Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

Types of Patio Awnings

The typical patio awning has gotten a big makeover in the last few decades. These types of awnings used to just have a metal design and wrought iron columns. While this lasted a long time and provided great shade, it tended to have an oppressive feeling. Plus, if you’ve ever heard the rain hit one of these metal awnings then you know how noisy it can be. This is probably why the trend went more towards pergolas and wooden structures for a while. However, now awnings are back whether in decorative form or to provide shade for your decks and patios.

A wood awning helps to substitute for a pergola’s natural and more airy feel, and can be a good way to get into woodworking projects. Such a wooden awning might mimic a dormer if it has a pitched roof. However, it can be a more simplistic box style awning too. This allows you to bring in beautiful wood tones without having to go through the expense and work of building a deck or installing new garage doors. This is also one of the few ways to do a contemporary style of awning. To choose the awning that’s right for you, a good idea is to look at any existing wooden structures in your yard. Then define the style of exterior you have and choose a complimentary material even if it’s unusual.

The most unconventional material that I’ve come across …

Lattice Trellises for Patios

If you want to use lattice screen for your outdoor architecture then go with vinyl versions. You can stick with white versions that will look classic. While that makes it easier to take care of than traditional painted wood versions, it isn’t as easy to paint a PVC material. On the other hand, PVC also has more of a finished appearance without a lot of rough edges. That is on reason why it is better for screens and it’s also lighter weight than wood panels. Some brands like Acurio even come with a 12 year warranty and you probably can’t find the same thing when buying traditional woodwork.

The only negative to using PVC in this manner is that you need to choose the right color to begin with. That usually isn’t a problem with a wood trellis as the wood tones are going to naturally look good in such an application. But it only takes a coat of paint to change those options. Plus, usually it will be covered by plants so it won’t really matter.

If you want a trellis or latticework that gives you privacy or creates more of an enclosed patio effect then color will be more of an important consideration. I’d rather see trellis designs and latticework that is the same color as your pergola. Also pay attention to your existing structure and let that dictate the rest of your design.

Sometimes though you can …

Shading Tuscan Style Patios

The Tuscan style can seamlessly work with a lot of your existing patio shade ideas such as pergolas. If you have neutral tones or stucco exteriors then this is a great theme for an outdoor entertaining area. It also works well for a lot of parties because the Tuscan style is often associated with food.

Usually, you will have some type of structure to provide shade for your patio. It could be a typical wood pergola design or you might find more ornate covered patios or gazebos in this type of outdoor living space. There are even enclosed patios with vaulted or arched ceilings because this is in keeping with the ornate Italian architecture.

For a Tuscan style shade covering typically you’d want to go with a pergola. Don’t paint it white but leave it in a natural wood tone or find a chocolate brown PVC to mimic the look. A staple of the Tuscan style is dark wood posts and beams. A pergola instantly imitates this.

Using the Pergola as a Trellis or Arbor

If you want even more shade then this style does use a lot of greenery over entire arbors and pergolas. Usually this has grape vines or ivy on them. Bringing in fabric elements will be a little bit trickier because this style tends to use very ornate and heavy fabrics that just are found in outdoor versions. Ironically usually an insect screen will be quite …

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Coming up with new backyard landscape ideas can be a great way to show off your creativity and spice up your yard a little bit at the same time. You don’t have to be as conservative in the back yard as in the front, since your additions will be less for the passers-by and visitors to your house, and more for just you and the family. This allows you a lot of freedom in how you express yourself and facilitate outdoor activities to enjoy.

You still want to be sure to keep the overall theme of your landscape involved when adding new projects to your backyard though. Just because there’s more privacy and not as much visibility doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a lot of value in having things work together, or look good together for that matter. The right landscaping ideas for backyard improvement should still seek to provide synergy with existing improvements, to enhance their functionality and looks rather than to detract from them.

Backyard Patios

One of the mainstay features of any backyard is a patio to serve as a central gathering point for most any outdoor activity for you and the family. As such an important feature of your back yard, and as something that will potentially last decades, it’s a good idea to make sure that you put the proper amount of planning into creating the right backyard patio design before putting anything in …