Column: Ways to make the outdoors more vibrant

A cantilever umbrella immediately creates an outdoor space and destroys the suns penetrating rays to you and your patio. (Submitted photo)

A cantilever umbrella immediately creates an outdoor space and destroys the suns penetrating rays to you and your patio. (Submitted photo)

The next few months will be an exhilarating rush for happy homeowners who thrive with outdoor living. We can’t wait to attack luxury outdoor living on our patios and decks, grilling out, enjoying a craft beer and cranking up Spotify or the music vehicle of choice.


With that brings innate desires to transform our spaces to something more vibrant. More livable and stylish. The gushing of new products designed to accomplish just that is enormous. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites:

● My all-time favorite innovation is the cantilever umbrella that immediately creates an outdoor room and destroys the suns penetrating rays to your patio. We love the huge 11-foot wide quality umbrellas that can be found at Costco and a Frontgate catalog. Ours has endured four years and spared loads of sunburns.

● Fade resistant rugs and pillows … that actually are fade resistant. Most aren’t, I’ve learned through trials. Google reviews for guidance. It’s an immediate strategy to jazz your space with energetic color.

● Behr Deck Over stain is revolutionizing the deck maintenance business, and killing my deck building business. Imagine your deck encapsulated with a gorgeous thick layer of protection that makes a splintered ugly duckling suddenly smoothly relevant. We’ve rescued several that homeowners were planning on eliminating.

● Lightweight ornamental pots. I agree most are still tacky, but persevere and discover the authentic interpretations that will survive years of abuse.

● Stainless steel grills of all sorts with fun gizmos attached.


Sure there have been a few misfires over the years (massive low maintenance perennials gardens … that really aren’t, the railroad tie craze of the ’90s where we invented ways to use them, solar lights that don’t). But let’s focus on the happy.

Welcome to the 2015 incredible outdoor living season! Please enjoy often, loudly and with friends.

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