and increasingly popular choice for outdoor deep seating patio furniture material is high-grade synthetic resin or plastic. You will often find these options style to look like a natural wicker rattan chair, but don’t be fooled, these are anything but the easily faded natural lookalike. While this is a commonly found style, resin and plastic can be used to create all kinds of outdoor furniture.

There are a select few synthetic materials used including PVC, polyethylene, resin wicker, and nylon. These are used because they are generally accepted to be lightweight yet durable in the face of extreme weather conditions. These furniture pieces are also considerably easier to clean and maintain as not much will stick to them that can’t be easily wiped off with a towel.

Due to the incredibly malleable nature of plastic and resin, furniture pieces are often available in a wider array of colors, shapes, and sizes. In today’s world of 3D printing, your imagination is the limit on what can be brought to life.

Pro Tip: When selecting a piece of outdoor patio seating furniture with a resin or plastic frame, make sure to look for the highest quality material. Be on the lookout for pieces that state they are made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) wicker. These are made of a much higher grade of thermoplastic and can withstand much higher temperatures.

Synthetic Fabrics:

While it is completely acceptable to have deep seating patio furniture that is unupholstered, you are sacrificing greatly in the way of comfort and relaxation. Upholstered outdoor furniture is incredibly comfortable and can elevate your deep seating experience. There are a range of materials and fabrics to choose from and those come in all kinds of colors in patterns, giving you ultimate control over the final look of your patio.

Other than style, it is important to focus on getting the right material for your environment. Most outdoor fabrics are made out of water-resistant synthetic fibers such as acrylic, vinyl, and polyester. These weaves are often breathable and resistant to moisture and UV rays.

Cushions and Comfort

As we just mentioned, choosing the right fabric for your deep seating patio furniture cushions is important. Equally as important is the material inside the cushion that will be providing your backside with all the comfort and support. You will often find cushions that come with a patio chair to be of lower quality than those you purchase separately. In the case of cushions, you do get what you pay for. Look for outdoor cushions that offer at least 3 layers of material: a center layer of memory foam in between two layers of water-resistant polyester. These cushions will intersect at the crossroads of comfort and weather resilience.

One popular brand of fabric that is found all over for outdoor furniture is Sunbrella® fabrics. These fabrics are unrivaled in their class and offer protection from the sun and rain like no others. The best part of Sunbrella® fabrics is their warranty. If you follow their instructions on maintenance and care they will back up and replace your fabric for life. Hard to beat a guarantee like that!

Cleaning and Care

Once you’ve selected the right frame material for your deep seating patio furniture and have picked your favorite cushions, it’s time to enjoy your patio space. But don’t get lost in the comfort for too long, as your furniture will require maintenance regularly. The quality of your furniture combined with the dedication to cleaning and maintaining it will completely determine the longevity of your investment. Here are our basic tips to keeping your deep seating patio furniture in tip-top shape.

  1. Cleaning a dry surface is easier. Start by removing the cushions and wiping down the frame of your furniture to remove any loose debris or liquid. Proceed to clean the frame thoroughly with a chemical cleaner or soap and towel once the debris is cleared. Make sure to dry the frame afterward to discourage any potential rusting around the bolts and fasteners.
  2. Periodic deep cleaning is advisable. Using power washing tools or hiring a professional cleaning service on a semi or annual basis will extend the life of your furniture.
  3. Let it dry completely. It sounds simple enough, but drying off heavy water and letting it dry fully before using again is essential to the health of your frame and cushions. No one wants mold growing underneath them as they sit.
  4. Protect your cushions. Even if you have invested in weather-resistant cushions, it is still advisable to bring them inside during the worst weather conditions.

Visit our All American Outdoor Living locations if you have any questions, we are happy to help.

Top 8 Tips for Creating a Christmas Wonderland in Your Outdoor Patio

Whether you are in a hotter climate or a classic winter, you can find ways to make your outdoor patio space feel just as festive as the indoors.

As Thanksgiving approaches, our thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season — and immediately after Turkey Day the world shifts from warm-toned, orange hues to the classic reds, greens, and sparkle that indicates the Christmas season is upon us. Most Christmas decor is focused on the indoors; staircases, mantlepieces, etc. 

Why not spruce up your outdoors with a little spruce tree, create an outdoor patio as cozy as a living room with a roaring fireplace, and decked out a Christmas tree? We’ve compiled a list of design ideas to help get you started on your journey to a winter wonderland regardless of the weather!

Stick to a Traditional Christmas Color Scheme

When piecing together the plan for your great outdoors, stick to the traditional color scheme of red, green, and white. Add in your favored metallic (gold or silver) in accents to complete the look. It might be time to retire your summer accessories and get fresh cushions for your chairs, lounge furniture, and sofas, and swap out those throw pillows. 

Do not be afraid to go bold. It is the holidays, after all! Go for a red couch cushion and compliment the couch with a textured white pillow that is reminiscent of snowflakes and the magic of the season. Throw in a couple of green checkered or woven pillows to tie in the traditional look of the season. Grab an outdoor rug that helps make the colors pop, add a plaid throw blanket into the mix, and suddenly your outdoor seating is as cozy as the couch inside in front of the roaring fireplace.

Don’t Forget the Twinkle Lights

A staple in Christmas decor is the classic twinkle light. Not to be confused with the colorful Christmas lights put up on the front of houses, the twinkle light is more delicate, evoking the magic of a starry night in the dead of winter. Here at All American Outdoor Living, we can’t get enough of festive twinkle lights.

Get creative with where to hang the lights — wrap them around the base of your umbrella stand, for starters. But don’t stop there. Any support beams or columns on your patio are primed for twinkle lights. If you have an awning, line the edge of the awning with the lights. Hang them across the entire outdoor space, back and forth, creating a veritable night sky specific to your own backyard. (Think bistro lights but much smaller and much prettier.) Do the same underneath your umbrella and have a delightful mini sky. You could also take the twinkle lights one step further and add them to your garden. 

Decorate Your Garden

Add twinkle lights throughout your garden, lining trees with them, weaving them through bushes and hedges, even laying them in the flower beds to create a sense of wonderment. And do not stop at just the lights — turn your garden, whether planted or potted, into replicas of your Christmas tree. Deck the garden with ornaments, tinsel, and tree toppers. If you have a lawn, find some Christmas gnomes and elves that can be sprinkled throughout the space.

If you live in a warmer climate and want to replicate the feeling of a white Christmas, go ahead and use a biodegradable flocking on your bushes and hedges. Treat your entire garden as if it is a Christmas tree. Whatever you put on your Christmas tree inside, try it outside in your new Christmas garden.

Have fun with turning your garden into a Christmas wonderland. If all you have are cacti to work with, treat them like a tree! Wrap lights around them, hang ornaments off of the needles and toss some tinsel over everything.

Bring All the Christmas Plants Outside

After turning your garden into a flatter, wider Christmas tree, go ahead and get some potted Christmas trees to accent your patio space. You can treat them the way you would any Christmas tree and decorate them until they are overflowing with Christmas spirit, or you can just leave them to be beautiful and bare, creating a verdant Christmas forest in your garden. 

And you cannot forget to include the other Christmas classics! Poinsettia makes a beautiful, bright red, cheery accent to any space that adds that holiday pizazz. Little bushes of holly here and there add that extra ambiance and detail that makes space feel cohesively like Christmas. For an extra fun touch of romance, hang mistletoe any place that you can think of. Under the umbrella, any awnings or overhangs, and above any tucked away alcoves found in the garden. Make sure to include lighting so that no one misses their chance!

Add More Warmth with Lanterns and Candles

Get moody with your use of candles outside to increase holiday cheer and atmosphere. Grab some lanterns of varying sizes and fill them with electric wax candles. Some of the candles available today have realistic-looking wicks and timer settings so that they automatically turn on at the same time every evening. Set them up on all the tables and counters, as well as on the ground around the patio. 

Mix and match the lanterns around the space, using odd numbers in each cluster to create balance. You can never have too many lights, so do not be afraid of overdoing it. Allow for the lanterns to create enough warm light that your outdoor space is filled without turning the outdoor lights on. With the candles in lanterns and twinkle lights hung throughout your patio and garden, space will take on an otherworldly Christmas charm akin to what you see in films.

Create a Christmas Tablescape to Rival Your Dining Room

Do not hesitate to outdo your indoor dining room here. Imagine a deep, dark wooden table such as the Farmhouse Dining Table, with garlands of deep green fir offset by red berries and candles flickering. Or even mixing in the twinkle lights through the garland. Golden or silver charger plates can simultaneously blend into the scenery and help a festive red or green plate pop against the dark wood. Allow your imagination to run away with you. The safe-for-outdoors melamine dinner and drinkware available today has reached new decorative heights; to the point that you are guaranteed to find something that meets your tastes and sophistication. 

Have Christmas Themed Treats Ready to Go

Not all Christmas treats are equal! At All American Outdoor Living, we can’t get enough of treats with a holiday twist. As the outdoor and patio experts, we brought you our favorite outdoor treats with a Halloween twist and now we are bringing you our top convenient outdoor treats made for the perfect holiday season. And having them prepped for popping out at a moment’s notice can be as easy as one, two, three.

The easiest and most reminiscent of Christmas is the chestnut. Grab some chestnuts from the store to have on hand, and whenever you feel like living the classic song, throw some in a cast iron pan and pop it onto your grill or fire pit (if you are extremely bold!). About ten minutes later and you have delicious, buttery, roasted chestnuts.

An outdoor staple in the world of treats is the S’more, which also happens to have the longest shelf-life; ideal when you want something easy to pull out of the pantry and throw together. But here we add in something slightly different — peppermint bark. Instead of the traditional Hershey’s bar, we take a chunk of dark chocolate or white chocolate peppermint bark and complete our peppermint s’ more in true Christmas fashion.

Another quick and jolly option is the hot chocolate ball. Coming in flavors rich in holiday spirits such as caramel and peppermint, there can be a variety on hand to satisfy everyone’s desires. Just throw a kettle on with milk, pour it over the ball in a mug, and watch the mini marshmallows appear in the perfect cup of hot chocolate. Fun, fast, and effortless! Our favorite variation on the hot chocolate ball is to heat eggnog instead of regular milk, amplifying the cozy Christmas factor.

The Pièce De Résistance for the Perfect Outdoor Christmas: The Fire Pit 

Add an outdoor fire pit to your seating area to take your patio to the next and final level for the perfect outdoor Christmas. With your upgraded and holiday focused cushions and seating, the fire pit takes the place of the indoor fireplace, elevating your newly decorated wonderland garden and patio into the new living room. It becomes the gathering point for family and friends, to warm themselves while enjoying each other’s company.

There is nothing cozier than a night spent enjoying your outdoor furniture, under the twinkly lights, and surrounded by warm candlelight, with a peppermint hot chocolate in hand, the smell of freshly roasted chestnuts hovering in the air, chatting with loved ones around an open fire.

Weatherproof Your Patio for Fall and Winter Weather

Patio Covers

Fall is in full force here in the United States and Winter is just around the corner. This magical time of year is best enjoyed with family, friends, and loved ones. In a year that has been defined by a worldwide pandemic and nationwide quarantines, most of us have been rediscovering the love for our outdoor space at home. As the much-needed holiday’s approach, now is the perfect time to update your outdoor patio for maximum comfort.

If your patio is already in tip-top shape, now is the time to consider making some seasonal adjustments to your yard. Not only is it a great time to bring out the box of holiday decorations, but it is early enough into the season that you can take some proactive steps to weatherproof and protect your outdoor furniture and accessories. Let’s take a look at some of the options for preparing your yard for Fall and Winter.

Lodge Redwood Outdoor Rug

Outdoor Rugs

A lot of Americans spent their Summer upgrading their backyard space due to the quarantine and all the extra time spent at home. If you did this, you may have overlooked adding an outdoor rug to your patio since it wasn’t necessary during the hot months. Now that the weather is cooling down, you might find walking around your outdoor space a less enjoyable experience for your uncovered feet.

Cold concrete, wet grass, and dirt becoming mud are all problematic during the colder months. If you want to take a simple step to really improve the quality of life in your outdoor space, invest in a couple of high-quality outdoor area rugs. Not only will they keep your feet warm and dry, but they can add a pop of color or class to your patio space.

All American Outdoor Living has a wide selection of rugs to fit your design tastes. From rustic styles like the Lodge Redwood Outdoor Rug, classy and contemporary patterns like the Florence Mocha Outdoor Rug, to laidback Hawaiian beach vibes with the Maui Silver Outdoor Rug, there is surely something to fit your style.

Florence Mocha Outdoor Rug

Patio Covers

Rain, hail, snow, high winds, and in certain areas, even sunshine can be problematic during the Fall and Winter months. Rain and snow can rust your furniture, high winds can whip your patio accessories around or carry them off, and hail can cause physical damage to your property. If you’re an Arizona local like us, you also know that the sun doesn’t leave in the winter months, making your patio vulnerable to sun damage and discoloration all year round.

Your patio is most likely exposed to the elements in some way, even if you have custom retractable awnings installed. Investing in proper or custom fitting patio covers will save you money in the long run and keep your investment in top shape.

All American Outdoor Living outdoor patio covers are constructed of top-grade fabrics and fibers, made of solution-dyed acrylic and nylon fabrics. Our outdoor patio furniture covers are durable and breathable, water-resistant, and will not crack or peel like vinyl. The patio covers are beige in color and have a variety of sizes that fit table and chair covers, individual covers like an outdoor sofa, or love seat; also available are fire pit covers, chaise lounges, and umbrella covers.

These outdoor patio covers will fit aluminum furniture companies such as Tropitone, Mallin, Brown Jordan, or Castelle, as well as wicker manufacturers like Ebel, NorthCape International, and Lloyd Flanders; along with outdoor wrought iron companies like O.W. Lee and Meadowcraft.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting for your patio is not only essential during the Fall and Winter if done properly, but it can also turn your plain space into a magical winter wonderland. As the sun sets earlier and the night comes sooner, you’ll want to plan for proper lighting in all spaces of your yard. Technically speaking, most lamps that can be used indoors can also be used outdoors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are suited for the outdoor conditions. If you are looking for an all-around solution to light a large space, look for ceramic lights. These lights are built with a hearty exterior that is meant to stand up to tough weather conditions.

As mentioned above, it is cheap and easy to turn your backyard into a winter wonderland. String lights are incredibly popular and have been for the past decade or so. These simple light strings can elevate your space from bland to magical. Installing string lighting around the upper areas of your patio can transform your yard into a space fit for a magazine cover. String lights are an affordable solution to add light and ambiance to your outdoor patio space.

Outdoor Blinds

When you think of blinds, you generally think of them as a way to block out the sun. When you discuss blinds in the context of your outdoor patio, however, they actually serve multiple purposes. If you’re on the west coast, outdoor blinds can absolutely help you stay in the shade during the day. Once night comes though, outdoor blinds serve a different purpose: blocking the wind. If you experience windy nights as the temperature drops, consider strategically installing outdoor blinds to drastically reduce airflow and windchill. Outdoor blinds can also assist in protecting your outdoor furniture from rain, hail, and snow.

All American Outdoor Living offers custom outdoor blind solutions. Featuring magnetic locks, guided tracks, and the ability to roll up and disappear, these blinds are second to none. Outdoor blinds are also seen as a valuable investment as they can increase the value of your home.

Protective Cleaners

Now that you’ve invested in proper covers for your patio furniture, it’s time to consider protecting the furniture while it is in use, as well as the covers while the furniture is not in use. All American Outdoor Living offers a wide array of outdoor furniture cleaners and protectants for your patio furniture. Originally created to withstand aviation weather conditions, the Indoor/Outdoor Protectant™ formula is strong enough to protect all the stuff you use every day. And because it’s water-based, this premium protectant is safe for use on virtually any material. Maintain colorful umbrella awnings, cushions, and slings. Keep finished powder-coated aluminum, outdoor wicker, and wrought iron looking beautiful year after year.

If your furniture is fabric heavy, consider cleaning it with 303 Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner and then protecting it with the 303 Fabric Guard. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard is safe for the finest fabrics, wool, silk, and fine leathers, including suede. When used on outdoor fabrics, 303 High Tech Fabric Guard restores lost water repellency and stain repellency to factory new levels. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard resists soiling, impedes mildew formation and helps protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Proper maintenance with 303 Products will add to the life of your fabrics and save you money.

Once your furniture is cleaned and guarded, consider adding the 303 Aerospace Protectant into the mix. This solution is the equivalent of adding SPF 40 sunscreen to your furniture, protecting it from sun damage and discoloration.

Outdoor Cushions and Poufs

An often-overlooked aspect of weatherproofing your patio is that of your personal comfort. There is lots of information and solutions to protect your patio furniture, but what about protecting yourself while enjoying your patio in the cold weather? Consider sitting down at your outdoor dining table during winter. If your furniture is made of anything other than plastic, it is very likely going to be cold and unpleasant.

Avoid sitting on cold metal furniture by adding cushions to your outdoor seating. All American Outdoor Living has options and styles for all types of patio furniture. Choose from chair cushions, chaise lounge cushions, cushions for benches, and for loveseats

Outdoor Fire Pits

Outdoor Fire Pits

There is no better time of year than the cold Fall and Winter nights to sit around a fire with your loved ones. Fend off the cold nights around the fire with snacks, warm beverages, and good company. Looking for some real authenticity? Try roasting your own chestnuts over an open fire this year with an outdoor fire pit.

Here at All American Outdoor Living, we have a selection of pits to fit your space and design tastes. This year, the Moderno style concrete pits have been incredibly popular due to their design and how little space they take up. The volcanic rock options can also add immediate class to your backyard space. If you are looking for something a little bigger and to be more of a centerpiece, consider the Flo fire pits.

If you don’t have the space to install a permanent fire pit, consider a fire table, a new option that is more available and affordable. These tables offer the luxury of a fire pit but don’t require a large investment or a ton of space. These tables can also be customized with volcanic rocks to really add some class to your outdoor space.

Plan the Perfect Thanksgiving Holiday Patio Party

The holidays are once again fast approaching and it’s time to start making your holiday preparations. Considering the majority of Americans have spent the better part of this year in quarantine, the holidays feel more necessary and important more than ever before. Never has there been a greater need for an uplifting season of spirit and holiday magic across our nation. Even though the weather is beginning to cool down, there is no reason to stop enjoying your outdoor patio space. Typically, we would plan to gather with lots of family and friends for a big meal at the end of this month, but with the recent resurgence of coronavirus cases, many American families are looking for alternative ways to celebrate safely.

While it may be tempting and difficult to not visit your loved ones this Thanksgiving, consider the health and safety of your loved ones and others. Maybe this is the year that you try something completely different, such as an outdoor Thanksgiving feast, and maybe in doing so, you’ll find some new fun traditions you can add to your yearly celebrations.

Here at All American Outdoor Living, we have a few ideas you can use to change up your holiday plans and still make this a memorable holiday season. Let’s take a look at how you can throw a holiday patio party to rival the greatest of Thanksgiving meals.

Upgrade Your Patio Furniture to Accommodate a Crowd

Most patios are furnished to accommodate the regular use of your family, which generally speaking, is fewer people than your average Thanksgiving meal celebration. If you decide to throw an outdoor patio party for Thanksgiving, you’ll need to consider upgrading your furniture selection to accommodate a larger crowd of people. This applies not only to your outdoor dining table for seating, but also to your lounge areas and social spots.

We have a wide selection of furniture pieces that are perfect for hosting large outdoor patio parties. First, you’ll want to make sure your guests have a comfortable space to socialize, conversate, and eat appetizers before the big meal. Our Edge 5-Piece Sectional is a great and durable piece for larger groups. It can seat five comfortably and adds a really classy and comfortable option to your patio.

Edge 5-Piece Sectional

If you are looking for something a little smaller or more portable, consider getting a handful of these Parc Rocking Chairs to strategically arrange around your yard. These are affordable, fit with most modern designs, and can be moved in and out of storage easily. These chairs are best accompanied by outdoor end tables on which your guests can set down their drinks or appetizer plates. We have a large selection of end tables and coffee tables to fit most designs.

Parc Rocking Chairs

Next, you’ll need to consider where your guests are going to sit for the actual meal. A large outdoor patio dining table with plenty of seating is just the ticket you need this year. Our Amalfi Dining Table is a beautiful and classy choice for larger groups and is made of gorgeous Indonesian teak wood. This all-around table is a great choice for small to medium-sized groups. If your quarantine pod is a little larger, you might need a bigger table to accommodate the extra bodies.

Amalfi Dining Table

Consider our Hyannis Extension Dining Table which is features fold-away leaves that allow you to expand your table size as needed. Also made of beautiful Indonesian teak wood, this table is versatile and functional. It also comes with optional Sunbrella fabrics for the chairs.

Accessorize and Plan for Your Guest’s Comfort

The accessories you choose for your outdoor space will make or break your Thanksgiving patio party. If you’re looking to host the perfect evening, you’ll want to consider everything from the point of view of your guest. Consider the weather, the temperature, the lighting, and just how these things affect your guest’s comfort and enjoyment.

Plan for the Possibility of Bad Weather

Due to the nature of this season, inclement weather is always a possibility. It may be a smaller or larger factor depending on where you live in the United States, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Patio space heaters are a great option to fend off the impending chill of the autumn evenings. You can always purchase a fancy outdoor space heater, similar to those you might find out at a restaurant, but an indoor space heater plugged into an extension cable and run outside can also do the trick for smaller yards.

If you are worried about rain, hail, or snow, consider an outdoor patio umbrella. Our collection of Cantilevered Umbrellas offer sleek and stylish protection from the elements. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and finishes, allowing you to customize to your heart’s content. These are a great investment for your patio all year round, especially the Summer months.

Cantilevered Umbrellas

If your outdoor space doesn’t have room for an umbrella or has an exposed area that could use some extra coverage, consider installing some outdoor blinds. If you experience windy nights as the temperature drops, consider strategically installing outdoor blinds to drastically reduce airflow and windchill. Outdoor blinds can also assist in protecting your outdoor furniture from rain, hail, and snow.  All American Outdoor Living offers custom outdoor blind solutions. Featuring magnetic locks, guided tracks, and the ability to roll up and disappear, these blinds are second to none. Outdoor blinds are also seen as a valuable investment as they can increase the value of your home. Alternatively, a cheap set of patio curtains can help block wind or rain. It can also make it easier to heat your patio on a cold evening.

Provide Proper Lighting

You’ll want to plan for proper lighting in all spaces of your yard throughout the evening. If the group moves around your space, make sure everything is evenly lit. While most lamps that can be used indoors can also be used outdoors, that doesn’t mean they are suited for the long-term outdoor use. If you are looking for an all-around solution to light a large space, look for ceramic lights. These lights are built with a durable exterior that is heavy enough to withstand heavy winds and light rain.

String lights continue to be a popular choice as they are affordable and add amazing ambiance to almost any space. Consider adding string lights as accents to some of the poorly lit areas of your outdoor patio.

If you’re looking for a more rustic approach and have the space for it, consider installing an outdoor fire pit for your event. We have a wide variety of fire pits, ranging from decorative showpieces to functional gathering pits that are perfecting for roasting s’ mores or chestnuts. We offer a wide array of outdoor fire pits including marble, slate, cast aluminum, and concrete outdoor fire pit styles. All fire pits are available with natural gas, propane, or ethanol types to complement any outdoor patio furniture sets.

Our line of fire tables is also a great choice if you are set on a pit but your outdoor space is limited.

Provide Ambiance for the Meal

As your guests mingle about your party, they are likely to chat with each other over cocktails or appetizers as they await the main course. You can add a whole new level of ambiance to your patio party by layering in some background music to fill in the spaces between conversations. An outdoor speaker is a great solution to elevating your party. High-quality Bluetooth speakers can be installed all over your yard for synchronized audio playback, but if you’re looking for a simpler and more affordable solution, consider the outdoor speakers by Escape. These portable speakers provide a rich sound and elegant design that truly elevates your outdoor space.

Outdoor Speakers by Escape

Create a Thanksgiving Tablescape for Outdoor Dining

What is a Thanksgiving meal without a proper centerpiece or tablescape? While not directly related to the food part of the meal, a fall-themed tablescape can really bring ambiance to your patio party. Adding elements of nature can really tie the whole outdoor meal theme together.

As part of your tablescape preparations, consider the types of flatware and dinnerware you will use. Avoid using paper plates or lightweight plates that might fly away in the wind. If you will have lots of children at your patio party, you may want to use durable dinnerware that can survive a fall or spill. This is doubly true if your outdoor space features lots of concrete or stone fixtures.

If you are looking to get crafty with your tablescape and centerpiece, consider making your own using elements from your local craft store. Cornucopias are always a classic hit, but maybe you are in the mood for a fall-themed wreath to hang on the door? There are so many options for sprucing up your dinner table, so focus on the ones that are fun and inviting to friends and family.

3 Festive Recipes to Enjoy in Your Backyard This Fall

The weather is changing, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and the days are getting shorter. This can only mean one thing: Fall is here in full force. Time again to break out the cozy sweaters, warm blankets, and snuggle up next to your favorite cuddle buddy in your redesigned backyard patio. Just because the weather is cooling off doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors for these activities.

At All American Outdoor Living, we believe that there is no wrong time of year to enjoy your outdoor patio. Keep the Summer party in your backyard going into Fall with this selection of fun and festive recipes for the season. These recipes are all suited for enjoyment in your backyard and can be made using your backyard grilling stations.

First up is a recipe that is sure to please the whole family, especially if you have children. Start the holiday season off right this Halloween with some colorful and tasty homemade marshmallows. Most people are aware of the standard store-bought marshmallows, but did you know that it is pretty easy to make your own? Not only is it easy and affordable, a homemade marshmallow is so much tastier than anything you can buy at a store.

For this recipe, we simply added some orange food coloring to make the marshmallows more festive. Slap these bad boys in between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate, and you’ve got the makings of a super spooky s’more. This is also a great activity you can do with your little ones if you are opting out of the standard trick-or-treating this year for social-distancing reasons. Ok, time to take a bite of this sticky, sweet treat.

**Spooky S’mores w/ Homemade Marshmallows**

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes Servings: 64 1 x 1 in. marshmallows

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup water
  • 14.5 oz white sugar
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 7 tsp gelatin
  • Egg whites of 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3-5 drops of orange food coloring
  • 1 box of graham crackers
  • 1 bar of chocolate of your choice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch 
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Place the sugar and water in a pot. Stir until the sugar is combined with the water.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar syrup comes to a boil.
  3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Let the syrup cook for 2 minutes. Do not lift the lid.
  4. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and check for sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan. If there are crystals, cover the saucepan for another minute to allow the condensation to wash down the sugar crystals into the syrup.
  5. Let the sugar syrup cook until it reaches between 242 – 245°F (measure with a candy thermometer).
  6. While the sugar syrup is cooking, prepare the gelatin. Place ½ cup of water in the mixer bowl. Add the gelatin to the water and mix to moisten the gelatin. Set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom while the sugar syrup is cooking (at least 10 minutes). Place the bowl in your mixer with the whisk attachment.
  7. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and let the bubbles subside. While the mixer is running on medium – low speed, pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin along the wall of the bowl (this will prevent the gelatin from being scorched by the hot sugar syrup). Add the salt and increase the speed to medium – high.
  8. Whisk on medium – high for 3 to 5 minutes or until the marshmallow base has doubled in size, is white, fluffy, and smooth. Mix for a further 3 -5 minutes at high speed, allowing the marshmallow to volumize more (up to 3 times the current size).
  9. While the marshmallow base is whisking, prepare the pan and utensils you will be using. Rub an 8 x 8 inch pan with butter or line this pan with parchment paper if you prefer. Brush all the utensils – spoon, spatulas with the same fat as well.
  10. Whisk the 2 egg whites in a clean metal bowl until you see stiff peaks.
  11. Add the vanilla and whipped egg whites to the marshmallow base and whisk for a further minute on high speed to combine.
  12. Scrape the marshmallow base into the greased pan using an oiled cake spatula or flexible scraper. Spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan using the oiled spatula.
  13. Sieve confectioner’s sugar over the top of the marshmallow and allow the marshmallow to set for at least 6 hours.
  14. Turn the set marshmallow out onto a work surface dusted with dusting powder. Cut the marshmallows with an oiled knife or a pair of scissors. Toss the marshmallow in the dusting powder and store in an air-tight container.
  15. Mix the confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch together until well combined and then sprinkle on top.

The best way to enjoy these s’mores is freshly roasted over your backyard fire pit. If you don’t already have a fire pit, you can get into a wood burning fire pit set up for a pretty low entry cost.

Get the full sticky finger recipe here.

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Pumpkin seeds are the ultimate seasonal snack for Fall. Sweet, savory, and with a hint of smoky flavor, these seeds are sure to be a crowd pleaser. If your family is planning to carve pumpkins for Halloween this year, make sure to save your seeds!

These tasty morsels are delicious when simply roasted and salted, but we are going to take it up a level with a BBQ spice blend. These are also a perfect Sunday football snack for your local sports enthusiast. If you are not harvesting your own pumpkin seeds from carving this year, you can purchase them at most major grocery or health food stores in bulk.

**Smoky BBQ Pumpkin Seeds**

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried
  • 2-4 tsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp BBQ rub (homemade or store bought)

Homemade BBQ Rub:

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your indirect grill or smoker to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil to fit on a large baking sheet. Spread the pumpkin seeds across the sheet in a single layer.
  3. Drizzle the seeds with the oil and season with the Sweet Rub. Spread the seeds around to fully coat with the oil and rub.
  4. Place the baking sheet on the grill grates and cook the seeds for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking regularly. The seeds are done when they are slightly golden on the edges and the rub has begun to caramelize.
  5. Remove the pan from the grill and allow the seeds to cool completely before consuming. Store in an airtight bag or jar.

Get the full snackalicious recipe here.

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Last on our list is a warm beverage that is the embodiment of comfort in a glass. Mulled ciders and wines are very popular during the fall, but many people forget how easy this beverage is to make, and how delicious it is to enjoy! With a big jug of apple juice, some common pantry spices, and maybe a little splash of rum, you can have this delicious beverage all season long.

This recipe can be made on your backyard grill, in a slow cooker, or over your fire pit if you have a camping kettle. Add all the ingredients except for the rum to the slow cooker or pot, turn the slow cooker or stove to low and let sit for 2-3 hours. For more adult spin on the drink, add rum right before you serve. This is the ideal drink solution for any holiday party or get together.

**Hot (Spiked) Mulled Apple Cider**

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes Servings: 16 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon unfiltered apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp whole allspice
  • 1” ginger root, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups spiced rum (for the adults)

Garnish:

  • Orange slices, apple slices, and/or cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. In a large 10 qt dutch oven, add the apple juice, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, whole allspice and ginger root. (If you have a spice ball or tea infuser, add clove and allspice to that).
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 2-3 hours.
  3. Add rum to the apple cider mixture.
  4. Remove fruit and spices from the pot.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy often

Get the full cozy recipe here and don’t forget to contact us with any question about elegant patio furniture.

5 Clever Additions for Your Backyard Patio This Fall

One of the most enjoyable parts of the Summer season is being able to relish the great outdoors from the comfort of your home’s backyard patio space. Nothing is more picturesque and idyllic of Summer than grilling some delicious food in your yard while spending time with family and friends. 

If you are like most Americans who have been sheltering inside for the last seven months, you have probably spent quite a bit more time enjoying your home and backyard more than usual. For a lot of people, upgrading and then enjoying their patio space has kept them sane during these uncertain times of the pandemic. 

Now that the sun is setting on the Summer season, people all across the country are beginning to prepare for the changing weather. For backyard lounging enthusiasts, this means either packing up the patio furniture for storage, buying a new set of weather-resistant furniture, or making weatherproof adjustments to your current set. 

Whatever your specific situation might be, one thing is certain for everyone: now is the time to prepare your patio space for the cooling weather ahead. But you don’t have to let the cold weather stop your outdoor family dinners or cancel backyard movie night. 

To help you adjust with the changing seasons, we have gathered a list of the top 5 clever additions for your backyard this fall. Use these ideas to build or upgrade to the perfect patio space and keep your loved ones comfy and cozy as we head into the holidays. 

Patio Umbrellas

While it might seem counterintuitive to install a large patio umbrella right after the Summer sun has gone, remember that umbrellas do more than just provide shade. A large patio umbrella can be the perfect solution to keep you dry during the rainy weather that fall brings. 

Protect yourself from the sun and rain with an umbrella made of sturdy materials and sun-resistant fabrics. As you begin to shop around for the right umbrella for you, consider the types and styles of umbrellas on the market. Here is a breakdown of the common choices you will find.

Cantilever Umbrellas: Cantilever umbrellas provide versatility, form, and function to your outdoor living space. A cantilever umbrella is different from a typical umbrella. This umbrella is suspended in the air and supported by a freestanding pole on the side, instead of in the middle. The standard size for cantilever umbrellas is between 9′ -13′ in diameter, which happens to be the perfect size for many patio seating and dining areas. 

The best designed units are capable of rotating forward, backward and a full 360 degrees. This versatile shade structure comes in a variety of sizes and fabrics. The fabric choices are important as it will determine the lifespan of your umbrella. Look for brands that offer the patented Sunbrella fabrics as an option. 

Automatic Tilt Umbrellas: Also known as “auto tilt,” these umbrellas are a great innovation that has quickly grown into one of the most popular features in any outdoor umbrella. Standard umbrellas usually open by turning a crank, but the automatic tilt umbrella does that and more. After you have cranked the handle to fully open the shade, you can continue to turn an auto tilt umbrella in order to adjust its tilt relative to the sun (or rain). 

These umbrellas work by a series of mechanical levers and joints inside the umbrella pole. And because the tilting feature in automatic tilt umbrellas, the tilting positions run the full range. Generally speaking, you can tilt your umbrella to any direction or angle you see fit.

Wood Market Umbrellas: Looking for something a little more affordable? Look no further than a wood market umbrellas if you are out to cut costs. These umbrellas are made of a simple wooden pole, often with a basic pulley system for the shade. 

These units are much more cost friendly and fit the decor of most environments. These umbrellas also can come in the recommended Sunbrella fabric and are highly recommended for entry level backyard enthusiasts. 

Outdoor Rugs

You can really add a new level of comfort and luxury to your outdoor space by bringing a touch of the indoors outside. It might seem strange to think about putting a rug outside, but it is actually a practical and eye-pleasing choice. During the Summer, a rug can keep your feet off the hot ground; In the winter it will keep your toes from freezing to the ground. Outdoor rugs can add a pop of color or a vibrant pattern to really liven up your patio space.

When selecting an outdoor rug for your space, you’ll need to purchase a rug made to stand up against mother nature. The rugs in your house most likely won’t be suitable for outdoor conditions, so look for ones that are durable, low maintenance, and ties the room together. 

At All American Outdoor Living, we have a selection of rugs to meet your preferred style. All of our designs are weather resistant, 100% recyclable, and made of a UV stable polypropylene construction. For a classic fall feel, try the Birmingham Almond Outdoor Rug, and if you’re on a budget, check out the Tuscan Birch Outdoor Rug.

Fire Pits

Nothing will help you prepare for the cold weather better than a backyard fire pit. Roasting s’mores over the fire, telling ghost stories for Halloween, and snuggling up with a good book are just a few of the fun activities a fire pit will allow you and your family. Fire pits can be custom designed to match most styles using materials like marble, cast aluminum, concrete, and slate. They can also be customized to your gas preferences, whether its natural gas, ethanol, propane or a true wood burning pit. 

For the first-time, fire-pit owner, we suggest getting one that sits above the ground instead of committing to a fully dug-out pit. Think of it as getting the fire pit equivalent of an above-ground pool; it will do the job and requires a smaller upfront investment and long-term commitment. Concrete fire pits are a great place to start your search. 

The Round Moderno Concrete Fire Pit is an affordable starting pit and comes with fifty pounds of stunning blue volcanic rock that will make your entire patio pop visually. This style pit is perfect as a functional pit for gathering around or roasting s’mores with friends and family. 

If you are looking for a fire pit that is less about functionality and more about decoration, check out the Tavola Concrete Fire Pit. This pit is perfect for covering large areas of your patio and adding a really elegant ambiance to the environment. If your fire pit desires are purely about decoration, see the Pentola Concrete Fire Pit. A few of these strategically placed around your yard will warm your space and make it feel truly elegant.

Fire Tables

Fire pits are not for everyone as they can be a big commitment for your patio space and tend to be pricey. If this sounds like you, consider an alternative such as a fire table. Fire tables are functional pieces of furniture that feature a live burning centerpiece. These tables come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes and are usually powered by gas or gel canisters. 

If your family enjoys dinners outside, consider the Trinidad Octagonal Gas Dining Firepit. It’s sturdy aluminum frame and powder coated finish make it ideal for the fall weather and is big enough to fit most large families. For those who enjoy a hot beverage in the morning or cozying up and watching the sunset, consider one of our favorite options: The Icon Rectangular Fire Pit Coffee Table. Perfect for coffee and snacks, this table can fill out your patio space in both form and function.

Patio Covers

Patio covers are important all year round, but especially so during the fall and winter months. Protect your furniture patio investment by covering your pieces with patio covers. Rain, persistent dew, falling leaves and branches, and wind are all factors that could damage your property in the long term. It is a good rule of thumb to be preventive about your protection practices instead of reactive. Some damage can’t be undone. 

At All American Outdoor Living, our outdoor patio covers are constructed of top-grade fabrics and fibers, made of solution dyed acrylic and nylon fabrics. Our outdoor patio furniture covers are durable and breathable, water resistant, and will not crack or peel like vinyl. The patio covers are beige in color and have a variety of sizes that fit table and chair covers, individual covers like an outdoor sofa, or loveseat. We also offer fire pit covers, chaise lounge, and umbrella covers too. Our outdoor patio covers will fit aluminum furniture companies such as Tropitone, Mallin, Brown Jordan or Castelle, as well wicker manufacturers like Ebel, NorthCape International, and Lloyd Flanders, along with outdoor wrought iron companies like O.W. Lee and Meadowcraft. 

10 Outdoor Patio Furniture Essentials for Fall

The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are beginning to drop, and pumpkin spice versions of everything are once again taking over your favorite restaurants. This can only mean one thing: Fall has arrived. 

We say goodbye to the summer sun as it sets in our rearview mirror and welcomes the season of warm sweaters, costumes, candy, and big turkey dinners. Just because summer is ending does not mean that you have to stop enjoying or entertaining in your outdoor patio or backyard. 

Many people are in the habit of packing up or covering the furniture as soon as the winds change, but the warm summer days are persisting into fall longer so you can continue to enjoy the great outdoors at home.

To continue enjoying your backyard during the changing seasons, it is important to make some adjustments and upgrades to keep your environment comfortable and cozy. While the Summer temperatures may feel similar during the days, the evenings are sure to be much cooler. Here are some patio essentials you should consider for your outdoor space this fall season.

1. Cushions and Padding

Many summer furniture styles are minimalistic or suited more toward warm-weather activities. This often means the furniture doesn’t feature cushions or padded seating. Once the weather cools down, those seats missing cushions are going to be cold and uninviting. If this description fits your furniture, consider adding some comfortable cushions. They will help to absorb temperature, can be treated to withstand the elements, and will drastically improve your overall comfort. Choose warm colors and vibrant patterns to really capture the fall aesthetic. 

2. Weatherproof and Covered Furniture

If you are looking to transition your summer patio furniture into fall furniture, it is important to consider adding some weatherproofing elements to your outdoor pieces. While we aren’t suggesting that you wrap all your furniture in tarps or heavy plastics, it might be beneficial in the long run to invest in some protection against the fall elements. If you happen to be in the process of building your patio space, you can find chairs, rockers, couches, daybeds, tables, etc. that are made of weather-resistant material such as metal, plastic, and wood. 

Steps can be taken to weatherproof your existing furniture if it isn’t already conditioned against the elements. If you have outdoor cushions on any chairs or couches, consider waterproofing them using a scotch guard treatment or waterproof spray. Tarps can be used to secure larger items that can’t be weatherproofed or that might fly away on a blustery day. If you can’t weatherproof it, cover it, or tie it down, consider moving it inside or into your garage storage until next season.

3. Fire Pits

Once we get closer to Thanksgiving and the weather has really begun to cool, nothing will set the mood for fall better than a backyard fire pit. Fire pits come in a variety of options based on function and design and there is surely one to suit your needs and tastes. You can install a purely aesthetic gas fire pit to warm yourself by, or opt for a wood-burning one to roast s’mores over with family and friends.

There are options for portable pits that can be moved based on the occasion, but the more elegant ones are built-in as a permanent feature. A hot new trend in the fire pit category is coffee table fire pits. These tables are small and portable and feature a burning center to gather around. They are affordable and a great entry option for those with limited space or budget. 

4. Heaters

Are fire pits not your style or not practical for your space? Try a more sensible option for keeping your patio warm and cozy with a patio space heater. These are essential for any outdoor bar set up and will keep you and your guests nice and toasty on the coolest of evenings. These heaters have easy-to-control temperatures and can keep a wide area warm, some up to 200 feet. Most are powered by propane which is generally safe and affordable.

If you live in an apartment or have a smaller space you are trying to heat, consider a heat lamp. Heat lamps can efficiently warm small spaces at lower energy costs and come in lots of designs and styles. Some heat lamps even double as a heat source and bug zapper! See more on pest control later.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Since the sun sets earlier in the fall than in the summer, you’ll want to consider some lighting solutions (other than the single bulb next to the door) to brighten your backyard space. Beautiful lighting can really set the mood any time of year, but there is something just magical about how it feels in the fall. There are many modern designs available, just make sure to look for weatherproof options. 

String lighting is an evergreen staple in the outdoor lighting category. While not a new concept, string lights are a timeless classic that can instantly add ambiance and light to your backyard space. When choosing your lights, go with smaller lights if you want a brighter and “starry” look. For a softer light with a bolder effect, go with larger bulbs that are spread out further.

Other considerations for outdoor lighting include illuminating pathways or landscape features and the color of your lighting. Blue lights will create the feeling of cooler temperatures while yellow lights will make your space feel warm and inviting. Take the changing of the seasons as an opportunity to change the type of bulbs you are using.

6. Plants and Gardens

Plants and pretty foliage are a great way to liven up any outdoor patio space. Potted plants offer stylish additions to your patio and are relatively low maintenance. Potted plants can be purchased fully grown and ready to install, which are a great option if you aren’t much of a gardener.

If you are a seasoned gardener or looking to try out your green thumb for the first time, fall is the perfect time to start planting. While the crops of summer are about to be harvested, the fall season is ready for planting your heartier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. For a relatively small investment, you can start growing potted plants or in a portable dirt bed, and if you start soon, you might even have some veggies ready by Thanksgiving.

7. Pillows, Blankets, and Rugs

For an outdoor patio, it’s the little creature comforts that can really improve your outdoor time. For some, a rug can tie a whole room together. For the rest of us, rugs are a way to add a splash of color to your patio with the added benefit of keeping your feet off the cold dirty ground. 

Pillows and blankets can provide luxury comfort but tend to get dirty pretty quickly when exposed to the elements. Luckily you can pick up outdoor specific blankets that are designed to stand up to mother nature. Waterproof nylon blankets are a popular choice and can easily be washed in the machine when they are dirty. Stray toward warmer tones to really bring the fall aesthetic to life.

8. Keep the Bugs Away

While you will definitely be fighting bugs all year round, fall can be particularly annoying for certain types of insects. Don’t let pesky critters ruin your lovely evening outside by installing some anti-pest protections. Citronella candles are a classic and affordable choice, as are repellant sprays. If you want to invest in a solution that is as entertaining as it is effective, purchase a bug zapper.

There are also insect nets that you can install over specific areas of your patio to keep the bugs out. Mosquito nets are a practical solution for keeping most bugs of all sizes away. It’s much easier to enjoy a nice meal on your patio or couch without having to fight the bugs for it. Most nets can be hung from the ceiling and cut to fit the custom size of your space.

9. Outdoor Curtains or Shades

Outdoor shades might seem out of season for fall, but they are actually more useful than just soaking up the sun’s rays. As the weather cools, the winds will pick up and bring with them a cool fall breeze. Outdoor shades and curtains can block those winds, or at least drastically reduce their chilling impact on your relaxing evening. Shades are also a practical solution for strategically blocking out your neighbor’s views of your patio.

10. Patio Umbrellas

Patio Umbrellas can still be a practical piece of patio furniture during the fall. The west coast is often sunnier for longer than other parts of the country. If you are out west, consider a patio umbrella to keep the sun off you until it sets. They are also great if you enjoy sitting outside in the rain. Don’t let the weather dictate how you enjoy your patio!

Fall Designs for Comfort and Style in Your Backyard Patio

Deep Seating Collections are all the Rage for This Season

Summer has come and gone in the blink of an eye this year. This unprecedented pandemic and subsequent lockdown have made the once glorious months of summer fly by. While we will long for the warm days playing at the beach or camping in nature, we can take comfort in knowing that an even better season has arrived to fill the void. Fall is here in full force and is changing everything in its path (especially the trees).

Fall weather is emblematic of comfort and coziness. The days are beautiful and the evenings are lovely to enjoy in your backyard patio. It is the perfect time to grab a cozy warm blanket, a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and a good book to read while you take in an autumn sunset. The only thing missing from this romantic image of fall is an inviting patio space and comfortable, deep seating furniture collections to enjoy it on. That’s where we come in. Here are a handful of ideas you can use to spruce up your patio and make the most of the changing season.

Deep Seating Outdoor Furniture

There is something so relaxing about lounging outdoors in a comfortable chair. The idea of a hammock has always seemed fun, but they never are quite as comfortable as you hope they’d be. Instead of trying to figure out how to tie a string between two trees, consider investing in an outdoor furniture set that has deep seated comfort built in. There are several options for deep seating, from sofas, to love seats and lounge chairs. These pair nicely with outdoor accessories like ottomans and coffee tables to really tie your outdoor room together.

The Best Bang for Your Buck: Wicker Weave Furniture Sets

Starting our list off strong is the best all-around value set for your backyard. The Frances 5- Piece Wicker Weave Seating Set is not only affordable, it also is made of a weather resistant resin wicker that can stand up to the toughest of mother nature’s elements. The color scheme and design are elegant and neutral, making it perfect for a wide variety of patio designs and decor. The couch offers an incredibly deep-seated comfort and is a great place to entertain guests or relax with your loved ones.

Frances 5- Piece Wicker Weave Seating Set

If you are looking for something that is just a tad more upscale in design and offers the same durability and comfort, check out the Antigua Wicker Deep Seating Set. The PVC-Resin material has an elegance about it that regular plastic lacks. Both come with a 5-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Antigua Wicker Deep Seating Set

Class Meets Comfort: Handcrafted Aluminum Furniture Sets

When it comes to class, quality, and comfort, these handcrafted aluminum furniture sets do not disappoint. The Madrid Cushion 7-Piece Seating Set is the perfect set for backyards set in a hotter climate (or themed decoratively as such). Dark and neutral tones bring out the earthy and outdoor feel of this set. This furniture would feel right at home in a Tuscan or Ranch style patio.

For a more modern approach, take a look at the Trento Cushion 6-Piece Deep Seating Collection. This handcrafted collection features lines and colors that are much more modern. They pop in a beach setting, garden or extremely modern home design and are handcrafted with spectacular style and a modern aesthetic for any patio, terrace or pool side deck.

Trento Cushion 6-Piece Deep Seating Collection

If comfort is more important to you, look no further than the Belle Epoque 5-Piece Crescent Deep Seating Collection or the Madrid 4-Piece Crescent Deep Seating Collection. Madrid is a collection of style, quality, and value for the Old World design.

Versatile Designs: Powder Coated Aluminum Furniture Sets

The furniture sets in this category are the definition of value, versatility, and comfort. These powder coated aluminum structures support a wide variety of comfortable cushions that can be tailored to match the design of your outdoor space. If you are looking for an all-around solution for your patio, check out the Kenzo Seating, Corsica Seating, Lucia Seating, or Lakeside Cushion Deep Seating Collection furniture sets.

Kenzo Seating

One of the more unique and homey-looking sets in this category is the Seattle Deep Seating Collection. The powder coating on this set has been shaped and stained to look like weather faux driftwood and is so kitsch it could be straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie.

If you are going to be entertaining a large number of guests, you will likely need a couch that is big enough to accommodate the extra seating needs. The Urban Retreat 4 Piece Sectional is ready to serve with an extra-long couch and connecting loveseats to ottomans. This is the perfect couch for watching a movie outdoors.

Urban Retreat 4 Piece Sectional

The best part is that all of these furniture sets come with a 15-year warranty, so there is no safer place to invest your patio furniture money for the long term.

Warmed by the Hearth: Furniture Sets for Fire Pits

An ever-popular trend for backyard patios is the fire pit. Making s’mores and telling ghost stories are just some of the fun things you can enjoy when you install a backyard fire pit. There are options for both gas and wood burning pits and you can’t really go wrong with either. The price and construction requirements will likely determine what set up is best for your patio.

Once you have your pit, you’ll need a good hearty patio furniture set that can stand up to high temperatures. The Park Place 7-Piece Cushion Seating Collection is a great set for a patio fire pit. Its handcrafted aluminum frame has been treated to be heat resistant so it’s not only durable, but also resistant to heating up to an uncomfortable temperature. Several fabrics are available which are naturally flame retardant in case of a runaway ember.

Dining in Nature: Outdoor Kitchen Furniture Sets

One of the best parts of having an outdoor patio is the idea of an outdoor kitchen. They come in all shapes and sizes, with varying functions based on your culinary preferences. Barbecues, smokers, grills, cocktail bars; the possibilities are endless. Focusing on the cooking aspect of your outdoor patio kitchen is only half the battle; you also need to consider where you’ll be eating your delicious food.

If you love to cook and enjoy your meals while taking in a breath of fresh air, you’ll need a set of patio furniture that is centered around traditional tables and chairs. Look for a furniture set like The MAD Fusion 5-Piece Lounge Collection to keep you comfortable during your outdoor dining experiences. The stainless-steel frame is heavy and comfortable, improved by the high-density polyethylene lumbar support seating. It has a central table for a focus on food and drink along with a set of chairs that bring the whole group together. Best of all, this product has the longest warranty of all at an astonishing 20 years.

Tying Your Whole Outdoor Room Together

After you have chosen the perfect outdoor patio furniture set for your home, it is time to begin filling in the decorative gaps between the other elements of your yard. Here are some hot design trends for this fall season.

Outdoor Lighting: Proper lighting can really make your outdoor space feel inviting. If you are looking for a more traditional lighting set up, try a ceramic outdoor light. They are affordable, durable, and most importantly, portable. These lights are aesthetically pleasing and can illuminate a large space.

For a more elegant approach, try string lighting. The medium sized round bulbs are a popular trend this year and can make your backyard patio feel magical. The light is also soft and nonintrusive to neighbors.

Breakfast Patio: People are working from home in larger numbers than ever before because of the pandemic. As a result, less people are having to eat breakfast on the way to work or grab a doughnut at the office and can actually enjoy eating a nice meal. Why not enjoy your breakfast and coffee from your own outdoor breakfast nook? A small table, a few comfortable chairs, maybe an umbrella, and you have a cozy little place to start your day off on the right foot.

Unique Seating: Another hot trend right now is adding unique or funky pieces of furniture to your patio. Hammocks are always in for people who enjoy them, but porch swings have seen a recent uptick in popularity. Traditional porch swings are easy to use and pretty affordable, but people have gotten quite creative with what can be used as a swing. While it may not be for your average backyard dweller, swinging sofas have become a thing amongst those who have the proper space for it. It sounds strange, but also incredibly comfortable.

However, you do it, take the time to spruce up your outdoor patio this year. We are all spending more time at home but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Let All American Outdoor Patio help you build your ideal patio space for this fall season and don’t forget to ask about of free custom design assistance.

7 Design Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make with Your Patio Furniture

Choosing the Right Patio Furniture Material is Essential

Most rooms in your home have a straightforward name and matching function. You dine in a dining room, you bathe in the bathroom, you sleep in a bed in your bedroom, etc. Picking furniture and decor for these rooms is usually self-explanatory based on functionality. Comparatively, furnishing your outdoor patio can be a much more complex task.

Personal taste will greatly affect the patio furniture you choose, but there are some basic rules you can follow to guide your decision-making and design. Some enthusiastic DIYers get carried away and forget they are furnishing an outdoor room. You never want your patio to look like you just pushed the living room sofa, lounger, coffee table outside. Even worse would be to use an old indoor sofa in the patio or backyard, something that is all too common.

Let’s discuss some of the areas where you can avoid common mistakes while designing your outdoor patio furniture layout.

1. A Colorful Problem

When it comes to issues with the color of your patio furniture, the most common mistake is using the wrong colors. Either too little color is used, the wrong colors are used (i.e. they don’t match your home), or too many colors are used.  

The majority of patio furniture on the market comes in neutral colors, whites, tan, gray, beige, etc. These colors match with lots of other colors and are more of a universal choice. They can also be loud and vibrant colors, but oftentimes people will fail to match the colors properly and end up with an eye sore of a backyard.

When choosing the color of your patio furniture, focus on options in primary colors or in earth tones. You can mix and match earth tone furniture with a pop of color to great effect. If you want to branch out into more exotic colors, try using analogous colors (colors that are side-by-side on the color wheel). If none of these suit you, then try looking for furniture in your favorite colors!

2. The Wrong Amount of Furniture

When selecting your patio furniture, it is important to have accurate measurements of your outdoor space to properly plan your furniture possibilities. Getting too much furniture or conversely, too little furniture, is an easy way to mismanage your backyard. You don’t want to overcrowd your space or not have enough seating to offer your guests. Plan for the possible activities that might take place on your patio and purchase furniture accordingly.

If you are starting from scratch or are on a budget, you can often find plenty of items in good shape on local online sales websites. Try to aim for pieces that are made of the same materials (such as wood or metal) or come from the same design era. Look for stuff that is specifically meant to survive outdoors.

3. Not Enough Flair

The majority patio furniture available comes in neutral colors and earth tones, which can be quite boring in large quantities. It really does wonders for your backyard to add a pop of flair and personality. Don’t be afraid to add outdoor accessories to spice up your patio design and bring some fun into the mix. 

You can add fun things like statues, candles, lighting, wind chimes, pillows, etc. Just make sure these items can stand up to the elements if they can’t be covered or moved inside. You may also want to approach this step with restraint, as too many flashy accessories can make your space busy and confusing. Just a touch of personality will do the trick.

4. Poor Furniture Arrangement

A common pitfall for patio dwellers is to have a poorly laid out furniture arrangement. Sometimes you can lose half of an area’s visual space by a simple couch being turned the wrong direction. Consider your regular usage patterns of the patio furniture and see if there are any ways to optimize your layout. If you are designing a layout, consider how you and your family will congregate in that space. For example, if you will be eating outside frequently, a large counter or  outdoor table should be your focal point. 

5. Lack of Foliage

A common mistake is to forget to incorporate elements of nature into your outdoor space. Plants are very good at softening the look and feel of an outdoor room. Potted plants, trees, garden fountains, vases full of flowers are all good options for a patio. If you are smart about it, you can get some plants with pleasant aromas to really amp up the relaxation factor in your backyard.

6. Size and Scale

Minimalism is a popular modern style, but if followed too closely, it can leave your patio feeling barren and uninviting. It’s important to have a plan for the furniture you plan to get, especially when it comes to the size and relative scale to your other pieces. Pieces that are too small and spread out can leave a backyard wanting, while mismatching pieces can lead to a sense of overcrowding.

You definitely want to avoid overcrowding your patio with furniture, especially if you are a collector of used furniture. The last thing you want is to have your backyard look like you are having a perpetual garage sale.

7. Using the Wrong Materials

When selecting outdoor furniture, you’re probably going to look for many of the same characteristics that you look for with indoor furniture – durability, comfort, style, and price. The primary difference is that your patio furniture will need to endure regular exposure to the elements. No matter your style, an important consideration is how well your furniture will hold up to weather conditions, including moisture, the sun and strong winds. While there is virtually no 100% weatherproof patio furniture, there are big differences based on the materials used. 

Before you make a purchase, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of the various material options. Choosing the best material for outdoor patio furniture is dependent on matching your needs with the inherent qualities of each material.

Factors to Consider for Outdoor Patio Furniture Materials

When deciding on the material of your patio furniture, there are quite a few factors to consider. The most important factors relate to a material’s ability to survive against constant exposure to the elements. Will the structural integrity hold up? Will the material degrade in the sun? How often will these materials require maintenance? These are the basics, but let’s look at some of the other challenging factors to consider.

Rain & Moisture

If you live in an area where rain is frequent or that has high humidity, you want to be sure that your furniture is resistant to damage from water. Standing water or retained moisture can physically degrade most materials.

Mold, Mildew & Rot

Humid or moist conditions create an environment where various fungi thrive. Organic materials that retain water are susceptible to mold and mildew. Luckily, they don’t damage most materials and can simply be cleaned off. Rot, on the other hand, leads to biodegradation and decomposition of the material.

Rust & Corrosion

Metals that contain iron or steel are vulnerable to corrosion when they are continually exposed to water and oxygen. The corrosive oxidation process slowly weakens these metals, resulting in visible rust and other discoloration. Salt in the air and water accelerate the chemical process, so rusting is often more prevalent in coastal regions or if you have a pool in your backyard.

Warping

Materials that allow water penetration can dry unevenly, resulting in warping of the original shape. It may be imperceptible at first, but over time it can distort the material, misalign seams, loosen screws and other fasteners used to hold the furniture together.

Cracking

Some materials expand and contract when they are heated or cooled. They can crack, split, warp or become brittle when exposed to extreme temperatures or drastic fluctuations. Dry air can also cause furniture to bend and crack.

Wind

If you live in an extremely windy area, it’s important that your outdoor furniture is heavy enough that it doesn’t tip over or blow away. 

Cleaning & Care Difficulty

The look and functional durability of your patio furniture is also affected by how well you take care of it. Some materials require very little attention and are easy to clean with soap and water. Others require more time-intensive care and special products to keep them looking great and working properly. If your time is at a premium, or you just don’t want the hassle, you may want to opt for lower maintenance materials.

Cost

At the end of the day, most everyone looks at the financial implications of choosing one material over another for furniture. You need to stay within your budget, but it’s also important to understand how expensive materials are in the long run and their price versus benefits value. Will it need to be replaced frequently? Does it take an inordinate amount of time and effort to maintain? These are key cost considerations for designing the perfect patio furniture that you might not immediately think of when evaluating alternatives.