Gazebos: Then and Now

Have you ever felt like a King or Queen while you lounged in your Gazebo? Well, there was once a time when only royalty could use a gazebo in places like Egypt. While this tradition no longer holds true in America, the gazebo’s rich history is woven through many cultures.

Gazebos were initially used for VIPs. In ancient Egypt, the royal family sat in an ‘earthly paradise’ or gazebo. The rich even went so far as to include gazebos in their tombs. The Romans and Greeks built their gazebos out of marble and were used by the public. These are the most famous, historical images you’ve seen of gazebos – a symbol of wealth, celebration and relaxation.

However, in Eastern civilization, gazebos were used as a place for spiritual reflection. During the Renaissance, monasteries started to use gazebos as meditation spots and shrines. In China and Japan, gazebos were a large part of their culture, acting as a teahouse and used for tea ceremonies.

Pavilion in Taiwan. Photo by Sudasana
Pavilion in Taiwan. Photo by Sudasana

The Persians believed gazebos were meccas of relaxation. They deliberately built their gazebos near waterways with flowers and vines growing up the posts.

The gazebo’s popularity grew in the early 1600’s when France erected four gazebos outside the prominent Louvre museum. The rest of the world caught on in the 1700’s and gazebos became a part of cultures all over the world.

Gazebo from 1895. Photo by Graphicsfairy.com
Gazebo from 1895. Photo by Graphicsfairy.com

In American presidential history, George Washington used a small, eight-sided gazebo at Mount Vernon while Thomas Jefferson mentioned gazebos in his writing, describing them as pavilions and summer homes. Gazebos gained popularity in the States in the 1800’s – the same time the middle class began to prosper. Gazebos were actually a part of wrap around porches that were popular during this time. However, throughout the century, patios and decks replaced the gazebo in this setting.

Today, Americans follow the Mediterranean dweller’s culture of using the gazebo for gatherings and also privately at home. While you don’t need to be rich or royal to own a gazebo today, it still exudes the symbol of having a charming, comfortable lifestyle. See yourself living this lifestyle with one of Fifthroom.com’s gorgeous gazebos like our Dodecagon Gazebos with your choice of a vinyl, treated pine, or red cedar roof. Our Treated Pine Rectangle Gazebo is perfect for a smaller gathering right in your backyard, garden or even in a parks and recreation setting.

Fifthroom.com s Treated Pine Rectangular Gazebo
Fifthroom.com
s Treated Pine Rectangular Gazebo

And, when you purchase a gazebo from Fifthroom.com and sit in it with friends and family, you can still tell them you’re a VIP!

 

Pinning a Backyard Retreat

The cold winter here in Pittsburgh has got us imagining the perfect backyard retreat! We are turning to Pinterest to show key features of a place where you can escape. Here are our four recommendations:

An overarching structure:
Don’t you just love that special ‘place’ in your home where you can relax? Maybe it’s the comfy couch in the living room or the cozy window seat. Well, we love having that same kind of place OUTSIDE. This pergola is so inviting and warm.apartmenttherapy.com

The hanging curtains add a touch of privacy and make you feel like you are sitting inside – all nice and warm. Our Treated Pine Ramada could be your new destination for relaxation and fun!

Fifthroom.com's Treated Pine Single Roof Ramada
Fifthroom.com’s Treated Pine Single Roof Ramada

Pillows are the real man’s best friend
Once again, we want to stress how important it is to get inspired by what’s inside your home and to bring those pieces outside. When your guests see a few pillows lying on your outdoor furniture or even on the porch, they will want to stay for a while. Even if you are

Photo from popular pinterest-pins.blogspot.com
Photo from popular pinterest-pins.blogspot.com

by yourself lounging on pillows with a warm cup of coffee in hand, the setting screams backyard retreat! These pillows below are really fun and the homeowner wasn’t afraid to simply lay them right on their wooden porch. Bright-colored, patterned, or solid-colored pillows with one-worded text are in style right now.

Create a secret spot
Sometimes we want to go into hiding – to escape the stress and take time for ourselves (which we should!). This beautiful hideaway is just large enough for a few people. The wooden planks leading to the chair are fun and the mismatched patterned pillows take that theme even further.

Photo by earthporm.com
Photo by earthporm.com

The planks could be replaced for a pedestrian bridge to make the mood even more enchanting. Fifthroom.com has a variety of bridges including our Treated Pine Rope Rail Bridge with Cedar Posts. The overarching shrubs and trees in this secret spot bring this look full circle.

Add a pool
If you want to have the ultimate backyard retreat, adding a pool is key. You will never have to leave your backyard again! Your home will become the go-to for relaxing afternoons poolside and soirees at night. We love how natural this setting feels, too. The plants in extreme proximity, the overhanging porch, and small waterfall help to make this setting seem like the pool wasn’t man made, but existed even before the home was built.

Photo by freshideen.com
Photo by freshideen.com

You can view these pins and more on our Pinterest board highlighting ways to create your own backyard retreat. Follow our Pinterest board and share your ideas with us here at Fifthroom.com! Happy pinning!

Retro Home Trend Returns: Rattan Furniture

As we near the end of the year, let’s take a look back at one home trend that bounced back into our lives in 2014: rattan furniture. While rattan furniture was popular in the 1960s and 1970s, it has never made such a larger comeback than today. Before 2014, you probably saw a rattan chair in grandma’s house – but look out – your best friend is probably ordering a rattan piece right now. Online. Here are some tips to help you incorporate rattan furniture into your home:

What is rattan?
Rattan is created from palm species found in Africa and Asia and is the primary material used to create wicker. Its cross-cultural style exudes an exotic feel. Many people categorize rattan furniture into a tropical style collection, but I think you could also describe it as a tribal piece. Either way, many associate rattan furniture with relaxation. Thoughts of imagining yourself lounging in an African retreat or tropical oasis come to mind when surrounded by rattan (but when don’t these thoughts come to mind??).

Mix the old with the new
Combining antiques with modern pieces inside your home is going to be a trend to watch for in 2015. You’ve probably already seen the wave, but the tidal wave is coming soon. You may already have modern furniture or pieces in your home. If so, head over to a vintage shop or antique store and search for rattan furniture to add to your collection. On the weekend, explore yard sales or online local sites like Craigslist. A quick search on eBay generates over five pages of rattan furniture! And, don’t be afraid to mix and match fabrics and patterns. Take a look at this modern rattan chair for some inspiration:

Photo by Rachel Whiting
Photo by Rachel Whiting


Your room doesn’t need a ‘tropical’ feel
I recently read a Zillow Q&A about a woman who wanted to put rattan furniture inside her living room to create a ‘tropical’ theme. A Zillow agent responded back that if the house has a traditional feel, stay away from using rattan furniture inside. This post was from 2011. In 2014, we are ignoring this statement! Go ahead and be bold: add a vintage rattan chair to your traditional home. I’ve even seen ceiling fans like Fifthroom.com’s Oil Rubbed Bronze Nedmac Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Aged Rattan Blades paired well with modern and traditional furniture. The fan’s rich color and texture is eye catching and it makes for a great addition to your room.

Fifthroom.com's 52" Oil-Rubbed Bronze Coix Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Aged Rattan Blades
Fifthroom.com’s 52″ Oil-Rubbed Bronze Coix Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Aged Rattan Blades
Fifthroom.com's 52" Oil Rubbed Bronze Nedmac Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Aged Rattan Blades
Fifthroom.com’s 52″ Oil Rubbed Bronze Nedmac Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Aged Rattan Blades

 

If rattan furniture speaks to you, visit Fifthroom.com today to see our collection of other woven furniture like our gorgeous wicker furniture.

Urban Gardening – How to Create Another Room

Living in the city has its benefits, but it poses some challenges. Take it from me – I’m a city girl with more dings in my car than I can count on one hand. Things are just a little more complicated in the city. Space is one issue. Because of this, urban gardening needs creativity and a hint of design. And, if you light it properly, it gives the impression that your garden is another room of the house, the Fifthroom perhaps. Here are some ideas to inspire you to create the perfect room in your garden:

Note: Even if you’re not a city slicker, these tricks are still good to use in the ‘burbs or in the country!

Build a wall
If you are working with a roof terrace, build a wall of green shrubs around it. The wall creates a romantic, private atmosphere, but is much prettier than a concrete wall. The vegetation is charming paired with a classic outdoor dining set like Fifthroom.com’s Wicker Domain Deep Seat Patio Collection.

Photo: Homedit
Photo: Homedit

Use potted plants
If your city backyard is on the smaller side and solely concrete or even has very little grass, potted plants are a great way to still have that beautiful garden you’ve always wanted. Stick with light colors to keep the overall aesthetic breezy. Remember to plant vertically to save space. A small set of patio furniture is ideal for this miniature garden. Try Fifthroom.com’s Poly Lumber 3-Piece Cozi-Back Counter Set. The poly lumber is maintenance free and guaranteed not to crack, chip, peel, rot or rust!

Fifthroom.com's Polywood 3-Piece Cozi-Back Counter Set
Fifthroom.com’s Poly Lumber 3-Piece Cozi-Back Counter Set

Create the illusion of space
Designers use this trick indoors: if you are struggling for space, adding a mirror to your garden creates the illusion of more space! Simply hang the mirror on your home, shed, or even on a fence like the photo below. Choose a large mirror in a neutral color that matches your patio furniture or any other structure in your garden. A little design on the mirror shows personality, too.

Photo: NotJustaHouseWife.net
Photo by NotJustaHouse Wife.net

Section off zones
A three-room apartment always feels bigger than a studio apartment, right? Bring this concept outdoors: segment your terrace or garden to make it feel bigger than it is. You can start by creating a dining section with a long rectangular or oval table and chairs. Define the space even further by adding a pergola. Fifthroom.com’s Vinyl 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola comes in sizes ranging from 8’ x 8’ to 16’ x 32’, so if space is a concern for you, no worries!

Fifthroom.com's 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola
Fifthroom.com’s 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola

Take full advantage of your urban garden with these tips and head over to Fifthroom.com to get even more inspiration from our beautiful outdoor lighting, furniture and large structures!

Add Peace to Your Home Atmosphere with a Porch Swing

Life moves fast these days. We are constantly in a rush. And, creating a peaceful, relaxing environment at home is essential for a fast paced lifestyle (especially around this time of the holiday season). Adding one of Fifthroom.com’s outdoor swings to your porch or yard is the perfect solution to unwinding from life’s daily grind. Here are our top three tips for purchasing an outdoor swing to fit your personality and taste:

Pick a material YOU like
Wood or plastic? The variety of life isn’t ignorant to porch swings. It’s the very opposite – and that’s good news for you! Fifthroom.com has 11 different kinds of materials to choose from ranging from recycled plastic in many beautiful colors to our popular red cedar swing. Think about the style you want to portray. Do you want a classic or modern style swing? If it’s classic you want, Parade Magazine recommends our Red Cedar Royal Highback Porch Swing.

Fifthroom.com's Red Cedar Royal Highback Porch Swing
Fifthroom.com’s Red Cedar Royal Highback Porch Swing

Consider the weather
If you are placing the swing outside, the material you choose should depend on the climate. If you are in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, a plastic swing works best. They are easy to clean and will withstand the elements. Our Polywood Nautical Swing is maintenance free because it’s made from polyethylene lumber, which is partly comprised of recycled plastic. It has the ability to withstand the harshest climates without chipping or warping!

Add the ultimate comfort zone: a Hammock
I’ve seen hammocks hung up on a wrap around porch of an old Victorian home or even next to a pool in the back yard. Nothing says ‘kick back and relax’ better than this outdoor swing.

Fifthroom.com's Tifton Twintex Hammock
Fifthroom.com’s Tifton Twintex Hammock

Fifthroom.com has styles in traditional rope and chairs that can go inside or outside. Looking for a unique hammock? Try our Newberry Nami Chair, a cross between a chair swing and a hammock. It’s equipped with a footrest, a weather-resistant cushion and even a cup holder. All you need now is a warm cup of coffee, a good book and it’s time to relax!

Fifthroom.com's Newberry Nami Chair
Fifthroom.com’s Newberry Nami Chair

 

You’ve Decked the Halls, Now Decorate Outside

It’s easy to get caught up with decorating and gearing up for the holidays inside by putting up a Christmas tree or menorah, baking, and wrapping presents. But, the outside of your home is what greets you on your way home from work or after a holiday shopping frenzy. Show your gazebo and other outdoor elements some holiday decorating love with our take on some fresh ideas:

Make your mailbox more than a placeholder for Christmas cards
This is a simple way to spread holiday cheer: Fasten cedar, fir and berries around your mailbox. Spray white paint on the ends of the tree branches to create a snow effect. Top it off with a big, bright red bow.

Add a Christmas tree to your gazebo
A bright and shining Christmas tree inside a gazebo with snow all around it is such a romantic sight to see. Keep decorating simple though: ornaments aren’t necessary outside. All you’ll need are strands and strands of white lights (and energy!!). Have you always dreamed of looking outside your window at this picture? Start with Fifthroom.com’s collection of gazebos in red cedar, treated pine, and vinyl.

Fifthroom.com's gazebo decked out for the holidays.
Fifthroom.com’s Treated Pine Octagon Gazebo with White Paint and Cedar Shake Shingles is decked out for the holidays.

christmasgazebo

Not in the Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa spirit?
The holidays aren’t just the month of December. There’s plenty of holidays to decorate for year round. For instance, a Fifthroom.com customer purchased a gazebo for his town’s courthouse square after his Illinois town was asked to do something memorable for Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The town dressed the gazebo up in round American flags. You can add planted flowers to the gazebo steps to bring warmth to this look.

A rustic twist on entryway decorating
Diverge from the standard wreath on the door and change up your entryway by adding lanterns strung by nautical rope. Hang them all around your doorway outside. Add a strand of lights around the door to create an intimate touch for when the sun goes down.

Meet me under the…Pergola.
If you are someone that hangs up mistletoe each year, you’re eventually going to run out of unique places to hang it. Try hanging it on the entrance to your pergola for a fresh take on an old tradition. Fifthroom.com has a variety of pergolas to match your needs. The 10’ x 10’ Deluxe 4-Beam Treated Pine Pergola pictured below is already decorated with lights by a customer. All it needs is some mistletoe.

Fifthroom.com's 10x10 Treated Pine 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola
Fifthroom.com’s 10×10 Treated Pine 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola

Shop Fifthroom.com’s holiday gifts to get into the holiday spirit. We have something for everyone on your list!

 

 

Hot Trend: Using Outdoor Furniture Inside Your Home

Repurposing your outdoor furniture to be used indoors is sort of a strange concept to digest if you haven’t yet thought about it, but the results are surprisingly breathtaking.

This week, we sat down with home lifestyle expert and Associate Architect, Ronique Gibson, to ask her our top five questions on bringing outdoor furniture in. Ronique is a regular contributor to high-profile outlets like Houzz.com, Better Homes and Gardens and Stagetecture.com.

Q: Bringing your outdoor furniture inside is a hot trend right now. Did you ever imagine it would be?

A: I think that outdoor living and the lifestyle behind it has always been one that homeowners and designers loved, but didn’t know how to tastefully bring the concept inside. Within the last few years, an emphasis on a relaxed and casual lifestyle, but also a greener organic approach to architecture and design has welcomed the desire to bring outdoor furniture inside. We all love to blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors and what better way than with outdoor furniture inside?

Outdoor Wicker Furniture Indoors by Dotter Solfjeld Architects
Outdoor Wicker Furniture Indoors by Dotter Solfjeld Architects

What’s your favorite piece of furniture to bring outside in?

I love wicker resin furniture because it’s durable and also comes in a variety of colors from the lightest of neutrals to deep espresso browns and blacks. When paired with comfortable cushions that you can change seasonally, love seats, sofas and chairs in this versatile and casual material is by far my favorite.

Fifthroom.com's Wicker Black Square Back 6-Piece Deep Seat Patio Set.
Fifthroom.com’s Wicker Black Square Back 6-Piece Deep Seat Patio Set.

Do you have any tips for our readers? I imagine you don’t want to bring EVERYTHING in!  

Great point! I think scale is a big component of choosing what furniture fits well inside and what should remain outside. Large tables and sectional sofas that use up a lot of space outside may swallow up a room visually inside. Also, any type of furniture that swings, such as porch swings, rocking chairs and even gliders do better outside as they could damage interior walls and surrounding decor inside.

Fifthroom.com's 24" Wicker Square White Footrest.
Fifthroom.com’s 24″ Wicker Square White Footrest.

2015 is coming up quick. What interior design/outdoor living trend do you see coming in style?

I love how designers are recreating the entire outdoor room with elements from the interiors and vice versa. For example, using hanging casual chandeliers and all-weather throw rugs outside, but then bringing large potted plants inside to mimic the outdoors is lovely. In 2015, I think we will see more creativity in how homeowners continue to bring the best of both worlds together.

Favorite outdoor furniture piece?

My favorite outdoor furniture is a porch bed swing. My neighbor used to have one that me and my daughter enjoyed lying on, but after we moved we never recreated one at our house. It is still on my very long “to-do-wish-list”!

Now that Ronique has given us some great advice on the do’s and dont’s of using outdoor furniture inside, visit fifthroom.com to get started on shopping for the perfect wicker furniture to bring into your home!

Create The Perfect Getaway – at Home – with Coastal Chic Design

This hot design is all about comfort and the simple pleasures of the beach. Forget packing up those flip-flops and swimwear because with our tips for creating your oasis, you’ll never have to leave the house to relax. Here are a few ideas that are perfect to dive into with the holidays right around the corner:

Create a beach-themed ornament for your tree
Freshen up your Christmas tree ornaments with a glass beach scene ornament. Purchase clear glass ornaments, add a layer of sand, and drop a few small seashells atop the sand through the ornament opening. If you are a regular or even annual beach-goer, plan ahead by picking out favorite seashells on the shore before you start.

The beach...in an ornament! Photo by HGTV.
The beach…in an ornament! Photo by HGTV.

Add a cabana
If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, it may be the closest thing you have to a semi-beach setting. OK, so there’s no sand or seagulls, but you get the idea! Why not add a beautiful Cabana like Fifthroom.com’s Custom Treated Pine Cabana pictured below? Family and friends can have the perfect area to eat, drink and relax!

Custom Treated Pine Cabana on Fifthroom.com
Custom Treated Pine Cabana on Fifthroom.com

Coastal-inspired fabric
Forget the glam and glitz with this theme! When choosing coastal-inspired fabric for your furniture or curtains, lean towards neutrals, pure white or tailored stripes in blue. Don’t be afraid to throw in a few neutral-colored pillows with a fish design or tribal pattern printed in blue.

Make the design authentic with beach finds
Your nautical room needs some symbolism, but don’t go overboard (ha ha!). Too many beach treasures can make the room look tacky. Stay simple. Hang one medium-large sized starfish on your wall with a few other photo frames. Hang two oars intersecting in an ‘X’ shape above your bed, or casually place hard white coral on a bookshelf.

Finish the look with natural fibers
Add a few touches of rope seen in nautical glass balls or even as cabinet or drawer pulls. The possibilities are limitless here. Or, you could add a jute or sea grass rug. All of these pieces bring a natural warmth and texture to your oasis.

Photo by One Kind Design
Photo by One Kind Design

Now, head over to Fifthroom.com to start re-imagining your home as the perfect getaway. Our collection of rocking chairs, deep seating furniture, cabanas and more can help you create a coastal oasis in your own home. You can speak to a project advisor today at 1-888-293-2339.

 

 

Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table with DIY Centerpieces

Getting creative doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This year’s hottest trend for decorating your Thanksgiving table: repurposing those fall findings that you may already have lying around in your backyard.

If you want to wow your guests at Thanksgiving with a gorgeous, unique centerpiece amongst the turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing (my mouth is watering as I write this), here are a few ideas:

Use mini-pumpkins as candleholders
Whether you choose orange or white-colored pumpkins, these repurposed candleholders will give a fresh look to a common fall find. Or you can use a medium to large sized pumpkin that can serve as a vase for the beautiful flowers mentioned below!

Pick seasonal flowers
The floral department of your local grocery store probably looks a lot different than it did a few months ago when it was stocked with roses and daisies. At this time of year, opt for in-season bouquets like miniature pumpkins, berries and spider mums.

Display your menu…on a pumpkin!
All you need for this project is a tall pumpkin, paint and a paintbrush. You most likely put a lot of time into thinking about your Thanksgiving meal recipes and cooking them. Well, displaying them should be just as important! So, channel that inner creativity into writing a script font of your menu items right on the pumpkin.

The Menu Pumpkin. Photo by Merrythought.
The Menu Pumpkin. Photo by Merry Thought.

Slide a rustic wood tree slice under anything
These large wooden chargers can act as placemats for your food or for displaying those mini-pumpkin candleholders. Keep your color scheme to a neutral palette to make this fall finding work– try white plates, a brown table runner and a pop of color in your napkins and/or pumpkins.

These rustic wood tree slices are used as placemats. Photo by White Buffalo Styling Co.
These rustic wood tree slices are used as placemats. Photo by White Buffalo Styling Co.

But, remember— great decorations aren’t meant to cover up a table—they are meant to accent it. Imagine these beautiful centerpieces on one of Fifthroom.com’s tables in your outdoor room, like this 96” Teak Table and Chair Set. Or, take it inside on our Vintage High-Top Table and Chairs Pub Set.

Vintage High-Top Table and Chairs Pub Set by Fifthroom.com.
Vintage High-Top Table and Chairs Pub Set by Fifthroom.com.

 

PROTECT YOUR PATIO FURNITURE THIS WINTER

Your beautiful patio furniture shouldn’t be left alone to battle winter’s changing temperatures, snow and wind. Follow our 7 tips to learn how to protect your outdoor furniture from all the elements and leave it looking fresh for spring:

  1. Clean all outdoor furniture and accessories, like your umbrella or seat cushions, as directed by the manufacturer.
  2. Store your patio umbrellas upright. Make sure to lean them against a wall or hang them from hooks. Avoid storing them on the ground where mice or insects can take a bite.
  3. Store your outdoor furniture in an enclosed space like your garage, shed or basement.

    Fifthroom.com's 108" Terrace Elite Rectangular/Oval Table and 6 Standard Chair Cover is perfect during the winter months!
    Fifthroom.com’s 108″ Terrace Elite Rectangular/Oval Table and 6 Standard Chair Cover is perfect during the winter months!
  4. But, if space is an issue – don’t worry. You can still store your furniture outside, but make sure to use well-fitted covers to protect it from the rain, sleet or snow. The covers should be heavy-duty fabric, water-repellant to protect against moisture damage, have built in venting so air can circulate to avoid mold and mildew growth, be durable with drawstring ties or elastic hems and have reinforced seams to keep the covers securely in place on windy winter days. Check out our wide variety of furniture covers here.
  1. Wrap seat cushions in an old bed sheet and store in a container. Large garbage bags work wonders too. But, make sure cushions are completely dry before you wrap them, otherwise you’ll find mold when you go to open them in the spring!
  1. While adding a protective coating to your wicker furniture is sometimes a necessity to keep it looking fresh for spring; Fifthroom.com’s collection of wicker furniture requires very little maintenance. Because our furniture is aluminum framed with vinyl, you’ll just need to do a simple cleaning before you store it away for the season! Our Wicker Sands Chaise Lounge is a great example of our low maintenance outdoor furniture.
  2. Protect wooden furniture, like picnic tables, by applying an even coat of water-based wood sealant with a paintbrush. It protects against sun damage, mildew and termites, depending on the brand purchased.

Protecting your outdoor furniture may take a few hours, but it’s well worth it when the warmth returns and it’s time to relax in your Fifthroom! Head on over to Fifthroom.com to find the next addition to your outdoor furniture collection!

 

The official blog of Fifthroom.com