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Update on COVID-19

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6 Tips for Winter-proofing Your Outdoor Furniture

6 Tips for Winter-proofing Your Outdoor Furniture

It’s that time of year again, and patio season is coming to a close until next year.  Here are a few key tips for taking care of your outdoor furniture during the colder months.

1. Store your outdoor cushions and umbrella canopies inside for the winter.

Make sure that they are clean and dry before storing them. If you need to clean your Sunbrella cushions we do not recommend taking your covers off, rather spot clean using a soft cloth and a mild detergent (dish soap).  Do this on a sunny day when the cushions can be placed in full sun rotate while drying to avoid watermarks.  If you have difficult stains please refer the Sunbrella stain chart for further recipes.

2. Clean off your outdoor furniture frames

Hose them down (do not power wash) and if necessary use a mild detergent (dish soap). Be sure to never use any harsh chemicals on your outdoor furniture. 

3. Stainless steel needs special care

Give it a quick once over with mineral oil after you clean it with soap and water. Mineral oil will help protect against corrosion over the winter, repeat again in the spring.

 4. Untreated teak is weather-proof

Untreated teak furniture can be left outdoors uncovered all 12 months of the year, no matter where you live. If you choose to cover your teak furniture during the winter use a material that allows the wood to breathe.

Clean your teak at the beginning and end of the season with a mix of dish soap and water. Any mold or mildew can be removed with a bleach and water combination.

5. Cover your furniture with proper, fitted covers

Outdoor furniture is meant to survive harsh Canadian winters however covering it with proper protective covers will increase its life span and preserve its luxurious appearance, warding off moisture and UV damage.

6. If storing it, store it (up)right

If you have the space and opt to store your furniture in a garage, gazebo, pool house or anywhere that the temperature dips below zero, be sure that all of your furniture remains in the position it was meant to be in, upright.  Do not store any tables on their sides or other position.

Aluminum frames have weeping holes, allowing any water/moisture to drain. If the frames do not drain properly flash freezing can occur, ultimately causing your aluminum frames to burst, so be sure to empty any water.

If you have any questions about how to care for your patio furniture over fall and winter, do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Casualife, the Toronto outdoor furniture specialists. You can reach us directly via phone or email at both our Markham and Mississauga showroom stores.

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You Need Fire: A Quick Guide to Fire Pits

You Need Fire: A Quick Guide to Fire Pits

As backyards have evolved incredibly over the last 5-10 years we are now treating them with just as much time and detail as we do our interior spaces.

Backyards now include many different elements and the most common additions are water and FIRE! Both of these elements add a layer of relaxation, zen, luxury and indulgence. 

Make your backyard your own luxury getaway — whether you have a water feature or not, fire pits can transform your space into an experience.

Read on to learn more about inspiring layouts, materials, shapes and sizes in our fire pits guide.

Outdoor Fire Pit Layouts That Transform Your Space

Make a statement with a fire pit focal point. Whether you are inside or outside, at a marvelous event or just taking in the view, fire pits can be used to create drama, a feature, a feeling! They do not always need to be in a setting, rather they can be stand-alone art.

For example, pictured below see how fire pits flanking a pool create a sense of drama, or line a pathway to light your way and instill a feeling of tranquility.

Creating an intimate setting for yourself or gatherings of loved ones only gets better when you add fire.

Fire creates a gathering place, a destination that is so inviting and warming on those cool nights. Who can resist? You have to gather round.

Alea Fire Pit

Sonoma Fire Pit

Types of Fire Pits

Fire pits are available in 3 different options — natural gas, propane and wood — and it is important to take the below tips into consideration before you go out and buy one.

Natural gas and propane fire pits are most common in cities, where wood burning fire pits are prohibited. 

Natural gas fire pits are ideal, but to do this a natural gas line must be run to your desired area underground and by a certified gas installer. Keep in mind that you need to budget for the cost of this gas line. A gas line can start around $1000 and can go upwards by the thousands depending on how far this gas line is required to run. If you are in the beginning phase of a backyard reno it is best to work that gas line into your plans so it can be executed without disruption.

If your outdoor space is done then you need to decide — am I willing to dig up my stone or pavers to add in this line? Will it affect the look and finish of my space? If on a deck, do you have access underneath and can the gas line be run to my desired area? If adding a gas line is too disruptive to your space then propane is for you!

Propane fire pits keep things simple and flexible. With propane your fire pit will be completely movable should you wish to change its location and it is a more budget friendly option, avoiding the need to run a gas line.

The compromise to selecting propane would be the following. With our low modern style fire pits there is no room to accommodate a propane tank in its body, and you also would not want to pick up this fire pit to access a propane tank. As a result, you must store the tank outside of the fire pit, exposing the propane line that will run from your fire pit to your desired tank location.

The tank could be tucked behind your sofa, or even better, hidden under one of our dual use propane covers/side tables. Please find a high and low option below — they are attractive as well as functional. Keep in mind that a standard supplied propane hose is 12 feet in length, so you will want to ensure that suits your space.

If you are considering a natural gas or propane fire pit for a covered area, such as a backyard patio, you need to ensure that you have a full 8 feet of safety clearance from the top of the fire pit to the covering above to meet code.

Propane fire pits come in a range of stunning shapes and sizes. For example, our stunning Dekko concrete fire pits are available in the following standard forms:

Square: This shape is great for smaller urban areas like city backyards. Clean in lines and design, this is a crisp option for a small sectional and 4 club chairs.

Alea Fire Pit

Round: Perfect in any setting, allowing for easy movement and circular conversation, this shape is great for seating 2 to 8 people, all depending on your level of desired coziness.

Belmont Fire Pit

Rectangular: The classic fire pit shape, it maximizes entertaining space and works in standard to oversized areas.

Avera Fire Pit 60" or 48"

Lastly and lets not forget the old classic wood burning fire pits! Stunning in rural areas with space to burn.

Asia Fire Pit

We carry a beautiful line of handmade Coreten steel wood burning fire pits. Coreten steel will stand up against heat long term, and it has a gorgeous rust patina finish creating an urban industrial but still warm look. 

Our Asia wood burning fire pit is low and close to the ground, providing a full view of the fire in a very clean and contemporary way.

Finally, our scallop fire pit is a favorite. This gentle soothing design compliments any landscape either by the water or far away. Enjoy the rust patina exterior of this Corten Steel fire pit for a lifetime.

Scallop Fire Pit

With Casualife’s space planning services we are happy to assist in determining what shape and size of fire pit is just right for you and your favourite outdoor area. Plus, all of our Dekko fire pits are handmade here in Ontario.

For grand and unique spaces the possibilities are endless. Please contact us today to learn more about our custom program to design a fire feature exclusively for you!

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8 Ways You Can Use Planters to Make Your Outdoor Space Luxurious

8 Ways You Can Use Planters to Make Your Outdoor Space Luxurious

Planters for your outdoor space are like artwork on your walls, or that object on your coffee table. And just like your indoor space, it is important to add those additional touches — warm up your space, make it feel inviting, lush and even cozy. These finishing touches are what will set your space apart from others, creating that next-level luxury feel.

There are many reasons for using planters, and every outdoor space can use a planter or two to enhance the look and feel.

Enhance an entryway with flanking pots and dramatic plantings

Create interest in an otherwise boring throughway or long exposed fence with a series of the same pot

Odd numbers are best!

Use pots to enhance pillars or structural elements, layering in elements of 3

 

Edges and corners of large hardscape areas are the perfect place to land an eye catching arrangement

They bring the space in and soften those harsh corners, add visual interest and just feel good!

Using oversized tall rectangular planters you can create interest on an otherwise boring wall

You can also use them to create privacy from a neighboring yard.

Planters can be used to break up a space creating several spaces in one

These low rectangular planters do a very nice job, not imposing on sightlines but have enough presence creating warmth and a transition into another area of the deck or patio.

Create a focal point using pots

If you have large open areas that feels dismal or vacant, and it doesn’t make any sense to furnish that space, you can create a focal point with a cluster of well-situated oversized pots.

Looking for guidance on planning your outdoor space? Our team of Toronto outdoor furniture specialists are available to assist you, and can provide a design consultation tailored to your needs.

We are here to help! You can reach us directly at both our Markham and Mississauga showroom outdoor furniture stores.

To stay up to date with the latest Casualife news, promotions and design tips, subscribe to our newsletter.

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How To Clean And Care For Your Outdoor Furniture This Patio Season

How To Clean And Care For Your Outdoor Furniture This Patio Season

Whether you are about to open your patio for spring or you are thinking of purchasing new furniture this year, read on to learn about the different materials that are available for your outdoor space, what to expect and how you need to care for them.

How to clean stainless steel patio furniture

All of our stainless steel furniture is 304 grade, this is the strongest metal against corrosion/rust.  Please note surface rust and pitting can occur: this will happen with more exposure to humid temperatures, chlorine and salt.  To minimize this we suggest the following cleaning routine at both the beginning and end of the patio season.

Clean your stainless steel with a non-abrasive cloth, water and a mild soap (such as Dawn dish soap), rinse and dry.  Apply a thin coat of mineral oil over the entire surface of the frame and wipe off the excess with a clean microfiber cloth.  If rust/pitting occurs, use a Scotch-Brite pad and CLR cream cleaner. Move the pad with muscle in the same direction of the steel, then rinse extremely well with water and apply mineral oil.  For scratches use a Scotch-Brite pad and mineral oil, rubbing in the direction of the grain.

How to clean teak outdoor furniture

Teak used in Casualife furniture is grade A.  Teak is the most durable wood for exteriors and is a natural material that will absorb moisture, show scratches and develop hairline cracks as it expands and contracts.  Teak will naturally begin to “grey” or patina, due to UV exposure, within months to a full year. We recommend keeping your teak in its natural state for minimal maintenance and enjoy that weathered patina look that is so classic for teak.

For regular cleaning, use water or water and dish soap.  Leave your teak exposed over the winter months to avoid trapping moisture and growth of mold and mildew.  To remove mold and mildew use a mixture of bleach and water. Lightweight sandpaper can also be used to remove stains and scratches, however, this can re-expose the natural teak.

Note: Our painted recycled teak products should be cleaned with dish soap and water only, using a non-abrasive cloth.  Loss of paint constitutes normal wear and tear, and can happen at any time, exposing the natural teak underneath that will patina with time. 

How to clean woven resin and paint finish furniture

All of our woven resin is made from high-density polyethylene.  They have been extensively tested to stand up to UV as well as our hot and cold Canadian climate.   Our resins will not crack or absorb moisture and will experience very minimal fading in their lifetime.  Structurally, our frames are made from high-density tubular aluminum. All paint finishes have been powder coated for exterior use.

To clean both your painted aluminum and woven furniture, use nothing more than a non-abrasive cloth, water and a mild detergent (such as Dawn dish soap).  Using any type of chemical or cleaner will void your warranty and can negatively affect your finishes. Use a hose to rinse off any dirt or soap, and absolutely do not power-wash.

How to care for concrete side tables and coffee tables

Our concrete accent tables are made of a traditional silicate base, mixed with polymer and fiber to strengthen and lighten it. This product is to be stored inside seasonally and should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Cover whenever possible.  Hairline cracks are normal due to expansion and contraction. Wash with dish soap and water.

How to clean and care for Dekko fire pits

Composed of a lightweight concrete composite, Dekko fire pits are made to withstand the elements year-round.  Please use the vinyl cover provided to keep debris and dirt out of your burner (only do this once your pit has cooled).  To clean the shell of your Dekko fire pit use a wet cloth or magic eraser using a bit of vinegar or dish soap. You can also sand scuffs and scratches when needed, the colour is all the way through the concrete. 

It is important to know that, prior to regular use, it is strongly advised to cure the river rock. This is a one-time routine: remove any cracked rocks, move surrounding furniture and then ignite the fire pit for a minimum of 1 hour. Any rocks that have moisture/hairlines cracks will crack or pop at this time.

How to care for Treasure Garden umbrellas

All of our Treasure Garden AKZ cantilever umbrellas are made with aluminum frames.  Umbrellas should always be kept closed when not in use or when unattended.  Please ensure that when using your umbrella that it has been opened completely so the frame is in its most stable state.  Please ensure your AKZ has no tilt applied from side to side prior to opening it and closing it. Never force your umbrella.  For Canopy umbrellas, please see Sunbrella fabric care.

How to clean Sunbrella fabric

Cushions and Canopies are recommended to be spot cleaned.  Always start with a non-abrasive dry cloth to remove soil as it may be topical.  If that does not work, next use water or water and Dawn dish soap. Be sure to rinse well with water to avoid soap rings.  If cushions are fully saturated, tilt the cushion up with the zipper side down for drainage, and place in the full sun to dry. For stains please see the Sunbrella Stain Chart for guidance.

With a bit of care and maintenance, you can make your outdoor furniture really last, so you and your family can continue to enjoy it year after year. If you have any questions about how to care for your patio furniture, do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Casualife, the Toronto outdoor furniture specialists. You can reach us directly via phone or email at both our Markham and Mississauga showroom stores.

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3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait Until After Renovating To Pick Outdoor Furniture

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait Until After Renovating To Pick Outdoor Furniture

You’re all ready to start renovating your outdoor space as soon as spring arrives. The contractor is lined up and the plans have been drawn. You’ve been so busy working out the details of your new pool and yard, how could you even think about furniture yet?

Sound familiar?   

After a major investment in redesigning your backyard, a lot of people leave the furniture that will make that space feel like home as an afterthought.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Making your outdoor furniture selections a key part of your renovation planning process is important for successfully designing and executing your revitalized outdoor space. It will prevent hard-to-solve issues and deliver real benefits, such as…

It ensures you will have space for the outdoor furniture you want

Great furniture will be a key ingredient to how you use and enjoy your new or renovated outdoor space, but if you leave decisions around which pieces you want until after the renovation begins, you may not have the physical space to make your dream come true.

When it comes to outdoor spaces like backyards and patios, even one or two feet can be the difference between your ideal piece of furniture fitting and having to make major compromises.

You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have to reject what you really wanted and downsize to something that is merely OK, especially when you have your heart set on a piece of standout furniture like a beautiful daybed or an oh-so-you sofa.

By working your furniture choices and dimensions into the renovation process, you’ll avoid disappointment!

It helps you stay within budget and take advantage of sales

Having a clear idea of what furniture you want in your outdoor space before the shovels pierce the ground will help you stay within budget.

One way this is helps is by letting you browse around for the furniture you want before the shopping season is in full spin. This lets you avoid the scenario where you go to buy the piece you want, but discover it’s sold out and not available for another 6-8 weeks — meaning you have to scramble to find a substitute piece, which may end up being more expensive.

Plus, giving yourself more time to plan out your furniture lets you take advantage of outdoor furniture sales — especially large discount end-of-season sales — that will be over if you wait until your work is done and end up shopping in peak-season. Taking your time and shopping smart can literally save you thousands of dollars while ensuring the items you want are in stock.

It gives you more time to think through your options and consult experts

Choosing your outdoor furniture isn’t something to take lightly — especially with quality furniture built to high standards and built to last — and should be seen as a significant investment for your home.

Which is to say it’s not something you want to rush through.

Being able to research all the designs, styles and brands available for your space means when you do make a decision, it will be the right one — you’ll be happy for years and won’t second-guess your choices.

And taking your time also gives you breathing room to consult design experts who can guide you through what pieces fit within your style and budget. At Casualife, our design team are experts on outdoor living spaces, have a keen eye for the little details that matter and above all are focused on your needs and finding the best furniture for you.

We even have the skills and visual design tools so you can figure out what will fit in your concept outdoor space and how it will look.

Having the time to think things through and consult design specialists means you will get the most value out of your outdoor space, with both the right items and layout, and will always be anticipating that first real day of summer.

Curious about finding the right furniture for your dream outdoor space? Get in touch with our helpful staff today at our Mississauga or Markham showrooms, and sign up for the Casualife newsletter for the latest design tips, promotions and more.

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