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2011 - Volume 2 Issue 2
Casas Bonitas
Outdoor Living
Article: Jessica Muncrief
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Long gone are the days when hanging out by the pool meant sitting on scratchy vinyl chairs around a rusted, lopsided table. Homeowners are now realizing that their outdoor living spaces are just as important as the indoor areas. Fortunately, plenty of businesses and manufacturers are realizing it too and offering patio furniture and other outdoor items that are as luxurious, stylish and comfortable as what you would put in your living room.

    Photo Captions

1.) photo courtesy of
     OW Lee

2.) photo courtesy of
     Summer Classics

3.) photo courtesy of

4.) photo courtesy of

5.) photography by
     Bill Faulkner

Nash Patio and Garden

Rawson Builders Supply

The Patio
The first step in creating an amazing outdoor living space is determining purpose. If you are an avid griller with visions of friends and family enjoying evenings around the pool, then you will need a dining table to gather around and plenty of seating. If relaxing evenings lounging outside with a good book and a glass of wine are more your style, then comfortable, deep cushion loungers with lots of cozy pillows are in order. No matter your vision of a perfect outdoor experience, chic lines of patio furniture are plentiful. High-quality outdoor living sets are now available in a vast array of colors, shapes, styles and designs so there is no reason for you to sacrifice either comfort or personal style.

Consider your home's interior design elements and opt for similar pieces outside. If your family favors traditional looks, then search for chairs and loungers in dark wickers or woods with deep cushions in plush fabrics. Choose subtle, yet rich base colors and add decorative throw pillows in interesting patterns such as animal print, hound's tooth or polka dots. Dining and side tables made of wood and stone in classic square shapes are nice accent pieces.

For a more contemporary look, there are a lot of fun, whimsical shapes on the market this year. Maintain clean lines with oval and circular shaped pieces made of metal and wicker, or try teak for a particularly sleek look. Choose fabrics in bold, vibrant colors such as turquoise or red, and keep accents simple.

While our climate is optimal for spending time outdoors, our weather does venture into the extremes at times, so be sure to take this into consideration when deciding on a patio set. Jason Malooly, owner of The Patio in El Paso, advises steering away from aluminum based furniture in favor of iron or steel based pieces which stand up better to our dusty spring winds. Make sure the joints are welded, as bolted furniture always comes with problems and can present safety hazards. Jason also notes that wrought iron sets often come with warranties good for up to 20 years, which is important considering the harsh summer sun rays in this region.

Don't skimp on the fabrics either. Paying a little more for quality material can go a long way. Luxurious fabrics that were once only found indoors have now been made sun proof, waterproof, and mold proof, so there is no excuse for cracked and frayed seating. Mark Nash, owner of Nash Patio and Garden in El Paso, recommends Sunbrella, an industry leader offering a huge array of cushions, pillows, and throws in hundreds of colors, patterns and styles. With such great options and so many styles to choose from, there has never been a better time to upgrade your outdoor areas and make them as comfortable and beautiful as the inside of your home. ///
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