The Need for Kid’s Outdoor Play Spaces

Why is it important?

When kids have downtime, they reach right for Mom or Dad’s iPad or their Nintendo DS. While playing an ‘educational’ or fun game for 15 minutes or so is considered healthy, this is a trend that’s keeping kids from playing outside.

There are a few reasons this happens:

1. Mom and Dad may be too busy to supervise their children outside.

2. Children today lead busier lives than some adults! With dance class, basketball games and piano lessons – kids are running from one scheduled event to the next!

But, the outdoors remains the ideal setting for children to play. This is where they can master physical skills and freely experience their motor skills of running, leaping and jumping!

Fifthroom.com's Roof-Covered Sandbox.
Fifthroom.com’s Roof-Covered Sandbox.

And, kids are most likely to burn more calories outside than relaxing indoors on the sofa! Childhood obesity is currently at epidemic levels. Getting our kids outside paired with nutritional eating habits can help change this devastating trend.

How to Create an Outdoor Play Space

Here at Fifthroom.com, we have a Kids Korner filled with outdoor play sets, toys and furniture geared towards encouraging our children to have fun outside!

Whether you are a parent or grandparent, purchasing a play set is a wonderful investment. A play set’s durability makes it last for years and the kids will want to slide down it and swing on it for years to come. This isn’t a toy they will play with one day and forget about the next! We have a handful of play sets to choose from. We recommend the Hideout Play Set.

Fifthroom.com's Hideout Play Set.
Fifthroom.com’s Hideout Play Set.

Look how many kids can play on this set at once — Six! It comes with two swings, one trapeze, a slide, and playhouse with an entrance ladder. And, the best part is that it only takes about an hour and a half to assemble!

If you have children who are at least 8 years old, we have five fun games to choose from! We recommend our Cornhole Game. This is a favorite at any outdoor party for children, teenagers and adults!

If you haven’t played yet, you are in for a treat! The game is almost like horseshoes, but a little easier. It’s a 4-player game played with beanbags and two boards with holes in them. Each team of two has to toss the beanbag into the opposite hole — the first team to get to 21 wins!

Fifthroom.com’s edition is handcrafted in beautiful maple and arrives to you fully assembled so you and the kids can immediately start playing!

Fifthroom.com's Cornhole Game.
Fifthroom.com’s Cornhole Game.

Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Fifthroom.com’s Kids Korner has everything you need to turn your backyard into an outdoor play space!

 

 

 

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It’s almost time for Spring Cleaning!

It comes as no surprise that the National Weather Service ranked this year’s winter as one of the worst in U.S. history.

After all the snow, bitter cold, high winds, and frozen pipes in our homes, I’d say most of the east coast is ready to hide their snow shovels in the shed and start spring cleaning!

We may be a few weeks away still, but for those of you in warmer areas, it’s never too late to start getting your outdoor living spaces ready for the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some tasks to help you get ahead of the game so you can spend more time gardening and doing other fun things while the sun shines:

Kill Weeds
Forget the pricey weed killer spray! Try using a teakettle and pour boiling water over your weeds that grow in between slabs of pavement. Just remember to keep the kettle close to the weeds so you don’t burn yourself or surrounding plants you

Photo: thegreenbacksgal.com
Photo: thegreenbacksgal.com

Organize Your Shed or Garage
There are two kinds of people in this world. You are either the person who has a place for everything and keeps your area tidy…or you are like me and it doesn’t matter if your hammer is on the top or on the bottom shelf in the shed!

If you are the latter, it’s the perfect time to organize your shed or garage! The key here is to plan. Make sure to designate spots in your garage or shed where you want to organize tools, gardening pots, etc.

Fifthroom.com’s Cedar Storage Rack adds a functional and rustic touch that any boring storage spot could use. Its cedar aroma is also unique compared to the usual Ikea shelf we always see!

Photo: Examiner.com
Photo: Examiner.com

Inspect Your Wheelbarrow
Service your wheelbarrow each year as if it’s your car! If you are a gardener, think about how much you use your wheelbarrow and the work it eliminates for you!

Give it some tender loving care by maintaining tire pressure using a bicycle pump. A grease gun is also a good tool to have on hand to apply lubricant into an axle’s bearings. Every three months, fill the gun with lithium grease, fit the gun’s nozzle over the wheelbarrow grommet in the axle and pump just a few squirts of grease into it. Old grease may squirt out of the axle — just use an old rag to wipe it off.

Have Design in Mind
And, last but not least, make sure to plan out what you want your outdoor living space to look like this spring and summer. Do you want it to remain the same or do you want to update it with maybe more modern furniture or decor? If so, Fifthroom.com’s Beachcomber Fire Pit would turn the heat up in any backyard!

Fifthroom.com's Beachcomber Fire Pit.
Fifthroom.com’s Beachcomber Fire Pit.

The pit’s orange steel conch exterior with nautical sea shell carvings adds a gentle, soothing touch — just what you need after one of the most harsh winters EVER!

As you think about your spring and summer landscape, head over to Fifthroom.com to view our wide selection of outdoor furniture, structures, lighting, decor and more!

 

 

 

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Ideas for a Home Workspace

Remember when it was difficult to work from home rather than at your office? Maybe you couldn’t connect to the server at work just right and you couldn’t have meetings because Skype wasn’t invented just yet.

Now, working from home is a breeze — if you have the option to do so. Maybe you already work from home and you just need a revamped office space? Here are some options to consider:

Kick Your Work, Outside!
The dining room table and the spare corner in your house aren’t the only options you have for setting up shop. Consider building a cabana shed and making it your new office!

12x16-Cabana-Shed-with-Vinyl-Siding
Fifthroom’s 12′ x 16′ Cabana Shed with Vinyl Siding.

Fifthroom’s Cabana Shed provides privacy so you can focus on what’s important. We’ve reimagined the purpose of sheds and added vinyl siding, wood double doors and windows that will make you feel right at home.

Fifthroom's 12' x 14' Vinyl Cabana Shed.
Fifthroom’s 12′ x 14′ Vinyl Cabana Shed.


Your workspace needs design, too

I’ve seen home offices that look down right dreary compared to the rest of the home. Why not put more effort into designing your workspace the way you want it? We spend at least 8 hours each day in our office. It deserves some design elements.

Photo credit: thisoldhouse.com
Photo credit: thisoldhouse.com

Right now, we are seeing home offices being transformed into rustic reclaimed workspaces! Swap out the same old leather or plastic office chair and boring desk with eclectic finds from flea markets, Craigslist.com and antique shops. Because, your workspace should also be a place you can call your own!

How you design your spaces will affect how you feel. When designers say red-painted rooms make people feel antsy, it’s true. You’ve probably seen fast food chains painted red inside. That’s because they want you in and out!

So, if you incorporate a relaxed vibe using comfy or fun furniture and neutral paint colors, you will feel…relaxed! And, that’s just what you need while working!

Call Fifthroom.com today at 1-888-293-2339 to speak to one of our Project Advisors! They can help you choose and customize a cabana shed that fits your personality and workload.

 

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Using a Picnic Table Inside & Out

The picnic table takes many of us back to remembering the joy of childhood. Most of us probably sat at picnic-style tables to eat lunch each day in our school’s cafeteria. Still, as we grow older, picnic tables remain a sign of celebration and innocence.

Now, I find myself sitting on picnic tables at events like my friend’s baby shower hosted outside at the local park’s pavilion. But, in many cases, picnic tables are not the dining set of choice for outdoor and indoor living – instead, we usually see a table with chairs. I’m here to show you how you can incorporate this traditional furniture inside and outside in new ways:

Traditional with a Twist
Having a picnic table outside allows you to entertain guests all season long. We’ve all seen traditional picnic tables: one long table and two attached benches. Invigorate this look by adding two backed benches with two backless benches like Fifthroom.com’s Treated Pine Wide Picnic Table.

Treated-Pine-Wide-Picnic-Table-with-4-Benches-AThis rustic look fits right in with the current trend of using mix-matched chairs at your dining room table. The 43″ x 46″ wide table is squarer than your traditional long one, giving way to the modern picnic table.

Move The Party Indoors…
Whoever said leaving your picnic table outside is the status quo has it all wrong! This family has it all right:

Photo by Landing Design and Development

We love how they brought the comfort of their outdoor living space, inside. The picnic table not only serves as a meeting place for family dinner, but is also the game night destination! Emulate this look in your kitchen with Fifthroom’s Treated Pine Picnic Table with Attached Benches!

Fifthroom's Treated Pine Picnic Table with Attached Benches.
Fifthroom’s Treated Pine Picnic Table with Attached Benches.

Its durability will withstand years of the kiddo’s horseplay. Create a fancy dining setting for the one you love just by draping a linen table cloth over it!

Add Color
We love how this family used a navy table that sits so well against their neutral-colored wall and blinds! It’s inviting and all of its traditional characteristics remain, so the whole gang can still fit!
Our Poly Lumber Picnic Table comes in 20 different colors ranging from Aruba Blue to Scarlet Red — and its guaranteed not to chip, crack or peel!
Fifthroom has even more picnic tables to choose from in a variety of materials including Highwood, Polywood, Southern Cypress and Red Cedar! Define your outdoor and indoor living space today!
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Next Stop: PA’s Largest Home Event

From March 6th through the 15th, we are going to be busy! During these two weeks, we will once again be exhibiting at Pennsylvania’s largest home event, The 33rd Annual Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show!

The show has 10 acres worth of everything you could ever imagine for your home. This is also one of the best-attended events in Pittsburgh! This year’s Home and Garden Show has over 1,700 exhibitors — 1,700! You’ll see everything from antique dealers, cookware, and of course, hand-crafted structures and products for outdoor living…brought to you by Fifthroom.com!

Fifthroom.com's Booth at the Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show
Fifthroom.com’s booth at the Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show

Like last year’s Tribune-Review article says, we expect many people to come out this year and forget winter…the beginning of March means we are getting closer to Spring! Our president, Tim McTighe, was quoted in the article, too!

If you’re in town, make sure to stop on by our booths, 1128 and 1130 on the first level! We will be unveiling a new product that you won’t want to miss!

We will also be displaying our Vinyl Vintage Classic Pergola, a weather resistant and durable structure that can withstand the harshest outdoor elements. The pergola’s lattice and four-beam design are eye-catching and create the perfect open, yet shaded outdoor space. It hangs naturally over any outdoor kitchen or dining set!

Fifthroom.com's Vinyl Vintage Classic Free Standing Pergola.
Fifthroom.com’s Vinyl Vintage Classic Free Standing Pergola.

Stop by the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown, Pittsburgh between March 6 and 15 to see these gorgeous structures in person! The Duquesne Light Home and Garden Show is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 get in free. Purchase your tickets here.

We wish we could bring all of our products with us to show you, but I don’t think we could handle carting thousands of products and structures downtown! View our entire selection of outdoor furniture, home decor and garden structure all on Fifthroom.com!

 

 

 

 

 

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Fifthroom: American Manufacturing of Outdoor Furniture

When you see ‘Made in the USA’ on something that you have purchased, it’s there for a reason. Manufacturing is critical to our nation’s economy. And, its strength or weakness affects millions of American families.

Almost all of Fifthroom’s products are completely handcrafted in the United States. Our offices and operations are all based in the U.S. as well. Why, because we trust in the American economy.

When you purchase our products made in the USA, you are directly impacting the American economy.

Even though the American economy continues to struggle, the Made in the USA movement has made a comeback. According to a 2013 TIME article, “The U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years.”

The manufacturing sector consists of middle-class jobs for millions of Americans. Thinkprogress.org says these jobs offer economic opportunity to hard-working individuals, creating upward mobility. This strengthens the middle class, which benefits the entire economy.

If you are looking for products to enhance your outdoor living and you want to support the American economy, turn to Fifthroom.

For instance, our Polywood Gulfstream Patio Dining Set is handcrafted in the U.S.

Fifthroom's Polywood Gulfstream Patio Dining Set is made in the USA.
Fifthroom’s Polywood Gulfstream Patio Dining Set is made in the USA.

Feel like you are ocean side with this nautical dining set! 4 Polywood Highback Chairs surround the 44″ Square Polywood Table.

What the customers are saying about it

“This dining set is very sturdy and firm. All construction was neatly done and it was extremely easy to attach the table top to the legs. The chairs came assembled and are very comfortable!”

                                                                    – A customer from Middle River, MD

We also carry original, exclusive designs that are drafted and crafted in house – all made in the U.S. This is our Red Cedar Carriage Roller Glider.

Glider_Swings_462_DOur exclusive roller glider is shown here with English Garden Benches, Stainless Steel Hardware, and an Optional Cedar Stain/Sealer – the perfect rustic addition to any backyard.

These are just two products out of thousands we carry that are mostly made in the USA. Take a look at our outdoor products to enhance your outdoor living today.

Find us on Houzz, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and Yelp!

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Create a Romantic Garden for Your Valentine

What’s more romantic on Valentine’s Day than showing the one you love an entire garden of flowers surrounding an outdoor structure? Forget the bouquet of red roses and the heart-shaped Russell Stover box – those are for amateurs! You’re a passionate lover and your other half deserves the best. Here are some tips from Fifthroom.com to help you recreate a romantic garden:

It’s still February…
And, that means it’s not the prime time to plant. But, what you can do right now is maintain your trees and shrubs by making sure ice and snow aren’t building up (if you live farther north). A simple brushing off will do the trick. Whether you live in a warmer climate or not, you’ll want to prune branches of forsythia, crabapple, or other spring flowering shrubs. Now is also the time to take advantage of pre-season sales at your local garden center! I saw seed starters hit the shelves weeks ago!

Add a Belle Gazebo:

8'vinylgazebo
Fifthroom’s 8′ Vinyl Hexagon Belle Gazebo shown with National Blue Asphalt Shingles and Optional 40″ Copper Finial.

Doesn’t this gazebo just scream romance? Show your valentine how much you care by adding one of Fifthroom’s Vinyl Hexagon Belle Gazebos to your backyard.

The concrete statue, bench and pink and red flowers add depth to this very romantic scene made for two lovebirds. Try planting hot pink dahlias or classic, red roses. If you live in Pittsburgh, like me, you may want to hold off until Spring to start planting.

Set the Table
By this point, you’ve performed some maintenance on your yard and added a beautiful outdoor structure like a Gazebo, Pergola or Arbor to invite your sweetheart in. You’ve spent time and effort to make it a romantic destination, so you should set a table and chairs for a dinner for two!

Photo Credit: azcentral.com
Photo Credit: azcentral.com

We love this scene by Interior Designer Moll Anderson. It’s not stuffy like a steakhouse you would have maybe brought your date to! This dining area is fun…and romantic! We recommend you bring your best dishware set outside and a pair of classy, antique chairs. Make sure to don your best outfit and treat your Valentine to a wonderful meal – after all, you deserve to relax after the work you put in!

BistroSetFifthroom’s Eucalyptus Bistro Set in Red is perfect for this evening! It reminds me of a set I would see on the side of a restaurant in Rome, Italy – one of the most romantic destinations in the world.

But, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to show that special someone you care. Head over to Fifthroom.com where you can choose from a variety of outdoor structures and h

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How Houzz Revolutionized Home Improvement

Before there was Houzz.com, what did us home improvement junkies do??

Well, we flipped through magazines searching for ideas, peeling down the corner of the page to save our spot. We relied on friends and family to refer us to landscapers and designers.

TheFunTimesGuide
Then, there was Houzz. If you don’t know what Houzz is, it’s an e-commerce and social media-like website that’s made an impact on the home remodeling and improvement industry.

There’s no other website like it out there. As their website states, “We are a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.” Unique, it truly is. The name, Houzz, was born from the fusion of two words: House and Buzz.

The wife-husband team, Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, founded the company knowing there was a better way for people to find what they were looking for in the home improvement industry. Fifthroom President, Tim McTighe, met the founders when Houzz was just launching in 2009 as a side project to help the couple through their own remodeling project.

Houzz

Now, Houzz attracts 25 million monthly users who have access to 2.5 million home professionals and three million curated products. By the way, have you seen Fifthroom on Houzz?

Houzz is tapping into a $300 billion industry. Not only can users view amazing, endless photos of their dream home and save them to their idea books (similar to a Pinterest board), but they can easily head over to the Marketplace and shop for – you name it!

Fifthroom has connected with people all across the country through Houzz. We’ve engaged with users who have questions about our products. We’ve also been able to add to discussions about people’s personal home improvement stories. We especially love the ones about gazebos.

We have a feeling Houzz is here to stay and will continue to grow. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, sales in the industry are expected to increase 5.8% industry wide.

Fifthroom.com customers assemble a gazebo.
A family assembles a Fifthroom 14′ Treated Pine Octagon Gazebo.

Follow us on Houzz to check out our projects, idea books and our collection of over 1,800 products to satisfy the home improvement project you’re working on! Or, visit us at www.fifthroom.com.

 

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Pinning a Vacation Getaway…at Home

Imagine you’ve been working really hard all year, you’ve accrued a lot of vacation time and now it’s time to take a vacation! But, maybe you just don’t feel like taking a trip this year and you want to get some things done around the house or you just want to enjoy relaxing in the comfort of your home!

Well, what if I told you that you can do all of that and still have the feeling of getting away? Staying at home doesn’t have to feel boring when you take a ‘staycation’ outside. We took to Pinterest to show you what you need to create the perfect vacation retreat, just far enough from home to get away!

Add a Ramada to Your Yard
Ramadas provide just the right amount of shade and privacy to create a spot for your staycation! Fifthroom’s Gable Ramada can be customized at many sizes ranging from 10′ x 10′ all the way to 20′ x 40′ – just in case you want to throw that big party soon!

Fifthroom's 12' x 14' Gable
Fifthroom’s 12′ x 14′ Gable Ramada

Here’s what our customers are saying about this product:

“Our Ramada is great! It blends in well with its surroundings here in Hawaii. The instructions are well laid out and easy to follow.”

“The Ramada has been installed now for about 14 months, gone through a cold Colorado winter (installed at 8100 feet in elevation) spring, summer, fall and now again half way through winter. The quality of the wood is outstanding.”

Bring Your Kitchen Outside
If there’s food, they will come.

Redefine your outdoor living space by transforming it into an outdoor kitchen and dining area. We love how homeowner Vanessa Paredes turned her addition into a barbeque area that she uses in the summer – and winter!

Photo credit: Vanessa Paredes
Photo credit: Vanessa Paredes

Can’t swing an addition because of issues in space or budget? Add furniture or structures to your backyard to carry over the same effect. Our Red Cedar Trestle Picnic Table is just as rustic as these bar stools and walls.DSC00965

And, Fifthroom’s Red Cedar Saybrook Arbor behind the table adds an inviting charm to the backyard you’ll never want to leave!

For more inspirational ideas and photos, check out our full Pinterest board here.

 

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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.

SAM_2630
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, Fifthroom.com has everything you need to bring the splendors of your home, outside!

 

 

 

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