In a previous post we told the story of how Sally and Steve, a couple from Northeast Ohio, went about removing their rarely used hot tub and installing a natural gas fire pit on their patio. Here, we'll tell you about their efforts in finishing and furnishing their refreshed outdoor living space.
Following the patio makeover that included the installation of a Penta™ gas fire pit insert from HPC Fire, Sally and Steve needed to reset some of their existing patio bricks due to settling. They consulted with Van Ness Stone of Newbury, Ohio, to closely match the needed new pavers with their existing ones, and worked with Perfect Paver Company to clean and reseal their old bricks. "
Matching existing brick with new brick, required consulting with Van Ness Stone and Perfect Paver.
With the patio surface even and restored, Sally and Steve considered whether their existing patio furniture was getting long in the tooth. "While not in bad condition, our existing furniture really didn't fit the new layout of our patio," according to Sally. "Looking at Pinterest, HGTV, HOUZZ, and Google, we saw that outdoor furniture choices are endless. Wood is beautiful, but can be pricey and requires maintenance. Wicker is beautiful but eventually breaks down. Metal requires maintenance, is heavy and will eventually rust. All weather resin wicker is very nice but some brands are made with powder-coated steel frames, which will rust and are very heavy. After considering all the options – curved, square, linear forms -- Steve and I agreed that a curved, resin wicker seating area was for us."
While the existing patio furniture was in good condition, it just didn't fit the fire pit feature.
This led to the process of considering furniture construction materials, which included resin, powder-coated steel, or aluminum construction. Sally and Steve learned a few things to consider with each material:
- Resin – While durable and easy to maintain, some resin materials are of lower quality and may develop a whitish oxidized surface over time. Look for furniture with material that is constructed from resin and features a UV coating to combat oxidation.
- Powder coated steel frame– Furniture sets from this material tend to be heavier and prone to rusting, especially if the powder coated surface gets chipped.
- Powder coated Aluminum frame– This furniture material is lightweight and cannot rust.
It can make a lot of sense to curb your outdoor furniture shopping enthusiasm until the end of the prime selling season. "I stopped by Petitti Garden Centers in August to check out their offerings during a sale advertising 70% off patio furniture," said Sally. "I found the perfect set there: UV-resistant resin wicker over an aluminum powder coated frame in a curved form that fit our patio perfectly.
Two curved love-seats, plus a side table and chair, were perfect for fire pit seating.
"Seat cushions are another factor." Sally said, "We love our outdoor lifestyle, and plan to enjoy our new gas fire pit as much as the weather in Northeast Ohio will allow us, so we want the patio and fire pit area to be a comfortable and cozy retreat." Things to consider when purchasing cushions: are they made with material that won't break down after a year? Is the material UV protected? Does the material resist moisture and mildew? Can it be cleaned, and if so, how? "I went with Sunbrella® cushions," said Sally. "They're firm and well made. We have several Labrador retrievers and a Jack Russell who love to sit around the gas fire pit (and sometimes on the furniture) with us. The cushions are super easy to clean and they dry fast. They're a dream."
Bizzi and Patsy just love the new patio and fire pit.
At this point, Steve was hoping the spending was over. Not so, said Sally. Planters and pots were filled with annuals for splashes of color, herbs for cooking and fragrance, and vegetables. Low-voltage pathway lights, patio torches, and candles were added for warmth and evening illumination. And new side tables provide places for guests to set drinks, books, and other items.
Annual and herb planters add tasty splashes of color.
Sally said, "look around for accent pieces at garage sales. I found an antique candelabra at a garage sale that came from an old dance hall in the community. All my half used candles now have a place to finish their last half"
Garage sales and thrift stores are great for finding accents pieces. This candelabra was picked up for $20.
Sally and Steve's patio fire pit makeover is complete, "for now," says Sally. The convenience of a gas fire pit enables them to enjoy it almost every evening, and makes it a centerpiece of their weekend entertaining. "Sally and I just fire it up, hang out together or with friends, then shut it down when we're done; no wood to gather or smoke to dodge," says Steve. "We really use the patio so much more now."