Designer Susan Zises Green Discusses Outdoor Living

A popular trend right now is bringing the comforts of your home outside whether it’s in a traditional format like creating an outdoor kitchen or in a unique way. We’ve seen some really creative projects come out of this trend, such as the idea of drilling holes into fence posts and replacing the holes with shiny marbles.

Fifthroom sat down with Interior Designer Susan Zises Green to ask her five questions. Who better to get the scoop on this trend than a professional with more than 35 years of experience decorating and designing homes across America?

Question: Outdoor living spaces are more popular than ever. From an interior designer’s perspective, why do you think it has become a popular trend?

Answer: Would you rather be cooped up indoors or outdoors with glorious Mother Nature? For those of us who do have glorious indoor spaces, why not bring the glory outside and simply expand your living space?

The exterior of our homes are an extension of what is indoors – and why not take it all outside and enjoy!  A drink on the terrace is as enjoyable as one in the Living Room or even more so!  Live a little!

The Schiavinos enjoy quality family time in their from Fifthroom.
The Schiavinos enjoy quality family time in their Vinyl Ramada from Fifthroom.

There are so many beautiful outdoor products, including sofas, rugs, umbrellas, dishes, barbeque equipment … it’s really expanded the beauty of outdoor living.

Furthermore, there are so many television shows showing the possibilities of outdoor living that it has naturally piqued the interest of so many more people.

Q: Creating an outdoor kitchen is the ultimate way to bring the splendors of your home outside. Can you recommend a tip for our readers on how they can do this?

A: Only buy what you need. If you are not a great cook, keep it simple – do not be sold on what you will not use.

Fifthroom’s Vinyl 4-Corner Cozy Free Standing Pergola extends over a beautiful outdoor kitchen.

Q: You’re an interior designer, but I read that you love gardening. I am sure there are others like you out there who love to design inside and outside the home. What are some elements you love to put in your backyard that would normally be found inside?

A: Greenery! I find that surrounding myself with various shades and shapes of greenery is so soothing.  I have many topiaries in my Dining Room in New York and I feel surrounded  by beauty and calm.  It is like being in the country!  A moment of mini heaven!

Also, chaise lounges are the ultimate luxury with a small table next to it – for my book and glasses – love to use them in Living Rooms and Bedrooms. Why not take it outside?

Fifthroom's Poly Lumber Comfo-Back Chaise Lounges Shown in Weatherwood on Black
Fifthroom’s Poly Lumber Comfo-Back Chaise Lounges Shown in Weatherwood on Black.

I have two in my kitchen garden at my summer home on Nantucket.  We all love them!  It is wonderful to curl up with my small granddaughters on a chaise – so cozy!

Q: Your favorite outdoor structure or furniture you can’t live without?

A: Re-circulating water! I have a beautiful stone fountain in front of a mirror – near my chaise lounge. I can close my eyes and listen to the water. There is nothing more relaxing than listening to the water.

A little drop will do it – it does not have to be a big splashy fountain.  My rectangular fountain is about 28” long x 22” deep x 6” high and it is magical!

Q: What’s one trend you are looking forward to seeing more of in this year?

A: I do not follow trends, but if there were one to follow I would say – “Don’t postpone joy” and always be kind and helpful to others! 

From expansive outdoor structures like gazebos and pergolas to comfy furniture like sofas and hammocks, has everything you need to bring the splendors of your home, outside!




Why You Should Add a Garden Bridge to Your Yard

If you want to up your landscaping/gardening game, adding a bridge is a surefire way to do so! Here are a few reasons why you should add one of these whimsical structures to your yard:

Garden Bridges are an Easy Investment
If you are lacking the budget to purchase a gazebo or pergola, garden bridges are less expensive, but still provide a beautiful, charming touch to your garden. You don’t even need to own a home to install one either.’s garden bridges can easily be uninstalled if you’re a renter or if you decide to sell your home as a buyer. Fifthroom’s Red Cedar Eden ½ Picket Rail Bridge features a charming handcrafted picket fence design along the bottom rail.

Fifthroom’s Red Cedar Eden ½ Picket Rail Bridge.

Sometimes the beauty of garden bridges masks their actual function: providing a walkway across water. Our Double Rail Pedestrian Bridge not only gives you and your guests sturdy rails to hold onto, but the bridge connects your garden allowing everyone to enjoy every part of it. And,’s bridge’s sturdy construction can withstand years and years of foot traffic – creating an outdoor living space where memories are made.

Fifthroom’s Double Rail Pedestrian Bridge.

Eye-Catching Design
Garden bridges add instant beauty to your yard. Just take a look at this breathtaking Asian landscape.

Asian Landscape by Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers McHale Landscape Design, Inc.
For a similar look, try’s Treated Pine Fiore Plank Garden Bridge. The bridge’s simple design pairs well with lily pads in a calm stream below. Add a Buddha statue and other water plants to enhance the exotic design.
Fifthroom's Treated Pine Fiore Plank Garden Bridge
Fifthroom’s Treated Pine Fiore Plank Garden Bridge

We have a variety of garden bridges that come in multiple materials. Whether you are trying to recreate the scene above or more of a traditional setting, Fifthroom has what you need!

Check out some of our garden bridges, which were featured on the blog, Home Design Lover’s list of 15 Whimsical Wooden Bridges.



Innovative and Traditional Storage Ideas

I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I vowed that this year would be the year I would get more organized! And, I’ve already started. That storage room where I threw everything into was transformed into an organized home office.

And, I want the same for you! Things start to collect over time in your home and there are plenty of innovative and traditional storage ideas and tips we want to share with you to help you organize the clutter:

Hide and Seek
Hiding away storage is a great way to keep it from piling up in living spaces like the dining room table! We think this Contemporary Staircase with concealed drawers by Zugai Strudwick Architects is great! Transforming these stairs, which are made out of blackbutt timber, into drawers is a unique and innovative way to create space – where your guests will never realize what’s hiding underneath!

Transform your Shed into an Office
If there’s not enough room in your home for an office or building an addition just isn’t an option, transforming your shed into an office or other storage area is a great way to create privacy and use a traditional structure as a workspace. One of our customers turned this 12×14 Cedar Rectangular Cabana pictured below into a home office. Add color and decor to make this a fun place to work!'s 12x14 Cedar Rectangular Cabana.’s 12×14 Cedar Rectangular Cabana.'s 10x12 Vinyl Cabana.’s 10×12 Vinyl Cabana.

Rethink Trunks and Chests
Storage trunks and chests exude a traditional, luxurious style. Displaying knick-knacks and possessions on a shelf means anyone can see your belongings, but with trunks and chest you can hideaway these things. With their lock and key, you can stash away more expensive items like jewelry.’s London Cherry Chest is a timeless piece made of 100% solid cherry. It serves as an elegant storage unit and as a cozy seating area. Add a neutral-colored cushion to keep it simple or a deep sapphire, red or green cushion for a regal look!

Fifthroom’s London Cherry Chest

Using a trunk as a coffee table is a unique way to store anything!’s Maple Steamer Trunk gives your room a nostalgic vibe. And, using your trunk as a traditional storage unit in your bedroom makes for a great eye-catching piece. If you have little ones, this trunk is fun and playful for them.

Fifthroom's Maple Steamer Trunk
Fifthroom’s Maple Steamer Trunk

With these innovative and traditional storage ideas, getting organized has never been easier! As you can see, has a number of products that can help you get organized. Check out our website to view our entire selection of cabanas and chests!
And, please join in on the conversation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, and Pinterest!


2015 Outdoor Living Trend: Outdoor Kitchens

Decades ago, recreating a living space outdoors was once difficult. Consumers had their choice of a few materials for their outdoor furniture, which weren’t entirely comfortable and there wasn’t too much to choose from in the way of patterns for cushions. What lay underneath of them was merely a slab of concrete.

We’ve come a long way since then. One of this year’s most popular trends is creating an outdoor kitchen. With so many choices of furniture, appliances, and large structures, creating a cozy, breathtaking outdoor living space has never been easier. Here are a few kitchens we love:

Just look at the beauty of this outdoor kitchen!'s Pergola hangs overtop an outdoor kitchen.’s Pergola hangs overtop an outdoor kitchen.

The long wrap-around granite counter top not only serves as a bar-style place to eat, but a handy spot where dinner can be prepared. Shelves are located underneath the counter, so you can store anything you want!’s pergola protects guests from the hot sun while adding a visually appealing overhang. With an outdoor kitchen like this, you’ll never dine inside again!

For a different look, install a Gable Ramada over your outdoor kitchen.’s 12x14 Vinyl Gable Ramada protects guests and adds beauty to this outdoor kitchen.’s 12×14 Vinyl Gable Ramada protects guests and adds beauty to this outdoor kitchen.’s 12×14 Vinyl Gable Ramada brings the ambiance of a kitchen, outside. It acts as a roof over your guests and is a great addition to hang modern lighting from. The vinyl can withstand seasons of elements while the Gable Ramada roof and post’s details exude a beauty your indoor kitchen just can’t offer.

And, this outdoor kitchen has all the elements.'s Adirondack Chairs and Treated Pine Trestle Picnic Table make this space a relaxing oasis.’s Adirondack Chairs and Treated Pine Trestle Picnic Table make this space a relaxing oasis.


Notice how the patio isn’t just a slab of concrete. Also, there’s even framed photographs installed on the fence. Little details like these really bring together the theme. This outdoor kitchen is a relaxing oasis, in part due to our family-style Treated Pine Trestle Picnic Table. Add’s Polywood Long Island Adirondack Chairs for a similar style.

Are you interested in replicating this look? has the outdoor structures and furniture you need to create your outdoor kitchen today.

And, please join in on the conversation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, and Pinterest!


The Garden’s Historic Structure: Pergolas

Pergolas are a hybrid of open and enclosed space, emitting a timeless simplicity and functionality that is unlike any other landscape structure. That is the very reasoning why the pergola has stood the test of time for over 3,000 years. While materials and style trends sure have changed for the pergola, its many functions are still intact to this day, both providing beauty and protection. Knowing its history may allow you to view these beautiful structures in a new way.

There was a time when only the elite used pergolas. The earliest known garden plan, which included a pergola over the entryway to the garden, dates back to about 1400 BC. It belonged to an Egyptian high court official of Thebes. It’s unknown whether the pergola was built for aesthetic pleasure or to provide protection from the elements.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

During the Great Italian Renaissance in the 17th Century, pergolas benefitted from this artistic revival period. The Italians designed them using large, smooth stone pillars, which supported elaborate beam-and-rafter assemblies dressed with flowing vines and flowering plants.

In the early 20th century, the word ‘pergola’ was the buzzword among some architects! It’s been said that the pergola was the best way to unify a home and its landscape – an ideal concept out of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Landscape designers like Gertrude Jekyll made a name for themselves by designing magnificent gardens with pergolas.

Deanery Garden designed by Jekkyl. Photo credit: This Old Home
Deanery Garden designed by Jekyll. Photo credit: This Old Home

And, today’s technology has helped pergolas to last longer. They can be designed with materials like pressure treated lumber – allowing them to last a lifetime with little to no maintenance. Pergolas have become more functional than ever too, now making great structures to display over your Outdoor Kitchen and dining area. Pergola Pergola

Bring the rich history of pergolas into your backyard! You can customize your pergola at and choose from a variety of sizes and materials ranging from Vinyl and Fiberglass to Red Cedar and Treated Pine. Speak to a Project Advisor today: 1-888-293-2339

And, please join in on the conversation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, and Pinterest!




Gazebo Turned Planetarium

Here at Fifthroom, we have a lot of wonderful stories we could share about how our customers use our products to enhance their lives. This story is one of our favorites and we wanted to share it with you:

In Westfield, NJ there were plans to demolish a historic planetarium, but Dr. Roy Nuzzo stepped in and made a donation in order to keep the planetarium standing.

Planetariums are essentially theatres where educational and entertaining shows about astronomy take place. And, even though this particular planetarium was not in working condition, Roy’s passion for planetariums drove him to repair it.

Roy also wanted to house it on the side of his home as an addition, but he couldn’t get the permit to do so from his town. Seven years went by with 35 declines and a lot of funds directed to architects for designs including notable professionals like Tom Wright who is most recognized for his design of the luxury five-star hotel, Burj Al Arab in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Roy then turned to Fifthroom.

Fifthroom worked with Roy to design a structure that Roy envisioned – something that needed to pass the building inspector and would eventually house a planetarium dome. Here at Fifthroom, we think outside the box, so when Roy came to us, we knew exactly what he needed.

One of our dedicated Project Advisors asked him, “If your town won’t let you build a structure that looks like a Gazebo onto your house, did you try asking your town if they would allow you to add a Gazebo to your yard?”

We designed a custom 30′ Treated Pine Dodecagon Double Roof Gazebo to meet Roy’s needs. The design passed, but the gazebo’s tall height was an issue. So, we came up with the idea to set the gazebo into a hole, instead of it being entirely above ground.

The Interior

With a little bit of landscaping, the gazebo turned planetarium sits beautifully and naturally in his yard.

The finished Gazebo at Roy's home.
The finished Gazebo at Roy’s home.

Roy now hosts Super Bowl parties each year inside and laser light shows that coincide with the planetarium. _B8C3025
Do you have an idea to create your very own gazebo? Fifthroom’s Award Winning Design Wizard web-based application allows you to fully customize your gazebo, pergolas and more in a fast and fun way! Start customizing here!

And, please join in on the conversation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, and Pinterest!



2015 Interior Design Trends

Back in October 2014, furniture gurus, interior designers and manufacturers got the scoop on what trends would be hot for 2015 at High Point Market. About 75,000 retailers attended the Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world that has become the leader in trend and business education. Not only did industry professionals learn what’s trending, but also they learned how to incorporate the styles. Since you couldn’t make it to the show, we’ve got you covered! Here are interior design trends you’ll see everywhere this year:

Reverting back to traditional styles
This one was surprising to me. For years, consumers have been buying up the raw, vintage-style (but new) furniture with an industrial look. But, industry experts are predicting that we will be moving away from this style and instead reverting back to traditional styles in 2015.

Jeffers Design Group. Featured on
Jeffers Design Group. Featured on

To replicate this style in your home, search for mid-century modern design furniture with clean lines and a 1960’s, sophisticated vibe. You can even bring this style outdoors with’s Teak Port Sofa and Table Collection. Choose white cushions – they pair well with the sofa’s clean lines.'s Teak Port Sofa and Table Collection’s Teak Port Sofa and Table Collection

Feeling Blue
Every year, trend makers pick colors that they think will be in demand in the coming year. This year’s choice: blue. From dark blues to grayish-blues, this is going to be the color to incorporate into furniture, walls and accents. Gray is also a color to watch out for this year. Gray is easy on the eyes and makes a great accent color for details like vases. The Pantone Color Institute who provides color trend forecasting and insights, predicted the blue hues titled ‘Seaport’ and ‘Stonewash’ will define the year.

Blue brings about the essence of nature, allowing us to escape from the stress of reality – and relax. For example, below is a photo of Caneel Bay Resort, where we designed a cabana. The resort uses blue as an accent for a vase and massage table blanket. The color also pairs well with the shore peaking in from outside.

Caneel Bay Resort
Caneel Bay Resort

Metallic & Rustic
Combining these two opposite styles is going to be very fashionable this year! When you pair metallic, industrial looking furniture with rustic pieces, it gives your room an organic feel. While the traditional furniture style is making a comeback, pairing these two styles is one way to step back from using a complete industrial, modern look. Try pairing one of’s Vintage Foyer Benches made of white pine with a metallic vase filled with decorative branches.'s VIntage Foyer Bench’s VIntage Foyer Bench

Log onto to find these 2015 design trends and more! Please join in on the conversation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, and Pinterest!



The Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

There’s no better time to discuss the health benefits of getting a breath of fresh air than the first week of a new year. Each year, many of us create goals hoping to make our professional and/or personal lives better. One easy way to make both of those sides of your life even better is to get outside and take in some fresh air. Here’s why:

There’s time for reflection
It’s important to reflect on your life, especially the activities of 2014, when creating your New Year’s Resolution. Relaxing outdoors is a great time to do just this. The quiet atmosphere and fresh air will help to clear your mind so you can start the year off feeling refreshed and ready for any new challenges that may come your way. Try getting a breath of fresh air at home, on vacation or even during your lunch break at work. This employee below took a break outside work in one of’s 10′ Treated Pine Gazebos. Behind her you can see the industrial work site, but our gazebo provides a calm sanctuary outside all the hustle and bustle.

Taking a break from work in's Red Cedar Octagon Gazebo
Taking a break from work in’s Red Cedar Octagon Gazebo

Fresh air makes you happy
Being outside is not all fun and games – there are some major health benefits, too. Getting a dose of fresh air will actually make you happier. The chemical in your brain, serotonin, lightens your mood and makes you feel happy. Your serotonin levels are affected by the amount of oxygen you inhale, so breathing in fresh air will leave you feeling relaxed like these customers below. Adding one of’ Log Pergolas to your beach or residential home is a great way to have a reason to go outside and breathe in this wonderful fresh air! customers relax outdoors customers know how to relax outdoors!

You’ll have more energy
Getting fresh air increases your energy level and helps you think clearer. Our brains need twenty percent of our body’s oxygen, so inhaling more oxygen means our minds become more clear, our concentration becomes sharper, thus having a really positive effect on our overall energy level. Some things in life really are free!

The wedding party outside of's octagon gazebo is full of life!
The wedding party outside of’s 16′ White Vinyl Octagon Double Roof Gazebo is full of life!

Being outside clears your lungs
When we breathe out through our lungs, we are actually releasing airborne toxins from our body. Fresh air helps to improve this process and get all the bad stuff out! It also helps the airways of our lungs to dilate more fully.

So, what are you waiting for? Spring will be here before you know it. Head on over to to view our selection of outdoor living structures and furnishings that will give you a reason to spend more time in the beautiful environment of the outdoors!

3 Reasons Why You Should Build a Pergola

Building a large outdoor structure in your backyard or at your business is a big decision to make. You have to factor in location, size, material, and usually you’ll need a budget in mind. Building a pergola has many benefits. This week, we’d like to share with you a few reasons why building one may be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make:

Pergolas enhance spaces and buildings
Whether the pergola you choose has curved or straight lines, this structure is eye-catching attached to a building or even standing alone. Pergolas can be used as an extension of a building by covering an open space, such as a terrace. You see these pergolas mostly at hospitals, universities, and offices or sometimes outside of homes. Pergolas can also be freestanding in a home or business setting. Usually, freestanding pergolas are found outside residential homes to provide a seating area for family and friends.’s Vinyl Vintage Classic Free Standing Pergola is a must for your backyard. Add your grill, outdoor furniture and potted plants to create an inviting spot!

They aren’t just pretty!
Pergolas are nice on the eyes in more ways than one. They are very useful in providing shade and blocking out those harmful UV rays from the sun. They are an instant canopy outside your home or business where you will want to talk with co-workers, eat dinner with your family or relax in the evening under the stars. Create an outdoor living space using a pergola as an outdoor kitchen like in the photo below!

A popular pergola among customers
A popular pergola among customers

You can also use your pergola in your garden to give climbing plants a structure in which to grow! Pergolas are also a step above having the ole umbrella and chair set.

Photo by Elle Decor
Photo by Elle Decor

Pergolas make great spaces for weddings
More and more people are choosing to get married under outdoor structures like barns, gazebos and pergolas and opting out of the traditional church setting. If you’re thinking about going this route, saying I do under a pergola is one of the most romantic settings you could choose. Not only will the structure look perfect in your photos, but it will provide just enough structure to let you and your groom or bride be the center of attention – the way it should be! Simply drape sheer white fabric down the lattice of the pergola. This can also be done on an arbor like the one below! has a variety of arbors to choose from that will pair well with any event you’re hosting.

Photo by Bolla Photography
Photo by Bolla Photography

Head over to to customize your pergola today! That means you can pick out whatever material and size you want!

You can also join in on the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, & Pinterest!




Three Landscaping Resolutions for the New Year

This New Year, why not set a goal that’s realistic and one that you know you can achieve? So many of us turn to New Year’s Resolutions to transform ourselves saying, ‘I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year’ or ‘I’m going to start a gym membership.’ Well for 2015, forget about that and focus on your backyard, instead (it’s so much more fun too!):

Create soil
If you don’t compost already, 2015 is a great time to start! Composting is the process of recycling organic scraps like fruits and vegetables along with landscape debris in order to create soil rich in nutrients. You can use this soil in your garden and flowerbeds.

Composting saves you money by not having to buy as much soil and it reduces landfill waste because many of the food scraps that you would normally toss are compostable like egg shells, coffee filters and grounds, banana peels and spoiled vegetables. I’ve seen compost bins used in many environments from farms to outside urban homes.

I recently started my own compost bin six months ago and I’ve created a plethora of rich soil. Here’s how I created an inexpensive compost bin:

  • Purchase a large black rubber garbage can with a lid.
  • Drill holes about 1 inch apart down four sides of the can and across the lid (making a cross shape). The garbage can helps to keep it self contained and nearly odorless.
  • Use the process of vermicomposting, or worm composting, which allows you to compost food waste really fast while also producing high quality compost soil.
  • Put a layer of shredded newspaper and cardboard down to provide fiber for the worms.
  • Sprinkle a layer of dirt and moisten with water
  • Wait one day then add your worms! Remember, every time you throw a container full of food scraps into your bin; make sure to stir your soil!

    My compost bin after 6 months.
    My compost bin after 6 months.

Don’t want the hassle or have the time to build your own bin? Check out Fifthroom’s Renoir’s Red Cedar 3-Compartment Compost Bin.'s Renoir Red Cedar Three Compartment Compost Bin.’s Renoir Red Cedar Three Compartment Compost Bin.

Add something different to the landscape
Create a dramatic entrance to your garden this year. Invite the critters, family and guests inside your beautiful garden with’s Long and Winding Rose Arbor. The arbor’s durable wrought iron frame will withstand the elements of all the seasons and upkeep is minimal –just a little mild detergent and water to clean it will go a long way. Grow flowers and vines up the arbor to create an even more dramatic setting.'s Long and Winding Rose Arbor.’s Long and Winding Rose Arbor.

Expand your gardening skills past your backyard
Community gardening is a great way to expand your skills and volunteer your time for a great cause. If you live in the city or the suburbs, there’s a community garden group who may need another set of hands. The American Community Garden Association lists 10 guidelines for launching a successful community garden in your neighborhood here. It’s been proven that neighborhood gardening projects bring communities together. The start of the New Year is a perfect time to make your town or a distressed part of the city a more beautiful place to live.

Log onto to view a variety of garden structures to create your new landscape for the New Year! You can also join in on the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Yelp, YouTube,, & Pinterest!




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