Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice

Despite temperatures already reaching the mid-to-high 90s, today is the official first day of summer! Summer is the time to sit on the porch, relax and watch the sun go down. Don't worry we have some tips and tricks to get your outdoor space a great place to relax and enjoy the summer.

This is an amazing outdoor space Wamhoff Development and myself collaborated on. Can't overlook the custom Summer Classics furniture!

1) Outdoor furniture doesn't get the comfort of air conditioning

There are a wide variety of outdoor furniture companies that sell products in all sorts of price ranges.  Outdoor furniture and fabrics have to endure much more than just normal everyday wear and tear.  They have to endure rainstorms, hot hot hot temperatures, and chlorine or salt water from your pool or beach. Take a moment to assess what sort of beatings your furniture is going to take and check out different products and their reviews.  What may be great for high heat may not live as well in close proximity to salt water...

Check out Summer Classics for some of my favorite outdoor furniture!

2) Sunbrella, Sunbrella, Sunbrella

If you are getting furniture with cushions, but sure that it is OUTDOOR rated fabric. This will ensure that the color does not fade in the sun, mildew won't grow after a rain, dyes won't run after an afternoon swim and then lounge. Sunbrella is the most popular brand outdoor fabric, and it's my favorite. Their collections have lots of  great colors and patterns to chose from. Plus when they get dirty you can literally just hose them off!

 Gallery: Unassuming Awning

3) Know how to take care of your furniture

Outdoor furniture requires a little different maintenance than your indoor sofas and chairs.  For example, most manufacturers recommend vertically orienting your cushions after a rainstorm or good washing is the best way to dry the cushions.  Make sure to check manufacturers suggestions for cleaning and maintaining your new stuff.

Happy Designing!
Erika and Erin


  1. Thanks for the shout out for Sunbrella and for the good tip on drying cushions after a rainstorm. We would like to note that the seams/zipper opening should be at the bottom so any water on the inside can quickly drain away (and thus the reason for being vertical). The quicker they dry, the quicker you can enjoy them again.

  2. Wamhoff Development and Erika Barczak make a great team! What a wonderful outdoor space you both created. Love,