How Augmented and Virtual Reality Helps Landscape Designers

Landscape architects and patio designers may profit from virtual and augmented reality in a variety of ways. Although this technology is primarily used as a tool for a design review in the late stages of the design process, many of the benefits that make these technologies valuable in the later stages of the design suggest that they could be equally valuable in earlier stages. 

This article looks at how to include virtual and augmented reality into your home design phases of analysis and idea creation and assess its effects on a large-scale master planning project.

What is Virtual Reality?

The use of computer technology to create a simulated world is known as virtual reality (VR). In contrast to typical user interfaces, virtual reality immerses the user in an experience. Users are immersed and can engage with 3D worlds rather than watching a screen in front of them. The computer is converted into a gatekeeper to this artificial world by mimicking as many senses as possible, including vision, hearing, touch, and even smell. Near-real VR experiences are only limited by the availability of content and low-cost processing power. It’s easy to imagine how home design in VR allows you to see your end result before construction even begins!

A head-mounted display (HMD) is the most instantly recognizable component of Virtual Reality. Humans are visual animals, and the display technology that separates immersive Virtual Reality systems from standard user interfaces is typically the most significant distinction. CAVE automated virtual environments, for example, actively project virtual material into room-sized displays. Consumer and industrial wearables are the wild west, while they’re exciting for folks at colleges and huge labs. 

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technologically augmented or altered representation of the actual world produced via digital visual components, music, or other sensory inputs. Augmented reality is a rising trend among businesses that deal with mobile computing and commercial apps.

One of the augmented reality’s significant aims, amidst the development of data gathering and analysis, is to emphasize certain aspects of the physical environment, enhance knowledge of those qualities, and extract sensible and accessible information used in real-world applications. 

Compared to virtual reality, augmented reality has a significant advantage when applied to landscape design: visual immersion. AR applications only appear on your smartphone or tablet screen, and even the HoloLens can only display pictures in a limited area in front of your eyes. Still, VR covers and replaces your field of view. When a hologram vanishes once it moves out of a rectangle in the center of your vision, or you have to gaze at a bit of screen while pretending that the item on that screen is in front of you, it’s not particularly immersive.

What is the Difference Between Virtual and Augmented Reality?

The terms “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” refer to essentially the same thing. Augmented Reality may be thought of as virtual reality with one foot in the real world: Virtual Reality provides an artificial environment to inhabit, whereas Augmented Reality replicates artificial items in the actual world.

The computer determines the position and orientation of a camera in Augmented Reality using sensors and algorithms. AR technology then superimposes the computer-generated pictures over a user’s view of the actual world, rendering the 3D graphics as they look from the camera’s perspective.

The computer in Virtual Reality uses similar sensors and math. Instead of placing a real camera in a physical area, the position of the user’s eyes is set in the simulated world. The visuals respond to the user’s head movement. VR technology produces a realistic, interactive environment for the viewer rather than combining virtual items and a natural scene.

How Designers Are Utilizing Augmented Reality Technology 

As competition grows and demand for landscaping services rises, firms must differentiate themselves by utilizing virtual reality and augmented reality technology. Virtual reality and augmented reality take customers on a trip beyond 3D drawings in an industry where your dreams are brought to life via design. This technology lets the consumer take things a step further and see a plan of their patio design come to life.

Companies across the country have taken the plunge into virtual and augmented reality for their lawn and landscape businesses to help bring their vision of landscaping to life. Augmented reality can assist in the vision-planning stage of development. When a customer feels like they’re in their backyard and can look up at the yard and look down at the future, an emotional connection is formed, leading to higher closed contract rates.

Landscape architects who are used to rendering farms, outsourced firms where graphic designers produce animated birds or walk-throughs based on their designs may soon discover that many of those companies can also build VR-compatible 3-D models. Designers may use AR technology to modify design aspects, completing the experience-compare-edit cycle directly. 

Another advantage of VR and AR in design visualization is that it allows for simultaneous comparison of multiple concepts. Designers and clients can, for example, explore and engage with numerous virtual places in 3D interactive virtual environments. They can also turn the data into a simulation and change the goals as needed in that simulation.

In terms of comprehending the core of a developed style, the use of virtual worlds in landscape design may help their clients. They can make better judgments if they can see the materials that have been placed. Designers can provide that information to a customer clearly and concisely.

Because of its intricacy, AR is particularly well suited to presenting hardscaping projects, particularly in outdoor living areas. Large, sophisticated designs, such as parks and golf courses, and residential landscapes, may be rendered using the program. People may be added to the space to see how it works when it’s busy, and it can be seen in both day and evening situations. By superimposing the render over reality rather than constructing up the area, augmented reality allows you to save time.

Landscape sceneries are more effective thanks to modern technologies. Because AR software and gadgets allow created projects and even locations to be examined faster in reality, it speeds up. It changes the design business, bringing the design process into a more cost-effective stage. Computer graphics, image processing and pattern recognition, intelligent interface technology, voice processing, audio and video technology, network technology, parallel processing technology, and high-performance computer systems combine to produce an immersive virtual environment system. Contrary to common assumptions, creating a virtual reality project does not need specialized knowledge; high-quality software with a VR/AR export option is all you need.

Try The YARD App

YARD is a revolutionary new approach to see and design a client’s future outside the living areas. YARD (Your Augmented Reality Design) is an AR design software that allows users to show their clients a fresh new perspective of their future pool, hardscape, or landscape that is accurate to scale and available to explore in real-time from any angle.

“After more than a decade of working with a pool designer, we’re thrilled to combine the incredible and intuitive power of the best design software with the best and most exciting new technology available today,” shared Structure Studios CEO Noah Nehlich. “YARD gives designers the power to take their clients beyond 3D and place their to-scale future outdoor living space right in front of them, in their yard.”

Show clients exactly what you can offer them. Draw pool designs, hardscapes, and outdoor kitchens when you use YARD’s groundbreaking new technology to move seamlessly between 2D drawings, 3D, and stunning Augmented Reality that you can explore with your client in real-time, from any angle, at an accurate scale.

With thousands of fully realized objects and materials from the extensive Vip3D library — each and every one ready for you to feature directly on your client’s lawn — YARD gives you the power to transform your client’s space in just seconds. The all-new Table Mode brings the great outdoors indoors — all the way to your client’s kitchen table. There is no need to worry about the weather or the lighting, and there is no need to track before you present.

Engage your client with an experience like none other. YARD works seamlessly with your current Vip3D workflow: import pools, hardscapes, outdoor kitchens, and more from Vip3D into YARD, place and rotate them directly onto your client’s property, and then walk around your scaled Vip3D designs, as easy to explore as if the project were already complete.

As you walk around with your client and explore their property with an iPad Pro in hand, YARD will automatically use the tablet’s camera to determine the scale. The scale is typically accurate to within just a few inches; if necessary, you have the freedom to adjust the size and scale of your home designs.

Designers may quickly draw short concepts in 3D on an iPad Pro while visiting a client’s house. They may place design components directly onto the property, giving clients a clear sense of size and allowing them to resolve issues or concerns in real-time. YARD empowers the customer to investigate every aspect of the design from any perspective. 

For fine patio furniture in Arizona, come visit our All American Outdoor Living showroom today!

How Furniture Complements Elegant Architectural Design

If there’s one thing luxury house builders can tell you, it’s that you should always design your home all at once. Instead of building a shell to fill, consider how each space will work, from the type of floor you want to the location of each plug outlet, to where you want to sit and watch TV, or how you want to move about the kitchen.

You may think more carefully about getting the correct sort of natural light in each space when you plan the interior and outside together. You may also determine which perspectives you want to frame and from where you will most likely be gazing. Many architects enjoy placing a window a bit lower down so you can see a beautiful view from your bed, but you’ll need to know more about your bed for it to function correctly.

Let’s discuss how furniture and tie the interior and exterior of your home together.

Why It Is Important for Your Home’s Exterior to Match Your Interior

Matching the inside of your home to the exterior design may seem difficult at first, but it’s necessary if you want to maintain your property looking beautiful. A home with too many distinct traits, colors, or design styles may be highly disorienting. When the exterior and inside of your home clash, it may negatively impact the property’s feng shui and overall atmosphere. Consider stepping into a home with a contemporary façade but a traditional inside. You’d probably be perplexed without even recognizing it.

By matching the interior and outside of your home, you may assign your house to a specific category. If you want to sell your house, this will help you since buyers will know what to expect based on the style of your home. It also enables people to see how the interior will appear depending on the outside.

People prefer to know what they are getting themselves into when moving to a new home. Your house will instantly feel more comfortable and welcome to newcomers if you style the interior to match the exterior.

Matching Inside with Outside

The greatest technique for executing a good design is to choose your furniture selections and styles while considering the architectural design of your home. You may either select furniture that complements the design of objects that oppose it after analyzing it. For example, it’s only natural to utilize Victorian furniture and accessories if you’re decorating a Victorian house. This approach is one way to add to the design’s appeal. However, that isn’t the only choice.

Even though it’s incredibly distinctive and intriguing, this style of design is sometimes neglected. Choosing elements that contrast with this style, such as decorating your home with modern furniture, will significantly enhance your design. By combining these two distinct styles, you may create a coherent design that stands out from the usual.

In this situation, you might potentially use a different method. In neighboring rooms, you may mix and match French and contemporary furnishings. Within the same home, you may select the most outstanding furniture pieces to complement one room’s design and things to contrast with another room’s design style. This method will result in a one-of-a-kind and well-coordinated interior design plan. Complementing or contrasting extends beyond design and furnishing styles.

Colors and textiles can be used in the same way. According to a well-known color theory, two contrasting hues on the color wheel help each other shine out. You may use this idea to help you choose the right furniture style for your home. Choose a contrasting color for your furnishings if the walls are painted in one hue. You may also mix and match by selecting certain things that complement the walls and others that clash with them. You can experiment with your design in any way you choose to achieve a pleasing result.

To design a house that is genuinely at ease with itself, its surroundings, and its occupants, you must consider all of the finishing as early as feasible. A sense of self-assurance is created in any property by matching colors and textures inside and out. Using local stone or matching your render’s color to the trees outside can instantly give your structure a feeling of the place. The sense of cohesiveness comes by drawing these colors within. It’s no accident that several interior and exterior designers have chosen to use the same tiles.

With the proper combination of complementing selections, your home may nevertheless seem ageless. Rather than constructing a design that will seem worn and obsolete in a few years, we’ve compiled a list of ideas and methods for building the perfect timeless home that will remain fresh and current for a long time. A classic design will not go out of style in a few years. It has the staying capacity to be contemporary, unlike ephemeral and popular types. It would help if you went for traditional designs, styles, and colors to build something relevant yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The timeless design will never go out of style. With its long, robust columns and stripes, the plan is reminiscent of Greek architecture.

Customizing Furniture is Easier Than It May Seem

Natural materials such as wood, stones, bricks, and cotton are excellent for interior elements. Modern houses are avant-garde and finicky, and they are all about following the soon-to-be-ended fad. A timeless home, on the other hand, is modest, simple, and elegant. Natural materials such as wood, stones, bricks, and cotton are excellent for interior elements. Outdoor furnishings such as come in metals such as aluminum, steel, and wrought iron. 

However, you may still include some fashionable aspects in your design, such as two beanbags in the outside area or an antique piece of furniture against a wall where a massive selection of contemporary artwork is hanging. The design has to be in balance in the grand scheme of things. Consider shopping from vendors who offer custom furniture creation or produce pieces that have customizable features. Popular brands include IKEA, The Inside, Campaign, Burrow, BenchMade Modern, Maiden Home, Civil, and Interior Define.

When in Doubt, Hire a Professional

For someone who has never done it before, hiring a landscape architect or interior/exterior design expert might be a daunting process. Several questions may be circling in your mind. To ensure that you choose the best landscape architect for the project, be sure you ask these questions first. 

A landscape architect is an expert in the field of outdoor living environments. Landscape architects, unlike landscape designers, have the legal authority to submit “Wet Stamps,” which are frequently required for commercial and public projects.

Landscape architects produce precise layouts and design plans. In basic terms, they draft blueprints and supervise subcontractors throughout the project. The demolition process, hardscape, irrigation, drainage, lighting, planting plan, and other design details are outlined on several pages.

A landscape architect is not required for every project. Because there is more money in this field, landscape architects generally concentrate on larger commercial projects. Consider if you genuinely need the services of a landscape architect or whether you only require them to produce a design plan for you. If you’re working on a large project, you might want to consider hiring a landscape designer.

You might want to consider hiring a professional if you belong to a Homeowners Association (HOA) that mandates the creation of a landscaping plan when you’re looking for something truly unique, when your ideas include intricate elements such as wheelchair accessibility, swimming pools, fireplaces, design, and an outdoor kitchen, for example. You must be familiar with safety codes and decipher all of the minor nuances that only an expert would be aware of.

Current Trends to Consider

People are gravitating toward color in terms of design trends, with warmer tones and brighter colors (such as jewel tones) becoming more popular. Gone are the days of neutral interior color schemes. Emerald green and blue-gray are still proving a popular favorite. The one-color trending out of vogue is purple, which saw the largest percentage decline year over year (down to 4 percent from 15 percent). Both modern (abstract, large-scale motifs) and traditional (floral) patterns are still popular.

The industrial trend is on the decline after years of reigning supreme in fashionable bars and chic restaurants. The most commonly used trends in 2021 are midcentury modern, Scandinavian modern, American modern, and Art Deco.

Whether you’re designing your own home or dealing with what you already have, every design should consider the structure. Your design should speak to the same concepts even when you’re using dramatic contrasts and pushing the edges of what works. But, above all, your design should give the impression that you have made this property your home.

For fine patio furniture near me in Arizona, visit our All American Outdoor Living showroom today!

Best Choices for Outdoor Materials, Rugs, and Planters in the Desert Heat

While searching for Phoenix patio furniture, you’ll probably look for many of the same qualities in outdoor tables, chairs, and sofas that you would in interior tables, chairs, and sofas – durability, comfort, and style, all while meeting your budget. The main distinction you’ll face is that patio furniture must withstand exposure to the elements outside. While there is no such thing as 100% weatherproof outdoor furniture, there are significant variances in the materials utilized.

It’s critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials available before making a decision. Assess how well each piece fits into your environment, as well as your tastes and needs. Since each material has intrinsic characteristics, choosing the “best” material for outdoor patio furniture is based on combining your unique demands with the unique properties of each material.

Desert Conditions

Homeowners who have established roots in the desert won’t have to worry about their patio furniture rotting due to dampness or decay. Extreme heat and relentless sun are the significant challenges you’ll face. Temperatures can change fast due to low humidity. The weather may decrease at night, but your furniture will have to resist the sun, wind, and dust throughout the day.

Because your local climate is unique, you should expand your study with knowledge relevant to your region. However, for desert furniture, the most important considerations should be sun resistance, ease of cleaning, and the extent to which the material absorbs heat.

There are many different factors to take into account while choosing your materials. 

Temperature & Sun: If your climate is subject to significant seasonal climate swings and constant direct sunlight, you’ll need to opt for materials that are UV resistant and can endure potentially extreme temperature variations.

Fading: Many materials fade and lose their shine over time when exposed to the light regularly. The visual shift might be attractive (for example, a lovely patina), or it can simply be a loss of brilliance or uneven spots.

Cracks, Splitting, and Warping: When heated or cooled, some materials expand and shrink substantially. However, when exposed to severe temperatures or abrupt changes, they can fracture, split, distort, or become brittle. Furniture can also flex and break due to dry air.

Heat Retention: Other logistical issues may arise as a result of the heat. Patio furniture exposed to the sun may become hot and unpleasant (or even dangerous) to touch. When sitting on or attempting to adjust a poolside lounge chair, no one wants to burn their flesh.

Wind: If you live in an exposed, windy location, your patio furniture must be substantial enough to prevent it from tipping over or blowing away. When confronting Mother Nature, it doesn’t take much to ruin a lovely lightweight deck chair or dining table, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep storing or securing your belongings when they’re not in use.

Durability: Several materials can endure for years under perfect conditions, but they may need to be changed every couple of seasons when exposed to severe weather. Others can resist a variety of factors and still appear brand new after a lifetime. Usage is another factor that affects durability. Your patio dining table will be in better shape than the sun loungers and daybeds that line the poolside of prominent luxury resorts and hotels if you use it a few times during the summer. The materials must be sturdier the more frequently they are used.

Cleaning & Care: How well you care for your patio furniture impacts its aesthetic and practical endurance. Season after season, certain materials require very little maintenance and are quick and easy to clean with just soap and water. Others require more time-consuming maintenance and specialized materials to keep them looking good and functioning correctly. If you don’t have a lot of time or don’t want to deal with the bother, use low-maintenance materials.

Eco-Friendliness: Even if they are unaware of the details, everyone is conscious that there is an adverse environmental effect from many manufacturing processes and the use of certain raw materials. When all else is equal, most folks (ideally) choose to be environmentally conscious.

Most luxury outdoor furniture brands have thankfully adopted “green” production processes and use biodegradable, recyclable, or materials approved by eco-friendly groups like the Forest Stewardship Council materials (FSC). However, the renewability of many outdoor materials varies.

Cost:Most people consider the cost of picking one material over another for furniture at the end of the day. You must stick to your budget, but it’s also critical to understand how costly materials are in the long term and how their price compares to the worth of their advantages. Will it need to be changed regularly? Does it demand a lot of time and work to keep it up? These are important financial factors that you could overlook while weighing your options.


For millennia, wood has been a favored furniture-making raw material. It has a natural beauty, is relatively easy to work with, and provides a stable structure for tables, chairs, benches, and other furniture. When it comes to outdoor use, though, not all woods are made equal. Many softwoods, such as cedar, pressure-treated pine, and fir, are affordable and frequently used for interior furniture, but they do not stand up to the weather and must be securely stored while not in use.

On the other hand, hardwoods are far more resilient to weather and may survive for decades if maintained. Unfortunately, they are generally more difficult to mold and shape and more costly than softwoods on the flip side. And they have significant variations between them.


Metal patio furniture is the most durable and robust material for outdoor garden furniture. Metallic frames may be thinner and molded into more intricate shapes than other choices because of their strength, offering manufacturers more stylistic versatility. When combined with other materials with their own practical and aesthetic benefits, metal is an excellent choice.

Metal chairs and tables may be made using various manufacturing processes that do not need bolts, screws, or other fasteners that make other forms of furniture more prone to breakage. Metal, on the other hand, has several disadvantages. When exposed to the sun, it becomes hot to the touch. Certain metals are hefty and challenging to transport, and all metals are susceptible to rust and corrosion to some extent. However, each metal type has its own set of properties.

Resin & Plastic

In outdoor furniture, artificial synthetic materials like resin and plastic are becoming increasingly popular. These polymers may now take on forms and sizes that were previously impossible thanks to new production techniques and hybrid compositions. Synthetics are usually light and affordable, and they may be sculpted to fit any décor style.

In addition, they are fade-resistant and do not require paint or sealants like other materials since the color is intrinsic to the chemical make-up. They’re also simple to clean. There is an increasing number of plastics and resins on the market, but here are a handful of the most commonly used ones.

Other Materials Commonly Found in Patio Furniture

Luxury outdoor furniture, in addition to wood, metal, and plastic, uses a range of additional durable materials in a range of applications. Patio dining tables, for example, might have metal or wooden frameworks with different material surfaces. These materials have various properties that are suitable for multiple practical and aesthetic purposes.

HPL:This material is usually up of kraft paper that has been soaked with resin and aluminum, then heated under high pressure to form a modern layered material. HPL has a sleek appearance and is exceptionally durable, making it stain and scratch-resistant. Melamine can improve the durability of this laminate. In addition, it has antimicrobial and flame-retardant characteristics. HPL produced with pine kraft lignin is ideal for outdoor usage since it has a low affinity for water, leading to swelling, internal tension, and cracking. Although it is more expensive than other materials, high-pressure laminate makes an attractive surface for modern outdoor dining and lounge tables.

Tempered Glass: Because of its resilience to temperature fluctuations, tempered Glass is often used for outdoor tabletops. Glass can be lacquered to enhance its resistance to the weather. At the same time, acid cleaning makes it resistant to smudges and fingerprints.

Its smooth surface has an exquisite feel to it, and the transparency gives it an open, spacious sense. Where there is some cover to prevent the light from bouncing off it and blinding guests, Glass is a fantastic choice for sunroom or screened-in porch dining and coffee tables. Glass may be pretty heavy and difficult to move depending on its thickness.

Concrete: While specific minimalist contemporary spaces may have solid concrete outdoor furniture as a permanent design element, this composite is more commonly used than other materials. It may be used as a stable basis for glass top dining and leisure tables or as a commanding tabletop atop a robust metal frame. Concrete is durable, long-lasting, and can resist the weather for years. It may be poured into a variety of forms and molded into thinner structures when reinforced with fiber. Fibers are made of glass, steel, synthetic, or organic materials, improving the concrete’s structural stability. It also improves the material’s resistance to water and ice.


You can prevent corrosion by treating materials that aren’t inherently resistant to water and rust. For example, aluminum, plastic, and HDPE timber are simple to clean, but teak and wicker require more upkeep. Aluminum is a great inexpensive, long-lasting, and easy to clean material, but it gets hot in the sun.

Consider your particular taste – what is your style? For example, do you like aluminum patio furniture and lumber’s modern designs and clean lines, or do you like the natural feel of teak and wicker? What material complements your desert home’s architecture and ornamental elements?

In the end, your selection will be based on your budget and the length of time you want your outdoor furniture to survive. Start decorating your desert retreat once you’ve decided on outdoor furnishings.

Visit our showroom to shop Phoenix Patio Furniture that is most than just casual.

All American Outdoor Living Memorial Day Sale-ebration

Experience more than just casual outdoor living with up to 70% off our entire catalog 

The month of May is upon us, and with it comes a calendar chock full of reasons to party. May marks the beginning of the end of the Spring season. Star Wars fans will greet you with the customary “May the 4th be with you” on Star Wars Day; Cinco de Mayo is the next day, followed shortly by Mother’s Day, then The Preakness, and Memorial Day wraps up the month in style. No matter where you’re from, there are plenty of excuses to get out in the yard and celebrate! 

People are beginning to gather socially again as our world slowly reopens due to the success of the nationwide vaccine rollout. If you are among the many longing for a return to normalcy, this might be the perfect month to consider hosting a get-together with your fully vaccinated family and friends. The timing couldn’t be better either; it’s never been safer (in the last year) to visit with distant loved ones; there are plenty of holidays to choose from, we have spent over a year in relative isolation. We are all going slightly insane, and the weather is beautiful!

Here at All American Outdoor Living, we see this as a recipe for some long overdue outdoor fun and festivities. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your outdoor living space for maximum comfort and style. To help with your upgrading project, we have a Memorial Day Sale where you can save up to 70% on our entire catalog of elegant outdoor products.

Elegance in the Outdoors

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, All American Outdoor Living has perfected the formula. We offer a diverse line of patio furniture suited to encapsulate your imagination. From rustic to modern, we are proud to present our customers with a broad, colorful selection allowing your unique ideas to flourish. Need a Fire Pit to complete that patio oasis? Need a Patio Umbrella to save yourself from that pesky sun? All American has got you covered – literally.

Meet Some of Our Partners

We pride ourselves on offering a selection of the finest brands in the outdoor furniture business. We, along with our partners, offer the highest quality products alongside top-tier service. Whether you are simply shopping online or required hands-on assistance upgrading your space, All American Outdoor Living is standing by to help with our premiere White Glove Service. We think it is a service that is second to none. 

Sunset West: An upscale line of outdoor products that include various modern and luxurious pieces that will make you and your family finally make proper use of and enjoy the external areas next to your home. These carefully designed pieces are produced to appeal to your sense of style and fashion so that your body and eyes can relax when immersed within the Sunset West patio furniture collection.

They create a beautiful contrast between the outdoor living area and your outdoor space’s vibrant natural colors and are available in tan, gray, and white. You can place any Sunset West outdoor furniture piece in a covered or open area and integrate it within a modern, traditional, or transitional style to accentuate the beauty of your patio or garden. You can even use these pieces in a commercial area such as a bar or lounge to attract more customers and offer an unforgettable and relaxing experience.

Cane-Line: The Cane-Line outdoor furniture includes some of our most inspiring and modern patio furniture in our collection. Cane-Line chairs are sleek and elegant. The Cane-Line outdoor sofas feature an utterly relaxing piece of furniture that will make your patio or garden seem considerably more beautiful and curated.

Our Cane-Line garden furniture comes in brown or other contemporary colors and can be matched with any design style, from modern to casual, rustic, or artisan. In addition, you can place any Cane-Line lounge chair or sofa in an open space without worrying whether you need to anchor it to something else. The captivating design of these chairs and sofas allow them to become accent pieces in any outdoor environment. The Cane-Line patio furniture can seat two people and is made of an aluminum, teak, or wicker frame, combined with a cushion, teak, or wicker seating material.

Ratana: The name Ratana signifies elegance in timeless design and exceptional quality of outdoor furniture, ranging from traditional to transitional and contemporary. Ratana outdoor furniture caters to any style and setting that truly enhances your home and casual living experiences. Our comprehensive line of contract and hospitality specification furniture can be seen worldwide, from 5-star luxury hotels to top-ranked restaurants, from international golf courses to global Olympic venues. Ratana patio furniture pieces are poised to create the ideal setting with premier comfort and prestige to achieve the ultimate relaxation for your luxury lifestyle.

Ratana outdoor furniture pieces are characterized by unique and modern colors such as pink, black, brown, purple, and gray. You can place them in both covered and open spaces to make your outdoor living room more comfortable and extra luxurious. Their sleek and elegant aluminum frames, combined with soft cushions, appeal to your sense of style and allows you to relax in your private oasis.

Fire Pits

Gathering around a fire with friends and family is an unquestionably enjoyable and social outdoor activity. The warmth and light of fire are incredibly soothing, whether you’re making s’mores and sharing ghost stories with the kids, catching up with neighbors over a few drinks, or simply stargazing with a partner.

These types of activities have become so commonplace that purchasing a fire pit has almost become a requirement for homeowners. However, with so many choices to choose from, it can be challenging to know which ones are a worthy investment.

Our line of fire pits is among the most adaptable, well-built, elegant, and efficient models available on the market today. The 42-inch Alumi-Crete Round Firepit is our top seller, and a great example of the high-quality pits open in our catalog. This line of fire pits is powder-coated in aluminum with a Teflon-coated clear finish for a look that is indeed the definition of a modern sheik design. Each model comes with optional fiberglass in an array of colors and reflections to truly elevate the style of your outdoor space. These pits are fitted with stainless steel burners powered by propane tanks, making them easy to maintain and incredibly affordable to operate. Make time this summer to gather with family and friends around your new fire pit and enjoy the best homemade s’mores in town. Just don’t let the marshmallows burn!

Outdoor Couches and Seating

Designed to offer proper outdoor luxury seating, our line of outdoor couches, love seats, and sofa chairs take on proportions and scale usually reserved for indoor upholstery. The collection’s styling is timeless; the comfort is unsurpassed, the only thing missing is the environment in which to place it.

Your patio is supposed to be a place where you can unwind and relax, so some kind of seating is needed. If you have a small yard, luxury comfort chairs are a great choice. Garden chairs come in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, wicker, and aluminum. You should choose the material based on your budget and needs. If your space is small, two chairs will suffice, but if your garden is more extensive, a collection of four or six chairs is suggested.

Loveseats: Our most popular loveseat combines modern and industrial design elements into one eye-catching piece. Its open silhouette and elegant, angular lines are thoughtfully enhanced by details like beveled extrusion edges and subtle soft curves. The Redondo range, which is made of the highest quality materials for comfort and longevity, will last a long time with little upkeep. It has a powder-coated aluminum frame with a polished burnished slate finish and resin feet to protect the foundation.

Large Sofas: Sofa sets are possibly the best choice for garden furniture if you have a large yard. They provide the utmost relaxation. Your garden will look attractive, classy, and decent with sofa sets. What could be better than sitting outside with your guests and talking while enjoying the cool breeze and the fragrance of fresh plants?

All of our large sofas are handcrafted, fully welded into a heat-resistant aluminum frame, durable, architectural grade, and come with a powder-coated finish. The cushions are made of quick-dry foam and come in a wide variety of colors to match your home’s style. They are also UV and weather resistant. Our Coronado Large Sofa is a popular choice and a great place to start your search for the perfect outdoor couch.

If you have ample outdoor space, consider a more oversized couch to fill the space and expand your hosting abilities. Consider our popular Redondo 3-Piece Sectional for the ultimate lounging experience. 

Chairs: If you’re working with a smaller space or budget, consider one or two small comfortable chairs for outdoor relaxing. The Coronado Club Swivel Rocker is an elegant choice that can add a natural boost of class and comfort to your yard.

Don’t wait; the deals are going fast! Visit our showroom for the best deals and be sure to ask about our new ROMA collection. 

America Gets Ready for Backyard Celebrations Again

After more than a year of lockdown and quarantine, people are anxious to enjoy outdoor living again and experience their first tastes of normalcy as vaccination rates climb across the nation. Movie theaters have available showtimes, concert venues are beginning to sell tickets for future shows, and best of all, restaurants are beginning to reopen and offer indoor dining once again. Businesses are still employing safety protection protocols to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19, but it feels like we are on the path to real life again!

The most exciting part about returning to a new normal is the ability to see our friends and hug our loved ones. Now is the perfect time to start planning your next backyard celebration. While we don’t think you need a reason to get together and celebrate (especially after this last year), we’ve got plenty of good excuses to kick up your heels and be merry. Let’s look at an exciting upcoming event and how you can use your outdoor furnishings to have a backyard celebration that the whole neighborhood will want to attend.

Arizona Restaurant Week 2021

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our progress than enjoying a meal (or seven) during Arizona’s Restaurant Week 2021! Put on yearly by the Arizona Restaurant Association, this statewide affair offers foodies a wealth of dining opportunities and the chance to get outside their neighborhood and try something new. From sizzling Southwestern and soothing comfort foods to five-star dining and international fare – it’s all on the table during Arizona Restaurant Week. So, prepare your taste buds and dig in.

Join the Celebration of Arizona’s Restaurant Week 2021

Let us introduce you to some of the restaurants we are excited to try out this year.

Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe:

Ajo Al’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant business serving Sonoran-style Mexican food since 1986. All of their menu items are prepared fresh daily, featuring the freshest and finest local ingredients available. Their specialties include smoked street tacos, Mexican pizzas, and their famous frozen margaritas! Visit any one of their four valley locations and find out why Ajo Al’s is no ordinary Mexican Cafe. They also claim to be Arizona’s original Mexican Cafe.

We are excited to try a Mexican pizza not made by a fast-food chain and wash it down with a frozen margarita – which sounds like a perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon get-together.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill:

Thirsty Lion’s culinary commitment is to provide an eclectic variety of multi-cultural cuisines, emphasizing local ingredients, bold flavors, and scratch recipes. Their fresh sheet specials focus on the changing seasons with unique ingredients, including fresh seafood, quality meats, artisan cheeses, and local vegetables & fruits. Their menu selections represent popular and culturally relevant recipe creation, including the infusion of craft beer into the food. They have three locations across Arizona and are offering a special 3-course prix fixe meal for $33.

This eclectic menu has something for everyone and features many trendy offerings. We are particularly intrigued by the Scotch Eggs and Gochujang BBQ Pork and Kimchi Fried Rice – quite the cultural, culinary mash-up!

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar:

Quality, comfort, and value are three key ingredients that make The Keg Steakhouse & Bar experience unlike any other. Highlighted by exceptional service and mouthwatering steaks, The Keg creates an atmosphere that encourages guests to enjoy, relax and be themselves. Whether you’re getting together with friends or celebrating with family, you’ll always be welcomed with a smile.

This classic upscale steak house calls to the carnivore in us. From the Bleu Cheese Filet Mignon to the surf and turf Sirloin and Lobster, there are almost too many decadent options to choose from. Just make sure to practice eating with your pinky fully extended before you arrive.

The Sicilian Butcher:

The Sicilian Butcher is centered upon a build-your-own meal experience featuring gourmet meatballs and charcuterie boards with casual dine-in and to-go services. This modern-casual meatball and butchery-inspired concept are the first of its kind to launch in Arizona. They have three locations across Arizona and offer a special 3-course prix fixe meal that looks out of this world. If you’ve been craving high-quality authentic Italian food, look no further than the Sicilian Butcher.

Dine Out at Home

If you are unable or not ready yet to dine out, consider supporting your local restaurants by ordering take-out from their establishments. This year has been challenging for every American, but restaurant owners and workers suffered by closing up shop. Not only can you celebrate some of the best cuisines that Arizona has to offer, at the same time you can enjoy your fine outdoor furniture while helping your fellow Arizonan business stay open.

Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse to have people over and try some exciting new local foods. Here at All American Outdoor Living, we have plans to host a big backyard party catered by some of these participating restaurants. If this sounds like a good time, consider doing the same with your family and friends! Lucky for you, we have all the information and equipment you’ll need to pull off a successful Restaurant Week backyard celebration. Let’s cover the basics for throwing the best backyard bash.

Get Your Backyard Party Ready

Hosting a memorable backyard party is all about providing comfort for your guests. Comfortable furniture, fire pits, good food, and proper protection from the elements are the foundation of your event. Here are some essential items you can add to your backyard to bring the party to life.

Fire Pits

Gather around your fire pit with a delicious Restaurant Week Fire meal and finish it off with freshly roasted s’mores. Fire pits can be custom designed to match most styles using marble, cast aluminum, concrete, and slate. They can also be customized to your gas preferences, whether it’s natural gas, ethanol, propane, or an actual wood-burning pit. 

We suggest getting one that sits above the ground for the first-time fire pit owner instead of committing to a full 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. 

Round Moderno Concrete Fire Pit

If you are looking for a fire pit that is less about functionality and more about decoration, check out the Tavola Concrete Fire Pit below. This pit is perfect for covering large areas of your patio and adding a really elegant ambiance to the environment.

Tavola Concrete Fire Pit

If your fire pit desires are purely about decoration, see the Pentola Concrete Fire Pit below. A few of these strategically placed around your yard will warm your space and make it feel exquisite.

Pentola Concrete Fire Pit

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 various 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. Its sturdy aluminum frame and powder-coated finish make it ideal for fall weather and are 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. This table can fill your patio space in both form and function, perfect for coffee and snacks.

Patio Covers

Patio covers are essential all year round, but especially so during the hot Summer 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. 

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 and have various 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. 

Spring into Summer with All American Outdoor Living, Arizona Restaurant Week, and your long-lost friends and family members.

California’s Millennials are Migrating to Arizona for a Relaxed Lifestyle

Fantastic residences. Great businesses. Delicious restaurants and luxury resorts. Add in the low cost of living, plentiful job opportunities, and rapidly expanding infrastructure, and you can see why Arizona is becoming a bustling center for living, work, and entertainment. Faced with quite the opposite circumstances in California, it’s clear why Arizona living is such an attractive place for this next generation of family starters to put down some roots.

Phoenix is more than just a state in the Grand Canyon. The Phoenix metro area has become one of the most popular and desirable locations globally, with numerous companies growing or establishing roots in the Valley, multiple entertainment venues, restaurants, and resorts. An affordable cost Phoenix living, behind Dallas, Houston, and Austin, was ranked as the fourth most attractive metro in the country by Millennials in a Meyers Research study published in March 2019.

So why are so many of California’s up-and-coming generation moving away from the Golden State? Let’s take a deeper look at the statistics and facts that explain this demographic and geographic shift.

Why are Millennials Leaving California?

California is a magical state. It is one of the few places in the United States where you can be skiing down the snowy mountain slopes in the morning, only to end your day with a relaxing bonfire on the beach. There is the beautiful scenery of all kinds up and down the coast and no end to the types of entertainment and attractions one can attend. California embodies the spirit of westward expansion and is home to some of the most powerful and influential people on the planet. Fine dining, rich history, beautiful scenery, beautiful people, first-class merchants, and shopping; what else could an up-and-coming California generation of people ask for? 

These glamorous features make the idea of living in California picturesque. The truth of the matter is these things that have made California such a wonderful place have also made it quite an expensive place to live, especially if you want to raise a family. The hard truth of the matter is that surviving, let alone thriving, is not something every millennial can do. Those who can stay in California tend to have incredibly high-paying jobs, usually in Medicine-, Law-, or Technology- related fields. Those who don’t often have either inherited property or money from family as a means of survival. With such an uneven playing field, how can a millennial born in California without a silver spoon in their mouth afford to stay in this expensive state? 

When it came to people leaving big U.S. cities in the second quarter of 2019, the San Francisco Bay Area beat out Los Angeles, Washington, and Chicago. It was only second to New York City in terms of population. During those three months, more than 28,190 people left the Bay Area, almost double the pace of 2017. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, about 190,000 people left California in 2018 then moved there. It was the second year in a row that the pattern had been negative. However, due to the birth rate, the population continues to grow. According to the California Department of Finance, the state’s population increased by 141,300 people between July 2018 and July 2019, increasing the total to 39.96 million people.

According to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 53 percent of residents and 63 percent of millennials in the country’s most populous state consider leaving due to the high cost of living. The majority of those leaving had annual incomes of less than $100,000, while the state has seen an influx of those with incomes of $100,000 and higher.

The Problem is Property

No matter how you frame it, the core of California millennials’ problem is the inability to purchase the property. Couple this with steadily increasing rent prices and a stagnant minimum wage, and you have a recipe for emigration. It is not uncommon for millennials to be denied a home loan with a monthly cost of $1,800, only to end up paying $2,200 to rent a smaller place. How exactly does this make any sense?

The average median sales price of a home in California in 2021 is nearly $650,000. Compare this to the average median sales price of a home in Arizona in 2021, which was $350,000. This number is an increase of nearly 20% compared to an almost 2% decline for California.

To afford the average home in California, you would need to make a household income of $200,000. You would need to make nearly $17,000 a month in California to afford that.  In comparison, affording the average home requires a combined household income of roughly $52,000 to get an equivalent or larger property in Arizona. That’s less than $1,000 a month!

Even in a two-income family, hitting the $50K mark is significantly simpler than hitting the $200K mark. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, the average salary for a millennial is $47,000 per year. That breaks down to about $900 per week. You don’t need an advanced degree in mathematics to understand why Arizona living is such a desirable place for California ex-pats. 

Why are Millennials Choosing Arizona?

The answer is multifold, but it starts again with the property. As we mentioned above, the property values are lower in Arizona (albeit steadily on the rise), and often the properties larger. In simplest terms, you get a lot more bang for your buck in Arizona.

Millennials are at the age where the eldest of them have begun families. The majority are starting or considering starting families, and the youngest of them are waiting in the wings to reproduce. On the whole, this generation has entered the prime baby-making years, and the corresponding demand for housing goes with it. The amenities and appeal of a brand new, customized home featuring the latest in construction efficiencies, as well as proximity to a greater metro area without the need to commute, are strong selling points in favor of a move to Arizona living.

Not only does the housing become in-demand, but housing with enough rooms and outdoor space for pets and children to grow and play also becomes premiums. The average home in California has significantly less indoor and outdoor space than the average Arizonian home. Considering that the weather is relatively similar in Arizona, most California ex-pats find the transition to desert temperatures easier than switching to colder or rainier climates. 

Arizona’s low cost of living and pleasant environment makes it an ideal location for companies seeking employees. Tucson employers, he said, work hard to recruit new workers, which leads to increased migration. Since the job market is tight, they must import talent from other states if they can’t find it locally.

How the Coronavirus Flattened the World

One of the greatest and unexpected results of the novel coronavirus pandemic that swept the globe in 2020 and 2021 was the large-scale adoption of work from home methods. We quickly adapted to virtual meetings, working in our pajamas, and never having to smell someone’s microwaved fish lunch in the breakroom. It was a magical time for those who did not work on the front lines or in an essential industry. You could say that the pandemic and the technology we used to survive flattened the business world as we knew it, breaking down barriers of communication and work collaboration like never before.

The lesson that businesses worldwide learned was how much they truly needed their staff to work on-site. Many companies and industries found that they were just as, if not more efficient, working from home than in the office. Most work-from-home employees would tell you that they ended up working more hours and on weekends when they previously wouldn’t. The traditional officer manager might not like it, but numbers don’t lie, and they say that working from home was an overall success.

As we begin to approach the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, people start to return to our usual way of life. As we do, businesses assess what they saw and learned during the pandemic and reevaluate how they operate from the ground up. For a lot of companies, this means continuing with the work-from-home model indefinitely. Some companies implement a hybrid model, keeping some employees at home while returning other essential workers to the office. 

What this means for the average employee is a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility. With that freedom comes the realization that paying to stay in an expensive area near your office or worksite is no longer a necessity, and for most, a downright foolish proposition (especially if they have any aspirations of having a family). The logic is simple: why pay more when you can have a larger home for less money and still keep your income when Arizona and Phoenix living is just one state away! 

When you settle in Arizona and are ready to design your backyard patio, come visit our showroom at All American Outdoor Living.

Best Picks for Patio Umbrellas

Spring into Summer with a new patio umbrella to keep cool

Spring is in full bloom, and the weather is beginning to warm. As we move through spring and into summer, expect temperatures to hit all-time highs. When you need a break from the heat, a patio umbrella, like the Tucci umbrella, is the absolute must-have for supreme outdoor living. The right umbrella provides an abundance of shade while also adding a splash of style to your backyard.

Aside from appearances, there are several factors to consider when selecting the right patio umbrella for your outdoor needs. The size, material of the canopy, the umbrella’s foundation, and operating mechanism are all factors to consider before investing. 

Initial Considerations

When it comes to selecting the best patio umbrella for your space, there are several factors to consider. Determine the size you need first. The size of your umbrella will determine the type of base you’ll need to keep it stable in different weather conditions. Umbrellas range in size from five feet in diameter to fifteen feet or more. Ask yourself, “What will my umbrella provide shade for in my outdoor area?”

Next, decide which umbrella style is best for your space and lifestyle. Street umbrellas, cantilever umbrellas, rectangular umbrellas, and umbrellas with lights are the popular styles to consider. Think about all the features that matter to you, as you might find several styles that offer all you are looking for and more.

You’ll need a few accessories once you’ve decided on the size and design of your patio umbrella. Most outdoor umbrellas do not have bases, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. You’ll want to secure your investment with an umbrella cover if your outdoor space gets a lot of direct sunlight or excessive rain. Weather-resistant umbrella covers usually have zippers or Velcro for added protection and only cover the fabric umbrella (not the stand or base). Covers range in price from $15 to $75, making them a worthy addition to your umbrella purchase.

Types of Umbrellas

There are two main types of umbrellas to choose from.

Market Models: This is a traditional upright patio umbrella. Market umbrellas are the most popular patio umbrella design on the market. Most models have a vented canopy, which allows a slight breeze to pass through without raising the umbrella off the ground. They feature a central stand that connects to the canopy through several support bars. A tilt feature is available on some market umbrellas, allowing you to change the frame’s upper portion to keep the shade focused precisely where you want it. Market umbrellas are a perfect way to provide shade for a patio table, outdoor kitchen, or small seating area. 

Cantilever: Also known as “offset umbrellas,” these models have a canopy offset from the base by an arching frame. This feature means the umbrella base won’t get in the way of your deck chairs or entertaining outdoor area. When the sun moves from east to west, a tilted model helps keep the shadow from being cast. The arched design of these umbrellas makes them suitable for open spaces. The canopy will loom directly over the seating area if the stand is off to the side.

Of these types, there are two distinctive features that further separate umbrella models.

Lift: There are three different types of lifts: manual, pulley, and crank. When selecting a lift method, think about how much you’ll need to take the umbrella down. Manual lift patio umbrellas, for example, take more effort to work than a pulley, while crank lift umbrellas are the simplest to use.

Tilt: Patio umbrellas with tilt options adapt to the sun’s angle during the day for more versatility. If you’re constantly shifting your chair to escape the heat, the tilt option on your umbrella is just what you need. Tilting the canopy is simple and can be achieved using the following methods: collar and auto, manual, rotational, or push. All of these strategies take minimal effort for the user.

These umbrellas mostly come in one of two variants.

Table: Table umbrellas are models that are meant to run through the middle of a table. Some tables have them built-in as one unit, though most aren’t to allow flexibility and ease with which to replace your umbrella.

Freestanding: A freestanding design might be better if you want your umbrella to provide shade on a different part of your patio, such as over poolside lounge chairs. It’s also possible that you don’t want a pole to obstruct your patio table. With freestanding umbrellas, you can use a table entirely for food preparation or gameplay.

Umbrella Size

The size of a patio umbrella is one of the most important considerations when purchasing one. If it’s too tall, it’ll look bulky and out of place; it won’t provide enough shade if it’s too small. The amount of shade your area will get is determined by the size of your umbrella. Consider how much shade you’d like and how much room you have. It won’t look or feel good to clutter your patio with an overly large umbrella.

It’s important to note that umbrella dimensions apply to the canopy’s width when wholly extended, not the height. Although umbrella widths vary, the height should be no less than seven feet and no more than nine feet when completely raised. The recommendations below will assist you in choosing the right umbrella for your needs.

  • A 5-foot to 6-foot umbrella provides the perfect cover for a bistro set with two chairs.
  • If you want to shade a 36-inch table with two to four chairs, you’ll need a 7-foot umbrella.
  • Are you looking to shade a 40-inch table with four to six chairs or a small conversation area? A 7.5-foot to 8.5-foot umbrella is your best bet.
  • For tables up to 48 inches or small-to-medium conversation areas, you’ll need a 9-foot to 10-foot umbrella.
  • An 11-foot umbrella is suitable for a 60-inch table with six chairs or a medium-sized conversation area.
  • For an extensive conversation area or a 60-to-72-inch table, choose an umbrella that’s 11.5 to 13-feet across.

Your umbrella pole’s height is also critical; you want it to be high enough to be out of the way but not so high that it loses its purpose. Eight-foot-tall poles are the most popular, but there are other choices. Consider the height of your head. A minimum of 7-foot umbrellas is recommended. If necessary, extend the table width by an additional 2 feet on each side. For example, if you have a 4-foot round table, look for an umbrella with an 8-foot diameter.

Umbrella Materials

The best way to pick an umbrella is to match your exterior aesthetics or complement the furniture your umbrella would be covering.

Construction Materials: Aluminum, wood, and fiberglass are the three most popular materials for umbrella frames.

  • Aluminum umbrella frames are the most common choice because they are the least costly, withstand a wide range of weather conditions, bend enough to withstand moderate winds, and are lightweight.
  • Teak and other hardwoods make lovely frames that look particularly good on a wooden deck. While treated to prevent rot and weather damage, outdoor wood tends to fade or change color over time and is more likely than metal to snap in high winds.
  • The most expensive choice is fiberglass, but it is also the most durable. This solid, lightweight material will not rust or weather, and it will perform well even in high winds. If you live in a windy place, consider a fiberglass style rather than an aluminum one.

Fabrics: Choose a fabric that can withstand the elements. The umbrella’s fabric must be strong enough to withstand the heat, rain, wind, and cold. Sunbrella, a standard fabric used by many manufacturers, is one of the most popular. This durable acrylic fabric is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and can withstand almost any environmental condition without fading. Polyester, canvas, unbranded acrylic, and Olefin are all durable materials that can be used outside. Please pay careful attention to the umbrella’s fabric, as it must be weather-resistant to both heavy sun and rain.

Bases and Stands

Even if the umbrella is centered through your patio table, it takes a heavy base to prevent it from falling over or flying away. Failure to protect your umbrella increases the likelihood of it being destroyed, as well as the risk of injury.

Umbrella bases are mostly made of stone, iron, or concrete, but some less costly bases are hollow plastic that must be filled with sand or water. Some umbrella bases have small wheels, which come in handy if you need to drive your umbrella around.

The heavier the base, the bigger the umbrella, and cantilever models require much more weight than market variants. Some umbrellas come with a foundation, while others require you to buy one separately. For reference:

  • 40 pounds for 5-to-6-foot umbrellas
  • 50 pounds for 7.5-to-8.5-foot umbrellas
  • 60 pounds for 9-foot umbrellas
  • 70 pounds for 10-foot umbrellas
  • 100 pounds for 11-to13-foot umbrellas

An appropriate umbrella base is required; don’t be fooled into thinking that securing it to a table would suffice. Umbrella bases not only help keep umbrellas straight in strong winds, but they also help keep them straight in sunny weather.

Look for the biggest base you can find for umbrellas larger than 10 feet. Make sure the base is made to match your umbrella’s pole. To get the best fit, speak directly to your umbrella manufacturer.

Go here to shop for elite treasure garden umbrellas

A Practical Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Outdoor Furniture

An industry-specific guide for purchasing outdoor furniture for your commercial space

Many of our clients are business owners, and as you know, maximizing every inch of your commercial space is essential to your operation’s bottom line. With the coronavirus, outdoor space has become a premium commodity for restaurants and other customer-facing businesses. Putting your outdoor space to practical use is no longer a luxury you can afford to ignore. 

While fighting the spread of COVID-19, numerous restaurants have transitioned sections of their entrance, sidewalk, waiting areas and parking lots into dining areas for guests. Considering the circumstances, businesses that invest in upgrading their outdoor patio furniture will see higher customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. 

Having a warm and inviting exterior atmosphere is also vital for businesses that are not merely responding to the pandemic’s constraints. Lovely decorated and furnished outdoor spaces can bring people together for business, socialization, dining, and more. This article will give you a brief guide on what to look for when buying outdoor furniture for your commercial spaces. 

What Makes a Good Piece of Outdoor Furniture?

You will, in practical terms, consider several factors when deciding on the right outdoor furniture and decor for your business. If this is your first time purchasing outdoor furniture for commercial use, you’ll want to start slow and add on as you go. The goal at this stage will be to install the essentials and then see how your customers respond. Based on their feedback, you’ll then be able to add more decor, extra non-essential furniture, and other finishing touches.

The most important thing is NOT to use your indoor furniture outside. The majority of indoor furniture is not weatherproofed and will fall apart quickly with outdoor use, adding unnecessary additional costs. If you are converting your business operations in the face of the pandemic, don’t make this easily avoidable mistake. 

Here are few things to consider as you browse the online furniture catalogs.

Climate: Factoring in your local weather conditions is incredibly important to conducting business outdoors. Suppose you live in an area with consistent rainfall. In that case, you’ll want to play accordingly with overhead awnings, umbrellas, heaters, etc. Look for furniture that is made of weather-resistant materials, such as wood, plastic, or resin. Avoid metal furniture unless you live in a predominantly sunny and dry climate. 

Portability: Even if you purchase weatherproof furniture, you’ll likely be bringing some or all of it indoors at the end of your operational hours. Consider this when making your selections, as heavy furniture could be a hassle to move back and forth daily. You may also want to consider purchasing chairs that can be stacked to save space. 

Size of Your Outdoor Space: How big is the outdoor space you are trying to furnish? It’s a simple question, but that answer will guide a lot of your final decisions. In practical terms, you should measure the space for actual square footage to know how much you can fit in your area. It would help if you also tried to visualize your area with specific and enough free space for everyone to walk through easily. 

Operation and Use: What does your business do? Your furniture needs will be based around tables, chairs, and comfortable seating if you are a restaurant. If your company operates in large open spaces, maybe you are in the market for benches or community picnic tables. Take into account your business’s specific operations and how you can factor outdoor customer comfort into them. 

Choose the Right Materials

As we touched on lightly above, the material you choose for your outdoor furniture is critical. Investing in the right material will give your furniture longevity. Weather is an essential consideration as it determines how durable your furniture needs to be. Lightweight metal furniture will serve customers much better in hotter climates rather than it will customers in a snowbelt. 

Another consideration for furniture material is the ease with which it can be cleaned. Some ultra-luxurious furniture will demand more time and attention to clean than some simpler designs. If you are not keen on constant cleaning, lean toward furniture that is a single piece and does not have cushions. 

Lastly, you’ll want to consider design preferences and your budget. Outdoor furniture can be quite expensive, especially if you have extravagant tastes. Your business will dictate what is right for you in this area, but a budget-conscious business can do a lot with minimalistic furniture and decor. Let’s take a look at some of the most common materials and their pros and cons. First up, the metals:

Steel: Steel furniture and tables are a popular choice for outdoor establishments that don’t plan to move their furniture inside regularly. It’s heavy, making it a great choice if you don’t want your furniture to get up and walk away on you overnight. Powder-coated steel is a smart option that comes in several colors and pattern styles. Just stay on top of your regular maintenance, especially after inclement weather, and your steel furniture will last for years to come.

Iron: Similar to steel, iron is a durable and heavy material. It is an excellent investment for furniture that will have a long life. Iron is weighty and hard to steel, and contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to maintain to avoid rust and corrosion.

Aluminum: Lightweight, durable, and affordable. Aluminum is an excellent option for budget-conscious buyers and is widely used by manufacturers. It is resistant to corrosion and rust and is one of the few metals used in rainy or humid climates. Cleaning aluminum furniture is very quick and easy. Aluminum also won’t corrode and is often offered in several styles and finishes. 

If metal options are undesirable for your climate or operation, consider one of the following:

Resin and Plastic: Resin is the modern choice and a great one. Durable, long-lasting, resistant to staining, fading, and scratching, this material is an all-star. Usually made of plastic, resin furniture is attractive to the eye and the wallet. If you live in a wet climate or near a body of water, resin furniture is your best bet.

Fake Wood: You’ll notice that real wood did not make it onto our recommended materials list. While wood is affordable, abundant, and fits many business aesthetics, we consider it a poor investment in the long run. Wood has the tendency to warp, rot, and splinter if exposed to the weather for too long. Wood is also heavy and not easy to move quickly. Therefore, if you are going for a wood-look, consider faux-wood. 

Fake wood options offer the elegant look for a wooden piece of furniture, with none of the upkeep’s stress. These materials are very professional-looking and can be cleaned or sanitized quickly, making them an excellent option for restaurants with high customer turnover. Fake wood furniture can easily be spruced up with cushions to make them more attractive and comfortable.

Selecting Your Style

Your furniture’s material is essential, but the design and style will speak volumes about your business. If you are a local bar, your outdoor furniture can be less expensive and kitschy. If you are an upscale restaurant, you might want to consider something with a bit more pomp. Select the right style of furniture for your business by focusing on the following advice:

Camouflage: If you are unsure how to style your outdoor space, let nature be your guide. Customers enjoy the feeling of nature, even if it isn’t a natural setting, when outside. If you add an element such as a space heater, see if it can be placed somewhere discreetly or incorporated into the design of the space. Lean toward furniture that fits around your natural environment and tone. 

Branding: Just because you are outside do not mean you should abandon your regular branding efforts. If you can customize the color of your tabletops or chair cushions, do it. Customers appreciate knowing they are still getting the same quality experience even though they are outside. You may also consider investing in some outdoor branded materials, such as signage, hanging decor, etc.

Decor: Lean into the fact that you are outside by adding elements of nature. Bring in plants, flowers, or even allow animals on-site if possible. Some businesses may even be able to accommodate people’s pets in ways they were not previously able to. Consider setting up a water bowl or keep doggy treats on hand for customers. Little things like this will make the customer feel that you’ve gone above and beyond.

Consistency: Stay consistent with your outdoor furniture purchases. If you start in one material and color, stay in the realm of that original choice. Treat your decor choices outside the same as if you were decorating the inside.

In summary, look for furniture that is durable to the weather, easy to clean, lightweight to be moved, matches your branding, and elegant wherever possible. Follow this guide, and you will find the perfect commercial outdoor furniture for your business.

For more information on commercial patio furniture, please contact us or visit our showroom.

Winter Patio Heating Solutions

After this unrelenting year of the coronavirus lockdown, many people have taken their personal outdoor spaces as a refuge from always being inside. With the home now serving as your residence and place of business, upgrades and remodels to maximize space have become a top priority. If you happen to live in a climate with colder weather, using your outdoor space year-round is not always an option. However, with proper equipment, furniture, and decor, you can turn even the coldest backyard into a warm and inviting space. Let’s look at how to furnish and warm your outdoor space properly.

Before You Buy

There are many considerations to take into account before making a purchase or commitment to an outdoor heating source. As with any investment, it is essential to do your research and then discuss it with a professional. This is a type of purchase that you’ll want to put the thought in n and get right the first time.

Before you buy, consider the location of the heat source. Ask yourself if there is enough space for the device you want and if it can be operated safely. Make sure to look up and check for what is above your potential heat source to avoid potential fire hazards. Also, consider the weather and if you’ll need to store your heating device during inclement weather. Lastly, factor your budget upfront to have a realistic idea of what you are getting into financially.

Fire Up the Backyard

One of the most idyllic and affordable ways to heat your backyard is using a fire source. It could be a fire pit, a built-in fireplace, or even something less traditional like a pizza oven. Your fuel choice can also impact how much your outdoor heating costs you and should be determined not only by local laws and codes. Check with your city or county for any ordinances you need to be mindful of, such as wood-burning laws and performance standards (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides information and links to many regional ordinances and regulations). Generally, though, the most environmentally-friendly choices are butane or gas, which both need to be hooked up by a professional.

Fire Pits: Arguably the most popular modern fire-based heating source, fire pits earn their reputation by being easy to use, affordable, and in some cases, portable. Fire pits come in a wide variety of styles and can be simple or very complex, even decorative if you desire. Fire pits are highly customizable and can be made to fit any decor or available space in your yard. A popular trend in modern design has been to use concrete for outdoor features, and this has translated very well to the world of fire pits.

Fire Tables: If your yard is not large enough or a permanent pit doesn’t appeal to you, consider an alternative option in a fire table. These outdoor tables come in all shapes and sizes, from coffee tables to full-sized dining tables, and feature a gas-lit fire pit in the center. These options are practical in more than one way and are very aesthetically pleasing, not to mention a great way to make s’mores with family and friends. Fire pits and fire tables are also made in nearly all common outdoor materials, so you can get one that matches your needs and home decor.

Traditional Fireplace: A more permanent solution to outdoor heating is to have a custom fireplace built. As with any construction project, this can be simple or too elaborate, depending on your goals and budget. Even a simple fireplace will add value to your property and is a safe way to experience a traditional fire for warmth. Fireplaces can be fueled traditionally with wood or built with a gas-line for easy and quick use. Make sure to consider all exterior surroundings for potential fire hazards when installing your fireplace. Avoid areas with low-hanging trees, wooden structures above, large shrubbery, or plants. If you want to be considerate, consider the wind and airflow’s expected direction so that you don’t end up blowing smoke into your neighbor’s homes.

Chimineas: Also known as a portable fireplace, chimineas are a hot item as of late. Popularity for these items has surged due to the combination of the pandemic and social media. The good news is that these are the most affordable option on the market in terms of fireplaces. Stylish looking and functional, chimineas are a great way to heat even the smallest of outdoor spaces. These are also great options for homeowners who want a longer-term solution but don’t want to invest in a full fireplace because they blend in and look more permanent than they are.

Cooking Appliances: If you are willing to think outside the box about how you heat your patio, consider installing a pizza oven or large grill in your backyard. Not only will these appliances put off a ton of excess heat (especially the pizza oven), but you get to warm your outdoor space and cook delicious food at the same time! As they say, “two birds, one stone.” These appliances are also great for causing social gatherings and can be built to match and elevate your outdoor decor.

Alternative Outdoor Heating Sources

If messing with live fire is not for you, consider a safer option in an electrically-powered heating source.

Propane Lamp Patio Heaters: Commonly found on restaurant patios or in hotel common- areas, propane patio heaters are a popular and affordable solution for heating your backyard. A few strategically placed heaters could provide heat for your whole backyard social gathering. These perform well on porches, patios, and decks alike. Often equipped with wheels, these lamp-like devices are portable and easily stored in the warmer months.

The most significant benefit of these heat lamps is their immediate effect on the environment. Often activated with a one-button push, these heaters can quickly come up to temperature and directly impact the cold. These devices are not recommended for outdoor spaces that are covered or have low airflow.

Space Heaters: A more personal solution to outdoor heating is to use a personal space heater. More commonly used indoors, these devices are still functional outdoors. While significantly less efficient, a personal space heater placed in front of you can be the perfect companion while you read a book or enjoy a cup of tea on a cold evening.

Luxurious Heating Solutions

While these might not be options for everyone, they are significant considerations for those who have room in their budget to splurge on a luxurious heating source.

Heated Floors: Typically seen in a bathroom, heated floors are gaining popularity in modern home designs. What’s trending now is the implementation and use of heated floors for outdoor patios. Not only are heated floors great for warming up your backyard environment, but they are also great for melting snow and keeping surfaces from becoming icy. If your budget allows, these radiant heating solutions are the pinnacle of luxury and function.

Spas and Hot Tubs: Allow me to paint a romantic picture for you. It’s a cold winter or spring evening, and the stars are shining above as you relax in a perfectly heated hot tub. Of course, there is champagne and caviar next to you as classical music plays, with your butler standing by to refill your drink. Well, the butler and champagne part might be a dream, but the rest could very much be your life if you invest in a spa or hot tub for your backyard. Traditional pools or hot tubs can be a large construction project, but a simple above-ground spa is simple to install. Just make sure to have a warm robe and slippers to wear out of the hot tub, or it will be a cold journey back inside.

Simple Outdoor Heating Solutions

Not all outdoor heating options have to be fire or electricity-based. Sometimes, simple solutions are the best for your needs.

Outdoor Rugs: Give your outdoor space an added comfort underfoot, all while standing up to cold weather. At All American Outdoor Living, we feature incredibly durable, low maintenance, and beautiful, all-weather outdoor rugs that are the perfect addition for any patio, deck, or porch. The simple addition of a carpet can dramatically reduce the cold from the ground and create a

much more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor environment. Rugs are also a great way to improve your exterior decor or express yourself creatively. Avoid rugs that are shag-like or have too many long fibers, or cleaning it will be a nightmare.

Blankets and Throws: Maybe the most straightforward solution on our list is the humble blanket. Blankets and fancy throws can be used to spruce up the look of outdoor furniture and can keep you warm while enjoying your patio all year long.

Pro Tip: Toss your blankets and throws into the dryer for a few minutes before going outside for bonus warmth and comfort.

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!