The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals rolled out an online and modularized version of its...
No matter how low e-commerce retailers price their products, brick-and-mortar retailers have a big...
At the height of pool season, there’s nothing more valuable than time. Pool professionals,...
To be successful amid the outdoor living boom, it's critical for retailers and builders to stay abreast of rapidly changing consumer tastes in backyard products. To help keep your product lines up to date, AQUA has partnered with design megasite Houzz to bring you more content about outdoor living, from pools and spas to outdoor kitchens and patio furniture. Below, a Houzz expert explores one of the biggest trends in backyards: the outdoor room.
When I was growing up, "outdoor living" consisted of some aluminum folding chairs and a Weber grill. But with the advent of synthetic wicker, all-weather fabrics, outdoor lighting and indoor-outdoor carpets, you can now live as stylishly and comfortably outdoors as you do indoors.
To make the most of al fresco living, look at your patio or porch the same way you might approach a room. Consider flooring, lighting, color, pattern, scale and texture. You might even give some thought to the walls, whether they're physical (as on a porch) or virtual (curtains or a planter filled with bamboo). Add an overhead heater or fan, and you might never want to leave.
Photo by Rikki Snyder
What makes a porch feel more like a room? The accessories. Potted plants can create a sense of enclosure in the great outdoors and also add a welcome touch of height. Lanterns and bowls of fruit embellish the space here too. An overhead fan is a great way to get more use out of a porch in steamy climes.
Related: Keep Your Cool Under These Ceiling Fans
Photo on right by Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates
Walls — even if they're made of canvas — can help frame views and shelter you from breezes. Plus, they give you a cozy and protected feeling when you're out in nature. Lanterns, potted plants and antiques (such as the enamel stove in the corner) add to the cozy quotient here.
Photo on lower right by Gregg Hodson Interior Design
Beverly Hills? Think again. This cushy casbah calls Salt Lake City, Utah, home. Lime-green fabric is an unexpected departure from the usual white canvas and helps give this backyard Bohemia a piquant presence, while the wood framework echoes the color of the furniture.
You don't expect to see a daybed outside, but in this case it does a great job of preserving sight lines from the sofa — and offers a great spot in which to stretch out for a nap. To get this look, think in multiples (three pendant lights, two dog sculptures) and don't stint on the pillows (or the cocktails).
(Scroll down for more.)
Photo by Woodson & Rummerfield's House of Design
OK, so this one really is in Beverly Hills. What makes it especially noteworthy is the exotic theme. After all, why can't a patio look Moroccan? Or French? Or Southwestern? We get so accustomed to seeing the same thing, we sometimes overlook the possibilities.
Photo on right by Wendi Young Design
With today's all-weather upholstery, there's no limit to how comfortable your outdoor furnishings can be. This grouping of four chairs inspires intimacy, while a timeworn table and vintage-style clock really add to the character. (Just as with interiors, it's always more interesting when you throw something old — or old-looking — into the mix.)
Photo by Krista Watterworth Design Studio
Rustic wood tables add a sense of age and texture to this porch that wouldn't be there if the tables looked like the chairs. The blanket is another nice touch.
"Echo Tango Suitcase and I'm back on the block. Meeting is at 0900 hours. Into my good civvies and I am Oscar Tango Mike."
You have two candidates waiting for interviews, though you only scheduled one at a time and thirty minutes apart. One is sitting thumbing through a copy of AQUA Magazine, the other stands even though an empty seat is available. This individual not only stands, but also stands out. Perfect posture and arms crossed, the veteran has his/her back six inches off the...
Last year, industry marketing consultant Leon Rawitz traveled to major pool and spa commerce centers across the U.S. to get a firsthand look at the state of retail. In the October 2017 issue, he wrote about several of his findings. (See "Winning Against Online Merchants.") Here, he shares his insights on the labor crunch in the pool and spa industry.
Any discussion regarding attracting and...
No matter how low e-commerce retailers price their products, brick-and-mortar retailers have a big advantage over their online counterparts: the ability to put a product in a customer’s hands before the sale. In fact, according to a report by digital commerce agency Astound Commerce, 73 percent of consumers visit a brick-and-mortar store for that very reason.
Called “Save Our Stores” (or “S.O.S.” for short), the report combines the results of 1,000 consumer surveys with a mystery...
Pool rails serve an essential purpose in the backyard: to ensure safe entry and egress from the water. But as important as they are, Larry Williams noticed something: In terms of design, they are often overlooked.
“When my parents were building their dream home, the builder encouraged them not to put in a swimming pool handrail because it would take away from the beauty of their yard,” Williams says. “When my mother got older, she was unable to get in and out of the...