Outdoor Spaces

May 23, 2016 | Tower Hill Insurance

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Now that your spring cleaning is finished indoors, consider turning your attention to your home’s outdoor spaces.

Now that your spring cleaning is finished indoors, consider turning your attention to your home’s outdoor spaces. Whether you spend time outdoors at your pool, grilling or gardening, a few quick fixes can go a long way in making those spaces outside your home more enjoyable.

Starting from scratch? If you are moving into a new home or have decided to completely update your outdoor décor, read on for helpful tips in making outdoor furniture selections. Easy care, comfort and adequate storage are key to keep in mind when shopping. Dual-purpose items, such as an ottoman that serves as both seating and storage, are often a practical favorite.

Especially with Florida’s humidity and heat combination, quality is important if you plan for your new furniture to hold up for more than one season. A wide range of materials are available to choose from: metal, wood, resin, wicker and more. Safety should always be a priority, so if there are little ones in your household you may want to choose furniture without sharp edges and avoid pieces that could easily tip over.

Check out these websites for hints on choosing patio furniture and creating comfortable yet functional outdoor spaces.

Better Homes & Gardens

Real Simple

House Beautiful


If you love your outdoor space as it is and simply need to freshen it up for the summer, you will be amazed at what eco-friendly cleaners and some elbow grease can accomplish. Don’t forget, this is often the perfect project for kids or grandkids to help with, so make it a family activity!

The original DIY-er and native Floridian Bob Vila suggests the following green-cleaning solutions for outdoors.

Outdoor Cushions: Try using one teaspoon teatree oil for every cup of water in a spray bottle, to remove mold from outdoor cushions. Test the fabric on the back side of the cushion first, to be sure the solution does not damage the fabric or color. If you are pleased with results from the test patch, spray the rest of the cushions and allow to dry ¾ there’s no need to rinse off.

Metal Lawn Furniture: A recipe of warm water (one gallon to start), one-quarter cup hydrogen peroxide, a scoop of Borax, plus a few drops of natural dish soap can work wonders. Spray the solution onto furniture and let sit for up to 15 minutes. Then scrub with a nylon brush and rinse off; repeat as needed.

Wicker and Teak Furniture: RealSimple.com recommends using a soft brush and a mild oil-based soap for cleaning furniture made of these popular outdoor materials that often need gentler treatment. More how-to tips are available here.

If your best efforts at cleaning still leave you wishing for a fresher look, try DIY painting to give your outdoor furniture a makeover. Style at Home offers helpful tips on how to prepare your items for re-finishing, plus which paints work best. The DIY Network provides a step-by-step guide and how-to videos, for even the most daunting projects.