Keep the Mosquitoes Away

October 3, 2008

As someone who has always been an all-you-can eat buffet for mosquitoes, I was extremely happy to discover the Mosquito Magnet®. The Mosquito Magnet® is a trap that is used to catch mosquitoes and other biting insects that are around your yard.

It works simply by running the machine 24/7 in your yard. While the Mosquito Magnet® is running it gives off carbon dioxide that is proven to attract mosquitoes. Once the insects are drawn to the magnet they are vacuumed into a bag. When used properly the Mosquito Magnet® has been proven to reduce breeding of mosquitoes, making it easier to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

There are different sizes of Mosquito Magnets® available depending on the size of your yard. If you want to cover a large area then setting up multiple machines is the way to go. Read more

Fencing

July 1, 2008

FencingOne of the outdoor space design principles that we covered in our design ideas page is the need to enclose outdoor spaces in the same fashion that we enclose indoor spaces. For outdoor spaces, this enclosure is often some type of fencing.

Fencing for outdoor spaces is available in a huge range of styles and materials, from ornamental wood to futuristic metal. Fences can be completely solid, or virtually invisible depending on the materials you choose. As with any element you chose, it’s critical that the fence you choose serves its intended purpose (security, screening, visual feature, etc.) and compliments the rest of your space. Read more

Patio Lights

June 18, 2008

Bumblebee Lights In our introductory post on outdoor lighting we talked about how outdoor lighting extends the usability of your space into the evening hours, and creates a warm inviting environment. Low voltage lighting is available in a variety of styles, and can be installed relatively easily. An even easier solution is simply plugging in a strand of outdoor patio lights, also known as ‘café lights’. Patio lights are available in a variety to styles, and make a welcome addition to virtually any outdoor space. Light strings work especially well when strung from structures, arbors or tree branches, but can also be hung along the edge of stone walls, or wrapped around an adjacent tree trunk. The intensity of these lights is low enough that they can be used in conjunction with other lighting types such path lights or post lamps without over lighting the space. Read more

Paving Materials - Part 2 of 2

June 13, 2008

Getty Center Earlier this week we outlined some of the basic paving options for outdoor spaces. These materials included concrete, brick, bluestone, and concrete pavers. Here are a few other unique paving options that you might want to consider. Read more

Paving Materials - Part 1 of 2

June 10, 2008

Paving MaterialsUp until now, most of the articles featured on Great Outdoor Spaces have focused on the various elements and features that help define outdoor spaces - planters, patio furniture, outdoor kitchens, outdoor lighting etc. And as important as these features are, there is another ‘under-rated’ element that must be addressed in every outdoor space - paving. The paving materials used for your outdoor space, set the stage for how the rest of elements come together - it is one element that brings them all together. Read more

Planters

May 16, 2008

Planters
One of the most underrated and versatile elements for enhancing your outdoor space is the simple garden planter. A planter can be used to frame an entrance or define a path. They can be used as the focal point of space, or put together in groups to screen an unwanted view. And depending on how you plan to use your outdoor space on a given day, the same group of planters can used for different tasks - one day they might be grouped to create a unique focal point, or positioned around a table on another day.

Depending on your specific needs, planters are available in an endless array of sizes, shapes and materials. Regardless of how the planter is used, it’s important that the style of the planter complements the rest of your space. If multiple planters are used, their styles should be complimentary, but not necessarily the same. Read more

Outdoor Rugs

May 14, 2008

One easy way to dress up an old patio or deck is with a new outdoor rug. Outdoor rugs provide warmth and softness to your outdoor space and are available in a variety of great styles. As with any fabrics used outdoors, it is crucial that the rug is constructed of exterior grade synthetic fabrics such as olefin or polypropylene that resist mildew, staining and are UV-resistant.

When in comes to picking a rug, be sure to consider fire pit and grill locations prior to picking a size and location; sparks and grease will damage even the toughest outdoor fabrics. If your space is in need of some punch, consider a bold pattern or color in order to brighten up the space. If your outdoor space already has a major focal element, you may want to consider something more subdued. Lighter colors will make the space feel larger, while darker colors will help make your outdoor space more intimate.outdoor rug

Outdoor rugs are available from many reputable manufacturers. OutdoorRugs.com sells nothing but outdoor rugs and carpets, and has sizes and styles to meet your every need.

We particularly like the Barcelona Braided Rug by Homespice Decor (image left). The rug is constructed of Dupont olefin fiber and is available in a variety of sizes. A colorful blend of burgundy, dark and olive greens, gold and cream, will work well in just about any outdoor space.

Outdoor Lighting Basics

May 8, 2008

outdoor lighting
Outdoor lighting is an often over looked, but crucial element to creating great outdoor spaces. Outdoor lighting extends the function of outdoor spaces into the evening, and helps define a warm and inviting living space. A variety of lighting effects are possible through proper use of outdoor lighting.

Uplighting: Uplighting can be used to highlight a vertical object in your outdoor space such as a specimen tree, an interesting façade, or landscape structure such as trellises and arbors. Read more